Thursday, July 7, 2011
Just two days in Barcelona and we are smitten with the city. Chris and I had a conversation on the way to dinner tonight about whether there is an American city that has the wonderful blend of beach town and city life that BCN offers and we could not think of a single place that could even hold a candle to it.
We are fortunate enough to be staying at the apartment of my best friend Monica, one she shares with her fiance Ewan. It is in the neighborhood of La Barceloneta, a tiny peninsula that juts out from the city into the Mediterranean. That means that it is surrounded by beaches and yet still nestled at what feels like the entrance to the city. We are incredibly gracious for their generosity. It is so pleasant to return to an actual home after a long day of travel rather than to a sterile hotel room, and we couldn´t ask for a better experience. From their roof we can just about see 360-degree views of BCN and, better still, we can see whether or not the beachfront is crowded. This afternoon, after a nice long siesta, Chris and I decided to shake the sleep out of our eyes by taking a dip in the sea. It probably took us longer to walk down the stairs from their fifth-floor flat than it did to get from the building´s front door to the water´s edge. ¡Que fantastico! Even getting ready is an experience: my husband has taken to playing classical music on the radio at just the perfect volume, and I often forget this and think the sounds of a string quartet are wafting in through the open windows.
Dusting off our Spanish speaking skills was a bit intimidating at first, but the people here are wonderful and it is actually quite fun to try to communicate and converse in a language other than your own. Still, each time we enter a new establishment, whether it´s keeping up even a short conversation or ordering successfully from a bakery, we get a little thrill and our abilities improve by the hour.
We are in love with Barcelona and continue to fantasize about what it would be like to live here. And, even after checking out the main tourist attractions--La Rambla, Parc Guell--our favorite moments so far have definitely been sitting down to relaxing meals that start with ensaladas, end with cafe con leche, and always include wine. Equally as enjoyable has been popping in to bars and devouring an assortment of tapas (I particularly liked the place we found that was playing Frank Sinatra Christmas music in the background). Either way, the Spanish lifestyle of relaxing, resting, and eating is appealing to say the least.
Tomorrow we are off to Mallorca to enjoy the sun and, hopefully, lots of sangria. More to come...
*I take absolutely no responsibility for any misspellings or general bad writing during this trip as I have written this after enjoying an entire bottle of wine with dinner.
I used to sit in the cube behind you. Then I didn't. And then we fell in love.
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