Five days into our Round the World honeymoon, and we are loving it so far! Luckily, we haven't gained 10 pounds after the wedding after stuffing our faces with as much food as possible. Barcelona was an amazing city to get lost in. We arrived with no real agenda, and we purchased our metro pass and walked the entire city to explore. The romantic and gothic quarters are lined with buildings dated back to the 4th century. It's amazing how much history lives within these walls. We enjoyed soaking in the Catalan culture and language, which is different from the culture we are now experiencing in the big city of Madrid. Wifi has been somewhat limited for us, thus also limiting the our blogging frequency.
Barcelona is a perfect balance of history, architecture, art, modernism, and food. Especially the food. It was a good place for us to kickstart the Round-the-World honeymoon because it was relaxing, easy to get around, and there were plenty of things to do. Four days was the perfect amount of time to give Barcelona the attention it deserves, and for us to unwind from the wedding festivities, explore, and hit up all the important places.
In the last four days, we did some culinary explorations. We set ourselves a budget of $75/day to spend in total each day (for transportation, tickets, food, etc). and setting those limits help us not to go too crazy at fancy restaurants and buy too much. Here are some of our favorites!
These small plates are available at every corner. We had never really been fans of tapas due to the value of a small bite. But we are definitely addicted to tapas now, but only from Quimet y Quimet...a tiny, unassuming establishment with unforgettable tapas. If you ever go to Barcelona,, this would be the one recommendation we would give you.
We also tried this place called Tapatxos, where we had pintxos (stuff on top of bread) and lobster paella. Then after lunch we find out that everything is flippin CLOSED. I'm not sure if it's really siesta or are these stores rarely open... We are typically walking down streets with closed shops in the middle of the day and at night. The restaurants we looked were typically open from 12-2:30 or so, then reopen at 7pm. No midday snacking for us! Just more walking...
This is one local Spanish speciality that I (Liz) have a hard time embracing, due to my empathy for animals. The cured pig legs are available everywhere around Barcelona. The jamon is thinly sliced, and tastes buttery and mildly game-y. It's served in several styles, on sandwiches, tapas, pizza, or by itself. It was also served to us a few times atop lightly toasted bread that had a tomato and olive oil spread, and with olives as a garnish. That was surprisingly a good combination. However, I still can't stomache being inside the jamon stores very long due to the scent and the fact that I'm surrounded by pig legs.
Churros Y Xocolata!
On a different note, I am in love with Churros and Chocolate here! Disneyland Churros have nothing on these. We have been visiting different churreria (Xurreria is yummy!) that is traditionally served with a very thick Spanish hot chocolate to dip. The chocolate is not too sweet and reminds me a little of the smoothness of Nutella.
Typically in the US, vermouth is utilized in many mixed libations. Here, it is served on the rocks by itself. Whille we were at Quimet y Quimet, we had the Yzaguirre vermut, and it was surprisingly very smooth, sweet and fruity, and priced reasonably.. It was a perfect pairing for the tapas! We want to bring some back, but we can't lug big bottles with is around the world... Packing lightly is a must for this entire trip as we move around so often!
Well enough about food (for now)! More on places we have visited, soon. Blogging on a cell phone is more cumbersome, but it's our gateway to home in the meantime. :) We love receiving the messages from home, so feel free to comment here too!