Women living solo are traveling the world as they reinvent themselves after a breakup or divorce. In search of woman-friendly restaurants, hotels, shops and secret places that support each stages of "EX" . This is the first in a series of EX rated City Guides written by wonderful women all around the world.
Every time I visit Barcelona I discover something new. It offers something for everyone; it is a place to be in Exile alone while enjoying a stroll by the Mediterranean, a place to take in history and culture, or a place to just let go and have fun , while dancing on the famous Ramblas and toasting with Sangria.
With its many wonderful neighborhoods, you have a chance to Explore. Begin with the Gothic Quarter, a unique medieval area in the heart of town, still intact, where you will loose yourself in history. No map necessary (it does not help anyway), as every 14th Century archway will inevitably bring you back to the present.
A celebrated example of Gothic architecture is the Cathedral of Barcelona, built at the end of the 13th Century; admission is free and if in need to Express yourself, join the groups of people who gather at the entrance and join hands to dance Sardana, a part of Catalonian folk tradition. For a wow Experience visit Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), Architect Gaudi’s incomplete masterpiece cathedral, (begun in 1882), depicting the entire bible carved in stone described by some as Art Nouveau run wild. Go to www.sagradafamilia.org for information on tours, events, donations and more.
If this is too much Expressing for you, head to the Picasso Museum housed in two palaces on a Medieval street. It contains most of Picasso’s works arranged in chronological order giving you a sense of the development of his ideas and trends. For information on special events go to www.museupicasso.bcn.es or in Spain call 93-319-63-10. It is open Tuesdays - Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Looking for Excitement, a funicular will take you across the port up to Montjuic from where you will have uncomparable views of the city and perhaps a photo or two to make your ex.... jealous!!! While in the area, visit Pueblo Español or Spanish Town, built for the 1929 World Fair, it is a re-creation of the different villages that make up Spain.
If you are still in a period of Exile the promenade along the marina old port, will give you the privacy you crave while dining al fresco in one of the many restaurants. Order the tender broiled seabass, perfumed with olive oil and served with Aioli potatoes. It is a Catalonian specialty.
The rest of the day why not Exorcise. Trendy designer boutiques line the streets of the elegant Passeig De Grácia. Get yourself a new wardrobe or perhaps a new look. Everyone needs a special something for their self-esteem.
After all the adventures, it is time to Exhale. Cathedrals are not the only landmarks in the city; head to a xampanyeria or champagne bar to savor on the Spanish version, Cava. It is bubbly and even considered as good as its French counterpart.
Though there is so much more to see and Experience, what makes Barcelona so special is its people. Whether you want to be alone and regroup, or you want to be part of the magic of the city, you will find the right atmosphere just for you. You will go home Exorcised, and with a new outlook on life.
I was born in Colombia, South America but have lived most of my life in the United States. I am 45 years old and currently living in Southern California. Will soon be relocating to Spain. I am fluent in several languages. A Graduate from the University of Miami, Florida opened a Paralegal Service in 1991 and sold it in 2004. I have written financial advise columns for several Florida publications such as Alma Hispana, El Latino, El Semanario and had a radio show in the West Palm Beach area dedicated to Immigration and Financial issues. Former President of the Palm Beach Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and active in Democratic Political campaigns. I have participated as guest speaker on several television programs in West Palm Beach in the last few years. Co-wrote a book entitled “12 Steps to a Debt-Free Life” and with my passion for travel decided to get into travel writing. I have been accepted to write travel postcards for International Living as well as a column in a Barcelona publication. Accomplished my first dream, now working on the second one: travel writing.