Our last day in Barcelona – what a great vacation this has been – from eating to sightseeing to learning new cultures and improving (slightly) on our language skills – we truly had a great time.
Having been to Park Guell a few days earlier, but unable to gain access to the section with Gaudi’s architecture, we returned in the morning. The tour, which takes about an hour, weaves through beautiful ceramic and stone work, a trip through the gatekeeper’s home and through a beautiful garden.
Afterwards, James and I headed toward the Picasso museum, in hopes of finding lunch. It being Sunday meant that the tapas place I had identified was closed (despite Google saying otherwise). But this was perfect, because across the street was a small shop called Tapeo – it was crowded (even though it was a bit early for Spanish lunch) and we took that as a good sign. With just two seats at the bar, James and I had the best tapas meal since we arrived.
We shared Iberian ham ribs with a honey mustard sauce, oxtail, grilled leaks with an olive paste on top and tortilla de patatas y chorizo (no we didn’t order patatas bravas this time). This food was phenomenal and I wanted to order more, but we also needed to save room for gelato.
After lunch we sought out said gelato down the street. It was amazingly delicious. I had vanilla with candied macadamia nuts and double chocolate. James had caramel flan and terrone.
The Picasso museum is entirely dedicated to Picasso – and takes only about 45 minutes to walk through (though if you do the audio tour I’m sure it could go on and on). We breezed through, learning about Picasso’s early years (he was painting when he was 12/13) and saw the transformation of classical art to modern art. It also happened to be free museum day, which shame on me for not knowing and buying tickets ahead. But hey, at least we beat the two hour line!
The rest of the afternoon consisted of packing and cleaning up the apartment. I made a tortilla with the remaining potatoes, vegetables and eggs we had purchased for the week for breakfast the following morning. Around 6:30 p.m. we headed down to Barceloneta, where we’d be having dinner.
Barceloneta is the famed beach I mentioned earlier – with huge crowds. Clothing was optional.
We walked the length of the beach down to the W hotel and then ended at Costa coffee (where had you been my entire vacation?! You had real iced coffee!), where we sat on their deck, enjoyed the free wifi and waited until our dinner reservations later that evening. With sporadic internet at our AirBnb, this was heaven.
For dinner we went to Merendero de la Mari, at the suggestion of our AirBnb host. He claimed they had the best paella in Barcelona. Having just attended a cooking class (for traditional Spanish paella), my expectations were low. I decided to order arroz negro – the only paella I had not tried in Spain. This is made with squid in and served with seafood.
Oh. My. God. It was the best thing I had eaten on the entire trip. The paella came with a garlic butter/lard concoction to mix in. I wish I could have eaten the entire thing, but alas, I couldn’t fit it. (James had a ravioli dish – he clearly missed out).
Thanks Spain – you’ve been great – but I am so glad to be writing this final blog post from the comfort of my own bed! Adios!