After 20 hours of travel time, and a very FULL first day in Barcelona, we knocked out for the night. Minus Jackie. She went out and partied the night away until 4 am, crazy girl. We were exhausted and all got a late jump on the morning–Tiff and I woke up at 11 am. To start the day, Jackie made plans for her mother (and us) to meet her host parents, Enrique and Consuelo, who she stayed with while she was studying abroad. We got ready and headed over to their place.
The forecast was rainy (it did not rain) so I didn’t take out my DSLR, and I dressed for cold weather. All photos seen will be from my iphone 5. Sorry. My outfit for today:
Enrique and Consuelo were the sweetest, most welcoming people. They just met us and they treated us like family. They took us on a mini tour of the city (mostly the gothic district) where we saw some of the coolest architecture in Barcelona.
Top: 1, 2. Random little alley ways on the way to the Cathedral 3. L’opera house
Bottom: 1,3. Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia) 2. Carrer del Bibsbe
After we explored the area, Enrique took us to this little hole in the wall tapas restaurant called La Plata. He told us it was a family run place that he’s been going to all his life. I think it’s been open for 70 years.
Those little fried fish (pescaditos) were my favorite tapas dish in Barcelona, bar none. And it has to be from La Plata. It was fresh, light, crispy, my mouth is watering just thinking about it…
It was a crowded little tapas place so we tried not to stick around too long. At this point, I was dying without a coffee fix, so we all went to get some coffee!! So we headed further into Las Ramblas which is a very touristy area, but apparently there’s only one GREAT coffee shop in that area: Cafe de L’Opera.
Despite the spray painted/graffiti exterior, the interior of the shop was quite lovely! Once again, super cheap really fantastic coffee. After coffee we said our goodbyes to Enrique and Consuelo, but picked up two more friends of Jackie’s along the way, Pam and Alec. We headed over to La Boqueria which is this awesome marketplace full of produce, seafood, chocolates, etc. It. Is. Awesome.
The best part of the market place was the zumos (juice)! It was 2 for 2 euros. Their coconut strawberry juice was AMAZING. We walked around the corner and found Chok! Kronuts and sweets GALORE. (can you tell this was basically one giant food adventure?) Count the memories not the calories, right?
Once we decided we ate enough, we headed over to Casa Batllo, another one of Gaudi’s great creations in Spain.
This, much like The Sagrada Familia had an amazing amount of detail and thought put into every corner of the place. I took way too many pictures so it was hard to choose just a handful, but here they are!
There is not a single straight line in this house. It is colored with beautiful mosaic tiles everywhere, every room has gorgeous natural lighting with unique windows, the house is very “under the sea” inspiried, I could go on and on about this place. If you’re ever in Spain, the audio guided tour comes with the ticket purchase. It is fascinating to hear the thought process and history behind this place. It truly is the work of a crazy genius.
After Casa Batllo, next stop, you guessed it, more food. We went to Maccaroni, a place run by the nicest Italian-Spanish guys. It’s like a chipotle for pasta, but better. We got 2 big bowls of pasta to share with the 7 of us and more fantastically cheap beer and wine. They even threw in Tiff’s and my coffee for free.
And blew kisses for us as we left. Aren’t they adorable??
We headed back to the apartment after this to rest up. We chilled and when it was dinner time headed back out for La Cerveseria, this time meeting up with Jackie’s high school best friend Kelly and her boyfriend Alec.
We had a creepy encounter with a pick pocket who nearly stole Kelly’s iphone right off the table. Luckily some locals at the next table warned us and yelled at the guy to leave. Keep your stuff close by you in Spain, people… But other than that, we had a bunch of awesome tapas and our server was excellent. He spoke English really well with this cool hybrid spanish-british accent. And the beer that Tiff and I ordered was HUGEEEEE. Great way to end day two.
Day 3 tomorrow? Stick around!