And on an actual, reputable airline! Not a Fedex plane!
I booked them within minutes...and eventually our Barcelona trip became Trip #7 of our Twelve Trips in Twelve Months. Armed with plenty of stretchy pants and walking shoes, we flew to Spain to walk and eat our way through my favorite, favorite city.
Armed with our favorite carryon suitcases and plenty of books, we made our way over to Barcelona. While my personal item is this bag full of our iPads, our refillable water bottles, and our jackets, Brett has a soft cooler full of our snacks. This time we kept it pretty simple with sandwich stuff, some produce, and dried fruit. TSA didn't even want to go through our food this time, which is definitely a first for us.
We landed in Barcelona around 10:30 in the morning and used a transfer service to get to our Airbnb. We definitely could've taken the Metro, but I love to set up a transfer service when we first land in international destinations - after a long flight, I'm not really feeling up for navigating local transportation.
We wanted an Airbnb that was in a more local neighborhood and the one we chose was absolutely perfect. It was super close to the Metro and was in the most quaint little square full of little restaurants, shops, and a market. It was definitely not a touristy area by any means - we highly, highly recommend staying here. Plus, it was super close to Camp Nou, which made our excursion to a Barcelona game that much better. But more on that later. By purchasing a five day Metro pass, we were able to stay in the most perfect area and conveniently travel all over the city.
I purchased tickets for a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour in advance, we hopped on at the Camp Nou stop near our Airbnb, and we spent the afternoon riding around the city. We're so glad we did this right after we landed in Barcelona since it let us explore the city and get our bearings, despite us being so, so tired from traveling.
Since this was not my first time to Barcelona, I knew how much I wanted to eat during our short time there (we were there from a Thursday to a Monday). So that we could see as many local restaurants as we could, I booked two separate tapas tours. At first I felt silly and indulgent - like, who books two? But later we agreed it was definitely a very, very good decision.
The first night we were in Barcelona, we took this tapas tour and not only did we get a tour of a local market, but we were taken to the guide's favorite little restaurants. We wanted tours that would take us to places we wouldn't have seen on our own, order food we wouldn't have ordered on our own, and try foods we wouldn't have thought of on our own (the combo of mussels+potato chips + champagne comes to mind) - this was definitely accomplished. SO. WORTH. IT.
Like yes, could we have worked up the courage to go into a local hole-in-the-wall? Sure. But find four to go to in one night that all had incredibly amazing food? Not as easy.
If you learn nothing else from this post, know that taking multiple food tours can be an excellent idea.
On our second day in Barcelona, we took the Metro to the cutest apartment where we were treated to a tour of La Boqueria market and the most incredible cooking class.
After the market class, we were given samples of some of the many examples of tapas before cooking an entire meal. We loved this class. Like, absolutely LOVED.
Although I don't eat most seafood and a lot of paella doesn't appeal to me (#UnpopularOpinionAlert), I could live the rest of my days on cheese bocadillos (sandwiches where they grate fresh tomato and garlic on freshly baked bread before loading pile it with fresh cheese - YES YES YES), Spanish tortillas (an omelette loaded with potatoes - OMG YES), and CHURROS.
Speaking of churros, I ate plenty. It was Brett's first time to try, and Mr. I-won't-like-them-because-I-dislike-chocolate was definitely one step above licking the plates.
Again, we loved that we were able to see many different restaurants that we normally would not have even tried. An added bonus is that these are walking tours - so not only is it helping the copious amounts of food you're attempting to digest, but it was a great way to see different areas as well. And our guide, Carla, was just precious - I could have listened to her read the phone book. Her passion for Barcelona and its history, culture, and traditions is just mesmerizing.
On Saturday we explored the city by Metro and foot before tracking down the restaurant I've been dying to try. We explored Catedral de Barcelona and found a coffeeshop for my coffee-snob hubby.
One of my favorite food bloggers moved to Barcelona and just raves about her favorite favorite Mexican food restaurant there - so naturally I was chomping at the bit to see for myself.
And oh my word. Y'all. This restaurant. AKA the reason I'm searching for vintage amber drinkware on garage sale sites and eating quesadilla cheese and corn tortilla quesadillas by the handful.
I would search for flight deals to Barcelona just to eat at San Pedrito again...and chat with its staff from Puebla, Mexico. Seriously, friendliest people ever!
After hanging around this jewel of a restaurant for what seemed to be several hours, we made our way to a Barcelona soccer game. We had decided last minute to splurge on tickets and y'all, we are so glad we did. I'm not even a soccer fan (aside from that time I lived in Mexico during the World Cup, decided I was a diehard Germany fan, and bought myself a handful of jerseys) but this experience might be the top of the trip. IT WAS SO COOL. Like might-be-the-highlight-of-our-trip cool. The people, the energy, the chants. ALL OF IT.
Not to mention the fact that it seems everyone takes out their bocadillos to eat during halftime. THESE ARE MY KIND OF PEOPLE.
On our last full day in Barcelona, I wanted to show Brett Park Guell since I hadn't seen it in years. I bought tickets early, early to try and beat the crowds. Although it was more under construction than what I remember, it was definitely a good start to a Sunday.
We ended our trip doing something I've always wanted to go back to Barcelona and do: people watch in Las Ramblas while drinking sangria. And I misspoke before: while the Barcelona game was a close second, this was definitely the highlight of my trip. Since Las Ramblas is crazy busy and arguably the most touristy spot, the people watching was truly top notch.
Aside from that, we packed up what seemed like a dozen bocadillos for our plane ride, and headed home. Brett was definitely detained in the Barcelona airport for "special screening" and our flight was at risk of being completely cancelled, but all ended well in the end.
A special shout out to my favorite purse, a jean jacket, some black Lululemon, a Target Dollar Spot scarf, black tennis shoes, black boots, and five pairs of turquoise earrings for allowing me to fit in a carryon. Y'all are the true heroes.
Barcelona, we miss you terribly.