I've got the sun in my eyes

Travel

The Weekender – Barcelona (I)

Apr 18-22, ’09 – Barcelona, Spain

I love this city! Its vibrant, alive and has everything to offer. The sea, the mountains and the blue blue sky. Colourful and vibrant markets, floods of tourists down La Rambla and unconventional artworks of Gaudi. Endless flow of cava, mouthwatering plates of tapas and paradise of seafood especially my no.1 favourite – arros negre (black rice). A must try!

Well, on the first day, we took it easy after a late arrival the night before, slept in and headed out only in the late afternoon to hunt for some good tapas and city aactions. Down in the colourful Merkat de la Boqueria, a big market on la Rambla, we found this gem – El Quim de la Boqueria.

elquim

Though a little patience must prevail, it is definitely worth the wait. We were rewarded with a glass of cava to start. Followed by, patata bravas (very yummy), mixed tortilla (best ever!), grilled sardines, pimientos del padron (little green peppers), pork sausage with white beans. Of course, finale with another glass of cava. In fact I didnt order their house best dish – baby squid with a fried egg but I’ll certainly try it next time. This is a must go. The ambience, drinks and food combination is priceless.

Thereafter, I staggered out the market feeling top of the world. Tipsy in broad daylight. Still managed to grab a box of fruits medley (3€) and a cone of gelato. I know, I am quite a glutton. Geez! But c’est la vie!

With the food up to our throat, we decided that we need to do some serious walking. So off we went to discover the Barri Gothic neighbourhood.

barrigothic11

Its the centre part of the old city. Lined with many small streets along old medieval or roman buildings. It was a lovely walk, amidst the thrones of tourist (just many happy people enjoying their holidays) and quite often very impressive buskers, especially The Soprano in Placa del Rei. He sets such a ambience in that square. I also liked the Cello Lady.

placadelrei1

Well, after all that walk, how can we resist amidst the endless rows of Mangos, Zaras and string of Spanish retailers, we shopped! Ooh, I am extremely pleased with my find of the day. A long coat from Guru for 50€ (50% discount). What a steal!

Well, while on the big avenue – Passeig de Gracia, how can we miss one of the strangest residential building in Europe. Eye catching, non-conformist Casa Batllo by Gaudi. He has certainly a distinct taste of art where almost all straight lines are eliminated and things look unnaturally natural or vice versa.

casabatllo1

At 8pm, we couldnt stand no more so we headed back for a rest before dinner. Alas, we got out later than the Spanish time, arrived in Barceloneta to find most of the restaurants closed and had no choice but to eat in a tourist trap serving some very bad paella. I don’t even wanna talk about it!

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