Me encanta Espana! (I LOVE Spain!)

LOCATION: Barcelona, Spain
WEATHER: Very pleasant. A bit overcast; high 55

Due to the northern Europe short winter days, we arrived in Copenhagen in the dark and left this morning in the dark, so we really didn’t see anything of the city. Next time….. We had a great Scandinavian smorgasbord breakfast in the hotel – with luscious rye bread, herring, cheeses, and meats.

After a 3-hour flight, we landed in Barcelona and took a taxi to the old city part of town where our hotel is. I lived in Spain in the 1970s when I was in college. Boy have we (both Spain and I) changed. I never would have taken a cab – I was Miss Cheapo during those days. And, I quickly discovered the land of 1 cent glasses of wine with free tapas has totally disappeared… 😦

Our hotel is a cute boutique hotel type of place. We got a map of the city and off we went. Our goals were to see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and get some wine and tapas. It was quite a hike (2.5 miles) to La Sagrada Familia, but it felt good to walk again after those long flights. I just love the wide boulevards in Spanish cities like Barcelona and the beautiful architecture.

Tickets for La Sagrada Familia are 30 euros each and you have to buy them online weeks before your visit, so we just looked at it from outside. It has also changed a lot since I was here last (1972). When I was here, only this part was finished.

Now a more whimsical side has been added, and they are still working on it.

With that item checked off our list, we went in search of vino, which isn’t hard to find here! We found this cute bodega for our first round of tapas…

It is the kind where you sit at the bar, order your wine from a barrel, select your tapas, drink wine from a juice glass, and chat with the owner. Absolute heaven!!!

We ordered two plates of tapas – one was cheese-stuffed anchovies; the other was spicy olives. Delicioso!

Happy as clams, we walked back toward our hotel, getting lost quite a bit. We stopped at another bar that was a bit more upscale, but since it was farther away from the tourist area, it was actually cheaper. Here we had chorizo and sauteed mushrooms for tapas. George tried a new beer.

Our third, and final, bodega stop was a hipster kind of place with lots of university students. There we had 3 plates of tapas – calamari, grilled peppers, and croquettes (very popular in Spain).

Tired from the flight and all the walking, we headed to bed early – probably earlier than anyone else in Barcelona!

I think I could live in Spain again. Just wonderful vibes.

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