The Florence airport is incredibly small, hence the availability of flights and destinations is very limited. Nevertheless, flights with destination to Barcelona can be found from both the Florence airport and the Pisa airport at relatively cheap prices. It was a no brainer. We gather a big group and decided to take a bus and leave from the Pisa airport since the price was a little cheaper from there, and it would give us the experience of watching the sunflower fields and some parts of Tuscany. The trip takes nearly an hour and a half, which is not too bad. Once we got to Pisa, we had planned visiting the Leaning tower, but since we were dropped at the airport, the tower was nearly 40 minutes walking and our flight was leaving in two hours. Nevertheless, I was planning on returning and do some sightseeing in the city.
The trip to Barcelona went well. We got there at 12am in the morning, but from the air we could see the lights and massive dimensions of the city. Speaking of massive, the airport is probably one of the biggest I have seen, at least that is what the inside makes you feel. Getting to the hostel we booked was fairly easy by cab, fairly expensive too but we shared the cost among three people per cab (we were six total). Even though i was aware of the mild separatist movement in Catalunya, I was impressed of how frequently and openly it was expressed by the residents of Barcelona. Banners, flags, and strong separatists phrases (all in Catalan, I was able to understand what they meant because Catalan is fairly close to Spanish) were spread all over the city, and the people also commented and talked about it.
We averaged nearly 15-18 miles walking every day, if not more. We managed to visit major attractions like Sagrada Familia, Park Guel, the Cathedral, El Arco de Triunfo, Las Ramblas, Montjuïc, Olimpic city, Gothic Area, Camp Nou, the light show, the beaches… The city is simply a must for any person who loves open spaces and kind people. Sagrada familia is something unique, a lot different from the traditional Cathedrals, but still beautiful and creative enough to impress. I could easily spend hours looking at every detail in the architectural scheme of the unfinished construction and I would still miss essential information from what is already finished (Sagrada Familia has been under construction for over a century, its history is admirable). Las Ramblas was incredibly busy, but the environment was loaded with a rather enthusiastic and happy atmosphere. Prices are considerably cheap compared to other major cities like Paris and Rome. Montjuïc and Park Guel offered incredibly views of the city, each from different angles, beautiful enough to not only attract tourists, but hundreds of locals who liked to sit, enjoy, drink, and share a good time. I hear night life was one of the best experiences in Europe, although I was not able to experience such adventure.
There are so many details that made Barcelona a must for my future family trips. It is just full of life and open spaces and nice people.