SIDE NOTE: I began writing this post on September 19th
I’ve officially been in Barcelona for two weeks and I absolutely love it. I started my first class at CEA my program and had orientation for my three other classes at Pompeu Fabra, a local university here this past week. I am excited to start my Spanish course at Pompeu Fabra (UPF) because every day I’ve been learning new words and finding more locals to practice the language with and I know that starting the class will just be another big step in getting better and better at speaking Spanish.
The Barcelona locals are incredible; unlike a lot of rude Europeans I’ve met in my past who immediately judge you for speaking English and being American, the Catalan people have gone out of their way to help me with my questions, teach me new Spanish words and phrases, and even take the time to have genuine conversations with you (at least for the most part).
And while I’m pleasantly surprised by the friendly, warm locals of Barcelona I am not enjoying this newfound experience of getting cat-called and stared at daily by creepy old men. Like excuse me @80 year old man sitting in the bench winking at me you are literally a decade older than my GRANDPA so gtfo you are disgusting. I think being from LA, a city where I drive everywhere, I’ve never had to experience the excessive burden of being viewed and treated as a piece of literal meat in public so often. But when you’re taking the metro filled with people and walking around the city at least 5 miles each day, I guess it’s only normal to run into a couple of rotten seeds during the commute.
Since I’ve only had one class on Tuesdays and Thursday the past two weeks I’ve been busy exploring the city and experiencing just a teaspoon of the things Barcelona has to offer…
Restauranst/Markets/Food I’ve tried:
Being my euro bougie ass self I obviously had to celebrate the beginning of my journey in Barcelona by going to a gourmet ass cheese/wine/olive oil grocery store thang, where I got some camembert cheese, goat cheese, and two yummy onion/mushroom dip things. They were good af. The place was called Colmado Quilez if anyone was wondering lmao
Market Santa Canterina- a fun market with tons of different pop-up shops selling anything from fresh veggies and fruits to cheeses, meets, and tapas bars. I went a little late so the shops were closing up, but I ate at the nice restaurant connected to it and had a delish tuna sashimi dish
La Boqueria- this market is very well-known in Barcelona- it’s a huge indoor market with over 200 vendors/stalls selling fresh produce, spices, seafood, meats and groceries, with tapas/food bars intertwined within the rows. It’s overwhelming but INCREDIBLE. I grabbed a spicy chicken empanada to snack on while strolling and am planning to re-visit for a more thorough search for the most affordable spices and interesting things I can use to cook in my kitchen
Brunch&Cake is a super well-known and popular brunch restaurant that serves decadent, delicious brunch dishes all day as well as INCREDIBLE CAKE. The first time I went I shared a bagel with lox/avodaco etc a bunch of shit and the most incredible quinoa avocado/hummus burger with my roommate Emma. We ate way too much, but so so worth it. The second time I went was with my other roommates who weren’t in town when we went the first time and I had the most delicious slice of chocolate grapefruit cake with a butter creamcheese frosting. bye. so delish highly recommend you go twice ( once for real brunch and once for the cake cuz IT’S WORTH IT QUEENS)
Sensi Bistro- I mentioned this in my first Barca post but informing everyone again (INCREDIBLE GOAT CHEESE CROQUETAS and extremely strong mojitos)
Awesome little empanada shop right by my apartment that serves empanadas filled with anything ranging from spicy chorizo and chimichurri to goat cheese and pear to pumpkin and mozzarella. They are the perfect 1.90 euro snack on the way to or from class.
Blai Street- this is a great street for a Pinxtos bar hop- pinxtos are basically little appetizers (ingredients served on small pieces of bread, basically tapas topped on bread) that are prepared in multiples and placed on platters on top of the bar. You go into the pinxtos bars and grab a plate and just place the pinxtos you want on your plate and they charge you in the end based on how many toothpicks you have on your plate (they place one toothpick in each pinxtos).
Places I’ve visited:
Gorgeous, but under construction so honestly I was a bit underwhelmed. But, the surrounding gardens and town of La Gracia right outside of the park is adorable and charming. Gracia is an area of Barcelona I am excited to explore more, as it is supposedly pretty funky and up-and-coming.
Just a quick, casual stop on a random street with streamers for a 1 euro beer before our treck to Park Guell!
Park de la Cuitadella: when one of my best friends Alex and his good friend from Chapman were in Barcelona from the weekend of September 22-24 and we had a cute little picnic in this park with some cheese, bread and Cava.
look how gorgeous!!!
From left to right Sarah, Danica, me and Christine – lol that’s like how they caption pictures of people in school textbooks
Alex and I by the beach of Barcenoleta! This is right after our group had been walking around Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter and went to the water for a lil dranky drank. So #coot
My housemates, minus Jelis!! Me, Caroline Taylor and Emma. They are all University of Arizona kweens and i luv them.
MontJuic: with CEA (our program) we took the cable cars up and did an hour long hike to see a gorgeous panoramic view of Barcelona. It was a chill, foggy day which ended up being perfect because it was extremely refreshing!!
This past Sunday we attended Brunch in the Park, which is a huge electronic music and food festival in a park way up North in Barce. They have a couple of these events in places like New York and Madrid as well and a couple of my local Barcelona friends recommended it to me. I went with my housemates and my Tulane friend Sarah’s housemates as well as one of my best friends from home, Alex and his friend from Chapman. Lots of cute food trucks, indie young barcelonians and some good ass electronic music at a gorgeous park on a sunny day. It was super fun and local- great time, great time
These burger bowls are delicious and the outside of it are crispy shoe string fries all held together in the shape of a bowl how cool is that
science museum!!! A few of us went on a rainy day and I highly recommend! Perfect for gloomy weather and if you’re feeling like you need a boost of intelligence lol
My friends and I took the train (only a half hour ride) to the small town of Sitges southwest of the outskirts of Barcelona. It’s quiet, quaint and perfect for a long beach day. Many of the beaches around Spain have little tents where you can buy alcoholic beverages and sip as you tan, which is exactly what we did. Many are also topless obvi and tbh we took advantage of this #FREEEDOMMM. The sea was warm and it wasn’t too crowded and we will DEFINITELY be looking for more nearby beach towns to add to our list.
head tilt w/ Olivia
Fruit stands with fresh fruit smoothies, juices and produce overwhelmingly fill the streets of Barcelona and small southern Spanish towns
I am so enchanted by Barcelona at the moment, with it’s warm people and bright eclectic architecture and the homey feel of my neighborhood L’Eixample.
As well as how blatantly honest and genuine the Catalonians are lol.
¡Ciao y Saluttttt!