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Everything we love in Barcelona
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On a warm sunny June afternoon in 1926, a dishevelled looking 73 year old man was hit by a tram as he bent down to pick up a broken tile on his way back from church. While street cabbies refused to offer him a ride a passerby took him to the city's hospital for the poor. That man turned out to be a certain Antoni Gaudi who died of his injuries two days later. The irony of the story is that Gaudi influenced this stunningly beautiful city more than anyone else and his mad colossal creations continue to attract millions of visitors. You will not be surprised they called him "God's Architect" once you have seen his seminal masterpiece La Sagrada Familia where he was buried and which is scheduled for completion in 2026 – not bad considering work started in 1882!
But the bread and butter of Barcelona is not just about Gaudi but a vibe that has been created around his ghost – Barcelona attracts whacky artists, fashionistas and Musicians from all over the world but under the trendy bohemian veneer lies a sophisticated network of top designers, architects and media savvy artists and a far more hedonistic society than one might imagine. A leader in modern interior design, here you can stay in hotels that surpass all standards of luxury and indulgence. Bars and clubs spring up on every corner so there is never a shortage of good places to drink and meet the locals.
The local language here is Catalan rather than Spanish and on first sight Catalans may seem insular and cut off from the rest of Spain. They are however, open minded and gregarious when you get to know them but you are more likely to rub shoulders with Brits, Argentines or Italians on your bar hopping forays than locals. This city has become a melting pot for fashion conscious foreign visitors who tend to stay for a couple of years and then move on. This transitory side of Barcelona makes it very dynamic and exciting and positively overflowing with beautiful people. Check out the many concerts, cultural events and vanguard art on show not to mention the Miro, Picasso and Dali museums.
Barcelona is a city that wakes late and parties until late and somehow manages to eternally reinvent itself and always remain at the cutting edge of fashion and trends. It has been called Spain’s Manchester because of its abundant designers and rebirth of cool but it also has sunshine, an important ingredient for showing off those wonderful clothes and plenty of top-notch food.
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