There is nothing like the comforts of home. By home, I mean Anuar’s apartment in Barcelona. My superhero couchsurfing host picked me up from the police station after I was pickpocketed and filled me up with pasta and beer while I sulked that my photos were missing. There might have been a couple tears. To recap: camera stolen on metro, chased down thieves, thieves deleted photos, got camera back.
There was only one way to remedy the situation: alcohol, tapas, and sangria in Barcelona.
Sightseeing and Port Olympic
It was early, and in Barcelona parties go until 6 or 7 in the A.M. We had a good 12 hours to go and since no one goes to clubs until after midnight, Anuar, our tourguide (just kidding, but one of my favorite reasons for using couchsurfing) took us on a tour of Barcelona for a few hours.
We drank a bottle of wine outside the King’s Palace and watched the fountain light show dance in tune with the music. Street performers lined the edges as we walked on to the Olympic stadium. It was gorgeous all lit up at night.
By three A.M. we finally left the small bars, and went to the main clubbing area, Port Olympic. It’s near this artificial beach with a giant goldfish and twin towers. You can see all the boats lined up, but be careful on the sand there- it’s little rocks and my weak baby feet couldn’t take the pain.
Why was I barefoot you ask?
It was 3 A.M. I’m lucky I could even still walk…
All the bars are lined up and you can basically bounce from one to the other. Incredibly, one man that helped me during the pickpocketing fiasco was a bouncer at the last club, The Enfermia, which mean the nursery. Being a nurse, I found the place too funny: guys stripping off green scrubs on the bar, girl bartenders in slutty nurse outfits, and bartenders shooting liquor at you from syringes.
Another night out took us to Razzmataz. FYI it’s about 15 Euro to get it. So bat those eyelashes, unless you’re a guy and you’re out of luck. I’ve been nowhere like Barcelona when it comes to partying.
Megan and I danced for 4 hours straight and made it home after the sun came up. Megan was in a salsa dancing zone with 4 boys that she couldn’t decide between, I was more about vodka. Lots of vodka. Can’t even think about it now (barf).
- Estrella is a horrible Spanish beer
- Mahou is a good Spanish beer
- A bacon egg and cheese club sandwich is called a bikini. There’s also a trikini. They just threw in a pork tenderloin, no biggie.
- Every city I go to in Europe, I will end up in an Irish bar
- Every club will play Grease Lightening. They are not being ironic.
- Spaghetti carbonara at 5 A.M. is the usual
- You can lay out topless here
- The jewelry shopping along the beach is the BEST!
- high-waisted short shorts scream “I’m American!”
- Russians don’t understand the concept of drinking games. They just down shots.
- NO MATTER WHAT do not fly Vueling airways unless you want hour delays, no electricity on the plane, and no luggage when you land.
Tapas and Sangria
Thank heavens we were with a local guy who could take us to the best places for tapas. I have never had such great food, ever! I also didn’t know how much the Spanish love honey mustard. We bounced from tapas place to market, to bar, to tapas place all afternoon. We wandered around the antique looking Gothic Quarter until sufficiently stuffed and a little tipsy, it was back home to get ready for another big night out.
Where to get your Sangria fix: Black Sheep
What to get at the market: stock up on roasted almonds and peanuts, they make a great snack on trains and buses, are filling, and last a while
Sagrada Familia & Park Guell
Park Guell is not only an astounding art work by Gaudi, but it’s also where you’ll get great view of the city. He was the first person to make chairs curve to fit your back. The park is so fun to walk through; it’s like being in a gingerbread house covered in icing and colorful ceramic tiles… or Disneyland. It’s a ‘don’t miss’ in Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia is stunning as well, but was under construction. No one mentions that these ancient buildings and castles all over Europe are literally always under construction. Bummer.
Anuar had 3 other couchsurfers come the day we left. We all recovered from hangovers, they made apple strudel, and we played Guitar Hero before Megan and I headed off to Athens. My backpack headed off to Russia for all I know, but that’s another story.
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