postcards from barcelona

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♫♪ Giulia & Los Tellarini – Barcelona

It’s a shame really that I only spent a weekend away in Barcelona. On my vast trip through most of the country, I found Barcelona the most engaging. The people, the ambiance, the culture. It felt like a place of its own. My friend and I decided to take a road trip from Madrid one weekend and after quickly finding a hotel we heard cheering and rejoice outside our window overlooking La Rambla. Quickly after joining the party we found out all the streets of Barcelona were winners of the Champions League. As people cheered, they included us in all the chantings and pleasures that soccer {or football} brings of course. It’s no surprise Orwell consistency comments about the warmth of the Spaniards in Homage to Catalonia.

The weekend from there went so beautifully, spending an afternoon in Park Guell after visiting the Sagrada Familia. Then cava sangria at the docks followed by tapas on the pier at sunset.

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{barcelona is…}

is a quintessential European city. With the narrowest streets embellished with tall buildings. Stone walkways sprinkled with people smiling and greeting you as well as surrounded by small shops with anything from flowers and fruits to little trinkets. Barcelona is full of beautiful green spaces and natural wonders as it sits on a coast. It brings in warmth from the sun and a slight breeze from the sea. Barcelona is exhilarating as the street life peaks late hours in the night.

 

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{what to see}

Do keep in mind to pack good walking shoes. With stone layered streets and oftentimes hills among narrow streets, perusing aimlessly can become a bit more treacherous. I opted for sturdy sandals and soft soled flats. Dresses were great for the summer weather and a very delicate sweater for the evenings.

La Sagrada Familia Church, Mágica Fountain, Picasso Museum, Las Ramblas, Barrio Gotico, Parc Güell, modernist buildings of Illa de la dicordia, the Spanish village and montjuic hill, but there are many other beautiful things to see…

 

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{what to eat}

It’s easy to get pushed into a tourist trap restaurant in Barcelona, which unfortunately was the case for us the first night. After a visit to La Boqueria specifically Bar Pintoxo, we decided to meander further and further away from the city centre and came across cute little restaurants full of locals. That is when you know the food is true and authentic. The beauty of tapas culture is that you can have a plate here and then move there. So don’t just sit in one place, be sure to explore.

A few things to look out for and try… croquettes, haricot beans and other legumes, Catalonian pastries especially those with custard with your afternoon cortado, mushroom tapas, bacalhau and salted cod, really anything seafood related, sauces that include squid ink, white asparagus and white anchovies, with endless glasses of cava wine or sparkling cava sangria, it’s a unique blend of. The Catalonian gastronomy is a gentle blend of sweet and savory with light broth stews with dense meats and beans. Easily something you wouldn’t find outside the borders of Catalan.

 

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And after what felt like an eternity or even more in the car on the ride back from Barcelona to Madrid, we came back slightly sun kissed with smiles on our faces and memories in our pockets. Hope you enjoyed this quick little visit to Barcelona! Feel free to leave your own suggestions of places to see and eat!