Barcelona wraps up our Spain travels. We’re off to France now but not without first leaving you a written and video recap of our time in this very large and lively city of 1.6 million people.
One thing that really stands out to both Nancy and me is how easily we navigated this huge city. The public transportation system is really easy to navigate – kudos to Nancy, as she was the one who spearheaded our getting around, I was the Sherpa toting our daypack each day.
We certainly ate and drank our way through Barcelona (all of Spain actually!) and we truly enjoyed just about all of our tasting experiments and adventures. If you’re coming to Spain expect to see very little green vegetables served to you in restaurants and do expect to be served French fries with every meal, Idaho ain’t got nothin’ on this country – huge potato lovers! That’s not to say vegetable aren’t accessible, as they are, you just have to buy them at the Mercado and bring them home and cook them. That’s exactly what we did — we made a fair amount of our meals in our different apartments, partly to save money but also to get some greens in us! The selection at the markets was just fine and if you went to one of the major markets it’s almost too hard to make a decision of what to buy. We really enjoyed the eggs as they were so tasty and fresh – not like the agri-farm stuff we have in the states. These eggs were rich and flavorful and the yolks weren’t pale yellow, they were dark orange in color, we made fresh scrambled eggs every morning, usually with fresh chives and delicious cherry tomatoes. The wine…oh the wonderful wine! As we shared earlier, tasty and inexpensive – I certainly got my fill of Rioja, Tempranillo and Verdeho, nothing to complain about in the grape department.
The architecture in Barcelona was fantastic, so unique and expressive. Everywhere we walked we felt surrounded by structures that had such awesome character, whether it was ancient or modern, breathtakingly beautiful can only start to sum up this city’s visual appeal. Speaking of beauty, we have to say, the Spanish are beautiful people themselves, must be all that wonderful sun, wine and olive oil!
Our apartment was in a lovely, quiet, family oriented neighborhood that was only one street off from a main drag. Every morning we heard school children on their way to class starting at 9am — such soothing and enjoyable sounds the elementary students made on their way to school that drifted into our window that was usually open. Surprisingly, in each city we were in we could hear the garbage collectors or street hose down crew working from anytime between 11pm and 3 am – we got used to it. In Barcelona, as in the other cities we stayed, anything we could want or need was a short walk down the street or around the corner, this I truly fell in love with.
We were told by friends of Nancy and our apartment landlords to be aware of our surroundings as “pick pocketers” are a real and unfortunate reality of this beautiful city as well as when in Madrid. We, fortunately, did not experience this at all. I’m sure due to our always being alert and our daypack has a lock on it and we keep no valuables in our pockets. We witnessed no crime or violence of any kind, only the most often respectful and non pushy pan handler. Nancy’s strategy for staying safe “look harder to rob than the person next to you!”
Spain gets a huge thumbs up from both of us and we certainly would and probably will come back to this beautiful country that is full of life, flavor, sun and kindness!