It's been ten long years since the last time we've been to this vibrant city. Far too long for us to come back but then again time does fly! Back then we said to ourselves we must come back again soon then lo and behold ten years have past before we actually managed to do so. And this seems to be a particular trend for Gaz especially as his first trip to this city was ten years prior to that.
|Banco Español de Crédito, Plaça de Catalunya|
We usually go away somewhere around this time of the year, to break the winter, and our first thoughts were to Madeira. But then again I blogged about breaking visiting habits recently and in reference to that I thought that for a change why don't we go somewhere instead that we haven't been for a long time and yet have always wanted to come back to? Sort of a compromise between familiarity and a change of routine and scenery. So Barcelona it was.
There was hesitation at first, Barcelona in the winter? Will it be any good at this time of the year? We had an amazing, very memorable holiday (one of our best ever) in this city ten years ago, early September, sunny and warm and yet not oppressively so. Will we dampen this wonderful impression left on our minds if we go in a colder, and potentially damp time of the year?
|Red bridge near the Marina|
With a bit of research our hesitations were dispelled as this city seems to remain vibrant even in the depths of winter and worth visiting at any point of the year. Winter is usually mild by virtue of the location, and although it can get rainy and chilly in the evenings, on the whole the chances of sunny and dry periods are still very high (even more so if you compare it to the UK!).
And that's how we have found it here so far. Yes you still need to wrap up and deciduous trees are still bare but it has been sunny and dry most of the time (the odd drizzle so far) with daytime temperatures in mid teens Celsius and a stroll out brings more of a sensation of spring rather a reminder that it is still winter.
|Street Art, Barri Gotic, Barcelona|
Barcelona is one of those cities that we can truly say that there's so much to do and the culture is so pronounced that you'll need much more than a week to fully savour its delights. Only a select few cities in Europe can truly claim this status. Going back here is like meeting an old friend, only this time not in shorts and flip flops but in a thin winter coat. It's unlikely that we'll be able to do all that we would have wanted to do, much like what had happened ten years ago but that's what makes this city special.
Our stay here has only started and I can imagine wanting to come back here again. It's only a two hour flight, we ought to really. And we ought to break that ten year cycle. If we do will it feel like a routine much like how I feel with Madeira? Maybe, that's always a possibility, but at least not wait ten years if it can be helped as I don't like holiday cycles either.
|Parc de la Ciutadella|
Such a delightful city even in February, so happy to be re-acquainted! Best to pause for now, we quite fancy some tapas!