Barcelona, Més que una Ciutat!

Brace yourself, our trip to Barcelona consisted of eating a LOT. You will most likely need a snack while you browse through this post. 

Balcony view from our Airbnb

Balcony view from our Airbnb

There is nothing more exciting than to stay in the heart of it all. We chose to stay at a charming Airbnb right in the Gothic Quarter, near the Museu de Picasso. Our host was the sweetest. Mónica, originally from Uruguay, moved to Barcelona approximately 9 years ago and never looked back. She gave us a list of cool spots to check out and interesting things to do around the neighborhood. We had a nice chat about the political environment in Catalunya and how much the people in Barcelona are eager to become an independent country as well as to welcome Syrian refugees. It was pretty interesting hearing all the different points of view, including the taxi drivers and other tourists.

This tiny flat was so perfect for us because it was right in the middle of bars, restaurants, museums, transportation and La Barceloneta beach 20 minutes away by foot. Since most people woke up after 9AM, we generally woke up by 6AM to beat the crowds and have the sand and sea aaaall to ourselves for a few hours.

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 2.34.23 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 2.49.22 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 2.51.11 PM.png

The environment is super chill, everywhere you go. People in Barcelona are super friendly and to our surprise, incredibly diverse. We met Colombians, Venezuelans, Canadians, Kenyans, and even one fellow Peruvian man working at one of the clothing boutiques.

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 5.23.04 PM.png

One of the main things I wanted to do as soon as I got to Barcelona, was visit a market. Is that weird? Anyway, lucky for me, one was just a few minutes over: La Boquería. The most colorful and delicious place in La Rambla. Growing up in Perú, I've had access to a shit ton of street markets, but this one was a dream. The scents, the sweets, the tapas, a rainbow of wants... to die for!

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 5.50.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 5.52.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 5.56.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 1.24.37 AM.png

While we ate like savages, we also walked pretty much everywhere within a 40min radius. Which is sort of makes up for being pigs, right?

2016-07-18 16.41.01-2.jpg
2016-07-20 21.29.30.jpg
2016-07-16 14.59.20.jpg
2016-07-18 20.29.39-1.jpg
2016-07-18 20.23.20.jpg

Every night on our walk back to the flat, we would see a group of guys handing out some flyers for a Flamenco show, literally two blocks away from where we stayed. The door didn't really give an indication that it was a theater, until he let us "check it out". The next night we decided to attend the 9PM show and it did not disappoint. In one word the dance was FIRE (I choose this word not as an urban dictionary fan but as a language lover. I read that the word "Flamenco" could've derived from the world "Flama" which means Fire in Spanish. The way las Lolas stomped their feet was INCREDIBLE. The melody, facial expression and arm movements had a combination of rage, passion, sadness and euphoria. I got goosebumps at one point when the guitar player had his solo moment. I always found it corny when people closed their eyes to listen to songs in public spaces, but DAMN did I close my eyes. 

Palau Dalmases / Espai Barroc

Palau Dalmases / Espai Barroc

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 2.48.06 PM.png

Since we got there early, we grabbed the front seats. We could literally see the sweat pouring down their foreheads and the dust lifting off the floor. It was magical. 

A cute souvenir I found on our walk back. A Pop-up Flamenco book: De Que Estan Hechas Las Niñas Flamencas, by Montse Ganges & Susana Subirana

A cute souvenir I found on our walk back. A Pop-up Flamenco book: De Que Estan Hechas Las Niñas Flamencas, by Montse Ganges & Susana Subirana

A few friends had tons of recos as to where to eat. I also did my research of the best local spots for seafood. Well let me tell you dear reader, hands down you MUST go to La Paradeta. The place was RIDIC fresh. I LOVED the entire experience. From ordering your food by pound to asking whether you wanted it grilled or fried, etc. SO MUCH FOOD. SO MUCH. (Beware, its a long ass wait to get in. The place opens at 8PM and people start lining up an hour before outside... so worth it.)

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.46.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.42.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.46.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.43.47 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.41.41 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 3.55.46 PM.png
Some of places we went to by foot.

Some of places we went to by foot.

To say we were in Barcelona and not have visited Camp Nou, would've been a sin... so off we went. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.20.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.20.48 PM.png

We didn't miss Park Güell.  I had to make room for our Antoni Gaudi and his masterpieces. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 6.14.25 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 6.10.58 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.26.40 PM.png

Estació de França, was 10 minutes away from the flat, so we hoped on a 6AM train to Sitges to spend the day at another beach. This town was the cutest thing ever. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.29.20 PM.png
2016-07-19 14.03.40.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.37.40 PM.png
2016-07-19 14.39.44-1.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 6.34.39 PM.png

To say that we had a "great time" would be a lie, we had the time of our lives. I took over 1000 photos from all the places we went, so this post was about 10% of the sights we got to see. The twelve days we spent at Barcelona flew by, but we definitely took advantage of every second. Have you been? What were some of your favorite spots?