It was some coincidence that as I was sipping some home-made sangria last week and TV-surfing, there was a 30-minutes series on ‘Ports of the world’ on Arte (my go-to-channel for travel & culture combined with listening to some french!) and that evening’s feature was Barcelona!
That evoked some strong memories of my 3 days in Barcelona a couple of years back. While everyone who visited the city had raved about it earlier, on Night 1 we found our way to the hostel through narrow alleys with hoards of Asian (Indo-Pako-Bangladesh, yeah yeah we are everywhere) owned stores and tons of women in skimpy flashy outfits trying to get our attention (not so much mine but that of my male buddy!). And this was right off the famed ‘La Rambla‘!
But I suppose Barcelona is one of those cities that grows on you with each passing day. On Day 3 as we left for the gorgeous city of Valencia, I was already wishing that I had more time to explore and discover the Spanish capital. A vibrant city that appeared to be grappling between the much-wanted siestas & late night fiestas and a plummeting economy that was resulting in unemployment.
Here are some images that partly represent the city:
Vegetarian food was a shocker! Yes, I was aware that Spanish cuisine primarily dealt with meat but I was hoping that I would have at least one veggie option in Spanish eateries with the warmer climate and all. That was totally not the case and while I won’t complain, I had to live off patatas, eggs and of course sangria.
Note: Visit the chaotic and somewhat-inexpensive street mercado near La Rambla if you ever visit Barcelona to see and savour the wonderful selection of vegetables, fruits, chocolates and creepy-crawlies fresh off the coast.
3. Art & Entertainment
One thing that city is not short of is colour. Quite a contrast from northern Europe and its grey-beige-blue atmosphere. There are performers around every nook and corner in touristy areas and some of their petit-spectacles are amazing.
Spend an hour or so listening to some of them play spanish music off the guitar. Amor! Amor! Amor!