Fall in Barcelona, Spain

Entering Barcelona on Carnival’s Liberty luxury cruise vessel, the hubbub of the city seemed like any other big city in the world:  Crowded streets, people riding their bikes, vendors waiting for rich Americans to buy their goods, and dogs who like to dress up.

It’s not until you get deeper into the city of Barcelona that the flavor of Spain begins to express itself in art, food, and culture.

Entering the Port of Spain

The Port of Barcelona, Spain where a chihuahua greets visitors

There is much to see in Barcelona and much to eat. And we only had twelve hours to do it all.  We booked our tours on board Carnival’s Liberty. Our first stop was the La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished church that Gaudi worked on the last sixteen years of his life, which is said will be completed in 2026.

Taken from Park Guell

The unfinished church: La Sagrada Familia

Antonio Gaudi, the most famous architect of the 20th century, was born in Reus in the Tarragona province of Catalonia, 80km south of Barcelona. After enduring a childhood troubled by rheumatism, the son of two coppersmiths traveled to the Catalan capital to enroll as a student at the Escola Tecnica Superior d’Arquitectura where he studied from 1873 to 1877. Even then his professors did not quite know what to make of his work, and when he was awarded the title of architect in 1878, Elies Rogent, the director of the school, declared: “Who knows if we have given this diploma to a nut or to a genius?  Time will tell.”

We visited Park Guell, the gardens Gaudi was commissioned to build.  It is at Park Guell that visitors are immersed in Gaudi’s stone artwork and architecture.

Park Guell

The columns in Park Guell

Our American word ‘gaudy’ comes directly from the Spanish architect’s name.  In Barcelona you are surrounded in bright colors and flamboyant over-the-top style of his architeture.

Fall is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the city of Barcelona.  The temperature is comfortable, still warm, yet tolerable. TIP: Good walking shoes are a must!

There is much to see in Barcelona. It’s an exciting city filled with music and passion.   Delicious food from an out-door  tapas bar featuring battered shrimp, thick egg fratata, chunks of sweet potatoes and white sangaria that we consumed on the most famous street, Las Ramblas,  made this stop to Barcelona a joyful and pleasurable experience.  I hope someday  to spend more than just a half a day in a city like Barcelona, Spain in order to take in its full flavor!

Photos: Patricia Florio