We got to Barcelona on Monday afternoon, and found our apartment without too much trouble. After unloading our bags, we ran to the market around the corner for some snacks and breakfast food. I loved having the apartment to ourselves, so we could lounge on the couch, cook some of our meals, and feel at home. Once refueled with cheese, sausage, and kick ass frozen croquettes, we ventured out into the city. We wandered blindly for a while, just soaking up the culture and architecture. We ended up at a restaurant our host had recommended, and feasted on paella and sangria. A delicious way to kick off this part of the vacation!
|These jamon (fancy ham) flavored chips were waaaaay too tasty!|
Our first full day involved a lot of wandering around. I had done a better job planning our time in London, and didn't have many specific things on our agenda for Barcelona. Overall, Joe and I love wandering around a new city, just soaking it up. We both felt like we might have missed a little, without enough planning, but that just means we'll have to plan better for our next trip. We both agreed on that-- Barcelona was lovely, and this won't be our last time visiting!
We did the typical tourist trek down La Rambla, and spent some time exploring the Boqueria, a fascinating food market. Then we strolled down to the water, and relaxed in the sunshine. We could see the fortress on top of Montjuic, and decided to wander that way for the afternoon. Due to our lack of planning, we couldn't figure out where to get on the cable cars that go up the hill, but we took the bus and enjoyed seeing the beautiful parks and Olympic stadium on the ride up.
(Note: getting an international data plan for my phone was an excellent use of $30. We used it for maps, sightseeing tips, and restaurant reviews. It was nice to have in London, and essential in Barcelona. I set my phone to have calls forwarded, to avoid any accidentally very expensive phone calls. The data plan saved our butts more than once. How did we survive without technology?!)
|Former bullfighting ring... turned shopping mall!|
We didn't go in, but it looks really nice.
By the time we got back down from Montjuic it was getting to be tapas time. YES!! Eating was a highlight of each day in Spain. We took the train to the Gracia neighborhood, and enjoyed beers and tapas in Plaza del Sol. Then we wandered back down to the Eixample neighborhood, and ended up at Piscolabis Diagonal for some tapas. It was potentially a bit touristy, but the food and drinks tasted great, which was all I really cared about. We feasted for a bit, and then headed back to the apartment for a (by Spanish standards) early bedtime. The next day was our bike tour of cava houses in the Penedes wine region, so we wanted to be well rested before our early wake up call.
(I have a pattern going here. I keep intending to have more than one day in a post... but i just have too much to share. Therefore, expect at least two more Spanish-themed posts!)