BARCELONA – Church bells chimed, ending my siesta. Our neighborhood cathedral marked the end of the work day with a sweet concert of recorded bells. It reminded me of the carillon bells ringing inside the Campanile as I walked between lecture halls at Cal.
I just spotted a black and white dog barking. He clearly didn’t want to be left out on his balcony perch for the next round of showers and thunderstorms.
It finally feels like autumn in Barcelona.
The outdoor seats on Placa Reial give diners the best view of dogs chasing balls and tourists posing for fountain photos. It was the first place I saw men selling sketchy red cans of coke. We learned the cans cost 60€ each. I suspect their customers wanted something more than a refreshing beverage.
We escaped the first round of showers by ducking into the Palau Güell. It’s a decadent palace squeezed into the El Ravel district. The 10€ audio tour touted Gaudi’s structural innovations and whimsical touches. I tried to imagine what it would be like to wake up every day in home with ornate wooden ceilings covered in gold leaf.
After siesta, we headed into Barri Gothic for dinner. We had reservations at one of our new favorite watering holes, Los Caracoles. According to Lonely Planet, the “Snails” tavern has been serving customers since 1835.
The food was tasty and our server was quite sweet. He kept us laughing with his generous pours of Sangria, vodka and a honey-like digestive liquor.
My roast chicken was quite yummy. I wanted to order this dish thanks to the cover on my Lonely Planet guide. It has a photo of a man working on the rotisserie chicken grill in front of Los Caracoles.
Our travel buddy Tom saw workers cleaning up glass in front of the grill. It looks like some punk smashed the window.
After another siesta, Mark introduced me to a romantic French spot in the Gothic quarter, El Salon.
Ella Fitzgerald crooning on the speakers. Glasses of red wine sparkled in the candlelight. Muted conversations in French drifted away from other tables.
Of course, we went nuts over the foie gras on the menu. It was also a pleasant change of pace from all the tapas. Mark’s roast duck was quite nice, tender meat and crispy skin.
It’s a lovely spot to linger over wine and hold hands with my hubby.