When I first visited Barcelona, I already had a great impression of how it would be, but I was wrong. It was so much more. Setting off early on a daytime walkabout I discovered a labyrinth of narrow streets, the grandest of architecture and a people fiercely proud of their city and culture.
Barcelona is a city layered with, well, everything. Balconies hang from tall buildings, dripping with hand-washed laundry, patriotic flags and if you’re cheeky you can peek inside people’s apartments. At times you may feel the streets are closing in on you whilst your senses are busy fixating on the wonderful aromas emanating from the local bistro’s.
Palm trees sprout in unexpected places, even in the old city known as the Gothic Quarter, the heart of Barcelona where you will find cobbled streets, Roman ruins and iconic Gothic-style and Neogothic architecture. Las Ramblas, a favourite amongst tourists is full of street traders, alfresco tapas bars, shops and hotels. Head East and you will discover the Mediterranean seafront where a whole other world opens up.
Barcelona is a place of creativity, emotion, beauty and wonderful contradictions.
Words and photography by Ian Cole for Client Magazine #18