¡Bienvenidos a Barcelona!
What do Ed Sheeran, The Cheetah Girls and your gal Shanz have in common??
A love for Barcelona worthy of song and dance, obviously.
Barcelona is a dream!! This weekend was my first trip out of Denmark, and it was quite the adventure. On Friday, I hopped on a three-hour flight straight after class and I was in Barcelona before I knew it.
I would be lying to you if I said that Ed Sheeran’s lovely ballad to this Spanish gem wasn’t bopping around in my head as I walked La Rambla, and the Cheetah gals was 100p playing in my headphones when my plane landed in Barcelona. #noshame
If this weekend had a sponsor, it would be the lovely and gracious Joann Ryan – my second mother, and lovely Spanish host. Mrs. Ryan is one of those peeps who blurs the lines between friends and family, and loves me like her own daughter. She was in Barcelona on business this weekend, and invited me and a friend to post up in the ~glamorous~ Hotel Arts Barcelona with her. (how do you say FAIRY GODMOTHER in Spanish) It was the best time, all thanks to her. I loved catching up with her and hearing all about the shenanigans happening with our family at home.
When I got to the hotel Friday night, my gal pal Grace – a homie from Vanderbilt, studying in Madrid for the semester – was waiting for me. We drank coffee and watched the sunset, and caught up on life things. Grace is quite the expert on Spanish culture after living in Madrid for the past month, and she informed me that no one eats dinner until 10pm, and taught me about the deliciousness of paella, sangria, and tapas. After a long walk down the old windy streets - where we found many squares full and bustling all night long - I had my first paella experience, washed down with sangria and followed up by gelato. It was the warmest welcome, and I fell asleep already in love with the city and its culture.
We slept in the next morning, drank our coffee slowly while watching the waterfront wake up, and walked along the boardwalk. Grace and I fueled up at Brunch and Cake - the most instaworthy and yummy breakfast spot – while we complied our daily game plan to. Some spots it included:
3. Admire the incredible Gaudi houses tucked around the city
20,000 steps later, our “must-sees” had been visited, and we headed back to the hotel for a siesta before dinner. After just one weekend in Spain, I fully support the concept of siestas, and propose that all cultures could use a nice afternoon rest hour. The Spanish do a good job of enjoying their life – they wake up late, rest in the afternoon, and fiesta all night. Although this grandmother would need to adjust to the late nights, I think I would be a huge fan of adopting a Spanish pace of life.
Once the sun had set, our siesta was enjoyed, and our bellies started to rumble, we ventured to Flax and Kale – a self proclaimed “flexitarian” restaurant with its own kombucha lab. I had the yummiest blue mojito kombucha, some warm paleo bread to start, and a big green salad followed by shared desserts. Maybe not the most authentic Spanish dinner, but the food was amazing, and Grace and I were both glad we went there! We took a long walk back to our hotel to marvel at the still bustling streets along La Rambla, and dipped our toes in the Mediterranean near our hotel.
Sunday morning meant breakfast and a quick walk before goodbyes and flights home. I returned to Copenhagen and exchanged my sandals and sundress for sweaters and rain boots. Spooky season is in FULL swing here in Denmark, and I am not mad about it. Bring on alllll the fuzzy socks, chai lattes, and cozy scarfs, Copenhagen!!