Thursday, 17 April 2008

El camarero, más sangría por favor

J, C2, my mum and I returned on Tuesday from four glorious days in sunny Barcelona, Spain. The sun and warmth was particularly welcome after a miserably cold and wet Spring in Geneva.

We packed a lot into those 4 days. Our perfect little hotel was on the carrer de Pelai, just off of the Plaça de Catalunya, the central square of downtown Barcelona, and one block from Barcelona’s famed Las Ramblas street. On our first day, we walked Las Ramblas to the harbour and back again, stopping only for lunch in a tiny charming square on a winding side street, and again for gelato. We had delicious tapas and an outstanding bottle of rioja for dinner at restaurant Sinatra (courtesy of the Millers’ October visit).
We spent most of our second day touring the celebrated Sagrada Familia cathedral; Antoni Gaudi’s enormous roman catholic church, which began construction in 1882, continues to this day and is only scheduled for completion in 2026. It is fantastical, mystical and visually irresistible. We waited in line patiently for 45 minutes to ascend one of its’ magical spires topped unexpectedly with passionfruit, figs, and grapes. Mum took the lift back down but C2, J and I descended the 300ish steps. The first 150 were fine, the last 150 rather terrifying as one misstep would send one tumbling hundreds of feet into a void. I held one hand on the banister, kept my eyes on the wall and muttered to myself as C2 tended to J.

Dinner that night was Paella and an utterly delicious jug of Sangria at restaurant Cullera de Boix. J loved our long late dinners. I don’t get it, he barely lasts 10 minutes at a normal dinner table!

C2 and J headed to the Barcelona Aquarium and Barceloneta beach for our third day, giving mum and I ample time to participate in Barcelona’s famed shoe shopping experience. Halfway down Las Ramblas, we stopped in at Café de l’Opera, a Barcelona institution and well-frequented haunt for a much-needed mid-day shot in the arm of Sangria. Dinner on our final night was again for authentic tapas, double pitchers of sangria and the best flan I’ve ever tasted at restaurant Los Torereros.

We spent our final day at the Barcelona zoo where J watched his first dolphin show. We headed to the airport in the late afternoon and strolled into our front door a couple of hours later– amazing! Coming from a country as immense as Canada, it never fails to astound me how much of Europe I can travel in so short a time.


Jen said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful little getaway!!!

As I write this, it is a complete whiteout in downtown Calgary....Last weekend it was +20.....

Wish Spain was on MY doorstep.... :)

Sher said...

I'm terrified just looking at the pictures of the steps.

Mighty Mom said...

Want a hamster? No? I guess the sangria's worn off.