After two weeks of sun and fun in Andalusia, we flew an hour north for a few days in Barcelona en route home.
I was a little leery about our rental apartment. Sure, it looked gorgeous in the photos and the rental agency was extremely professional during the transaction. But the frightful Paris apartment we rented two summers ago also looked charming. And it was filthy. This apartment did not disappoint. I highly recommend Friendly Rentals Barcelona.
It was on Plaza Cataluna, across the square from Las Ramblas, Barcelona's famed street of shops and street performers. It was clean and modern and very quiet. And there was a doorman. City living at its best. The master bath had a bidet, which Thing 2 required a demonstration of. The six of us (my MIL had joined us by then) were very comfortable there and even bought a few food items at El Corte Ingles, the department store with the amazing food market on the lower level, which was across the street. After the mosquitoes and geckos we shared Rancho del Ingles with, this was pretty much heaven.
I didn't realize how mediocre the food was in Andalusia until we started eating in Barcelona! Our first meal was with my parents, who were heading back to the states the next day. I don't remember what my entree was but I do remember the first course: a whole avocado, split in two, with chunky vinaigrette filling up the middle. I can't believe I ate the whole thing. Other meals included fried artichokes (we had these at three different restaurants, my MIL and I could live on them), leafy salads with goat cheese or brie, tomato and mozzarella salads, well-seasoned meats, and grilled, seasonal mushrooms.
It was about this time that Michael Jackson died so there was an ongoing vigil in Plaza Cataluna. The Pinks found this interesting. This year, for the first time, Barcelona had its own Pride celebration and the parade was the second day we were there.
It was surprising how many people were in Barcelona. Yes, it's a city of almost 2 million residents and it was tourist season, too, but the quantity of people on the streets at any time of day or night was astounding. It reminded me of New York without the edge.
5 hours ago