Sultry Mediterranean City – Barcelona’s Gaixample

Morning rush hour from 9.30am to 10.30am – late lunch with cocktails and wine followed by an afternoon siesta – dinner around 11pm and partying in the bars or nightclubs until 3am it all sounds like a wonderful gay lifestyle. But it’s actually everyday life for most of Barcelona’s 1.5 million inhabitants and probably explains the permanent smiles on their faces as well as their collective aura of happiness. It is probably the reason why Europe’s GLBT community is flocking to Barcelona creating the new Mediterranean gay riviera.

Ideally located on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and on the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. It is also the capital of Catalonia, one of the seventeen autonomous communities that make up Spain. The first language is Catalan and the second is Spanish, and many locals also speak English, for a truly trilingual region. The documented history of the city dates back to the founding of Barcino as a Roman colony in the 2nd century BC.

With the Collserola mountains to the northwest and the sea to the south, the city is surrounded by stunning views. With a mild Mediterranean climate with an average year-round temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, sandy beaches and some of Europe’s most impressive and fascinating architecture, it’s easy to understand why the gay traveler discovers Barcelona and claims it as their own mecca. of the. .

In the heart of the city is Ciutat Vella—old town—with vestiges of the original Barcino, currently known as the Gothic Quarter. This is the historical, religious and political center of the city that surrounds the cathedral, a Gothic  church built in the 14th and 15th centuries. The inner chapels, the magnificent choir stalls, the ancient organ and the crypts are amazing examples of another era. There is an elevator to the roof for a breathtaking view of the city. The cloister of the cathedral, surrounded by smaller chapels, has a certain magic, with its central garden of magnolias and palm trees, where thirteen geese live. Here you can experience eerie peace and tranquility in the heart of a pulsating city.

A leisurely walk through the pedestrian streets of the old town is essential to appreciate the history of Barcelona and discover some of the oldest buildings, shops and squares, often animated by musicians, artists, actors and fairs or markets. The narrow cobbled streets, cafes, restaurants, shops and historic buildings can easily fill a full day of walking, shopping, dining and generally enjoying a leisurely trip back in time.