I expected the typical. Flamenco dancers, bull fighters, and football players. My expectations of Spain were based on what I had seen in the media. I’ve never read any Spanish books, don’t know any Spanish people particularly well, and I know that Paella is a big thing. So you can imagine how taken aback I was when I arrived in Barcelona, and felt like I had been here before. The familiarity of it was refreshing. I don’t want to say it was disappointing, because it wasn’t. It just wasn’t very Spanish. Upon further exploration, I learnt that It was because Barcelona isn’t the most Spanish place in Spain to be. Barcelona is the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, not the capital of Spain itself! That explains why the ‘Spanish’ I could hear people speaking sounded ‘unusual’. It sounded ‘unusual’ because they were not speaking Spanish, they were speaking Catalan!
Catalonia vs Spain
Catalonia and Spain are not the same. This is not a political commentary, but my time in Barcelona made it very clear that the two are not so fond of each other. A fusion of resistance and nationalism is definitely present. I would loosely compare it to tensions between the UK and Scotland. If you know you know. If you have no idea then too bad. Catalonia is engaged in gaining sovereignty and independence from Spain. ONE of the reasons why this is such a big issue is because financially, Catalonia is a treasure chest for Spain.
Read NOTES ON NATIONALISM by GEORGE ORERLL.
La Boqueria Food Market
Based on my observation of Barcelona, would I visit again. Yes. There is so much I didn’t get to experience or see. Picasso Museum being one of them. Before I go back I would like to take a trip to Valencia. I’ve heard it is not as touristy as Barcelona and has more of a Spanish feel.