Parc de la Ciutadella
A massive downpour to clean the streets of the night before – and people. Take an umbrella and walk through Ciutadella Park. Sit by the boating lake, a tiny area of water with about 20 boats that pile up fast like a Friday night traffic jam. Over to the Born and En Aparté for coffee or wine. The service is good, friendly. Predominantly French fare so it’s cheese with ham, cheese with bread, cheese with cheese. Or cheese. Apart from the carrot cake. The coffee’s good. So is the price. There’s the brunch menu at weekends.
Head up to CosmoCaixa for no other reason than to walk through the rainforest. Be attacked by a bird (it happened). Worry that the “thing” wandering around the swamp missed breakfast and that the anaconda’s developed an exit strategy. (It wasn’t asleep and they’re fast). Walk down the hill because you can, past houses that look like a set from The Addams Family. Read the rest of this article…
Pa amb tomàquet (or pan tomaca)
I’m no newbie to Spain, but I’m a fresh arrival to Barcelona. After a year enjoying free tapas in Granada and another spent crouched over a space heater in rainy Bilbao, I’m excited to see what this cosmopolitan Mediterranean city has to offer.
I’ve been here for a month, and plan on staying till the end of June, when my English teaching contract ends and the country kicks me out for being a visa-less American. But I’m beginning to realize I’ll need more than a year to really get to know this unbeatable city. I wish I knew the best place for pan tomaca; the cheapest (drinkable) glass of wine in the city; what time to arrive at my nearest Bicing station before all the bikes are taken. But there are only so many ways blogs and Lonely Planet can enlighten you; the best teacher is time. So here’s how I envision my perfect day in Barcelona come June, when I’ve gotten more familiar with my surroundings and it’s time to leave it all behind. Read the rest of this article…
Cake at Bubó
Despite being born and raised in Barcelona, it was not until I started travelling after college that my city had a wonderful combination of elements (sea and hills, old and new, good food and fun shopping, museums and sport…) that was difficult to beat.
To me, any season of the year is a perfect time to be in Barcelona, but since now we are leaving the summer behind, let me share with you how to take the most out of the fall. Read the rest of this article…
“My perfect day in Barcelona is a walking and eating day.
It starts on a sunny summer day at about 7:30 am with a run down the center of Rambla Catalunya, through La Rambla, down to the pier and over to the W Hotel. This is a great time to be out, as there are not a lot of cars and almost no pedestrians on La Rambla, and it’s a great running route if you’re staying in Rambla Catalunya.
As I head back, I stop a ½ block from my apartment at Forn de Sant Jaume (Rambla de Catalunya, 50) bakery and pick up a post workout snack – the best chocolate croissant I’ve found in Barcelona. It has to be the one with the powered sugar on top, not the chocolate covering the outside. It is perfectly buttery, yet like and flakey. If you get them early enough after they come out of the oven, the chocolate is still oozy. Yummmm.
Rachel & Quim at El Quim de la Boqueria
After a shower, I head back down La Rambla to El Quim de la Boqueria for breakfast at around 9:30-10 am. Quim makes the best potato tortilla (Spanish omelette) in town, but I’m torn as my favorite is actually the huevos con setas (eggs with wild mushrooms). He uses olive oil for everything, so it’s 2 fried eggs in olive oil, topped with a mix of mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, all topped with a balsamic reduction. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. and perhaps a plate of either razor clams or gambas con cava to round out breakfast and I’m set for at least 2 more hours. ;) Read the rest of this article…