Another one of my new year's resolutions was to try and get out more and over to Barcelona. This year I had so far failed at reaching the capital city of Catalunya. There had been an attempt back in January but the rainy weather forecast had put us off.
This weekend snow was on the cards - can you believe it? Snow! I was lamenting on Friday night, but I was resolved to go nonetheless. And you know what? Barcelona did indeed have sleet on Friday but by Saturday the bad weather had passed and although it was cold, it was bright. Phew....
It was great to get out and especially as I had two girlfriends in tow. I always prefer exploring a place with company. The day was a general success. Some culture, shopping, food and wandering around. All the people I had hoped to meet up with also put in an appearance, and seeing as some of them I have only met once or twice or not even at all (one was a past student of my sister's), I was really impressed and appreciated their effort. Here is a little low down for you of the three main places we went:
This is an Art Gallery near the Plaza Espana -and you know what? It is free! We started our day here taking in a photography exhibition called Seduction which my friend told me had cost her £12 to go see in London...Why do they always charge so much in London? I remember in Bristol we also had access to free shows which would be charged for in the capital. Weird. The exhibition was interesting and it had some familiar names that I remember back to my Art Foundation days. It also had a cool photo both set up so of course we had a little fun...
You can find this little gem on Calle Pintor Fortuny near to Carrefour on the main Rambla. I'd been here before but only for drinks. Some friends of my sister run it and it is filled with hipsters and expats but the food is great and the atmosphere is buzzing. We had a delicious meaty homemade burger with Gorgonzola and bacon and this tomato paprika flavoured sauce to go with our french fries which was very more-ish. Even my glass of white wine was excellent. Here we met some friends and relaxed for a while.
Not too far away in the district of Hospitalet my sister's student showed us a place I had not known existed which is a small outdoor coffee place surrounded by the walls of an old library (Biblioteca de Catalunya) - although it looks more like the courtyard of a church. I actually remembered to take some photos so you can see how nice it was. We ended our afternoon here conversing and enjoying the fresh air before we ambled back to the train station.
Barcelona is a wicked city. It is hard not to be seduced and my desire to live there at some point is always increased when I go. I love that I can pop up and explore it for the day and then return to the quiet peacefulness of Tarragona however. As I continue to live in the region, I find I am also acquiring new friends who I can stay with if ever I visit which is also a bonus for long weekend trips!