Beach day! The hope was that today would be lazy, less walking and more lounging. We certainly lounged, but I’m not sure if we succeeded in less walking. By the end of the evening, we had put in 9 miles. Ah well.
James and I started our day by waking up late (well, we forced ourselves out of bed at 9 a.m. aka 3 a.m.) and puttered around the apartment for a bit. We left mid-morning for La Platja de Nova Icária, a beach that is next to the Olympic port, and slightly more out of the way than Barceloneta – which boasts huge crowds. We settled under an already set up umbrella (later to find out it was eight euros to “rent” the space – James paid, he loves umbrellas at beaches). The beach itself was nice enough for a city. The water was, well let’s just say I went in it to say that I went in it, but in no way shape or form would I put my head under. There was a lot of floating debris, including some less desired items that resulted in a group of British women screaming obscenities. The people watching here was superb.
After a few hours, we packed up in search for some lunch. The golden rule in Barcelona is that if you are near a tourist attraction (such as the beach) or on Las Ramblas (their main strip), the food will be frozen and overpriced. So we moved inwards and found a nice little cafe, alongside shops and fruterias (a real place that sells fruit! Not just a word they make you learn in Spanish class!).
I ordered sangria, and was given about 20 ounces. Water? Oh about four ounces or so. I ordered the tuna belly salad and roasted vegetables with a tomato sauce. James had bacon asparagus risotto and a seafood stew. We ended the meal with mocha mousse. This was an incredibly lazy, lounge worthy lunch, taking nearly two hours. A little tipsy (me only), we headed back to the apartment where I proceeded to take an unexpected nap.
For dinner we had arranged to attend a cooking class with a tour of La Boqueria market. We were joined by six additional Americans, one Canadian and 19 Australians. The evening was incredibly enjoyable and we were forced out of our comfort zone and had to make conversation with complete strangers. One of which who was Scarlett Johanssen’s doppleganger. At least in my opinion. I don’t care what James thinks.
To start, the chef took us through La Boqueria and purchased the seafood we would be using in our paella, as well as meat and cheeses for the tapas. We stopped at a juice stand for a quick refreshment (watermelon juice for me, kiwi pineapple for James) before heading to the kitchen. Here we made our own tapas. For those who eat gluten, it contained a piece of bread, rubbed with a tomato, drizzled in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and then topped with a piece of manchego cheese, Iberian jamon and an olive. I wrapped my cheese and olive in a piece of ham and called it a day. Until I spotted mini chorizo sausages and just ate those by the toothpick full.
The class itself was super informative, and a lot of fun to learn how to cook traditional Spanish paella. We were also taught out to make Spanish sangria (the secret recipe lives in my brain and involves a Spanish dash of this and a Spanish count of that).
We walked with the group to a nearby bar, and then parted ways to enjoy a quiet rest of our evening.