Saturday, April 23, 2016

Barcelona, Spain

I went with two friends from High School to three different cities, Barcelona,  Sevilla, and Madrid. We divided up the responsibility for one person to book a tour and a place to stay for each city. This was nice because we got to try different things that we might not normally go for. There was only one problem with my week break to party and have fun. I was assigned a take home midterm assignment as well as a review exam. I barely had any free time to study so I told myself I would do it on the 7 hour flight to cross the Atlantic or maybe the 5 hour flight to cross the U.S. back to Los Angeles, but no I kept falling asleep every time I would begin to start the assignment. So I got it all finished when I got home, but I don’t regret anything because I had the best time of my life in Spain.

I knew that Spain was going to be different than the United States, but I didn’t know that it was going to be so delicious. The cuisine in each of the cities that we visited were unique. Barcelona was more a touristy college town and their menu was mostly sandwiches with thinly sliced Jamon de Iberico. There was a café below our flat that was owned by a Japanese guy. We got breakfast there each morning of a sandwich and café con leche for under 3 euros.

Dulce de Leche pancakes + Bellini

 Park Guell

Over lunch we had asked our hip server if he could recommend a good club to go to and his answer was easy, Razzmatazz. Sounded sweet just like the candy, but approaching this urban oasis we noticed that it was in a huge warehouse. Going in felt like we were walking into see a concert by one of the most popular artists of Spain. The line wrapped around the corner and this group was young, eclectic, and weird. It was a lot of fun.

We walked around the ancient thin streets of the Gothic Quarter, marveled at the outside of the Cathedral De Familia, wondered around the unique architecture of park Guell and walked to the top where there was a beautiful view of the city and the Mediterranean Ocean. Since we were on a completely different time schedule than we were used to we tired out by 4pm and woke up by 9pm just in time to grab dinner of fried foods like calamari, salchicha sausages over toast, croquettes, and crème brulee before hitting the clubs and after the clubs we ate churros, french-fries with mayonnaise, ketchup and hotsauce on them.

In this moment there was a musician playing a beautiful spanish song on a violin meanwhile I was easily amused at the square sugar.

This place in the Gothic Quarter had tapas for 2 euros each while you stood at the bar and had wine. Each little tapa was different some had raw salmon on it and some had lobster and crab. Why don't we do this in the U.S.? 
This here is a Spanish Omelette. I'm determined to make this at home. That is a garlic sauce on top. 

Cal Pep is one of those restaurants that you have to try. If you prefer sitting at the bar this is how it goes... there is about 30 seats and it gets so crowded that there are about 30 people waiting behind each person because it's a long skinny restaurant. When a party gets up then you are invited to sit down. At this kind of a place you don't order there is a fixed menu I guess. They ask you what you like and then they just keep giving you dishes to eat. My kinda place! My favorite was the duck foie gras sausage. 

We went on a wine tasting and tapas tour in Barcelona where we visited an old estate that specialized in making cava (champagne) and olive oil. We ate thinly sliced dried meats on toast at this beautiful historic home. Our host told us stories of how the house had been apart of the owners family for generations and even played a part in some civil war, for soldiers to re-up on amo and guns. One of the most beautiful moments of this tour was when we were taken to this cold chamber where all of the cava was being made. It was outside in this building made of stone. The room was pitch black so he lit a couple of candles so we could see. We tried a bottle of cava that our host popped for us and Then we headed to the next winery that was at a castle. There, we learned to analyze the wine and how it was made as well as pair it with different types cheese.

I used to think I would never really get to see the world, but now I realize that it’s actually not that hard to do and it's worth it. I used to be scared to go to a place where I didn't know the language or currency, but people are more than willing to help you out in anyway that they can. It’s so important to travel. It's important to open up your eyes to the great big world around you. There is so much to explore and see. It will change your life forever! We were only gone for ten days and I have so many good memories and things to be grateful for.  



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