The day is not yet finished but a pregnant lady needs her rest. So I am ready to write about my day (sans dinner) in Barcelona, a city I lived in back in 1997. So much has changed and so much hasn't. The city, although still a little loud (specially in the most touristic areas) seems to me a lot quieter than before (I am sure that has to do with the fact that I am not 20 years old any more!).
The weather is glorious like I remember. The city is pretty straight forward to navigate if you know your basic avenues/streets and spots. A simple city center map will get you a long ways.
First interesting tip is where we are staying: a very well located apartment, only a few minutes from Plaça de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracía (some of the basic roads I was talking about). Worth checking out if you are a family and do not want to spend a lot in 2 hotel rooms or if you are 2 small families vacationing together or if you are in a group of friends that won't mind the sharing involved in an apartment.
I started my stroll through Carrer Pau Claris where I stopped at We Pudding for breakfast. Super ambience, delicious food. Very kid friendly. Alice in Wonderland meets circus.
I then walked down through the Barri Gótic to the Cathedral and to Museu Picasso, 2 great spots you do not want to miss when in town.
Found a great spot for quality coffee around the museum, coffees from all over at El Magnífico, not to mention a beautiful store. To drink there or to go.
Right next to El Magnífico a superb store for bags, shoes and accessories. Expensive but amazing: Malababa. I love finding new stores along the way.
When it was time for a relaxing lunch I opted to walked across the Ramblas to try Bar Cañete for some amazing tapas. Cañete is the place to go if you love tapas (like myself) and/or to take someone who doesn't really understand the concept of tapas or hasn't been lucky eating them. Either way you won't regret it. This is by far the best tapas I've had in life. GO.
Cañete has a much more stuffy restaurant - that seems as good as - next door but the Bar has a lighter more lively ambience.
Two nostalgic stops before finishing my wandering, La Boquería and MACBA. La Boquería is a mandatory stop in Barcelona, colors, tastes, and people. And the MACBA (Museu D'Art Contemporani de Barcelona) always has something interesting going on, just staring at the building is fun. It is also where you find the 'Barcelona Skater Culture' at its best, they are always around and watching them is also fun.
On my way to the apartments found a last store worth sharing: Camino. Great cotton, different shoes and styles.
Now off to a shower and dinner!
Rambla Catalunya Apartments http://ramblacatalunyasuites.com
Bar Cañete, Carrer Unió 17 (Raval) http://www.barcanete.com
We Pudding, Pau Clarís 90 http://www.puddingbarcelona.com
Cafés El Magnífico, Argentería 64 http://www.cafeselmagnifico.com
La Boquería, Rambla de Catalunya (Metro Liceu) http://www.boqueria.info
MACBA, Plaça dels Àngels, 1 http://www.macba.cat
Museu Picasso, Montcada 15-23, http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat
Malababa, Carrer L'Argentería 66, http://www.malababa.com
Camino, Carrer d'Elisabets, 13 http://camino.cat