Not-so hidden gems

Whenever I think I’m getting a solid grasp on Barcelona, I decide to find a new place or take a different route to get somewhere: These things are sure to put me back in my place. Barcelona is a large European city. And, like most cities whose beginnings occurred thousands of years ago, it is extremely difficult to navigate.

I consider myself a city person. I enjoy taking public transportation to and from and around Chicago whenever I choose to go downtown. However, Chicago is built on a grid system. The lake is to the east, and everything else runs parallel or perpendicular to the shoreline. In Barcelona, the streets are winding and narrow, which is definitely part of its charm, but I’ve been having a lot of trouble with it. One positive that does come from this is that you never quite know what to expect when you turn an upcoming corner.


For example, some of our group decided to go to the Picasso Museum yesterday because there was free admission. Free admission to anything here is a pretty big deal. It was free because it was Barcelona’s patron saint’s (Santa Eulalia) feast day. When I was figuring out the best way for us to get there, I decided walking through Barcelona’s Barrio Gótico (Gothic District) wouldn’t be such a bad idea, since the weather was nice and the architecture is incredible. When we reached the plaza that holds city hall, we were greeted by the sounds of people singing and laughing. The entire city had truly come out to celebrate their patron’s special day.


We continued on our way and successfully located the museum. I’ve recently become more interested in art, but I tend to lean toward impressionism rather than abstract or contemporary. I always go in with an open mind. We had visited Joan Miró’s museum earlier this month, and I enjoyed it but it was not my favorite activity in Barcelona thus far. Picasso’s collection, however, was mind blowing. It included works from his young adulthood up until his death, and showed off his unbelievable versatility. Now I feel obligated to show it to everyone!


If you’re ever in Barcelona on the first Sunday of any month, lots of museums are free, including Picasso’s! So, check them out!


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