This beautiful contribution from Cat about one of my favourite places in Barcelona has me wishing I was up there now. If you haven’t been you should go. Just not when I’m up there. ;)
The view from Turó de la Rovira
Barcelona has a secret. Behind the flurries of swarming crowds and must-see attractions lurks a hidden gem, a snippet of solitude steeped in beauty, charm and history. A place where time has stood still and only Mother Nature dares to impose on the peace and tranquillity. A place I love to go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and where I’d always choose to start my day. Don’t get me wrong – I love the energy and vibrancy of the city – but if I’m honest there’s nothing I enjoy more than escaping into nature and disconnecting from the ‘matrix’ of modern life. A luxury which, thankfully, Barcelona can afford. Read the rest of this article…
I have been living in Barcelona for three years now and, while here, I’ve had a lot of days that have gone perfectly. For this article, I am going to combine a few of these perfect days to make one really unforgettable day in Barcelona.
As many of my friends and family often come by to visit us in Barcelona, I need to come up with a variety of ideas regarding how to entertain them. Since they come more often now, I have to show them some unique places that are far from the touristic parts of Barcelona.
I am currently living in Eixample, so the majority will take place here, but I am also stepping out of my comfort zone to go to El Born, Horta and El Raval. Read the rest of this article…
View from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Montjuïc is my favourite place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. There are enough secluded spots there to read a book, gape at the stunning views or simply soak up some sun. The beauty of this little mountain is that it’s so close to the city centre that getting here doesn’t seem like an epic mission. Peace and tranquillity are on your doorstep! On my perfect day, I don’t intend to spend much money. I just want to escape the crowds, stroll in the sunshine and admire my surroundings. After all, it’s not every day you get to climb a mountain in the middle of a city!
First off, I make my way to Plaça d’Espanya and take a brief moment to admire the enormity of the old bull ring, which makes for an impressive sight. I stroll down Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina towards the “Magic Fountain”, enjoying the spectacle of the miniature fountains dotted the whole way along the street. At the end, I climb the stairs to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, a magnificent building from which you can see the whole of Barcelona spread out before you. No matter how many times I see it, this view is breathtaking – one of the best in Barcelona. Read the rest of this article…
A dear friend of mine asked if I’d like to publish this article. I answered in the affirmative.
Whether you live in Catalonia or Scotland, the USA or Russia, most people are interested in “freedom”. The question is “What constitutes freedom?”
Freedom for a Russian could mean actions to prevent invasion and perhaps the people are easily misled to think that invasion is likely. An American considers freedom as lack of government interference. The French are an enigma! A significant majority are happy with a country with more government control and involvement than most other European countries.
Democracy does not guarantee freedom. Consider Egypt, not a straightforward place to contemplate freedom but one thing is sure: A democratic election voted in a majority government which then thought that it had won the right to remove freedoms from a large proportion of the population. Nineteenth century Great Britain was not a democracy but its population had a significant degree of personal freedom.
“Freedom from a foreign yolk”. Are the people of Zimbabwe freer to express their opinions or develop their lives with education, health-care and job opportunities available, under Robert Mugabe rather than Ian Smith? Will the people of the Donbas ever rebuild their lives and have freedom, if they achieve union with Russia, compared with their potential future if a less corrupt and better-run Ukraine emerges from the changes taking place? I make these points, not as political judgements but, as evidence of the complexity of the concept of “freedom”. Read the rest of this article…
After having studied abroad in both Bilbao and Barcelona, Spain during university, I fell in love with the Iberian Peninsula. Hence, I graduated from the University of Nebraska in May 2013 and have been living here in Barcelona since June 2013. There are a lot of aspects of Spanish / Catalan / European culture that I adore – outdoor terraces, being out and about in the streets, and fresh seafood – just to name a few examples. I have developed a love-hate relationship with the Spanish siesta (daily nap), leisurely lunches, and public transportation. The point of this article, though, is to tell you about one of my favorite areas of Barcelona proper, the neighborhood of Poblenou (or Pueblo Nuevo).
Rambla del Poblenou
So quick Poblenou recap – for a long time the area was actually a marshland with many small lagoons. After the various technological revolutions, Poblenou was the largest industrial area of the country and later consequently became a consolidated residential area. More recently, however, Poblenou experienced a complete transformation thanks to the 1992 Olympics, a transformation that aimed to convert the old industrial parts to keep with high-quality working and living conditions of the area at large. I love Poblenou because it’s not packed with tourists, it’s right next to the beach, and the main street (the Rambla) is the place to be no matter the time of day nor the season. Read the rest of this article…