A Travellerspoint blog

La Rambla

Believe it or not, it's not all about Food (until tonight)

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Even though Jeff and I have been to Barcelona many times we still enjoy the Rambla. This main boulevard stretches from the Mediterranean into the city for three quarters of a mile. It is lined with an arch of trees and multiple structures with wrought iron balconies and a wide variety of architecture from the ancient to the modern.



And this interesting building where the Chinese sell umbrellas -


Today as we strolled along the Rambla we saw thousands of Frankfurt soccer fans already celebrating todays game against Barcelona in the many cafes that are open for gathering, drinking, eating ..oh.. and singing, along the sidewalk. My favorite sight - the flower shops overflowing with beautiful, colorful blossoms.


We want into the Plaza Royal with it's Palm trees reaching skyward, the pigeons scrambling for crumbs and took a break along the fountain while the morning deliveries were being made to the cafes that surround the edges of the Plaza. A beautiful sunny day, unlike yesterday. So great to see all the people out and about enjoying life again in this exuberant, noisy, active city.




Posted by Where2FromHere 07:17 Archived in Spain Tagged la rambla Comments (0)

La Boqueria and Unique Cooking Experience

A gastronomical Delight!

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Spain is renowned for its wide array tapas, combining fresh and seasonal products with Mediterranean flair. Nestled away in the picturesque Place Reial, we started today's adventure which would include a visit to the market and a hands-on cooking workshop. We began with a tour around the iconic market, La Boqueria, with not only Easter confectionery, but also the usual top-quality produce as well as the diverse blend of aromas - including Iberian ham being carved right off the hoof, the abundance of fresh seafood, not to mention the incredible array of bakery, vegetables, fresh fruit, smoothies, gelato and other mouth-watering delights!
We purchased some fabulous almond-bars - the best ever! - and will be enjoying those as we reminisce about this start to our day of new food encounters.


We returned to the beautiful kitchen, met Alfredo our instructor and began with a tasting session of a variety of tapas from all of Spain. After imbibing in a glass of sherry to wet our appetites, we tried mussels with marinara sauce topped with chopped Hazelnuts, octopus "feira" - which was octopus with a smoky paprika topping, Cantabrian anchovies on top of Manchego cheese, some traditional croquettes stuffed with a mushroom puree and a wide assortment of Iberian cold cuts. All this with a never ending glass of white wine. Ummmmm!

Then we adorned ourselves with our lime green aprons and got to work slicing onions, peeling potatoes, Shrimp, Mussels, clams, etc for our Spanish Paella, making Catalan cream with fresh cinnamon, orange zest and lots of whole milk (Beka was put in charge of this dish and did a fabulous job from start to it's amazing finish of golden brown, flame-caramelized sugar, fruit and shaved white chocolate). As we learned new skills, we had some intermittent tastings (and more wine) just to keep us going such as the Spanish Omelet - very tasty. This communal cooking experience was great fun, and gave us the chance to master the art behind the craft of exquisite Spanish cooking. Take a look .....


Posted by Where2FromHere 10:58 Archived in Spain Tagged market spanish st catalan paella gastronomy joseph creme Comments (0)

Iberian Ham, Squid, Mussels and Tomato Rubbed Bread

Mouth-watering first meal in Spain

View Foodie Feast through Coastal Europe on Where2FromHere's travel map.

After a few long days of travel and a rainy, windy, cold day in the city of Barcelona doing our touristy thing, we got checked into the LeMeridien on the Rambla - our home for the next few days. The warm / hot shower was just what the doctor ordered! Then we spent a few hours relaxing with the veranda windows open and a nice cool breeze flowing into the room. Perfect! Might have even dozed off for a bit.

We opted to dine just across the street from the hotel. Most restaurants in Spain don't even begin serving until 7:30 PM - which I doubt that we'd be able to stay awake until then. So off to Bar Lobo we went. It held multiple advantages 1) it was open 2) it was close and 3) it was serving food.

I chose the tomato rubbed bread and mushroom ravioli, we all share an order of Iberian Ham - such a special treat, The hogs are raised on acorns which gives the meat a unique flavor. And, as I mentioned previously, When in Sprain Sangria is a must-do.


