Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Day Two - Getting Lost & Mexican Food

Morning everyone! Today's post will probably be a bit shorter as I slept past 8am today, whoop, a decent night's sleep! Liam will still want another hour's sleep though so I got out of bed and came downstairs to the computers...normal behaviour on honeymoon? Perhaps not, but writing these posts helps me a) remember our honeymoon and b) de-stress...and after last night's dinner I need a little rant!!

I'll start with the more positive things first though. Breakfast. I didn't even try to eat savoury things this time, starting with a plate of bread and cake with chocolate-hazelnut spread and peach jam...

...followed by a custard filled croissant (Liam tipped me off on the filling, otherwise I might have completely missed this deliciousness!!) and some fresh pineapple... two delicious coffees and some fresh orange juice. Yum. Luckily we didn't eat this until about 10am, as lunch ended up being a late one.

After breakfast, Liam we wanted to go to the Picasso Museum. We got on the Metro for the first time (no getting lost, yey!) and arrived at the area that the hotel reception had told Liam the museum was in. We then spent over half an hour wandering the streets looking for it...

When we eventually found it, it was actually down a side street we'd walked past several times! The map the hotel gave Liam has big circles with the name places of popular locations on...not so helpful when it covers up the names of the streets we need to go to in order to get to said locations. Anyway, we made it. And queued for 45 minutes in the midday heat before we could even buy a ticket...

We eventually entered the museum about 1.15pm and spent a couple of hours wandering around the rooms. As you may have picked up, going to museums wouldn't normally be first on my list whilst on holiday, but it was interesting to see Picasso's progression, from imitating other artists' styles to finding his own. Although it confused me a bit, as we looked at the temporary exhibition first which focuses on his influences and earlier work, and then we went to the main exhibition which was in chronological order; so it wasn't until the last couple of rooms that we saw work that I recognised as "Picasso". Liam actually found those rooms less interesting as he said that by then he was set in his style so all the pictures were pretty similar, true perhaps, but I liked the brighter colours of those paintings - the rooms in the museum were all kept so dark that some colour on the walls was needed!! Haha, how uneducated do I sound?! I'll move quickly back to an area I have slightly more expertise!

We didn't end up eating lunch until 3pm, but it was worth the wait. On the way to the Picasso Museum, we'd been given a 10% off restaurant to a new (I think) restaurant, so we headed back there. The one thing I'd been craving while not eating gluten was tortilla wraps, so my choice of a vegetable burrito was pretty easy. A burrito filled with houmous, sweetcorn and other veggies, plus a great side salad...

with a mojito (and lots of water!) to wash it down...

As you can see, we had a lovely window seat over-looking the street, and all the food was great. Liam had a chicken & avocado wrap, and whilst I was jealous of his avocado, I was so pleased I'd been able to find vegetarian food that still tasted great - at some of the other restaurants we'd looked into the vegetarian option has seemed like a bland and/or cheese-based add on - but my burrito was just as good as Liam's meal. As you will see with dinner though, I clearly spoke too soon :(

After lunch we headed to the nearby Parc de la Ciutadella to relax surrounded by greenery rather than sewage!!

The park was great - lots of clear grass to relax on, as well as interesting features to look at...

View from the bottom...
View from the top

We then tried to go to a cafe advertising Churros con Chocolate, but they didn't serve it at that time of day. Boo. I will have this at some point this week - my favourite memory from a school trip to Spain years ago! Instead we stopped at a bakery to buy some treats to take back to the hotel - this seems to have become a little habit - a good one of course! There was so much to choose from!

Only part of one side of the shop - there was also lots more!!

I decided on macaroons...

and Liam went for chocolate-filled biscuits...

We waited until after we'd got the metro back to the hotel before enjoying these, so good!

Rather than having a late afternoon nap inside as we did on Monday, we decided to head up the hotel pool for a couple of hours. The pool itself is very small (and cold apparently - I got Liam to try it for me!!) but to be lying on a sun lounger, warm in a bikini, at 7.30pm was just bliss! I'll perhaps try the pool another day at a warmer time - it was in the shade by the time we got up there.

We then made our way out to dinner. Gah. I'm not even sure I want to talk about it, the whole experience was so horrendous. Ranting by email to my Mum and Sister seemed to help though so here goes...there are no photos and probably lots of ranting, so feel free to skip this section if you want!

