Monday, May 16, 2011

Tripnotes: Barcelona, Spain

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!


PoetessWug said...

Thanks for taking us along! Such beautiful spots and photos. Now I feel like I've been to Barcelona! Thanks! :-)

dulci said...

Glad you liked it Poetess!! :)

Stephanie said...

Oh my gosh I have serious wanderlust now! I've been to Madrid but never Barcelona. I want to go so badly! In the mean time, your lovely photos will keep me daydreaming. :)

Stephanie (Big Mario)

k said...

oh man, i can't wait to visit there!

Saun said...

Thanks for sharing maybe one day I'll make it there....awesome pics

Lini said...

Whow the food looks amazing!!! I whish I could try a bite of every single piece! :D
Barcelona seems to be worth a trip!!!
loving the pics!!

Victoria said...

I love cal pep! Yum!


Plan and Play said...

You lucky girl!!!! Now I'm hungry and I just ate. I want some pan con tomate, right now...
Lovely pictures Dulci!


vanessa said...

I would just about kill someone for one of those fruit juices! It's amazing that Barcelona and Madrid are even in the same country. They really feel so different. And thanks for the tip on Travelzoo - signing up now!

Allie said...

Wowie zowie! I need to go to Barcelona. Just to eat and drink. Soley that :)

a m o u r e t t e said...

such beautiful photos!

House of Milk said...

Amazing photos! I can't believe you scored such an amazing deal... time to sign up for TravelZoo. I had no idea Barcelona was such a hotspot for great food and drink. Maybe I've been under a travel rock or something? Thanks for sharing!

nic said...

wow--thanks for sharing your stunning photos:) I love your narrative voice; like a friend showing her trip pics and chatting about her travels over cocktails. I will have to make note of your favorite food spots for our (hopeful) trip to Spain next summer!

fingers crossed x x


Rose said...

Best post. Thanks for the photos and commentary. Can't wait to go myself!

Amber Shea Nichole said...

Great photos! I've always wanted to visit Barcelona! That last photo is amazing! Thanks for this post :)

Louise said...

Great pictures! I really must go back... PS, Picasso or cava? Picasso or cava... good girl!

Pet said...

This is quite extraordinary. Your selection and knowledge of the places to go in Barcelona is extraordinary. I am the Spaniard and I am going to keep it for my next trip to Barcelona. I was in November too in a Barcelona football match (of course they won too). I have to go back in August and I promise to check in these - and other places - and report back :-)
Here my little contribution to the city from the window of my room at my uncle's place.

dulci said...

Thank you so much Pet!! That means so much coming from you :) Hope you have an amazing trip! Let me know if you need any more tips!!

dulci said...

House of Milk - YES!! Sign up for Travelzoo!!! said...

Absolutely Fabuloso!!!
Love it!

Teach.Workout.Love said...

omg i absolutely love it... i want to go back there so sooooooooo bad.

dulci said...

Mine too Novelista!!

Catherine Masi said...

Oh lordy! This are gorgeous photos!

hello. said...

spain was on my bucket list already; these photos make me really want to go now!! such pretty photos...

Anonymous said...

beautiful, my boyfriend is moving to spain soon and i was excited about trips over there anyway - now if possible i am more excited - i cant wait to visit barcelona :)

Maya Kuzman said...

Oh.. I thoroughly enjoyed the post! Thank you for sharing all these beautiful pictures and stories to go with. I plan to visit Spain one day in (near) future.
Still hopeful...

Liv said...

it looks so nice, I'm hungry for tapas now!

Eleanor Rae said...

I've loved Gaudi since I was at school, still haven't managed to get to Barcelona yet though, it looks amazing! xxx

Heather said...

Oh, Barcelona. Such a great city! Your pictures are making me miss it...and the food;)

dulci said...

@Angela - you are so lucky to have a reason to visit Spain! Can't think of a more lovely or romantic place :)

@Heather - I get hungry every time I flip through my photos!!

cailen ascher said...

sangria & olives. stuffed artichokes. i'm in heaven.

we're going to seville, spain on our honeymoon this fall - i cannot wait for some awesome spanish tapas and good wine!

Anonymous said...

I love your pics!!!
tomorrow look my next post on my blog... Barcelona is coming!!! :)

Nancy said...

Your photos are gorgeous~ this brings back wonderful memories of my trip to barcelona a couple of summers ago! We also went to El Xampanyet - what an adorable little spot. Now I am craving pan con tamate, and jamon Iberico...and cava, of course!

Lisa Maria said...

I love your photos - I too am brought back to good memories in Barcelona with my then boyfriend and now husband. It looks like you guys have a lot of fun!

Carlota | Carlotaslittleblog said...

Wauw lovely pictures!!xx

dulci said...

Thank you Nancy! It was in our guide book and such a good find!

@ Lisa Marie - Yes! We had a blast - such a romantic city :)

Thanks Carlota!!

YVONNE said...

My husband and I went to Barcelona as part of our honeymoon and fell in love! I would go back a thousand times over, because there is always something new to discover, as your photos have definitely shown. I feel like I should start planning now (or daydreaming anyway)!


Nicole Marie said...

i am saving this post for when i move there!!

Unknown said...

I just found these and they reminded me of my time in Barcelona. What a great city.. I want to go back...