Saturday, April 14, 2012

¡Ay Caramba! Honeybear don't care.

When we woke up for our first morning in Barcelona, I was completely wiped out, so I decided it was going to have to be a day of rest for me. Mom, Sarah and Dad headed out to La Rambla and stopped at la boqueria, which is the largest market in the world for lunch. Then they stopped by the Sagrada Familia to see the very cool designs of Gaudi.

After lunch, Sarah decided she was ready for a break too, so she came back to our apartment while Mom and Dad checked out the Picasso museum. We made a plan to meet for dinner. And then we made two back up plans in case we couldn't find each other, because Barcelona is so confusing, lol. Luckily there was no need for back up plans; we found each other right away and wandered into Barceloneta, which is a section of the city right on the water. It was beautiful walking along the beach and looking back at the city.

The lovely coast on one side....

And the city on the other!

We decided to eat at a seafood restaurant that our guidebook recommended right on the water. It was delish, we started out with our favorite tapas in Spain, chiperones, which are tiny fried squid (yes, I ate a few- they really were yummy!), and some fried artichokes. Then for dinner Sarah and Dad got a big old pot of paella, which they really wanted to eat in Spain. They loved it! I got some delicious veal, and Mom got some scallops. And by some, I mean two. Her dinner kind of sucked, womp womp. Overall it was a fun night seeing the coast of Barcelona!

The next morning, we headed back down to La Rambla because Sarah wanted to show us a cool pottery store. Since I hadn't seen la boqueria yet, we stopped in there for lunch, and it was so amazing! I'm so glad I got to see it. There are just hundreds and hundreds of stalls full of fresh, delicious food. And spices, and candy, and basically anything you can think of buying. We bought some delicious chicken kabobs and a few fried potato items (the Spanish do fried food right), and also got a selection of chocolates from one of the candy stalls. Everything was really yummy, I'm thinking we need to open up a boqueria in Greenville, asap.

You better believe we got us some of these!
Ramon, our trusty kabob guy

After lunch we found the pottery shop, and it was so cool! Each table in the shop was filled with pottery from a different region in Spain, and it was all absolutely gorgeous. I love how colorful everything is in Spain. After the pottery shop, we started heading to the Gothic quarter, where we were supposed to meet the guide for our Barcelona Segway tour. We stopped at a little cafe along the way for some churros and hot chocolate-yum! Remember how I told you that Spanish hot chocolate is so thick you can eat it with a spoon? Well, another option is to take some fried dough, roll it in sugar and dip that in the hot chocolate. Spain for the win.

After wandering around the Gothic quarter for a while, we met Edgar, our Segway tour guide. After our amazing Paris Segway tour, we couldn't resist trying out the one in Barcelona. It is just such a great way to see so much of the city and learn a ton about the history too, especially when you don't have a lot of time. Edgar was a great guide, he is from a little town outside of Barcelona and so he really had a ton of interesting stories and insight into the city. He also was having some tooth pain and kept popping pain pills, so that was a little bit hilarious. We saw the old Roman walls that used to surround the original city, the steps where Christopher Columbus left to go back the the Americas on his second trip, and all kinds of other cool monuments and buildings. My favorite part of this tour though, were all the cool little back streets, as well as the great restaurant recommendations that Edgar gave out!

The oldest fountain in Barcelona! You can still drink out of it...but we didn't. We came back to this spot for dinner, that's the restaurant to the left of the fountain.

Edgar talking about his toothache, lol

Us with the Christopher Columbus steps in the background

Sculpture that looks like a conquistador hat from the front....

And fish from the side!

After the tour was over, we first walked back to a candy store that was pointed out on the tour- we just can't resist a homemade candy store! In this one you can actually watch them making it, so that was really cool. Then we made our way over to one of the recommended restaurants for dinner, but it was only 6:30 and the Spanish people don't eat dinner until 9:30-10, so the restaurant was closed. So we did the most Spanish thing we could think of- we went to have tapas and wine until it was dinner time, lol! We lucked into a place that was offering free sangria with your tapas- score! So, after first dinner we walked back to the restaurant at 8, where we found that it was still closed. Womp, womp. We decided to wait it out until they opened at 8:30.....such a good choice!

Mom sitting outside the ancient Roman walls with her bubble wrap

Tapas and sangria!

Getting a little bored waiting around for the restaurant to open

By the time the restaurant opened, there were lots of people waiting outside. We were the first ones in, thank goodness, because it turns out this was a reservations type place, and we got the only non reserved table in the place. When our food arrived, it was clear why it was so packed, it was delicious! And it was just a very charming, intimate little restaurant, it was absolutely perfect for our last night in Europe. The bottles of wine and cava (Spanish champagne) helped to make it the perfect meal! Those two probably contributed a little to the title of this blog post, but I'm pretty sure I can't even begin to explain the joke. So let's just say there was a lot of laughter happening.

Last but not least, I give you our favorite picture of the entire trip. This was outside a random clothing store in Barcelona, for no reason that we could figure out. See you in June honeybear!

It was a wonderful last day to an absolutely amazing trip. We are happy to be headed home- especially to see Maddie!!!- but are sad to have to say goodbye to Sarah again. At least this time it's not for very long! I don't think I could have enjoyed this trip anymore (although we all wished Kat could have been there too!). I'm still a French girl through and through, but I'm so glad I got to see Spain, and I have to admit they certainly do a few things pretty darn well (hot chocolate! fried meat!). I saw some of the most beautiful places in the world, and ate some of the best food I've ever eaten, all with some of my favorite people- I'd call that a win!



Doctorhump said...

It was an absolutely fabulous trip. Thanks for being our travel agent/French interpreter/metro guide/scribe.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome trip. Thanks for allowing us to live vicariously through you. You should think about a travel blog!

Sitwat Khan said...
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Sitwat Khan said...
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Sitwat Khan said...
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Sitwat Khan said...
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rahul patekar said...