Barcelona

I visited Barcelona this past week with my wife and it was a beautiful experience. We stayed at a hotel next door to La Sagrada Família, an iconic Catholic church and UNESCO World Heritage site that's been under construction since 1882, in the less-scenic part of town. Regardless we were steps away from a metro station, one of a network of stations that gets you within minutes of walking to anywhere in the main city. Time and time again we found ourselves in the touristy "La Rambla" area of Barcelona, the site of the Port of Barcelona and a long walk to great restaurants and bars. This is also where we had the opportunity to watch a great Flamenco performance after a Spanish dinner. One thing about Barcelona I found interesting was that another World Heritage Site in the city is cited as the "Works of Antoni Gaudí", a modernist architect who was one of the designers of La Sagrada Família. What makes this interesting is that this isn't just a single site, but a series of buildings, artwork, and parks scattered around the city. One such site is Parc Güell. Parc Güell is located on the El Carmel hill on the northern part of the main city and lends itself as a perch overlooking Barcelona with a stunning panoramic view over the city in into the Mediterranean.

Being a soccer fan touring perhaps the greatest soccer nation in the world, I had to drag my wife with me to visit Camp Nou, one of the most iconic stadiums in the sport and home to my Spanish favorite, F.C. Barcelona. It was a magical experience treading the halls scaled by the greats such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, and Thierry Henry. The hightlight of that trip was seeing a letter from President Barack Obama displayed in the stadium museum, alongside their truckloads of trophies.