I love Barcelona..... major SoCal vibes!
Lots of cool stuff going on this week. On Wednesday I met up with a friend around 7pm - the before-dinner hour. We had wine and beers on the beach, then went for pan y tomate (super- Catalan food) in her adorable Barceloneta loft.
On Thursday, An- (the mother of the family I'm staying with!) introduced me to another girl who is living in our town, traveling from Lithuania. Together, we went out late Thursday afternoon to walk around and explore Barcelona.
We started in Placa Catalunya, which I have decided is the Chatelet-Les Halles of Barcelona. Basically, you can get anywhere in the city from here by train, and it's pretty central, with lots of shopping. There are a lot of tourists around here - actually, there are a lot of tourists in Barcelona in general. I don't know if it's because of the rain that's been drowning Paris all summer or just that I wasn't out in the touristy spots, but Paris definitely never felt this crowded!
From Placa Catalunya we made our way down Las Ramblas, stopping at the Market (Boqueteria). Again, there's a ton of people here. Not being a big fan of crowds I didn't choose to linger - but it's definitely a place I'll stop by again before leaving to pick up some goods to bring home. In particular, the "Crema de Catalan" that I tried was amazing - it's like a sweeter, slightly more sugary version of fudge that literally melts in your mouth. There are also tons of stands selling fresh juice in the market, at 1 or 1.50 euro each.
We then made our way to Catedral de Barcelona, though we didn't go inside, as I was pretty underdressed. It looks beautiful though - the streets around the cathedral are super-gothic and offer some great photo opportunities. I was again surprised at how old the city felt - another thing I had missed in Paris.
Finally, we walked toward the before heading back to the Parc de la Ciutadella to relax for a bit before heading back to Premia de Mar from Arc de Triomf. It's a pretty big pedestrian park with lots of people doing sport and sitting in the sun.
Friday night I went out with a friend in Born - a supposedly quite trendy area in Barcelona with lots of bars and restaurants. We were out super early for the city (started around 9pm - ) since I'm pretty constrained by the train back to Premía de Mar, as the last one leaves at an unreasonably early midnight hour.
Being early, the area was pretty quiet while I was there - which wasn't bad, but I suppose I didn't really get the vibe of the place. It's a cool neighborhood though - lots of very narrow streets and alleyways to get lost in, or- better yet - discover some new eatery or hidden dance party.
Happy weekend all!