GREAT meal last night – more to come on that – but our first full day in Barcelona we took to the streets. Gaudi. Ever heard of him? I had not until started researching Barcelona.
Let’s talk about him.
Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) was a Catalan architect from Spain and known as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism. His works were highly individualized with most located in Barcelona. His masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada Familia, is the most visited monument in Spain. HIs work was influenced by his passion in life: architecture, nature and religion. He integrated ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork and carpentry while introducing new techniques in the treatment of materials. Gardi rarely drew detailed plans, instead preferring to create them as scale models. There could probably be a posting just dedicated to him. I’m sure others have done that and I will leave it to them. Let’s start walking!
We took their Metro and emerging into the light were presented with this: Casa Batllo. It was the result of a total restoration in 1904 of an old conventional house built in 1877.
Lots of tourists were lined up for tours. We were good with an outside look. This building was next door.
We continued walking down the street, coming upon Placa de Catalunya, a large square in central Barcelona generally considered to be the city center and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample neighborhood converge. LOTS of statuses but pared it down to these few shots.
We also usually found these signs near the fountains. The fox? Someone added their own piece of artwork to the base. BTW – don’t dump your fish here!
One last photo of the square with a reflection pond and different sculptures at opposite ends. All those buses in the background…………the start of Le Ramblas.
What is the Le Ramblas?
It’s a tree-lined pedestrian street, stretching .75 long. It’s popularity with tourists has shifted its composition to cafes and souvenir kiosks – and pick pockets. We were very careful, and all was good.
Historically this pedestrian way was a place for markets, festivals and sports and…………. until 2010 an open-air market for caged birds and other small pets. No more. Kiosks selling flowers, plants and seeds were interspersed amongst the cafes.
Buildings along this street continued to be interesting structures. This one with umbrellas and a dragon lamp caught my eye.
There was one main reason we were here………La Bouqueria Market. Walking under the sign you are hit with multiple vendor stalls. Lots of vendors selling all type of food items, some prepared, others fresh with some ready to take home and eat.
Yep, another market. Like churches, at some point all those markets start looking alike. I tried to find a few things in here that that was not seen previously in this blog.
First up, a stall dedicated to empanadas.
These fruit drinks looked delicious.
These were some of the best looking fruit we saw – and artfully displayed.
The famous Iberian ham.
Of course, Eric and Adrienne drifted to the oyster vendor. Those were some B>I>G oysters. I tried one and it was really, really hard to get down – just saying. Another species was much smaller, very salty and much more to my liking.
Purchases could be made dozen per box or single bivalve purchases.
While we really love visiting markets with the intent of purchases………..this was different. We came to eat! Eric had done his research and one of our stops was high on his list: Bar Boqueria.
Like many places in Spain, this was about tapas – or small plates. Seating was along the outside of the booth with all of the cooking in the middle. We made some fabulous choices.
Tomato bread – naturally. This one was pretty good. Dry crusty bread is the key to success.
Other choices were potatoes bravos and various croquettes. Croquettes were never something that I would normally order, but they seem to be popular, and we’ve tried different fillings. I’m sold.
These shrimp were delicious and had a spicy kick.
Fried sardines – not bad. Seems like a lot of work for very little meat. Just my thoughts.
These razor clams didn’t have much flavor. They were okay, but not repeated during our time in Barcelona.
Last food shot……….more octopus. These slices of smokey, grilled goodness was very tasty. We had them several places and they never did disappoint.
As with most meals………….a little bit of liquid refreshment. This was a GREAT day.