Deje mi corazon en Barcelona, pero devolvi un Dali un! Translation… I left my heart in Barcelona, but brought home a Dali one!

¡Dejé mi corazón en Barcelona, pero devolví un Dali un! 

Translation… I left my heart in Barcelona, but brought home a Dali one!


“Uh  uhm… he transponds things.  He’s a transponder?!”  Have you ever watched the show, “Friends”?  On there, if you ask any one of the friends what Chandler Bing’s career is, no one can answer.  That is like my friend.  I have no clue as to what gets her to wake up so early, commute to Manhattan, and spend endless days and nights in a cubicle, with fluorescent lighting as her only exposure to light, but I do know that she gets to travel often and for that I am grateful.  Not because I can have the house to myself and drink out of the orange juice container while standing with the refrigerator door open, but because many times her company (let’s call them Company X Incorporated since I cannot recall the name she works for either) rents oversized condos, houses, and sometimes even villas (remind me to tell you about “our” business trip to Rio!) for her while she attends week-long seminars and I get to tag along with her.  Luckily, she is a bit needy and despises being alone.  Her most recent business trip brought us to Barcelona, Spain! 


Wow, the company really out did themselves this time.  In the heart of Barcelona, they booked us… I mean, my roommate, an exquisite flat.   I never understand why they do not just put her up in a hotel since they have her itinerary booked solid for the entire week.  She has no time to enjoy her surroundings.  Don’t tell my roommate, but I hope she never finds the “one” and gets married.  My frequent flyer miles will certainly dwindle quickly and I can kiss quaint villas and modern flats goodbye! 

Whenever I travel with my roommate, for the first couple of days I feel bad that she has no time to adjust to our new time zone and has to rush herself off to lectures and board meetings.  I tend to stay close to home, feeling guilty about enjoying myself while she is working so hard.  It was a Saturday night when we arrived in Barcelona.   My roommate and I went straight to our rented flat and unpacked.  The next morning, which is the only day of the week that she has off, she slept in while I ventured around the city.  I stayed close to our rental because my one semester of Spanish is not going to cut it and unless I want to order a cervesa with everything, I am going to need to learn a few key phrases to get by for the next 7 days.  I learned one thing real quick… finding a box of Cheerios was not going to happen.  In Barcelona, apparently, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.   I stopped at a “snack” bar for some coffee and a bikini.  For all those wondering, no I did not grab a cup of coffee and start shopping for a swimsuit.  A bikini is a toasted ham & cheese in Spain, I will have you know.  It is the US’s equivalent to a ham & cheese on a croissant from Dunkin’ Donuts!  Walking back to our flat, I start to see examples of the Barcelona architecture I read about on the plane.  Each building is more beautiful than the last… curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and organic-like forms.  Breathtaking.  I say to myself, “Self… tomorrow I must visit the Park Guell.”  With the multi-colored mosaic tiles adorning benches, dragons, and walls, it is without a doubt a must-see in Barcelona. 


Like I said before, I usually stay close to home, feeling badly that I am enjoying my roommate’s trip, but with Park Guell on my mind, I let myself off the hook a little early.  I follow the directions the stranger told me when I asked at the breakfast snack bar and take the metro over to the park.  I made a mental note to get to the snack bar early the next day with the hope to run into my stranger friend again because I would like to thank her for leaving out the fact that there is a 20 minute walk from the metro, with the last few minutes to Park Guell up steep steps!  It was very kind of her since I wore my 2 inch wedge espadrilles on my little excursion.  Once I caught my breath and swore to stop skipping the last 10 minutes of my 15 minute work out on the stair-master back in the US, I explored the area.  I think my favorite aspect was Gaudi’s interesting furniture in the small house in the park.  Everything in the park was so vivid and the way the sunlight caught the sheen of the tile was superb.  At the Park Guell, I started a conversation with a young couple on holiday from Italy.  The girl had the most beautiful pin on and I just had to know where she got it.  She explained that she got the pin at the Salvador Dali museum in Figueres.  It is a replica of the Dali Royal Heart.  Well, we can certainly predict tomorrow’s destination! 

After my espresso and bikini the next morning, I hopped on the RENFI train line from Barcelona to Portbou and headed for Figueres.  What is with the people of Barcelona?  My stranger friends neglected, again, to tell me about the 10 minute walk to the museum!  Tip if you ever travel to Barcelona – if the only shoe that goes perfect with your outfit is your prized Christian Louboutin shoes, make sure they are flats!  In a four hour span, I saw Dali’s Persistence of Memory, The Smiling Venus…  yada yada yada…  and there it was…  created in the honor of Queen Elizabeth II, with its throbbing center of red rubies and the heart of glimmering gold, Dali’s Royal Heart and it was just breathtaking.  All for only $110 US!  I had made my way to the Museum Shoppe and there stood before me, behind glass doors was the most beautiful pin I have ever seen.  Let’s not forget to mention that the red rubies will really bring out the red soles of my Christian Louboutins when I sit with my legs crossed at Marmalade tonight.  I met some Europeans on the train that day and we agreed to meet up for cocktails after our sightseeing.  Barcelona may be rich with history, art, and culture, but the nightlife is in a class by itself.  Drinks in Placa del Sol, one of the many outdoor squares where alfresco drinking is quite popular, is where most start.  From there, dinner, and then around midnight, the discos start to see lines. 


Throughout the rest of my stay in Barcelona, I managed to meet my roommate for some yummies and even once for cocktails.  We happen to be in Barcelona in June, just in time for the Eve of Saint John’s.   It was our last day in Spain and I convinced my roommate to go sign into her seminar, run to the bathroom like she was sick (so if anyone noticed her missing they would know why without her having to lie right to anyone’s face…  she is a terrible liar.  Which, by the way is the makings of a great roommate because you never have to worry about her stealing your Prada handbag or Burberry scarf).  We spent the day celebrating the summer solstice with roaring bonfires, fireworks, and eating coca de Sant Joans!  I would have to say it was the equivalent to our Memorial Day. 


As I set into my seat on the plane, backpack under my seat, neck pillow ready, seat reclined, and my roommate resting on my shoulder, I try to sum up my experience in Barcelona.  Staying in the vacation rental erased the word “tourist” from my forehead and I navigated the city as if I lived there for years.  There was nothing better than stepping out of our front door, onto the stone walkways, and stopping by the breakfast bar each morning as if I was a true Catalan.  Although Barcelona is a true vibrant and modern European metropolis, it holds an enormous respect for tradition and culture.  Cultura... Diseñe ... y Armonía sum Barcelona, Spain up best.  ¡Le ver otra vez Barcelona!



PS - Public toilets are few and far between in Barcelona!  Just be prepared when venturing hours away from your rental!




This blog was written by Villa4vacation staff 3/27/2010 12:42 AM

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