“Me and Barcelona have a passionate relationship. It was love at first sight. Barcelona seduced me on its birthday, on the Mercè in September when everyone was invited to celebrate. We met on a dark street in Raval, where I was wined with sangría and dined with the cheapest and most heavenly tapas I had ever eaten. We looked at pictures of bullfighters on the wall and I was star struck. We went down to the port, bought a bottle of cava, laid down to watch the fireworks. “I never want to leave your side” I said quietly, so I didn’t. 5 years later we are still in love, a love equally as passionate as the first day we met.
Barcelona is a master of all that is seduction. We meet in embraces on hot summer nights in dark narrow gothic streets, we steal kisses under the moonlight on the stairs of Santa Maria del Mar, and we get drunk on cheap wine in a restaurant in the Raval that has been there for a hundred years or more. We dance until the first rays of sun in the morning at the Port Olimpic, and end it all with a swim in the ocean when the city is just waking up. It’s the best date you’ve ever had, but it never ends.
Together we can share our love for music. Barcelona gives it all, with days and nights at Primavera Sound and Sónar, dancing for hours, hours more than we ever thought we were capable of. In its little bars on dark side streets we find jazz and soul in places like Marula Café (c/ Escudellers, 49) or Minusa Bar (c/ Valencia, 166) or Café Royale (c/ Nou de Zurbano, 3), we listen to live concerts in Sala Apolo (c/ Nou de la Rambla, 113) under the crystal chandeliers and swoon over the likes of José González in the unforgettably beautiful Palau de la Música.
We have dinner where we can enjoy the food almost as much as we enjoy each other. We have a feast of fish and seafood at La Paradeta (various locations) and laughingly walk out of the restaurant after eating until we feel we could pass out. We go to Can Margarit (c/ Concòrdia, 21) where the menu probably has looked the same since 1950 but why change a working concept? We sit in Can Xurrades (c/ Gran de Gràcia, 57) through four courses for an equal amount of hours but why would we care, we only have eyes for each other and all the good local food we are presented with.
We have mojitos on Saturday nights in intimate little bars like Lletraferit (c/ Joaquin Costa, 43) or Tres Flores (c/ Correu Vell, 10) or Barroque where we can talk quietly about secret things. We ring the doorbell at Pipa Club (Plaça Reial, 3), walk up a few flights of stairs and have gin tonics where it feels like the city is far away and we are just visiting a kind old gentleman in his apartment.
We dance the night away in tiny little Sidecar (Plaça Reial, 7), buy a samosa for a euro in the morning and we forget how tired our legs are. We walk back home together in the middle of the warm summer night, talking about things we won’t remember the next day, through the narrowest streets we find where we think we can escape the heat and just be you and me.
In the morning we wake up together, the sun shines as it always does, and we know that the only thing that can cure the little hangover we have is a brunch at the windowsill of Federal Café (c/ Parlament de Catalunya, 39) and laugh over the things we did and said. Another day has begun, and I have you by my side. Barcelona I love you.”
Maria grew up in Finland and became enchanted with Barcelona on her first visit five years ago. Her visit turned into a stay and she hasn’t looked back since. She works in Regulatory Affairs, adores her cat Otis and during her free time she writes about her Barcelona adventures on her blog, www.mariakatarinabarcelona.com.
If you’d like to write your perfect day in Barcelona then please get in touch via the email address at the bottom of the website. I’d love to hear from you. The more we have the better.