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Thoughts on Barcelona


Distinguished Member
Feb 22, 2005
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Just returned from a week's honeymoon in Barcelona on Sunday and I thought I would share some thoughts for anyone thinking of going.

Barca is just beautiful. We must say that first. The modernisme architecture is amazing--there is so little like it that it can be a shock. Gaudi and his friends sprinkled the city with gems. And there are many many pretty people there. No matter what Checks said about hanging out at Nick Orojo's studio in NYC for the women, just hang out on a street corner in Barca. Oh the lovely brunette hair (I love brunettes) and long legs.

The people of Barcelona are generally very nice. My wife and I attempted to speak some Catalan, but with little success. People were happy to speak English to us. There are always the exceptions of course, and the next time someone goes off on how rude Americans are I will point them to the world-spanning tourists I saw in Barca (and some locals) who were horribly rude (and a number of them were obese too, so that's not just Americans either).

The men seem to like side vents. It looked good. There are more shoe shops than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately they all carry the same, generic, "fashionable" things.

There was alot of 80s music playing. And not good 80s music either. Weird.

I saw acres of great graffiti. I'm a fan of well done and well-placed graffiti. The multitude of metal roll-down doors that cover the shops at night are perfect for it. That said, the rare art nouveau and other old, architecturally important doors are not.

Great public transportation. We used the metro and the buses. Took the bus to Park Guell north (northeast?) of the city. I can see their reason for not wanting to move there 100 years ago when it was first envisioned, but I'm sure their ancestors regret that decision now. Stunning views over the city and out to the Mediteranean.

A simply lovely trip and I recommend the city to everyone.



Senior Member
Oct 6, 2004
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It's a great city. I'm pleased you enjoyed your honeymoon there.

TexasJack - a big part of why the city feels different from elsewhere in Spain is the strong Catalan identity to the place. It is different from the rest of Spain.

Full Canvas

Distinguished Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Congratulations on your honeymoon! Barcelona is a lovely city. I recall your thread inquiring about various honeymoon destinations.

In 1969, I made my first visit on a school holiday to see the Spanish Grand Prix. The race was held in Montjuïch Park. Both Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt suffered horrendous accidents in front of my hillcrest seat as the tall rear wings on their Lotus 49s collapsed three laps apart.

Initially, it was a little disconcerting to climb off the airplane and be met by the sight of Franco's Spanish soldiers standing seemingly everywhere with the automatic rifles at hand. A SEAT was the only rental car available. Therefore, away I went in the Spanish-made SEAT/FIAT. On a mere student's budget and without a room reservation, I was lucky to finally find a room having only a straw covered cot at the Gran Hotel Rey don Jaime.

I wandered all around the city area. I particularly enjoyed the people watching on the Ramblas and exploring the old Gothic Barrio. The art nouveau buildings in the so-called modern quarter were particularly beautiful. After reading about the van der Rohe Pavillion, it was really something to see in person.

I remember buying my very first leather jacket in Barcelona. I inquired of the hotel concierge about a shop to find a nice leather jacket. He must have received a commission to steer me there. I didn't know any better and purchased what appeared to be a nice tan Eisenhower jacket in kid leather. Although I received many complements on the jacket, it truly fell apart at the seams in less than two years! That was before this forum.

In 1971, I repeated the adventure with a friend. This time I got to the top of Tibidabo to see the entire area, ascended the spiral stairs to the top of Sagrada Familia, and took a guided architectural tour in order not to miss all of Gaudi's little jewels. The food and drink was unique, if not always anything special.

My last visit to the city was in 2000. There are too many changes to name. Nevertheless, Barcelona and all of Cataluña remain wonderfully unique to the rest of Spain. Thirty-five years after my first visit, I can still say you picked a great spot for your special occasion.

Edward Appleby

Distinguished Member
Apr 18, 2005
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Senior Member
Oct 5, 2004
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Ah Barcelona, one of my favorite cities!

They do dress and talk differently than the rest of Spain. Men dress in more neutral tones (brown, grey) than, say, Madrileños. It´s more european and fashion forward, though there is also the teba (a nice cross between a sweater and a sportcoat).

I would avoid the super toursty La Rambla and head for El Born, which has a great church at the Plaza Santa Maria. It´s beautiful in the mediterranean light, and very quite as it´s pedestrian only. There is terrific food there, too: Origin for regional catalonian dishes, Gispert for the most amazing still-warm roasted nuts, and El Magnifico for excellent single-estate, just-toasted coffee. Yum. And the Picasso Museum nearby ain´t bad either.

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