We had seamless flights into Barcelona, a friendly cabbie, and an on-time arrival at our apartment. One of the other tenants let us in so we could stow our luggage in the hall and get off the street to wait. And wait, and wait some more. The apartment agent had told me he'd have someone there at 10:15. that time had come and gone, so Larry tried to call the number we'd been given. No dice. Wondering if there was a problem with our phone, he wandered down to the hotel on the street, where the kind clerk tried on his phone and then let Larry use the wifi to send an e-mail. Contact was finally made, with the agency person being under the impression we'd be arriving at 12:00. Ah well, we got in, and got a nice bottle of cava to boot. The apartment is in the Borne, in a renovated building just down from Santa Maria del mar. Spacious, clean, comfortable. BCN Gotic, apartment 44. http://en.bcngotic.com/apartments/barcelona_a_19.aspx
We walked around a bit, exploring the alley-like streets in this medieval corner of Barcelona. Lots of people were around, and some restaurants, bars, and small grocery stores were open. We listened to the lovely music coming out of Santa Maria del Mar, and eventually settled into a table at Origens on Passeo del Born. We shared a variety of dishes, the standouts being the wild boar stew, and canellones.
Nap time, and then we went in search of some simple groceries, getting bread, cheese, chorizo, tomatoes. The boys didn't feel like going out, so Larry and I walked around a bit, admiring the tapas displays, friends having drinks outside, and bundled-up people having a Christmas stroll. The temps were in the upper 50's, and most people were dressed as we do in New England when its in the 20's.
We landed at Euskal Etxea, one of the pintxos (Basque tapas) places in the neighborhood. The bar was filled with plates of goodies on slices of bread, held together with toothpicks. You grab a plate, toss what looks appealing on it, order a drink, and jockey for a table or a place to stand. We adored this--lots of little tastes, occasionally someone comes around with a plate of hot offerings, great people-watching out the open doors. At the end they count toothpicks to determine your bill. Eight pintxos, 2 glasses of wine, 20 euros. Placeta Montcalda,3, El Born, Barcelona.
Another glass of wine, some British tv with the boys, and to bed.