Barcelona pt. 1 | an introduction + wandering

April 8-10//Barcelona, Spain//Canon 5d
Katinka and I boarded a plane early one Wednesday afternoon last month, headed for six sunny days in Spain. I was excited-beyond excited, actually. My childhoods were spent in the sunny yellow house of my best friend, who's grandparents hailed from the North of Spain-I grew up with Spanish floating through her house, paella cooked in six food wide pans and tortillas pressed into my hand at the baseball field. At twelve I started learning the language in school; I was fascinated by the concept of communicating in another foreign tongue and spent my afternoons sharing secrets with my mother en espanol (until my dad and siblings started to understand, that is!) I had dreamed of the sunny streets of Barcelona + the elegance of Madrid-and now, it was time to walk those streets and experience it for myself.

We touched down in Girona later that day; after a quick bus ride, we were standing amongst the trees and wide avenues, unsure of where to start. Cars and buses hurtled by; the city was ours for the taking. And so, we started to wander.

Wandering would be a common theme throughout the rest of the trip; we wandered everywhere, it seemed, down avenues and through dark little neighborhoods, the sun blocked out by balconies and drying laundry. It seems difficult to separate the trip into tangible parts because of this-so I've decided to take all of my photographs from the miles upon miles that we walked and put them into an introductory post, in order to set the scene and give an impression of this vibrant and colorful city.

Barcelona is a little different than everywhere else I've been; instead of all of the touristy, historic sights being concentrated in one location, everything is spread out. It's like a pinball game; visitors ricochet from one spot to the next, each place located in the opposite direction of the first. Spread out in between are sprawling neighborhoods, each with its own feel- the crowded, run down alleys of el Born; the wide avenues and quiet residential hum of Exiample; the elegant wrought iron and plazas of Barri Gotic; and Barceloneta, whose sun and sand won me over (they get their own post). Each one had a different population of people, a different style-I felt like I was getting the whole picture, rather than the clean, quaint and charming image the tourism board presents. For the first time on exchange, I set up shop in my daydreams; picking out potential apartments and planning a life there, where the dogs walk without leashes and it seems to always be sunny. Here was a city that somehow managed to simultaneously convey a laid-back lifestyle while still buzzing with energy and life-and I was utterly and completely in love, with every inch of it.

{end of part one} 

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