Trip Report Part 1: Barcelona, Spain

Apr 28th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Trip Report Part 1: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona:

Arrived at our hotel, the wonderful Prestige Paseo de Gracia on the boulevard of the same night. Nice designer hotel with friendly and very helpful staff. Free, daily restocked drinks in the mini-fridge and a clean, modern room with a balcony and high ceilings got us started off right.

Went down to the Ramblas for lunch to Cafe Viena for an Iberico ham sandwich, which was very, very good. While walking the Ramblas, we spotted a completely naked old man who was drawing quite a lot of attention, as you could imagine. It was sort of culture shock call to say, hey, you're in Europe now. Very funny.

Also managed to make it to the Barri Gotic or Gothic Quarter, which is fantastic. A great place to lose yourself and go back in time.

Dinner plans fell through, so we squeezed into to a place called Bar Mut near the hotel.

On the way up, we popped into the fantastic home store Vincon, complete with modern, well-designed things for the home in a beautiful former residential building. Be sure to go upstairs.

They didn't have a table for us at Bar Mut, so they improvised. We ate on a piano bench! Some might scoff at this, but it was rather romantic and fun. And the food! Wow! It was incredible. Highly recommend this place.

Sunday was great. Spend most the day in Montjuic area. Had a nice lunch at Font del Gat, which is in a beautiful setting within an orange orchard, then hiked up to the top of the hill to see the MNAC ground and the Olympic site. Then, we hiked back down to the Barcelona Pavilion and the Cultural Museum across the way, both wonderful experiences in and of themselves. The Culture museum is very fun. It's set in a cluster of art deco, Moroccan-style buildings that were once a factory, I think.

Dinner plans again got foiled and we ended up at a old school seafood place called Botafumeiro that had nice ambience, but lousy food. You can always tell if a restaurant is going to be good by their bread and their bread was lousy. The atmosphere was fun, though.

Later that night, we went down to the Playa (Beach) to have a look around. It was a nice night, walking around the boardwalk, eating ice cream.

Monday, we went to the wonderful Casa Mila, one of Gaudi's many masterpieces. Also made it to Sagrada Familia, which is an awe-inspiring and forboding cathedral years ahead of it's time. It also makes you realize that Gaudi may have been a little off his rocker.

Had an incredible lunch at Pinotxo (pronounced pin-oh-cha) in the Boqueria Market with the affable bow-tied Juanito Bayen serving up some of the most amazing food Barcelona has to offer. All at a tiny, first-come, first-serve bar counter in a public market. I tell you, it is worth any amount of time waiting. You will remember this meal for the rest of your days. Succulent veal cheeks, clams with white beans and a salt cod called bacalo, I think. Amazing!

We then headed up to Park Guell, another Gaudi playground and absolute must-see. A whimiscal and fun public meeting space.

That night we had a sublime dining experience at Gaig. I think it was seven courses. It was really too much, but the food was imaginative and delicious. It's not for the budget-conscious. This is a special occasion place and was well worth it. The suckling pig, turbot w/foie gras and a puddling-like creme brulee that was otherworldly good. A nice way to cap off our experience in Barcelona.

Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/misterb...7600130978775/

Next up: Cote D'Azur and the medieval village of Haut De Cagnes.
mrbiscuit is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Enjoying your report and waiting for more...
travelgirl2 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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I am very picky and I thought Botafumeiro was excellent. I tipped them 30 percent and I was humbled when the waiter came running after me and kissed me.
julzieluv is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Maybe you ordered better than we did, but we liked nothing.
mrbiscuit is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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hi, mrbiscuit,

thanks for posting the report - when were you there? BCN is stil on my to do list, so I love reading other people's tips about it. one day....it wil be me posting the trip report about it.

re the naked man, the reaction of locals should have been a clue that even here in liberal europe, public nudity is still unusual. except in statues.

keep it coming,

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Apr 29th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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Loved seeing your fun Barcelona pictures, what a great city!
Nikki is online now  
Apr 30th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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We just returned from a trip to Spain, including Barcelona, yesterday. It's interesting to hear your experience while there. GREAT PHOTOS!
Audie79 is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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mrbiscuit - many thanks for your Barcelona report - eagerly looking forward to Haut De Cagnes!
nevertooold is offline  
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