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yuliangpang Barcelona - A travel report by yuliang
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Barcelona,  Spain - flag Spain
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yuliangpang's travel reports

What's the real glamor of Barcelona?

  13 votes
Page: 1 2
There were already many excellent reports on Barcelona here, I was wondering whether I would contribute more, for this reason I had been quite hesitated to write something. But I found if I kept silent, It would be even more unforgivable.

Parc Guell, one of the masterpieces of Gaudi
Parc Guell, one of the masterpieces of Gaudi
You may find quite a number of excellent travel reports on Globo about Barcelona, and all of them are full of compliments and joy. I did share all those sentiments and observations. Rudi said in his report that Barcelona was Catalonian Pride. Yes, indeed, this conclusion could be easily testified by a few globo Spanish members, Willow said Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Dani gave the same observation by saying Barcelona was the best city of this world! Isaac even claimed his hometown Barcelona is a wonder.

when I landed at the Girona airport and took one hour by bus to get to Barcelona, what I found on the way was a little bit disappointing, because it was not the Barcelona that I had dreamed and expected at all. I had easily got lost among the modern buildings and had no idea where to go and how to use the extremely complicated metro system. But things changed when you got used to the new environment and began to find fun. I stayed in Barcelona 4 days, only the first day I wasted a lot of time on looking at the map and finding the places which I would like to visit, but most of time my trip to Barcelona was full of adventure and discovery. I began to appreciate the charm of Barcelona and gradually loved it which had given me such a bad impression at the first sight. I am not the only one who has this kind of exprience. An American guy I met some other day at park Guell told me actully this was his second time to Barcelona. But after his first visit back years ago, he promised himself he would never come back again. But on the way, when I found he was so happy to show me his pictures, I realized he liked Barcelona, and he even said amaizing to me, but he was not bold enough like me to say that. You know sometime people may get a wrong impression at the first sight, therefore strongly suggest you not make a quick conclusion before seeing those sites that I am going to tell you.

Favourite spots:
Terrace of Casa Mila, the so called La Pedrera
Terrace of Casa Mila, the so called La Pedrera
Barcelona is a feast for those fond of architechture. I had to admit that I did not know much about architecture, but when I saw all those fancy and unbelievable works of Antonio Gaudi, I felt shocked and understood the power of architecture. For the first time I know that those hollow combinations of cement and steel can speak, but you do not understand their language, they are meaningless to you. The map of Barcelona that you easily get anywere at the tourism information spots list all those Gaudi places. Guell Palace, Casa Calvet, Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia, Bellesguard, Park Guell, Casa Vicens, Casa Mila, Teresiano School, Guell Pavilions. But you do not need to explore all of them one by one as what I had tried to do, because some places are not open to the public, meanwhile they scattered around the city, take too much time to catch all of them. Strongly recommend only to see those well-known places, Parc guell, Casa Mila, etc. It is enough.

What's really great:
La Sagrada Familiar, the symbol of Barcelona
La Sagrada Familiar, the symbol of Barcelona
Barcelona is outstanding because of two brilliant guys, Antonio Gaudi and Pablo Piccaso. Both of them are considered as one of the most recognized figures in artist. We Chinese say arts are connected, but we also say Artists are mad. Both the works of Gaudi and Piccaso are crazy, because they are against the knowledge that you obtain from your daily life. I had tried whatever I can to figure out what the paintings of Piccaso would like to tell me, but I found nothing. I got the same feeling for Gaudi's work. For me the reason why works of Piccaso and Gaudi so easily catch my eyes, because they are unique. But they seem to be maverick. Barcelona is seeking the same thing, I believe, and that's why it nurtured the most special artists in the world. Barcelona is Barcelona, as this world has only one Gaudi and only one Picasso, but both of them had life connection with Barcelona. To understand Gaudi, you can not miss La Sagrada Familia, but to see Piccaso, you have to go to Piccaso Museum.

dancing at Cathedral Square
dancing at Cathedral Square
Barcelona is a city of music. You may find the music is everywhere. Actually I began to love Barcelona as well as Spain was not the architecure, but the music. The architectures can catch only your eyes, but when they get out of your view, you can easily forget them. Music is a different story, it catches your heart, the most inner part of your body. Whereever you go, whatever you do, they are still there. I still well remember the most beautiful music that I have ever heard 3 years ago when the first time I went to Spain. Chinese believe everything has two sides, yin (like the moon, representing soft)and Yang (like the sun, representing strong). If I say architecture in Barcelona shows me the side of Yang, while music shows me the side of Yin. I may say a few words about Italian musics too. As Latinos, both Spainish and Italians are born to be musician, but Spainish music are for dancing, that's why they have Flamingo, Italian music are for singing, that's why they have opera.

Font Montjuic
Font Montjuic
you can enjoy music free in Barcelona at two places. One is the Cathedral Square, the other one is Font Montjuic. But I believed those events are not for everyday, I only saw them on Saturday. At Cathedral Square, people put all their stuff in the middle and make a round circle hands in hands, and dance when the music comes. This is the first time that I have ever felt music and dancing are so close to me, before that I believe it is only somewhere in the theater. At Font Montjuic, you will get the opportunity to appreciate another kind of music, the music of water.

