17 February 2010


Barcelona....finally! A destination I have wanted to hit for a long time, especially since Kelly went there last year with friends from Ireland. She told me I was gonna love it in Barcelona...and boy was she right.

Its too bad we only had a weekend, Barcelona is geographical goldmine for hopping off to explore other places. The Pyrenees, Southern France, Ibiza, Africa.

We arrived in Barcelona at around 11pm which normally would mean that you wouldnt be able to find a place to eat....HA! This is Spain, restaurants don't even open until 8pm!

Hmmmm what should we have...Tapas of course! We found a place right around the corner and got a bunch of stuff grilled vegetables with romesco sauce (below), patatas bravas, bread, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato, eggplant, stir fried beef cubes, and of course a bowl of olives...and a bottle of wine.

We opted to retire semi-early (2am) rather than stay out all night...we had a lot of sightseeing to do this weekend!

We got up early and walked to Placa Catalunya, and headed down La Rambla, the famed pedestrian street that separates El Raval from the Gothic Quarter, Barri Gotic.

It was a pleasant walk even though the weather wasn't entirely cooperating....maybe 50 degrees and drizzly. We had coffee and then headed back to the Placa Catalunya for lunch.

We met up with Curtis, one of the kids I had coached back in Tampa, who is now a senior at the University of Florida on a study abroad semester in Barcelona. It was great catching up over lunch....but we had even bigger plans for the day.

Curtis (above), Kelly and I met up with some of the members of the Barcelona Lacrosse club for a pick-up game of 3 on 3 beach lacrosse! Its always a blast meeting other lacrosse people, especially when traveling. Its like having friends everywhere!

After a couple hours on the beach, the 7 of us went to a nearby crepe place and had some drinks. Good times, great people....ahhh Barcelona.

By nightfall, Kelly and I had to say adios to our new amigos, because we had exploring to do!

We walked around the Gothic Quarter debating where to eat dinner...until it started pouring rain...then we made a choice pretty quick.

We found a nice place tucked away amongst some old buildings and ordered some steaks...perfect! The people behind us were Americans and were talking business...and politics....hence the look on Kellys face in the picture above. We had a very nice time and then did some more exploring on the way back to our hotel.

We spent a few hours just marveling at all the amazing buildings...Kelly had her nose pressed against many a window (as pictured above)....its a beautiful, beautiful city.

The next day was Valentines Day....and our anniversary...so we sang this all day!

We had a lot of sights to see, first Sagrada Familia!

Under construction since 1882, the massive Church is the most famous building in Barcelona and the masterwork of Spanish modernist architect Antonio Gaudi.

You could stare at the details for hours and hours...its incredible.

Kelly just loves the piles of fruit or whatever it is on top of some of the spires and the giant snails climbing the cathedral. (above)

I liked the..... Cylons?

Seriously, those are some scary looking sci-fi dudes

A very impressive building indeed...Happy Anniversary! (I bet your singing the Flintstones version now aren't you?)

Unfortunately, the line to get in was several hundred people deep...so we got back on the Metro and headed to Park Guell, a garden complex chocked full of more funky Gaudi archtecture.

The weather was much better on Day 2, so we walked all over the park and checked out the sites.We also got some fantastic views of the city and the coast.

We had lunch at a little pizzeria before heading back on the Metro (very convenient) and stopped at a few more Gaudi creations.

Casa Batllo

and La Pedrera

The sun was out now and we walked all the way home through the fancy district just north of the University....lots of great buildings. We decided thats where we'll live when we move to Barcelona. We'll be needing giant shuttered windows and balconies.

In true Spanish style, we napped away the afternoon before heading out for dinner.

Paella! Oh so tasty.

We strolled through the Gothic quarter some more as the city ramped up for another night of Carnaval festivities. Have I mentioned how beautiful Barcelona is?

The next day we decided we would go home and not just damn everything to hell and stay in Barcelona.....but we'll be back.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! I am still singing the Flintstones version.

Great pictures, and great pictures of Kelly! I love your expression at the restaurant, and I love your cashmere newsboy hat from NYC! Lookin' good and bein' warm!

Oh yeah, and that Gaudi stuff is "OK", too...

I wanna go with y'all next time! I'm serious!

xo Aa

Kelly said...

Every time I overheard something those pretentious numbskulls behind us said I had to shove something in my mouth to keep from turning around and yelling SHUT UP. The dinner wasn't that great, so I ended up drinking a lot of wine just to keep the peace.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.