Thursday, January 28, 2010

Barcelona Trip Summer '09

Arrived in Barcelona, Spain on July 30, 2009 afternoon. We stayed at the Hotel 1898, a Philippine themed hotel right on La Ramblas, heart of Barcelona, I suppose. It's a great location next to the Boqueria Market, Carre Four Supermarket, Starbucks conveniently located at the hotel lobby, McDonald's, Burger King, Tapas Bar, Museums and so on. You find beautiful, fresh produce at the Boqueria. It's nice to take a walk in the morning when they start putting out their produce which are being handled carefully and displayed nicely. Perfectly sliced fruits and smoothies are ready to go.

There are lot of stalls that sell cured meats such as ham, chorizo, salami, deli meats and etc.

Below must be the Hotel Monte Carlo. The light effects make it look eerie at night.

Since we love to walk coz you get to see more places on foot, we decided to head to Sagrada Familia which is about 2.5 miles from the hotel. We didn't go in coz of the long lines and it's under renovation as you see in the picture.

I stumbled upon this pastry shop. They look soo good and had to take pictures from the side of the shop. I just didn't want them to stop me from taking.

Below was taken inside Picasso Museum. We went there on a Sunday and line was really long. Found out that admission is free on Sundays, 10 Euros on regular days.

Below is the Casa de L'ardiaca Catedral. It's a nice place to hang out, so many souvenir shops surrounding this Cathedral.

A Cookie store. I wonder how long they've been on display. They all look old.

Parc de Carles where I almost got robbed. Yeah, be careful when you go to places or parks esp. if you're alone. Never entertain people that look locals on their bikes asking for direction. They're just trying to scale or size you up, see what you got and don't be surprised if they come back. Thankfully, I was aware and suspicious of them esp. when the guy came back with another person also on a bike and stood behind me. I had to grab my belongings immediately. I maybe wrong, although, I knew they're up to something. They knew I was a tourist, so why would they ask me? They could've gotten away with a digital cam and an HD Camcorder. Guess, they realized that I sensed it so they fled. Believe me, I was frightened and weakened my knees. Made me paranoid the whole time. So, never let your guards down whenever you're in public.

Below is the Mirador de Colom right at the end of La Ramblas towards the water. Walk along the boardwalk in La Barceloneta and make sure you bring a mat or beach towel with you to lie on the beach.

If i'm not mistaken, that's the Maritime Museum (below) near Mirador de Colom.

Crema Catalan served on their traditional plate.

Be sure to visit Placa Reial where you find restaurants with the best deal such as Le Quinze Nits, the line is so long that you have to be there early. Ambience is great and to my surprise, most of the staff are Filipinos. Food is amazing and very reasonable, just 7 Euros for a pitcher of Sangria, can't beat that, huh? Their sister restaurant few feet away is La Fonda, also good food and nice decor. Below is a Duck with Strawberry sauce over Sweet Potato puree from La Crema, right across from Les Quinze Nits. This restaurant is a lot smaller, so be sure to get there early.

Overall, Barcelona is a vibrant city. There are so many young people on the streets especially on La Ramblas, just hanging out until the break of dawn. My hubby and I thought it was "okay", will I go back? Sure, but I would consider going outside the city next time.