Thursday, April 15, 2010
For unique culture --there is the fact that it is Catalonia and not Spain!
(A sign that we saw grafittied on a wall, by the way). Barcelonans are proud of their culture. I was a little surprised to find more people speaking Catalan than Spanish. That really was OK, everyone understood me when I tried to speak Spanish, not because my Spanish is any good, but because my college French kept getting in the way of my High School Spanish and the words that I kept coming up with were a strange half-breed Franglish which were actually more like Catalan than Spanish!
I loved that we came upon Catalan folk dancers and some sort of Saint's Day parade, complete with giant fairytale parade people. Neither of these were staged for the tourists, but seemed to be sincere celebrations by everyday Barcelonans--The folk dancers were everyday people dressed in jeans who met every week at the square in front of our hotel to practice traditional dancing. The giant statues were, well, we never quite figured it out, but it was obviously some sort of tradition for families to enjoy with their children because whereever we saw them there were families with children parading behind.
Barcelona celebrates its unique history and architecture,especially Gaudi.
We visited Parc Guel, La Sagrada Familia, and La Casa Mila and loved them all.
We saw lots of other tourist sites including several good museums, a beautiful downtown park, the seafront, Montjuic, and the Gothic cathedral but my favorite thing about Barcelona has to be the street life. People walking everywhere all day, all night--late night shopping and window shopping,street entertainers on the Ramblas and in the squares.
Barcelona is a great place to visit, and from what I can see, a great place to live.