Where do I begin? Yes, I love Paris but Barcelona was and will always be the closest to my heart. I didn’t know much about Barcelona, except that it was Spain. Till a self-respecting, mildly arrogant and terribly good looking Catalan explained the difference to me. And rightfully, I never went back to Spain again. But I went back time and again to Catalonia. Every time I flew across the European continent, I paused in Barcelona. It had everything I ever looked for in a city. Streets to walk on and gaze at architectural marvels ( by that I mean mostly Gaudi’s work), museums, the ocean, the cathedrals and food. Perhaps, Barcelona is the region that has produced the best food and certainly has produced some of the greatest culinary geniuses.
My Barcelona connection just kept getting stronger with every visit. My Catalan friend helped me discover BCN and I saw it through the eyes of a local. I ate Catalan food at the Michelin starred restaurants as well as at the street side cafes. Mind you, I never ate Paella on La Ramblas; that’s a typical touristy thing to do in BCN. I discovered the by lanes of beautiful suburbs of Gracia, Eixample, the Gothic Quarters. I’ve never walked as much anywhere as I did here in this exasperatingly beautiful city. And no, I didn’t stop and waste my time at Zara or Mango. I never missed an opportunity to get to del Liceo, Barcelona’s opera house, or to have a tallat (a short cappuccino) at Palau de la Música.
On weekends I ran away to Ripoll, Cantonigros, Rupit, Figueres where I saw the works of Salvador Dali – the mad genius!
Somehow, I never feel bad leaving Barcelona because I know I’ll be back soon.
My favourite places to eat at in Barcelona:
Bubo – At the trendy El Born area, outstanding for its chocolates and desserts; there is something for everyone.
Hoffman – I hate to say it , but I’ve never had a better croissant ever, not even in Paris! The mascapone croissant made me weak in the knees. It’s every bit worth the hype. I would suggest you wash it down with the beautiful sumatra coffee from El Magnifico. Just divine!
Escriba – Arguably the best Barcelona has; the exploding cakes, chocolate walls and sugar jewellery look straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Oh, and the hot chocolate is to die for.