Getting lassoed by Barcelona Spain

This week’s guest post on Barcelona Spain is from travel writer Suzy Guese.

When I arrived in Barcelona, an air of confusion and humidity took a hold of me as though I was just lassoed by a cowboy. As I lugged my suitcase up and down metro stairs and on and off different stops in the August heat, I finally rose from the city’s underground to its heaven. Barcelona is a city of dangling earring looking streetlights, passionate people rooting for their team, neighborhoods crawling with character and artistic greatness around every corner.

Born and raised in Colorado, a weekend trip down to Santa Fe was usually a yearly event growing up. Admiring the streets of Santa Fe and its wealth of turquoise, the Spanish traces of the area always left me wondering, wanting to know of these conquistadors. The Spanish entered the scene in 1541, adding their beautiful churches and artwork to America’s soon to be southwest. Santa Fe itself quickly became the seat of power for the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande.

I guess what I’m getting at is that Santa Fe’s Spanish side can truly be appreciated in Spain, in the throws of a Barcelona football match or throughout its rich art scene. Barcelona makes for a great first impression of Spain. If you are in need of some reasons to go, here are five.

Gracia Festival, Barcelona, Photo, Suzy Guese

Attend a Neighborhood Festival—In August, I was lucky enough to attend the Gracia festival. The Gracia neighborhood of the city holds a street decorating competition every year. Each street gets together creating these works of art in the streets, from legos to papier-mâché paradises. In the evening, song, dance and drink fill the streets as locals embrace this time of year.

See What Spanish Football is All About—After Spain took home the World Cup, watching a Spanish team play was a true highlight of mine while in Barcelona. Seville battled Barcelona as fathers and sons sat watching with homemade sandwiches brought as snacks. Eventually Barcelona took home the trophy. The fans possessed an energy similar to that of American sporting events. In the end, we are so similar, always rooting for our team, no matter the sport, culture or language we follow.

Barcelona football match, photo Suzy Guese

Gaudi building, photo Suzy Guese

Picasso, Gaudi and Goldfish All in One City —From La Sagrada Familia to the Picasso Museum, Barcelona is crawling with masterpieces. Down by the beach you can even see a giant goldfish sculpture taking in all of the beach bums. La Sagrada Familia continues to make slow progress, but there is something remarkable about standing in the midst of history being completed. The Picasso Museum also finds a home in the city, supplying not just a wealth of works by Picasso but also tremendous insight into his life. Santa Fe and Barcelona share that appreciation for the arts, that understanding of the importance of creation and showcasing the creator’s work.

The Abundance of Park Benches for Perching—Barcelona was good to my feet. Part of experiencing the city comes best while perched on a park bench. Some of my favorites include the benches along the beach in the Barceloneta area. The outfits to be seen alone are entertaining. The Ciutadella Park also opens up to bench perches amidst greenery, right in the heart of the city. An ornamental fountain sits at the center, flowing with sea-foam green colors you can’t help but stare. Park Güell sits up high on a hill, but is nonetheless a masterpiece for Gaudi fans with fragmented tiles transfixed in between the fragmented tourists snapping photos.

Park benches in Ciutadella Park

Churros and Hot Chocolate—I know that you are supposed to feast on Spanish tapas and the like while in the city. Perhaps I wasn’t dining at the right places, but Spanish food never really wowed me. However, the churros and hot chocolate I had did win me over. Just around the corner from the Picasso Museum, a man and wife duo make giant plates of fresh churros, serving them with hot chocolate for dipping. The sweet treat is the perfect way to end the Barcelona experience, happy, content and incredibly full on everything you have seen.

Churros and hot chocolate, photo Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer, currently writing for several online publications. She constantly wanders the world in search of stories, sarcasm and spirit waiting to be placed in written form. Her blog is Traveling with a Redheaded Temperament. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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2 Responses to “Getting lassoed by Barcelona Spain”

  1. Jeremy B
    February 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Suzy, I am a HUGE Barca and saw them play at the Camp Nou as well. I have a bunch of photos from the match but here are a couple of my faves.

    Photo of the match – Barcelona vs Real Zaragoza

    Me at the Camp Nou

  2. Ted Nelson
    February 17, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I spent a few days in Barcelona way back in 1993. Thanks for this post for bringing back some great memories. I loved the Guadi masterpieces and the Picasso Museum.

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