Earlier this summer, we were privileged to head on a family vacation to Barcelona, the capital of the region in Spain known as Catalonia. The trip was special to me for a few reasons, one of which being a return to the locale of my latest book, Prisoner of the Pyrenees. As we walked the streets exuding old-world charm, I could just imagine the feisty girl Briosa feeling right at home. And, having done as many Spanish lessons as possible before leaving, I felt at least a little prepared to be useful in asking directions.
Barcelona is positioned between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains on the north-east coast of Spain. It benefits from fantastic weather and is close enough to England to be only a few hours’ flight away.
First, the basilica Sagrada Família. Construction began in 1882 under Antoni Gaudí, and it’s still not finished. What a beauty! The architectural design is packed with symbolism, and the inside is crafted to look like a forest. (See right)
Second, Parc Güell. We learned a lot about Gaudí on this trip, and came to appreciate his style (pioneering in the 1800s) of using curving lines and taking inspiration from nature.
Third, food markets and avocado & hazelnut ice-cream!
Fifth, the people. They are friendly and willing to help out when they can — even if that means a game of hand signs because of the language barrier.
Sixth, the language. It’s true that Spanish is spoken there, but Catalan is preferred.
I could go on and on; instead I’ll leave you with more pictures.
We had an amazing time together. Barcelona is a great place, and I hope to see more of Spain in the future!
S. D. G.,
~ C. R. Hedgcock
The pictures in this post are my own; please do not use them without permission. Thank you!