So I think I surprised everyone last weekend…including myself…by popping up in Barcelona. The series of events went: I was given a few days off, I bought plane tickets on Wednesday, and poof! I arrived in my favorite city in the world on Friday for a four day weekend.
Where to start? A tapas bar of course! I walked in and asked for a table for one and the owner said “No friends?” I said “They are all home in America”, he said “Well then, I will be your friend! Sit wherever you want!” And I knew that I was back in my home across the Atlantic. Not to mention, it felt great being back in a country where I speak the language!
Because I was traveling alone, I decided to stay at a hostel that is popular on Hostel World for getting to know people! *For anyone traveling to Barcelona, stay at Equity Point Centric. It is in a perfect location, very clean, with a great staff and a fantastic place to meet other friendly travelers!* Saturday I started my morning at La Boquería market along Las Ramblas for a refreshing mango/coconut juice!
So I didn’t get bored without friends, I decided to sign up for a few group activities, namely the Barcelona Fat Tire Bike Tour that my parents told me if I didn’t go on, then I would not be welcome back home. I took the hint.
Here are the highlights:
OK Mom….you were right….Take the Fat Tire Bike Tour. Just do it. It’s so much fun, and we ended with lunch on the beach!
One of my new favorite things is taking a cooking class in the places I travel. My first experience in Florence was so wonderful that I could not pass up an opportunity to take a class in Barcelona! I joined a family, a couple, and two other solo travelers to complete a four and a half hour class taught by our expert chef, Maria. Other than the food, the best part about it was our wine glasses were never empty.
Our menu started with a few tapas: Pan Tumaca/Tomato Bread, jamón ibérico, a mouthwatering cod and eggplant dish, and some olives from all over the country. We then moved on to a sweet watermelon and tomato gazpacho (I am not a gazpacho fan, but this I would drink daily as if it were a milkshake). Finally, we made an incredibly beautiful vegetable paella then filled our stomachs to the brim with crema catalana which is the Catalán version of creme brulée.
The only difference in this class was, instead of making our own dishes, we helped prepare the group meal. Meaning, when I made my own dish, if I messed up only I had to deal with the consequences. But now everyone had to…
It was so hard to leave Monday afternoon after meeting new friends and getting to relax and enjoy being in a place that felt so much like home. Also, a big thanks to my friend Mitch from Iowa State (who went to Italy with me!) for showing me around! I am already counting down the days until I can return again.
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