I’ve done my research on the UK. I’ve dreamt about Italy since I was 16. I’ve wanted to go to Romania since I learned about Dracula. And Paris was where I dreamt about falling in love.
Yeah, you and I both knew nothing about Spain…
So, with this weird mindset and with the chill setting in around London, I decided to head south. I landed on Barcelona for two reasons:
- It was a new country for me to explore and I didn’t want to revisit one I had been to (yet)
- Sun, warmth, blue skies…
The flight was free…holler at them points on that credit card (Thank You, Chase and Capital One). I snagged a great deal on a hotel (ON THE WATER). Then there was the “everyone at work telling me how cheap drinks were” so, naturally, I found myself airborne towards Barcelona!
I didn’t do much research before leaving (whoopsies) and instead reached out to friends. (to the one that reads this, your list was incredible and informative and made it easy for moi so THANK YOU. I’ll return the favor anytime!) On my hit list:
- La Sagrada Familia
- Park Guell
- Flamenco Show
- Walk La Rambla
- Picasso Museum
That was it, going into it anyways. Who cares about that, let’s dive in head first to the experience!
I caught a flight after my training session on Friday. My flight was delayed for fuel purposes so I chugged a lovely London pint full of cider. Yes, I immediately wanted to keep drinking so I board and ask for a Sangria. Fun Fact: They only serve sangria on flights to Spain and it’s only 3 euros for a medium bottle)
I then proceeded to play tipsy sudoku the rest of the flight. (nerd alert)
I land in Barcelona, later than expected, and took a cab into the city where I was staying at Duquesa De Cardona. I can’t say enough great things about the check-in process or the hotel itself. Being tipsy, I am hungry and already want another drink so I drop my bag and head back out quickly as it’s 12:30 at night. Bad news, everything is closing except for this great establishment called Margarita Blue. Their menu is just photos of drinks (for us dumb non-speaking Spainish folk) and I beg for food so they scrounge up chips and guac and I drank my margarita, paid the cheapest bill ever, and crash.
Wake up to blue skies and warm weather. Wander over to a recommended brunch spot, Brunch and Cake, By the Sea. Unfortunately, I was hungry and the line was long, which means it’s great, so I ditch the plan and head to this tapas place on the water I had just passed. The waiter brings a pitcher of sangria and my weight in tapas. My gosh this sun is amazing. I actually have to wear sunglasses again. Should have packed sunscreen. Screw it. Ah, the salt water. I am honestly, at this moment, the happiest woman I know.
Thankfully, I wore walking shoes as all I did after being full of tapas was walk La Rambla. La Rambla is the stretch of road with a wide median for pedestrian traffic. There are artists and vendors and food and unique stands (and pick pocketers). It’s, simply put, alive and flourishing with curiosity. As I am walking, I look to my right and I see something interesting so I cross over and walk down this side street. It opens up into this big square that is closed to traffic and performers are busking and music drifts through the air. There’s a fountain in the middle and a ton of pigeons. Fun Fact: I got pooped on by birds a lot growing up and am now terrified of pigeons…yeah yeah, make fun of me if you will. I find a great outdoor spot to sit with, surprise, more sangria and enjoy the views. I move on, circle back to La Rambla and on the other side of the street there’s what looks like big columns. I find myself curious and walking towards them. It’s the largest market I’ve been to. So much food. The meat looks to die for. The food smells amazing. This market is like if the Cleveland market and the Original LA farmers market got married, had a baby, and the product was this amazing variety in Barcelona. I am full though so I walk around and head back out. I wanted to see some Gaudi architecture. That man was a unique genius.