Barcelona · Travel

Sant Jordi, Friends Return, Madrid…A Packed Week!

Sant Jordi!
Sant Jordi!

It has been quite a whirlwind week in Barcelona, I can’t believe that I did so much since last Monday. It started with a special event at Le 18 for Sant Jordi. Complete with performance art, gourmet dessert and cava tasting, and a lovely rose from a French dude who runs the company. I think the Spanish have a much more interesting way of celebrating love.

Sant Jordi performance art
Sant Jordi performance art

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That very same day my two amazing girl friends LTS and JoM came back into town for a few days and are staying with me. They gave me this awesome scratch off map to show the place I have been. Funnily enough I had given one to CTh for Christmas. I can’t wait to have a permanent place to live to be able to showcase it and start scratching off the places I have/will travel to. Unexpected presents are the best!

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The girls and I celebrated our first day back together at Cafe Godot, just around the corner from me, in their lovely back patio. I never realize that I could see down into it from my back terrace. The food was amazing per usual. Confit de Pato, calamari, three types of dessert. Yum! I’m going to miss having menu del días for the few months I will be away from this city.

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After a another goodbye party it was off to Madrid for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Expo. I have never worked a marathon expo booth before, so it was exciting at first, feeling the energy of the crowd coming in and out, trying to explain this race in English and Spanish, and informing people that I’m not from Ethiopia, just brown. But, after the first few hours and the second day, boredom sure does set in. At night AMG tried to relieve his former life in Madrid taking us to some bars that have definitely changed for the worse over time. But it was still fun.

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After the second day, AMG wanted us to show me an “authentic” experience in Madrid, after being shocked by how much has changed. I must say he succeeded. I didn’t care too much about the sightseeing and the questionable history lessons, but the food and flamenco show were amazing.

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This was an Egyptian temple given to Spain after some sort of peaceful agreement (see I definitely wasn’t listening to the history lesson, oops!). But, it was beautiful and had an amazing precipice of the city. 
IMG_5812IMG_5813Our next stop was to try some food consumé, something with kidney that I forget what it is called, and some really old sherry at Lhardy. All were extremely amazing.

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Restaurant hoping apparently is the way in Madrid, so next we tried some gamba al ajillo at Casa del Abuelo. An interesting, very local place with a trough on the floor by the bar to throw the fish heads while you are eating.

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We got a bit more touristy by visiting Mercado de San Miguel (somewhere that I remember clearly from my last trip to Madrid to see my cousin) and having some merluza and gambas con setas (that were definitely reheated). Bleh! That’s what you get for going touristy. I did, however, have an amazing chocolate tart for dessert to cap off the great night of eating.

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To further our “authentic experience” we went to a flamenco show at Casapatas. It was pretty good, but I think the cheaper, shorter show in Plaça Reial was much better. I was glad to get to see a live performance, nonetheless.

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The ride back to BCN was fun. Counting the number of bull signs that we saw on the side of the road. You know you’re back in Catalunya when those stop.

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I finished the week with a delicious Italian dinner, back in BCN, at La Tagliatelli. Chain restaurants, but still great quality food. So a nice end of a kind of crazy week!

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On to the next week of craziness!!!

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