At the start of the month, my friends and I made plans to take one last trip together to Barcelona, Spain. Like many of the places I’ve visited this semester, I was taken with it in ways I never anticipated. For Barcelona specifically, the architecture and the atmosphere it created was particularly enchanting.
Of course, it is impossible to talk about Spanish architecture without bringing up Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect behind many of Barcelona’s most famous locations. The church La Sagrada Familia was one of the first stops on our bucket list for the city. As soon as we emerged from the metro the church was in front of us, rising like a candy-land sand castle. The spires dripped in detail, some crowned with whimsical fruits and others with etched designs.
My friends had gone earlier in the day to attend a mass service inside the church. Sunday mass is free to all, and offered in 4 languages. For those interested it is a great way to see the interior of the church without buying a tour. The pictures and videos they showed us of the vibrant stained glass windows and the resonant chorales were well worth the early wake up time.
Throughout the day, we were able to find more buildings designed by Gaudí tucked away throughout the city. On our last day, we were also able to visit Park Güell, where Gaudís creations and nature coexist to enhance one another’s beauty even more.
Apart from being pleasing to the eye, the city offered other delights as well. Down almost every street musicians played. The restaurants offered colorful varieties of tapas, sparkling sangria, and Aperol spritz. Beaches were a walk away, and the ocean left us refreshingly coated in salt and sun.
Although my time there with my friends was made bittersweet with the knowledge that it was our last time being together for awhile, Barcelona gave us the perfect ambiance to say goodbye. The whimsical feeling of its buildings, the grounding beauty of its natural surroundings, the sunshine and food couldn’t help but bring comfort and lightness to the end.