Spain, Barcelona – Part 1

Woke up early in Madrid and walked to the Atocha train station. We took the Renfe Ave train to Barcelona. The pics don’t turn out that great when you’re traveling at 310km per hour.

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We took the R4 train from Barcelona-Sants to Placa de Catalunya then walked a few blocks to find the Passeig de Gràcia stop. We then tool the L4 to the  Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica stop and walked a few more blocks to our hotel; Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz Carlton property. This is so typical of our lives. We utilize many forms of public transportation and walking while dragging our luggage behind us to then check into one of the fanciest hotels in the city. I know we like the challenge of being self supported and reliant. It’s way to easy to plop down in a taxi and tell them where you want to go. Hubby and I like to do things the hard way but then enjoy the fruits of our labor when we get there.

The hotel was amazing! Anything you want they will get it for you. The front desk staff was over the top nice and helpful. When we got to our room our jaws dropped with the views that we had. Mountains to one side and the Balearic Sea to the other.

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We left the hotel and hits the streets walking towards Las Ramblas; a street famous for shopping, restaurants, and pick pockets. We were so hungry that we stopped at one of the first places we saw. It was just a bit off the water and the sun was out so we couldn’t resist sitting outside. We ordered nachos since I’m such a fanatic and needed to try them in Spain and 2 Cruzcampo beers. The beers are just cheap lager style beers but it felt right.

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After lunch we headed up Las Ramblas. There were quite a few people milling about and shopping. Not nearly as crowded as it would be in the summer.

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The surrounding architecture was beautiful. So much detail and character.

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We walked through the Mercado de La Boqueria. We love just walking though markets in different countries. It really gives you a sense of what people in that country eat and cherish. We don’t buy trinkets while we are traveling, we only buy things that we would actually use. Quite often this becomes wine, beer, olive oil, or vinegar. This time we easily picked out an olive oil to bring back home; Oleum Flumen, Oli d’Oliva Verge Extra.

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We had a little bit of time before the show that we were going to would be starting so we decided to grab a beer at a bar just across the street. Once again it was a small quaint place with few tables. Alsur Café had a good beer selection. I had the Big Bear pale ale from the Barcelona Beer Company. It was not bad.

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The show we had tickets to see was for a piano concerto by Varvara at the famous Palau de la Música Catalana. Varvara played J. S. Bach: English Suite no. 2, L. van Beethoven: Sonata op. 110, and M. Mussorgski: Pictures at an Exhibition. The whole performance was amazing and that she could play for that long by herself on stage was impressive.

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Our reservation for dinner was at 11pm. Yes, you read that right, we would be just starting to eat dinner at 11pm which was quite normal for the people of Catalan but not for me. We had made reservations at Els Quatre Gats in the Barri Gotic quarters. Picasso frequented this restaurant in the late 1800’s. He gave his first exhibition in the large hall and created the print for their menus. I ordered the Tuna Tatakai w/ vegatables and wasabi foam while hubby ordered the Veal tenderloin with foie and mushroom sauce. Both of us had amazing meals. We also shared on of the best bottles of wine I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it just paired really well with the meal or if the fantastic label played into my liking of it but I wish I could find it in the states.

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We walked home relaxed, full, happy and tired. Time for bed.

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~ by willtriforbeer on January 21, 2016.

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