Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the mazelike Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família church. Its restaurant scene, anchored by the central Boqueria market, ranges from fine dining to tiny tapas bars.
Construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882 and Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.
Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, and has the largest social media following in the world among sports teams. Barcelona’s players have won a record number of Ballon d’Or awards (10), as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards. In 2010, the club created history when three players who came through its youth academy (Messi, Iniesta and Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world in the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.
Barceloneta is the first of the Barcelona beaches and can therefore get quite busy during the summer months. The picture of Barceloneta beach above was taken on 3rd of October, and the sun is still shining! But it’s not always like this. Some days can be overcast or even rainy.
There are plenty of things to do on the beach besides swim. Windsurfing and kite surfing are popular. You can also enjoy a refreshing drink from one of the many beach huts. Or, if you’re in need of a rest, just lie down and soak up the warmth of the Spanish sun with a good book.