My very first Euro trip started in the Mediterranean lands of Spain. Better yet, lands of Catalonia. Barcelona is the capital of Catalunia. the city is rich, educated and clean. Yet, it is full of colors and flavors. The Catalans are simply passioned about architecture and arts.
Barcelona, after the Olympic games in 1992, realized that the city needed a local hero that would attract more tourists. The chosen one was Antoni Gaudí, an architect. He was a indeed visionary and modernist, responsible for some of the great structures of the city. And now most of his works in Barcelona are part of the must-go places for every tourist.
The La Pedreira is an great building, which was designed to not have a single 90 degrees angle wall or pillar. All of them are all a bit curved in a organic disposition. Strange and unique.
The Park Guell is an open park designed by Gaudí to the Guell family. The free space is nice, but I personally disliked the interior (paid) area. There are simply not enough substance to justify the price.
But by far the most interesting monument from Barcelona (and personally from all places that I visited, even including the Eiffel tower) is the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) cathedral. Amazing. The history of the place is a whole story. Everything has a meaning, a higher purpose. It is in a eternal construction state for more than a century!
Picasso homeland doesn’t advertise his work harder, I believe, because he also chose Paris in life and his work is also spread all over the world. But the fact that Picasso, along Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and many other world wide famous artists, are from this city. Their work heavily influenced the cultural excellence of the city.
Among all the places I have visited, some noticeable mentions:
In time: as for now, Barcelona would be my #1 city of choice to live.