One would think two weeks in Barcelona would be plenty of time to visit. Especially considering we were here just one year ago. BUT, we’re back! We received a gracious invitation to join some friends in the south of France.
Now you may wonder, why not fly into Paris? Well, according to Woody (the Itinerary Guy), not only is Barcelona closer to our destination in France, a 2.5 hour train ride from Barcelona, compared to a 6 hour train from Paris. But, he found an affordable non-stop flight from Chicago.
BARCELONA, a perfect place to start this month long adventure.
Where We Stayed
Last year I blogged about the different neighborhoods we stayed in. You can see it here: 12 Days in Barcelona. This visit we are just on the outskirts of the Eixample neighborhood, maybe considered the Sans(??) We’re staying with a great AirBnb host, but in our room without windows, we take to the streets as much as possible. (Not to paint such a dreary picture, our room does have a natural light tube in the ceiling, which transports a considerable amount of light.)
Where We Ate
Can you believe we practically ate at all the same restaurants that we had already been to? I suppose we had done our dining “homework” very well last time. Besides, we wanted to see if they still lived up to our expectation – wink, wink.
I tried something different: the Catalonian vermouth. Drinking vermouth is very much the “in thing” in Barcelona – not just for grandmas! It’s a fortified wine infused with herbs and botanicals. I was delighted with the “new” cocktail.
What We Did
We managed to add a couple activities to our Barcelona repertoire. We visited Guell Park, where the extremely iconic tiled lizard resides. I was disappointed to see the green moss hanging from his jaws – you’d think we the price of admission, someone would’ve cleaned it up for us. The creation of the park was a team effort of an entrepreneur Eusebi Güell, and architect Antoni Gaudí. The full plans were never carried all the way through, but what they did accomplish, made for a full day of exploring.
Another addition was touring the Cathedral of Barcelona. Last year I got swept away with Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia (which I blogged about here: a Cathedral for the 21st Century – hopefully.) The Cathedral of Barcelona has more common elements of your typical Gothic, centuries old cathedral. However, this particular cathedral has an elevator to the roof where you hop onto scaffolding. Hey, they gotta make a buck somehow – this is their gimmick. Anyway, we got to the top and saw the sweeping view of the harbor, Gothic District and the distant Palace on Montjuic, took the obligatory pictures, and stuck around to hear the Noon bells.
And, then there was our old favorite – but new to us in Barcelona – a craft beer tour! Leave it to Woody… he used a discount offered on an AirBnb Experience. (Quick side note: AirBnb now offers “Experiences.” These are activities designed and led by inspiring locals. They go beyond a typical tour, or class by immersing guests in the host’s unique world. An opportunity for a local to share their hobbies, skills or expertise.) Well, Roque – our guide – was one to truly immerse us in his unique world. Teacher by day, he combined his love of craft beer, with his absolute passion of creating music, and he singlehandedly went from brew guide, to pointing out food pairings, to performing for us. We had an intimate group, and it was a lot of fun.
For a limited time you can see a clip of Roque’s performance on our Facebook page here: First AirBnb Experience.