Barcelona a través de los ojos de un Irlandés
Barcelona from an ex-pat’s point of view:
As a foreigner or a ‘guiri’ as you might say in Barcelona, life is very interesting. When I first came to Barcelona I didn’t really have an understanding of the region of Catalunya and how a lot of Catalan people had strong feelings of their own independent identity. However, after nearly four years living in this beautiful city I have come to love and understand the Catalan way.
To be honest with you I really like Spain in general but Barcelona has something special about it. There is always something to do in this fantastic hub of culture and entertainment. Everywhere you look you can see and appreciate wonderful architecture, a lot of which was designed by local hero Gaudi.
As an Irish man living here, I feel privileged to live in a place that most people save money all year round just to come here for the weekend. maybe you don’t realise it but a lot of people outside of Spain regard Barcelona as one of the best cities to come to for long weekends. It is an international symbol of tourism for people around the world.
One of the things that I immediately noticed about this place is the people’s national pride and also how it feels very close-knit. Close-knit means that everyone seems to be familiar with each other. I don’t mean that everyone knows each other but I always get a feeling that everyone here is part of a team or something like that. There is a warm, local feeling about the place.
This is evident throughout the year with numerous street parties, exhibitions and free concerts around the city. The people really take care of the place and make sure that public events are constantly organised. It makes you feel as part of something special. It is special because not everywhere in the world is like this. Not everywhere organises public celebrations and parties on a regular basis like the people of Barcelona.
The ‘Castells’ are a great example of how everyone seems to be part of a group. This human castle building is particular to the Catalan region and is a great symbol of pride for the people. It is one of the attractions that bring curious people to this part of the world.
As a foreigner living here it’s great because you have the best of both worlds. There is always something to do. If you have an interest in culture there are museums to visit. If you love music there are many concerts that take place every year because Barcelona is an internationally renowned city these days. You could also visit the many nightclubs that it has to offer. During the warmer months of the year we can enjoy concerts on the street or the neighbourhood celebrations that take place such as the Gracia Festival. these celebrations serve to prove even further that the local people are proud of the place where they come from.
If you are interested in learning English or Spanish or Catalan you can go to inter-cambio nights which happen in different bars around the city. These nights are a great way to improve your language skills and also to meet new people.
To conclude, a foreigners point of view on Barcelona is that it is a city that offers something to everybody. A place where culture overflows and national pride is felt everywhere you go.