If I were to live anywhere else in my beloved Europe it would have to be in beautiful, balmy Barcelona. For me, it blends the best of European living – the culture and easy travel to nearby countries – with what I miss from my home town, Sydney – namely the great weather, beaches and party atmosphere. Indeed, I’ve spent many a daydream wondering how exactly I could possibly spend a summer sojourn there soaking up all the tropical goodness it has to offer.
There are so many great things about the place I barely know where to start. The heat, the beaches, the food, the wacky Gaudi architecture, the easy-going lifestyle, the ridiculously slutty hot men…honestly I could just go on and on. No doubt it helps that I mainly tend to visit during the summertime when nobody wears much of anything and the Circuit Festival is on – or as I like to call it ‘European Gayapalooza’.
That aside, there is a thriving gay scene all year round with a great deal of the action taking place in the Eixample district – or Gayxample as it’s affectionately nicknamed – with many a charming venue catering to gentlemen of a certain persuasion. Not to mention a good deal of friendly locals ready and eager to show you a most marvellous time.
Then there is the food. You can’t go past a visit, or several, to La Boqueria Food Market just off the Ramblas. This amazing market has all sorts of delicious food on offer…from quick snacks through to the ingredients for your evening meal. For my part, I’m rather partial to the sliced fruit…perfect for a trip to the beach. Or one can simply dine at one of the many excellent restaurants and be tempted by the wickedly strong cocktails one encounters about the place. The Spaniards certainly seem to enjoy wonderfully generous alcohol servings.
Of course, there are many ways to work off your indulgences…including using the affectionate natives for help. Personally, I always head to Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta for a workout, handily located by Playa de Sant Sebastià – my favourite Barcelonan beach.
Speaking of seaside fun, my two recommendations for soaking up the Spanish sun would be the aforementioned Sant Sebastià and Mar Bella. Both are favourites with the gay boys and also clothing optional – I do so love the liberated nature of it all. The former tends to be fairly tranquil whereas Mar Bella is a tad more crowded, albeit with hot men so you’re more than compensated.
So, there you have it. A perfect destination for some much-needed fun in the sun, but don’t just take my word for it. Pack your sunscreen and thongs and book your flight today!