I have just ended my first week in Barcelona, one of 8 in this city of Gaudi, Tapas and Siestas, what a whirlwind it has been. Spending a quiet day to myself seems odd and wrong, yet the budget says yes please!
I have 12 days of wandering and exploring the city until my 6 week Spanish course starts which I really can't wait for. I'm starting to feel like a child learning to talk again, its so hard to get my head around more than 'Una cervesa por favor' and 'Donde esta el bano'. I'm hoping my brain will miraculously and suddenly snap in to thinking in Spanish.
I've been here a week, yet its only the second day in my new apartment half way between Born and Gracia, perfectly situated to get pretty much anywhere I need to go. 20 minutes walk down to Placa Catalunya and further enough away to miss the tourists and spruikers.
My plans apart from studying the language do of course include studying the food in the city, Mercat de la Boquiera off La Rambla is the market everyone first thinks of when they think of Barcelona food. It is beautiful, full of stalls with fresh produce, seafood, chorizo, cured ham, cheese, wine and more. Its a foodies paradise, I think I'll head there tomorrow. I've found through another Brit in Barcelona food blog, Moonraker morsels this is the place I can find some hard to find baking ingredients. Sangria cupcakes anyone?
First off I went to Primavera Festival, at Parc de Forum. Amazing bands like The Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey, Pulp, Belle and Sebastian and Battles played over 3 days and nights. Grande cervesas, sun sets, bean bags and grassy knolls are all part of my memories of the wonderful festival.
Already my sights are set on Sonar festival coming up on the 16th June. The Human League and Janelle Monae are two I can't wait to hear.
I know, this isn't really a travel blog, but expect a few non foody stories amongst my posts over the next few months. Of course my day is never complete without some amazing food, I often say I'd rather eat nothing at all than bad food (thats also to do with my laziness to actually cook anything). My diet this past week has pretty much been made up of cheese, chorizo, olives and cocktails. This is not a bad way to live, the Spanish seem happy and so am I.
No meal has been complete without Croquettas full of ham and cheese, just one and your rolling around in a cheese coma.
A post festival blues curing salad of pear, roquefort & ham
Pear is now my new favourite thing to add to salad
If you like Pinacoladas you should hang out with me, I love them. I perfect seaside cocktail
My salad with a whole block of goats cheese, which I ate. I've never had such an indulgent salad. As well as the cheese there was quince jelly, olives, tomato & eggs. Bliss
The Spanish omelette aka Tortilla. Nuff said, its egg & onion and not much more than that. Tasty with Aioli.
This was olive tapenade and peppers on toast with pine nuts and water cress
Cava Sangria, es muy bueno. This one tasted like it was mixed with orange and pineapple. So refreshing.
I can't believe I have no photos of patatas bravas. I mean they are a staple, but you've all seen potatoes anyway. They are the perfect filler if you're feeling peckish waiting for dinner, covered in what seems to be a mixture of tomato sauce and mayonnaise. Why does all this food fill me with horror at home but here its perfectly acceptable for me to live on ham, cheese and potato all day every day?
So nothing too adventurous yet, oh I did try some goat down at Barceloneta which isn't particularly Spanish but I loved it, tasted a bit like lamb. Overall the tapas are cheap here and the beer is cheaper, 3€-5€ per plate and a beer is around 2€ or less come places! Most restaurants serve pretty much the same tapas dishes but you might want to go off the beaten track to find the freshly made dishes. Try Poble Sec below Mont Juic, west of La Rambla for less touristy fare. And you generally can't get dinner till after 7.30 so remember to have lunch!
Hasta La Vista