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Friday, July 02, 2010

5 Reasons I Love Barcelona

Here's a really overdue post about our trip to Spain back in April. Rather than write 286 posts about why I loved Barcelona, I'm just going to do one nice list for you.

1. Diversity: I've never seen such a random bunch of people. Within five minutes of stepping onto La Rambla (a busy pedestrian mall full of tourists, locals, street entertainers and vendors), I had seen several families, a gay couple, a dude dressed up as a giant robot, and a woman wearing a tutu. I had also overheard at least seven different languages.

2. Plentiful wine: We saw a sign early on that said "Save water, drink wine" and laughed. Little did we know at the time that this was not a joke but a way of life. No matter what time of day, it is just assumed that you will be ordering at least one bottle of wine with your meal. Even better, the wines are affordable and delicious! Unlike the good ole USofA where restaurants mark up wine by 1834%, bottles of regional and local wines started around the equivalent of roughly $10. Yes, that's per BOTTLE, not glass. And they were amazing.

3. Jamón serrano and Chorizo: How did I go the first 30-some years of my life without making the acquaintance of these brilliant meats? Jamón serrano (mountain ham) is a dry-cured ham. It's served raw and in very thin slices. Think prosciutto but more delectable. And Spanish chorizo is a smoky lovely red sausage that gets most of its flavor and color from paprika. It comes in both hot and mild and is served both cold or cooked. My favorite way to eat chorizo? Who cares - just get it in my belly! The food in general was very good. Tapas-style (small plates meant to share) is an awesome way to eat!

4. Ed: 'Nuff said.

5. La Boqueria: Check this place out!. If you click to the map and then the shop map (they won't let me link directly there), you'll get a feel for just how huge this place is. It's what I think of as a Farmers' Market, but on crack (it's also beautiful). It dates all the way back to the 13th century and they sell fresh meats, fruits, veggies, sausages, eggs, seafood, candies, wine, cheeses... Anything delicious and local and fresh, they sell it at the market. It made me wish we weren't staying in a hotel because I wanted to take everything with me so I could cook it. (TMC - you would've LOVED this place!)

So there, just 5 of the reasons I love Barcelona. I could've made a list of 100 or more but then you'd all get bored. Plus, I probably lost most of you around #4 when you clicked back on the post about Ed and your drool short-circuited your keyboard so you couldn't return.

It's hard to pick a favorite city without adding a lot of qualifiers because we've been to some amazing places. Each one has its own unique charms and experiences. But the casual atmosphere, daunting architecture, and incredible foods definitely put Barcelona in a class of its own.


C. Beth said...

As if I didn't already have enough reason to visit (with the Zoodle & Chickie shop) there's yummy, cheap wine and an awesome market? I want to go!

Toriz said...

We have markets like that here. A small version comes and sets itself up in the centre of our little town every Friday.

Jeanie said...

I could never get tired of you talking about Barcelona. I'm so glad you loved so much about it. It is worth the trip just for some time on La Rambla, but there is so much more to love.

amanda @ Rambling of an Empty Mind said...

I'd love to visit a farmer's market like that...looks awesome!

studio lolo said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! I love the idea of a bottle of wine with every meal ;)
The Europeans make it all seem okay but the US calls us winos or alchoholics :P

I travel vicariously through friends. I'm a travel woosy pants longing to see places but not willing to leave my pets...or fly.

I'm glad you had a wonderful time!

Caty said...

I did click back to #4 and once again was not disappointed. I did have to run to the kitchen and grab a paper towel for the drool since I was ill-prepared.... ;) I did make it back to read #5 though. Great list...I want to go!!

Rhiannon said...

I'm going to Spain in September for my honeymoon and this makes me SO excited.

Kristan said...

Jamon serrano is da bomb!! Chorizo? Not so much. At least not for me. But yeah, Barcelona is amazing. All of Spain is, really. I lived in Madrid for a summer, and I swear it became a part of my soul.