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3.

I love tapas.

I love the idea of tapas.

You order small portions of snacks and appetizers with your drink of choice like, let’s say for argument’s sake, sangria.

We had a lot of tapas in Barcelona.  I don’t have any pictures of it because the food was gone before I even thought to take out my camera.  I have this picture of our empty table at Jai-Ca, a small and super-cheap tapas bar in the Barceloneta area of Barcelona:

tapas_table

And a glass of house wine is one euro. Cheaper than a bottle of water.

But I digress.

Eating tapas-style, you get a sample of everything.  You don’t have to commit to one dish.  You taste and try and you never feel really heavy after a meal.

Seeing Barcelona in one week felt like a huge tapas meal.

We were up at 6am and in bed at 1am almost every night. (The kids rolled out of bed closer to 9:00am.)

But we wanted a taste of everything.  We spent some time in the sleepy little beach town where we called home for the week.  There was Gaudi and Picasso to see.  We travelled up and down mountains (or really big hills): Montserrat, Tibidabo, Montjuic, and some of us even got a chance to see the Pyrenees.  There was the time travel too – the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Age of Exploration/Colonization, and Catalan Modernism.  And of course spending a lot of time on their impressive transit system.

We peeked through doors and windows, uncovering other worlds and places even for just a moment.  A sampling of what was and what could be.

roman_defence wall

sagrada_unfinishedJPG

This trip was very different from our month-long stay in Costa Rica.  Costa Rica was a slow simmered dish in a crockpot – a smorgasbord of tastes and textures in one meal that you enjoyed slowly.

Barcelona was the tapas table.  We ordered everything.  It was a frantic grab every time a small tapas plate was served. Not everyone liked the deep-fried fish vertebrae but there was something for everyone.

The one thing about travelling in both these ways is that you always want to go back for a little more.

***

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