July 14, 2009

Signing-off in Spain

Our final Spanish fix came in the form of Barcelona, Spain's second largest city and, ironically, probably the most un-spanish city in the country.

With a palatial pad at our disposal – we were staying in student accommodation, complete with our own bathroom and kitchen – our time in Barcelona was chilled to say the least.

Most of our time was spent wandering up and down La Rambla, dodging dorky tourists and street performers while hunting for the perfect Barcelona magnet.

With the first test of the Ashes in play, a lot of our time was also spent frequenting the various Irish pubs of the city, drinking beer and cheering on Ricky Ponting and Co with all the other Aussies who were also in Barcelona. Side note: Is there anyone actually left in Australia? Or have all the bogans left our shores on a mass 'embarrass Australia' mission?

Having tasted tapas in Seville and Madrid and pinxtosed it up in San Sebastian, it was time for us to divulge in yet another Spanish cuisine – paella. A yummy rice dish filled with fresh seafood was just what the doctor ordered. For those of you who know me well, yes, I eat seafood now – travel has forced me to get out of my chicken-schnitzel comfort zone.

After doing a bit of net research, we decided to head to the waterside suburb of Barceloneta for our paella experience, and boy did we pick well. A delicious, gigantic dish of creamy rice filled with prawns, mussels and crab was at our eating disposal. We cleaned it up in record time (Craig put in a mighty effort) and decided that we officially loved Spanish food.

Having done not a whole lot of sightseeing, our last day was spent madly running around trying to fit in all the Gaudi architecture. The highlight being the Sagrada Familia (pic below left), which, despite building starting on it in 1882, is still not complete and probably won't be until at least 2026 – the downside of the Spanish siesta, I reckon.

After four cities and 14 days our time in Spain was up. Verdict: Totally rocked our socks.