I know – it has been a while since my last post and no excuses are good enough to keep me away from what I love doing. That said, the point is that someone organised a wedding and the same person actually got married. While smirking, let me tell you something in all honesty: it was a really cool wedding. As if that were not enough, always the same person is going through some other big changes in her life. I guess though that if I am here this evening – in front my computer eating home baked potatoes with a solemn air – is not just to chit chat. I was meant to post these pictures of Barcelona a while ago so let’s stop talking, have a look and enjoy.
La Rambla, the most famous pedestrian street of Barcelona stretches for 1.2 kilometres, representing the perfect place for tourists to enjoy the Spanish ritual of the paseo (stroll). Crowded during the day and until late in the night, it is the perfect destination for improbable encounters – I bet you don’t meet Marylin that often.
La Rambla unravels in to numerous, quiet and shady side streets where, cows included, one can enjoy the menu del dia with its many examples of Catalan cuisine in any if the restaurants and little taverns.
Exploring this labyrinth of tiny streets may take a while and quite a lot of walking. If you get tired, well you have got many options. Not sure about this last one, but hey, shoes can really hurt sometimes and enough it’s enough!
Giving up and protest or gracefully laying, in contempt of people around you?
I personally decided to stop at a cerveceria, a beer bar, the best places in the city to try the most tasty tapas.
Barcelona is one of the world’s best cities when it comes to eating and drinking. Bursting with many restaurants, most of which seek to promote the wonderful cuisine of Catalonia, the offer is varied, from the local tapas bar to the finest gastronomy.
Still in quest of other ways to please my senses, I kept walking along the Rambla and on its left I just saw the Bouqueria’s grand iron entrance in all its splendour. Ready to soak up its unique colourful atmosphere, I dashed in ready to explore it.
With over 200 stalls stand in the market, there is a myriad of produce on display: the amazing local dry-cured ham – jamon que pasión! – and chorizo, fuet, longaniza and butifarra sausage varieties hanging just over your nose will makes you want to stay in Barcelona surely for more than a weekend to have la Boqueria as your only food source destination.
Vendors sell every imaginable, colourful and fragrant type of goods, some unquestionably over priced – yet lingering on looking and tasting some of them, is a unique pleasure both for locals and foodie tourists like me.
Whether you want to source some ingredients for your perfect paella or just sampling a range of bite size Catalan specialities while perching on a bar stool and watching the world go by – it is worth aiming to get there in the morning – as this is when the market is really in full swing.
Shoppers are spoiled from choice – from pimientos del padron to a generous and varied selection of seafood and an incredible variety of cheese with different flavours, textures and styles.
How about trying some soft and smooth Alt Urgell i la Cerdanya or a spoonful of creamy Mató de Montserrat topped with honey?
As they say here in Catalonia ‘Bon Profit!‘.
Would Barcelona be the same without the Sagrada Familia? One of Antoni Gaudí’s most impressive works, this enormous church, as yet unfinished, is a summary of Gaudí’s vision. Probably Antoni Gaudí’s best-known work, the cathedral is located in the center of Barcelona with towers that reach over 328 feet high. With its distinctive “warped Gothic” style, the almost liquid contours of the stone façade make it look as the Sagrada Familia is melting in the sun, while hiding many biblical stories and extensive symbolism among several stone clouds and icicles.
The bright sunlight pouring through the stained glass windows cast an ethereal glow over the interior, which offers an interesting contrast to the exterior. Where the outside displays more intricate architectural elements, the inside is home to a free-flowing and organic space, always dream-like and inspired by nature.
A flag bearer for the 19th century Modernista movement, Gaudí work dominates the architectural map of Barcelona. Another extraordinary example of his style is Casa Batlló, an allegory of the legend of Saint Jordi. The roof represents the dragon’s back, the small tower with a cross would symbolize the lance of the saint, killing the ferocious beast and balconies sculpted in the form of grotesque mask, are the skulls of the dragon’s victim. The house’s interior is as fascinating as its exterior: it’s a world full of surprises where sea colours and motifs, rounded forms and a smooth light show Antonio Gaudí’s genius and love of the Mediterranean Sea.
Barcelona’s wealth of arts, culture, and magical architecture are complemented by sandy beaches, visited by 3.5 million of people every year. This means they can be just a “tiny bit” crowded in high season.
If you don’t fancy roasting your skin under the scorching Catalan sun, the mountain of Tibidabo gives you a 36o-degree view of Barcelona, the sea and the Pyrenees. Mountains on one side, sea on the other, and everything else imaginable in between.
One thing you will soon learn about Barcelona is that it is a city that doesn’t sleep. Toothsticks to keep your eyes open may be handy at some point as there is so much to see! Hasta luego!