Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gaudi and Tapas: {The rest of Barcelona}

I'm going to skip ahead to the last day of our trip, because Day 3 in Barcelona deserves a post of its own. That day involved bikes and vineyards, and was the best part of the entire trip. So come back later for that... but in the mean time here are more of our favorite memories of Barcelona. We'd gotten tired of lugging the big camera everywhere with us, so most of these shots are from our iphones. You're been warned...

Lovely sunny spot in Plaça de Catalunya

A view of the city from Park Güell

Picnic in the park!
We brought wine, cheese, and seafood salad for a little portable feast.
Going to visit the famous park in the evening was perfect,
with way less people than mid-day.

The park was designed by Antoni Gaudi,
and is full of whimsical details.

My favorite travel partner! 
The visit to Park Güell was actually on Wednesday night, when we got back to Barcelona after our bike trip. The forecast for Thursday was sketchy, and we wanted to make sure to visit the park when it wasn't raining. Thankfully, the weather stayed beautiful, with only some harmless clouds across the sky. 

Thursday was our last day of the trip, and we woke up ready to seize the day and make the most of it! After breakfast we headed over to Plaça Reial to meet up with our guide for a tour with Runner Bean Tours. They use the popular model of free tours, where guests decide at the end how much the tour is worth, and pay the guide as they see fit. We had a friendly and engaging guide, and felt the tour was a great way to learn a little while seeing some of the famous sites. 

Casa Batlló

Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera

Palace Guell, one of the first buildings Gaudi designed.

The stunning and remarkable Sagrada Familia

Our tour guide, Debbie
(almost getting blown away by the crazy wind!)

After the Gaudi tour ended, the skies were just about to open up. This seemed like a perfect time for a lunch break, and we realized La Paradeta had a location just around the corner. This seafood restaurant was recommended by our Air BnB host, and we were so thankful for his guidance! The food was amazing. You choose the seafood you want, and they cook it to order. Everything was so fresh and flavorful! We feasted on razor clams, sepia (a kind of squid), prawns, and mussels, and almost had to be rolled out of the restaurant. The prices were so reasonable, too!

That afternoon it did start to pour, and Joe and I decided to split up for a little while. I spent some quality time shopping (Stradivarius was my favorite!), and Joe bar hopped around the area. As afternoon turned into evening, we met back up and kept on wandering, stopping to eat and drink too many times along the way.

Taking refuge under a canopy.

Baffled by macarons at "McCafe" (aka McDonalds!)

A few more tapas

At this point we stumbled across the Gothic quarter, which we'd apparently
only skirted around on the first couple days of our trip. We immediately
knew we would have to come back to Barcelona at some tine in the future,
because there was just too much to see!

Tortilla, roasted rabbit, and salt cod fritters.
So. Freaking. Good.

Just as we were headed home for the night,
we stumbled across La Cerveteca, a craft beer bar.
The perfect way to end our visit to Barcelona!

This trip was one for the record books. London and Barcelona were both fantastic, and in such different ways. It was a bit of a splurge to take this trip, but it was worth every penny for the lifetime of memories.  The food, the sites, and the atmosphere of each city was wonderful to experience, and the end of the trip left me asking one question...  "When's our next vacation?"

I have a few more highlights to share, so stick around for a little more travel overload :)

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