Ok, Allan and I came to Barcelona, Spain by accident. We mis-booked our departure for our first ever cruise. We were to leave from Monte Carlo but somehow we thought it would be Barcelona and then it was too late to change without a huge cost. So we thought "why not". We've never been there - and so we came for three days. AND LOVED IT!
The weather was perfect for the outdoor cafes! Tapas, sangria, paella, fresh fish, crusty breads, all while sitting under an umbrella of live Oak trees.
Yes, we did a bit of sightseeing, we visited the Gaudi cathedral- the line to get in was over two hours! It was awesome. To think this has been a work in progress for over 120 years. What creativity I've never seen anything like it.
We lucked out on the first day was the annual Barcelona festival. The entertainment in the park was very unusual. Exhibitions of the waltz, tap dancing and a guy who danced in sand. We also heard all kinds of ethnic music. And saw people dressed in native costumes dancing. It was such fun to see so many families enjoying their culture.
Barcelona reminds me of a very clean small New York City. One thing is very different though there are hundreds of appartment buildings, mostly around 15 stories high - they have left lots of open space for walking, eating and being outdoors to stroll in the evening.
Of course they eat at totally different times than we do. Light breakfast of expresso, bread/butter and a bit of ham and cheese. Then lunch is large and hot, but not eaten until around 2PM. Then around 9PM they have tapas and wine or beer. All eaten outdoors. The climate is very much like Southern California.
And of course my favorite activity was shopping for shoes, one of my Spanish customers told me not to miss the beautiful leather shoes of Spain, so I didn't.I bought 6 pair and if I wasn't on my way to a cruise ship and had to cart them around with me I would have bought more! Even Allan bought a beautiful pair for himself...all at great prices, one pair I had bought in California for $80 I paid $15 for the same ones here!
I just wish I spoke Spanish for sure now! They are so kind and beautiful and most do speak English which I so appreciated.
It is a beautiful city I hope someday to return to. Until I do every time I wear my gold metallic boots I'll think of Spain and sangira!