POSTED ON October 8, 2007 | IN Spain's Wine Country | BY joe

Barcelona is the last leg of our four-week trip to Spain. We are staying at the Hotel Montecarlo located on one of the busiest streets in the world, La Rambla. Getting to Barcelona was easier than we expected. From San Sebastian we returned our car at the San Sebastian airport and hopped on a turbo jet to Barcelona. From the airport it is a 20-minute bus ride to the Placa Catalunya and then about a quarter mile walk with bags to the Hotel Montecarlo.

This is by far the most cosmopolitan city we have visited in Spain. There are tourists from all over the world. There is a constant stream of people on La Rambla and side streets. In the Barrio Gothic there are many narrow streets that intertwine and provide a great adventure.

Barcelona is all about food, wine, cerveza, sangria, and socializing. Half the fun is eating and drinking in Barcelona. Tapas, Tapas, Tapas! You can stop at one of the many tapas bars and order three small dishes for a set Euro price that is quite reasonable. A very nice tapas lunch with a cerveza or cupa de vino is under 10 Euros at most regular tapas joints. If you are not having tapas, then it has to be a very filling dinner of one of the seven types of Paella that are served in Barcelona.

Along La Rambla there is a center walkway where numerous street performers work. Many had very innovative trades. We were quite amused by an older fellow who obviously was at one point in his life, a fantastic soccer player. He entertained the youngsters with various soccer tricks that were quite amazing. We were surprised at the money these people are making at this trade.

On Sunday morning we were delighted to come upon some of the locals in the Placa de La Seu, joining hands in a circle and dancing a local folk dance to the music of about 5 musicians sitting in front of the Cathedral Santa Lucia. We then followed a local marching band, which led priests and altar boys through the narrow streets. We ended up in a plaza near the City Hall which was filled with boisterous protesters appearing to be
supporters of a separate Catalan state. Quite a morning!

We have been to Barcelona before so we are skipping the usual tourist attractions this time around. We are just going to spend time walking, eating, and enjoying good vino. By the way, we discovered a white wine from La Rioja that may be our favorite yet. It is made from the grape Viura. We had a bottle of this wine from the Bodega Conde de Valdemar. We hope this wine is available at home.

Tomorrow, we are taking a short 40-minute-train ride to the nearby Cava town of
Sant Sadurni d’Anoia.

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