Barcelona has always been my wife’s dream destination and, as excited as I was about another travel adventure, my expectations of the city were low. “It’s no Paris,” I thought to myself. However, each time we mentioned to someone that we were going to Barcelona, we were met with unending enthusiasm, and now I understand why.
Within just a few hours of being in Barcelona, we were in love. It’s difficult to explain the charm of the city; how the modern and gothic can live alongside one another, how there’s no such thing as a bad meal, how the jamon itself is worth the trip (oh, the jamon!), how there are beaches, parks the size of a small town, and the nearly mythical Sagrada Familia. To say it quickly became our favorite European city is an understatement. “We could live here,” my wife and I found ourselves saying several times throughout the trip.
Not that you would want an escape from Barcelona, but if you do, the idyllic beach town of Sitges is just an hour outside of the city and makes for a great day trip. Make sure to get a window seat on the train ride to the city. You’ll be happy you did as you pass the various small towns, falling into the sea. Sitges is a laid-back and picturesque European beach town, known for their thriving gay and lesbian community. Spend a day at the beach, sunning topless, if you dare, and face the best dilemma anyone could have: whether to spend a few more hours lazing at the shore or head back to Barcelona for tapas and a pitcher of sangria. Whatever you decide, you won’t be sorry.
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Danielle Aquiline is a constant state of wanderlust. Between travels, she is a college professor and a part-time lifestyle photographer in Chicago, IL. She is always searching for the next adventure.