If you have not gathered by now, I am a “Quirky mishap magnet” and as today we leave for Barcelona I am a little concerned as I know Barcelona has a reputation for pick pocketers.
We had quite an early flight today with our taxi picking us up from San Sebastian at 6.45am. We had paid for breakfast but there was just no time as we were lucky to have awoken from last night’s food coma. As we left the hotel we saw one of this mornings breakfast offerings at reception, sure enough it was croissants so I was glad to have miss breakfast!!
Once we checked in at the airport we thought we would grab a quick bite before jetting off, I was craving fresh fruit but all they had on offer was, wait for it… croissants and other sweet baked items!! Luckily I had packed a variety of bars with me when I left Australia and although my breakfast was not the most nutritious breakfast available, it was a lot better than what was on offer..
We arrived at Meliá Barcelona Sarrià where we were greeted by Ben Stiller’s Spanish doppelganger, he had no idea who Ben Stiller was and did a quick Google search. Sure enough the image that came up was spot on!! He even spoke the way Ben Stiller would if acting a Spanish role.
It was then time to explore Barcelona and the culinary delights on offer!! The boyfriend (Sean) is obsessed with Trip Advisor food reviews so we made our way to Starbucks to utilise their wifi. We of course had to order coffee to get the wifi code and I was so pleased to find a healthy nut and dried fruit pack at the counter.. Finally some healthy fats my body had been craving!!
We found a lovely seafood cafe/restaurant called ‘El cochinillo loco’ that had the tastiest, healthiest food I had eaten in a long time!! Again I was craving greens and I found the same peppers on the menu that I had eaten a day earlier in San Sebastian. I was as excited as a child on Christmas Eve to see grilled asparagus on the menu.. Asparagus has a very low calorie yield with 100 g of raw spears containing only 20 calories. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C and K as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6 and is a source of dietary fibre among other health benefits that I will discuss in a future entry.
We ordered prawns, grilled octopus, peppers and asparagus and it was delish!!
I accompanied this fine meal with a glass of traditional Spanish Sangria, the Sangria was traditional alright!! In the past I have had Sangria and been overcome by sugar but today it was overcome with alcohol and I was a little wobbly after lunch so back to the hotel for a little rest I went.
Now I know I have made mention in previous blogs the accomodation I have stayed in and yes this is a health blog so you may be confused as to why I am mixing travel and health. To achieve perfect health, one must be well rested with optimum sleep so it is definitely fitting that I comment on the accomodation that Meliá Barcelona Sarrià offered. It was so fresh and so clean and I felt so relaxed as soon as I entered the hotel room. There was no need for me to take a Siesta after lunch as the hotel room was relaxing enough!!
After a well needed rest it was time to hit the town again!! Trusty Trip Advisor spoke of a Flamenco show called Jazz S’ Club that was voted #9 out of 143 things to do at night in Barcelona so we got in a taxi and told the driver the street we wanted to go to. The driver asked us what number of the street we wanted to go to, ummmm that was one detail we had not recorded but if he got us to the street we would surely find it right?? WRONG!! He dropped us off and we were in the ghetto of Barcelona.. It was getting dark as we walked down a secluded street, at the end there were a bunch of suspicious looking youths and as we walked past them we smelt they had been smoking marijuana. Once we passed them Sean whispered if anyone tries to rob you just give them your bag to which I responded NO WAY!! I had my trusty Nikon Coolpix camera in my bag that had taken priceless pictures so at the very least I would try to negotiate keeping the memory card.. Luckily my negotiation skills were not required as shortly after we found our destination.
It was a small venue and was jam packed.
There were people upstairs with their feet hanging down which did not affect the vertically challenged (i.e. the short people) but Sean’s head on the other hand was 2mm away from someone’s foot yuck!! From a health perspective, not very hygienic!!
We stayed for a little while, it was quite entertaining but we were starting to get hungry so it was time to hunt down some fine spanish cuisine!!
We stumbled on Taller De Tapas which looked quite elegant and we ordered mostly healthy dishes that left me feeling great and full of energy!! We ordered:
- Salteado de setas de temporada translating to Pan fried wild seasonal mushrooms
I absolutely love mushrooms and the bonus is they provide many of the nutritional attributes commonly found in meat, beans or grains. An added bonus is that mushrooms contain zero fat are low in calories, contain no cholesterol and have a very low sodium content but at the same time provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D plus more!!
- Pimientos de Padron translating to Hot green Padron peppers
- Gambas al ajillo translating to Sizzling prawns cooked in a clay poy with garlic and chilli
- Filet de vedella a l’allet i flambejat amb oporto translating to Sizzling Gironarib-eye with garlic, chilli, and flambeed with port
- Espàrrecs verds a la planxa amb vinagreta de nous translating to Grilled green asparagus with walnut dressing
- Aletes de pollastre amb llimona i bitxo translating to Chicken wings with garlic, lemon and chilli
So deep fried is a little naughty but this was Seans choice!!
- Huevos estrellados con choricitos translating to Fried egg and potatoes with chorizo
Again Sean’s choice but I did sample some and it was quite tasty but not up to the QCA (Quirky Calorie Approved) tick of approval!
We also shared a bottle of fine Spanish wine!!
We made it back to the hotel safe and without altercation regardless of our visit to the ghetto so my experience of Barcelona was rated very high on the Quirky satisfaction scale!!