Monday, 1 April 2013

9 things about Barcelona

Every Spring I celebrate the end of a busy time at work by taking a trip for a couple of days. This year I decided to visit Barcelona. Many years back, when I was in the sixth form there was the possibility of the college arranging a trip there. It never happened so I decided to fill this Barcelona sized gap in my experiences myself. Plus I probably enjoyed it more than teenaged self would have!

When I left the UK it was snowing. I arrived in Barcelona to warmth, sunshine and the super easy Aerobus from the airport to the city centre. That set the pattern for the next couple of days - the perfect easy going winter break.

So here are 9 things about Barcelona as observed by me.

Hidden courtyard garden
  1. Barcelona is a shy city. She wasn't as quick to give up her secrets as Rome, Paris or London. However the people are friendly and helpful and with a little wandering there are treasures to be uncovered, like the courtyard garden above.
  2. Park Guell is amazing. True you do have to walk up a hill or two to get at it but the definitely with the exercise.
 
Park Guell
3. Juicy Jones is an amazing eating experience. I'd looked at photos before going, tried to figure out the menu from pictures but it couldn't complete with the colourful reality. Whether you are vegan or not this is a must visit. I definitely recommend the homemade lemonade. However the jury is still out on the sun dried tomatoes. They had a fizzy thing going on quite unlike anything I've come across - I'm assuming they were trying a sparking wine marinade!
Juicy Jones

4. Barcelona is very visually busy. The pavements are textured. The street furniture isn't dull.

Barcelona street

The buildings have all kinds of flourishes.

Building in Barcelona

Then there are the buildings intended to stand out.

And sculptures all over the place

5. You can get vegan ice cream! Fat Gay Vegan recommended Gelaaati and he wasn't wrong. I went back twice and was thrilled with the clean, spacious shop, helpful staff and range of flavours. Probably a blessing here isn't a branch in Essex....

Ice cream

6. I thought there was a real contrast between the city part of Barcelona and the beach part. When I got off the Metro at the Barceloneta It was like arriving in Bournemouth only with better beaches! And so close to the city.

7. Gopal does a great vegan burger. I probably should have taken my time but the food was so awesome I just gulped it down. Plus the staff member who served me was great despite our language issues.

8. Days start slowly in Barcelona (and possibly across Spain?). Don't expect anything to really get going before 10am. Instead relax with a cup of coffee in the sunshine.

Cup of coffee

9. Tapas is everywhere. Vegan dishes can be a tad limited but you'll still find plenty. My personal favourite had to be the big dishes of Almonds.

Tapas

I'd certainly recommend visiting Barcelona, meanwhile I'm daydreaming about where to visit next year.

 

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