The second stop on my week-long European tour was Barcelona, Spain. Although I've always thought that the name Barcelona was independently beautiful, I've never thought much about visiting Spain. There isn't much mention of Spain as a tourist destination in America. Perhaps this is due to our proximity to South America and Mexico, much of which was colonized by Spain, which makes Americans feel as though we can get our fill of Spanish culture just by traveling across the border. Whatever the reason, I didn't have the same expectations for Barcelona as I would've for Paris, Venice, London or any of the other major European cities that are often mentioned as tourist destinations.
After our flight from Milan, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and then proceeded to the most obvious tourist destination for any man planning a day in Barcelona; the Camp Nou stadium, home to the Futbol Club Barcelona.
Even though I am far from being a futbol fan, I really got into the history portion of the tour. It was interesting to learn that the stadium seats almost 100,000 people and is the second largest stadium in the world. Yet another time that the architecture in Europe made me feel so small in comparison to its grand scale.
There is a tiny chapel inside the stadium, just beyond the locker rooms. Apparently this futbol thing is so serious that prayer is needed and Jesus has his own box seat at the games! Ha!
When the stadium tour was complete we ventured into the city center to find lunch, shop and prepare for a surprise later in the evening. Barcelona truly reminds me of Paris. Its cobblestone streets, wire-wrought verandas and double-shuttered windows convey an emphasis on adorning the parts of life that would otherwise be ordinary. The result of these unnecessary accoutrements is a feeling of intimacy and romance that encapsulate the city.
Because he is amazing, my fiance planned an evening trip to the Font Magic de Montjuic (the Magic Fountain of Montjuic), which is situated just below the majestic Musea Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia). The Magic Fountain features a synchronized water, light and music show during the evenings that plays for thirty-minute intervals beginning at dusk and ending close to midnight.
Got caught slipping...
The final surprise of the evening was dinner and a Flamenco show. Flamenco is a form of music and dance that is native to the Spanish regions of Andalusia and incorporates guitar, clapping, snapping and lots of fancy footwork to create a distinct sound. Although this dance form is thought to have originated in the 18th century, I swear that one of the dancers we watched supplemented this old world art form with a few lessons from James Brown ;)
I thoroughly enjoyed Barcelona. My only regret was not taking more pictures as I walked around the city and the gorgeous airport but hopefully I'll get to return soon. Thanks for visiting!