Our first morning in Spain we woke up to blue skies and Joacqo preparing fresh bocata (grated tomato on lightly toasted bread with olive oil & salt) and ham and cheese sandwiches, a typical Spanish breakfast.
Morning tunes and sunshine set the days tone and we hit the streets cameras in hand and talked about life on the Canary Islands where Melón and Elena live.
She grew up on the islands and works as a yoga and English teacher and Melón arrived from Buenos Aires about two years and works as a chef. They are very good together and there’s something super warming about Elena’s tranquila energy, the perfect balance for Melóns craziness.
We listened to their stories and took advantage of the Spring weather and strolled through the city taking in the architecture and perfectly manicured plazas.
We started in in Las Ramblas, the old city of Spain (with the famous gothic cathedral and Roman foundations) then passed through El Gotico before getting lost in El Born.
El Born is a bit of a maze of narrow streets, everything begging to be photographed.
It’s a bit enchanting and feels like something out of a history book.
All is old and grey and just screaming with stories.
As time passed our appetites grew and we spotted a table in the sunshine and ordered some claras and all the seafood we could manage.
Feeling refueled and confident Elena and I made our moves.
We grabbed the boys and headed to Plaza Catalunya to take the boys shopping. Like good boys they listened and tried on our suggestions and walked out with big silly smiles and handfuls of bags. Success, chicas!
We decided to reward ourselves and escaped Plaza Catalunya as fast as we could. That place is loca with tourist.
We made our way back to El Born and rested our feet with a whites tasting showcasing Spain’s albariños and local cheeses.
Coming from Argentina I knew I was in for a different dialect/vocabulary/verb conjugation/todo but man I didn’t realize it would be so intense!
All the -ths (gra-thias) and double ll’s vs. the Castalleno -shhs and the tus and vosotros my head was spinning with incomprehension and my self esteem quickly deflated.
Luckily my homegirl Tez came to the rescue and picked me up like she always does when need be. Man, I love that girl.
What about y’all? Argentina vs. Spanish accent? Head spinning or do you just dive in?
Well luckily there is one word that left me with no confusion, tapas.
Yes, we’ve all heard of Spanish tapas and mostly small plates come to mind.
Well, Spain takes it to a whole new level!
Check out these bad boys.
And it’s so cool and trusting how they have these places set up.
You go around and grab whichever tapas you want and after you eat you head to the counter, hand them your toothpicks and pay according to how many toothpicks you give them.
Isn’t that crazy?!
That could never work in Argentina. Never.
And in a way it’s totally brilliant because the food is so attractive and colorful that you want to try it all and the prices are so low 1, 2, 3 euros each that you just keep piling them up on your plate and before you know it you’ve spent like 20 euros on tapas! And sure they’re tasty but nothing sensational and 20 euros per person is a big bill for a mid day snack especially when so much of it is bread based.
Bravo with the tapas, Barcelona. Bravo.
Tomorrow we’re heading to La Boqueria, the famous colorful market here in Barcelona.
Hopefully it’ll live up the reputation.