Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Barcelona Nights

Comparing Madrid and Barcelona is like comparing night and day. Madrid is the "royal" cosmopolitan capital of Spain. Barcelona is gritty, raw, and independent since it preserved its Catalan identity. The city is defined by its Gaudi architecture (the unfinished Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera) and La Rambla, the tree-lined pedestrian walkway which connects Placa Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus Monument in Port Vell. La Rambla is packed 24 hours lined with its "people watching" restaurants, stores, and street performers. At night, the rose peddlers, guys selling loose beer for a euro, and prostitutes monopolize the walkway. Barcelona definitely takes some time to grow on you, but its charming narrow alleys (Barri Gotic neighborhood), the waterfront with its beaches & Rambla de Mar (boardwalk), and the view from the top of Palau Nacional definitely win you over.

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