Somehow I was already on my last day in Barcelona, with a flight that took off at four. Needed to make the most of it. And quickly!
Stopped for café solo and an ensaïmada at Demasié Café and read Le Monde for an hour or so before moseying on over to Gràcia, where I found myself in the midst of a parade! Trucks drove down the street and people were throwing bags upon bags of candy to the children lining the sidewalk. Some kids turned their umbrellas upside down, their gains exponentially greater than their peers. Even so, everyone got more than their fair share of candy. Not two minutes after the last truck passed, there were uniformed workers hurriedly sweeping up the remains, along with a few grandmothers who studied the ground carefully before reaching down and extricating a piña or a fresa flavored candy from the mess.
I met up one last time with my friend for a very special lunch: calçots! Ah, you didn’t see the episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain went to a calçotada (calçot-eating party) in rural Catalonia? Allow me to explain. Calçots are what sprout up when garden onions are but back into the ground and covered with lots of soil so the emerging stems grow long, almost like a small leek. Plucked out of the ground, thrown onto the grill, then tossed into a heaping pile on your plate (or in our case, a clay roof tile)! A bit of romesco sauce on the side…qué rico! I couldn’t have been happier! Or messier…
So that was it! Hands still covered in charred calçot (it gets under your fingernails), I got on the bus back to the airport, late again, and ran all the way to the gate. I arrived out of breath, and I left out of breath. Twas a good trip.
Six days in Barcelona and all I have to show for it is a single bag of choco booms.