Friday, July 8, 2011

Christopher Columbus and the Ocean Blue

Lots to do here in Barcelona. Wednesday night we set out for Trece, a bar near las Ramblas that is know for its mojitos and young international crowd. We got lost, unfortunately but not surprisingly, and ended up in Nevermind, a 90s grunge bar decorated with skate boards and Kurt Cobain murals. We fit in about as well as you'd imagine and drank our beers quickly so we could dash out the door. Upon further wandering we actually ended up at Trece. It was very small but nice and we met a girl from California who is traveling in between au pair positions and the guy she is staying with through couchsurfing. We hung out with them for a while and around 2 the bar had almost emptied and someone put on salsa music and the bar tenders proceeded to twirl us around the (tiny) dance floor. I love a good spontaneous dance party and, while I may not have been nearly as good as our partners who have been salsaing all their lives, I think I held my own thanks to salsa night at the Mad Frog back home.

Thursday we headed back to las Ramblas to check out the Christopher Columbus monument. There is an elevator that takes you to the top and the view is supposed to be amazing. The elevator was broken so instead we took a long walk along the harbor. The were tons of boats which were cool to see and we found this little art fair where people were selling jewelry and really cool masks. We made it to the beach, which seemed ridiculously crowded and decided that we'll take a day trip to a less hectic beach when we want to sun bathe.

At six, we returned to Travel Bar were we started our tour the day before. They were putting on a cooking class that we decided to do. Our chef, whose name I can't remember, took us back to Mercat de la Boqueria where he showed us how to buy the freshest ingredients for paella. There were about thirty of us and we couldn't actually hear so we made friends with Amy and Dan instead. Amy and Dan are Australians who are traveling around Europe until they run out of money. They told us about Paris and London and we gave them tips about Madrid. After the market we went to a restaurant where we had tapas (patatas bravas, tortilla, and bread with toppings) and learned to mix sangria. Then we watched as Chef prepared traditional seafood paella. Since there were so many of s, the pan he used was massive but he made it look easy (although I'm sure it's not). We had a great time drinking sangria and eating our paella, which was delicious. Afterward we went back to Travel Bar with Amy and Dan to sign up for a kayaking and snorkeling trip (which I'm super excited about) and to have a quick drink before heading home for some much needed sleep.

Christopher Columbus pointing at something from the top of his beachside monument.
Hmm sorry these aren't really in order. Don't know how to fix that. This is our paella chef stirring the paella.
Me with one of Columbus's lions.
Boats in the harbor.
The finished paella.

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