Thursday, March 25, 2010

I {heart} Barcelona!

We're back from Barcelona, and honestly 3 days isn't nearly enough time to truly explore that city. I'm behind in posting. Since we've returned it's been the arrival of spring and my birthday, so needless to say our little blog has been neglected while we enjoy the warm weather that has finally arrived to the city!

But back to Barcelona! We had been planning on going there since before we moved to Italy, and it lived up to everything we thought that it would. And with that said, I've been struggling to write this post. Coming back from such an amazing city, I think it takes a week or so to process everything that just happened (and possibly recover from all the Cava that was drunk).

Our first day, we opted to do a bus tour of the city. Normally I'm against bus tours, I love walking the streets to get a locals feel for a city, but some Italian friends had recommended doing the bus tour to get a lay of the land since the city is so big. And seriously, it was the best advice we got. We took the hop on/hop off Barcelona Bus Turistic which leaves from Placa de Catalunya. I personally think it's a great way to see the whole city when you have very little time.

(Pictures, click here )

Casa Batllo'

From the bus, we hopped off and headed to La Boqueria, off Las Ramblas, for some lunch. If you walk past the tourists and the crowded front entrance, you'll find the tapas bars where the fishermen, servers and shop owners stop for a midday snack. We found this little place in the back of La Boqueria where we got to practice our Spanish.

Lunch at La Boqueria

La carta

#yumtown

Tummy's full of tapas and cerveza, we wandered around the streets off the main tourist streets. I loved the side of this wall.

Wandering around the city I found this wall... amazing!

One of the more modern tapas restaurants we went to was Celler de tapas (Placa Universitat 5). My favorite thing there was the personally sized paella tapas dish. Delicious!

My personal seafood paella!

Park Guell

We headed up to Park Guell and spent some time wandering around the crazy mazes of the park. Unfortunately, the weather for us was hazy and cold that afternoon, otherwise you can get a beautiful view of the city below.

Us at Park Guell

Beautiful tiles of the park benches

More food? Always! On Friday night we found ourselves wandering around a new area in Barcelona and found this place, Bar Lobo. It's a beautiful bar where Spain meets New York's Soho, and it's definitely worth a trip if only to try the jamon! (Carrer del Pintor Fortuny 3). In the summer, the outside is a perfect people-watching spot.

Bar Lobo - absolutely amazing!

One of the things we found during the bus tour was the area of Barcelona called Mont Juic, which means Jewish Mountain. In Mont Juic you can visit different art museums, the various Olympic arenas, have a gorgeous view of the city below, and check out Poble Espanyol.

Poble Espanyol is a really unique area where you can see all of Spain in one little park. The cost is around six euros and inside you can visit all the different regions of Spain, shop the local regional stores, and spend an afternoon drinking sangria and enjoying the surroundings. If you want to avoid the crowds, go in the early morning before the bus loads of tourists arrive.

Poble Espanyol de Mont Juic



Andalucia at Poble Espanyol

After spending the morning doing some traveling throughout Spain and some much needed shopping for a porron, we headed down to Port Olympic in search of some seaside paella. We arrived at Xiringuito Escriba (Ronda Litoral 42). Despite the chilly breeze off the Mediterranean, the restaurant was filled with locals all opting for a huge paella dish to share at the table.

Seaside dining

Paella at the beach!

Us on the Mediterranean

Playing

La Sagrada Familia

Our last day in Barcelona we headed down to the area off Las Ramblas where I was told you could find the locals doing a traditional dance of Sardana. We waited anxiously to see what it was all about, but nobody showed up to dance. Instead we were greeted with a street parade of over-the-top sized human puppets and a human pyramid team!

A random street parade in Barcelona

Human pyramid during the street parade

One last round of tapas and cava sangria
Cava Mar (C/Vila Joiosa 54)

I {heart} Barcelona

There are so many wonderful spots in Barcelona and if you're willing to step off the tourist path, you can find quiet streets filled with Catalans enjoying life. I truly love this city!

Additional information:
Our hotel- Hotel Amister
Av. Roma, 93-95
Barcelona (EspaƱa)
Tel. (34) 93 363 34 68
Fax. (34) 93 363 18 65

Tapas spots:
Euskal Etxea (Euskal Taberna)
Placeta Montcada, 1-3
www.grupsagardi.com

Vinorvm (La Bodegueta del Barri)
C/. Provenza, 99
Closed Mondays * but if you try to speak Catalan, you will find a bottle of Cava missing from your receipt ...at least we did! *

El Xampanyet Bar *locals overflow this Champagne bar *
Carrer de Montcada 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Museums:
Picasso Museum
*Free Sunday afternoons


1 comment:

Jessica of Hey, Mons! said...

ooohhh it looks fabulous! I love all your pics. I will definitely bookmark this for all the good info when we go :D

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