Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Day in Barcelona

On the way to Roussillon, I flew through Paris, but I was excited to have the opportunity to fly back through Barcelona. I had been to Spain before. This was my first trip, though, to this vibrant city and I’m so glad I was able to squeeze it in.

It was a short one and a half hour train ride from Perpignan in Roussillon, France, to Barcelona, Spain. I enjoyed the scenery as we went by, but I was anxious to arrive at my destination. I only had until the next morning before I was flying home.

The train station was busy, but it didn’t take me long to find a cab to my hotel, the Catalonia Plaza Cataluna. I was pleased that Wines of Roussillon had chosen this location for me as it was central to the city. It even had two things I don’t get often in Europe, a bathtub and king size bed.

I quickly freshened up and asked the concierge for my best walking route to see the city. He pointed me to La Rambla, which was just a block away. From there I was able to head to the Gothic Quarter, the Cathedral and Museu Picasso. This museum was probably the most difficult for me not to spend time in as I am a very big Picasso fan.

The trip to Barcelona felt like a preview of future adventures, but I still enjoyed it while I was there. The architecture, mostly by Antonio Gaudi, is spectacular and can be seeing in buildings throughout the city so just walking around is a learning experience.

As much as I loved the vibrant inner city, I was drawn by the open area around the pier and my long walk down to the water was certainly scenic. I was struck by the statue of Christopher Columbus and then walked further down to the water where I could see the World Trade Center and Aquarium. I stayed just long enough to watch the sun set over the pier and then strolled through the market and back to the hotel.

I would have loved to walk for hours more, but I had an appointment to meet with Manel Casanovas of the Barcelona Tourism Board at a new wine bar inside Moritz. I had walked so much during the day and was running late, so I decided to get a cab to the newly opened wine bar at this unusual location.

I immediately loved the d├ęcor of Moritz, modern European with a bit of pop art. Manel and wine bar staff took me through the large wine menu, which included everything from Napa Valley Cabernet to Catalan Moscatal. What made this place even more unique was the fact that you could choose the size of the glass of wine you wanted to taste. With wines priced from $15 to $3,000 a bottle, you could have a choice of a small “taste” of an expensive wine for the same price as a bottle of something local regardless of your budget.

It was time to drink some wine with some food of Moritz. Manel showed me how to use a porro, a carafe that you use to “drop” wine into your mouth. We then started with some Tapas before a charcuterie plate filled with sausage and meats. The cheese platter was also quite appetizing.

I was pretty full, but everyone insisted I try the Spanish version of a French favorite (fitting when you are near the border of both places), Boeuf Bourguinon, and I really enjoyed it.

I toured the brewery and banquet areas downstairs before I bid my hosts farewell. I decided to forego the cab and take in a bit more of Barcelona while I had the chance.

I got a bit lost on my way back to the hotel and I was actually glad it happened. I had wondered through some alleyways filled with revelers going in and out of the small bars, clubs and restaurants. 

Despite the fact that I was alone and there were some quieter areas, I felt safe. The only thing I didn’t feel was enough energy to continue partying into the night.

In the morning, I reluctantly left my hotel for Barcelona airport. Check in was easy and I was early for my flight. The airport gate was quite crowded and I chuckled at the site of a cervesa (beer) vending machine positioned just before passengers headed on the plane. I decided instead to settle into my seat (emergency row, but no upgrade from American) and have a glass of wine instead.

It had been a great week exploring Roussillon that had been made even better with a Spanish ending.



2 comments:

Days Inn International Drive said...

Nice share! The pictures are so beautiful and also from the pictures of food i can imagine that how delicious it would be. I hope i will visit this wonderful place soon.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us!

jayant jangid said...

Nice article
thanks for sharing
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest most beautiful city in Spain.it is the nice trip for spending vacation.
please visit us Days inn orlando downtown is most wonderful city in florida,usa.

Post a Comment