It is true that my house that awaits me in the U. S. of A. may very well be slowing filling up with water as I type this, or that my 1910 gem may be moments away from losing a room or two from a falling tree, but since there’s nothing to do but worry, let’s go for a week of trying not to think about it! Your intrepid traveler gives you a week of travel-related posts.
Let’s start with One of the Best Bars in the World (TM): Barcelona Edition.
Here’s some things you should know about The Best Bars in the World (TM): They are not pretentious. They don’t shout, though they can get loud. They are not large. They have personality, but they are not gimmicky (because they are run by a real person.) They welcome all comers, but they trade on a feeling of exclusivity. They’ve got be part proper boozer, but they can still mix you a great drink if the occasion calls. Ultimately, The Best Bars in the World are those that are the locals of your dreams.
So let’s get the first One of the Best Bars in the World (TM) on the list: Rubi, Bany Vells 6, Barcelona.
Lost in the maze of Barcelona’s Old City are what seem to be a million dens in which you can eat and drink. You can spend more than cost of the flat you rented for the weekend on diner if you choose (and that extraordinary night is for another post,) but ultimately, you’re looking for a great drink, made by a human, in a great setting, and though you seek “authentic” (whatever the hell that means these days,) really, the gold standard is welcoming.
At Rubi, you can get an authentic (and I mean it) mojito–just like the one you’re dreaming of when you read that word–for 3.50 Euros. They’ll make you one next door–totally passable, but not as good–and charge you 4 Euros (just so you know your options.)
You can order some food–some Vietnamese spring rolls are great with a mojito. Together, it’s all refreshing and cool in a hot city, in a warren of tight, old streets.
Music is along the “your actually cool (but not a hipster) friend’s iPod” variety, which ultimately is what you hope for in any setting.
Then you can sit and drink and eat and chat at the bar. You can try for a table upstairs, but really, peeking out from the red lights into the narrow, pedestrian street that runs past the bar is the best place to perch.
You can talk to Con–one of the owners (his wife is in the kitchen, FYI.)–and when you hear his story, you’ll wonder why you too don’t just locate a place on the planet that you love, figure out a way to make some cash and go there. It’s really that simple, and the rest (including your search for “authenticity” by traveling) is all noise.
It’s funny. A mojito. A red-lit bar full of expats in the maze of Barcelona, Vietnamese tapas, and a free and simple lesson about how to live your life.
(More thoughts about Rubi here.)