Yerp: Part 5. Barthelona! (Part 1).

May 18

Emma, Chris and I rode with my Dad and Dale from Armissan to Barcelona, via Figueres, to visit the Dali Museum. It was a long ride. Much longer than the ride from Barcelona to France that first night. Dad and Dale seemed confused about directions, tolls, gas, etc., and we three in the back seat were no help. Chris was playing with Emma’s iPad, playing parts of songs and learning the ins and outs of Angry Birds, Emma just didn't want to be in the car, and I had a pretty yucky hangover. And I think we all just wanted to BE in Barcelona at that point. It was time to disband The Group.

And so, after a harrowing exploit driving through the city to the airport to return the rental car, disband we did. Emma, Chris and I got a cab and were off to our apartment situated near the Gothic Quarter.

And here’s where country mouse turned into city mouse…

Wowzers. Our apartment was so cool! Bright, modern and very comfortable. The kitchen had features of which I have never seen. Chris and I literally had a dance party in the window upon moments of arriving (I was doing The Robot and Chris, The Funky Chicken). But not before we all uncorked a bottle of Cava and had a toast, of course. The kids' at the kids table were let loose to wreak havoc in the yard…

Photos courtesy of Emma.

At after freshening up we three headed out into the big city to explore our surroundings and look for food and drink. As I mentioned previously, we were a droplet away from the Gothic Quarter and decided to just get out and wander around there, certain we’d find just what we were looking for.

We found ourselves in a dark, little hole in the wall joint that was empty save for a table of Nordic-looking men in the front. We ordered a bottle of Cava and a selection of tapas: a plate of manchego, a plate of toast and tomatoes, and what was to be our first of many, plates of ham. We found the place so charming that we decided not to make a scene about the Orson Welles-sized cockroach that ascended the exposed brick wall behind my head.

Next up we moved along to an area called El Born. Tres chic. This was, perhaps, my favorite nook of the city we experienced, albeit briefly. We were to meet up with an old friend of Chris’, Sal – and a bunch of his friends – for dinner. At 10:00pm. We were early, so we had a glass of wine at the cutest cafe aptly called El Born. We soon all found each other and then found our way to a bright, little spot in Eixample with tapas, tapas, tapas. It was served like dim sum, or more like a cocktail party - with a server walking around with trays of bites of meat on bread and whatnot with toothpicks in them. We were to keep our toothpicks throughout the meal so that they could be tallied up at the end and we’d be charged accordingly. Interesting, right? 

Well, we were there all of ten minutes before I started spouting off about food, my blog, etc., and faster than you can say Gaudî, Sal's friend, Paul herded us into the street, into cabs, and into a restaurant named La Flauta.
There were about eight of us, I think. The place was crowded, with a line. But Paul seemingly snapped his fingers and had us all seated immediately. If I saw a menu, I don’t remember. I vaguely recall discussing with Paul the type of wine I was craving. I was already fuzzy and think I said something rather crass to describe what I wanted. But he got it. Then the food started to pour out.

There were mayonnaisey salads served with toasts, a platter of little filets with sautéed spinach served with toasts, huge grilled shrimp on skewers with tomatoes, and you guessed it: a ginormous platter of ham. The coup de grace was a big plate of thin French fries, topped with two sunny-side up eggs. The server sliced and diced the eggs into the fries tableside. It doesn’t sound like much but those huevos fritos are etched into my mind to this day. They were stupendous. Lastly, we had some thing served up as a dessert that had jelly on top of it. I tried to take a bite with the jelly scraped off. I didn’t want to be rude as it seemed my opinion and appreciation of everything mattered. But it really freaked me out. I ended my meal with a glass of something called Quarenta Y Tres on ice. I loved it. It was aromatic and slightly bitter, but also reminded me of Lillet. This brings us to about 12:30am.

Gosh. What happened next? I’m not sure. I know that myself and Engel, who was a Dutch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, were doing the Lambada down the city's streets while he roared “Cowabanga!” into the night. I know the next picture I took, of Chris in our cool, Dario Argento-esque elevator in our building was taken at 2:20am.

And I know Emma, Chris and I capped off this evening with a bottle or two more bottles of wine while lounging in our apartment, sighing, giggling, and taking stock of the last days (who's even counting, now?) week plus, the whirlwind, of our adventure. 

*Pardon the quality of the photos. Unless specified, they were taken with my iPhone. I was nervous lugging my big-ass camera around on the first night and had no idea what culinary excitement we were getting into...

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