After foiling that crime most foul, we made our way to our Airbnb located down a narrow alley and which *gasp* literally sat on top of a bakery and coffee shop. (You can bet you’ll be hearing more about this.)
The apartment was on the 3rd floor up three flights of twisty, narrow tile stairs. Apparently handicap accessibility is not a priority in areas where the cut stones used on the roads are older than the United State’s *entire* history.
After unloading our duffels (we had decided to live out of carryon luggage to make plane check-ins easier) we washed up and were ready to go explore Barcelona.
It was about 11:30 am – a reasonable time for lunch, right? Nope, not in Spain. Lunch takes place around 2 pm and then dinners are typically served around 8:30 – 9:00.
But when you’ve been up all night on a very uncomfortable plane, you’ve lugged your belongings down a cobbled street and up three flights of steps, you’re pretty much ready to eat something.
Fortunately we found our way to an outdoor café where we ate our first Spanish Potato Tortilla (don’t think Mexican here, think a potato and onion frittata) and drank our first bottled water. Unlike in the United States, you aren’t served a glass of water when you sit down at a table. People don’t drink the tap water in Barcelona and so all water needs to be purchased. If you’ve built up a thirst this can actually add more to your food tab than your alcohol would.
We also tried Pan con Tomato – a tapas that consists of a bit of toast with garlic and tomato rubbed on it and is found on *every* restaurant’s menu.
Here we were, on first few hours in Spain and already we had tried two tapas that I had read about – off to a great start.
After that, still hungry, (tapas by definition are “small plates” that are meant to be shared, allowing everyone to have a bite or two) we ordered sandwiches. I got the goat cheese sandwich (their goat cheese is different from what I’m used to , it’s sliced and is almost like a soft mozzarella instead of having a spreadable “paste-like” texture.) Put on a soft, yet crusty roll, I remarked that it was delicious and felt like I was “eating a cloud.” (Okay so maybe this writer’s brain was a little more tired than I was letting on.)
When I look back at my photos from this, our very first meal in Spain, did I take photos of the food to remind me? To share the experience with others? No. Instead I took photos of the flowers near the restaurant.
Bright yellow, smashing pink – vitality.
Having come from New Hampshire – where the trees were still barren and grey, where the ground was a mixture of mud and defeated snow, I was utterly enchanted by the flowers around us. Promises of warmth, harbingers to remind us that renewal, even in the darkest of winter, is always, always possible.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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