barcelona: tapas and sangria

For me, one of the joys of traveling is really the uncertainty of it all: escaping the monotony of the day to day and experiencing something new, something foreign. I love that feeling of becoming lost in the unfamiliar–from wandering down busy streets unable to understand anyone around to deciphering menus full of mysterious food–and Barcelona is a sensational city to get lost in.Naturally, (as nothing can ever be too easy) my flight to Barcelona was delayed, but after finally arriving, I went to meet my travel companion, Pri, who had been waiting for me at the airport. She tells me she is at the coffee shop right after the baggage claim area. Simple enough, or so we thought. Turns out, after walking around this cafe about 10 times, looking like an absolute nutter, that there are two separate terminals with the exact same coffee shop just outside the arrival gate. I don’t know who thought that was a good idea.

After finally finding Pri, we dropped off our bags at the hostel (from hell) and rewarded ourselves with tapas and sangria. This was my first encounter with patatas bravas (a Spanish dish of fried potatoes topped with a spicy aioli sauce), but most certainly not my last on the trip, and since returning to Germany, I’ve already looked up a recipe. Some of my other tapas recommendations for anyone planning a trip to Spain include: fried camembert,pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomatoes and olive oil), and fried eggplant (aubergine if you prefer that silly British vocabulary). As far as dessert goes, obviously churros and chocolate is a must. Also, I had–stick with me, this is going to sound strange–corn ice cream with a caramelized popcorn and whiskey topping, which was absolutely amazing.

Now the hostel itself was not bad. It was relatively clean, the staff was helpful, and the free breakfast was actually decent. But our roommates were literal spawns of satan sent to earth to destroy all things good in the world. We were in a room with six other demons (I mean people) who would arrive back at all hours of the night and then just talk for hours. They also left the light on all night after returning and one couple kept having sex every night, not super quietly I might add. I think that may have been my last rodeo with hostel life, I simply value my sleep far too much. However, the next morning when Pri and I had to get up at 7:00AM for a tour, I made sure to be extra quiet to return the favor.

Over the course of the weekend, we visited the monastery of Monserrat (rumored by some to be the location of the Holy Grail), sampled wine at a traditional Spanish vineyard, walked along the beach, took selfies at Sagrada Familia, and cheered on FC Barcelona in their match against Malaga (and probably ate our weight in tapas). The packed FC Barcelona vs. Malaga game was really an unforgettable experience, though we were both a bit surprised by the atmosphere–no one was drinking, much less drunk. At sporting events I have attended in other countries, everyone always has a beer in hand. To be fair though, the beer they served was kind of shit, so maybe everyone else already knew this fact beforehand.

My only regret (besides staying in a hostel with lucifer’s children) is that I couldn’t stay in Barcelona longer–I will definitely be back!

PS: On the wine tour, we met a couple from South Africa and talked to them for a while. Somehow hookah/shisha was brought up and turns out they call it ‘Hubbly Bubbly’ in South Africa! How funny is that–hubbly bubbly– I can’t even!

 

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