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Barcelona in Photos

what gets embedded...
About a year and a half before I came to Spain, my father died. So, I found myself chasing my father's ghost in Barcelona. He had spent time here before I was born, before he met my mother... I had a week alone in this city, before meeting up with far-flung friends--lots of quiet moments, even with the crowds along Las Ramblas...introspection in the Barri Gotic.

Coconut Seller
Day trip on bikes to Barcelona's city beach

Barcelona Street View
My husband had to make several trips to Barcelona this year for work so I tagged along for his April trip. What an amazing place - the perfect walking city! I enjoyed days exploring the city alone, just me and my camera. Back in our hotel lobby one evening, waiting to meet my husband after he finished work, I noticed this great security camera. I wanted to shoot the street view outside as reflected in the camera but to do so I had to have the hotel's sliding doors open. My solution: run over to the door to trigger it to open automatically, run back to the vantage point I wanted for the shot, and snap the photo quickly before the door slid closed. It took me a few tries to get my timing down and I think the guy at the reception desk thought I'd lost my mind, but in the end I was rewarded with the shot I wanted!

A walk down the streets of Barcelona is a feast for the senses. Nowhere have I seen such interesting and varied architecture - from early 20th century Gaudi masterpieces to ultra-modern apartment buildings like this one - as in beautiful Barcelona. Photo ops abound in this lively city of 1.6 million, so grab your camera and a pair of good walking shoes and have some fun!

Gotta love the street art in Europe...
Some of my most memorable photos are of street art, graffiti and other political advertisements while traveling through Europe. It can really set the tone for the neighborhood.

Tapas In Barcelona
Attention foodies, must try tapas (as many as possible) when visiting Spain!

Anonymous Workers in Barcelona
Unlikely Art
This art was in a old industrial section of Barcelona that is being transformed with parks and new businesses. I liked how the artist has these workers with smiley faces painted on paper bags. They are coming from the factory that they work in and are probably not that happy about it.

Barcelona has some amazing street art. Make sure that you walk around when the shops are closed because many of them have art on their roll up doors. A lot of them are even customized for the business. I remember seeing croissants and pastries painted on a bakeries door.

Starve in Spain? Never!
The food in Spain is an experience all on its own. This photo was taken in Cala de Vermut while I was on a fabulous tapas tour with a lovely company called The Barcelona Taste. Visiting one of the city's many tapas bars can be incredibly intimidating for the uninitiated, so whether you're traveling solo or you're exploring the city with loved ones, I highly recommended spending an evening doing an organized tapas food tour. The Barcelona Taste is a particularly fantastic option (no, I don't work for them) because they show you around the city and, most importantly, they introduce you to the wonderful food culture of Barcelona without being pushy and overloading you with information. Not only that, but you have a fantastic time while doing it!

Regardless of who you choose to tour with, I highly recommend going with a guide your first time out (and on your first night in the city) - you not only get your bearings but you also get to scout out places you want to go back to during your stay!

Chris says that way!
So, I'm going that way...which brought me to fabulous places throughout my two day trip. A delicious tapas restaurant (Tapas 24), the best market in the city (La Boqueria Market), El Born for a coffee snob (El Magnífico), night life in the Gothic Quarter (The Stoke Bar) and Gaudi (Park Guell) of course!

Tapas in Barcelona
Pre dinner routine.... Mmmmm tapas

Sunset from the Mediterranean
Walking back from the beach, before heading up la Rambla, I stopped to watch the sunset over one of my favorite cities. I would say this was the best part of the moment, but there was a stand selling chocolate crepes. So there's that.

Street Musicians In Barcelona
Finding our selves in Barcelona on the day of a general strike unable to use public transpiration to get around the city we struck out from our hotel and walked. As we neared the city center we heard the drums and the music bouncing off the walls. We were curious and decided to investigate. These guys were wailing on the street. The excitement and the groove was great. When I realized they were choreographing their moves, that made it all the better. Before we knew it, we'd been standing there watching for 45 minutes.

A road sign cautioning about the dangers of driving too slow or driving too fast or maybe the danger of cars with eyes and a propeller.

Revisitng Barcelona
Have you ever been to a place with people and feel like you followed them around a city without being able to see everything? Well that was my first trip to Barcelona.

I was 21 and studying in the Aix-en-Provence, France when I decided to tag along with others on a trip to Barcelona for the weekend. This was one of my first travel experiences, so I wanted to be part of the group. I did little research on what there was to see and felt like I missed out on the main attractions.

Fortunately, I was able to retry my odds in Barcelona. Both trips had highlights and I am glad I broke my rule to re-travel to void any regrets I was feeling. Read more about my second trip to Barcelona below:

Correfoc "fire run" during La Merce
The Correfoc is an event that is also known as the “fire run.” There are two “runs,” a child-friendly one at 6:30 PM and an 8:30 PM adult version on Via Laitena near Jaume 1 metro stop. People dress up and carry fire crackers and fire-breathing dragons down the street in a parade-like style. The first time I experienced this was when I randomly happened upon the parade in 2009, and because it was like nothing I had ever seen before, I made it a huge priority to return. Luckily, I made it back this September 2015. Make sure to wear long sleeves, pants, hats, and closed toed shoes. If you are a female, make sure to tie your hair up. Don’t stand too close as the fire crackers are loud, just close enough to take photos and videos of just how spectacular and how totally illegal this would be in the United States. You can read more at http://worldonawhim.com/guide-la-merce/

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