What I look forward to every summer is travel, especially travel abroad. This year I was lucky enough to spend 12 days in Spain and Portugal on family vacation. In an effort to archive as many memories as possible from this incredible experience, this post marks the first of many to recount each day of our trip.
Arriving in the seaside city of Barcelona around noon, we granted ourselves a short nap at our hotel before venturing into the heart of the city. At the top of the agenda was La Rambla, a wide tree-lined pedestrian street starting from the central Plaza de Catalunya and ending with the Mediterranean sea at Port Vell.
Mid-way we stopped at La Boqueria, a huge marketplace with an extensive variety of fresh fruits and juices, seafood, cured meat, artisan candy, tapas, and other prepared foods.
What I loved most about this market were the glorious fruit displays, rich with colors and shapes, a feast for the eyes. This market also housed all of Spain’s culinary associations under one roof, which for day one of our trip, gave us a consolidated introduction of what to expect for the coming days.
At the end of La Rambla was Port Vell, which seemed like a much more modern addition to the overall historically charming city. Whereas La Rambla was bustling with visitors, Port Vell was on the slightly quieter side in terms of tourists, but it was nonetheless packed full of boats and street vendors selling selfie sticks, sunglasses, and cheap souvenirs.
Having made it to the city edge, we zigzagged our way back to Plaza Catalunya where we’d eventually take the metro back to our hotel. Along the way I bought a piece of $5 street art to add to my collection, and we explored the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter where small shops lined the alleys everywhere we turned. Here we also stumbled upon a small plaza with a church and at a nearby shop stopped to buy some fruit to snack on later. The cashier was a young Asian girl who spoke Spanish to the customer in front of us, Mandarin to us, and English to the customer after.
And with little effort at all, we soaked in the beauty and charm of this new city, new country, and new culture.