The city is, in fact, a wonderful mosaic of art, history, language, architecture, old/new, city/beach, culture and gastronomy. So what better way to present my most recent trip than in photo mosaics (besides I couldn’t choose between all my photos).
La Sagrada Familia is inarguably the city’s most special attraction. Started in 1882 and currently scheduled for a 2016 completion, it is magnificent from the outside, inside and afar. Although he didn’t start the project, Antonio Gaudi is said to be most responsible for its design.
Lunch with Nuria of Spanish Recipes at Els Cuatre Gats was definitely a trip highlight. Nuria was one of my first food blogging friends so I was delighted to spend several hours over lunch and wine with her, Jóse Luis and their daughter, Nussy. We had such a good time together and I missed them immediately upon separation! I’m sure we’ve made friends forever!
The other Catalan genius, Ferran Adria, recently closed his El Bulli restaurant while he works on building a world class culinary think tank foundation. Lamentably, I never had the opportunity to experience his genius on a plate, but I did get to see a fabulous exhibit at the Palau Robert. (It will travel to London and NY in 2013.)
La Boqueria is a fabulous food market with a long history. We breakfasted on vegetable and potato tortillas (omelet), butifarra (Catalan sausage) and white beans at El Quim one day and, afterwards, spent a couple of hours wandering about oohing, aahing and snapping hundreds of photos of the beautiful food displays.
I’d like to leave you with two of my favorite moments in Barcelona that were just pure primal pleasure.
(1) The Magic Fountain in Placa España where when night falls (about 10pm!), they present a beautiful light and water show accompanied by popular and classic music. It’s sort of Disney-esque, but exciting nonetheless.
(2) And one of those serendiptious moments that make a day special …
We heard beautiful music as we approached a plaza so we ventured off and found a building where 2 opera singers were practicing their arias in an apartment with open windows. When they realized they drew a crowd below, they moved to the balconies and continued. Click on video for sound snippet.
Que Viva España!
This was my 6th trip to Spain and, hopefully, not my last!
Note: If anyone cares to see the full set (and in full size), here’s a slideshow.