We arrived to our hotel in Barcelona late. With food always a concern of ours, we asked the guy at the reception desk if anywhere nearby would still be serving food. He laughed at us, "Adjust your clocks to Barcelona time!" We soon found that 11:00pm is a great time for dinner. We went back to our hotel a little past 1:00am to hear the streets below our room in the Gothic district alive until around 4:00 am. We were then awaken by the bustle of people in the street below again mid morning.
This post is just to give you the general vibe of Barcelona, in a word: Alive. Really, what's not to like? Beaches, amazing food, friendly people, a rich history, world famous architecture, artistic culture, and the list could go on. Buy a pass for the metro and Barcelona will be yours to explore.
The first morning, we walked along the beach to find locals clothed and not-so-clothed as well as a heavy dose of the most severely sunburned tourists we've ever seen. There are several great places along the water to just take in the Mediterranean views, have a drink, play some volley ball and if you're interested, damage your epidermis. (This is a nudity and sunburned tourist free website, no photos to share. Sorry and/or you're welcome)
After being in Central and South America for about 3 months we were excited to use our really bad but improving Spanish skills. It turns out that many signs are written in and people speak a different dialect called Catalan. Barcelona is in the heart of Catalonia, which has a very proud and rich culture. The Fossar de les Moreres is a plaza built over a cemetery of the defenders of the city during the Siege of Barcelona. The plaza now serves as a memorial and a place to gather for the National Day of Catalonia. One of our favorite areas to walk around in was the Gothic area, which is said to be one of the largest and most densely populated Gothic urban areas in the world. The streets are narrow, the towering building dark and mysterious. (A note on the hanging sneakers on the wire: I googled "shoes hanging on overhead wires" and found that this could mean something bad, really bad, good or indifferent. We just like the photo.)
Okay now back to food. It's everywhere. Cafes, bars, fine dining and tapas places. Tapas seem to be the most popular style of cuisine, which we love because you can try everything. I really enjoyed the fried silverback sardines with a little lemon, little roasted green peppers, and garlic rubbed bruschetta with roasted tomatoes.
La Rambla is the famous tree-lined walking street filled with stores, street vendors, and restaurants. Stick to people watching and catch a few of the street performers rather than eating here. We found the quality of the food and the prices to be way better other places in the city. What street performers to watch? You name it, they're here: Magicians, clowns, jugglers, creepy alien guy, statue guy, I'm in the wind guy and many more.
More to come on Barcelona!