When a high school classmate from my hometown wrote to me about a possible reunion in Europe, I jumped on the opportunity and we decided to meet in Barcelona. I booked a hotel in Eixample neighborhood on booking.com and was on a plane soon after. It was everything I had imagined and more. Finally, I was able to stroll in Las Ramblas and shop at El Corte Inglés which were all so familiar places from my Spanish language books. We had a great reunion with my high school friend, whom I had not seen for 8 years, tasting Spanish red wine with Catalan bacalao (codfish), shopping for flamenco shoes for my niece and for FC Barcelona uniform for her son. At the time soccer superstar Ronaldinho played for Barça bearing number 10 and needless to say, the uniform had to be number 10! We found out soon enough that we were not supposed to order Sangria at fancy hotel bars not to get ‘the tourist look’. We visited La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Milá, Casa Calvet and Casa Battló. Antoni Gaudi’s architecture was everywhere in this city. Colorful and so noticeable! Also noticeable was the city’s perfect location! With its picturesque hill Montjuïc and its beautiful beach La Barceloneta right in the city available by subway, it had so much to offer for every taste.
My friend flew home a few days before me and I spent the rest of my days going to museums appreciating the works of great Spanish artists like Picasso and Miró and, of course, savoring tapas and paellas! My trip lasted 7 days, very memorable 7 days which reinforced my fascination with the Mediterranean and planted the first seeds for Shopping Blue!