I am actually using a spanish keyboard right now since I´m posting this in madrid. They have a specific key dedicated to ñ. ññññññññ hahaha so fun to type!!
I LOVE BARCELONA. The first city on my trip through Spain and Italy! Something interesting is that in Barcelona, they speak primarily Catalan, not Spanish. The first day, we walked through the city to get to a famous tapas place that Helen recommended we try. While we were walking there, we happened to see Casa Battló! It´s one of Gaudi´s famous works of architecture. The windows look a bit like Venetian masks. The entire time we were walking to Catalana cerveseria (our lunch destination), I kept stopping just to take in the beauty of the city. I don´t know why but I seriously felt that every single place I looked was so picturesque and I just wished I could capture everything that my eyes saw. We finally got to Catalana cerveseria and ordered the mixed plate tapas since none of us really knew what tapas were good…Our waiter was super nice to us! He didn´t really speak English and he kept trying to tell us something. Eventually he went inside, and he came back out with a paper and written on it was ¨watch out for your belongings.¨ SO CUTE and so nice of him! He also suggested we get some traditional Barcelona appetizer bread, which is essentially toasted bread with a hint of fresh tomato on it. For our mixed plate tapas, we got come croquettes (which are essentially potatoes crushed and deep fried…so good), shrimp, peppers (which were to be eaten whole), grilled mushrooms (these were steeped in some sort of flavoured oil, which tasted amazing), calamari, and clams. Everything tasted so good. For dessert, we got pumpkin cake with sweet wine, which tasted AMAZING!! The wine came in a separate shot glass and you ate the cake by dipping it into the sweet wine. SO GOOD.
After lunch, we went to Las Ramblas which is one of the main streets in Barcelona. There were so many waffle and gelato stands on the road, as well as tourist-souvenir shops. They also had flower stands and even stands selling pets! I saw some turtles being sold for 70 euros and there were also hamsters, gerbils, parakeets, etc. Off of Las Ramblas was Boqueria Market, which was a HUGE market selling various things ranging from fruits to Catalan chocolate to smoked meats like chorizo to crema catalan (a traditional Barcelona dessert). I got xocolat con churros, which is a traditional Spanish dessert (or snack?). You basically just have regular churros, but they give you a cup of melted chocolate and you dip the churros into the chocolate and eat it like that! It was SO GOOD!! I love chocolate and I love churros so you can´t go wrong with both…lol.
After the market, we walked through a lot of small, beautiful side streets to get to Museu Picasso. We went through Museu Picasso and looked at all of the paintings…there was one that I really liked called Dona amb Mantellina (I think it´s also called La Salchichona). Surprisingly, Picasso was amazing at painting realistic paintings as well! I got so excited when we got to his work on Las Meninas haha.. the effects of AP Art History 4 years later.
While walking back from Museu Picasso, I stopped to get a gofre, which is a traditional Belgium waffle (there is sugar on the inside…and it caramelizes when the waffle is made!). We went to La Seu, which is a huge cathedral in Barcelona. We actually ran into these girls that we met on the coach to Stansted airport (Lizzie, McKayla, and Marissa hehe I remember their names)! The world is so small…the interior of La Seu is breathtaking. I literally always feel amazed whenever I enter a huge cathedral…they are just so beautiful and holy. There was also an antique market near the cathedral which was selling some vintage goods. Outside of La Seu, there were also these three amazing street performers who were singing some random american songs. It was so peaceful and just sitting there with Heidi, next to La Seu, listening to music and people watching, seemed so surreal. Like, is this really life right now?
Afterwards, we walked to Mirador a colom, which is a huge column at the end of Las Ramblas (somewhat like the column in Trafalgar Square) and then walked along the side of the beach. It was SO PRETTY! I will always be a California girl and so will Heidi. We got SO excited when we saw the beach haha. Later we went back to the market and since it was closing, they were selling things at a bargain. We got some fruit smoothies (kiwi banana coconut YUM!) and they gave us a free one too! They said we were guapas hehe! So nice of them…we then took the metro back to the hostel area and then went to the supermarket to buy food for our picnic at la playa Barceloneta for the next day!