06.10.2011 29 °C
It is the end of our second day in Barcelona and things are going great. We are experiencing our first stay that we booked through a website called www.airbnb. People with an extra house, apartment or even just a spare room can rent it out for whatever they think it fair. We (ok, Nat) did some research and found a couple (Anna+Jordi) here is Barcellona that had a good looking apartment and said they enjoyed food and wine and showing off their city. At $50/night, it sounded like a deal.
We had heard horror stories of Barcelona's pickpockets and after being lost in Mallorca for the better part of five days, we decided we weren't ready to brave the public transit system and just grabbed a cab yesterday morning. Luckily, "Speedy Gonzalez" (our cab driver) had a TomTom GPS as we were little help with directions in this city of almost 5 million people. Anna was waiting for us by the door and she showed us into our home for the week. They have a small apartment, but they have done a great job at renovating it so it feels as if we have an ensuite bedroom, a living room, a large balcony all to ourselves and we share a kitchen with them. It is our first experience with "airbnb", but they have set our standards pretty high for any future bookings.
One project we need to take care of here is sorting out my Visa for India which has been an ongoing hassle. Thanks to Jordy this morning, we got to the bank and filled out all the forms and with any luck, we should be ready to head East in a couple of weeks. That done, we had all day to explore the city and they had suggested we go and find some of the amazing architecture here of some guy name Antoni Gaudi (I'm clearly not a student of architecture as he is quite famous.) We did find one of his houses, somewhat by mistake, as we forgot to bring the map with us. As Natalie was getting hungry, I figured one was enough for now and it was time for tapas. We found a tapas bar set up similar to a sushi bar, but instead of carefully prepared bait, they serve delicious plates of various meats, cheeses and vegetables often served on a large crouton. They didn't serve sangria by the glass, so the pitcher we ordered was nobody's fault but we struggled through it. I think the bill said we ordered 24 plates, but I thought it was possibly more so we couldn't argue.
We did manage to explore a little more, but without the map and with a full belly, siesta time seemed appropriate. Our next adventure is going to be planning how to kill some extra time we have while we wait for my passport to come back with the Visa. We are thinking of a road trip by train or car to Northern Spain, Southern France and maybe Monaco or Italy. If you are reading this and are in any of these places, please let as know and we will try and catch up. If you want to be in these places and can get on a plane, let us know and we'll get a bigger car!
Maybe tomorrow we will find this Gaudi fellow...
This is a building by Gaudi that we found...tomorrow we will find his churches
The shrimp and ham skewer was good, the cuttlefish with pesto was great!
On the left, deep fried camembert and asparagus in puff pastry, centre is a duck breast and left is obviously a big slab of cheese with a puree of grilled red peppers and garlic
Dessert was good too, the centre piece is a solid gin and tonic with lemon sherbet - BRILLIANT!