For Paul’s birthday weekend we headed to Barcelona! Why out of all the cities did we choose this one? Paul has wanted to get another tattoo for a while. He wanted to receive one from a talented tattoo artist, something both meaningful and a work of art.
He found an artist when we were in Paris, but their dates didn’t match up for an appointment. When this same tattoo artist had moved to Barcelona Paul decided to book an appointment with him and see Barcelona too.
We found our Ryanair tickets for €75.00. Ryan Air flies into Girona. Girona airport is an hour and a half away from Barcelona. The downside of flying into Girona is the time spent getting to Barcelona. The upside is it’s only €25 euros round trip to get to and from the airport. All and all our transport for the weekend trip cost us €100.00.
Once in Barcelona, we met our Airbnb hosts at the loft. Our hosts were the most welcoming hosts we’ve met thus far. They greeted us with a bottle of wine and gave us a (short) tour of the small loft. They were full of recommendations. And when they left us they said, “Oh give us a hug!” They gave us huge hugs and European kisses on each cheek.
After settling in we decided to walk around the city. We saw HUGE legs of ham at a central market, the Font màgica de Montjuïc (named the Magic Fountain) in front of the National Gallery of Catalonian Art, watched a sunset from a hilltop park, checked out a popular skate park, wandered around the Gothic Quarter, and browsed through a flea market. We didn’t stay out too late because Paul was getting his tattoo early the next morning.
In the morning before Paul’s six-hour tattoo session, we got breakfast at a cool coffee shop, called Satan’s Coffee. Breakfast was sinfully tasty 😉 Paul ordered Japanese style biscuits and gravy and I got black rice porridge with coconut milk, chia seeds, berries and whole hazelnuts.
After breakfast I dropped Paul off at the tattoo studio and left to go wander around Barcelona for the day.
Some of us get tattoos and some of us eat Churros. This churro was hands down the most decadent dessert I have ever eaten in my life. The waitress asked if I would like, “con panna,” with cream. I said, “of course,” without hesitation. To my surprise out came a piping hot cup of molten, rich hot chocolate covered by a heaping mountain of whipped heavy cream. On another plate was my crispy churro, a pastry fried to golden flaky perfection waiting to be dunked in the cream and chocolate.
This was the first time I can recall not being able to finish a dessert. It was SO. VERY. RICH. that my teeth hurt from the sugar. This is a must-have experience if you visit Spain. I went to La Xocolateria for my churros.
After that, I went to Gaudi’s Parc Guell. After wandering around the park for two hours I learned you need to buy tickets to the Gaudi terrace section of the park ahead of time. The last time slot of the day was booked 😦 The terrace was something I’d have to save for our next trip to Spain. To avoid what happened to me, BOOK AHEAD OF TIME here.
After that I went to read and write in a café in the Gothic Quarter. While I sat in the café a protest crowd came marching down the street. From my point of view it was a peaceful protest. There was no violence or interference from the police. While we were in Barcelona the Catalonia Independent vote had just been declared, “unrecognized/not valid” by Spain. I saw a lot of protest groups, signs, and graffiti regarding the cause but I did not witness any violence. Many people had Catalonia flags on their doors and hanging from their balconies. I’d imagine I saw more that usual on display due to the recent political events.
Paul texted me and told me he was done with his tattoo at Void Tattoo. I got there and the tattoo was beautiful! Wrapped in saran wrap against Paul’s lily white skin, the tattoo colors were spectacular. Paul’s tattoo artist really did a nice job. The tattoo artist, Jun Chihara, can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/junchihara/?hl=en Jun left his job as a businessman in Japan and decided to follow his dream of being a tattoo artist only five years ago! Since then he has been able to travel the world tattooing his art on people. Pretty inspiring story that reminds us to stop wasting time and go for what really makes you happy in this life.