Barcelona

The First Time I ever saw Barcelona

Gimlet Media's Alex Blumberg describes his honeymoon trip to Spain's cultural hotspot

Alex Blumberg Gimlet Media
Alex Blumberg is the co-founder and CEO of podcast network Gimlet Media

My wife and I went to Barcelona for our honeymoon 10 years ago.

Our plan was to stay at a timeshare outside the city for a few days. We landed and started driving – and just kept going and going. Around 100 kilometres outside Barcelona we arrived at a horrid development with signs in Russian and English advertising English breakfasts and fish and chips.

We stayed for a day, before driving into Barcelona.

Here, everything is so steeped in history. Everything is weird. The culture is vibrant. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in the centre of the city, which was energising and cosmopolitan.

We visited Gaudí’s Sagrada Família basilica – it was so original, like nothing I’d ever seen before. We looked at the view over the city from Park Güell, also designed by Gaudí. It’s so rare that you see a singular vision that so perfectly captures a city. Gaudí was the perfect architect for Barcelona.

The first time I ever ate jamón ibérico was in this tiny restaurant in Barcelona that looked like something out of Game of Thrones. It was old, old, old and a very romantic spot. They kept bringing the jamón out and I kept eating it until I felt sick. When I got back to the US I had to stop buying it.

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