Wowowowowow I am in LOVE with this city. Ngl, I kind of had a feeling I would be because The Cheetah Girls 2 gave me the impression that Barcelona is the city of magic, where dreams come true. And although I didn’t win an international talent show or meet my “Angel”, I still had a bomb ass time with THE BEST food and great friends.
I spent Friday April 28 – Monday May 1 in this beautiful city with my friend from high school, Megan, and her boyfriend, Carlos. Some may say its impossible to do the entire city in a weekend, but I have proved them WRONG. Because I did. 😉
FRIDAY APRIL 28: Touched down in Barcelona around 10:30 a.m. This was ideal because I wanted to make the most of the long weekend in a city I’ve dreamed about visiting since I first saw my fave girl group strut like they mean it through the city streets.
I utilized public transportation (shoutout to Meg for her bomb advice) and purchased a T-10 pass (its approx 9.95 euros) that offers 10 trips on the train, metro, and bus. This was a smart purchase because at the very end of my Sunday in Barcelona, I used up my last trip. I’d say the money was well worth it for all I saw and did.
So from the airport on Friday, I took the train and metro to Meg’s apartment and she welcomed me with open arms and a delicious plate of avocado toast (cuz ya gurl slipped up and didn’t pack enough food for the journey AKA when I got to Meg’s place, I was STARVING).
Rest was for the weak (and I was still hungry) so after spending some time sitting on her couch catching up, we headed off to Chichi Limona for lunch where I got a delicious stuffed zucchini (which are called courgettes out there) with cheese and corn, I tried sardines for the first time which where AH-MAZING (cept for those bones that got stuck in my teeth), and had an okay dairy-pudding-flan thing with nutella on it.
Post meal, Meg took me on the best walking tour of the city centre. She showed me their Arc de Triompf, the Parc de la Ciutadella, and the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat which is free and has an open floor display of the original street levels/ruins of houses from 2,000 years ago. After, we walked along some beautiful streets with balconies teeming with flowers and vines all the way to the Gothic Quarter. Then to the Mercado de La Boqueria which is this GIANT ASS market with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, smoothies, chocolates and candies, fish, cheeses, and meat.
Of course, I couldn’t stop by a market and NOT buy something, so I bought a bag of dehydrated veggies (like veggie chips) and snacked on those the rest of the weekend. We continued to walk and I saw about a million Zara’s, a super decked out H&M (the architecture in Barcelona is INSANE), as well as the exterior of (and the mother of all Barcelona’s architecture) the Casa Batllo Gaudí.
This house was stunning with its Tim Burton-esque design (#surrealism) and is definitely somewhere I want to go inside WHEN I’m in Barcelona again.
Post free walking tour :), Meg and I went into a nearby touristy tapas place called Txapela where we grabbed some Sangria while waiting for Carlos to meet us for dinner.
Which btw, dinner in Spain is super late. Like, eating at 8 p.m. is eating on the earlier side. We left around 8:30 p.m. for the tapas place Meg and Carlos recommended I try but the wait was way too long to get in so around 10 p.m. we decided to play our cards and choose a place at random.
And boy did we choose right. Because Santa Anna was BOMB. Here, I tried SOOOO many tapas like fried eggplant, smoked salmon chunks, sautéed beans, bread with tomato spread, potato salad with tuna, and SQUID INK PAELLA. Also more Sangria. It was all so freaking good.
On the way home, I finished my day with a scoop of chocolate negro VEGAN ice cream from Chocolate Box which was literally everything I hoped it would be and more. It was quite the productive day to say the least (I’d been up since 5:45 a.m.). So as soon as we got home, I passed out.
SATURDAY APRIL 29: I slept in for the first time in literally WEEKS until 11:30 a.m. 🙂 Meg and I decided to have a chill day (which was much needed) so she cooked us up some oatmeal with bananas, chia seeds, goji berries, and agave. We sat around and chat while holding cups of organic cranberry green tea until we decided it was a good time to go out and grab brunch at one of her all time FAVORITE places (and now one of mine as well): Flax and Kale.
Service was quick and the food blew my mind. I got their savoury pancakes which were comprised of almond flour, buckwheat, red quinoa, corn, chinese little onions, and turmeric. They were dressed with boletus, rocket, tomato, pico de gallo, avocado, cashew sour cream, adzuki beans, and a poached egg that I donated to Meg. And yes, I took a picture of the menu so I could write all that down here. Also I want to try and remake it when I get back to the states soon! 🙂 ❤
For dessert (Meg and I both have HUGE sweet tooths) we decided to split two. One was the most amazing chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream I have ever had in my life and the other was a bowl containing a double scoop of house-made chocolate ice cream with sliced little cakes, papaya, and strawberries (unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the menu for this part. But I did take pictures of the food which are on my Instagram ;)).
Post dessert, I ordered again. I KNOW, I’M GLUTENOUS. Not actually, tho. The portions at this place were TINY. And since I was eating mostly plant-based, that means like no calories. So I ordered a raw superbowl to go. That was comprised of leafy greens, coleslaw raw hummus, orange betacarotene hummus, zucchini tagliatelle with a turmeric pesto, cucumber asazuke, cherry tomatoes with Basil pesto, red cabbage sauerkraut, and sprouts. Also the waiter took way too long to bring the check so I ended up eating practically the whole thing before he came back. Haha oops.