Barcelona is also a city of museum. There are so many museums and I can not finish all of them during my 4-day visit. Some of them you can not stand to miss. Besides Piccaso Museum, Museu Nacional D'art de Catalunya is a must. It is not only a good place to see the spanish arts, but also to appreciate panaroma of the town.

Barcelona Olympics Museum
Barcelona Olympics Museum
Besides Montjuic where the Museu Nacional D'art de Catalunya perches, Funicular del Tibidabo is another perfect place for having a panaromic view of the town. Actually they are just standing against each other. There is an impressing church at the top of Tibidabo, from where you may see the seaside of Barcelona.

Behind the Montjuic, you will find the Olympic Statium, there is another site built for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics along the seaside too, the Olympic Village, but it is not as appealing as the Olympic Stadium.

Barcelona is a city of football. It has not only the world well-known football team, FC Barcelona, which has thousands and millions football fans in China too, but also the most loyal and enthusiastic football fans. I was so lucky to feel personally the passion that the whole city for football, I encountered a football match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United for the finals of European Championship 2009 during my visit to Barcelona.

world-known football city, great stadium with most loyal football fans
world-known football city, great stadium with most loyal football fans
The match was on 28 May, FC Barcelona beated Manchester 3:0 and won the European Championship. On 29 May, the city gave a big celebration. I had the pleasure to experience both the live show of football match at Mare Magnum and the celebration at Camp Nou. To be frankly I did not like the football at all, but I did follow the people and came with them to stadium Camp Nou on 29 May quite earlier in the afternoon, therefore I managed to find a very good position. I did this only because I wanted to feel how the atmosphere. At beginning, I thought the celebration had nothing to do with me and I was just forced to accept somebody's feeling. My dignity was even hurt somewhere, because it reminded me of the bad performance of the Chinese football Team, and made me feel a shame. But later I was lightened by the passion, particularly their well-disciplined behavior.

amusement of Old Men in Barcelona
amusement of Old Men in Barcelona
I would like to share the song that I learned in Barcelona, ole le o la la ser del Barca, es el millor que hi ha. I did not know what does it mean, but that's the song that resounded the whole night of Barcelona.

You will remain a visitor or tourist to a new place if you do not know how lives of the local people look like. Barcelona was becoming very close to me when I stopped somewhere after I visited La Sagrada Familia, where groups of old men playing ball games grapped my attention. I did not know what kind of game they were playing, but it did remind me of my childhood playing glass marble and the lives of old people after their retirement in Beijing. They get together playing card or chess, but here people playing sports. Different things, same purposes. But it is still quite unusual in Europe to see people getting together for fun, usually they are very isolated from each other. Once again, Barcelona is Barcelona, always give you something special.

Other recommendations:
Museu Nacional D'Art Catalunya
Museu Nacional D'Art Catalunya
You need to know before you go that Barcelona is not cheap, almost nothing is free and tickets are a little bit expensive, at Casa Battlo I was charged 16 Euros, the most expensive site I got in Europe. But there is a way to save money, buying Barcelona Card you will enjoy not only free public transport, but also bigger discounts for bigger places and free entrance to some Museums.

In short, Barcelona is strongly recommended. It has all that a great city has to possess, but it has something so special that other big cities do not have. Specialty is the spirit and quality that this city is aiming for, but it is also where its glamor comes from. For me, that's why I remember Barcelona forever, the fantastic works of Gaudi and wierd paitings of Piccasso, the magic Font Montjuic, the rhythmic dancing at Cathedral Square, and the ordinary old people playing tirelessly boring games, how you can resist to put such a great place at the top of your travel list?

Published on Monday June 15th, 2009

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Sat, Jun 27 2009 - 06:28 AM rating by gloriajames

Loved your report and perspective on Barcelona.
I hope to visit Spain some day!

Mon, Jun 22 2009 - 11:48 PM rating by lioness

Thanks for the great report, it is always nice to see how visitors perceive Barcelona. For me, Barcelona is like a wonder box, every day you can discover something new.

Tue, Jun 16 2009 - 02:36 PM rating by jacko1

an excellent and honest report, well done.

Tue, Jun 16 2009 - 01:37 PM rating by pesu

Barcelona is another city I love and you described it very well! Good photos, too! Your personal conclusion sounds very inviting to go back again.

Tue, Jun 16 2009 - 12:30 PM rating by krisek

Nice report, putting a different perspective on the Catalan capital city. I have not noticed much music on my visits, but I guess I might have been deafened by the myriad of great architecture and wonderful food....

Tue, Jun 16 2009 - 11:17 AM rating by eirekay

What a wonderful warm report! I can feel your fondness for Barcelona! Don't ever hesitate to write again!

Tue, Jun 16 2009 - 09:23 AM rating by mistybleu

Great report; there is always room for one more report on any place.

Mon, Jun 15 2009 - 11:54 PM rating by davidx

I always like your mixture of fact and personal opinion. Actually I had little expectation of liking Barcelona at all but stayed several days when I had only intended one. I think it must be an acquired taste - but it's a very strong one!

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