Discover Barcelona for the weekend, pride of Catalonia
Many years have passed since the Counts of Barcelona conquered Catalonia creating a nation, an identity, a language and a pride. But nothing has changed since then and the destiny of this rebel town is deeply linked to its past and to its natural and absolute need of independence and freedom. All through the centuries different enemies stood up against Barcelona, Spanish monarchy, Franco dictatorship, Civil War, Catholic church organizations trying to suffocate the Occitan spirit of Catalonia, Italian and German bomb raids, but nothing, absolutely nothing has broken Barcelona and nothing ever will. You cannot think nor hope that you will know this town simply by spending a cultural holiday visiting museums and fine arts collections, forget about it. If you do not understand and feel how people of Catalonia can be proud of their capital, of their past and of their still to be recognized nation and how Barcelona stands as the ultimate capital of a political region of Spain which used to be one of the most powerful commercial and strategically ports of Mediterranean, if you do not feel the breathe of Occitan freedom in the sweet Catalan language spoken in the streets of Barcelona, you will never really possess it for good. Rent a villa with pool in Barcelona on the beach or a holiday apartment in the Barri Gotic and let the spirit of the town lead your path, do not choose a specific destination, just walk, hear, feel and learn Barcelona.
Fall in love with Barcelona, strolling along the Ramblas
Arabic word “Remla” means sandy ground, this is where the name Ramblas comes from. This worldwide known promenade was indeed built on an ancient water stream which from Barcelona hills arrived to the Mediterranean Sea. Digged and built in the middle of 18th century, this wide 1.2 km long mall is very much different from the narrow streets of medieval Barcelona which develop in a maze of small squares and wonderful ancient buildings and churches from one side of the Ramblas to the other. Five tree-lined ramblas separate the Barri Gotic district from El Raval connecting the Plaça de Catalunya to the Drassanes district and the Mediterranean Sea. The Ramblas end in a spectacular and scenic architecture in front of the Christopher Columbus Monument at the Port Vell where a huge wooden passerelle leads its way literally across the sea. Restaurants and cafés are everywhere alongside the Ramblas and they are indeed the ideal place for a pleasant lunch break to taste the delicious servings of Catalan cooks and to enjoy a freshly homemade sangria or a glass of blond Barcelona beer with lemon and sugar. Tapas de calamares, paella, chorizo, patatas bravas, so many wonderful choices to taste in an atmosphere of joy and fun in the middle of a crowded line of kiosks, flowers and birds sellers, street performers and artists. Rent an apartment in Barcelona in Drassanes and enjoy every morning the sun rising on the sea.
Flowers and curves, let Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona bewitch you
Barcelona 19th century is the golden age of Catalan industrialists and middle class businessmen. Trade tycoons and industry magnates import tobacco and rum from the Caribbean area to Barcelona redistributing these goods all over the world. Barcelona well-off families wish to impress the world by their power and their openly shown wealth leading the way through to a free trade and liberal commerce society which does not care about Spanish monarchy and about its traditional and conservative conceptions of wealth and economy. An international world opens its doors to Barcelona pioneers who meet at the theatre of the Liceu and in all over the town spread secret masonic lodges and clubs to discuss politics, trade, money and future. Urban planner Ildefons Cerdà is given an ambitious project to extend the width of Barcelona by creating a new district, the Eixample, which in Catalan means “extension”. Buildings, homes and apartments are born and decorate the town with exuberant and curvy fronts where ceramic tiles and stained glass couple to wrought iron and carved stones to create the most delightful combination of balconies, bow-windows and turreted structures. Visit the Casa Batllo and the Casa Milà Pedrera in the Passeig de Gracia and the wonderful church Sagrada Familia, masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi’. Stroll along the Avinguda Diagonal to visit the Casa Punxes the Palau Baro de Quadras and the Casa Amatller by Puig i Cadalfach. Wavy walls, curvy structures, ceramic flowers and leaves climbing from the ground upto the roofs, iron balconies decorated with skulls and tiles, everything in Art Nouveau is just moving all the time, nothing is still, nothing is dead, just like the flows of money arriving in Barcelona banks through the trade and import activities of its proud businessmen, so different from Madrid decadent, arrogant and penniless nobles aristocracy. Many apartments and vacation rentals in Barcelona in the area of Plaça de Catalunya and Avinguda Diagonal are available for your stay in the Catalan capital. If you are looking for a low-budget holiday a number of cheap apartments and guesthouses in Barcelona will offer you a more than decent accommodation for a pleasant and unexpansive stay.
Enjoy the movida and Barcelona nights
Barcelona night lifestyle is hot, Catalan movida is very hot too, and since the death of Franco in year 1975 this inspired cultural and artistic rebirth has not stopped. Countercultural movements and hedonistic inspiration lead their way through Barcelona nights were everything is an interrupted Pedro Almodovar movie. People have dinner late in Barcelona and they love going to bars after dinner to have a first drink before a crazy night on the dancefloor in disco clubs and techno houses. A vacation rental in Barcelona in the Barri Gotic will enable you to live directly the underground music passion of the Catalan movida between one club and the other. You have a wide variety of choices for spending your hot Barcelona nights. Barri Gotic, Barcelona beaches, Raval and Born are the districts where you will find the highest concentration of clubs. You may also wish to spend a quiet evening in a cool atmosphere sipping quietly your drink and listening to cool jazz music, Barcelona offers you the best rooftop bars of the world with a breathtaking view over the town by night and the best piano players of the world. Tablas flamencas heat the night around the palm trees and porticoes buildings of the spectacular Plaça Reial, where Sevillan dancers will set your mind and body literally on fire by a simple clapping of hands and black heel “golpe” on the wooden stage, accompanied by the warm and passionate sounds of the Cante Jondo and gitane guitars. Whatever night you wish to have, passionate, folk, romantic, jazzy, sexy, crazy or techno let Barcelona fill your wishes and just enjoy. Do you recognize that special feeling arising in you? There, you finally are a Catalan yourself, unleash yourself to the Movida of Love and Freedom in Barcelona.
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