Sunday, July 20, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: Barcelona, Spain

When Mr. Spice was deployed a few years ago, my Mom and I went to Barcelona between Christmas and New Year’s. There was an internet café across the street from the hotel, so I could check e-mail twice per day for updates from my soldier in Iraq.
The architecture in Barcelona was eye-popping, and this building is not particularly off the beaten path- but it sure is unique. We are both good at reading street maps, so we wandered around somewhat aimlessly, feasting on tapas (small snack-sized dishes) every so often. How I wish I had photographed those plates! The BEST calamari on the planet…not sure if Barcelona is an ideal destinations for vegetarians/vegans, as I noticed- and ordered- an astounding array of meats on the menus. I'm sure there are vegetables to choose from in restaurants, but I'd wonder if they're cooked in without any meat products?
We took a day trip out of town, to Montserrat and the Abbey. I would recommend getting away from the hustle and bustle if you have time. The quiet moments outside the city were refreshing. I’ve benefitted tremendously over the years from the forum on Tripadvisor, where I can learn the answers to many of my questions, and can post new ones (after researching what’s already on the forum first)!
Finally, we loved the market, and breathed deeply the fragrances of fruits, meats, flowers, and more. Be savvy of your surroundings, and don’t leave your wallet in your back pocket, or in a bag without a zipper. We never felt unsafe, though we weren’t partying into the wee hours of the morning. We did play cards in the hotel lounge, though! Kanasta, anyone?

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