Prequel Quest: Barcelona 2016

Updated: Sep 17

2016, I think

"I actually can't remember when we came here"

Get ready, here's another article I have no idea how to start. My memory is so fuzzy on this holiday. This was back when I legitimately thought I was 'special' or something. I was also in a weird relationship and that was primarily on my mind, thinking how to escape it at times.

Me and me Pa thought it'd be great to visit Barcelona! I mean, I think it was a birthday thing, but either way, this was certainly a fun trip. At least I remember having fun. Also, wtf was my hair in these?

What can I say about Barcelona? Well, it took me by surprise at first. This was the first time I set foot on Spain, not counting any islands offshore, so I was expecting less urban design and more of an 'open' layout to things, like what was on show in Menorca. I dunno, I'd never properly looked up Spain back then. I was more familiar with cooler countries, like Finland or Denmark.

Amazingly, the design of the buildings, and layout of the city, is amazing. There's a bit of a gothic look to a lot of buildings, despite mostly being brightly coloured. There's a lot to see here, and I've got a bunch of recovered photos to show. Sadly, back then, I think I owned an iPhone 5, so the camera quality is utter doodoo in most cases, but I've done my best at remastering each photo to look as modern as possible.


La Rambla

"Full of character and distractions"

I wasn't expecting the weather to be consistantly positive, during my time there. We were expecting it to be cooler, but the heat was just a bit warmer than Britain can be in early summer time.

La Rambla is a straight of pavement which connects to many shops, restaurants and squares (equally leading to more of the same). This is the place to start your journey, in my opinion. I mean, not only can you lose a lot of money spending at shops and restaurants here, but there's a heck of a lot of beggars, 'street performers', buskers and pickpockets. Yeah, look out for kids and buskers aiming to distract you. We didn't come across anyone malicious, but lots of people can fall victim to these thieves if they aren't careful.

In all fairness, there's more positive things to see along here. It's colourful, surrounded by cool looking buildings and it can be fun just wondering around, taking it all in. There's an impressively sized food market to be found too, with chefs casually throwing fish over people's heads (to the next chef) and plenty of variety in fruits and veg' to munch on. We decided to enjoy a few smoothies there.

At night, the atmosphere doesn't change much. In fact, we found that every night a weird old man would decide to freeze in this pose, expecting money, for some weird reason. I mean, he was drunk every night, but like, what was his talent here? Makes me laugh every time, he was so pathetic, but still had a smile. He actually looks like the giraffe statue I found.


Barceloneta Beach

"Or Platja de la Barceloneta"

First things first, yes, I think I saw an old man who was the spitting image of Doctor Zoidberg here. no joke. I sincerely wish I took a photo of him, because he was hideously iconic. I swear, if I could print memories... I would.

There was also a lot of 'boobinos' on show as well.

But most importantly, the beach as a whole was really well looked after and had amazingly gold looking sand. No wonder it was so popular, even in October. Following the beach (up north) led to a few parks and tram/ train stations which approach more tourist attractions.


Parc Güell

"Honestly, a super unique looking place"

Now this place. This place right here. I super wish I was able to take more photos here. I am definitely returning to this place in the future, since I now have a superior camera.

The vibrant colours on display here are not captured well on the photos taken. The genuine joy of walking around this place was real, since this place is partly what got me into photography. There were many opportunities to be creative here, but I missed them.


Montjuïc Castle

"The most 'Assassin's Creed' like place here"

Located on top of a giant hill, overlooking Barcelona (and the ports), this beautiful looking castle stands as a powerful structure in memory of it's past as a prison. It also came with this girl who would randomly pose in most pictures I took and followed me about. Weird. She never spoke to me. Just kinda stayed her distance, but followed and waited to pose. Hm, okay.

I'll give her a name. I'll call her:


I'd also like to return here for some better pictures. Maybe Monica will still be there? Who knows. ​ I think there's some good history to learn here. There's a museum located inside, so yeah, that's a strong indicator there's some history. We were able to walk around the entire castle and soak in the views. Seriosuly, this is one of the best places to view the city. It pretty much gives a full 360 view of the place. I think there's an option to walk up to the castle, but when there's a shiny cable car available, who wouldn't take it?


La Sagrada Familia

"Unfinished, just like my photography skills here..."

This huge thing was a big highlight of Barcelona, and also could have been better. It's still under construction, and has been for decades, but the price to get in was ludicrously gross and the sheer amount of sweaty tourists surrounding the church just put us off queuing to get in.

It would have been amazing to go inside, but the exterior is the main attraction, in my opinion. The church is huge! It's absolutely astounding how this was commissioned in the first place. Why isn't this in an Assassin's Creed game yet?!

Admiring the detail of the exterior, even if it was from afar, is great and takes up some time. However, because we weren't able to enter inside that day, we thought it was best to move on to the next destination. I'd definitely recommend visiting the church, even though it's likely always going to be under construction, but visit when it's less busy. Understandabley, this is one of the main attractions in Barcelona.

Also, this old chap was casually staring at a lovely tree, while on the way there. Truly amazing stuff.


Palau Nacional De Montjuïc

"I'm totally buying this place when I'm 80"

Admittedly, when we visited here, I don't think we researched the place at all, and I can't remember if we were allowed inside or not. We didn't go inside the main building, and I wish we did to be honest, because if I am to buy this place out when I'm 80, then I need to see what it's like inside! I don't want to buy it to just find 17 russian corpses inside or something. That'd be not cool.

In all seriousness though, the exterior to this palace is perfect for me. I can see myself now shaking the hand of the previous owner, then swiftly Spartan kicking him down the steps, laughing over my victory over him, also knowing my 80 year old legs can still perform such an act. Truly magical stuff right there. I'd literally feel like King Homer from that amazing episode.

"Take a hike, boss.

I'm running things now!"

No joke, that was my favourite episode (when I was a kid). That scene was always funny to me. Jeez, what happened to The Simpsons? Like, I just watched season 20 and it's just so wrong. It doesn't feel right watching it. It's like licking a 2p coin when you're a stupid kid. It may be oddly interesting experiencing the taste of metal at first, but give it time and you get lime disease or something. Take that analogy as you will. I don't like modern Simpsons that much. Futurama was more consistant. The movies weren't all great, but the show actually maintained some continuity and the characters have more soul in the later seasons, compared to the Smellpsons.


Lluis Company's Olympic Stadium

"Hosted the 1992 Olympics"

I don't know much about sport, or stadiums... They're all the same to me.

It's a stadium :)


In conclusion

"Honestly, there's a lot to see here"

Barcelona is honestly amazing. I seriously want to go back in time and slap myself for not owning a decent camera and taking more pictures. In the last 2 years, on my travels, I've literally been taking hundreds of pictures for every destination I go to. Even boring places like Llanfairfechan (in Wales) inspired me to take many pictures and be creative.

I'm definitely returning here. Hopefully I will in 2023! That's my goal anyway. I'll make a part 2 to this article, since Barcelona deserves more from me, I think.

I'd definitely recommend visiting Barcelona. I saw the flights (from the UK) as cheap as £18, on easyjet, last time I checked. I'd go this year if I could, but I've already got so many more places I've planned to visit this year. It's going to be a busy one!

I also have to thank my Dad for this trip to Barcelona, since it was meant to be a birthday present, and it means a lot to me he'd take me here. I think it also built up my confidence a lot and has helped me become the weird adult I am now. Cheers, Dad.