So I’m listening to Youtube on shuffle, when Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando starts playing in Spanish. It reminded me of a time I went out dancing with some Italian friends and how much they loved that song. Then it occurred to me that Spanish and Italians have more in common than we think. Despite this blog being 99.99% Italian, I have permission by James to write about my one week trip to Spain! Muchos gracias James!
So, due to limited time my family and I chose Barcelona to explore. I had many expectations of Spain: food, vivacious people/culture and Latin music. Well Barcelona ticked them all.
Our hotel was in a suburb roughy seven stops from the centre and about a 20 min walk from Park Guell, called Vallcarca. Here we had access to local fruit shops, tapas bars, bakeries and more tapas bars. Walking down to the main road we could see the city of Barcelona from the bridge and all the cars passing below, and kids playing basketball in the street. Upon arrival first things first – SANGRIA. (I’d say the Italian equivalent would be an Aperol Sprtiz!) We headed to the nearest tapas bar run by a father and daughter. We ordered whatever we saw and said “¡Salud!” (Cin Cin/ Salute in Italian) to that! The European vibes had been consumed in three glasses and we braced ourselves for the next five weeks in Europe.
Tapas bar – El Rincón – Vallcarca, Barcelona, Spain.
After sleeping off the breakfast, we were in search of a hearty Spanish breakfast or desayuno as they say. We fell in love with a bakery across the road from El Rincon. Not only did the smell of fresh sweets, pastries and pizza allure us in, but it was so great to see the bakers making them!
We ate this nearly every day and we were satisfied for a good few hours until stumbling upon other bars whilst sight seeing!
L´Obrador del Moli – Vallcarca, Barcelona, Spain.
Typical Spanish breakfast – very similar to Italian colazione:
- Fresh pastries filled with fresh custard and sugar
- Sweet bread with nuts
- Savoury slices with ham, cheese – favourite had camembert and caramelised onion paste
- Freshly squeezed orange juice and/of coffee.
La comida – Lunch time consisted of numerous plates of paella! My favourite was traditional and black rice paella! With a glass of sangria of course! The flavours of the paella were so flavoursome and juicy. The seafood was so fresh and the lemon made it zesty and fresh!
We ate at a tapas bar across from La Sagrada Familia. I felt like a true Catalonian. I made sure that each meal was not rushed. That I tasted the food in all its goodness and acknowledged my surroundings whilst at it. The vibes were almost Italian, friendly staff, children running around piazzas and just an overall positive attitude to everything. Everything was really relaxed.