Needless to say, the best part about living in Europe is that it’s easier to go from France to Spain than it is to go from Philadelphia to say, San Francisco (America you’re just too big). On the bus to CDG, my friend Leaf was incredulous that we were headed to Barcelona and confessed that she did not even know where Barcelona was in Spain until the night before. My sentiments exactly my friend.
It seemed like the weather God was in our favour because while we were in Paris, it was momentarily Spring and in Barcelona it was Summer. Barcelona is really a magnificent city. We were utterly unprepared in terms of our itinerary. And there was of course, the issue of severe language barrier:
Fortunately, we found the flat we were staying at, and we were ushered out by a Spanish grandmother in a wheelchair who would not stop speaking to us in Spanish. We nodded, said ‘si si’ a couple of times and fled from the apartment. And rightly so, since we came across this in Placa espana.
The next day, we set out to go to La Rambla, which according to TimeOut, is the most touristy place in Barcelona. And here is where our Spanish food adventure began
I have never seen the rectangular clams before, and I really should have written the name down. But we sat at the seafood grill bar in the market, that served these. It was SO PHENOMENAL. They tasted like a mix between escargot and normal clam, with simple seasoning of olive oil, herb and garlic with lemon zest it was really one of the best culinary experiences of my life.
Churros with chocolate
We went to some touristy places like the Picasso Museum and Segrada Familia by Gaudi. But also stumbled upon one of the most beautiful public parks that I have seen in my life.
It was a park by the Parliament building and apparently also has a zoo. One thing that I miss about Paris and Barcelona is their public spaces. Mainly through public squares, European cities have a certain appreciation of open, uninterrupted space.
Anyways, in the evening, we went to a restaurant recommended by TimeOut magazine- my newly discovered best amigo.
From Oysters, pomegranate salad, Catalonian sausage with alioli, Foie and truffle cannelloni to tallarinas (the small clams). The food here was absolutely top-notch. With excellent excellent service, clean almost New-York like interior design and fresh seafood.
In terms of the nightlife, Barcelona definitely has a better scene than in Paris. I was recommended places like Opium, Sutton, Shoko, Sotavento. W hotel rooftop bar is also recommended, for its beautiful view of the shoreline and good music. It was like any other W hotel around the world though, and the crowd mostly comprised of tourists.