What can I say about Barcelona? I loved every second of it, from my fantastic hosts to the delicious two bite pintxos to the vibrant and artistic streets. Two days was tight but wonderful nonetheless and I managed to find a good balance between relaxing and taking it all in. And as balance is the current theme for my yogic training, I think that is perfectly suited.
I had arranged to stay with a friend of a friend in Barcelona. When my host (whom I’d never met) not only insisted on picking me up at the train station but also decided to take the same flight out to Mallorca two days later, offering to take me to the airport, as well as come along and take me to my ashram (he has friends here), I was starting to worry that this was too good to be true. But as soon as I met Jesus, and his boyfriend Christophe, I realized all of my doubts were unnecessary as they turned out to be two of the most genuine and kind people I have come across.
Jesus took me around the city, from the über-hip Raval neighborhood, to the park de la cuitadella, arc de triomphe and the beach. On my own I decided my trip would be incomplete without a visit to the Sagrada Familia church. I had been many moons ago but the development that had taken place over the last twelve years was truly astonishing. Needless to say, I was glad I went, despite the blisters on my feet.
I popped into the Moritz brewery (for cultural reasons) and tried one of the finest gourmet donuts I’ve had (pine flavoured. Yes, you read that correctly). And my visit was topped off with a trip the the Carrer Blai street which is virtually filled with small pintxos bars and locals spilling out from them onto the cobblestones. Pintxos are similar to tapas but they sit atop a small piece of bread. They can be anything from goats cheese and prosciutto to prawns to chorizo spread and peppers. All were amazing! At the end you count up the toothpicks on your plate and are charged according to the number you arrive at.
All in all, it was a perfect two days before the start of a three week lesson in austerity (with the occasional contraband coffee).
Barcelona, I love you. Pintxos and culture below.