Viva España Dos: Food Harder

“OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death. OTHERWISE, WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?”

In my defence it is 06:45 AM but I am clattering about in the dorm room in a vain attempt to be quiet as I get ready.

Last I recall, my dorm acquaintance stumbled back in from a night out at around 02:00AM.

Probably kept them up with my snoring.

Actually surprised I have not been murdered in my sleep

 

As always, step one is…

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Coffee, what else?  Decided to try Coffee Con Leche (something something steamed milk something something this is a bloody latte).

Now off to find breakfast.

And we found it, in the likeliest of places.  A food market.

Not just any food market, but La Boqueria

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Now for whatever reason, I was really worried about visiting this place.

Back in 2015, I was visiting Madrid along with some friends (same ones as Vietnam), and we ate at the Mercado de San Miguel.

So that was kind of the standard I had.  In fact, the food in Madrid was kind of the standard I was holding Barcelona against.

And so far, Barcelona had not stepped up.  Or rather, I just did not know where to go and ended up eating in a Ramen Shop.

Nothing bad with ramen.  It is my 3rd favourite after pho, and pancit.  It is just not what I was expecting to on my first night here.

Well, today was something altogether different.  My eyes have been opened.

Here are some of the things I saw while in this market.

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Fresh Bread
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Seafood
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Fresh Fruit for days
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Cheeeeeeese

By the way, those fruit juices are the bomb.

Breakfast was to be food at the Pinotxo Bar, and they delivered in spades.

I was recommended the garbanzos (chickpeas) by friends who have been there before, and by the people already sitting there.

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Garbanzos
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Tortilla

It says something about the reputation of the place when there is a queue by 08:45AM

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Gaudy

Okay, I admit that is a very, very bad pun.  However, a lot of the sights are set because of the architecture, with a little bit of history thrown in.

And the name that comes up all the time?

Antoni Gaudi

“Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was an architect from Reus, Catalonia. He is the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works have a highly individualized and distinctive style.”

As mentioned in Wikipedia

And there are a lot of places to go see his work, more notably:

Yes, there are more, I know…..

Note:  Book Sagrada Familia in advance, do not expect to just rock up and purchase tickets there and then.  I did not.  And missed out. (so no walking in the steps of “Professor Robert Langdon”

Anyway, there was a lot of walking to be done in between all these places.

First stop Casa Mila:

What I learned is that Antoni Gaudi does not like straight lines.

And has an obsession with chimneys.

(sorry that is all I took away from the history lesson).

 

Next stop was the Sagrada Familia, which, as mentioned, I did not get tickets for.  So here are a few shots of the outside.

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Between La Boqueria, Casa Mila, and Sagrada Familia, there was about 300 km of walking, and as commiseration, for not getting tickets for Sagrada Familia I decided to get a coffee.

…..and cake.

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Specifically, carrot cake, at the Bristol Cafe.

This would fuel the next part of this walk back to the Hostel.

Oh wait…. is that the Arc de Triompf (not to be confused with the Arc de Triomphe)

Just how many “Arcs” are there?  Questions for later

Anyway, I kinda stumbled upon the Arc on my way back to the Hostel.  And yes, it was only 5 minutes from the hostel.  In the one direction I did not walk (ie, away from La Rambla).

So spent time some time here

Before getting back to the hostel, mainly to recharge my phone!

 

ROUND 2!  WALK!

Okay, we are off again, and this time it is cathedrals/churches which should all be about Gothic architecture.

Don’t ask me, I’m half expecting Castlevania levels of stuff when I hear the word “gothic”

First stop:  Catedral de Barcelona

 

 

Also here are a few photos I took later on in the day, that queue just did not stop

 

Then onto Santa Maria Del Pi

 

Also, I found out that there would be a spanish guitar performance here at 9:00PM this evening.  I would be right up for that.  Just get the tickets online.

Finally, it was back to La Boqueria.

Where they had closed the main gates to the public.  Apparently, they were closing up early.  Or something.

So a few people in the know just went around to the side and got in from there.  And I followed them.

The main place I was thinking of trying was packed solid though.

But, I did find a little seafood stall that did this:

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I have a feeling I am going to be back in this market tomorrow.  And maybe the day after.

I also did go back to Glacier cafe for a quick beer, and some patatas bravas.  But they weren’t much to talk about.

 

I’ve returned back to the hostel.  I have attempted to book the tickets for the guitar show mentioned earlier online.

And failed dismally.  Does not matter, I should be able to just buy them at the door.

Just need to take a rest and charge the phone again.

If only I had a powerblock that I could take with me to charge my phone on the go.  Like the one I had in Vietnam.

The one I was charging the day before I left.

The one that my mum removed the charger from so he could charge her phone.

(insert expletives here).

6:00 PM

zzz

7:30 PM

*beep beep beep beep beep*

9:00 PM

zzz *snrk* zzzz

10:30 PM

Oh….. dang it* (actually the swearing was much worse)

Ok.  I have missed the performance, I could actually still go get something to eat.  (please not ramen).

I wanted to try Cal Pep, however, the last time I tried they were closed.

But I have nothing to lose, and they are still open (albeit they close at 11:30 PM).

I make my way down there (thank you google maps + directions).  Walking past the place I went to for the flamenco show and getting to Cal Pep in 15 minutes…

…They are open, and with one seat left in their packed restaurant.

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I sat down, and when asked what I wanted I could have answered with the standard

  • Calamari
  • Ham
  • Potatoes
  • etc..

Instead, I put it in the hands of the guy behind the counter.  This is what I ended up with:

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I totally overate this evening (the price tag showed it at 65 euros, although I did eat enough for two).

It was worth it though, the food was spectacular and well worth the walk.  Especially the squid.

I decide to walk a longer route back in a vain attempt to settle my stomach (and my head, there may have been more than one beer drunk this evening)

All that did was make me buy ice cream.

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Not complaining about ice cream either.

Since, it goes into a different stomach altogether right?

Right????

 

 

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