Thursday, March 8, 2012


3 years later and Barcelona is still one of my favorite cities in the world. BUT at the same time, i'm still more than happy that i study in Sevilla. As fun as BCN is, I would never practice my spanish there (almost everyone speaks english), nor would i be able to keep up with their discotecas todas las noches. Still, I could definitely see my self having a small "flat" there in the near future. I know i've said the same about Berlin, but I still think they're both true (so maybe i'll just shoot for the moon and see if i land a flat in both places when i'm older).

Once we got to Barca (after our hectic run onto the RyanAir plane, as usual) we took the metro to our hostel and checked in. This is when i realized our dorm was a scene out of a Broadway show- huge ladders to top bunks that were as high as the 2nd floor of my house, and we were in a 14 bed room. Suddenly, my imaginative little brain was processing ideas about a musical. It would be about girls who studied abroad and gained lots of weight (where i got the inspiration, i haven't a clue) and it would be called "A Broad Way" or "Abroad Way", etc etc. 
This picture does no justice for the Broadway-esque feeling of the room. Or I just have a really BIG imagination. 

Post-museum took us tapas-hopping in El Borne, where we had wine and an empanada in one bar and focaccia pizzas in another. On our way home we wandered over to Las Ramblas and i Knew we HAD to stop at the famous mercado (my favorite aspect about Spain is definitely their markets). There we tried some strange fruit that tasted like soggy socks (but still glad we tried it) and had dates so fresh they melted in your mouth. 


The soggy socks fruit

These were still alive (Spanish love their freshness)

Later we met up with Rachel's friend, Liz, who's studying in BCN for the semester. She took us to what will now be called one of my favorite bars EVER- The Down Jones Bar. It was an American bar where the drinks are treated like stocks and are constantly fluctuating in price. AND the best part is that the market crashes every so often and then ALL the drinks drop in price. It was a business nerd's dream come true.

The next day we went to La Sagrada Familia (which seemed to be at the exact same point of construction as the day I saw it 3 years ago). For lunch we wandered over to an outdoor cafe and had a tortilla de verduras (vegetable omelette) and un serranito (sandwich with pork loin, cured ham, pimientos). The tortilla was aaiiight but the serranito was ON POINT. Yum I could eat that again right now. The girls had gambas ajillo (shrimp in garlic and olive oil) and after I had a bite I'd say it was the best one we've had thus far. It had a little bit of heat, which we haven't had yet, and the olive oil in Spain is just incomparable to back home. 

To walk off our big meal we headed to Parque Guell (another famous Gaudi construction- looks like gingerbread houses) and relaxed for a bit. If I haven't mentioned it before, I ran into my middle school friend Gracia one day in Sevilla and we just happened to bump into each other again in BCN in the park! It really is a small world. 

On our way back to the hostel, we wanted to see the inside of one of Gaudi's famous apartments so we paid our 15 euro admission into Casa Mila. As much as it was, it was totally worth it. We toured an actual apartment flat inside (high ceilings, intricately detailed architecture) and then attempted to watch the sunset on the roof (but were denied when a worker told us we had to leave at 6:30, 20 mins before sunset). 

After a short siesta back at the hostel we were up and at it again, getting ready for Barca's crazy nightlife. We were recommended a Mexican restaurant nearby by Liz and came upon a very hip, crowded bar when we entered.  There the bouncer told us that for 6 people we would probably have to wait 2 hours, but since we weren't dying of hunger we still went inside for a drink. While their mojitos weren't too impressive, their margaritas were spot on. At one point, as I sat at the bar, a guy behind me yelled something inaudible and then something magical happened...
The bartender started filling a glass with hot sauce, cayenne pepper and some other spices. He then proceeded to pour in a beer into the same glass and viola! Hot sauce + beer = what could be better? I immediately found myself asking the stranger what it was and found out it's called a Michelada, and it's a mexican specialty. However, at the time I couldn't get that name down so I interpreted (and ordered) it as the "MachuPichu drink". I tried one (of course) but I think in theory it might be a bit tastier- I don't know how many I could actually drink without suffering from severe heartburn for a week.

I also completely forgot to mention how we stopped at my all time favorite tapas bar- but that needs its own post.

Delicious french toast-y pastry

Best coffee in town. (It was)

The end is where we start from. 

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