I had never tasted tapas before. And boy, was it good?
One of the exercise in restraint for me on this trip was to not plan every detail. So I let my friends lead me to the “Barri Gotic” in Barcelona. The tapas bar seemed to be non-descript and seemed to be full of locals and regulars.
We ordered octopus, calamari and some jamon. Each and every one of those dishes were amazing! The calamari was so fresh and done just right. But the pulpo (octopus) was my favorite.
We spent the rest of the night pub-crawling. Our first stop was the highlight of the evening. It was a classy jazz live music pub. I have never been a big fan of jazz, but tonight was a bit different. I felt the music move me. And I was dancing, enjoying every song.
The drinks were generous in most places. The bar tenders casually poured what would easily be double shots of whiskey anywhere in the US.
I found many of the other travelers in that district to be young college kids from around the world. I talked to a few and they were from New Zealand and Canada. What a joy it must be to travel when so young.
Earlier in the day, I had explored the Barcelona on foot. Not the big touristy spots just yet, but just walk and get a feel for the town.
It felt a little run-down compared to major western european cities. There was a sense of comfort to the city. A relaxed vibe. But it was still clearly a urban city.
Most of the exploring I did was in the Gothic Center of town. It was quiet, since it was off-season, except for an occasional tour group or two.
My first evening ended at 3 AM. I had flown out the day before and caught a overnight flight. So in essence, I had been up for more than 24 hours before I hit the bed that night. I had drank more than I had in years. So it was lights out!