A Return to Barcelona, Spain

Revisiting Gaudí’s Masterpiece and Culinary Delights

Barcelona, a city that effortlessly blends history, art, and modernity, has always been a favorite of mine. My previous visit was a delightful exploration of the city's vibrant food scene, its charming tapas bars, and the exquisite creations of Antoni Gaudí. This time, I returned with a specific motivation: to witness the near-completion of the Sagrada Familia, a masterpiece that had left a lasting impression on me years ago.

A Gaudí Pilgrimage

On my first visit, Gaudí’s architectural wonders were the highlights. I marveled at the undulating forms of Casa Mila and Casa Batlló, wandered through the whimsical Park Güell, and stood in awe of the Sagrada Familia. The cathedral, in particular, was a sight to behold, even though it was shrouded in construction materials and dust. The grandeur of its structure was overwhelming, and the ongoing construction only added to its imposing presence.

This time, the news of the Sagrada Familia nearing completion was my primary motivation for revisiting Barcelona. I was eager to see how the cathedral had transformed. Upon arrival, the difference was striking. The scaffolding was mostly gone, revealing the intricate details and the true scale of Gaudí’s vision. The cathedral, now free from the trappings of construction, stood as one of the most beautiful in the world. Gaudí’s design, with its organic forms and stunning stained glass, was even more magnificent than I remembered.

Navigating the New Normal

Entering the Sagrada Familia required a reservation, a testament to its growing popularity. Unlike my previous visit, when the process felt more casual, this time, it was meticulously organized. Visitors were allowed entry by the hour, and the security check resembled airport procedures. Despite this, the experience was smooth and efficient. Inside, the light streaming through the stained glass windows bathed the interior in a kaleidoscope of colors, creating an almost ethereal atmosphere.

The Unpredictable Weather

After our visit, we were met with an unexpected challenge: a sudden downpour. Barcelona is not typically associated with heavy rain, but it does rain in Spain, indeed. The deluge was so intense that getting a taxi back to our hotel proved nearly impossible. We waited for about an hour, drenched and slightly frustrated, before finally securing a ride. This experience, though inconvenient, added an element of unpredictability to our trip, a reminder that travel always comes with its surprises.

Savoring Barcelona’s Culinary Scene


No trip to Barcelona is complete without indulging in its culinary offerings. The city’s food scene is as dynamic and exciting as ever. We revisited some of our favorite tapas bars, where the flavors were as vibrant as my memories. From perfectly grilled octopus to delectable patatas bravas, each dish was a testament to Barcelona’s rich culinary heritage. 

A Touch of Art

Beyond Gaudí and gastronomy, the cultural allure of Barcelona extends to its museums. The Picasso Museum, a treasure trove of the artist’s work, was a must-visit. Wandering through the galleries, I gained a deeper appreciation for Picasso’s artistic evolution and his profound connection to the city.

Reflecting on the Journey

Revisiting Barcelona allowed me to witness the city’s growth and transformation while rekindling my love for its timeless attractions. The near-completion of the Sagrada Familia was a highlight, offering a fresh perspective on Gaudí’s genius. Despite the unexpected rain, the trip was a reminder of Barcelona’s charm and its ability to surprise and delight at every turn.

As I look back on this visit, I am filled with a renewed appreciation for Barcelona—a city where history and modernity coexist harmoniously, where every corner holds a story, and where the spirit of Gaudí continues to inspire awe and wonder.

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NOTE: All photos by the author

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your tour. Short but awesome. Lani from Sydney Australia.

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