Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#1521 2 weeks in Barcelona day 1 - family, tapas and jet lag

I am so ready to relive my wonderful days in Spain here! Before I get started, I want you to know that I will be talking about and showing some photos of food. You'll also see my family and various random photos that I like and that remind me of the time in Barcelona. Here we go...

We left around 9:30 on a Sunday morning. We flew from LA to Atlanta which is about a four and a half hour flight. We didn't have any time to dawdle in Atlanta; in fact, we were three of the last six people to board the flight. It was a little stressful, but we made it and all was well. I watched a couple of movies and slept most of the way. It's about a nine hour flight and we arrived in Barcelona around 8:30 am on Monday morning. We collected our luggage - all present and accounted for! - changed some money and walked out to the terminal. My cousin Sonia was jumping up and down with excitement in the waiting area and she ran around the crowd to practically knock us down with her hugs. It was a sweet and really wonderful welcome.

Background: Sonia is a couple of years younger than my sister. When Lizzie was in high school, Sonia came over to stay with my parents and went to high school with Lizzie. She actually went to high school here for two years. Sonia said many times that those two years were the best of her life and really got her on the right path. She has very strong feelings of love and I would even say devotion to my mom and my sister. Sonia is seven years younger than I am. When she was here, I was already out of college and I just remember her as a teenager. I really enjoyed meeting the adult Sonia!

Sonia's partner, Eric, was there too. He's a great guy. He speaks seven languages, which I really admire. I'd never met him before. Sonia and Eric went to California together several years ago, so my mom and Lizzie had already met him.

Sonia and Eric drove us to our apartment on Carrer de Bertran. The apartment was in the neighborhood where my mom grew up; in fact, the Roca y Battle apartment (Mom's home) was around the corner and up the street. She had literally walked past the apartment building on Bertan about a million times during her childhood! One of the first things we did was walk up to Roca y Battle and had our photo taken in front of the door to the building.

Me, Lizzie, Mom and Sonia

My grandparents have both passed on, and the apartment was sold many years ago, but we all have fond memories of the place.

We were feeling pretty hungry, so my mom remembered a bar/restaurant that wasn't very far called El Rincon. We had some delicious tapas:

Let me walk you through the culinary delights. Right there in front is bread with tomato. So simple and so delicious. You take pieces of bread, rub tomato all over it, drizzle it with fine Spanish olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  To the left is a plate of anchovies in vinegar. Put one of those little fishies on the bread and you are in business! Behind the anchovies is a plate of calamare. Next to that, on the right is ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) which is a potato salad with tuna in it. Between the bread and the Russian salad is a slice of tortilla de patatas, or tortilla espanola or potato omelet. All of these dishes are very typical tapas and were completely delicious.

We washed it all down with a canya - a draft beer.

From left: Eric, me, Mom and Lizzie
Sonia and Eric headed back to their home in Santa Cristina, about an hour or so from Barcelona. They have a 13 year old daughter, who you will meet in subsequent posts. :) The three of us went back to our apartment and chilled out for a little while. Mom and Lizzie both took naps. They didn't sleep much on the plane. I didn't want to nap because I was concerned that if I napped I would wake up in the middle of the night and my mind/body would have a really hard time adjusting to the time change. I powered through, but it was tough.

Finally I decided to go to the store and get a Coke. This was a big deal for me since I stopped drinking soda in mid-May. There was just nothing else for it, though. Lizzie was awake and said she would come with me. Mom was napping. Instead of just going to the store, Lizzie and I decided to explore. I vaguely remembered that there was a park near the Roca Y Battle apartment. It seemed that it was just up the hill. Amazingly, we found it! I didn't know what it was called (Putxet) but I seem to remember walking here with my dad, and that was a LOOOONG time ago.

Anyway, the views from the park are wonderful.

Looking west from Putxet to Tibidabo.
Looking east to the Torre Agbar on the left and the Sagrada Familia on the right.
Lizzie and I headed back "home". That night we had a simple dinner of sandwiches and chips. It was a very long day for me and I was thankful to fall into my bed. It was not comfortable, but I was dog-tired, so it felt just fine. And just so you know...I slept all through the night!

Check back on Thursday and I'll tell you about the second day in Barcelona when we walked all through the Gothic Quarter.

1 comment:

Kteach said...

I think is very nice to hear the different voices (waiting for Lizzie's) recalling our trip, there's always some new thing to remember... :)