I’ve been to Barcelona a handful of times before, but never in summer, and never just to visit Barcelona. This time around, I made a point to stay a few days actually visiting Barcelona, even though it was just a base for exploring the Balearics. I’ve always had a similar impression of Barcelona and Miami, but now the city has become distinct to me, for a lot of unexpected reasons.
I knew Barcelona was a little, um, metrosexual, but I’ve actually never seen so many transgender or genderless individuals in the streets of another city. Gay bars and sex clubs are a thing, and in a city where anything goes for physicality and physical relations, drugs and alcohol help fuel the creative limits to which you can take them. The number of ex-pats here for just that can attest to this truth, especially the thralls of English-teachers.
I had never noticed before how many people have dogs, and not just purse dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, pit bulls, or half a dozen dogs, people love dogs, and they’re all inside dogs. I guess that’s why there’s so much dog poop in the streets, though I wish people would clean up after their furry friends. Or move to the countryside where you actually have a garden and some outside space for your animal to live and play in.
Architecture in Barcelona is wonderful. It doesn’t have the ultra-tall highrises, but more manageable, older few-storey high historical buildings, often splashed in colour by some Spanish tile-work, and rarely with an elevator. The Gaudi influence here and there gives it a Tim Burton movie feel, white the Gothic and other classical European styles fill the city with beautiful balconies and window frames.
The number one visited attraction in Barcelona is the Sagrada Family Cathedral, the epitome of Gaudi architecture, and I only visited it for the first time today. I still haven’t taken a harbor cruise or ridden the Montjuic cable car, nor have I visited the Picasso museum or seen a football game at Camp Nou, so there’s plenty left to do to be a better tourist next time.