44 Days Abroad: Barcelona, Spain

Never judge a book by its cover, and in that regard never judge a city by its cover. Landing in Barcelona wasn’t shocking, but getting into the city was. The city looked old, and from my limited perspective cities are patchworks of high rise apartments and embody the idea and image of progress and constant change.

Though, to be progressive does not mean that a city must continuously tear down itself and rebuild anew. Still, from my rooftop balcony looking out across the gleaming warm city I couldn’t help but feel as though I was in a slum. It is an opinion and thought that I am not proud of. I would have been best to hold judgments till I had spent longer than twenty four hours in the city.

Hitting the pavement allowed me to see the city from a new perspective. The shops, restaurants, and infrastructure were all modern. The people were for the most part welcoming and warm. I felt accepted and free to explore. The city is culturally diverse, which given my travels to some countries that border on being xenophobic – I was quite pleased.

The city is extremely accessible. The transit system including the subway for example is one of the better systems I used in Europe. The city was also financially accessible, as restaurants and food were cheap. For example a beer in a bar would cost 1 Euro. Some of the side streets were often frowned upon for tourists to go down. I would disagree. That is as long as you have common sense. Getting lost was the best part of exploring. I stumbled across some great restaurants and even museums that were off the beaten path. I decided on my third day that I’d like to get a massage to help my weary muscles. I found Kiromasaje, which had some great reviews on TripAdvisor. I was a little skeptical, given that the massage was only 30 Euros. I remember the trek to the place, it was a little confusing and involved Google Maps. Eventually we ended up at a deserted alley that had locked doors. The doors would only open ten minutes before the massage. I was worried that maybe this wasn’t the type of massage I was looking for…

Upon entering the establishment my partner and I were greeted by two female RMT’s who offered us a cup of tea. The decor was Moroccan themed and had a great vibe. Sixty minutes later I emerged onto the streets of Barcelona feeling refreshed. Oil still on my skin from the massage. We walked around for hours enjoying the warm summer sun.

The best days of my trip were spent in Barcelona. The beaches, the food, the people, and the sights. Everything exceeded my expectations. Be back soon.

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