25 June 2010

Barcelona, Part Dos

So, Grams and her granny pal parted ways to catch a cruise to Monte Carlo (yes, exactly) and I was left to my own devices in Barcelona. I spent the next 4 days jumping on trains to beaches, chatting up locals, soaking and steaming in Arabian baths, watching World Cup, and eating, eating, eating!  GOOD times.

My friend, Michelle, and I grabbed the train to Sitges, a little beachside paradise about 35km south of Barcelona. Such a charming little town and so beautiful!  We ate lunch with the locals at a little fish market restaurant (marisqueria).  Basically, you pick out what fish you want from a table of varieties on ice (we got calamari, muscles, prawns, and something else I'm not sure of) and they ask if you want it grilled or fried and 10 mins later, you get a plate of piping hot fish and a basket of bread.  Sooo awesome! If you are ever in Barcelona or Sitges and you like seafood, you have to go here! It's called La Paradeta.

Then, we headed down to the beach and soaked in the sun and swam in the Mediterranean! Amazing.


Back in Barcelona, I stumbled upon a lively Mexican bar where the local Barcelones gathered to cheer on Team Mexico in the World Cup.  It was a huge party and everyone was draped in Mexico flags and sporting their Mexico colors. At the height of the game, the power went out in the bar and the crowd erupted into shouts and they all started chanting "Gratis Beer!  Gratis Beer!" When the power came back on and the game was restored, everyone went wild! Basically, amazing (again).
Team pride!

Another highlight of the trip... I went to an amazing Arabian bath house called Aire de Barcelona.  Using the Arab tradition of Hammam, the ancient, centuries-old bath house has 6 pools in varying temps from freezing (literal ice is melting into the shock pool) to hot and steamy and with different levels of salt and herbs for clarifying, detoxing and general magic-making. Also, a rad steam room.  Basically, you cruise around from pool to pool and go from hot to cold all in an incredible, cavernous bare-brick stone building that's below street level. So cool and so relaxing.  Highly recommended! And not too $$ either!

*photos from the Aire de Barcelone website

The rest of the trip, I just relaxed on the beach, explored El Born, made some new friends with some locals whilst eating tapas, enjoyed meals and my cute hotel with my awesome balcony and view.  

Hotel cuteness
Room with a view!

Barcelona life: El Born
Awesome haircut shop

Hivernacle Greenhouse in Parc Citudella

Umbranacle Greenhouse

Love the BLUE.

LOVE Barcelona!
Also love being back in Paris!

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