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Ah Spain!  The top-notch food, the affordable, delicious wine, the passionate music, the dancing, the hospitality and the general way of life that I experienced during my last two visits here had made it one of my absolute favorite countries.  Amanda and I had been talking about visiting together for several years and we were really excited to finally experience it together.  The last time I was Barcelona though,  I was backpacking during my second year of college, and I really didn’t like that particular city at all.  This time however, the experience was very different, and we finally saw why everyone loves this city so much.

We stayed in a small beachside area called Barceloneta with a young couple that we met on AirBnB named Enrico and Lenka.  They greeted us with a bottle of cava (Spanish Champagne).  We had a great conversation with them in their kitchen and they ended up showing us all around the neighborhood and having dinner with us at a great seafood tapas place.  We were too tired from our early morning flight to stay out too late, but we picked up a bottle of wine and went back to the apartment with them to hang out and share stories about traveling and life in Barcelona.

We spent the next day walking around, stopping into various cafes, drinking espresso and orange juice, and eating bocadillos (small sandwiches on baguettes) and tortilla (ubiquitous Spanish dish that is kind of like an omelet).  We walked through the beautifully atmospheric Bario Gotic (gothic quarter) and watched a violin player play Ave Maria in an alcove behind the massive Cathedral.   We strolled along the famous tree-lined Ramblas street and saw a fountain, house and lamp post by the famous architect Gaudi.  We stopped in the Boqueria market to check out the cured meat stands and all of the fresh vegetables.  Then at night, we hiked through a few more neighborhoods to a Paella place called Cheriff that was supposed to be really good.  I had never had a good Paella in Barcelona and this one didn’t break the street.  Maybe I just don’t like Paella as much as I thought I did.

On our last day in Barcelona we went to see Gaudi’s insane gothic masterpiece cathedral: The Sagrada Familia.  When Gaudi died in 1926, it was only about 20% complete.  It still isn’t finished but it is now scheduled to be completed on the 100th anniversary of his death in 2026.  There is absolutely nothing like this building in the rest of the world and we were both stunned by the intricate organic forms that make up the interior.  Afterward, we went for a nice tapas lunch and had some boquerones (mild white anchovies), bomba (croquette), squid with onions, a plate of cited meats, and octopus on a bed of potatoes with paprika.  Then we washed it all down with some house-made vermouth.  We finished up our Gaudi day by walking around Park Guell where he designed a lot of the crazy park buildings and walls.  It really needs to be seen to be believed.  Finally, we went back to grab our bags, before making our way to the bus station so we could head to Madrid.

  • Padron Peppers
  • Violin Player in Front of Cathedral
  • Choir in Barcelona Cathedral
  • Seats in Barcelona Cathedral
  • Fish at Boqueria Market
  • Produce at Boqueria Market
  • Meat at Boqueria Market
  • Statues at Sagrada Familia
  • Statues at Sagrada Familia
  • Front Door at Sagrada Familia
  • Interior Wall at Sagrada Familia
  • Interior Wall at Sagrada Familia
  • Sagrada Familia
  • Ceiling at Sagrada Familia
  • Ceiling at Sagrada Familia
  • Sagrada Familia
  • Interior oof Sagrada Familia
  • Sagrada Familia from Afar
  • Snap!
  • Mandy in a Gaudy Window
  • Gaudy Man

Posted: January 3, 2013

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Europe, Spain


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