With a space of a single week free between finishing up in my old job and starting my new one I had some time to spend away. To that end I decided to visit a friend in Barcelona, my plan was to chill out, generate some Vitamin D and absorb a little culture.
I was surprised with the weather, I had imagined that I'd melt, it being the middle of Summer but I was pleasantly surprised. From stepping off the plane I was instantly hit with the sensation comparable to entering a low heat sauna and had no issues at all with the heat. (Though I was rarely to be caught without a bottle of water in my off hand.)
Interestingly, I found that it had a similar effect to the Sauna too, in that I found myself having no choice but to sit back and relax, my brain just too hot to process any worry.
The Sagrada Familia
One of the first things my friend ordered me to check out were some of the works of Gaudi, the famous Catalan Architect. His buildings a very unique organic aesthethic and they had the habit of forcing me to stand still when confronting them with a combination of awe and disbelief.
The picture above is from the inside of Gaudi's greatest work, one that continues decades after his death, the Sagrada Familia. It's a really unique building and the combination of the sublime design, creating an atmosphere of serenity, and the constant sound of construction created quite the conflict inside that sacred space. Was definitely worth checking out.
The city itself has quite a pace to it but I've never been somewhere where I felt such a current of positivity run through the inhabitants. Everywhere you look there are smiles and even as the mad traffic endangers your life it's hard not to fall in love with the place.
One thing I had been constantly cautioned about leading up to my trip was the threat of pick pockets but I didn't seem to have any trouble, that said I do have a healthy dose of paranoia so doubtless that helps ward off would be pilferers!
I didn't chance a swim, I'm allergic to sharks (and forgot my trunks!) but I spent most of my holiday time cooking in the sun as I read on the beach. I couldn't have chosen a more pleasant surrounding to introduce myself to the work of William Gibson in. I was quite pleased to make it through two novels over the course of my holiday.
I've been to a lot of different places as a tourist by now but Barcelona is the first destination that I'd return to again just to unwind. It has the perfect mix of great weather, beautiful surroundings and interesting culture to be an ideal travelling destination.
I'm as prepared as I'll ever be for my new job now!