I didn’t find whatever epiphany that I was looking for on this solo trip. Maybe Barcelona isn’t quite the place for reflection and introspection. What I did find was that I enjoyed my own company more than I had anticipated. I felt confident navigating my way through new metro systems, figuring things out on my own and meeting new people. I’ve often said that I am my most confident surrounded by others, I wanted to be confident on my own two feet!
Now- back to Barcelona! What an amazing and vibrant city. I found that there was always something to see and the people were genuinely friendly. From the airport to the train station to the tourist sights, I felt safe and that if I was ever in a pickle there would be someone to help. I was however on guard at times and kept my valuables close and my wits about me.
Expo Hotel Barcelona
I stayed at the Expo Hotel Barcelona, a stone throw away from Sants Train station. I was initially disappointed to not have found a hotel smack on La Rambla but this hotel was quite the gem and only a 40-minute walk to many sights or a 10-minute metro ride. The bustling fair and free concerts at night right outside my hotel were also a plus plus plus! After a busy day walking and taking pictures I would retreat to my hotel and the party was still raging.
I particularly enjoyed weaving through La Rambla. La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. There was of course a sombre mood at La Rambla given the very recent terrorist attack that claimed several lives, however it was lovely to see many people from all over the globe band together in solidarity.
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria, is a large public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona. I can confidently say that I’ve never seen anything so colourful. It was busy, fast paced and interesting. Keep your possessions close however and keep up with the pace!
La Sagrada Familia
When I mentioned I was off to Barcelona everyone who had been said that there was no way I could go and not see some of Antoni Gaudi’s work and in particular, La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is a catholic church which was designed by Antoni Gaudi. I got the camera out and could not stop snapping away. I believe building work started in 1880 and is still a work in progress till this day.
The Erotic Museum
I love a good museum and if it’s one all about sex then I’m all in. The Erotic Museum was interesting, informative and amusing in equal parts. If you’re looking for a time filler in between sights or meals, then for 7 Euros you can’t really go wrong!
I really enjoyed Barcelona and going solo, I can’t wait to explore more on my own. The pros definitely outweighed the cons and other than having all your pics as selfies for fear of someone running off with your camera, it’s a pretty peachy life doing what you want and taking in sights and sounds on your own terms.