Barcelona is like the sexy, more rebellious cousin of Paris. She’s the cousin who was sent to boarding school and came home different—tats, piercings and obvious bravado. But it was her laid back vibe that I found so alluring!
We spent very little time in beautiful Barcelona. But we’ve tasted enough to know that we’re definitely going to find ourselves drinking Sangrias at 4 in the afternoon here again at some point. Haha!
We met up with one of BJ’s best men, Raffy, who was taking his masters in Barcelona. So we decided to rent a van and avail of the free tour guide to make the most of our half-day stay.
And first order of business: Ogle at the magnificence of the The Sagrada Familia.
I’ve seen several world famous landmarks during my travels but, dare I say it, none as imposing and arresting as the Sagrada Familia. It left me speechless for a good ten minutes. I remember the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower. I was more, “kilig” or starstruck. But THIS was different. 133 years in the making, man. Incredible. It might be a good idea to schedule the next visit in 2025 when the entire structure is completed!
Next stop was lunch at this garage-turned-super-cool-hyper-hipster joint in Passeig de Gracia called El Nacional.
We went at an odd hour but I can imagine how easily the place can fill up with yuppies and the city's most stylish. And it may be one of the most creatively designed restaurants I have ever seen! This huge establishment has 4 different areas, ready to offer whatever you feel like having—cocktails, beer, tapas, etc.
The food was amazing. Of course, we had our local guide order for us (in Spanish, mind you. Haha!), for a more authentic experience. If you ever find yourself here, make sure to get the bacalao, croquettas, and the Crema Catalana for dessert.
We then went on to see more of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s work. Not having much time, we decided to do Casa Batllo over Park Guell. But if you have the time, do both!
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the famous La Rambla. While there were other things we could have done with the little time we had left, I'm glad we decided just to sit down, eat, drink and people watch. :)
Leaving Barcelona felt like saying goodbye to an acquaintance whose company you really enjoyed and wish you had a deeper friendship with. I hope to find myself here again someday!