Studying in Spain, my first major trip outside of Madrid was Barcelona. I have a high school friend studying there, and another visiting from Copenhagen. It was basically a mini high school reunion in Europe, as we called it.
We shared an AirBnB in the center of El Raval, a multicultural hipster neighborhood with streets lined with skaters and vintage shops (although expensive and imported from the States). To say the least, you could sit on a ledge outside the Museum of Contemporary Art and watch people skate. It was the perfect location.
Starting off, it wasn´t the typical touristy weekend trip, with as much as there is to see in Barcelona. Nights ended at 7 and days started at 2, but we did manage to get a few things in during the day.
The first night, we went to this underground techno concert called the Nitsa Club at Apolo, and to put it simply, I was a little out of my comfort zone. It was the weekend of Carnaval, so the people there were exceptionally eccentric. There was a lot of swaying and head banging, and I couldn´t wait to get out. Little did I know, as the night progressed a bit, and the headliner came on, and maybe with the little bit of vodka Red Bull, it was a pretty sweet time 😉
The next morning, we were famished, so of course began the search for vegan restaurants on Yelp. We settled on Veggie Garden, which was a good bet.
It was a quiet morning… well 1:30PM morning as Spaniards typically don´t eat out until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We sat outside and it was just what I needed.
Andrew and I went with the Menú del Día which started us off with the pumpkin soup. There´s usually around 3 or so choices for each course for the menu.
The main course was an Indian Thali. Just by looking at it, I probably don´t have to say much. It was incredible.
Last but not least, dessert. I couldn´t decide, well mainly, I didn´t really catch everything that the waiter said. So, I asked him what he suggested and got this apple cake. Didn´t taste vegan at all, as with a lot of vegan desserts and baked goods, which I´d say is a pretty good compliment.
Overall, the food was great, the menu was amazing (wish I could have gone back more times!), and the prices were reasonable. Definitely would recommend hitting up Veggie Garden if you´re looking for an affordable, all-vegan restaurant!
Oye! Finally some tourist things. We couldn´t omit seeing the infamous Sagrada Familia, if only just passing through at night. We also managed to hit up Plaza de Cataluña and walked through the streets of Las Ramblas and El Gótico, but I didn´t end up taking any photos.
There was one thing I really wanted to do while in Barcelona: Park Guell, the popular tourist destination where you get a beautiful view of the city. After some advising from our local guide (mainly because you have to pay to get into Park Guell), we settled on Bunker del Carmel, an old bunker with the highest panoramic view of Barcelona.
We aimed to get there to see the sunset. Again, like with most planned activities, it didn´t really happen exactly as planned, but the city lights were nevertheless beautiful as well.
We also managed to hit up Shoko one night, one of the clubs on the beach. I don´t know if it was the music or just good company, but it was one of the best nights out I´ve had this semester. We just kept dancing until everyone started to leave and then some.
It comes to say that I have some pretty wonderful friends, and that catching up with people back home after a couple months abroad was a much needed experience. Thank you Riley & Andrew!!!