Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Barcelona Cathedral

As much as I love Paris, there is something so exciting and captivating about Barcelona. I had visited Barcelona once before, many years ago, on a 100 (it felt like!) cities in 30 days Trafalgar tour so my memories of it were quite vague.  This time I fell in love with the architecture, the ambiance, the shopping and the food!

Placa de Catalunya

In Barcelona Lucy and I stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, just minutes from the Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla. Another perfect location, surrounded by shops, restaurants, cafes, the on-off tourist bus and Starbucks!!  Let me just say that I don't think I've ever been to Starbucks in Melbourne but being so close to one in Barcelona was very exciting.  Free WIFI!!  And good, reasonably priced coffee and tea.  Below is a picture of a cup of tea I was served in a cafe in Barcelona.  Hot milk with a tea bag! After that experience I happily went to Starbucks.

Of course Barcelona is famous for the work of architect Antoni Gaudi, in particular his still unfinished Sagrada Familia. 

It don't think my pictures adequately convey the magnificence of this church.  It was a very hot day but we spent a lot of time standing on the street just staring and taking in its majesty! 

As we explored the streets of Barcelona it seemed that around each corner was a new amazing building!

I love the contrast of the plain (boring even) and the exotic!  Look at that roof!

We also did a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter and were captivated by the stunning architecture dating back to medieval times. 

Not unlike our quest to find the perfect onion soup in Paris, Barcelona was all about finding the best paella. And we had quite a few delicious versions.  We never planned where we were going to eat but rather just walked around exploring all the little lanes that branched off La Ramblas until we found somewhere that appealed.

This was one of the best.  We were seated by an open window on a beautiful warm night, the paella was very nice with the perfect crispy bottom and the sangria was refreshing though with a bit more fruit than I would have liked.

Another paella enjoyed at the Waterfront!
One night we stumbled across this gorgeous square and had dinner at one of the many restaurants.

We shared a traditional tapas dish, patatas bravas, which was just ok and a lovely fresh pizza.

Barcelona is home of one of the most amazing markets - the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or just La Boqueria. With its origins dating back to the 1200's this market is foodie heaven. It is a combination of fresh food - meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and prepared food - perfect for hungry tourists!  I loved this market. Prepare for a barrage of pictures as I had serious trouble picking just a few favourites!!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

The famous Pinotxo bar at the entrance of the market
Lunch on the run - delicious!

Loved the egg shop!


There is so much more we did and saw in Barcelona - the waterfront with its impressive Columbus Monument, Montjuic (translated as Jew Mountain) with its stunning views of the city and harbour, the FC Barcelona Football Stadium .. the list goes on.  

Such an beautiful city, full of contrasts.  I hope I can return one day and spend even more time.