Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barcelona

Our friends, Nick and Lori, are generously hosting us at their apartment in Barcelona. Their flat is impressive - modest but spacious and well situated on a side street in an older part of town. It is adjacent to a fresh food market that seems to carry everything one might need to get by, including a lot of whole foods, like whole rabbits with the heads still on (the hacking sound of a butcher knife forms a steady beat as you walk through). The flat is within walking distance of a train station that is equipped to take people anywhere in the city - including the main train terminal, which then goes anywhere in the country.
Nick is here completing his MBA program at IESE. He took us for a bicycle tour up to the IESE campus - it's beautiful. I'm sure that the Bear Stearns situation hits fresh MBA grads harder than almost any other segment of the population (other than, say, Bear Stearns employees), but I can't imagine there are too many people here regretting having spent a year and a half of their life studying in Barcelona.

The rest of our bike tour took us up a hill overlooking the city. As one might expect, there is a church at the top. As one might not expect, there is a ferris wheel right beside it. Neither was of particular interest to me as I was more interested in taking in the view, which spans the rosy coloured city below, framed by the ocean on one side and greenery on the others.

Barcelona seems like a good place to get around by bike. Traffic is slow enough that it is probably faster by bike anyway. Plus, there's a grid system and, even though it isn't numbered, that's always helpful for navigation. Watch out for scooters!

Dinner starts at 9:00pm, so we started with some drinks and tapas. Calgary needs a good tapas bar. A real one, not just deep fried garbage. Olives, hams, cheese, fish, bread. Alcohol. How hard is that?

Then, we stopped for a bottle of wine on a patio in front of a church. That was eventually followed that with dinner at a neat hole in the wall restaurant that had a 'lay down' dinner setting as one 'seating' option. Food was great. Atmosphere was unique.
I really like that every restaurant, and almost every store for that matter, seems to be a boutique. Character matters, and there seems to be a lot of it here. Barcelona is a very cool city.

2 Comments:

Blogger Emma said...

Barcelona! I'm assuming you sampled adequate volumes of sangria and Gaudi?

March 22, 2008 at 4:01:00 AM MDT  
Blogger tori said...

not a drop of sangria - but I did get a chance to check out some Gaudi work. all i can say is WOWSA.

March 24, 2008 at 5:35:00 PM MDT  

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