August 18, 2014 § 2 Comments
A couple of weeks before we went to Barcelona, one of my best friends from College, Janice, messaged me out of the blue and asked what I was doing that weekend. I said, Drew and I are going to Barcelona, and I asked if she was in the mood to travel and want to come too. And she said yes!! When we got to Barcelona, and saw her in the airport, I couldn’t believe that it was for real. I feel sometimes like this whole year has been a bit of a dream, and seeing Janice in Barcelona just really made me question if everything was real. But it was real!
We started with dinner at Tickets!, the tapas restaurant opened by Ferran Arias, one of the Arias brothers who ran El Bulli. I don’t usually bother with hard to get reservations, mostly because I’m just not organized enough to be on the line when the booking opens, but this time, I decided I’d try since when were we going to eat at a restaurant in Spain, run by the guy from El Bulli again? Anyways, the online system opens 30 days in advance and I managed to snag a table for two. And when Janice decided to join us, they made the reservation for 3! The meal was delicious! We didn’t know what we wanted, so they brought us a range of their most popular dishes. My favorites were the artichoke and quail egg with salmon roe, and the razor clams. The atmosphere there is really fun, too. It’s decorated like a fun faire with different booths. Anyways, if you come to Barcelona, I recommend getting online 30 days in advance and booking a spot at Tickets!
I hadn’t realized before coming to Barcelona, how many architectural gems it had. I figured it was mostly a beach city with some pretty good food. We ended up spending most of our weekend exploring Antoni Gaudi‘s influence on Barcelona. We went to Casa Battlo, admiring the cool balconies and ombre blue lightwell (again, I recommend the audio tour). We spent a late afternoon at Park Guell, full of whimsical structures. But, the piece de resistance must be the Sagrada Familia. I had seen pictures beforehand, so I thought I knew what it would look like, but up close, it took my breadth away. I think Drew and I figured it was going to be ABC (another big cathedral), but it’s really truly special. The colors are magical and there are so many details everywhere, I think if we go back to Barcelona in 10 years, we’ll definitely have to go back. Especially, since it’s still under construction!
Of course, touring all the Gaudi stuff made us super hungry. We ate at a bunch of different tapas places, but I would say that Tapas 24 was probably my favorite. I can still taste that bikini sandwich. Yum. Also, the croquettes. We also went to the Boqueria Market, where we picked up some jamon iberico. The market is a bit too touristy for my liking, but the jamon places all give free samples, which almost made it worth battling all the tourists. I always wish we had more time to explore these cities, or maybe I just wish that my stomach was bigger so I can eat more things. Anyways, it was another great trip, and made even more special than usual with Janice!