2 In Travel Stories

Street Art and Architecture in Barcelona

THE DETAILS
Location // 
Barcelona, Spain
Length of stay // 4 days
Travel companions // Jorge
Purpose of trip // Long weekend city break

“Allow me to state here how much I love Barcelona , an admirable city, a city full of life, intense, a port open to the past and future.” – Le Corbusier

295099_775041229443_1304996480_n

We burst through the clouds over London into a Crayola sunset sky, deep amber, gold and pink ripples through a sea of midnight blue.

293843_775509525973_1293066213_n

And that about set the tone.

295085_775042347203_2024476276_n

The next four or so days in Barcelona were definitely colourful and definitely relaxing.

295201_775509166693_529253518_n

(Note that the photos throughout this post don’t necessarily correspond to the words directly above or below them. They are pretty random, as you’ve probably already noticed!)

559282_775042182533_425017839_n

In the mornings, the kettle would boil and Jorge and I would bring steaming mugs of tea out to the balcony.

535921_775509366293_1450826254_n

We’d sit for a while, watching the business of the day unfold in the narrow streets below.

529977_775041094713_1803543039_n

They were slow mornings, beautifully lazy mornings, sun pouring through the railings.

542895_775041144613_1270951707_n

People stood in groups around doorways, smoking the first cigarette of the day.

554611_775041419063_2054327324_n

There were men pushing carts piled with boxes, women walking dogs, birds fluttering their wings along the clay coloured Spanish rooftops.

564217_775509900223_417905594_n

There were some stunning flowers I’ve never seen before.

559722_776513134733_361868181_n

Once we’d finished our tea, we’d make our way down to the edge of Plaza de la Vila de Gracia for breakfast.

563321_775004318413_1234998875_n

Coming from cloudy grey London, it was amazing to be soaking up the early sunshine.

541044_775041708483_1093758040_n

Most mornings it was pan tumaca, crusty bread with olive oil drizzled on top, rubbed with ripe tomato, a bit of garlic and sometimes toastie style with ham and cheese.

385590_776093385913_874879178_n

We could sit there for hours, talking or not talking.

539335_775042317263_584513360_n

It didn’t matter.

540342_775042202493_1028167867_n

We did nothing touristy.

398301_775548303263_1128298983_n

Well, apart from a 10 minute stroll up Las Ramblas, looked around the colourful Boqueria Market and stopped at Happy Pills if those things count.

552071_776512630743_100700778_n

We just soaked it all in.

543634_775510005013_689552726_n

I didn’t see Palau Guell or Sagrada Familia or climb up Montjuïic or watch any flamenco dancing.

545226_776111789033_1620441048_n

Sometimes when you travel, there’s a to do list, a tick list of museums and attractions, but you don’t get a real feel for the city and what it could be like to live there.

546783_776111933743_713095508_n

This time, though briefly, I did.

548422_776111559493_45970628_n

It was simply four days of enjoying life.

399094_776093790103_189004184_n

No internet. No phone. No work.

427817_775547410053_312825460_n

Knowing people who lived there (and had lived there) definitely helped!

550351_775041803293_1616395241_n

The afternoons we spent with friends mostly.

551903_775510024973_426672942_n

We wandered along the beach with the pretty palm trees, twisting through the narrow alleyways of El Gotic or El Raval.

533763_775509810403_940960999_n

Beautiful buildings with tremendous amounts of detail.

485769_775042137623_885914179_n

People watching.

526989_776513344313_198211346_n

We watched swing dancers in the square and Castellers building a giant human castle.

542889_776512715573_906706626_n

One day we both got our hair cut – mundane, but I enjoyed it!

427932_776512391223_2140167160_n

I kept an eye open for street art, of course.

521685_776133295933_1850203977_n

There were quite a few C215 pieces and some from Alice.

548929_775041793313_959670291_n

There are many others as well not posted here.

524323_775510494033_406974548_n

And there was shopping. Jorge’s friend Virginie runs a boutique called Mushi Mushi.

530958_775003829393_428413008_n

I bought a blue skirt by French designer Jad and a blue and orange dress by Sessùn, both of which Mushi Mushi stocks. Later, I bought red strappy heels from Uterque that still smell like leather.

542468_776512660683_331404290_n

The food we had on this trip was delicious, from Spanish tapas to Japanese, Italian and Nepalese restaurants.

540574_775003534983_1776020904_n

Evenings sometimes wound down with a few bottles of wine and an entire fuet sausage shared between a few of us.

525722_776132801923_1734460470_n

Jorge lived in Barcelona for a few years so I was introduced to plenty of new people who were all lovely and mostly multi-lingual people who lead interesting lives in this vibrant city.

526771_776133236053_650104212_n

There were mojitos, long nights in bars, late mornings.

527562_776111983643_960119013_n

A couple days I went off my myself to take pictures and walk through random shops.

529092_776111694223_769280812_n

I quickly learned to look up as much as possible.

537983_775547894083_888227104_n

If you don’t you miss so much of the architectural details, and there are plenty to be seen.

529657_776511298413_1342631328_n

One of my favourite things to do when I travel is just to observe the local people going about their daily activities.

535643_776093321043_1897093884_n

Some up to dodgier activities than others.

539244_775547524823_1602455155_n

I always go to markets.

535067_775548383103_889218860_n

They are full of hustle and bustle and bartering and often locals more than tourists depending on the city and market.

537916_775547340193_1090868112_n

They are incredibly colourful.

540715_775548433003_222532452_n

There are always a few tasty treats to bring home.

542340_775548033803_1076580671_n

And they make for some vibrant photos.

564145_775548138593_951754307_n

But besides meeting Jorge’s friends, having breakfast in the sun and just relaxing, the best part of the Barcelona I had the chance to see was a mix between the street art and the buildings.

529705_776133535453_1785951859_n

I was content to walk for hours, getting as lost as possible.

532828_775510309403_428837025_n

There was always the possibility of simply hopping in a cab to find my way back.

534458_776512471063_871548563_n

After only four days in the city, it’s definitely a place I will find my way back to because there is a lot more to explore.

305683_776510884243_1173357063_n

Hopefully soon!

564714_775547839193_316974213_n

If you have any Barcelona tips or recommendations to share, let me know in the comments.

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  • Reply
    New Blog, Shop, Facebook: Little Observationist | Little London Observationist
    August 5, 2013 at 8:12 am

    […] to the top of El Teide, the volcano in Tenerife, venturing through the markets of Dubai, exploring Barcelona for the first time and finding the street art in […]

  • Reply
    Inside the Studio of Pedro Paricio, a Halcyon Gallery Artist - Little Observationist
    March 9, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    […] Tenerife in the Canary Islands and, also like him, he has spent time living and working in both Barcelona and London, he got in touch. They became […]

  • The mic is yours...

    "wp_footer()"