In the Catalonia Region of Spain: Barcelona, Part 2

Barcelona is very unique and distinct in its culture, history and architect. Another popular attraction is the Gaudi House Museum. The museum was designed by Francesc Berenguer I. Mestres and was sold to Antoni Gaudi for his own residence as he resided there form 1906-1925. It became a museum on September 28, 1963. Another fascinating building is the Casa Batllo. Also known as the House of Bones, this building is very surreal and appears dream-like. It was one of Antoni Gaudi’s houses in which he also designed. This Museum looks marvelous as it reminds me a life-sized gingerbread house. I saw the museum from the Güell Park and it looks very surreal.

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The view from Güell Park in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

After viewing the Casa Batllo, I accidentally found myself at Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a long pathway in the middle of Barcelona that serves as a major tourist hub. You can find people street busking (performers of all types), shops, restaurants, souvenir vendors, barbers, and so much more.  Exploring the city of Barcelona was very simple. The Metro subway takes you all around the city. It was not as elaborate as the subway system in Madrid but you could still visit all the attractions by using the subway.

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Subway in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

Barcelona has very amazing architecture everywhere you look. Later, I found myself in the Gracia area. This district is the second most densely populated and the most cosmopolitan area in Barcelona. A real tranquil spot to hang out was the Plaza Trilla. I spent  an hour there just catching the amazing view of Barcelona while practicing my Catalan.

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Gracia District of Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

Barcelona, Spain is a must-see for art enthusiasts and cultural travelers!

In the Catalonia Region of Spain: Barcelona, Part 1

After spending a few days in Madrid, I headed to Northern Spain. North Eastern Spain is very interesting. It contains its own autonomous community known as the Catalonia Region. The Catalonia Region consists of fours provinces including Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, and Barcelona. Barcelona is the largest of all the provinces and is also the second largest populated municipality in Spain after Madrid.

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Catalonian Flag; Courtesy of Google. 

As soon as I arrived, I noticed the diversity of this city. The official language is Catalan but people speak other languages including Spanish, Aranese, French, and English. Catalan is so interesting because it is a mix of French and Spanish. That makes so much sense because Barcelona borders France! I met a Cuban immigrant whom showed me around several places in Barcelona. There were so many beautiful beaches. I felt like I was in the California of Spain. All beach lovers should visit Barcelona!

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Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of www.renfe-sncf.com

One of the main highlights of Barcelona is the Basilica Temple of  Sagrada Familia. This is a Roman Catholic church that started to be built in March 19, 1882. It still remains incomplete. It is also worth mentioning that because of its Basilica status, the temple receives certain privileges from the Pope. It a wonderful marvel and when I was there I noticed that they were adding modern figures to the building. I spotted an astronaut figure sculptured into the main entrance. It is expected to have 18 towers once completed. These towers are to represent the apostles, the evangelists, Virgin Mary and even, Jesus Christ. It one of the world’s most famous temples and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was mainly designed by a Catalan architect named Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí specialized in Catalan Modernism and used his own highly-unique architectural designs. Therefore, the Basilica Temple of  Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction with over 3,000,000 visitors each year.

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The Basilica Temple of Sagrada Familia; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

 

Let’s Travel to Spain!

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The Spanish National Flag and its Naval Jack flag; Photo by Tony Polanco

Spain is a European country with rich culture, profound history, and many sites to see. It is also a backpacker’s fantasy with cities such as Madrid and Barcelona on everyones’ travel bucket list (If it’s not on your list, it should be.) Spain’s official language is Spanish but Spaniards are taught the languages of Basque, Galician, Catlan, and Aranese. The history behind these languages are very interesting, For example, Catalan is a mixture of French and Spanish as it is commonly spoken in Barcelona. Barcelona’s is located not too far from the French Border.

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Photo of Hills in Barcelona; Photo by Tony Polanco

Other interesting cities include Valladolid, Segovia, and Salamanca. Spain’s architecture is beyond amazing with examples shown in museums, cathedrals, aqueducts, and monuments.

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The entrance of the National Museum of Prado in Madrid

It is believed that the origin of the Spanish language originated in the region of Castillo Y Leon and therefore Spanish is referred to Castillian or Castellano in Spanish to track its linguistic roots. I visited Spain while in Study Abroad and it was amazing. I attended the Universitas Castellae located in Valladolid. Everyday I would visit the center of the city known as Plaza Mayor. It is here that Christopher Columbus was buried on May 20, 1506.

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The Statue of Christopher Columbus located in the Plaza Mayor of Valladolid.

It was very easy getting around Spain as they have access to buses, trains, and subways. The subway system in both Barcelona and Madrid were modern and competes with that of New York City. I must admit, I did get lost a few times but it was worth the adventure! So what’s stopping you from taking that trip to Spain?! You won’t regret it!

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An underground subway in Barcelona; Photo by Tony Polanco

Check out my travel video to see Spain’s beauty in all its glory. So what’s stopping you from taking that trip to Spain?! You won’t regret it!