>> Barcelona was gorgeous. We stayed right on the Ramblas (left), which is the huge super-touristy main boulevard. When we arrived, it was absolutely teeming with people and the types of little shops that typically try to sell to tourists' undiscerning eyes. I mean, they were selling birds, for crying out loud... what kind of souvenir is that? And who in their right mind buys a bird to remember Barcelona? I can just see it, as Mr. Classic Tourist steps off the plane: "Ahh, I see you have a bird, you must have been to Barcelona!" Right-o.
In any case, me being me, and my boyfriend being my boyfriend, we were naturally repelled by the gross gaudiness that was witnessed on this street. So, we set ourselves to exploration mode, and off we went. We came across the Gothic Quarter (left), which is right off the Ramblas. Of course, me being a huge sucker for gothic architecture, I was smitten. I'll admit, the area was still quite touristy, but like I said, gothic arches are band-aid enough for any sore thumbs.
Happily enough (and I know you're happy too, as I am finally getting to what you probably come here for), I found a spectacular store, newly-opened, called Desigual. Right up my alley, with its super graphic-design and grafitti-type looks. Barcelona is intensely steamy and humid, so I had been on the lookout for a good cotton halter dress like I had seen everyone running around in. Luckily enough, I found the perfect candidate -- a green and pink number with a big face on the side (I heart graphic faces). It was a little on the expensive side at €56, but I figure what the hell, this place is only located in Europe and Asia, so why shouldn't the dress be my Barcelonan souvenir? It's must better than taking home a bird, I'll say.
Plus, I like the way they do things at Desigual. For openings of new stores, they invite artists, grafitters, painters, etc. to decorate the spaces. So it has that whole artsy feel I like. And on that note, I leave you with a picture of my favorite graffiti (unfortunately, not in Desigual) that I came across while in Barcelona (left).