Crystal clear blue sky with occasional cotton-white clouds, long days and atmosphere of an approaching national holiday welcomed us in the city of Barcelona.
Hundreds of words are written and said about the natural, architectural or gastronomical wonders of the Catalan capital. So, one is aware that many days have to pass in order to traverse most of the streets and to savour most of the culinary spectacles the region offers.
But what does not take time to come across is feeling the gentle breeze and accepting the jubilant rhythm of the people of Barcelona.
Knowing it is impossible to reduce the city to a simple list of places to visit, these days I was contemplating some of the most pleasant opportunities we had while wondering around.
a) Reaching from place to the other.
Our hotel was situated close to the Sagrada Famila, but quite far from the tourist must-to-see.
Each morning when heading towards the city centre we were passing through elegant residential areas, where modernist architecture was interweaving with contemporary buildings to create a cascading urban landscape. The cast iron structure of the market in Carrer d’Aragó which was literally hidden behind voluptuous flower stands and the house in the corner of Carrer de València with Carrer de Roger de Llúria were some of the jewels in the area. An uphill walk on Avinguda del Tibidabo towards the funicular to Tibidabo amusement park, wandering the streets of Gràcia on the way to Parc Güell or having an ice-cream in the shady Gothic quarter turned out to be destinations themselves on the way to our final destination.
b) The city from above
Our journey has started with collecting impressions from the towers of the Gaudí’s masterpiece – Sagrada Familia. We climbed the Passion tower by sunset to enjoy the breath taking view of golden rooftops.
On the next day, after taking the pleasant ride with the funicular to the top of the Tibidabo hill we had the chance to experience Barcelona from bird’s-eye view. The impressive temple church Sagrad Cor, which took more than sixty year to finish in 1960s and the historical amusement park which still invites for a plane ride with a 1928 plane became a surrealistic stage to see the city from above.
Like a child saving some space for the dessert I am postponing the moment of seeing Barcelona from two of the most famous Gaudí’s creations – Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. Situated not far from each other on the famous Passeig de Gràcia the both houses are crowned by sublime roof terraces where one could enjoy the center of Barcelona from above, glimpsing through the chimneys artwork.
c) The Hunger games
Caught by the charm and richness of the food scene in Barcelona we quickly created our favourites’ list.
A romantic dinner in a cosy atmosphere happened to be in Vic Braseria in C/ Sicília, 202. Fresh fish, tender meat and original vegetables alla griglia left the first delicious impressions.
After a long walk in the sun and discovering the Boqueria market, more than hungry we found ourself ordering most of the menu offers in Mino (Carrer Del Carme 19), where our hosts had to move us to a larger table.
Mixing the merenda with a late lunch we ended up in a burger joint in Av. Gaudi 8, called Le Coq & The Burg. Literally meters away from La Sagrada Familia we were welcomed with amazingly prepared salads and variety of sophisticated burgers.
Not being able to resist a Mexican temptation we had a great time in Las Mañanitas Tex Mex in Av Gran Via de las Cortes Catalanas, 715.