Jeff and Eric enjoyed two huge plates of mussels.

And Rabeka enjoyed pork ribs, potatoes (and I enjoyed her spinach salad)

And Eric - hungry, growing young man that he is had this platter of Squid that he made all of us try. Good thing we're such troopers!


Posted by Where2FromHere 08:30 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona squid ham ribs mussels iberian Comments (0)

The Rain in Spain stays mainly on the Plain

....well it rains on the coast too, but yet a great 1st day in Barcelona!

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so the long awaited trip has finally come to be. We met up with my granddaughter at the Atlanta airport, got our boarding passes and headed for the Delta Sky Lounge to await our next flight. So many new experiences for both of the "kids" - it's fun to watch their eyes with each new unexpected surprise. Especially when they saw the big Airbus 330 we'd be taking across the big pond.


If you're going to fly for 8 + hours over the ocean .. this is the way to go....
Just ask Jeff Jeff-Web.jpg
or Beka (working hard to become the next "youth in governance leader" - in spite of technical difficulties. Way to go problem solver!!!)


Life isn't without its challenges and so before we could leave Atlanta, we had to wait for the ground crew to paint the plane.. Yes, believe it or not, Barcelona noticed some spots that were chipped along the wing. So after a relatively long delay .. .during which Jeff offered to go to the hardware store and pick up a can of spray paint, we were able to get the go ahead to take off. There were a few moments where our craft was a little shaky along the coast (maybe just the fresh paint "settling in", but it managed to smooth out in time for our evening meal (which I must mention since this is, after all, the food fest). Short ribs for Beka and I, Halibut for Jeff and Pasta for Eric.
Then we snuggled in for a bit of slumber ( 7 hour time difference between Milwaukee and Barcelona, 8 hours between Mountain Time zone and Spain).Not quite long enough but it will have to do ....


Before we knew it, we were awoken for breakfast. (Bagel, cream cheese, fruit, quiche, OJ and coffee). Still full from dinner, we took a few bites and called it quits.

After, no kidding, an hour and a half (at least) standing in line for customs.... we were glad we ate at least a little something beforehand.
They say it rains mainly on the plains in Spain, but today it was pouring on coastal Spain. Nothing could stop the road-weary travelers at this point. So we dropped our bags at the LeMeridien on La Rambla, printed our subway tickets and headed to see the famous Sagrada Familia. Even though Jeff and I have seen it many times, it never ceases to amaze me. Sadly, we stood in the rain to view the exterior but in spite of the weather it will likely be etched in the memories of Eric and Beka for year to come. Even after 150 years under construction, there is nothing else like it in the world - and likely never will be! See for yourself -- (by the way, Eric says he wants to operate the overhead crane.)


To be continued ....

Posted by Where2FromHere 21:01 Archived in Spain Tagged food spain delta fest a330 bacelona Comments (0)

The Food Fest Adventure Begins!

From fabulous Italian Cuisine to Breakfast at 40,000 Ft.

Well after months of planning the journey is underway. We drove yesterday from Pinedale WY to Salt Lake City, did a little shopping and then went for an early dinner at our very favorite restaurant - Cucina Toscana. Never disappointed and tonight we enjoyed the following:
Eric is still talking about this one - clams, shrimp, halibut and scallops in a spicy red sauce. I think he wanted to lick the plate!
Barb had her usual ... yes, I know .. she's in a rut! Ravioli with four Italian cheeses and Asparagus. Never disappoints!
Jeff, being the cowboy that he is, chose a Beef Tenderloin with Potatoes. Melt in your mouth!
Before hand we had Beef Carpacchio, we're going to try to make that one once we're back home.
Also, beet salad, which was tasty but only for those who love beets - was I the only one???

So that was dinner then if was off to bed while we were in our food comas. The morning wake up call happened way too early 4AM MST.
We headed to the airport to get our flight to Atlanta, GA. I planned to sleep but we had a better than usual Breakfast meal consisting of quiche and fresh fruit. The quiche wasn't as good as mine .. but mine's hard to beat!

The turbulence had my coffee flying everywhere but hey .. nothing like breakfast at 40,000 Feet.

To Be continued ....

Posted by Where2FromHere 20:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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