Three days after we got home from Prague, Peter had to go to Barcelona for work. I tagged along and we made it a long weekend. All you really need in Barcelona is about a day or possibly a day and a half because there isn’t much to see/do.
Barcelona wasn’t really what I expected, but we had a good time. I thought there would be a Spanish flair to everything, but there was none of that. I didn’t realize that Barcelona doesn’t actually embrace the fact that they are even part of Spain. They think of themselves as Catalonians, not Spanairds. The official language of Barcelona is Catalan, not Spanish.
The most interesting thing about Barcelona was the architecture. There are many buildings that look like they came out of a Dr. Suess book. They were all designed by Antoni Gaudi. When we use the term “gaudy” in English, it is a reference to Gaudi because everything he created was over the top.
The most frustrating thing about Spain was eating. They eat every meal much later than we are used to. We had a heck of a time finding food when it was mealtime, and usually had to wait until at least 9pm to eat dinner (which would normally be fine, but I’ve recently turned into a monster who needs to be fed what I want, when I want it). It was also difficult to find a normal restaurant. We both really like tapas, but tapas for every meal gets annoying. My favorite tapas were:
Patatas Bravas: fried potatoes or french fries with garlic mayo and spicy red dipping sauce
Croquetas: fried balls with either meat, cheese or mashed potatoes inside
Tortilla: potato omelet
Bombas: fried meat and potato ball
Day one: Fly to Barcelona, check into hotel in Barbera del Valles (a city outside of Barcelona where Peter had to work), ate a lunch of tapas at the only small bar that would give us food that early in the day (1pm), Peter went to work while I took a four hour nap trying to recover from our Prague trip, ate tapas at an outdoor cafe across the street from a park where Peter could watch the little local kids play soccer (it was actually quite shocking how good they all were considering they were such small children)
Day two: Peter went to work while I went into Barcelona and laid out at the beach, went to the mall, and laid out at our new hotel’s rooftop pool, met up with Peter, visited the Sagrada Familia cathedral, ate a meal that was so terrible I cried and told the table next to us they should leave and save themselves (which they did), walked La Rambla, went back to the hotel and ordered room service of patatas bravas to make up for our gross dinner
(Besides the bad food, day two might have been my favorite day in Europe so far. It was so fun to take it easy, work on my practically non-existent tan, and not visit any museums. I loved the pretty Barcelona beaches.)
Day three: Ate churros (not good, Costco is better) and pastries for breakfast at a local bakery, met up with our friend Rachel who is currently living in Spain and spent the day with her, visited the Barcelona Cathedral, walked through the Gothic section of town, ate awesome tapas for lunch, went to the Casa Milà, went to the Parc Güell where a bird pooped on Peter, toured Gaudí’s house, ate more tapas, did a walking tour of the Gothic quarter including the Avinguda Portal de l’Angel, Eglesia de Santa Anna, Placa Nova, Casa de l’Ardiaca, Martyrs Statue, Placa Sant Felip Neri, Carrer del Bisbe Bridge, Placa de Sant Jaume, Roman Temple of Augustus, Placa del Rei, ate an actual meal of pasta for dinner instead of tapas
Day four: Caught an early flight where Peter got in a very long and heated argument with an airport employee about the size of our carry-on. He luckily won the argument in the end.