Barcelona Holiday Part One

I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to get my Barcelona trip up but let me tell you, it was all I imagined and more! I had a great time staying up way past my bedtime (3am!!) and waking up hours later to walk around this amazing city.

So let’s get to it!

I researched my hotel, Hotel Neri and it’s a former castle that shares a courtyard with a school. The hotel is located in the Gothic quarter on a street that is mainly for pedestrians. You need to be a teeny tiny car to get up the street. My cab driver dropped me off in the main square and I walked the 2 small blocks up to the entrance of my hotel.

Ceiling fixture of the hotel
Staircase leading up to my hotel room in the lobby

My hotel had a rooftop so there were moments when I would relax in the hammock and enjoy the sweet smell of the flowers. Talk about living in the present!

Since my room wasn’t ready, I dropped off my luggage and began my exploration! Of course, I wanted to find food and I wanted to try everything. I started with a rose cava and a selection of tapas.

I had a lovely seat outside admiring my street view and of those who were traveling to their destinations.

Can you find me in this picture? Across from my perch was a store that sold jerseys and souvenirs for FC Barcelona, the famous futbol/soccer team. With my savory taste buds satisfied, I moved on to my sweet side. I stumbled upon a patiserrie (which also happened to be a favorite of one of my Barcelona friends) that had some very interesting baked goods.

This delicious concoction is made up of meringue so a crunchy exterior with a whipped soft interior. So although it looks like a cupcake, there’s no cake!

While I ate my meringue, I also enjoyed the view and my surroundings.

My friends who had traveled to Barcelona in the past told me stories about strikes and I got to experience a demonstration. My hotel is located a block away from a government building so the square is sometimes used for protests.

I met up with my friend, SY and we walked the streets to get to La Rambla, which was just a few blocks away.

Lining the streets are vendors selling souvenirs, flowers and art. They’re organized by category so all the florists are together, artists etc..so you may see the same selection but you also can easily compare.

We crossed over to the Boqueria and into the mecca of jamon!

I almost never have photos of myself on the blog so you know that I must have been super happy to have posted a photo of my personal take away of Iberico ham.

Lest we forget that this is a full service market, there are fruits and vegetables, candy, juices, nuts, dried mushrooms, eggs, seafood and many other meat products that can be purchased.

I can’t even express how much I was in heaven while I was at the Boqueria.

After taking a quick tour, we made our way towards Barceloneta along La Rambla.

Just like in the US, they dressed their statues (in this case, Christopher Columbus) with their hometown sports jersey 🙂

We walked along the marina and made our way to the beach.

It was a breezy Thursday afternoon – why not hit the beach?

Although there are very few waves, they still had a surf shop!

So with all the walking, we made our way to another part of town and had some house made vermouth along with fried potatoes and jamon w the added bonus of a fried egg. DELICIOUS!

To add to that we then headed over to try a dim sum place called Mosquito!

SY & I parted ways and I meandered back to my hotel to wash up and to wait for my friend JHu. By the time she got to the hotel, the kitchen was closed so we walked down the street to the tapas bar where I had eaten earlier in the day.

As we wandered the streets back to the hotel, I realized that the exterior doors of the castle had been closed. During the day, they are held open and you must ring the doorbell for the hotel staff to buzz you inside. At night, they close the exterior doors so the only opening is a “hobbit” door. Look at the size of that door!

I had such a fun start to my Barcelona trip and there was so much more eating and exploring to do!!

Cheers!

MXM

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