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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Spain – Barcelona – letting your eating and drinking getting in the way of your sightseeing

SPAIN | Tuesday, 21 August 2012 | Views [937]

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

Destination – Spain – Barcelona – the dangers of letting your eating, drinking and shopping getting in the way of your sightseeing

After a wonderful train ride in Izmir, Turkey, all the way to the airport, we take a quick Pegasus flight to Athens where we overnight in Piraeus.  We take the opportunity to eat at our local favourite taverna and say goodbye to all things  Greek - wine, Soutzoukakia (meatballs) and of course, Greek salad.  We get to the taverna and due to the economic crisis, the menu has changed and now they only serve “mezzes” (Greek tapas).  The wine is still great and we have a nice meal and a long chat with the young waiter about the future of Greece.   Next morning we take the shuttle bus back to the airport for another quick flight, this time with Vueling, to Barcelona.  We take a shuttle and the train and check in at the amazing Acta Ink 606 hotel, on Carrer Mallorca, highly recommended.   We just need to chill over a bottle of red or two, 3 countries in 3 days is a bit full on even for hardcore travelers, let alone for us. 

Oh No!! the hotel is fully booked tomorrow and we are homeless again.  We are freaking out but instead of looking for another place, of course, as we do, we decide to go sightseeing and deal with it later. Sagrada Familia here we come.  Again, we experience, firsthand the joys of high season travelling. There is an enormous line all around the block, happy loud families with untamed kids and spoilt teenagers from all over the globe.  We decide to come back later, much later, maybe in 30 years when it is finished.  Meanwhile we have an inspired talk about Gaudi’s style based on a number of his works around town and agree that “a teenage gothic Willie Wonka on acid” about sums it up!!  On the way back to the hotel we find the “basic but nice” Hostal Gimon, small but very clean and great location, a couple of blocks from the other hotel.  We check in and start to pound the pavement.  We see a few other Willie Wonka inspired buildings where for the bagatelle of 16 to 26 Euros you have the pleasure of squeezing in and fighting the excited crowds.  “Gaudy” really doesn’t do it for us.  Meanwhile, we very much enjoy the wonderful architecture, the amazing vibe of Barcelona and the fantastic menu del dia.

OK, now I have to pause tell you guys about the “menu del dia”.  It is an entrée-main-dessert-bread-drink combo.  We found a restaurant called “Gloria”, near the Cathedral of Barcelona, and decide to try their “menu del dia”.  I have artichokes with prawns, veal steak with potato and salad and cream caramel, bread and 2 beers, Paul has gazpacho, veal, the same desert and 2 beers.  The food is fantastic and the serves are huge, we pay 9.50 Euros each.  Of course we go back the next day and I have melon and prosciutto, veal with salad and fruit salad and Paul has seafood paella and pork knuckle, amazing food again and huge serves we can’t finish.  Paul has 2 beers and I order red wine, of course they gave me, not a glass of wine but a full bottle of delicious red wine with my lunch, all again for 9.50 Euros each.  Am I dreaming?  We (me mostly) also do a bit of shopping and the summer sales, together with the red wine and beautiful food in the middle of the day, kind of get in the way of the sightseeing.

Anyway, we don’t have a lot of time as our visas are really running out soon, so, let’s get the sightseeing out of the way.  We walk around Las Ramblas, the beach front at Barconeleta, La Boqueria, the Gothic Town, and everything else in between, soaking up the vibe in the 5 days we have in Barcelona, so much so our feet are killing us at the end of each day.  What a great place, we thoroughly enjoy it despite the hordes of tourists, allegedly 2 million people this summer. We also keep going back to Gloria restaurant where we are almost on first name basis with the nice girls who feed us everyday.  Now it is time to say ciao to this amazing city and reluctantly leave Europe before immigration kindly asks us to leave.  Not to worry, we’ll be back on the old continent in two months...

 

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