Choosing to visit Barcelona in the non tourist season of November would not be my recommendation for a first timer, but having visited the city more times than I could count on one hand, I welcomed my 2 weeks stay ahead of me. Fortunately the weather would be less dreary than the rest of Europe at this time of year, allowing for ample time to return to my favorite sights…ParcGuell, ParcCiutadella, Montjuic and just wandering through the various neighborhoods, in an effort to find one that I was hoping to call my own.
My efforts turned fruitful in the respect of finding great spots to dine and drink, as the true test of a neighborhood are in it’s café’s and restaurants and the locals who frequent them. After exploring the L’Eixample Esquerra neighborhood and enjoying an amazing meal at Taverna del Clinic, which hours and many drinks later turned into friendships developed with the owners and most of the staff, I ventured into what was my favorite zone so far, Sant Gervasi, and what was to turn into an unexpectedly crazy night.
Deciding to enter a tiny, dark and unnamed Irish Pub right off of the posh residential area of TuroParc, for what I planned to be one last drink in a neighborhood establishment before calling it a night, just to know if it’s the right zone for me to take up residence, turned into a Rockstar night in disguise.
Entering as the only female in the half empty bar, occupied by what looked to be a sports team of some sort, due to the extreme height and fitness level of these men, I took my seat at the bar and ordered a pint of beer. The first thought to cross my mind was “basketball players?”, but, no, slightly lower on the food chain, however professional athletes nonetheless, Handball players, and two teams at that.
The rest of the night was spent being the token “American Girl” in the spotlight of these guys, partying, drinking and later heading to the club Bikini, VIP style. Needless to say, the night ended at almost sunrise, leaving through the back exit of the club with one such star of the Barcelona team, who had a taste for all things American….”convenient”, and that’s where the exciting but short-lived romance began.
Who would have known, his highest scoring game of the season was actually the one I attended a few days later. It was his big come back after a couple of down years being riddled by injuries, so we were all in great spirits. Perhaps the novelty of being the “good luck charm” gave me false hopes that there could actually be a solid connection there.
On one of the evenings off from “Superman” I ventured out to El Borne, the lifeblood of the artsy / bohemian Barcelona culture. A bit bummed to be venturing out on my own, I headed into El Xampanyet, one of my longtime mainstays of Catalan tapas and drinks.
It only took a minute of speaking to the owners, the Ninou family, that I knew half of the people at the bar, and amongst them, the wine and cava maker Josep Maria Ferret Guasch.
After dining on the canned seafood delicacies and washing it down with copius amounts of cava, my new friends and I, led by Josep Maria, checked out the live opera entertainment next door in a gothic palace setting at Palau DalmasesEspaiBarroc.
As that night came to an end I realized that this city was full of unique and fascinating gems, waiting to be explored, and that I was in love, but not with Superman…that was sure to fade out, after all he is a pro athlete, so comes with the territory…but in love with this town and the future it had to offer.
*Inspired by my travels to Barcelona, I’ve teamed up with Braccialetti Cruciani to create the perfect wrist look for this destination. Gypsy Love’s Cruciani, “Accessorizing my way around the world, one Cruciani Bracelet at a time.”