Lastly, I’m Going with Oh to…
Leah Walker May 11, 2012

Here’s a recap of my last month. I entered a writing competition. I won it and was named Go with Oh’s 2012 autumn guest blogger. The prize? A month’s worth of accommodation in four of Open House Group’s ten European cities. And, I get to bring my friend, Lola. I’ve already announced that I’m going to Florence, Paris, and Prague in November. So, what’s the fourth and final city I’m visiting on my Go with Oh European tour?

I’m going to Go with Oh to Barcelona!

Barcelona just happens to be the Open House Group’s headquarters, so I’m super excited for the opportunity to meet the Go with Oh team. I know that they’ll have the best tips for the city. Maybe, just maybe, I can talk them into showing me their favorite places both on and off of the tourist trail.

ElevationCredit

I’ve put much thought into choosing my destinations. From the start, I wanted Florence and Paris. The other two cities I wasn’t so certain about. I’d love to visit them all, even the ones I’ve been to before, especially London. My first instinct was to choose Barcelona, but I had my reservations.

Barcelona Sagrada FamíliaCredit

It wasn’t because I didn’t want to go to Barcelona. Instead, I knew my husband REALLY wanted to visit the city. He’d mentioned it on several occasions, and he never says things like that unless golf or gambling is involved. I was pretty torn about the idea of experiencing it without him.

When he asked me where I wanted to go, I mentioned Barcelona and asked him if he’d meet me there. Without blinking an eye, he said, “No. It’s your deal. I want you to have this experience for yourself.” How unbelievably unselfish is that?

So, Barcelona made my list. I will finally get a passport stamp from Spain. I’ll even get to dust off my Spanish skills. Or will I?

Sagrada towers HDRCredit

You’d think that in Spain they speak Spanish, right?  Thanks to Oh-Barcelona’s awesome blog, I’ve learned differently. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, and much like southern Louisiana and Cajuns,  Catalonia is a region with its own language, culture, and history. And like many Texans, some Catalans think of their region as a separate country. So much for dazzling everyone with my mediocre Spanish!

Barcelona is the only city I’ve chosen that lies on the coast. The Mediterranean waters, even in November, are sure to lure Lola and me to the beach. I’m anxious to experience the mix of Gothic architecture with the ultra-modern buildings that scream Dr. Seuss. By all accounts, Barcelona is a funky and cosmopolitan city with a unique identity.

Well, there it is, the fourth and final city in my European tour.  I actually announced the cities a bit out of order. I’ll start in Prague, then go to Florence. After Florence I’ll head to Barcelona. And finally, I’ll end my journey in Paris. With my travel partner in crime, Lola, the Go with Oh staff, and the opportunity to live like a local in Open House’s apartments, I can honestly say that this will be the trip of a lifetime.

Go with Oh BarcelonaCredit

Make sure you check out Lola’s and my Pinterest boards. We have four boards inspired by Prague, Florence, Barcelona, and Paris. You’ll find beautiful photos of the cities, vintage posters, signature cocktails, traditional food, fashion, restaurants, books, music, and art.

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Do you have any suggestions for Barcelona? Moltes gràcies!

Leah Walker

Leah’s a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that’s in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah’s thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don’t extend to speaking French. Yet.

32 Comments

    1. So you’ve been to Barcelona, D.J.? If so, give me some of your favorite things about the city. I’d love to know.

    1. Oh, I know you’ll have tons of great recommendations for me. I know how much you LOVE Barcelona. 😉

  1. Great choices! I have been to Prague, Barcelona, and Paris, and loved all three in totally different ways. I fell in love with the ham and tomato bread in Spain and the people are wonderful.

  2. i had the privilege of traveling Europe for 2 months several years ago and hit all 4 of our Go with Oh European cities. they’re ALL incredible but the one thing i can say about Barcelona is that the city has a rhythm that made it feel alive more than any other. i am soooo looking forward to returning to Barcelona and know our time there will be unforgettable.

    xo – lola

    1. I’m certain that Barcelona and the entire trip will be spectacular. I can’t wait to taken in all the city has to offer with you.

  3. Prague feels like you’re transported back to the 17-1800s as you walk down the streets! It’s enchanting!

  4. I didn’t like Prague the first time I visited, for some reason – maybe because it was November and freezing cold. 🙂 I loved Prague Castle, of course, and Kampa Park restaurant. Barcelona has an awesome hop-on-hop-off bus that gives you all kinds of great information on the seemingly endless Goudy buildings. And I can’t remember the names of the restaurants, but eating by the sea is just beautiful and fantastic.

  5. Oh great Kristin VanderHey Shaw. So you’re a Yankee and froze in November? I’m going to absolutely die then! I’m going to weight 648 pounds by the time this is all said and done. I’m so excited about the food, especially in Barcelona.

  6. Perfect choices! I just returned from Barcelona and had the most amazing time. I highly recommend the spinach, chickpea and pancetta dish at Taller de Tapa (I went back twice for this, Zorbing with Spheremania and the Flamenco Show at Tablao de Carmen.

    You’re gonna have a blast and I look for to reading all about it 🙂

    1. Oh, I will have to check out all of your Barcelona stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the food recommendations! I always am curious about that. And, great tip on the Flamenco Show. I’d love to do something like that.

  7. Congrats on winning! I checked out your FB page and you did an AWESOME job marketing yourself for this with people posting photos of you from all over. I’ve been to all of the cities and you will have an awesome time. Have fun on the trip and look forward to reading about it.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeremy. You’ll have to give me your suggestions on the cities. What were your favorite things?

  8. LOVE Barcelona. Definitely one of Gerard’s fave. 😉 Tapas tapas tapas! If you get a chance, do the Fat Tire Bike Tour. A great way to cycle the city and it’s landmarks. Eat at La Boqueria, of course. Super jelly and can’t wait to read all about your Go With Oh adventure.

    1. Oh, I’m all over the tapas. Someone wrote about the Fat Tire Bike Tour in their Go with Oh entry. I can’t place who it was though. They also have GoCars in Barcelona. I did that in San Francisco and had a blast. I’m archiving your tips now. 😉

  9. Perhaps its not a good idea showing the following video because (Live the Language commercial) as its not a good idea to set too high of expectations. But lets me sell it from the angle that its a well shot vignette with a catchy song.
    🙂

    Barcelona has so much to offer. I would say its won of the great world cities that offers something for eevrybody, from party, sport, nature, culture and architecture

    http://lozintranslation.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/quote-answered-with-question.html

    1. Alright, you just time sucked about 30 minutes of my day looking at all those videos. Very cool. I may use a couple of them in future posts. Thanks for the heads up on those. Great find.

    2. Its such a bummer reading my poor English on hastily written post replies 🙂
      Ironic as I was talking about ‘Live the language’.

      What I like best about the commercial is the glamorous shots of the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc Olympic Pool. Never did get to go but was able to get onto the grounds out of season by chance. Apparently kids used to sneak in at night until security cracked down. That would’ve been fun.

  10. That’s cool, Kaylin. I saw on your Tumblr that you’ve been living in Busan. My husband has been there several times for work. He’s not been back in a couple of years though. I’ll be in Paris probably November 25-December 5. The arrival date is still up in the air.

  11. WOW.. They are a great collection of HDR photography.

    I recently started processing photos into HDR. It’s a whole new world to me. It took me a while read through the comments.

    BTW, congratulation for winning.

    1. Thank you! I really love HDR, but I don’t know how to do it. I’m sure if I took the time to learn it I could, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. I really like the HDR shots from StuckInCustoms.com. Trey does a great job.

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