Amor de Barcelona!
Refreshed from our stay on Mykonos Island, we arrived in Barcelona via the 60 minute flight on Aegean Airlines from Athens. Once there we hopped the short train ride that took us to the “BarcelonaBB”. Located in one of the oldest districts, Dreta de l’eixample, this BNB has everything you could ask for. Minutes’ walk from all the major sites, like the Sagrada Familia” and the amazing Las Rambles and its incredible market and the best place for people watching. Once you step inside the BarcelonaBB, it should come as no surprise they have been Awarded the 2015 Travelers Choice Award on TripAdvisor. Adorned with bronze and glass doors from the early 1900’s surrounded by a solid marble and an old style “scissor elevator” that leads you to the massive hand carved wooden doors complete with Gaudi style handles and into the reception area. Once inside Nieves Brieto and owner, Kiku Serra and his partner Jon extend a heartfelt welcome. You are given an orientation past antique furnishings, a few statues, one that Nieves kept insisting I take, then shown to your room just down the hall of this old world home. Like we say in Real Estate it’s all about three things, location, location location and they have it.
Barcelona is all things to all people. With its museums, trendy Tapa Bars and the shopping center, Edifico Maremagnum on the water front, Barcelona has it all. The highlight of Barcelona is the master architect Antoni Gaudi. We have all heard about the wonders of Segrada Familia and Park Guel. But when you see it, it cannot compare to anything you have seen or heard. Stunning, spectacular, just does not describe this magnificent structure. And that’s before you step inside. Once there a whole world of Gaudi genius unfolds. Columns that are round in shape, widening as they reach towards the dizzying height of the ceiling and spread out across the top to resemble treetops. Completely built of white marble the flood of light mastered in the natural direction of Gaudi and his vision over 100 years ago is breathtaking. Massive stained glass windows fill the lower spaces. Each side of the Segrada Familia boasts different shades of brilliant red, yellows and gold, while the opposite side are of different shades of blues and green. There is not a large enough camera lens, at least in my bag of tricks, to capture the beauty of his design so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. Gaudi built many buildings in Barcelona, all within walking distance (you know what I say) along with Park Guel and I highly recommend you see them all at your own pace. Barcelona is a large city yet comfortable in its own skin, and it shows with its relaxed style of living and welcoming embrace.
Barcelona like all European cities has affordable, on time public transportation and of course trains and trams that run throughout the city. And yes, we ride them all, including the iconic Port cable car that cuts across the city’s skyline to Montjuïc. The names used locally for this cable car service are the Transbordador Aeri del Port or “Port Cable Car”. Easily visible from the port area, you only need look up which is what we did, then followed the cable until we reached its location. It was quite a hike, but worth every step along the what that took us through the old city, through a cactus garden, then up to the top of the mountain for the most spectacular view.
There is plenty to do for everyone and anyone in Barcelona, regardless of budget. Should you (if you ever could) grow tired of strolling the narrow streets, tasting pastry, tapas and of course Sangria along the way, jump on the train for a few Euros and head to Sitges. In about 45 minutes you arrive. Practically dropping you off right on the beach, in this storybook town filled with shops, beach goers of all shapes and sizes and yes, more Sangria will soothe your traveling soul and renew your senses. Would we go back? Absolutely. Would we stay at BarcelonaBB, you betcha! If you go, American Airlines will take you there. We flew in from Athens so we were already rested. Remember, pack light, don’t forget your passport and leave the attitude at home. It’s vacation, get out there.
Viajes Felices! Or Happy Travels!
For more information on BarcelonaBB visit www.barcelonabb.com