They're passionate about love, about their food (tapas is *heart*), their architecture (Anthoni Gaudi, nuff said), their religion (a Cathedral every 5 blocks away), their culture (the red crazy flamingo dance), and their Zara (no joke); it's insane not to think that they're today's France.
Monument of Columbus pointing to the New World (though the statue is actually pointing east to Genoa - his home city)
My usual ritual in a new and strange city was to take a walk around the historical area that made that city famous in the first place. It was Khao San in Bangkok, Tian An Men in Beijing, The Bund in Shanghai, London tower in London, etc.
In Barcelona, it's the old city.
Having taken a hand-drawn walking guide from my host, I took it to the oldest part of town to have my first glance of Espanol.
Here are some of the scenes I've seen on my walk that day.
Went through a Plaza, or an old city square.
Walked down the cobbled streets and watched a man pushed with difficulty two gas tanks up.
Yea it might not look like much but that street was pretty uneven when you try to roll mini wheels on it.
The old city consisted of lots of narrow and misleading lanes with buildings very close to each other from across the street, it sort of reminded me of the old Edinburgh in Scotland, only richer;
and once in a while you would find yourself in an opening space, either in front of a formal and majestic building or going through another plaza.
I spotted a filming in production that day, quite a big project and they sealed up quite a part of the old city to shoot the film, I saw a lot of sports cars and was peaking through the crowds and barricades to see if I could spot anyone famous, like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, before being shooed away by the officers.
Some of them even tried to flirt with me. -.-
Walked passed this bakery that reminded me of the patisserie in France.
It tempted me enough to want to walk inside and buy myself a piece of gorgeous loaf of something to chew on; but I was on a mission that afternoon, so I walked on.
You see, the night before while my host sat me down and drew my walking tour on a piece of paper; he also circled out some of his favourite food joints around town, and one, which he particularly loved, was situated in the old city.
And he did mention it was a little difficult to find. As I still found it difficult to read street names when there were so many lanes clashed up together, sometimes at a single junction, and they're all equally small, narrow and short. You could walk through a street and not realised you just finished an entire street on its own.
Tucco he said.
A quaint cafe that served delicious and cheap ravioli.
So the mission to find this cheap and scrumptious ravioli dish in Barcelona began.
After many turnings and walking back and forth, and pretty sure I quite literally walked passed the street where the cafe was at least twice, before finally finding a colorful sign on top of this tiny take-away look-a-like cafe.
You could see why it was a bit difficult to read the word "Tucco".
But anyway, I was famished by now and walked in to look at my options for lunch.
There were a few selection of pastries and a simple menu list of home-made ravioli dish: from salmon and spinach to bolognese.
I placed my order, tomato-based salmon ravioli, and went to sit at the tiny bar held up against the window.
I think Diet Coke slow become a staple to my diet at this point of my life.
It was a little soggy, well, it's home-made I supposed, and bigger than I normally had; but then again I never had home-made ravioli. But it was pleasant. Tucked away in a quaint joint in the old city of Barcelona, I already like the sound of it.
Vamos a comer! (it means let's eat)