Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Voyage: Love Letter to Spain

In preparation for our trip, Iain reached out to one of his oldest friends who used to live in Spain asking for off the beaten path advice. The best travel recommendations come from people who know and love a city and can steer you to things you wouldn't have found otherwise. In reading his email, we were so inspired by his passion for Spain and realized that people's travel advice ends up reading like love letters to their favorite spots. Or in Nick's case, it's more like a really good mixtape your cute high school lover makes. All of the recommendations we have been receiving have been so lovely and sweet, we thought how amazing it would be to have a coffee table book filled with these heartfelt recommendations. Everyone seems to have left their heart somewhere and you can feel it in their advice, always longing for something small and everyday albeit the best of its kind and in a charming location no doubt. We hit up some of our nearest and dearest to offer up the same and left the city/country of choice up to their heart's desires. We had the highest hopes of having a series of posts scheduled while we were gone but alas, time got away from us! We will be back with some amazing tales of our own and a new series to boot! Adiós nuestros amores!

Sounds amazing man. In Madrid I would say check out Mellocoton, one of the best psych shops in Spain. If you walk east of the Prado museum, you'll hit hipsterville, and then south of that is the great Pakistani/Indian neighborhood.

In Barcelona though, I can give you the real dirt. I should hook you up with my friend Bobby, he's a cool guy with a gorgeous and sweet girlfriend, and they own a vintage shop in the old city (Carrer de Bertrellans 5, Barcelona). 

You should get David Hughes' book "Barcelona" and read it too, you can finish it in Barcelona. 

Get your coffee at one of three amazing places (trust me), in order of importance.
1. La Granja (Carrer dels Banys Nous, 4, across from my old apt). This place has one of the few original Roman walls inside the fucking cafe. Plus, the cortados are the best in the city, get a chocolate croissant. They make some other crazy drinks, like coffee with chili, check out hours though, I think they mainly and early morning place.
2. Tres Tombs (Ronda de San Antoni,, 2, other side of Raval from Ramblas, toward Mercat Sant Antoni), this place is a staple in BCN for the locals. Get a cortado and a tortilla bocadillo, plus a "bikini" (again, trust me). Lomo bocadillos are good here too.
3. Cafes Roure (Carrer del Comte Borrell, 48) In a way, this place is as special as La Granja, but it is a little known secret. Amazing coffee and pastries, you'll fucking flip, two blocks from Trest Tombs, worth the journey, it is a 15 minute walk from Las Ramblas through crazy ass Raval (hold tight to Mary in there)

Man, so much to do in BCN, definitely go to Wah Wah Discos, on Reira Baixa I think, in Raval, a tiny street with lots of vintage and other stuff. Best record store in the world, most expensive too. The one next door offers up gems as well. Great Turkish food in Raval, and the oldest bar in BCN, called Marseilles I think, or something, originally an absinthe bar, it is also hooker street and they will jump you with knives, so be careful, don't look like a tourist around there.

You can have a fancy dinner at Les Cuatre Gats, another one of BCNs oldest bars, near Plaza Cataunlya, Picasso used to hang there when he was young and it is fucking amazing. There is still an old Picasso ink drawing decaying near one of the ceilings.

Definitely walk ALL around El Borne and Gotic, check out George Orwell Plaza, maybe read Homage to Catalonia before you go. Stay away from Ramblas too much, but YOU HAVE TO GO to La Boqueria, BUT, when you do walk straight past all the white people in the first two rows, go to the middle and the stuff is better and the prices are cheaper, get the zumos (juices, pronounced thoo-mo) for 1€ each, try the pitinha, coco, fresa, brilliant. From there you can go through Raval to Mercat Sant Antoni. 

Also go to Gracia and eat at La Llesca (Avda Gaudi 12) and get there early so you can get a rabbit, grilled, and caraf of table wine. This place is another locals only gem, best eats in the whole city. Get the patatas Bravas too.

Is that enough info? - NC

P.S. This adorable couple have compiled a pretty comprehensive guidebook for Madrid. It includes their favorite restaurants, bars, record stores, vintage stores, best places to see bands play, the list goes on... We cannot wait to try out some of their recommendations!

1 comment:

  1. this trip is going to be a dream! so excited for you. and THANK YOU so much for all of your sweet and thoughtful blog comments. i'm so happy to have connected with you two in blog world! we have to meet someday soon! xo