“My ideal day in Barca would be to get up for sunrise and make my way down on bicycle, all groggy and sleepy eyed, to the beach, to watch the sunrise, and if it is summer to go for a swim. Then I would head to the Cafe De L’Opera (La Rambla, 74) and grab a coffee and some breakfast which would probably take the shape of one of their delicious cakes they have on offer. And their coffee is hot. I have never had a cold or luke warm coffee there yet. Lovely good hot coffee, a great way to set you up for the day.
Then I would take my bicycle and head off to Sant Cugat for a bike ride. A great route is ‘La Ruta de les Ermites’. It does not take long and you can be back in Barca for lunch. The cycle up Collserola is tough (for me) but there is a petrol station halfway up that you can stop at and buy chocolate treats, water and anything you need to quench your thirst or top up the energy levels. Then the route winds through the Collserola hillside past some ancient ermitages ending in Sant Cugat with the finale being the oldest pine tree in Catalunya. 250 yrs old. Lovely great big tree, worth a hug!
So back to Barca by train for lunch at … wait for it … Els Quatre Gats! (c/ Montsió, 3). A lovely old Catalan restuarant with typically Catalan waiters and good food (I like the waiters more). Gorgeously decorated this is where Picasso and Casas used to hang out. It can be very touristy but I still love the ambience.
Then for 5 o’clock drinks (there is that song It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere) I would visit Bar Calders (c/ Parlament, 25), and order a Gin & Tonic. They make them so well and with panache! They have a gorgeous terraza located on street level but it is in a passatge and not on the sidewalk .. so it has real character. I was there for Sant Joan and they played music until the early hours of the morning and I danced till I dropped.
Then to Quimet y Quimet (c/ Poeta Cabanyes, 25) for a quick tapas and maybe a vermut. A great tapas bar that has been within the same family for yonks. The size has also not changed, it is very small and ideal for a quick visit. The walls are covered with shelves of booze (as far as I can remember) and the people squeeze in after their days work.
Then to a bar like the O Bar (c/ Calàbria, 132) where they have great live music on occasion and it would be lovely to just sit there and end the day in soporific silence but there is one more stop, right on my manzana, a perfect stop for a nightcap and some more excellent tapas … Morro Fi (c/ Consell de Cent, 171) is my local. Every Wed they have a chef come in and cook hot and tasty tapas for those who want.
And then my bed! I love my bed!
I have to also tell you about one of the oldest bodegas in Barca. It is on Enric Granados. I love it. With great big barrels on the wall selling wine, and the little seating area behind always has someone drinking alcohol and eating at all times of the day. Maria the owner makes great hot bocadillos and lovely hot milky coffee. I often stop in there when I’m working.”
Susie has lived in Barcelona for many years. She loves animals. And runs Fido’s Playground, a pet care service in Barcelona.
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