Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Barcelona: Finally!

Finally, only months later, here are the photos from our last stop in our tour of Spain. We took the overnight train from Granada to Barcelona and met my old friend Sylvia early in the morning at her flat dead center in the heart of things. An amazing apartment near the central hospital with a wonderful view and tiny balcony that was exactly what an apartment in Spain should be.

We set out for a tour near the Museo Catalan and to the Gothic Quarter to see the Merce Festival and have dinner at Taller de Tapas. We bumped into the amazing Cathedral Santa Maria de Mar as well, which turned out to be my favorite cathedral of the many we saw during the trip, and there were many.

Next it was off to explore the amazing Modernisme architecture everywhere in the city. Seriously, it was like the entire city was an art exhibit. I kept taking pictures of everything; Gaudi's Parc Guell, Casa Mila, La Sagrada Familia, the lamp posts, sidewalk tiles, floor tiles, door knobs... amazing stuff.

I can't tell you how amazing La Sagrada Familia is. It is right up there with Machu Picchu but maybe even more. I think it is one of the must sees on the planet and even that is not doing it justice.

We tried to take in as many tapas as we could. The custom and style was a bit different than the rest of Spain, they were more of a meal rather than a bar snack. I think one of our favorites was Tapas 24 and their fried fish. A close second was El Xampanyet with it's tasty Cava or La Llesca and it's authentic Catalan menu.

We took a wander down las Ramblas which was too over the top touristy to stand but we bumped into the fantastic Mercat de la Boqueria and spent a bit more time in the Barri Gotic. We also spent some time admiring the amazing views from Parc de Montjuic and just for a minute, literally, dipped our feet in the water at Barceloneta (which made our must see when we go back list).

And then there was the Catalan language, ugggh. I never realized how different it is than the Castillian Spanish I'm used to. It sounds very similar but is written differently so that was weird.

It was so great to hang out with Sylvia as well. I got to have a real Argentine Mate again after so many years!