“a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Laozi
Estoy en España! The last few days have been so chaotic that I haven’t really been able to update or write down regularly what I’ve been doing, but finally I’ve found a pocket of time to update you a little on what I’ve been up to. I still can’t really believe I’m here for another month, nor that I’ve now been here a whole week… does time really work the same way when you’re abroad?
For the first couple of days, I was staying with a friend who lives in Barcelona because it was much cheaper to fly here a few days before the family were ready for me than to fly on the day they wanted me to arrive. However, this definitely worked out for the best as it meant I was shown around Barcelona by someone who lives there instead of having to find my own way, which was nice. 🙂
For my first day of sightseeing, my friend took me to see two of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces – La Pedrera and then La Casa Batlló (pronounced Ba-yo), both of which are modernist houses built between 1904 and 1910. Both have been mainly transformed into museums now, but a few people still live there, something which seemed amazing to me as we walked around admiring the weird and wonderful architecture both inside and out.
I particularly liked the garden of Casa Batlló in the gorgeous sunshine – using his famous ‘smashed tile’ technique (in which, I was told, he literally went to find all the broken tiles and scattered them to create this lovely effect) there was a beautiful mosaic wall. It would certainly be a nice place to eat dinner on a hot day!
Tired from all our walking around, we then had an ‘English’ lunch – by which I mean we ate at around 1pm, instead of the more typical 2pm lunch that they have here in Spain.
My stomach was definitely grateful to be eating sooner rather than later – especially when I saw where we were going – a vegetarian restaurant! Spain is pretty well known for not being very vege-friendly (due to the fact that they seem to put ham in EVERYTHING – really) and so I found the fact that I was going to be going to my first vege restaurant here quite ironic. It was definitely an experience I’d like to repeat – I have never seen so many amazingly delicious and healthy vegetarian or vegan foods in one place! Choosing from such a range (given that I’m usually limited to one or two options in a restaurant) was a challenge, but I ended up going for the Parpadelle pasta with pesto, mushroom and promegranate seeds, followed by apple crumble (perhaps not the most Spanish food, but it was SO GOOD).
Finally, in the afternoon, I met with a family friend in Barcelona and finished off the day with a trip down to the seafront at La Barceloneta, before returning home with my friend tired and ready to sleep. Qué bien!