Through the looking glass

9 03 2011

I find myself in a city, where every day seems to be the best day ever. I cannot have better things to say about my daily life here in Barcelona. Every time I walk down the street, ride the metro, try a new food, or see a new shop, I am amused. Each and every aspect of this city is fascinating to me. I LOVE to people watch and observe the different types of dress, body lanugage, or interactions between people. I have found that on the streets a majority of the people are dressed to impress. 

Strolling down Passieg De Gracia ( The 5th avenue of Barcelona) there are many older couples on the streets, sporting fur, scarfs, dress shirts or suits- all very chic, hip, and cool looking. Women are seen in boots, scarfs and beautiful jackets. It is not common to see so many older people out and about in Michigan (where I am from). The elderly dress like bums in sweatpants and sweatshirts and hide inside there homes during the colder winter months. Also I love seeing the most adorable and precious children being pushed around in strollers are sitatuated comfortably in their little sleeping bags.

People here are on the go, moving, doing, going and seeing. I love that people are constantly meeting up with friends at cafe’s to sit back, relax and catch up while drinking a coffee or having a quick snack.  Almost every restaurant has the option of outdoor seating- even if it is a bit chilly, you still will see people casually outside bonding with their peers.  The life of Barcelona is found on the streets.

While wandering the streets of Barcelona I have come across many authentic restaurants and cafe’s. Before coming here I was what you could consider a picky eater and a bit unwilling to try new things. But I knew that when I would arrive in Barcelona, I had to leave this trait behind. I promised myself that I would not hold back and truely embrace myself in this new culture.  I would taste, try, go, do or see any opportunity that was presented to me. If I was fortunate enough to be here for 4 months, I would have to take FULL advantage.

On day one of my Barcelona Travels, my friends and I headed straight to a Tapas restaurant, where we would be able to eat traditional food.  Walking out of our hotel, we figured there was no time like the present to take a ride on the Metro. Being brought up in suburbia, I have not had much experience with public transportation. Climbing down the grimy stairs, I was a bit nervous to travel underground for who knows how long while having NO idea where I was going. My mother’s voice was stuck in my head about being extra careful while riding the metro for she has only heard horror stories about pick pockiting and being “taken”.  I had to some how get that mind set out of my head, because I would soon have to be riding the Metro every day to school.

 My friends and I safetly arrive at Placa Catalunya and step out on to the streets. We walked about 2 blocks before deciding where to go. We chose somewhere that had tapas, paella and sangria ( what we had been told were traditional items of Barcelona).  We sat down at the restaurant, it was a suprise to me that only bottled water is drunk here, as well as the fact that wine is cheaper than water. Tapas are “small plates” of food- which come to your table VERY quickly and typically are hot.  The most common types of TAPAS are patatas bravas- which are potatoes with a spicy red sauce and mayonese on top, and spanish omelette– which is like a potatoe and egg round circle thing served with a piece of bread.

(this is a typical photo of what you would see when you walk into a tapas bar)

I tried many new things at this first meal in Barcelona  including : muscles, cod, paella (containing sea food), carpaccio, and patatas bravadas.  I felt like I was on a television show like Fear Factor, but at the same time stayed open minded about the experience. I plan to continue to live in the present here in Barcelona, not letting a minute go by where I am living life to the fullest.

Here is a tourist guide of things to do in barcelona!!