Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spain - Day 3

Once our unexpected 2 day adventure of flying across the world was over, we finally made it to Barcelona, Spain!  We arrived shortly after noon and went straight to our hotel to check in and unload our luggage.  We stayed at Hotel Catalonia Catedral in the middle of the amazing Gothic Quarter and were right around the block from the Barcelona Cathedral.  We had the cutest little balcony overlooking a quaint Spanish square.  It was perfect.

At this point in the day, we had been up for over 24 hours straight.  With the 6 hour time difference, we were still running on East Coast United States time which would have been like 6am with no sleep.  But in Barcelona, it was already the afternoon and everyone was bustling around.  Even though we were exhausted, we just couldn't stay in our hotel and sleep the day away!  So we ventured out for a little tapas lunch for our first meal in Spain.  Red wine, PATATAS BRAVAS (obsessed), mushrooms, and tomato brushed brucshetta.  Holy yum.

After lunch, we decided to just roam around.  With no real destination, we just wandered the beautiful streets of Barcelona.  Every corner we turned, there was something to discovered.  We eventually stumbled upon La Boqueria, an amazing outdoor food market right off of La Rambla.  Nicole had suggested that we check this place out when I asked her for Spain recommendations and I am so glad we did.  Amazing food at every single stand.  It was hard to not want to buy and eat everything in sight.  It all looked so good.  We ended up settling on a couple varieties of cheese and a fresh baguette to have as a snack later on back at our hotel room. 

The sun was slowly getting ready to set, so we decided to make our way down La Rambla to the harbor so we could check out the views of the Mediterranean Sea.  We arrived right as the sun was turning to gorgeous shades of orange.  Perfect timing.

While we wandered around the harbor, we were eventually struck with a wave of serious exhaustion after being awake for so long. We figured it'd be best to make our way back to our hotel room for a little nap before venturing out for dinner.  We rested up, showered, and enjoyed the cheese and baguette we got from the market earlier.  Once we were functioning like normal human beings again, we made our way out to dinner.  Coming to Spain right after Christmas was a treat in itself.  Every street was lined with Christmas lights strung up high and twinkling.  It made everything just that much more beautiful.  For dinner, we decided to go to Restaurant 7 Portes which opened in 1836!  Along with being such a historic restaurant, this place was also rated to have some of the best paella in all of Spain.  And I have to agree!  It . was . amazing.  Oh, and side note - we later found out that PICASSO dined at this restaurant at one time.  How cool!

After dinner, we weren't quite ready to turn in.  So we headed over to the Born District, a lively area with a great bar scene, for some drinks.  We stumbled upon the cutest little bar, Pitin bar.  One of the best mojitios I've ever had!  After a few drinks and a little tipsy feeling, we made our way back to our hotel to call it a night.

I'd say our first night in Spain was a major success!

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