Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Barcelona, Spain

I almost didn’t go to Barcelona. But everytime I asked someone what they thought of the city, the first thing they would do is grin and then proceed to tell me how much they loved it. I didn’t understand how one place could be that great, but you just have to see it for yourself.

(The park in Barcelona.)

You have beautiful tropical weather, incredible architecture throughout the city including some of Gaudi’s masterpieces, beautiful parks and as if this wasn’t enough, you are on right on the beach, literally. Take all this and add it to the nightlife of Spain and you have a city like no other. A nightlife where they don't start going out until midnight or later and don't get home to 5 or 6:00am or later. (It’s no wonder they need to take a nap in the afternoon because they are partying most of the night.)

(Taking a Boyscout shot.)

If you are going out in Barcelona, I would recommend you stop off at a bar called “Chupiteria” which means “Shot Bar.” Guess what they specialized in. You got it. Shots! The menu consisted of about 400 different shots including one named “Kentucky.” I usually don’t take shots because I don’t find hard liquor necessarily “tasty” but what could I do? I’m in Spain, 4000 miles away from home and they named a shot after my good old Kentucky home. In case you’re wondering, it’s a real creative shot. One shot of whiskey and one shot of beer, that’s all. It made for a good picture anyway. But there was another shot that I thought was worthy of a try if nothing else, for a good story. They call this shot, “A Boyscout.” Essentially, they pour a shot (not sure what kind of liquor), set it on fire and give you a skewer and a miniature marshmallow (see the picture above.) You then roast the marshmallow over the shot’s flame, blow out the fire, dip the marshmallow in the shot, eat it and take the shot. I thought it was pretty creative and it turned out to be pretty tasty too.

(Casa Batlló)

This is just one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces called Casa Batlló. Of all the architecture I’ve seen in Europe, his work is by far, my favorite. He was a creative and playful architect; using curved lines, bright colors and shapes/images you would see in nature (the balconies above remind you of fish heads.) One of his most famed projects, which is still in progress today (Gaudi has passed away but they continue with his designs) is “La Sagrada Familia.” Take a Gothic cathedral and mix it with Disneyland and a touch of Gaudi’s own personal touch and you have it. It’s something you just have to see to believe.

If you get a chance or if you are anywhere near Spain, get yourself to Barcelona. It’s pricey like all major cities but its well worth it.

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