This is the story of my biggest regret of 2019 and why I hate Starbucks.
To set the scene, on Friday 8th of March we were in Barcelona, having the time of our lives. I made the stupid mistake of getting a frappuccino from Starbucks and within a few short hours, I suffered the longest 24 hours of my life.
We had to wake up at 5AM on 09/03/2019 to check out of our airbnb and make it for our 8AM flight to Naples, Italy. We had planned to arrive in Naples, get the best pizza of Italy, drop our luggage in holding, train it to Pompeii and explore for a few hours, and then travel to Rome in the evening. It was supposed to be a bucket-list moment.
Instead, I had the runs prior to getting into our cab for the airport.
On our flight, I vomited up 5 bags of clear emesis. I was seated by myself and you could see everyone slowly moving away, as if I was contagious, and handing me their vomit bags. The turbulence made me yak, and then I drank water to feel better, and the cycle repeated. It was only a 1.5 hour flight but dear golly, longest. flight. ever.
When we got to Naples, I could barely move from the bench, I told Michael to go and get "the best pizza in Italy" while I hugged our luggage 😂. At 11AM, instead of being on the way to Pompeii, we made the decision to cancel our tickets, book ItaliaRail tickets ($150 ea) to Rome and check in early to our hotel.
It was the longest commute of my life. It felt like a ball of molten lava had dug into my abdomen and was squeezing the life out of me. When we checked in to our hotel in Rome at 2PM, I had never been more grateful in my life for a shower and bed.
Moral of the story: don't trust the milk
We thought Melbourne had a strong brunch game but wow, we were blown away when we ate at this cute, quirky cafe, Caravelle, in Barcelona. With a 4.7 out of 5 star rating from 2000+ reviews on Google and TripAdvisor, it's no wonder this place was so highly recommended from other foodie travelers.
Location: Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 31, 08001
Only in Spain can you order a half litre sangria with your cappuccino 😂 We ordered the 1L elderflower sangria, comprising of verdejo, havana club 3, pomegranate for €15
This monstrous dish is the caravelle eggs bennie. For €11.95, it includes smoked, organic pork shoulder, spinach, chipotle hollandaise, and brioche. The pork was tenderized and savoury and it melted in our mouths. The hollandaise sauce added a nice kick to the meat, making a well balanced bite with the sweetness from the bread. It did not taste as "heavy" as the picture looks and we really enjoyed this take on the eggs Benedict.
This is the caravelle rancheros for €10.95, with poached eggs, pico de gallo, guacamole, beans, salsa tomatillo, tostadas. It tasted like a heavenly Spanish "taco". The poached egg had a nice bounce to the whites, and slow ooze from the yolk. The beans was flavourful. The guacamole helped cut through the sauce, bringing in a mild taste. And the tomatoes and corns added a pop of freshness. It was really delicious.
We wished we had a bigger appetite so we could order more food and take more pics but alas, we are only two small Asians ✌🏻
Thank you for reading!
We visited Barcelona on 6th to 9th of March 2019 and even though we had a short stay, it was honestly one of the best cities we visited.
On Wednesday 6th of March, we were having issues with the distribution of our luggage weight at Paris airport (we had packed 3 bottles of red wine to bring home 😂) and after 3 stressful hours, we reached Barcelona with feelings of relief and caviar in our hands.
We checked in to our airbnb with ease - the host was friendly and helpful. On a side note, after staying at so many hotels throughout our journey so far, it was quite difficult for us to stay at this airbnb because we had gotten used to the luxury of comfort and cleanliness. It was the only airbnb we booked for our entire Europe trip and we do regret not staying at a hotel. Call us posh but we loved coming home to fresh towels after a long day of exploring a foreign city. If airbnb is your style, don't let this discourage your options.
After checking in, we headed out to explore the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (HERE). We stumbled upon Casa Dorita where we had a delicious mediterranean meal (HERE).
The next day we started our tour of Casa Mila, aka La Pedrera at 10AM. This is one of the famous tourist locations of Barcelona, created by famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. Read more HERE.
Since it was still early, not many restaurants had opened yet. We stopped by El Fornet (a chain cafe) to get some breakfast.
Palau de la música catalana
Afterwards, we headed for our 12PM tour of Palau de la Music Catalan where we were able to watch young students perform. Read more HERE.
We had a late lunch of tapas and sangria at Cerveceria Catalana (HERE). We ate around 2-4pm.
Drunk off 1L of sangria, we stumbled our way through the streets of Barcelona, passing by Placa de Catalunya, to Mercado de La Boqueria (markets) down to the Gothic Cathedral.
While exploring the surrounding areas of the Barcelona cathedral, we found this stone decoration outside Casa de l’Ardiaca. This is the "Lucky Turtle", rumored to give good luck if you rub his shell.
For our dinner at 8pm, we stopped by a random restaurant in the alleyway. It had a rustic mood, with odd frames and old chairs. We did not like the paella or squid as much as we would have liked. For €20 each, we felt it was like a tourist trap.
Back to exploring, we did not go inside the cathedral. At this point in our travels, we were a little exhausted of seeing ancient exhibits. Instead, we enjoyed the peaceful stroll through the warm, old alleyways of Barcelona, stumbling upon different night markets with funky gadgets and antiques. We found a merchant selling ancient pocket watches - almost spent our wallets there. We found the "Kiss of Freedom" too!
Finally, after a long first day, we headed home to our airbnb. Along the way, we stopped by a grocery store where Michael had the funniest interaction.
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia
On Friday 8th March, we rushed out the door to see the famous, not-finished Sagrada Famila at 10AM. Read more HERE. After working up an appetite, we found Caravella for brunch. Read more HERE.
Next, we made our way to the famous Park Guell, where we had an eventful journey and a romantic afternoon. Our oopsies can be found HERE.
In the afternoon, we wandered around the streets of Barcelona. Michael indulged in jamon iberico, cured ham - a specialty of Spain. And I made the horrible mistake of ordering a frappuccino from Starbucks. Why? Because on Saturday 9th March 2019, I would suffer the worse 24 hours of my life. To focus this post about Barcelona, you can read about my fuck-up HERE
For dinner, we ate at Cerveceria Catalana, again (HERE).
We had a very short stay in Barcelona but it was one of our favourite cities throughout Europe. The vibe was chill and almost...groovy? Food was amazing!!! 😍 There was so much variety in food and everything was well made and delicious. Sangria was cheap everywhere!! And Jamon Iberico... 🤤
Finally, we loved the Spanish people. We found everyone really friendly, accommodating and happy. From the woman who helped us to Park Guell, to the waitress at Casa Dorita, the entire 2.5-3 days in Spain was lovely and we can't wait to go back and explore more.
Thank you for reading! Adios!
still posting europe and asia 2019