Fortunately so far anyway, ‘hola y bueños dias’ seem to work in many of the languages spoken here in Barcelona. Barcelona is the capital of the Catalunya region of Spain so Catalan or castellano became by royal decree, the official language of Barcelona in 1714. Truth be told however, Barcelona is a huge cosmopolitan city (population is estimated at 1.63 million) and many diverse languages are spoken and heard. A reasonable rendition of high school Spanish (assuming you’re old enough to have been taught useful subjects in the old style) with a little imaginative pantomime will get you most every thing you’ll ever need.
Barcelona sits in northeastern part of Spain very near the Pyrenees, France and the principality of Andorra so French is also commonly heard. Spain is the 4th most visited country after China, the USA and France and being such a tourist haven the natives are used to and speak numerous European languages themselves.
Other items of interest about Barcelona you may not have known:
Many world famous painters have lived in Barcelona at different times. They are Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Enrique Tabara and many others. Jose Carreras and Monsarrat Caballe currently live here.
La Sagrada Familia, the Catholic Church which is Antonio Gaudi’s signature edifice has taken longer to build than the great Pyramids. Gaudi died during the construction over 200 years ago when struck by a street car and died 3 days later. The city of Barcelona took over the project using entry fees and other donations and is today still building by the plans Gaudi left behind.
Tapas are small servings of a variety of snacks not unlike pupus in Hawaii that are served with wine, liquor or beer. Tapas originated in Andalucia (a more soutern region of Spain) when King Alfonso the 10th was ill requiring small portions of food with some wine between meals. Today tapas are served all over Spain and range from a small dish of common olives to saugages, meatballs, gambas (shrimp) or patatas fritas (french fries).
All of Barcelona’s beaches are man made. Prior to preparation for the 1992 Olympics there were no beaches along Barcelona’s Mediterranean coast. The waterfront was an industrial port for fishing and other commercial industries. Fortunately Spanards & visitors alike today enjoy as many as 9 separate beaches.
That’s it for now. Time for siesta!
Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)