The dog days of summer: August in Barcelona
I am sometimes asked, "What do Barcelona residents do in August?" If you're not one of the lucky ones who gets out of town and escapes the hordes of alley- and beach-crowding tourists, you may find that August is quite desolate (in terms of residents and locals). Local businesses close, friends go on holiday, and apart from a few neighborhood festivals, there isn't much going on. But therein lies the beauty of an August in the capital of Catalonia: a chance to hit refresh.
Akin to a new year, August is a time when everything (and everyone) slows down, allowing moments for self-reflection. No doctor's appointments, no daily cafés con leche from the local caféteria, and very few Spanish speakers--at least in the city center--contribute to quieter minds, open agendas, and hours upon hours of free time.
Due to my full-time job in the travel industry, I am required to stay put as this month is one of our busiest, but I find it to be a blessing in disguise. Rather than forking over euros for overpriced flights only to fight the crowds in other popular European vacation spots, I've been carving out peaceful corners in parks, laying down a towel, and working through my dust-collecting shelf of books, with someone else's pup by my side. My weekends this past month have been spent blissfully dogsitting for neighbors and friends who are taking their weeks-long vacations.
What's more, I was able to save heaps of euros for the fall, a time when I get to (and prefer to) start re-spending my remaining vacation days with offseason trips that are cheaper and to destinations that see fewer crowds than in the summer. Although the end of summer is one of the saddest times of year for this July baby, it marks the advent of a new travel season that lasts until next summer.
Lead photo: Lola rolling in the grass at Parc de l'Estacio del Nord.