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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

World Different part 1: Barcelona (Can Paixano)

My trip to Spain was a selection of different experiences that would take too many words to detail; instead I will be writing a series of my favorite memories in order to high light the adventure in Spain, now, first of Can Paixano:

It was a warm day when Bri and I packed our bags to head to Barcelona.  Not a typical vacation, we left to partake on a shared apartment with his parents and brother.  The first stop, however, in order to avoid traffic and given there was no place in the car, was to go to Barcelona via EasyJet (for only 80 round trip!).

It was surprisingly simple, we packed our bags a week in advance, we boarded with no problems and we landed in sunny Barcelona at about 12pm the 6th.  Strapped with just our overnight clothes we made our way to the center using their AeroBus system and popped off to purchase some metro passes.

We already knew what we wanted to see, it wasn't the hovering tower nor the fantastic church.  A friend of mine once gave me the name and address to a secretive local tapas bar, supposedly known to have the cheapest cava and the best tapas.  Of course, true gastronomes, we decided that to be our first destination.

The city is not easy to figure out, even lined with a GPS we got lost several times, we finally walked the 2 miles to get to the sea and hung a left straight to the tapas bar.  Can Paixano is a hidden spot located off a dingy street near the port.  The bar is stand up only, and elbows are needed in order to get something to eat.  The air conditioning rambles away in the background as the local clientale (mostly construction workers) are screaming out, "HOLA! EY HOLA!" to get the attention of the bar guy.  We got lucky and found ourselves a spot at the bar, and quickly ordered a bottle of the Cava Rosat for 5€, and an array of charcuteries and sandwiches.  If you are faint of the heart or slightly OCD, this place is not for you.  The trash can is the floor, once a sandwich is finished the thin paper gets tossed to the ground.  The kitchen is open plan, so the workers are constantly trudging around in old leftovers, the sandwiches made with no gloves.  Who said hygiene equals good food any way?

Halfway through our Rosat, we snapped a picture trying to eternalize the emotion or the sentiment surrounding the bar.  Our little glass of Rosat, our cheap bottle, the action... unfortunately we were too involved in enjoying to even snap the photo.

Bri waves over the barman, another cava, on our second bottle we are feeling Spanish.  The people surrounding us are only speaking in that beautiful lispy language, cheering each other, demanding more food.  Bri turns to a group of local construction workers and begins a conversation in his Fringspanol.  They cheer, pour more cava into our cups, order the local specialty in charcuterie and invite us to go dancing.  They smile and introduce themselves, call me muy guapa and continue the festivities.

It's finally 4pm when we wander out of the Can Paixano.  Where were we?  Suddenly we are feeling the heat of Barcelona and the effects of 2 bottles of Cava wine.  We decide best action is to go to the sea, in our underwear.

Which is exactly what Bri does, wandering off into the sea, smiling and overjoyed at the previous 2 hours we just spend gorging ourselves and welcoming ourselves to Spain.  The sea was warm, that gentle mediterranean sea that floats around you.  No one took notice that Bri was in underwear, nor that we were intoxicated and full.

It's decided, we will come back tonight and show his parents the magic.  Except, hours later, when we return it's a different world.  Suddenly all the locals are gone and are replaced with a myriad of tourists getting drunk and not eating.  The air conditioner has started leaking and the parents are extremely disappointed.  We realized that the Can Paixano, like a manic depressive relative, has decided to show a darker and unpleasant side.  At day, a local eatery known for high quality and good company, at night, tourists taking advantage of pricing and getting drunk before 10pm.

We head off to our hotel, deflated but yet satiated from the whole day and prepare for our next departure.

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