Barcelona is one of those rare cities that my wife and I can both agree that we like. It has the old town, interesting lanes and abundance of entertainment options that appeal to Risa, and it has the dry weather, proximity to the outdoors and affordability that appeals to me.
My little brother has been living in Barcelona for a few years now, and as we hadn’t seen him in some time, and as a nice way of enjoying some sunshine before our relocation to London (and after a month in Russia), we made it a quick detour visit.
We made the most of the time, and rather than staying within the city, we hired a car and travelled around northern Catalunya.
In between doing things in town, like Sagrada Familia, we just decided to explore town, wondering down some of the alleys in the old districts, soaking up the sun on Barcelona Beach, and cruising between monuments on the excellent Barcelona bikes (which unfortunately aren’t available to tourists).
And, of course, there was the restaurants and the bars! Luckily we had a fantastic tour guide who knew all the fun bars, and the cheap local restaurants, including the metal bar Bollocks, complete with piranha above the door, the retro-themed Polaroid, and the bizarre Barbie-doll nightmare that was Sor Rita! The bars were only getting busy after midnight, and the quiet alleys soon became congested congregations of party goers.
We made sure to try some of the local drinks, including some cider that required special pouring to get the fizz, and some Panther’s Milk (Leche de Pantera), which tasted like (alcoholic) mother’s milk!
And we dined in the ever popular La Paradeta, where you choose the fresh seafood, and they cook it to your liking, the upmarket and slightly trendy Can Cisa, plus many other smaller tapas restaurants.
It’s not just eating and drinking, there is still plenty of history and culture to enjoy, should you choose to spend your time that way. There is the obvious local architectural legend Gaudi, who has several buildings other than the unmissable La Sagrada Familia. As well as many lesser know cathedrals, squares and markets in the Born region.