Vale! Vale! Barcelona!

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Barcelona! A city in Spain like no other. It has the nightlife, the beach, the mountains, the artistic culture, the eclectic food, the architecture, the passion that separates it from all other Spanish cities. It overflows with artistic and passionate creativity. Barcelona captures art and life and awakens you from anything dull or mundane.

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Our highlights…

The food.
There is nothing like food where you can taste the passion and the dedication put into it.  We had tapas to die for and other foods like Tuna Yakisoba that could bring you back to life. Every restaurant we ate at was magical, each place had its own story and detail that made you experience the food in a dynamic way. There is 2D eating and then there is 3D eating.  At Picnic, we chose our appetizer of meats and cheeses off a gingham lined menu as we watched the 2 women chefs at work 2 feet from our table. We drank sparkling Spanish wine and took in every detail. At Elsa y Fred, we were delighted to have a glass of wine, a gourmet hamburger with a potato puree, and fresh fruit or a café all for the price of 12E. Such a deal!  At Ristorante Meneghina we ate bolognese that melted in your mouth and of course Ginger indulged in the homemade tiramisu all by herself.  At Bar Mirilla we switched it up from regular tapas and ordered Tuna Yakisoba and beer! Each place different yet a delight and so enchanting…each dining moment a memory we wouldn’t forget!

Melt in your mouth Bolognese.

Melt in your mouth Bolognese & Tiramisu

Tuna Yakisoba

Tuna Yakisoba

Tapas!

Tapas!

Don't forget about cafe con leche!

Don’t forget about cafe con leche!

The sights.
Where to begin. Um, the cathedrals, wow la catedral! So ornate and like stepping back in time. Our favorite was La iglesia Santa Maria del Mar in the heart of the Gothic quarter. The windy streets of the Gothic Quarter that lead you to tiny boutiques and bars and bombonerias! The parks that feel like you stepped into a fairytale or a music video…which is what we walked into at La Cascada in Parc de Ciutadella! hA! We took in the St. Joseph Boqueria which is almost indescribable…a market with every food imaginable…jellyfish, sea urchins, pig legs, fresh fruit smoothies, chocolate!, walls of candies…..it was sensory overload! We also enjoyed the fountain show at Placa Espanya. Shooting water, music, lights…it took you out of your element…like we were in a dreamland! Even the train stations are worth hanging out in, we hung out and had beers for like 3 hours at the Estacion de Franca. We enjoyed all the sights from sipping espresso in the street cafes to indulging in chocolate samples at an actual Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata). mmm, so good.

La Catedral

La Catedral

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar

Parc de Ciutadella

Parc de Ciutadella

Placa Espanya

Placa Espanya

Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

The Art.
Gaudi, Picasso and everything in between. aahhh the arts and how they make you come alive. Whether it is a walk in Parc Guell or a stroll down Gracia by La Pedrera, just seeing the creativity makes your soul dance.  While strolling through the neighborhood we stayed in, El Born, we saw a local shopkeeper in his studio handcrafting a violin right there. We were truly surrounded by creativity. The pictures you see of La Sagrada Familia in magazines or online don’t do it justice. The fact that the construction has been going on for 89 years after Gaudi’s death is insane. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking. Gaudi wanted the columns to look as if you were amidst the great giant trees in a forest and that effect was achieved. The Picasso Museum was of course amazing. He donated work to the Barcelona museum even when he was alive. A lot of the art was from his younger years and was really cool to see how talented his work was and how diverse his painting scope really was. Barcelona and Art are like peanut butter and jelly – you can have them seperately but nothing else is quite like this combo.

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

Gaudi

Gaudi

Forest inside La Sagrada Familia

Forest inside La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

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Beautiful & dizzying staircase in La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

The experience.
It was Sugar’s first time in Barcelona and it took Ginger 9 years to get back to Barcelona and it was such a treat to take in one of the best cities in the world. We both fell and re-fell in love with a beautiful city. We ended the trip by attending a Flamenco y Opera at the Palau de Musica. It was the perfect way to say farewell, the dancers danced with every ounce of passion they had in their body, the live band bared their souls through their instruments, and the opera singers sung from the very pits of their souls. It gave us goosebumps and made us shed some tears. It was the perfect representation of what Barcelona is all about.

Roof of the Palau de la Musica

Roof of the Palau de la Musica

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Living the Dream Greek Style

Mykonos

Greek Island hopping was a wonderful place to start our 6-week adventure. After a very busy summer with many life-changing events happening (graduation, jobs ending, both of us moving, close friends moving out of town, etc) it was nice to get away and do nothing but relax for 2 glorious weeks! Greece was dreamy, it felt like one of those warm dreams that you don’t want to wake up from. Everything was so relaxing and refreshing.  Nature’s beauty literally at our fingertips… from the private beach cove that we sailed to by a pirate ship to sipping champagne while looking out at the night views of Santorini that sparkled in the moonlight.

The postcards you have seen are REAL! No photo enhancements, really…every island looked like a painting…it truly is that beautiful! The blue domed white buildings, cliff side towns, gorgeous red and black beaches, stunning sunsets, and delicious food (we probably consumed a pound of tzatziki a day but who is counting). There was so much to enjoy in Greece….here are some highlights:

1.     Raw Beauty! There is nothing more rejuvenating than be exposed to raw beauty. Taking in the views of gorgeous beaches and dipping in the refreshing sea is life-changing. It brings you back to life and removes the everyday troubles. It frees you to relax and savor what nature has to offer. Each island offered something a little different, in Mykonos & Ios we enjoyed white sand beaches but in Santorini we experienced our first red sand beach and lounged at a black sand beach.

Kalafati Beach, Mykonos

Dipping our toes in the crisp Aegean sea

2.     Vacation conversations! You know those conversations on vacation where you can just let loose and open up about your dreams and get real.   We Sipped champagne cocktails at Franco’s Bar in Santorini while looking out to the moonlit sea and had a deep conversation. We shared our hopes and aspirations for the future, laughed loudly, cried (not shocking), and reflected on what has led us to where we are currently. These are times that we cherish and hold deep in our hearts.

Ready for a night out!

Windy day hair!

Franco’s

3.   Magical Sunsets! Seeing one of the most beautiful sunsets in Oia, Santorini. We are suckers for a gorgeous sunset and this one did not disappoint. It was nice to sit back, have a glass of wine, and take in the beauty. As the sun was setting a pirate-looking ship sailed in the background to complete the already picturesque scene.

Sunset with ships passing in Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

4.     History! Visiting ancients sites such as the Parthenon in Athens and Akrotiri in Santorini just opens the mind. To see history up close and personal is such a cool experience. You read about stuff in books but to stand in front of the Parthenon and looking into the Theatre of Dionyisos (the birthplace of Greek Tragedy)…all you can say is wow, just wow!

The Erechtheum

Theatre of Dionyisos

Temple of Zeus

Parthenon