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BCN Concluded: Mega Post

June 20, 2011
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Hola! After eight days in the sleepy old city & bustling, winding, narrow streets of the second largest city in Spain, you might expect a post that tells the story of history, culture, geography and it’s Mediterranean climate. You might wish to hear about the striking modern architecture standing besides the old Roman walls; the Arc de Triomf & museu de Zoologia; the (still unfinished) Church of the Sangrada Famila (begun 1882); or even an in depth look at the political and legal divide between Spain and Catalonia. As this is a food blog you might even expect to get a taste for the ports best seafood paella, tapas, pulpo (octopus) and maybe a good helping of Cochinillo (Roast Suckling Pig).

Photo Credit: MarcelGermain

Perhaps unfortunately for those people looking to hear such stories, you’ll have to go somewhere else, as this post tells the story of something different. The story of a groups of eleven British students who travelled to Barcelona in the hope of sampling some of Don Simon’s finest Sangria; to chase a ball around a gritty beach; and return back to Gatwick without having been a victim of the skilled Spanish pickpockets and muggers.

What you will find on this post however is the occasional nugget of useful information; the worst place to eat in Barcelona; my thoughts of the outlandish oversized sculptures; and perhaps the photos you might not usually see when flicking through a friends holiday snaps. To add some real value to this post, I’m going to start with a tip money can’t buy:

At the airport, check the time the gate closes! We almost missed our flight due to the tempting offerings of Wetherspoon’s finest beer and being locked in conversation about the Daily Mail’s football transfer poorly written lies predictions.

As you can see we managed to finish our pints and put down the Daily Mail in time to get up into the sky and land in murky Barcelona. After making good time due the pilot taking a few “short cuts”, it then took about 2.5 hours to make our way across the city due totally un-British queueing systems and a few faults in Barcelona’s public transport. That aside, the Metro in Barcelona is easy, efficient, fast, comfortable, well air conditioned and above all has phone signal.

Due to the foody nature of this blog it probably best to talk first about food. I was personally expecting some some pretty exceptional cuisine from Spain, but unfortunately, as you may have seen, I got distracted by a stable diet of McDonald’s, kebabs and strawberry laces. Of the Spanish food I did try (Paella) or the Spanish food outlets I ventured into here are my top three most memorable experiences of the trip.

3) ‘Sangria in your lap‘ Paella – My only authentic Spanish eating experience climaxed with a lap full of sangria as someone leant over for toothpick. As a national dish I wasn’t overly impressed with the stodginess of the rice served with bones, or as the restaurant called it; ‘meat’.

 

2) Divan Kebab House – The second best (of two) kebabs I tried whilst I was in Barcelona. The best was in a little takeaway called Doner Kebab, the second was this one where I could only feed myself half the snack. The owners also bragged to me about how they have stores globally including London (although I have since found out what they meant to say was there is a store called Divan in London which they have no relation to). Both Kebabs I tried were €5.

1) The Worst Spaghetti in the World: Cal Padri Badalona – From the outside you could be forgiven for thinking you might have a decent meal in this place. Seven of us walked in, almost all hungry for spaghetti bolognese, not expecting terrible service we received, blended with awfully cold microwaved (and then left to go cold) food that was place in front of our baffled, if not tormented faces.

Cal Padri Barcelona

Cal Padri Badalona

That will have to do for today’s attempt to capture Barcelona at it’s finest. The post is already long enough but I will come back to it with the best places to play football; why supermarkets are missing an opportunity; the market that sells everything; the random sculpture; eating routines; crisps in the sky; plus a bit more stuff I can’t think of right now.

For now, adois!

 

Eaten Today:

09.45 Weetabix with banana
10.30 Bit of home-made cake which scored 8/10 I think.
13.00 Salad
19.30 Spaghetti Bolognese
Nibbled: 2 marshmallow things, milka, aero and milkyway, strawberry laces.

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