Before embarking on another trip to Spain, I said to my brother that Greg and I would love to go to Barcelona this time, instead of another trip to Valencia. Don’t get me wrong, Valencia is very nice city we have been there so many times and we know already what to expect from the city. Greg once told me that if there were a place beside NYC where he would want to live, that city would be Barcelona. I asked him how could you choose a place to live like this without even being there? He simply answered that he trusts his gut and his gut re-assures him that Barcelona would be that place. He was right, as absurd as the answer may seem, that’s the answer I always give people when they ask me what was the reason that I decided to leave Spain for NYC.
My brother bought our train tickets to Barcelona and we caught the train in Atocha train station. We went at the station long before our departure so had time enough for a café con leche, a fresh orange juice and bread with olive oil and fresh tomato (this is a typical Andaluz breakfast). All of this only costed us only 3 Euros.
The train ride was so relaxing, starring out the window and admiring the view took me to a different world, a world without stress and a place of total Zen. At one point we were laughing at each other as we were both thinking at the same time that the train seats are so much better, bigger and more comfy compared to the plane.
My brother was waiting for us at the train station in Barcelona with arms extended to give us a big hug, a hug that I was looking forward to for so many months. He took us to many beautiful places in Barcelona (although very touristy) plaza Cataluña where we had croquetas, tortilla de patata, chipirones, pan con tomate …again. We ate a lot and took a long walk along the beach before heading home.
The next day he asked me what do I wanted for my birthday? Without thinking much, I answered: I am dreaming of going to Sitges. I want to have a fresh orange juice with café con leche facing the sea and I want the sun to shine on my face. I was so desperately wanted to feel the sun warm my face after such a long long long winter.
The next day we headed to Sitges. Here are some of the photos we took there, which I am sure, do not need any comments.
....and of course we tried some of the best tapas...
I was in Sitges long time ago, probably 9 years ago with my very good friend Gilu and his French friends. Sitges is very well known for its beaches, nightspots, and historical sites. It is also known for it’s gay community and nude beaches. I don’t remember much of the nightlife as we were always drinking. Neither do I remember the mornings, as we were always sleeping. I do remember the afternoons though, where Gil and I would walk to get far from the center and sit and starring at the rocks as they were hit by big waves. That was our therapy to get rid off the terrible hangover instead of taking any meds…and it worked. This trip to Sitges reminded me of that time too.
The next day in Barcelona, we over slept. So my brother suggested having barbeque and eat paella at home. And of course we agreed. A typical dish in Barcelona is spring onions grilled on the barbeque. This is called Calçot. We were surprised by the fact that the onions were not even cleaned, rather they were still dirty and you can see the earth on them still. At the beginning I was not very happy about it but when I learned how you are supposed to eat them, it changed my opinion. The onions are grilled over a high flame, then wrapped up in newspaper, and eaten after peeling them apart with bare hands and dipping them one by one in a Calçot salsa along with an accompaniment of red wine and bread.
At the same time, my brother was making the paella, which was to die for.
The next day we went to see some of the Gaudi’s work. Greg was amazed and taking pictures non-stop. We went to Parc Gaulle where you can see a wonderful view of the city there. There were also too many tourist, Americans, Europeans taking selfies. We were kind of annoyed so my brother suggested we go to another spot of the other side of the park where not many people knew that it existed…so we climbed, without exaggeration, 100 steps. It was worth the trip for two reasons: the view of the city was breathtaking and also the calories we spent in climbing those stairs meant more food and drink we could indulge in the next few days, which we did.
This is the city where Greg and I want to live and sooner or later it will become reality.
Hasta pronto Barcelona