Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Barcelona to Abu Dhabi: We Revel in Barcelona

We know we are getting old, no matter how young we feel. We delight in our hotel room, modern, not the kind of hotel I would normally choose, but this was chosen for us, and . . . it has a young vibe, a modern vibe, and Barcelona has that same vibe, so we decide we are going to be just fine. It is ALL done with electronics. Dim the lights, use a remote. Close the curtains, use a touchpad. Call the desk on a mobile phone provided. It’s a little intimidating because it’s not the way we do business.

The artwork was all very abstract, but the next day after we visited Sagrada Familia, the abstract became concrete, as we recognized details of that exquisite, imaginative structure.

This little couch cracked us up. Just about a foot off the ground, very low, we couldn’t imagine it was comfortable or how we would get up once we sat down. Actually, it was both comfortable enough and easy to get up from.

Once we would have headed straight out to begin our Barcelona adventure. Now, we settled into our hotel and took a brief nap, then headed out around sunset to explore a little of Barcelona. Our hotel, the Hotel Almanac Barcelona, is very modern and wonderfully located near many of Barcelona’s attractions. Tonight, a Saturday, we headed to La Boqueria, a huge market on La Rambla, a major pedestrian street, full of nightlife. 

We knew we needed to stop at the Carrefour on La Rambla; Carrefour carried just about anything, and we found what we needed – manicure scissors, a corkscrew, and three bottles of wine. We resisted Barcelona chocolates and other delicacies; our cruise ship is said to cater to foodies. Carrefour was full of local people grocery shopping, so much fun to see what they were buying. The check-out line went almost the full length of the store, but it moved surprisingly fast and we were out, with everything we needed, in no time.

I don’t have a lot of regrets, but I regret not buying a few little boxes of chocolates to sample, and to share with family on our return. The boxes were so interesting and could be used in a lot of ways.

I’m sure there are Spanish supermarkets that will do the job, but we have a comfort level with Carrefour from several other places we have lived and knew we could quickly find what we needed. I got such a grin out of the children’s games on sale – we know these games, AdventureMan has played all of these with our Grandchildren – Connect 4, Battleship and Monopoly. We love strange Monopoly sets, and have them from the WWII Museum, from Pensacola, and from Doha (!)

There were crowds of people in the streets, from the language we could hear, mostly local (it is November, a wonderful time to be here.) It was girls-night-out, guys night out and date night, with families and friends’ gatherings thrown in – Barcelona was one big party. 

La Boqueria, a large open market with booth after booth of specialties,  was colorful and exciting. There are a few places with chairs and tables, a few with bars, but mostly there is a lot of takeaway food. One was a paper cone of the famous jambon Iberica, a very tasty, thinly sliced ham.

AdventureMan bought a fruit drink with coconut, then I bought a spicy meat empanada, which we shared and decided it was delicious. Then we both bought raspberry-blueberry-(something) drinks, which were also wonderful, blended but full of pieces of fruit and it felt like drinking vitamins, only delicious.  Then AdventureMan bought a mixed vegetable empanada, which we both found boring, and I bought a pumpkin empanada, which we both thought was also boring. So much fun, so colorful, noisy, and exciting. 

We were amazed at how many delicious foods and drinks we tasted, and how little it cost us. When you travel, you aren’t always so hungry at the appropriate meal times, so we were delighted to be able to sample and snack for our first meal in Barcelona.

We loved the look of these delicately sliced potato snacks, below. Aren’t they beautiful?

We wandered and got a little lost on our way back.

We don’t speak a lot of Spanish, or Catalan, so we would ask “La Rambla?” and throw out our hands with a look of “Where is it?” on our faces and people would point us in the right direction.

Once back at La Rambla, we quickly found our way back to the hotel, and headed up to the roof bar for a drink and to look out over the city.

This was a perfect way to end one very long, exciting day.

Now that we don’t have to pack for the airplanes, we are reorganizing our bags and looking forward to Monday when we will go aboard the Nautica and unpack for the next three weeks. 

Somewhere, in the next twenty-four hours, I lost / misplaced / or someone took my little AirTag, tucked in an outside pocket on my duffel bag. I never missed it until we were almost home, and I discovered it is traveling the world without me!

January 14, 2023 - Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Food, Hotels, Photos, Travel | , , , , ,

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