New Years Eve in Barcelona
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great start to 2014. This year we spent a few days in Barcelona with friends to celebrate the new year. It was so lovely catching up with Laia and our friends from uni, and of course spending another new year with Trout. I decided not to take my DSLR to Barcelona with me this time. It was a hard decision as I hate leaving it behind, but I wanted to give my poor shoulders a break, and as I took a whole load of photos last time I came, I saved room in my suitcase and grabbed Trout’s iPhone whenever I wanted to take some photographs.
Trout and I arrived on the 30th, checked in and got straight onto walking around. We were given an upgrade on our room which was a great start to the weekend! Hello giant bathroom and wonderful view. After grabbing some lunch we met Laia from work and headed for coffee and cake. We have our priorities straight! We walked around in search for the places Trout had researched but found that most of them were shut, so we went to Gopal. I love this cafe, the food is really good and it has a relaxed atmosphere. It might be a little too preachy and AR for some, which kind of cuts out the customers who just want to eat a good animal-free burger and maybe aren’t vegan or vegetarian. The cafe has a lot of pro-vegan prints and posters dotted around.
I had a cinnamon bun which was so good! Super cinnamony. The carrot cake and chocolate cake were really good, too. The rest of the evening was filled with drinks, walking around the streets of Barcelona, meeting a friend and having a pretty awful, but quite hilarious, dinner.
Before dinner we walked through the food market, which is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s so colourful and alive with energy and passion.
The next day two more friends flew into Barcelona and we headed for lunch and drinks pretty much as soon as they had dropped off their bags at the hotel! We went to a bar called Obama, which had a statue of Mr Obama in the doorway. Quite bizarre.
We had lunch at The Dog is Hot, an amazing cafe that sold meat and vegan hotdogs, with a ton of vegan topping options. I had the Mushdog, with a tofu hotdog, mushrooms, fried onions, olives, jalapenos and ketchup. Trout and I shared a box of nachos, and it all came in a brown paper bag. So cute! We found some steps nearby and watched skateboarders and guys ride their BMX’s off the steps. It was so nice to catch up.
After some more walking around, we headed back to the old faithful, Gopal, for something sweet. On the way I decided to have a quick haircut.
This time it was doughnut time! Here we have a cinnamon bun, chocolate covered ring doughnut, and two chocolate doughnuts covered with fruity icing.
Later on in the afternoon another friend flew in to join us, and we had a few more drinks before getting ready for the evening. We met up at Laia’s Dad’s apartment for dinner and drinks and then headed out for fireworks. Laia made a tortilla, we had grilled vegetables, salad, hummus and plenty of pa amb tomàquet and olives. Trout and I picked up a couple of slices of vegan tortilla from Gopal, and it was so good! You can see a little slice of it in the bottom left hand corner of the picture.
Grating tomato for the pa amb tomàquet.
Frying potato for the tortilla.
After dinner we headed out to watch the fireworks. It was the first year that Spain had put on a fireworks display, and it was pretty amazing. The crowds were huge, and we huddled together, gripping our bags of grapes and waiting for the countdown before the countdown. In Spain it’s traditional to stuff a grape into your mouth in the countdown to midnight – twelve grapes in twelve seconds. I think I managed eight at the most, but Trout had 16 stuffed into one section of his mouth like a hamster, it was hilarious.
After the fireworks it was a bit of a struggle getting back to the main roads – the crowd was huge and heaving, but finally we managed to make some progress, and began the long walk back to the hotel. I headed to bed while the others went up to the rooftop bar in the hotel, where they had cava and churros. The perfect end to the evening!
The next day we met up at midday and headed to Starbucks for some much-needed coffee. I will never understand the obsession with this brand – the coffee is just awful! Weak, bizarrely sweet. Bonkers. It seems to be just an accessory, or a statement. Whatever. It’s so expensive, too!
After we had fueled up on coffee we walked around the corner to a lovely tapas bar for lunch, called Cervecería Catalana. The restaurant looked so nice, and the food was really good. So many options, us vegans were spoilt! Grilled artichoke (SO. GOOD!), patatas bravas, mushrooms and asparagus, pa amb tomàquet, pimientos de Padrón.
Blue skies! We enjoyed some beautiful weather while we were there. 14c, sunshine, blue skies. Perfect.
I already miss these girls! It’s always so nice to catch up, especially when it happens to be in such a nice place ;)
So, that was our New Years Eve!
What did you get up to? Have you been to Barcelona before?