Waking up in Barcelona on the second day of our mini holidays was a very painful experience- 36 kilometres that we walked the very first day did take their toll on us. We decided to take it easy and just stroll in the city centre and take plenty of stops for coffee and nibbles. Did we stick to the plan? No! We ventured on yet another adventure and every single step was worth it as it brought us towards delicious food, the sea, and one hidden gem I fell in love instantaneously! Pop your comfy shoes on and join us!
The sea was calling us, therefore, firstly we headed towards the water front. We walked past La Rambla, the statue of Christopher Columbus and followed his commanding finger pointing the way towards blue waves. Despite the early spring, there were already numerous sea and sun lovers; some of them brave enough to take a plunge. The water was cold (ok, freezing for my liking) so only the tips of my toes had the pleasure to experience it! We knew that swimming was out of the question and you probably can figure out that there was another reason why we arrived in this part of Barcelona. Food! Sea food to be more precise. Barcelonetta is the place to be, if you want to try some fresh and local produce. We found a small restaurant that soon got packed with locals (always a good sign) and hungrily studied the menu. Welcome to La Bogeda Peninsular!
We started off with some olives and cava (local, fizzy white wine) followed by a plate of ham for the Englishman and a glorious plate full of baby squids. Absolutely delicious! For desserts we opted for a strong coffee (to keep us going) and bread with chocolate (not sophisticated but hey, it had chocolate!) and home made crema catalana- similar to crème brulee and made with silky creamy cheese and honey.
We walked back towards La Rambla, and let ourselves to be completely lost in tiny, narrow streets of Gothis Quarter (Barri Gotic). You can forever wander round those mysterious alleys; there are surprises on every corner- a little café, a forgotten shop. Eventually, you will arrive at the beautiful Catedral that was begun in 1298. As you probably noticed we did not go to a single museum, we did not visit many churches- there was so much to see ‘from the outside’ that we will definitely have to go back and explore some more of this fascinating city.
Just before we finish our little Spanish adventure, I want to tell you about the place that stole my heart- Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu (Hospital of the Holy Cross) in El Raval. Make sure you visit this magical spot! You might miss it while walking down the street, so carefully watch out for a big, dark archway that will lead you into an enchanted courtyard. The orange trees drenched in sunshine, birds happily flickering water in the tittle fountain, chairs inviting you to sit and pause for a minute, take a little break. You can borrow a book or a newspaper, play chess, catch up with you friends…a little slice of heaven. Adios Barcelona and see you soon!