I always knew I would fall in love with Barcelona. Work sent me for a week to a city I have dreamed about going to for years. It was just as magical as I had hoped. The city is gorgeous and clean and feels social. Everywhere you look there are restaurants with open doors and conversations spilling out. I accompanied a trip of students studying gastronomy and avant-garde cooking in Spain, so eating our way through the region of ham and wine wasn't a difficult feat (except for some emotional food experiences at Uma).
My first few nights I stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, right above the Gothic Quarter, before moving into Barceloneta, where the students and I stayed in a dorm along the beach. I took a day trip to Monserrat, hiked up a mountain that looked down at the wine region, and ate as much cheese as I could. The last night of our stay was a big soccer match against Madrid. Though soccer is something I don't much care about - I felt compelled to watched the game with locals in a smoke-filled bar (just so I could tell my dad). Hoping to be back in this city some day. Until then, I'll keep dreaming about ham.