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Barcelona: Mosaically

July 1, 2012 by Joan Nova in Travel, Travel Retrospectives | 24 Comments

Barcelona is a fabulous city with much to offer the visitor. See how nice they are? They named a restaurant on their popular pedestrian La Rambla for me. :)

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.

There it is in the distance (left) as we stood on the roof of La Pedrera.

Our “Sagrada Familia” spent a week exploring the city … from one end to the other, walking 4-5 miles a day, stopping only for wonderful tapas and late night dinners.

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 Genius that is Gaudi 
Casa Milá, aka La Pedrera, La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell

Plus 2 other photos taken at Parc Guell that I particularly like.

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.

Vistas In and About Barcelona.

Random Structures.

The People You See.

The Food We Ate! Lots of tapas and lots of seafood so fresh you could taste the salt water!

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.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. bellini says:

    So many exciting things to experience Joan. I have never been to Spain but next stop is Italy. If I can experience even a small snippet of these daily adventures sights and sounds I will be happy.

  2. I found you on FoodBuzz and immediately clicked on this having spent almost an identical week in Barcelona about 10 years ago. It was so much fun to see all your photos. Isn’t it just a fantastic city? We had beautiful food and brought many supplies home to make it at home as well. Beautiful post!

  3. Lori Lynn says:

    The shot of you at “your” restaurant is adorable Joan!

    Your photos are spectacular. Can really feel your love of Spain. I lament never eating a El Bulli too.

    My brother and family are heading to Barcelona next month, going to forward your post to my sister-in-law right now. Bet my nephews would love that fountain.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Artichoke, Spicy Tomato Broth, Two WaysMy Profile

  4. Beautiful photo’s, family and fantastic city. Love the tour and now I want to go to Spain again. Barcelona is such a wonderful city and your post give Barcelona it’s due justice.
    Patricia Durr recently posted..Sun Flower BWMy Profile

  5. Nuria says:

    I do miss you too!!! What an amazing post you made… I wonder how many hours you spent thinking about the structure, the pics, the text… A great and beautiful job, Joan! It perfectly reflects what the city is :D.

    Lots of hugs and kisses to you and your family!
    Nuria recently posted..Sushi TemakiMy Profile

  6. I loved reading about the opera singers and living vicariously through this fabulous vacation. Barcelona is on my list of want to visit places. Joan, you look GOOD!
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Blackberry CupcakesMy Profile

  7. Nuria is right a wonderful post…I am trying to post mine, but will one of these days….
    Platanos, Mangoes and Me! recently posted..CHILLED CREAMY CARROT + SWEET POTATO SOUPMy Profile

  8. What fun to see photos of your trip. I took my son to Barcelona a few years ago and am still coasting on the memories, culinary and otherwise! Casa Joan. That was a nice touch. Now I have to find your tapas post (it came in as an error the second time as well). Great photos. Gaudí takes my breath away again and again.
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Puff Pastry and an Easy Summer DessertMy Profile

  9. I have never visited Barcelona – and I long to see the Gaudi gorgeousness and eat fabulous tapas. Your pics are wonderful Joan – loved sharing this trip through your eyes.

  10. I have bookmarked both of these posts. Incredible – and a great way to capture the essence of your trip through these collages.
    I can taste it and smell it – and cannot wait to stand amidst it all.
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted..My Legume Love Affair Round Up: Pulse Action while Spilling the Beans!My Profile

  11. Marie says:

    I hope to go there some day, what an exciting city, the people, food and lifestyle, great post, great pic’s, you looked like you were in your element, enjoying every second!

  12. Such beautiful, vivid captures joan! Wow! I’ve never ventured to Barcelnoa…cannot wait to head over there one day! I am laso very happy that you got to meet Nuria!

  13. Amazing pics and trip Joan. Barcelona is my favorite city in Europe…and I have been to about 40 cities in Europe. Wow can’t believe how much La Sagrada Familia has changed since 1996

  14. What a stunning post…the photos are just gorgeous!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s on the side? Chilled Wild Mushroom and Coconut Soup VelouteMy Profile

  15. Joan you are gorgeous! I love the first photo, so so cute:) Barcelona is such a fabulous city. Your photos are making me anxious for a trip. Thanks for sharing your holiday shots.
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie recently posted..Broccoli Rabe and Provolone Ravioli with Pork Ragu, A Guest Post By Tasty TrixMy Profile

  16. This incredible and I LOVE your collage groupings – such a seasoned traveler and it shows!

    And Gaudi and the food makes me want to call the travel agent right now :)

    chow :) DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors recently posted..30 minutes & Done : Whole Wheat Penne Pasta tossed with Chicken Sausage, Artichokes & ArugulaMy Profile

  17. Katie says:

    Amazing photos, Joan…from the architecture to the food! It looks like you and the family had a wonderful time in Barcelona. I was there about 15 years ago, but I’d love to return.
    Katie recently posted..Happy 4th Birthday to Seashells and Sunflowers!My Profile

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