Post brunch feast, we headed to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya which has free admission for everyone after 3 p.m.(!) where I saw a beautiful view of the city from the top and a cool series of works from the modern art period (diff from the modern art we know today). Then it was to Las Arenas Mall Shopping Centre (which was once an active stadium for bullfighting but was recently turned into a giant shopping mall) where I bought some more concealer b/c ya gurl was running out and a new lip color. 🙂
For dinner, we checked out one of Meg’s fave food blogs, Madeline Shaw (linked here), and made food inspired by some of her recipes. We roasted filets of cod with grape tomatoes, made some mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, and put out a cheese spread with grapes, sliced baguette, homemade hummus, toasted pita bread, and red wine. Meanwhile, Carlos had the España soccer game playing. It was a very multicultural dining experience to say the least.
And I was very full when I went to bed. 🙂
SUNDAY APRIL 30: I woke up at 7:45 a.m., prepared for a FULL day of tourism. I left at 8:45 a.m. and saw the Sagrada Familia which was BREATHTAKING, but didn’t go inside (another thing I aim to do in a future trip) and grabbed breakfast at a nearby Costa Coffee.
Post veggie hummus wrap and my warm cup of joe, I braved the rain to Hospital San Pau where I did an awesome walking tour of the grounds. The hospital’s architecture is crazy beautiful, there is a great view of the Sagrada Familia, and INTERESTING FACT: it was used from 1930-2009, designed as a place people could come and recover rather than come and die. This hospital freaking changed the system, yo. And until you do the walking tour yourself, you probably won’t understand. Unless ur friends with me on Facebook. My pictures are breathtaking.
Post Hospital San Pau, I took the bus to Parc Gruell which was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Quite literally. Just like the Casa Batllo Gaudí I walked by on Friday, it was designed by Antoni Gaudí originally planned to house 60 homes for well off families who could afford it as a sort of world away from the inner city of Barcelona. Only two of the houses were completed, however, and the project failed. Which is why they decided to make it a public park instead.
At the Parc, I did a tour of Gaudí’s house (one of the two that were finished lol) and snacked on some mini Oreos while climbing the steps to the various viewpoints of Barcelona. And the Oreos? Well, it was 2:30 p.m., ya gurl hadn’t eaten since 9:30 a.m., there were no food establishments nearby, I didn’t pack snacks, and Oreos are Vegan. So HA. Plus, I was on vacation.
About an hour or so later, I met Meg at Brunch and Cake which was legit one of the most exciting food experiences of my life. I ordered a beet root latté with almond milk and a quinoa burger with sweet potato, nuts, guacamole, cheese, hummus and greens on a fruit and raisin bun. IT WAS STELLAR. Picture on Instagram to come. Meg ordered a slice of their carrot cake, which is always something I thought I hated until I tried this one and realized that I’m now actually obsessed. #truelife #itchangedmylife
Post 4 o’clock lunch, Meg lead us to the bunkers (pictured above) where I saw the MOST BREATHTAKING of all the views of Barcelona I’d seen. I could see her apartment, the Sagrada Familia, Hospital San Pau, the port, where her University is, where Carlos’ University is, etc. It was stunning.
After the bunkers, we traveled via metro to the port where I saw yachts on yachts on yachts and the statue of Christopher Columbus pointing to America. We went out with a bang for dinner, hitting up a trendy vegetarian/vegan place nearby called Green Spot where we ordered tapas style so we could try a little bit of (almost) everything on the menu.
Spoiler alert: it was bomb. But you probably already knew that. We ordered roasted fennel with orange and chili, quesadillas with kimchi and avocado, and an activated black carbon pizza with pumpkin, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and pistachios. I major foodie fan girl’d that night. And still to this day want to go back and continue trying everything on their menu. *tear*
Curious to see what Barcelona night life was like, Meg and Carlos took me to their fave bar, Sugar, where we got super cheap drinks and complimentary shots! Then it was to their friend’s house and before we knew it…
MONDAY MAY 1: …past midnight so we hit up a club Megan said was the best in Barcelona (called Jamboree) and danced the night away until 3:30 a.m.
SIDE NOTE: It was a pretty cool club. Good music, cool atmosphere. DEF would go back. Also funny b/c the Barcelona night life is very casual. I literally wore the clothes I’d been wearing all day since I hand’t gone back to change, as did a few others. Those who dressed up actually kinda stood out in a bad way.
I got back to Meg and Carlos’ place at 4:30 a.m. and had to catch a taxi at 5:30 a.m. that was taking me to Pasa Catalania for the Aero Bus to the airport (which is very economical, it takes you straight to either terminal 1 or terminal 2 from the city centre for just 5.90 euros; I highly recommend it). So, naturally, I stayed up. I ate the rest of my salad from Flax and Kale and uploaded some pics to Instagram.
Then, I was off on a plane back to France. I spent the rest of the day sleeping, save for a 2 mile jog I took part in b/c it was a beautiful day and so many others were out running and (important to note) realized I’m now a true runner because old Rebi would’ve never gotten FOMO seeing a bunch of people she doesn’t know out running when she’s sleep deprived af and just landed.
But c’est la vie.
Meg and Carlos, if you’re reading this, thank you so incredibly much for your hospitality and bomb ass tour guide skills. I am so so so so grateful! 🙂 ❤
I had the most wonderful time in Barcelona, Spain and I already want to go back! Rebi, you’ve already mentioned this 3 times. I know. But I just don’t care. I loved the vibrance of the city, the culture, the life. The food was great and the nature of the people was so laid back. I think I captured it exactly in the above photo hahaha. I was totally in my element out there and did not want to leave. I also acclimated to the late dinner times quite easily. It almost made me feel like I was on Eastern Standard time again. Weird…
Also I really want to plan a trip to spend a longer time in Spain (maybe a few weeks or so) and see Madrid, Granada, Seville, Mérida, etc. But not anytime soon. Maybe in a few years.
So until then, resting up. I’ve got another trip planned for this weekend. Any guesses of where I may be headed? 😉
Thanks for reading and see ya in my next post! 🙂