Trip Recap #2: Barcelona

Hola Amigos! It’s now time for the second half of my trip recap: Barcelona.

Similar to my last post, I’ll give you some food photos, some fun pics, and then a few thoughts and observations from my 3 days in Barcelona. This time though, at the request of some of my awesome readers, I’m giving you a few more food pics.. And while I guess this isn’t a traditional What I Ate Wednesday post, it’ll do for now. With my own little spin, I present to you What I Ate Wednesday… on my trip! Ready?

Just like in Paris, there was certainly an overabundance of cappuccino involved in Barcelona, and each place was even better than the last:

This was at a little cafe near our hotel (Hotel Guillermo Tell), that we returned to several times. Perfection! 

And then, of course, how can you go to Barcelona and not have Churros…

Health food they are not, but when served with a mug of warm, gourmet chocolate for dipping, how can you resist?

And then there was my adventurous Tapas meal…

Traditional Catalano sausage (and blood sausage). Not my cup of tea, but hey, at least I tried it! 

Grilled squid… Actually quite good, once you get past the texture. 

Potato Meat Balls… Delish! 

A delicious goat cheese and tomato salad. 

One of my favorite things that we had several times was the Tomato Bread:

Simple, but mouth-wateringly delicious. Served here alongside a spinach and goat cheese salad (can you tell I kind of have a thing for goat cheese?) 

A little “Meat Pie” I got from a sidewalk cafe:

This was beef covered with olives, onions, a layer of potato, and then a very thin layer of cheese on top. Kind of like a Shepherds Pie, but with a little twist! 
On our last night there, we waited a little bit too long to start looking for dinner, so in my beginning stages of extreme-hunger-rage (EHR…It’s real), I decided on a meal that I was more familiar with:

But it didn’t disappoint! Wonderfullly cooked salmon with a side of steamed veggies…I was craving veggies so much at that point I’m pretty sure I inhaled them 🙂  This was also served with a side of Tomato Bread…I couldn’t resist! 

And of course, let’s not forget to mention the main course of the trip: Sangria!

We sat in this courtyard drinking this little pitcher of sangria for about 2 hours on our first night there, while listening to music and people-watching. I couldn’t have asked for anything better!  We actually loved it so much we went back for more on our last night. Perfect end to the trip. 

Now that I’ve made some of you drool a little bit (come on, even if those grilled squid didn’t  strike your fancy, I know you can’t resist All of this goodness), let’s chat a little bit about what I learned in Barcelona.  First of all, I’m not even positive that I can actually put what I learned there into words, but I’ll give it a good shot for you fine folks 🙂

  • Smile: Honestly, people in Barcelona seemed so happy as a whole. We saw mini parades, music troupes, street musicians, and everyone seemed like they were celebrating something. From tourists, to locals, to foreign shop keepers, it was tough to find someone having a bad day! That’s a little bit more than I can say for the stereotypical New Englander who is too busy rushing everywhere to stop and give out a few smiles. So slow down there, and show someone your pearly whites why don’t ya!
  • We Don’t Need To Eat So Much: Ok, I didn’t actually learn this there, but the observation deserves a little attention here. Every time we went out to eat, no matter the type of restaurant, we were both given the perfect amount of food to satisfy us. No heaping portions, no giant plates, no meals big enough to feed a whole family. It also bears mentioning that it was extremely difficult to find overweight and obese locals… Maybe it’s because people over there haven’t grown accustomed to the giant serving sizes we see in America, therefore they actually stop eating when they are satisfied?
  • Churros look really funny but they taste like a dream. ’nuff said.
  • Brighten Up! If there is one thing Barcelona isn’t, that is drab. The city is full of color everywhere – on clothing, art, buildings — Everywhere! Sure, Gaudi had a lot to do with that, as his colorful (and beautiful) buildings and mosaics are sprinkled throughout the city, but there’s also more to it. Beyond the bright colors everywhere, the people of Barcelona exude a certain sense of happiness, brightness, pride and celebration that I haven’t seen before. It’s not difficult to walk around that city and find something of exquisite beauty, but beyond that it’s also very common to find people singing, dancing, and enjoying life. How awesome is that?
  • To be so awesome, you must never sleep: Seriously. I don’t know when people in Barcelona sleep. They don’t go to dinner until 11 pm, even on weeknights, and then they stay out until the wee hours of the morning on a regular basis. Even the night we walked back home at 3:30 am the streets were still packed with people. When do they sleep? And is not sleeping really the key to all that happiness?
  • Enjoy the moment: As I mentioned in my last post, I noticed that people over there seem to take a little bit more time to enjoy the smaller moments throughout the day. I tried to do this as much as possible while I was there — just sitting and letting everything soak in instead of worrying about what I was going to do next. This is something that we can all try to do more of in our daily lives I think. If you’re always looking towards the next thing, you may miss what’s right in front of you. Just soak it up!

Enjoying the view and the beauty of Guell Parc from this beautiful Mosaic Bench that Gaudi built 

Another Gaudi structure, this one right downtown. The colors and shapes are breathtaking in person! 

Enjoying some of that delicious Sangria! 

To wrap this up, traveling can be life changing if you let it. Even if it’s just a quick trip like the one I just took, immersing yourself in new cultures, eating new foods, speaking or listening to new languages, and trusting yourself to find your way around a new and unfamiliar place can all change you, even if just a little bit. I know I’ll savor this trip forever, and I’ll think of these memories and images often. And I know, without a doubt, I’ll be back.

Where is your favorite place you’ve travelled?

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5 thoughts on “Trip Recap #2: Barcelona

  1. Wow that Gaudi structure is beautiful! And man that grilled squid and that salmon look fabulous 🙂 Barcelona sounds like such a wonderful city, I would love to visit there one day!

  2. I can’t choose just one favourite place, but my top 5 would be London, Barcelona, Macchu Pichu, Camboriu (Brazil), and Madrid… I think. Too many options!! Lovely to hear you enjoyed your time in Barcelona, and the food pics are super tasty looking!

  3. This is why I love Europe!! It’s so beautiful!! The food looks amazing! My boss at my old job back in Australia lives in Barcelona and she used to have to get up at 4.30-5am Spanish time to catch the end of our Australian day. She was not the kind of person who was out partying until the wee hours of the morning! Haha

    One thing I’ve noticed about London is that nobody smiles 😦 I’m so used to smiling at everyone, but here if you smile at people they give you this look like “what do you want?!” It’s quite depressing really!

  4. babe this is so amazing 🙂 I just cannot tell you enough how much I am proud of you darling! I love you more than you know and am also more proud of you than you will ever know!

    I love grilled squid! so happy you got to try it!!

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