Let’s recap the past ten weeks that I spent in Spain and recognize that I cannot believe that I am already home. Whoever said that time flies was dead on. I just spent the past ten weeks in the gorgeous city of Toledo, Spain, under the roof of a wonderful host family. I also traveled through the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Cadiz, Salamanca, Segovia and Madrid. Not to mention, I hopped across a piece of the Atlantic Ocean to Dublin and Galway in Ireland. I would have to say that it is nearly impossible to pick my favorite place out of the ones I have just listed. However, if I was presented with the opportunity to get on a plane today and I had to choose one of these, I would undeniably choose Barcelona.
Barcelona is a magical place, and when I say magical, I mean I literally felt like I was in a fairytale. To many, Barcelona is also known as Gaudi’s city. Antoni Gaudi was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. In fact, many people in Barcelona consider his death one of the saddest days in their history. He led the modernist movement and used his imagination to create the most beautiful architecture that I have ever seen. Unfortunately, I only got to spend three days in Barcelona, and this was not enough time.
The Saturday I spent in the city of Barcelona can be classified into one of the top ten best days of my young life. We woke up early because we did not want to waste time, and the weather was on our side as the sun was shining brightly. The girls that were with me and I freshened up and quickly got into a cab to Parque Guell. I did not know that I was soon about to enter one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. Parque Guell is Barcelona’s very own version of Happily Ever After. The park contains Guadi’s house and also one of his masterpieces: the park itself. Everything is beautifully crafted with mosaic art and has the best view of Barcelona in its entirety. My best friend from home was able experience this moment with me. We got to the highest point of the park, the sun was shining on our faces and we both just paused. The pause felt like a lifetime, but I knew that our reaction was the same. We were taken aback by the view. One could see the ocean, the city and why Barcelona is one of Europe’s top visited places. This place was a slice of heaven and I could not stop smiling. The only thing that could have made this place more perfect was if my family was standing next to me.
After spending nearly four hours at the park, we ventured down to Guadi’s second masterpiece of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia. Since being in Europe, I had seen just about a dozen gorgeous cathedrals, but Gaudi did it again, and added the most beautiful cathedral to my perfect day. Pictures couldn’t even do this cathedral justice. As soon as I entered the cathedral I said a prayer, thanking God for blessing me for this day, and asking him to give me the grace to make all my days as perfect as this one by allowing me to see the magic in every day, and in every place I may be. Since then, as cliché as it sounds, I have.
My perfect day in Barcelona ended at the beach, as I touched the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. Once again, the sun was shining on my face and I smiled, knowing that life is a blessing. Barcelona was without a doubt, the most beautiful place I visited. The magic of this city will leave you breathless. I still cannot grasp the city’s magic, so I look at pictures, wishing I had more time there. Viva Barcelona!