Spain was one of my most anticipated countries not only because of the beaches and sales but because I have actually studied spanish for many years was anxious to practice my skills.
Spain was actually hit really hard by the financial crisis of 2008/2009 which caused high unemployment rates. The overall unemployment rate is 20% with 56% of youths under 25 being unemployed.Despite this, Spaniards have remained in good spirits and been able to preserve the beauty of the country.
The first stop in Spain was Barcelona. I have always heard stories and seen pictures of the beaches in Spain so my first mission in Barcelona was to visit the beach and soak my feet in the Mediterranean Sea.
After my evening at the beach, it was time for more meaningful sightseeing. A must see when visiting Barcelona is the Sagrada Familia or Church of the Holy Family. The Church was originally designed by Gaudi and has been under construction for ages as details are constantly being added to it. All the details depict biblical stories and the stages of Jesus’ life. This is by far the most beautiful and astonishing church I have seen. It surpasses the countless churches that I have seen on this trip including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
There are not many parks but the abundance of trees has made Barcelona very green and clean. The architecture of the city is also stunning with most of it being designed or influenced by Antonio Gaudi.
There is also a statue of Christopher Columbus pointing to the Americas which he allegedly discovered. Even though he is Italian he was funded by and sailed under the Spanish flag.
A trip to Spain is not complete without at least passing by the bull fighting ring. Spain is well-known for bull fighting.
I also had to check out the Olympic Stadium where the 1992 Olympics were hosted.
Barcelona is very beautiful and vibrant. There is so much to see and do during the day as well as in the evenings.However,the plight of the recession was very evident in the outskirts of the city where several businesses and shops were obviously abandoned and pickpockets were on the lurk.