One Thing I Regret Missing In Barcelona
Having just returned for a really great trip around western and central Europe I can honestly say that here is one city I should have stayed to see more of. That city is Barcelona, Spain. My excuse is that I needed to get to another city to see a friend. And while that is true, I hope you won’t make the same mistake I did and will give Barcelona at least 6 or 7 days of your time. It takes at least that long to really get a sense of what the city feels like and what you should do with your time. Culture runs deep here and the city seems very spread out so you really cannot get a good feel for the city simply by visiting the main tourist spots and staying in the downtown area surrounding the beaches. It is important to get into the neighborhoods and to eat and drink at the small local restaurants if you truly want to get a taste of what Barcelona, Spain is like. I spent 5 days there this summer and can tell you that I toured the city on foot, by metro and by taxi for at least 14 hours each day – and I still didn’t get it all in. Out of all the primary spots that any local would advise you to go, there is one I missed that I really wish I hadn’t. Flying by the seat of my pants is my traveling style and this one time I wish that I had taken more time to research a location. Don’t make this mistake my friends, you will regret it. Research the special places you hope to visit to insure you have access and get to enjoy everything you came to experience.
The one place I regret missing in Barcelona, Spain is:
The Monastery of Pedralbes
To be honest, I didn’t exactly miss it, I just happened to go on the one weekday that it’s closed. Major bummer! And, to make myself feel like an even greater moron, this was totally avoidable with a simple visit to any of the many websites listing its hours. In my defense, I mostly stumbled upon it while exploring the many stops of Barcelona’s metro system. In true The Consummate Dabbler fashion, I just hopped off the metro and started walking. There was a beautiful neighborhood high on top of a hill overlooking the city then bam – there it was! Awesome in every way, but much to my dismay, and for your good information, I will repeat my previous message once more – the Monastery of Pedralbes is closed every Monday and Monday just happened to be the day I decided to attempt a visit. All the more reason to visit Barcelona again, but please do yourself a favor, don’t be a dork like me; please make a point to see Monastery of Pedralbes the first time you’re there.
Founded in 1326 by King Jaime II and wife Elisenda de Moncada, this monestary is comprised of a number of monuments, gardens and buildings. The stained glass windows are amazing, the walls are high, thick and beautiful, and the buildings on the monestary grounds are simply ideal for truly amazing photography. This is a place I will definitely visit upon my return and strongly encourage you to as well. I took all of these photographs except the ones mentioning other sources in the caption.
By all accounts the Monastery of Pedralbes is a great way to spend a few hours and to tour around the grounds is said to be completely unique, calming, romantic and interesting. I do hope you’ll take my advise and the recommendation of everyone I’ve met from Barcelona and make time to see this hilltop gem.