Mandy Charlton - Photographer,Writer,Blogger

Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Friday, October 28, 2016

Barcelona, The City That Healed My Heart

Travel, it's in my heart and my soul, when I can't travel, I get restless, I get itchy feet, I get distracted so when travel plans are afoot it gives me a buzz and it doesn't matter if I'm travelling with the kids or with my friends or on my own, I embrace each experience and try to get as much out of it as possible and when I have the unique moments I often feature on my blog, it's those moments which have nourished my mind, my body, and my soul.

I often wonder if I love to travel as much as I do because it's something I've done later in life, something I've worked really hard for and something I crave.  I love new experiences and cultures, meeting the people, exploring the cities, trying all of the food!!

When I came back from Barcelona, I shepherded myself back to my desk and into work and so I just never managed to get around to editing some of the images...until now.

While all around in work is chaotic with portraits, I needed to take myself back to a happy summer time, a time spent with my best friend, a time with heat and sunshine, with ice-cream and swimming and with beauty all around us as we lived in the magical city for just a few days.

There's nowhere like Barcelona, it's as Harriet said, a city of so many faces, beaches, architecture, graffiti and Gaudi, it's busy, it's calm, it's very much an oxymoron, a paradox, a paradigm shift, it is a contradiction and it's only when you have visited that you can understand just what I mean.

Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia is all of those things and more, I wished that I could have spent some time when it was calm and quiet to soak in the most spiritual surroundings but when every visitor is essentially paying for the remainder of the building of the great cathedral, this testament to God and to Gaudi it's creator and architect, well it doesn't pay to let it stand empty for any great length of time.

The madness of this most sacred building being unfinished for so many years does not at all make sense but it's hoped that it should reach completion in around 10 years from now.

And then let me transport you to a historic theme park, Tibidabo, the magical mountain, where a theme park lies directly next to the most beautiful church I think I've ever seen.  We'd waited until late in the day to visit Tibidabo and we couldn't have gone at a better time, the most magical golden sunset I have ever seen set over the mountains and my heart was lit up by the calm and serenity of the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, to enjoy that with your best friend is truly an experience I'll remember for the rest of my life.

My Barcelona days were as much about the rediscovery of myself and the healing of my psyche as they were about sightseeing and exploration and I did just that, I found myself again, I knew when I got on the plane back home that I'd healed more in that week than I had in months, I knew the path I had to take, the path to take more travel because nothing is more healing than exploration and new experiences.

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