Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Travel Day. We are flying back to Barcelona today and must arise at the unbearable hour of 5:00. We are all packed up and ready to go. After and easy drive to the airport we hit a bit of a snafu when trying to return our car at Sixt Car Rental. (Readers may recall that we had a bit of an “issue” with one of the back bumpers. Rich smoothed it out the best he could and turned it into more of a scratch.)
There is no one present in the parking lot where we are supposed to return the car. Hmmm. We trapse inside and find a couple of young agents who ask us where the car is. When we tell them we parked it out back in the “return car here” lot, they seemed a bit puzzled. Oh well – “just give us the keys; there is no damage and you are free to go.” Okay. We will see how this pans out later. We have no proof of the minimal damage nor any proof that we returned the wi-fi hotspot. Livin’ on the edge.
There is just enough time to hit up the VIP lounge for coffee and a hint of blogging before we are loaded into the Veuling Airlines bus to take us to our steed.
The flight is rather short (2hours) and I manage to sleep through most of it. Of course, when we arrive to gather our baggage we are once again faced with Baggage Purgatory. Janel gets antsy because she knows Isam is just on the other side of the door waiting to pick us up. We let her go ahead while we wait for bags.
It was great not to have to take a taxi, metro or bus from the airport. Thank you, Isam for generously driving to get us! It is lunch time and we are starving. Janel and Isam have one of their favorite places in mind to take us to. We end up at Teta de Monja (Tit of the Nun- seriously).
Isam and Janel choose a selection of “picking” type items for the table. We have Pimientos de Padron, a Tuna Salad, Parmesan with Balsamic, Stuffed Jalepenos. The star of the lunch (a platter of coated and fried olives that we stuffed with ground meat – yummy!
After lunch all we are interested in is a long nap (we do that quite often – don’t judge…). Our same apartment is waiting for us. We dump our stuff and blissfully nap for an hour or so. The remainder of the late afternoon/early evening is spent doing laundry, checking internet stuff and generally chillin’. We feel like we have been in Barcelona enough times that we have “done it.” Not really. There is a lot more to do, but we need to take these couple of days to rest up for the remainder of our journey when we leave for Iceland.
A 10:00pm reservation is made for dinner. Janel rings us up around 8:00 and asks if we want to meet for wine and olives pre-dinner. Yep. Nobody really wants to go very far so we scout the neighboorhood. Barcelona is having a heat wave (really) and we want a place that is kind of indoor/outdoor like we had last week.
Entre Hores fits the bill. Conversation, Vermut, Beer and Olives are the order of the evening.
When it is time for our dinner reservation we walk down to La Pubilla, another favorite of Janel/Isam. We wisely let them order up. This place is right next to the Mercat and specializes in using super fresh ingredients in creative ways. The staff is awesome and help us decide on the timing of our dishes.
The food is absolutely fabulous especially when paired with a nice bottle of cava. We feast on some of the best Jamon we have had, a decadent potato and mushroom dish with a soft poached egg on top:
Isam prepares to dive in:
We moved on to stunning croquettas – the BEST. I am no croquetta expert. In fact, I have only had them a few times because Janel never liked them. Last time in Barcelona we had some wonderful ones the Isam ordered in a restaurant. Then these showed up. Isam even says that are the best he has had – beautiful crunchy coating (Panko?) wrapped around a beautifully creamy Bechamel studded with meat. Oh baby. (sorry no pics – they were devoured too fast).
Our final course was a rice dish with veggies topped with 2 beautiful special red shrimp.
Another perfect evening in Barcelona. I am telling you the Spaniards realy know how to eat.
Both Janel and Isam will be working tomorrow. The plan for Rich and me is no plan. We may not even leave the house…