Tuesday, August 16, 2016


My second stop after Lisbon, on this trip with my folks, was indeed Barcelona. 3 days in this beautiful city reminded me how much I loved the sun and beaches. Our stay was at one end of Las Ramblas - the famous walking street that leads from the city to the beach.

Las Ramblas is a wide street with brand stores on either side (think Desigual, Zara) and huge dividers in between. The land on the dividers is big enough to host open air cafes, fine dining restaurants and musicians. Vehicles pile up on both sides on the streets in between the divider and the stores.
You could walk endlessly on this street and notice something new each time - there is just so much to observe. About half way towards the beach you come across Plaza Catalunya - which is a town centre and a place for people to rest, walk their kids and pets and yes - feed pigeons! This square is owned by the pigeons - there are just so many of them. And it is almost a comedy watching them have a go at the dogs.


Plaza Catalunya is also the place to catch the airport bus to and fro. Cafe Zurich stands tall on one side of the Playa. We got lunch in a nice vegan place a street away from Las Ramblas. And then continued on. On the same road down, one can see less of the brands, more of some old style buildings (theatre, hotels) and farmers markets. By the time we got here, we were tired and walked back buying some souvenirs on the way and resting up for a while in Playa Catalunya. Further along the way back, we took the road parallel to Las Ramblas  (Passeig De Gracia) to see the Gaudi house or "Gaudi Casa Batllo". In my opinion, it was quite pricey and on hindsight, I may have enjoyed it just from outside...

For dinner we went to a not so great Indian place near our stay. The host managed to scare me with stories of how Sangria was made with blood. That pretty much killed my appetite.
That was pretty much end of day 1. On day 2, with 2 of us sick we walked slowly to Sagrada Familia (also walkable from our stay) and spent some time in the park opposite admiring this beautiful basilica. From here we grabbed a taxi to the beach. Getting off on the beach, I noticed the amazing restaurants by the water and the docks. It is one of the best beach towns I have seen. We took a pedicab to see more of the beach and hotels and a glimpse of the Olympics stadium. We had good lunch overlooking the sea in a wok place and spent the rest of the day basking in the sun, and took the taxi back home. For dinner we walked to yet another Indian place (mind you - my parents pretty much wouldn't eat outside their comfort zone) and luckily found one of the best Indian places in my list - Veg world India.


Day 3 did not start with a plan. We walked in the direction opposite the beach this time, and found a small square where children were dancing to some hippie music.
It was more residential on this side and you could see how locals lived here. We decided to take a taxi and visit Tibidabo - which is a mountain with a cathedral. It turned out to be a beautiful, serene place, with an amazing view of Barcelona. My mom rested at the bottom of the mount, while dad and I went up and saw the cathedral and views. We took the last bus out from here which stopped somewhere in the mountains and we had to take a cable-car-like-train to get down the Mt. Tibidabo. From here another metro train took us to Playa Catalunya and we made our way back home again.


On the last day, we woke up went straight to Cafe Zurich near Playa Catalunya, dragging our bags with us. We got some brunch next door at an Asian noodles stall and finished up with great coffee in Cafe Zurich. The airport bus was waiting on the other side of Playa Catalunya, and with that we bid adieu to one of the best times I have spent. Thanks to my amazing parents.