Barcelona Part #1

We are just finishing our third day in Barcelona and I have to say it might be another one of my favorite European cities, next to Portugal. Scott has been here before so he knows what to expect, but Europe has been a completely new experience for me. Barcelona reminds me a lot of Hawaii with the beaches and touristy parts, and a little bit of Asia with open markets and good food everywhere.

After getting in late Monday night (basically Tuesday morning) we were on the search for some food. Most everything in Barcelona starts late, so we had no problem finding an open McDonalds (a guilty pleasure of mine) and a pizza shop. That was enough adventure for us for the morning so we went to bed for a few hours and then were back at it the next morning. We are trying to take on the Spanish way of life by waking up later and staying up later, but we can only sleep in for so long. Scott especially is not a good sleeper inner…

We decided to tick off a few things we wanted to see on our way to the beach. Went to the bookstore as we had both finished our previous books. This was probably our best city to get books in English so we got a few. I forgot how expensive books can be so I think it might be time to invest in a Kindle when we get back home, before Asia.

Then there was a cronut place (a cronut is a mix of a donut and a croissant) that I had to check out, it was a bit underwhelming, but oh well, worth the experience. We found an awesome Asian supermarket that had my favorite instant noodle and roti, which is actually a rare find. I was a little more excited than the average person about this. The fact that I even write about supermarkets on this blog just goes to show how much my life revolves around food. Anyway, back to the important stuff. We found THE most amazing supermarket. It had a bakery, smoothie bar, a wok grill, sushi bar, delicatessen, fresh meat counter, this place even had real refrigerated milk (something we have not found in Spain, at all). So we loaded up on groceries for the week, trying to save some money by cooking for ourselves.

After that we continued on our way towards the beach. Barcelona is filled with all these small alleyways and streets filled with shops for food, baked goods, groceries, clothing, jewelry, pretty much anything. Some are tucked away a few turns from the main road and those seem to be the real gems. I found my favorite gelato place that way. Just taking all the most random turns with no real direction. Scott doesn’t like this mode of navigation as he gets agitated with no destination point. But he follows along nicely after I tell him to chill out several times. Plus he ends up eating some of my gelato always, so he can’t complain too much.

Finally, after going through the maze of the city we got to the beach. We passed million dollar yachts on the way and Scott gave me a reality check of how that will never be something I can afford when I suggested possibly living on one. I didn’t realize HOW lavish and expensive those could be. They were really neat to look at though!

Anyways, the beach was so nice and welcomed after not having a proper beach for the last few weeks. For a place that is so crowded with tourist the beach is surprisingly clean and the water isn’t too bad either. Now that we aren’t on the other side of Spain, the water is much warmer here. We can actually swim! Plus the weather is warm enough for us to want to swim. It’s been mid 80’s and pretty humid everyday here (thank goodness for air conditioning in our Air bnb). We’ve spent a good 3-4 hours at the beach just sunbathing and reading everyday since we’ve been here.

From the beach we headed to the famous ‘Mercado de la Boqueria’ off of La Rambla (touristy street). Outdoor markets are always our favorite so we had to check this one out. My favorite thing about the market is going down every aisle, to be sure I don’t miss anything. I think Scott finds this quite tedious, but he also told me he loves how into it I am. The stalls are filled with fresh fruits, eggs, butchers,¬†carnicerias, seafood, restaurants with random fried things, pastries, paellas, and smoothies. We’ve only got smoothies from there thus far, but I think tomorrow we’ll get some meat and cheese from one of the carnicerias.

We headed home from the market, picked up some noodles on the way, and were basically exhausted from a day out and went to be relatively early. We hoped to sleep in a little bit the next day.

The last two days have pretty much been one of the same. We wake up, decided what we are going to do on our way to the beach and then come home after the beach, take a nap, go get a sweet treat, and then make dinner and go to bed.

Yesterday Scott wanted to take me to La Sagrada Familia, a giant church that is still in construction. He says that it is the most beautiful church he has ever been to, so I went along with it. We got there to find that you have to purchase tickets in advance, and they almost always sell out 4-5 days in advance. So that was a bust, but luckily Scott was able to get tickets for tomorrow! Then we headed to the beach. Scott decided to workout at the little gym on the beach, much like muscle beach in Santa Monica. I read and jumped in the water, still waiting for my will to workout to return.

After our beach time we headed to a Japanese place we passed the day before that had amazing reviews. We were pleasantly surprised that the tonokatsu ramen (our tradition favorite) was extremely authentic, with pork bone broth that had been cooked for 18 hours prior, just like in Japan. It was buttery, fatty, smooth broth, with thin noodles, meaty chashu (slices of pork). You can tell good ramen from the broth and this was REALLY good ramen. I am already drooling just writing about it.

Later that night after a ramen-induced siesta, Scott went to get a cheap massage and I went to find a snack, preferably chocolate. After his massage I was still searching for my snack so Scott met up with me and we continued the search for a good gelato. On the way, we found a very busy empanada shop, and had the most delicious thai curry empanada. Sounds weird, but was delicious! Then after stopping into maybe 12 gelato shops I found one that seemed good. I got a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of raspberry cheesecake gelato and it was to die for. Good things really do come to those who wait.

We cooked dinner, I watched some terrible reality TV show I’ve been into lately, and Scott read a book on Elon Musk. We went to bed, and did much of the same thing today as we did yesterday. Beach, market, siesta, walk around for gelato, dinner, and now bed again!

Tomorrow we are off to that fancy church, probably catch some more sunshine and eat some good food. Barcelona is treating us well, we really are having a spectacular time. So good Scott (almost) forgot about his favorite holiday, 4th of July… but not quite!

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