Sweet La Ribera

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Sant Sadurni
I hadn't any plans left for the remainder of the day, after returning from Sant Sadurni. That resulted in me wondering around the Park de la Ciutadella, which wasn't of much interest to me. I sat there in the sun for a while, but it wasn't a charming place. Not like the Retiro in Madrid, for example. So not much later, I went to my beloved part of town, La Ribera. I cruised the streets there and sat aside to watch life go by. This place reminded me again of how beautiful Barcelona is.

Almost accidentally, I arrived back at my favorite church (Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar). I went inside to warm myself, as evening started to fall and it cooled down a bit.
Arc de Triomf
But soon all the lights went on and mass began. Normally I don't attend massed, but this one looked so nice. Especially as two young babies were being baptized. It was very special and different from services at home. So I stayed to watch and later, after the mass, to take some more pictures of this beautiful church, now lit by electric light and the light of sunset through the stained glass windows. I can't repeat enough, how wonderful this place is.

Across from the church I spotted a little restaurant some days earlier. It had a girl eating panna cotta (one of my favorite desserts) at the window table back then, and I remembered thinking it looked like a nice place. Today, at only 6:30pm (far to early to eat in Spain) I decided to enter and order anyway. I did not regret. Origens is a lovely place.
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
It is very small and simple, and cheap. But most of all the food is delicious. It has a seasonal menu to suggest, and a more or less fixed menu aside of it. Mains are rather small so you can combine different plates or share them. The cooks use almost exclusively regional products, often organic produce. I like that approach a lot. The menu looks like a magazine, with explanations about every dish. It tells you where the ingredients come from, when it's best eaten, why it is typical for Catalunya. Same with the wine and cava. A small map even shows the region where it comes from! I loved it. Most of all, the food was amazing. As a cheese lover, I ordered a cheese board with Catalan cheeses. They were all delicious! And so was the Catalan bread I like so much.
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Cut the garlic, brush it up against the warm toasted bread, do the same with the fresh tomato, add olive oil and salt, and enjoy. So simple, but such taste! Especially combined with the strong flavor of the goat and cheep cheeses. I had a lovely white wine to go with it and a perfect desert to finish. Speechless I was.

After dinner I went back inside the Esglesia to over-think the day that had passed. I could not help but smile about it. I told myself to remember this lesson forever. That a day that started so wrong turned out to be so beautiful, so much fun, so intense. And that it could have been like that from the start probably, if only I would have excepted the events a little bit more, and laid back, be positive. It all seemed so simple now, so easy. I felt warm inside, and grateful.
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Most of all, grateful. And for long I said a little prayer, to thank... well... I don't really know. But if he is out there, and I am just to foolish to see, well at least I hope he knows I am grateful still, for what I had today. For the lesson learned. For all these moments and chances in life.

It wouldn't be my last prayer in the Esglesia I'm in love with still.

On my walk back to the hostel, through the sweetest streets of La Ribera, it started to rain. Heavy rain! I stood under some coverage for a while but then decided to walk on. It wasn't going to stop anywhere soon clearly. I did some souvenir shopping for a friend of mine, who collects key hangers, and I found a lovely  "MirĂ³ themed" example for him. Then I strolled to the Jaume metro stop, intending to take a ride back to Universitat.
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
But I like cities when it rains at night. I like cities at night tout court because the light is so warm then, and it colors the streets and walls, giving it all a special flair. When it rains, all the lights fade and shimmer and people rush by to look for shelter. I like that as well. It was still warm so upon arriving at Jaume I decided to just walk. I wanted to enjoy the spectacle some more. The sound of the raindrops on my umbrella and the warmth of the stone walls glowing towards the streets, cooled by the water. I strolled over La Rambla to Catalunya and up to Universitat, very slow. By the time I reached the hostel the lower part of my trousers were completely soaked, and so were my shoes and socks. The receptionist even laughed at me. But I didn't mind. Later, after taking a hot shower to warm myself, I noticed that my bag wasn't so waterproof either. My lonely planet pretty much looked like it went for a swim. Yet not to much harm was done luckily, it dried quickly. That night, I fell asleep to the sound of rains becoming storms outside. And I slept lovely.
sarahelaine says:
It all sounds amazing. :D
Posted on: Nov 07, 2009
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Sant Sadurni
Sant Sadurni
Arc de Triomf
Arc de Triomf
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Esglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm