Thursday, 2 April 2009

"Guess, who's back, back again....."

Hello dear readers! I’m BACK!!!! Yes, estoy en Inglaterra de nuevo.

Barcelona was as wonderful as ever – seriously one of my most favourite cities in the Whole Wide World. This was my 4th time of visiting and there is still so much I want to do there!

Eating-wise, I got off to a great start!

(Tapas Restaurant)

Then we went out for tapas on Saturday night to a beautiful Catalan restaurant, filled with locals (always a good sign that a- you won’t get ripped off, and b – the food is GOOD) and it most certainly didn’t disappoint! We had :

pan amb tomaquet (pan con tomate if you speak Castilian, or tomato bread a bit like bruschetta if you don’t!)
croquetas de jamon
patatas braves
ensalada griega
chorizo y queso (with cheese)
aceitunas (olives)
bombas de patatas - like a ‘bomb’ made of potato and veg
calamares – squid
champinones al ajillo
paella de verduras
mejillones (mussels)
(BigFatPie eats Tapas)

I also had….wait for it……a couple glasses of wine!

Yes friends, the wine fast is over……I didn’t make it to Easter but I did last 30 days. And I chose to end the fast in Barcelona, rather than I fell off the wagon, because it worked out to be far more economical, euros-wise, as the other 2 girls were drinking wine and we’d pooled our money to cover eating and drinking over the holiday and shorts were waaaaaaaaaaaaay more expensive than vino. Here I am opening a bottle (or tryign to, at least)....monumentous occasion!

We then moved from the Sagrada Familia part of town (Eixample District) into La Rambla and to a fave bar of mine on Carrer Ferran (Barri Gotic – Gothic Quarter of town) called The Temple Bar. It’s an Irish bar, so not terribly Spanish BUT it is owned and run by some lovely Catalan people. There I got involved with sangria in a delightful terracotta jug, leaving the other girls to do sambucca shots (oh dear), whilst translating from English to Spanish and/or Catalan and then into French (we met some randoms – oh how glad I was to flash my weddings rings and get THAT message across loud and clear!!)

Sunday breakfast was a fresh fruit salad at our apartment, the ingredients for which we’d bought the day before, and Karen had lovingly prepared for us!

We then went walk about around our neighbourhood, grabbed lattes (at freaking Starbucks - much against my better judgement but I was outvoted!) and then boarded the tourist open top bus (again, against my better judgement BUT Karen and Louise had never been to ‘real Spain’ before so I figured I’d make the sacrifice….and actually REALLY enjoyed seeing my fave city this way) We stopped at Gaudi’s Parc Guell for lunch and I had a bocadillo de tortilla de patatas con Serrano – an irresistible combination of omelette made with potato and onions wrapped around Serrano ham, warmed on a baguette…..yes, evil white bread and carb city combo but OMIGAWD it was gooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!

I did, however, manage to spurn the dreaded diet coke and went for water instead!

At the end of the day, about 7pm, we headed for the beach via Port Vell so the girls could see that Barcelona does indeed have everything you could possibly want/need in a holiday and had coffee at a gorgeous Spanish café before heading back to Sagrada Familia.

We stayed local for our evening meal and trawled restaurants until we found one that (a) had real Catalan people in and (b) offered an alternative to carbs! Ha!

We ended up in a little café/bar type affair, all dark and smokey with people gossiping and eating eating tapas at the bar, all Catalan and Spanish mixed and elegant beer glasses – I was in my element! I witnessed a particularly aggressive conversation between the waitress and a couple seated next to us about how he felt the waitress should speak to him in Catalan and Catalan only since they were catalan people and in catalonia. He took it as an insult when spoken to in Castilian……interesting……

Anyhoo, I had spinach ravioli in napoletana sauce and a MASSIVE salad, with a few Estrella beers – utter BLISS!

I finished off the meal con un espresso and then we had a bottle of wine back at the apartment - between the 3 of us, just FYI! Here's the 3 of us....

Monday morning arrived and I wanted to walk the girls around La Rambla, La Boqueria and El Barri Gotic. La Boqueria is Barcelona’s most famous fresh market – the colours, smell, flavours, sights and sounds are truly a sight to behold and I was soooooooo glad Karen and Louise loved it – they ran around snapping away on their cameras! I grabbed a smoothie whilst I was there – passion fruit all freshly made there and then with ice and that’s it, and also a fruit box filled with strawberries and melon, so that was breakfast.
After that we spied a Gelato bar and well, I was on holiday so I got 2 scoops: one of white chocolate and one of pistachio which was just enough – anymore and I would have felt sick!!

We walked La Rambla and then Calle Ferran onto Placa Reial and Jaume 1, through the Gothic quarter marvelling at how beautiful it is – we walked for about 3 hours before fatigue set in, so we lunched at Pitta Inn – cheap and cheerful – I had pitta falalfel and a salad bowl with an Estrella !

After some more walking it was time to head back (again via Starbucks – which I refused to partake in! – it’s just NOT Spanish!!!!!)

Dinner that night began in a champagne bar and then we hit Sinatra’s in El Barri Gotic and had chicken stuffed with cheese, aubergine and tomato which was GORGEOUS!

And then all too soon it was Tuesday and we had to leave for the airport where I consoled myself with a final bocadillo de tortilla con patatas and a caffe con leche desnatada………

So all in all I think I made good food choices, I didn’t go crazy or deviate from my usual eating plan but there were a few treats here and there.

The thing that has absolutely CABBAGED ME is getting back into the swing of things! Making breakfast and lunches to take to work, cooking when I get in, exercising - it's all gone completely out the window to be honest. My precious routine!!! GONE! In a matter of DAYS! soooooooooo not looking forward to getting weighed on saturday - I think it's a combination of factors to be honest - the fact of being on holiday and relaxing (too much) and ALSO I've given myself permission to sack it off in a way, because I'm so mad at my doctor with what she said to me on the Friday before I went.....I'm in a 'wtf is the point' kinda place...more on this later.

ANYhoop - I just wanted to show you a few pics (sorry they're all of me eating! HAHA!) I WILL get a flickr account for this and learn how to work it - I PROMISE!
It's good to be back....
Heaps of love
BFP xoxo


Laura said...

Barcelona sounds so nice! I hope to make it to Spain one of these days. :)

Isn't it crazy how easy it is to fall out of a routine?

Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

oh BFF, i totally missed you! I'm so glad your back. Your trip sounds Amazing! I love the picture of you attempting to open up that bottle! HILARIOUS!

And glad you didn't go completly nuts with food - its nice to enjoy vacations & the food that comes with it but its a fine line I struggle with between enjoying and going overboard.

One of these day's I'm going to send you a ding dong. Not the whole box, just one.