Before Girona I was in Barcelona couchsurfing with Elvira and then stayed with my Pueblo Ingles friend, Gloria and her wonderfully generous family for nearly a week. It was like living the Catalan life-- playing fútbol with her son, 8-year old Marcel, listening to Albert sing, browsing the markets. indulging in the pasteries across the street, laughing over family dinners. That was my favorite part. Something about sharing meals is so simple and yet so special. My last evening I cooked for the fam and made my green curry specialty.
Barcelona is one of those places people rave about and you don't quite understand until you've experienced it for yourself. It's intoxicating. And I love it. Why? For one, the tapas.
I don't even know how to begin to describe the deliciousness that were these tapas. A shmear of blended cheeses and sprinkled with surprises. My favorite was the walnut one with a little cinnamon sugar and walnuts bits, both sweet and savory. Another I enjoyed (really, I enjoyed them all) was layered with a slice of tomato, a triangle-sized mozzarella and the best part, topped with a pesto salsa and bits of green and red peppers. Above, the stuffed red pepper glazed with a little alioli and sprinkled with little shavings of cheese and parsley was like a little party in my mouth.
Barrio de Gracía is my favorite pocket in the big B. Not just because it's where Gloria's family is from, but because it's got this small town feel with a massive outdoor market with fresh produce and everything you can imagine to the freshest seafood available, a library, galleries, bookstores, pastries and bread shops, and more shops of fresh cheeses, shoes, clothes, everything, restaurants and cafés, all within a 2-second walking distance. Why leave Barca?!
(note: i started this post thursday, oct 22nd. i made it safely to Montpellier, had a nice if not sad two days (because i lost my camera), then a day in Nice (gorgeous beaches in an expensive town) and am now in Roma where I find the Italian accent so, so sexy.)