I realize that I never post anything about Barcelona... the reason is because I'm so used to it that I keep saying to myself, "I'll get to it eventually..." So, here's where I start getting to it.
The best way I can describe Barcelona is it's a "dreamland" and by that I don't mean it's perfect, but that it doesn't feel like real life. You can't possibly live like a real human here. This is a place catered to tourists and dedicated to entertainment and the good life. There are endless things to do: the beach, the mountains, the fiestas, the parades, the 2-hour lunches and wine at all times of the day, the afternoon siestas, the festivals, the bars, the tapas... I could go on and on. There no way that anyone gets anything productive done. People seem to flock here seeking this unreal lifestyle, where people work enough to afford this ultra-chill way of living and that's it. Rarely is anyone I've met trying to climb the corporate latter or stressing about being "successful", which is WHY this place is so great. People are content. Everything they need is here, and as long as you can make enough money to live comfortably and take occassional holidays, what else do you need? (I realize that I've just generalized the shit out of this city and I hope you can sense my tone.)
This is why I love this place so goddamn much. I am free to work on my art and the things that I actually care about rather than feeling pressured to chase after what U.S. culture deems as success (money, recognition, validation from your peers). Here, time spent with family and friends and working to live a comfortable life is enough.
"You want to bring some sangria down to the beach today?"
"Si, duh, yes of course I want to do that."
"You want to hike up to the bunkers and take photos today?"
"Why the hell not!?"
Which brings me to the bunkers: there are some bunkers (Bunkers del Carmel) from the Spanish Civil War on the Turo de la Rovira (Rovira's Hill) and the view from this place is without a doubt the BEST panoramic view of Barcelona. Before Thursday of this week, I had only been up there at night and I can't believe I waited so long to go during the day.
I hiked up there with some other Workaway friends, George and Elissa. We plan on going back next week and bringing some lunch up there.
Seeing La Sagrada Familia loom over the city from up there is just incredible.
This place needs to be an absolute requirement when passing through. It's cool to see the back side of Barcelona as well -- the area no tourists dare to venture due to the presumed lack of English speakers.
Not a lot of tourists know about the bunkers, but it's def a hidden gem. Gather your friends, your lover, or some fellow hostel guests, bring some sangria and bocadillos, and head up there for a few hours.