Sunday, July 10, 2011
Well, I wish I was still here, now. Too bad for me! But it was lovely, and worth the 17 Euros I had to pay for two chairs and an umbrella. The children couldn't understand why a lot of the women were topless ("Because Europeans hate tan lines more than Americans do!") or why people would strip naked to shower off at a public beach. It was a good opportunity to reinforce my views on the matter (stop staring, we all have the same parts in general, nothing to be ashamed of, please don't ever take off your clothes in public, especially for money.) Explaining the sex shops was a bit more difficult....
Tapa Tapa. Barcelona.
Catalunya is not traditionally the place for tapas, but almost every other restaurant, be it a tiny, four-seat hole in the wall or a temple of haute cuisine, now offers these delectable little snacks. Unfortunately, as with everything, the quality is hit or miss. Some of the best tapas we had on this trip were here, at Tapa Tapa, which is actually a chain. I did feel a bit awkward taking photos of the food, though.
Castell de Montjuïc. Barcelona.
This fortress was built in the mid 1600s and has been the site of many, many unpleasantries throughout the centuries. I believe, however, that the plan is now to turn it into a center for peace studies.
Castell de Montjuïc.
Castell de Montjuïc.
Flamenco Cordobes. Barcelona.
Flamenco is not a specialty of Catalunya - it is from Andalusia. It was very interesting for me to see the Arab influence in the music and dance - sort of like looking at a picture of your great-great-great-great grandmother and noticing you share the same eyes and mouth. Pictures were not allowed during the show (it was a tiny venue, and I could just see the performers toppling off the stage under the barrage of flashbulbs), but my daughter snapped this one at the end. I was worried that they wouldn't be able to stay awake after a long day of interminable walking (the show started at 1030 pm), but I needn't have been afraid. It went perfectly, and the noise was enough to wake the dead (but not the row full of Koreans ahead of us - they took turns nodding off. Too much sightseeing during the day, I'm sure!)
Fruit Juices. La Boqueria. Barcelona.
La Boqueria is one of the most famous food markets in the world, along with La Merced in Mexico City. Although it isn't particularly large, the array of fruits, vegetables, meats and more make it a feast for the senses. My husband and daughters took pitaya (dragon fruit), which was an eye-popping electric purple. I had the banana-coconut-pineapple, which, although much less exciting to look at, was nonetheless delicious.
My girls got a kick out of this stand - gummy candies in all shapes and flavors. The flan candy tasted just like the real thing, but fortunately the brain one tasted like raspberry.
Pastelería Escribà. Barelona.
When it comes to eating, especially when I am holiday, I have very few restrictions and always seem to be hungry. Hence the need for a croissant after being at the market!
Check out the heels! So very Barcelona. Actually, so very Mediterranean.