summertime in the city: Barcelona

The rain in Spain SURELY must stay in the plain…because we had NONE while in Barcelona, and it was glorious! After waking up at the wonderful hour of 4am (and it was SUPER bright outside, btw!), we took off on yet another flight from Sweden to Spain, this time landing in Barcelona. The last time I was in Spain was the spring of 2010, when I travelled to Madrid with my family. If Barcelona was going to be anything like Madrid, then I was in for a treat.

It turns out, it was better.

You know I love me some agua, and Barcelona set itself right on the edge of the Mediterranean. Stunningly aqua water lapped the edges of the city, enticing its residents and guests to lounge on the shore and forget about the heat of the day. The city is dotted with the influence of Gaudi, the artist best known for his representations of Catalan modernism. His buildings, churches, and parks were breathtaking, the details standing out in such a way that I could look at the same wall for half an hour and still not see the full effect of his genius.

When we arrived in Barcelona, it was just about lunch time, and after a quick set down of our luggage, we set out on our calle, Princesa (love it!), to find some tapas. After dining on some delicious gazpacho and pane con tomate, the men (Bob and Jens) headed out for a meeting while my mom and I once again set off to explore. We walked, and walked, and walked…covering about 5 hours worth of city viewing. Both of us not really knowing where we were, we simply strolled, weaving in and out of tiny streets and massive boulevards, pausing to gawk over gorgeous shop windows or outrageous beach views. Of course, a stop at H&M was required, and I walked out of there with a cute pair of jeans and some new sunglasses, since the ends of my other pair were starting to look like a dog had used them as their OWN tapas lunch that day…

By the end of the day we were exhausted, and eagerly went back to our hotel to meet the boys for dinner. Jens had a place in mind for dinner that night on the water, so we set out on what he said was going to be a 30 minute stroll, with a brief pause in a cava bar for a quick drink. Well, the talk of the cava bar was true, and we stopped off in what was the equivalent of a closet sized bar for a drink of cava, which is sort of combination of prosecco and champagne. The bar was very authentic and so packed with people who you could only just stand there and move the drink from your mouth and back down. Love.

After the cava bar, we set out for dinner, strolling along the boardwalk and enjoying the sights. Well, the 30 minute walk turned into over an hour, and by the time we arrived, my mom and I were threatening bodily harm at anyone who gave us the stink eye. My back was already aching from the 5 hours of walking earlier, and that last hour seemed to be the nail in the coffin. The only upside to the stroll was the thought of a jug of sangria at the meal…as well as the naked man who strolled alongside us on the way there….I’m sorry, did I say naked? I meant….BUCK NAKED. OH yes, in all his tanned, muscled glory. While the men chose to ignore this fact, my mom and I willingly slowed our gait (for the sake of our injured limbs of course…) to check out the “view”. Let’s just say this Spaniard was mucho….bonito. Ha. Gotta love a little something sweet at the end of a long day 😉

MOVING ON!

The following day, since Jens and my father did not have any more meetings, we were able to take our time. After having some breakfast at an awesome little cafe just down the street, we decided to drive around the city. Jens had lived in Barcelona for a brief period, and was able to act as our tour guide during the day. He was amazing, driving us to the Gaudi Park, the Sagrada Familia, and a former castle where we could see views of the entire city. The whole day was unbelievable. Each time you thought you saw something beautiful, you would turn a corner only to spot something even more incredible. The city was so alive, and it showed in its architecture and landscape. We climbed, hiked, drove and walked our way around the city, drinking in the sights and sounds. After a loooooong day out, we stopped by the hotel for a quick “touch up” before setting out again. Jens had to drop off our car, so we parted ways, agreeing to meet back up that night for dinner. My mom, dad and I strolled the city, popping into some shops, watching a few outdoor performances on the streets, and enjoying the amazing temperatures we were having that day. All of a sudden, the “right before dinner urge” to drink came on, so we started hunting for a place to sit and enjoy some more cava. We finally came across a tiny little place called Sensei, and sat down to some drinks and a few things to nosh. Jens joined us later, and we stayed for a bit, chatting and reminiscing about our day. By the time we left Sensei, it was well past 10pm, so we headed out to our final destination of the night: a dinner of paella. I was so full already (apparently my stomach has SHRUNK as the trip has gone on??) so I chose to split a dish with my mom: paella con pesce (paella with fish). The restaurant was lovely, the waiters all wearing white coats, a piano player serenading us from his spot in the center of the dining room. We stayed until well past midnight, no one willing to relinquish the moment of our time in Spain. It was unfortunately so short, and there is so much of the city yet to be discovered. Talks are already in the works of making this city the next Davis/Ledbetter family trip during the spring. My mom was already scouting neighborhoods for a good place to rent an apartment. I can hardly wait!!

Barcelona was beautiful, but the trip was not over…my last leg of the journey found me back in St. Martin, Germany, a town straight out of Beauty and the Beast….

almost home!

hearts and sangria soaked hugs,

B.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Oh I’d love to go to Barcelona! It’s on my Euro must see list. And H&M is the best place to shop in Europe because the prices are equivalent to what they are here! Everywhere else clothes are so overpriced for the quality, but H&M feels like home 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: