Another Beautiful Day in Barcelona
Our second morning in Barcelona, we head down La Ramblas, the main pedestrian street. We love the flower vendors and sidewalk artists. We find the Gothic Quarter or old town. The winding, narrow cobblestone streets are barely wide enough for all the tourists. Filled with shops and tapas bars today, you can imagine the old stone buildings hundreds of years ago. After walking through the beautiful Cathedral of Barcelona (I had to buy a t-shirt first ~ no shoulders showing for women), we come upon Placa Reial, a large plaza with a pretty fountain in the center and cafes on all sides. It’s a great place for people watching.
We find a table at La Terrassa del DQ where we start off with Sangria Cava for me and Sangria Rouge for Sweet Shark. Both are delicious and refreshing.
A bowl of silky smooth gazpacho filled with rich tomato flavor and a hint of cucumber paired with more bread and tomato start our lunch. We share an order of Iberico ham croquets and a Bomba Anec, a lamb croquette topping with pate. The entire lunch is a delight.
Heading back up La Rambla we spy the Barcelona Food Market, the most amazing one we’ve ever seen. A huge complex with hundreds of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, so many varieties of mushrooms, cheeses, nuts, spices, chocolates, candies – it’s overwhelming, but heaven for this food lover. Meats, chickens, even skinned rabbits, ham legs hanging from hooks. The most amazing part is the fish displays – so many types of fish, ones we’ve never seen – and the locals buying everything in sight. I do purchase a bottle of local olive oil which I’ll share with my cooking classes.
Next we search out Bar Mut (pronounced moot), a place Sweet Shark read about that is reputed to have the best patatas bravas anywhere. We weren’t disappointed. The crispy fried potatoes topped with garlicky aioli and spicy tomato sauce were indeed the best. The local wines and beers offered make this small intimate place a must stop. The cute Catalonian waiter helps too.
For dinner we go to Cerveseria Catalana which was a recommended by our hotel. It must be popular because it’s crowded but we finally find a spot at the very long tapas bar next to a lovely couple from Scotland who help us with our dining choices. We start with a fig stuffed with a local cheese and topped with shredded jamon. Then calamari and aioli. Camembert coated in chopped nuts is a surprise treat. Langostinos on a skewer with tomatoes complete our last tapas meal in lovely Barcelona.
Unfortunately, we are eating, drinking and talking so much that I don’t take a picture of our food.
We have fallen in love with this city ~ the food, the friendly people, the history, and the sense of liveliness, great wine, and the beautiful Cathedral of Barcelona which took our breath away with its gold-leaf statues and paintings ~ it’s such a clean and well-designed city.
Tomorrow we board the Regal Princess to begin our Mediterranean adventure and sail to France.