As much as past a certain age – maybe it was 27 – we decided that we were never, ever again going to imbibe as much alcohol as we did last night, we do it again. These are the lies we have to tell ourselves to get by in life.
But hey, it was just this one time! I’m in Spain after all, home to wonderful wines like cava and… cava. I don’t know their names, but whatever, they’re awesome. Is my fault the Spanish don’t sell wines by the glass?
You might have only a few days in Barcelona. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cut loose a bit. But this also means you shouldn’t waste a day away in your hotel room until 4 the next afternoon. So buck up, buttercup. Wash your face with cold water and put on some clean clothes, and get out. Here are my suggestions for a post-barri carousing, hangover day.
You need to get some booze mop in your system. For this, I’d recommend eating a bikini con trufa. (That’s its real name, yes.) Some might say that the bikini is a glorified ham-and-cheese grilled sandwich, but when you’re using really great bread, spectacular hams and cheeses and truffle shavings, too – you have a combination that is mouth-gasm inducing. You might not be able to find the trufa everywhere, and that’s fine. But if they do offer it, get it. It just takes the thing to a whole new level.
Pick up one, of three, of these bikini wonders at any tapas restaurant where there’s a line of locals or a wait. I know, I just told you to leave the dark, comforting cocoon of your hotel room, just to wait in line? Trust me. If the food is worth waiting for, other people are already waiting for it, and so should you. Unless it’s a hole-in-the-wall, out-of-the-way place, waltzing in and sitting down right away is kind of a bad sign. Grab some espresso, sit in the good sunshine and wait. One more tip about food: Eat at the times that Barcelonians take their meals: late, late and later. That’s 1 pm-ish for lunch and 9 pm and later for dinner. You want to meet some locals, right?
If you stumbled home last night from Barri Gòtic, you probably did on La Rambla, the pedestrian walk that stretches from the sea to Plaça Catalunya. The Rambla is a good geographic marker if you get lost in the Barri Gòtic but, in my opinion, that’s its utility in total. The buskers can be entertaining but I find myself more worried about pickpockets than enjoying their talents. Pass up the inexpensive souvenir factories on La Rambla for shops further in the Barri Gòtic selling authentic, handmade goods. Some of the other ramblas in the city are less ridden with crime, less tourist-trap-ish and therefore, more enjoyable.
Now that you’ve gotten some food down, I think you’d want to do something fun, intellectually stimulating and requiring a little physical exertion. The comprehensive Fundació Miró museum translates Miró’s vocabulary of symbols within the context of his times, shaping his deceivingly child-like work into sophisticated social commentary. Get the audio tour.
The modern Fundació is nestled on the lush Mont Juïc. If mobility is a challenge, check on taking the bus up the sloping Mont Juïc streets to the Fundació Miró. There’s also an aerial tramway (think suspended cable car), but we opted for the hike up and stopped to admire the city vistas at the foot of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Cataluyna.
On the way back, we trekked to the Magic Fountain for the evening light show. The name makes it irresistible, right?! The local authorities, from their squad car’s loudspeaker, circled the Fountain and informed the swelling crowd that the evening’s show was cancelled. I’m happy to say I led my compatriots in a chorus of boos.
If you don’t want to stray so far from the center, Barcelona is also home to Museu Picasso, in the good ol’ Barri Gòtic, or Gaudí’s Casa Batlló in Eixample.
By the way, Pablo Picasso has the honor of having eight museums fully devoted to him, all in Europe. We visited BCN’s, and we liked it. I’d never seen any of the work he did as a youth and as a young man and this impressed me the most. The accolades, the hype, the monikers prodigy, genius: they all apply in Picasso’s case. Other than that, the Museu Picasso was not remarkable in my memory… I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence. It’s true for me, anyway. I think by the time we visited the Picasso, we were already “museum-ed out.” Don’t make this same mistake. Pace yourselves!
If you don’t want to visit another gallery, Gaudí’s Casa Batlló (pronounced kah-sa buy-yo) in the Eixample district – as a cultural site – is a bit more relaxed, more sublime, and at night, less crowded. The shadows emphasize the organic shapes. I’m reluctant to post the interior pictures I took, but here’s some of the front. Get the audio tour as the house doesn’t have much in the way of placards to explain the curious and wonderful architectural features, of which there are many.
You should be sober by now, and you’ve made use of a day in Barcelona. Which means it’s time to go out again…
Other posts in this series on Barcelona.
- Roja! Xinesa! Barcelona! Part 1: Antoni Gaudí. (sarahlynnpablo.wordpress.com)
- Down, Dirty and Real: Christmas and Flamenco. Barcelona Part 2: Barri Gòtic (sarahlynnpablo.wordpress.com)
- Dalí Day Trippin’ to Figueres. Barcelona Part 4. (sarahlynnpablo.wordpress.com)
- A Wish, A Little More Money, A Quiet Goodbye. Barcelona Part 5. (sarahlynnpablo.wordpress.com)