Festes de la Mercè
 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

It’s rare for me to visit a place twice. Even when it comes to visiting friends, it takes me ages. Without friends though, it practically never happens. There’s one big thing different this time that brings me here.

En route to visit my friends Gemma and Ramon deeper in Catalonia, timing led me to make an impromptu weeklong stay in Barcelona, just in time for the biggest cultural festival of the year. (Shoutout to Rob for telling me about it, and sorry the timing didn’t work out for Valencia!) They set me up with their friends in Barcelona, Mar and Ignasi, who could not be more welcoming and hosted me despite a week where were all too busy to actually hang out beyond a dinner or two. It’s still enough to form another fast friendship, and I hope we find an opportunity to pick things up again just as I’ve been doing with others on this trip.

While waiting for the main attraction on the weekend, before and after my weekday remote work hours, I spent a whole lot of time aimlessly walking around Barcelona. It’s nice for once to not have any pressure to see the sights or do touristy things, to relax at home whenever I felt like without feeling a loss of time, and to have a mix of old and new.
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Barcelona, Spain

It’s amazing how quickly I veered from “What am I doing here?!” to “Can I live here already?”

Well, I’ll start from the top. What happens when you lose that spark, the one that makes you want to keep travelling?

It’s certainly a odd time to have this moment, at the beginning of a trip. But in essence, this is the middle of a longer one.

I walked for ten hours on my second day (first full day) in Barcelona. Went from tourist site to tourist site. Everything was there, everything was wonderful! I started my day out in Parc Güell, designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí, whose work runs prolific around the city, walked the Gràcia neighbourhood, the sprawling Passeig de Gràcia with La Pedrera and Casa Batllo (two more works of Gaudí, and I went inside La Padrera), Plaça Catalunya, La Boqueria (one of many markets in Barcelona that could give Granville Island in Vancouver a run for its money), Las Ramblas, Plaça Espanya, Torre Agbar, and a bunch of other places in between. I got lost like 10 times trying to follow my map. (If you know your Barcelona geography, you’ll realise that many of these places are very far apart. I walked to most of them.) Continue reading