When you only have a few days in Barcelona, you want to take advantage of everything you can and not fall asleep while you’re doing it! We came to visit Anna this month but with both of our daughters’ school schedules we only had four days. Throw in a little jet lag and you can sleep your days away if you’re not careful. Here’s how we did it.
We arrived in late afternoon, tired but refreshed after checking into the hotel and taking a quick shower. We were all excited to see Anna since this is the first time to see her since she left to study abroad nearly two months ago.
The trick on this first night, with an eight hour time difference between our home in Denver and Barcelona, is not to go to sleep too early. Fight the exhaustion and go out! We went to a restaurant called Tickets, a very eclectic and gourmet tapas bar that served entirely surprising and adventurous treats. Our waiter offered us the “surprise” experience where he would bring plates of his favorites and we would get to try several of the chef’s special plates. This included ahi salad with sea urchin and spices, frozen vodka and sake cubes with crackers made from various seeds, and some type of lavender infused merengue that immediately melted on the tongue and revealed something creamy and delicious inside. Everything we ate was different and adventurous and I can hardly describe the food properly so here are a few pictures that will have to do…
Anna had class today so we all got up around 10:00 and while she went to class, we started our day with cappuccinos and shopping. We ventured up and down Paseo de Gracia, a popular tourist attraction with everything from luxury shopping to local stores, and busied ourselves with people watching and the awe-inspiring Gaudi inspired architecture. Wandering the city we stopped in cafes and shopped in little shops – everything is tiny here and personal space is not the same as we are used to at home. We loved the cultural experience and laughed at our attempts at speaking Catalan, the official language here. We are all tired at the end of the day but manage to stay up till midnight…
We wake up early today, around 9:00, and head out for cappacinno at Brunch and Cake, a charming and positively delicious cafe that always has a wait and is known for its unique breakfast dishes. This is a very happy day…
Later, we check out Anna’s student apartment. Tiny but functional, five students cram into this third floor apartment. It might be charming if the kids were better housekeepers but maybe that is a skill learned after college? A mom can always hope anyway. We left the apartment and explored the Park Guell, famous for its colorful benches and lush landscaping, which is rare in the steel jungles that make up most large cities.
Back at the hotel, we ordered room service, and like good parents, we stayed in while our girls took in the nightlife at the local clubs. Sometimes I’m really glad I’m old. We were quite happy to relax and catch a movie.
Woke up at 11:00! This is late and half the day is gone but its hard to fight it when you really need to sleep. We were all tired and of course the girls were out late the night before. We manage to get ready in an hour and head out looking for our daily cappacinno. After, we find renewed energy and head out to explore the marketplace which is a symphony of colors, smells, and sounds. I could spend hours here. Here are a few highlights.