As some of you may or may not recall, I had the good fortune of spending Thanksgiving in Madrid and Barcelona. It was a very quick trip and left me hungry for my (more Serrano ham, more patatas bravas, more glasses of sparkly Cava). So it could only have been fate when on the day I returned from Barcelona in late November, an e-mail from Travelzoo appeared in my inbox advertising a fire sale to Europe. And it was a fire sale indeed. Within a few clicks of the mouse I had booked a roundtrip ticket from NYC to Barcelona for $256 in early April. Done and done.
And so we were back. Barcelona Round Two.
I’ve been blessed with many skills and talents. The one I am most proud of is the ability to sleep anywhere. And that is a skill that really comes in handy on a transatlantic flight. After a fitful night of rest at 35,000 feet, we landed in sunny Barcelona and it was ON. First things first – FOOD.
We headed to our favorite lunch spot Le Quinze Nits at the Placia Real for sangria, olives and salmon carpaccio. The sun was shining (it had not been in during my previous trip in November…) and we both agreed, we loved Barcelona even more than the first time round.
We found ourselves once again wandering through the narrow, medieval streets, this time in shorts and sandals. We decided to take a walk over to Barceloneta, an older part of town known for shipping and fishing.
Lucky for us, it’s also known for artichokes. We couldn’t resist ducking into a local’s tapas bar that a friend had recommended.
It was off the beaten path and we had no trouble getting a table and a round of cañas.
The next day we felt compelled to do some “touristy” things since we had seen virtually none of the famous Gaudi architecture Barcelona is known for on our first visit.
We walked through L’Eixample to see Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.
Stopped for a beer and a bocadillo.
And then checked out La Sagrada Familia, which has been under construction for, oh, about a 100 years.
The line was too long to go in, but the outside alone was breathtaking.
After another quick snack (nomnomnomnom!) it was off to a FC Barcelona soccer match at Camp Nou. We lucked out with some pretty amazing seats and it was such a blast. Plus, Barcelona won. Cool!
On our last day, it was time for breakfast at La Boqueria – an amazing outdoor market with everything under the sun.
We pulled up to the bar at Pinoxto for pollo catalana and coffees.
Breakfast of champions.
A stroll through the market proved an excellent way to walk off our morning treats.
Then, we headed towards the old town to attempt entry to the Picasso Museum – one of Barcelona’s most frequented attractions. We were deterred by the long line and decided instead we could experience just has much culture at a nearby tapas joint.
So it was off to El Xampanyet – a famous cava bar.
I love Picasso, but I think we made the right choice.
We decided to keep on trucking and hopped on the Metro towards Parc Guell – another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces.
Located high atop a hill, it’s got some pretty bad ass views of Barcelona.
On the walk back to the hotel I stopped to make a friend. That’s just how it goes down in Barcelona!!
That night we had dinner at our favorite restaurant – Cal Pep. It’s a sliver of a restaurant with no menu and a cult following.
Known for seafood, it made sense that we were presented with an amuse-bouche of fresh salmon. Ok!!
Things only got better from there.
My favorite are these littles guys – berberechos from the coastal town of Galicia. They were doused with smoky paprika oil and a bit of lemon – too good to be true!
We waddled home after literally closing the restaurant down (which is no easy task in Spain where dinner doesn’t even begin until 10pm) and the next morning we said our goodbyes to Barcelona and honestly, I was sad to leave. It was a such a blast…can’t wait for next time.
So, until we meet again my fair city!