Yes, I made it to Spain and yes it was a pleasure. Super excited to be kicking off my Spanish Inquisition in Barcelona I headed off to dinner with a big group gal pals on the hunt for some tapas… which we did find… but unfortunately our stomachs spoke to soon and we ended up at the closest food stop not the best one. Not the worry though as we still had two more days to get our fill. Starting with breakfast the next day at Mercat De La Boqueria food market, which had absolutely everything from fresh fruit to fish to a stall dedicated to different types of eggs. Barcelona was all about food, and the markets were just the beginning.
Heading into the first full day of exploring I definitely was not a Barce-loner because I had the gorgeous Annabelle accompanying me. A little taste of home as we are both Aussie farms girls, so we were fairly well on the same wavelengths. We made our way through the Latin quarters to the beach front and then out into the suburbs to check out (the outside of) Sagrada Familia cathedral. With our hunger for Gaudi’s designs not quite satisfied, we met up with Lana to check out the mosaic gem of Guel Park, then off to satisfy our literal hunger with a well deserved round of Tapas at a little bar in the city.
Day two started the same as day one with a revisit to the food market for some more fruit and pastry’s. It took a different swing though as I had a cooking class with a whole bunch of Busabout girls and one American couple. We filled the little conventional kitchen to learn how to make the specialities of sangria and Paella with a local chef. Everyone got a role in helping with the food preparation, mostly cutting and dicing although I got the best deal because I shot gunned gutting and cutting the squid. With unlimited sangria on hand it was always going to be a great day although nothing could of prepared me for how amazingly fun it actually was. With plenty of drink, food and instagram boomerangs we were all set. Then, to top the day off we headed back to our hostel to continue the fun on the roof top terrace.
Barcelona was a seriously beautiful city. Moving between the suburbs and areas of Barcelona there are such drastic and rapid changes in street style, the difference between them is actually insane. With an ever-changing atmosphere it leaves for such a quirky and exciting vibe and we were blessed with amazing weather as well. I definitely could have stayed longer in Barcelona, and unfortunately I didn’t make it the water for a dip… but oh well just another excuse to go back, and to be fair I thought I was going to be beaching it up at my next stop Valencia.
Speaking of places I need to go back to, Valencia is first on list. From what I saw, this was an amazing little city, although as I arrived in to Valencia my travel bug became all to literal and left me bed ridden for a few days. Though, during the times that I managed to drag myself from the hostel I got to see some really cool things. On my way out one night to find the quickest and easiest food I stumbled across this crazy sort-of street party, with a live band and a ridiculous amount of couples all swing dancing in the centre of one of the old town city squares. It was absolutely incredible. I was definitely meant to the leave the hostel at that time. Another amazing thing about the city is that a river used to run through the middle of it, although after a flood way back years ago the towns the mayor redirected the river so that it flows around the city rather than through. Then instead of leaving the old river way a wasteland they turned it into a park that snakes its way through the city. My two nights were up way to soon and it was time to put Spleasure on hold, while I crossed over into the Portugal.
Cooking Class Recipes:
Not to toot my own horn but the chef said that my brew of Sangria was wonderful so here’s how it’s done for a 2-litre jug:
- Two good table spoons of brown sugar
- 2/3ish red wine
- 1/3ish orange juice
- Some ice and plenty of cut up apple and orange and whatever fruit you like
- Then add the gin and rum by pouring them in for like 1….2….3…3 and quarter… 3 and half………4 seconds
And for the seafood paella:
- I have zero idea I was way too distracted playing with the squid and I have a horrible memory as is, sorry… but it was delicious
- I didn’t get to do this myself… buuut the thing to do is to hire a bike and ride it all the way through town down ‘the river’, and of course you are meant to the check out the beach
- Not a Valencian tip exactly BUT Avoid Contiki groups at all costs (unless you are on the Contiki then you should stick with them) not because Contiki isn’t a great way to travel but because you’ll end with Contiki cough after spending a night in the same Lauterbrunnen bar as three infected groups…
Next Stop: Porto, Portugal
Annie Charlotte xx