Three years ago today, I landed in this magical city called Barcelona. I came here for the mountains and the sea, but it offered me more than this. It offered me a chance to call another place “home”.
This city with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other one enables me to hit both the slopes and the waves in one weekend. Summer is awfully hot and greasy but no one cares if you go out in your tank top. People are loud, loud, and loud. They are the most chill Europeans I’ve ever met.
The weekends have a fiesta in any neighborhood you venture, the streets wear coats of many colors and some don’t wear any coats at all. Half naked skaters slalom through the delirium of the tourists. Friday night begins with a frivolous sunset, the sky is red and ready to hide and seek the flirt of a long adventure in the club scene. The morning is filled with runners and clubbers, each heading to their own comfort zone. It’s the time when hipsters are filling the nice coffee shops, open their laptops, sip the Kenyan latte, and dive into net surfing.
The winter here offers the comfort of skiing and snowboarding just 2 hours from Barcelona. The summer can take you up Costa Brava and a magic train stops at every beach your heart desires. Yes, if you take the train from Barcelona towards Sant Pol de Mar you can literally step out in the sand at every station.
The people are so nice, it’s relaxing. They love to protest a lot but it’s their right and life goes on. Catalans have a strong sense of self-identity and it’s healthy that they preserve their language and traditions. It’s a treasure they successfully hand down to future generations. Sometimes a bit too successfully.
This city offers everything I would wish in my 20s. This place is perfect to spend your early adulthood. Its art, its relation to nature, and its humanity is just a perfect recipe to grow and move towards your next stage in life, whichever would that be. After three years here, I still discover a new side of its appeal. As a sports addict, my heart is pounding just at the idea of all those amazing hills like Montjuïc or Tibidabo where you can go anytime and sweat out the delicious burger from the best restaurants.
You don’t need to wait for the weekend to hit the road and cycle along the shore: Barcelona has a perfect size enough to be able to hike or take a bath in the sea, right after or before work. Just put some slippers or sneakers on, grab a towel and head up or down depending on what you want today: the sea or the mountain.