Tales of Spain: Barcelona
Where to start? I’m finally in Spain, and I have had a grand total of ONE entry since arriving. I could blame it on the lack of internet in my apartment (which, as of today, has finally been remedied!). Or I could blame it on the Spanish mentality to take it easy and that anything that can be done tomorrow should wait– a mentality that has been fast settling into my system. And considering how rapidly I am adapting to the Spanish lifestyle, it’s probably the latter.
But, dear reader, I have resolved to at least stay a timely American for a little bit longer– at least, for the purposes of this blog!
My roommate/classmate/friend P and I jetted off to Barcelona a week ago to enjoy the sun, the Mediterranean, and basically enrich our Spanish horizons a bit more. We probably walked at least 25 miles over the course of three days, hitting up as many Gaudi buildings and sculptures as possible (Church de la Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlo, and Park Güell, as examples), the Mediterranean beach, and several museums (the Picasso Museum is free after 3pm on Sundays). As I recover from last weekend’s trip to Barcelona, I am now posting– a week later. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. It’ll get better, my friends. I promise.
And if you’ve never gone to Barcelona before, then until you do, you may taste Barcelona and Spain vicariously through my photos!
Anyone who has gone to Barcelona as a tourist has heard of the Ramblas (or La Rambla), the street where pretty much everything touristy is located. And by everything, I mean literally everything. Including, but not limited to:
- Basque Restaurants– P and I wondered why we flew to the opposite side of the country only to eat food that originated from where we had traveled from . . . It was delicious nonetheless.
- Catalonian Restaurants– more on this in a separate post. 😀
- American Restaurants (there’s a restaurant called American Soda that we passed by a few dozen times that cracked us up– of course they’d have steak and fries and soda on the menu, right?)
- Irish Bars
- Indian-run gift shops– I tried to bargain with a guy to get a David Villa jersey. FAIL! He wasn’t particularly nice, either. Whatever, bum. I can do without your business. Unfortunately, he could probably do without mine . . .
- Candy shops– The Spanish love their candy shops (the ones with buckets of self-serve candy). I normally only see these shops on occasion in malls in the States; here, they’re on every corner.
- Tourists– lots of Asian people here. In Bilbao, we get weird looks all the time because of our Asian features. Here, you get the typical Japanese tourist (big camera, wide-eyed stares, cute outfits) as well as people who clearly spoke no Spanish at all. A group of three Chinese women stopped me and P in the middle of the street to ask us where the Metro was– unfortunately, being poor, broke students in expensive Barcelona, P and I walked the entire time we were there and had absolutely no idea where the Metro was. I pointed them to the nearest Tourism Information kiosk, and then P and I were on our merry way again.
- Pickpockets, thieves, and shady folks. You have to be careful in Barcelona. It’s one of the most dangerous cities in Spain, if not the most dangerous. P and I were careful, though, and we left Barcelona unscathed and only having lost the money we had planned to spend anyway.
On La Rambla is the famous St. Josep Mercat, a farmers market plaza that is filled with everything a foodie and budding cook/baker could wish for. There were fish stands, candy stands, fruit stands, veggie stands, and, of course, pork stands.
Like a rose, La Rambla is beautiful but dangerous. But when you get a chance to talk to the Catalunyans, who are admittedly extremely hard to find as they tend to avoid tourists, you realize how passionate and absolutely friendly they are. And then the Rambla seems a little less dark and much more beautiful.
It’s a beautiful market. To our profound disappointment, because there was a fiesta/festival the weekend we were in town, the market, usually a popping place on Saturdays, was dark and closed. So sad! There were so many different choices of fish, meat, candies . . . My eyes were getting bigger and bigger!
Filed under: Eating Out, farmer's market, friends, photography, Spain, Travel | 4 Comments
Tags: Barcelona, candy, Catalan, chocolate, Espana, Food, La Rambla, Marzipan, photography, spain, Spanish food, St. Josep Farmer's Market in Barcelona Spain, Tapas, Travel