Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We are feeling the wind down of the trip happening. Only a few more days left and short trips to Barcelona and London before heading home. Trying to get on our flight from Johannesburg to Madrid was a little trying as there were tons of Spanish football fans still streaming back home from the World Cup a month later still blowing vuvuzelas IN the airport check-in line. However, we made it to Barcelona with our eardrums still intact and feel in love with the bohemian feel of the city.

Barcelona is a city to get lost in. There is the main drag, La Rambla, which is packed with people, restaurants, shops, bird and hamster stands(!) and street performers. It is a little crazy with the amount of people on La Rambla.

We even tried to duck into the La Rambla market (as I love markets) but could not stay for long as it was stuffed shoulder to shoulder with tourists and locals. 

Off La Rambla and into the Gothic Quarter is where we loved to stroll in no particular direction. There are small quirky alleyways where locals shops and beautiful architecture hide around every corner. It is in these small streets that we really fell in love with the feel of Barcelona. It has a hip feel where it seemed that artists and poets reside.

While wondering around we actually stumbled into our friend's sister store Papabubble. My childhood friend Chris runs the New York City Papabubble store and made us amazing customized candies for our wedding.

Of course no trip to Barcelona would be complete without seeing some of Antoni Gaudí's work. Sagrada Família is a huge Roman Catholic cathedral that has been under construction since 1882 and expected to be completed in 2026. Allegedly when Gaudí was asked about why the construction was going to take so long he simply said, "My client is not in a hurry." It is so intricate and you can take the view in for a long time seeing new details emerge.

Also we visited Casa Batlló at nighttime.

We had amazing tapas in Barcelona. In Barcelona it seems that it is traditional to "tapa hop" getting a couple of small plates at a couple different restaurants. Our favorite was the simplest; anchovies and rosemary olives with toasted bread.

Also, we had to try what Mark Bittman (food columnist for the New York Times) called the "best sandwich [he] ever had." It is the flauta d’ibéric d.o. jabugo which consists of a bread roll with jabugo ham (allegedly the best in the world from pigs that probably have a better diet than half of the people in the world!).

It was a really good sandwich. The best we have ever had? Well, Jim and I still agree that that award still goes to the Lomito from Fuente Alemana in Santiago, Chile.

We headed to the La Barceloneta beach to get a taste of the Mediterranean. We sat and watched as the beautiful yachts went in and out of the dock while catching some sun. It was a perfect day for the beach and great for finishing up our short time in Barcelona. We head to London next and then the long flight back home!

1 comment:

  1. When I was in spain we had sandwiches just like that one, but they were called "bocadillo". You could get blood sausage, calamari, ham, etc in them. They were one of the only things we knew how to order so we ate a LOT of them - to the point that the roofs of our mouths were abraded from the crusty bread. Ahhh memories.