I arrived by train from Monaco to Barcelona, 8 years ago now.
The common question asked, "why Barcelona?"
I came to Barcelona for the first time by train 1992, they were in the middle of the Olympic Games, but I was young and backpacking and could care less.
My destination was not Sagrada Familia, nor Ramblas, but the beach, to maintain a well and carefully worked on sun tan.
So after instructions I got on the metro from Sants Estacion, (main train station in Barcelona) down to Barceloneta.
Now which city in Europe do you know where you can take the metro to the beach???
15 minutes later I was walking down Paseo Joan de Borbon heading for Barceloneta beach. City centre behind me, and the beach ahead.
I must admit I cannot recall much of this one day stop, more then the friendly Restaurants bouncers calling, "Morena, Morena, no quieres comer?" meaning dark girl, (told you I had a hard worked tan) do you want to eat?
My second time to Barcelona was 1998, this is when the city grabbed me and left me "seduced".
Again I ended up in Barceloneta, and when decided to move to Barcelona, this was what I had in mind, Barceloneta, by the beach and central up living in location, what a great combination.
I searched high and low for an apartment to rent in this area, but had no luck and no contacts as of yet.
So I ended up living in Sants which had been my very first stop in Barcelona,
destiny I believe.
It took me 7 years before I left Sants and ended up living on my little newly purchased sail boat in Barceloneta, Port Vell.
So back to the question "Why Barcelona?"
I was at a point in my life where it was time to get serious about the future, think of a career and possibly a further education.
After have travelled the globe for 8 years I felt ready to settle down.
Barcelona some how called my name and off I went.
I was to study Marketing and Management at an international university in Barcelona. Said and done. Packed my bag, gave my notice to my landlord in Monaco, left my job and headed for Barcelona.
It was end of summer year 1999, I started my studies, and a few years later found myself running my own business.
"How is life in Barcelona?"
Another common question asked by people travelling through and looks at you with envy in their eyes.
Well after have travelled and lived in 9 different countries I was ready to find a "home". My passion to travel was always to learn new languages, cultures and meet people from all over the world. Now to have this on your door step, is a dream come true.
Barcelona offers a population from all over the world. People that have travelled searched high and low for that cosmopolitan place, where like minded people live and work.
I quickly fell in love with my new home town, and this feeling has never left me.
Every time I go away for a holiday I am very happy to return back to Barcelona.
This city offers everything I could have ever dreamed of. Concerts, restaurants (endless), bars (again endless..), clubs (numerous..), beaches, skiing only 2 hours away, but best of all I would say the open minded people.
I never been to a "boring" party in Barcelona, you always end up talking to someone that has some amazing life stories to tell you.
I think this is some of the things I was looking for while travelling, meeting people with stories and interesting characters that down town Borås, Sweden has a lack of….
Barcelona has so much beautiful architecture to offer. Every corner you turn, you will find some amazing entrance to a building, or some fresco in the ceiling seen through the large windows.
The people…did you know it is legal to walk around naked in the city. Well this law is liked by a few locals. One of my long time favourites is "Exposer Man".
(sorry I have no photo of this man... yet..)
First time I heard of him I did not believe it at all and thought I was taken for a ride.
Until the day I spotted "Exposer Man" myself, going for a morning stroll on the beach front boulevard, with not a single piece of clothing on his body, besides his shoes. It was a quite amusing moment I have to admit. He was not at all what I had imagined, this short little man in his 60s I would say, with black tattooed swim trunks, and his "Johnny" tattooed in red..
Proudly holding his head up high, and yes with all reasons to be proud, as I recon many men envied this little short sized man not so short manhood. Quite a sight! So if you ever come to Barcelona look out for DM, usually spotted along the beach front anywhere between Port Olympic, Barceloneta and Rambla.
EM had followers, but no one even close to exhibit what this man has… by far!
This is just one person out of many more characters that makes Barcelona. Maybe I will write about them at another time.
I will sign off and if anyone has any questions about my beloved home town, I am more then happy to share my knowledge.
Andréa da Barca