My Mum had been looking on Trip Advisor for us, and had found a restaurant she thought we'd like called La Luna. We looked it up and discovered it was back at the same metro station we'd been to earlier in the day. Not ideal, but we geared ourselves up and went back there. The metro ride went smoothly, but then we spent literally an hour wandering the streets looking for this restaurant. We wandered past loads of cute looking restaurants with tables on the streets, but we were on a mission. So after an hour, our legs were getting tired and we were close to giving up. When we found it! La Luna. Down a dingy side-street, with no outside area, and no customers inside the darkly lit restaurant. At this stage I would've eaten my arm, and would've been ok with giving the vegetable lasagne I'd seen on the menu a try. But Liam wanted to go back to one of the restaurants we'd seen earlier instead. So we did. And found all the tables to be full. We eventually found one table left at a restaurant on the main road, but the menu was full of cheap, bland sounding pasta, pizza etc, so we decided to head back to the hotel and go to the local 'Mexiterranean' restaurant we'd originally planned to go to.

The menu for this place had looked great - tapas featuring guacamole alongside Spanish foods etc. We were lead upstairs by a really helpful waiter and given a menu. Ah. No tapas in sight (that seems to be for earlier in the day now I think about it) and instead only 4 main courses - lamb, chicken, beef or seabass. By this time it was almost 10pm and I was so hungry and close to tears that I ordered the 18 euro seabass that I didn't want to eat. In the meantime, the waiter brought us each a small bread roll (I had raisin & nut, yum) and a tiny vegetable spring roll 'appetizer' each. Then our mains arrived. Mine was 2 small fillets of seabass on top of guacamole. Liam's was chicken on top of cheese with some crispy thing on top. We kept waiting for vegetables and potatoes to arrive. But no. This was it. So we ate. My seabass tasted ok I guess, but it was full of bones and really not something I wanted to be eating. The guacamole was good, and Liam said his chicken was nice, but we were both still as hungry after eating as we were when we came in. We decided against dessert as at 9 euros each, we weren't expecting much from portion sizes based on main courses! Good thing too as when the bill came it was almost 50 euros! For a tiny main each, and just drinking water! They'd charged 8.50 euros for the bread and appetizers - that's more than 2 euros each for small bread rolls and tiny spring rolls. We should have said something (indeed, I should have asked if they could have cooked me something vegetarian) but by this stage we felt so miserable that we just paid the bill and headed to the corner shop to get some 'proper' food!

So back at the hotel we ate this...

Spanish food?!! My stomach was churning from eating fish for the first time in ages, so I was just glad to be able to eat anything.

Not the greatest end to the day, but today can only be better right! I think we're going to head to Gaudi's Parc Guell and hopefully la Sagrada Familia too, so I'm looking forward to that. And now time to wake Liam up for breakfast - I overheard someone saying there is melon, yey, yesterday's pineapple was good, but Monday's melon was even better!

Sorry for the less than upbeat post today everyone, I was just so disappointed that after all the traipsing around, when we finally sat down to a meal it still wasn't what I wanted. How do you deal with eating out in a different place/country? I should have asked if they could do me a vegetarian main course, but as the only vegetarian starters were a regular green salad or tomato gazpacho (and I was starving!) I didn't think I had much to work with. Tonight we are going to go back to asking for a recommendation from the hotel as that worked really well on Monday.


  1. Such a shame about the restuarant: abroad, these things can be so hit and miss as your lovely lunch proved. Eating out in a different country really depends on the country! Europe is, in my opinion, probably one of the toughest places as a veggie and almost impossible in some countries (FRANCE!) as a vegan. But I think ringing the restuarant ahead and planning where you're going to go well in advance probably helps avoid getting too starving to be able to think (and having a back-up restaurant in case one is busy helps too).

    Hope your next dining experience is a better one and thanks so much for sharing your honeymoon experiences with us :)


  2. Congrats on your wedding, I haven't had a chance to say so before now! I'm enjoying your photos and recaps. Hopefully you get to enjoy some better foodie experiences!! :) xx

  3. Ah well you win some, you lose some. I find it very hard in Europe and tend to stick to italian places where I know I can have a pizza or some tomato pasta. We tend to look at menus during the day, so we are not trapsing around when we are starving (I get very grumpy when hungry and so it can spoil a lovely day!). So look in the daytime , and also carry cereal bars at all times!

  4. I love Barcelona, it's one of my favouriet places in the world ... but I'm not convinced my Spanish food!
    The important thing is that you are enoying your honeymoon :-)


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