Monday, June 27, 2011

La Sagrada Familia

The Passion Facade

So... one of the reasons we were in Barcelona was to see the gothic architecture of the infamous Catalan architect, Antonio Gaudi.

Now we are not particularly architecture buffs but we do like traveling to see the different forms of architecture around.

First stop was the La Sagrada Familia. This was Gaudi's last project and the church has a combination of his gothic and modernism style.

We had to join a queue that went round the building when we got there but if you have time for just a few attractions, the La Sagrada Familia is definitely one to visit. Gaudi's genius is honestly for show over here.

And the building is not even completed. There are scaffolding around it and it is estimated that it will be completed around 2030. Guess it warrants a visit back to see how it is then.

This is definitely Gaudi's masterpiece. At the entrance, we got an audio guide to share (cheapos la, we!) and the thorough explanations helped us with the different backgrounds of the rooms that he had designed.

You will notice the gothic outlook of the church when you step out of the metro station but inside, it is all modern and slick. And this was all designed in 1883 but yet looks thoroughly current for its times.

We'd spent hours there before heading back to the hotel to conclude Day 1 in Barcelona. =)

La Sagrada Familia

The obligatory shot

The Entrance

Gaudi believed that there are no straight lines in nature so these columns were made to branch out like trees

The detailing on the ceiling

Us at the Grand Altar

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pounding the Streets of Barcelona

Inside the church of Santa Maria del Mar

Barcelona is quite an interesting place to let your sense of direction down and just follow where the windy little street curves bring you. There have been times where we just let our guard down and just explore the nooks and corners of this town where we were met with little surprises.

I must admit that being on vacation encourages that because, being in mostly mom mode, it's really getting from point A to point B in the fastest way possible all the time. So this time round, we really just took our time to savour the sights.

Makes for a good time to relax with the husband and bask in 100% attention. Something that we definitely don't have when the kiddos are around. Love it. Great relationship tip, I must say.

One area we loved was the Born area. There are museums and tapas and shopping. Plus it's quite mediveal with the high city walls. Simply gorgeous. Go there when you are in Barcelona.

Store selling bags using recycled billboards

Loved the Graffiti near the Dali Museum in the Born area

Tapas joint near the Piccaso museo

Cava and Tapas makes a great arvo snack in this joint.

Hanging out at Born


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I'm Writing Less

OMG I've finally had the time to sit and blog.

It's been two weeks since we came back from Spain and I've got tons of entries to load but my lil twentymonthold has decided that Mommy is her best playmate and we have been pretty much velcroed for the last few days.

But, really, I'm not complaining because she's as cute as a pumpkin pie now. And I adore her so.

Is this Ice Chocolate for me?

Snuggles for doggie

All exhausted after a play date

Friday, June 17, 2011

Eat Barcelona: Pinotxo Bar

When you are at the La Bouqueria market, one stall will stand out in terms of its location and its crowd.

The orange signboarded Pinotxo Bar, situated right at the entrance of the market, serves freshly prepared 'homestyled' food to anyone that can grab one out of the fifteen coveted seats available. [which explains why there's always someone breathing down your neck when you eat. =)]

Cooking sausages on the grill

Friendly and pretty amazing in understanding tourist language, the cooks will recommend the dishes they have for the day, based on the produce they have, and you take your pick. [Cos it's a monday, there were no seafood choices for us. =(]

D happy to grab a seat, at last!

The food comes quick and piping hot. And it was delicious. We had a coffee to go along and, if you ask, they will give you a part of a baguette to soak up the sauces from your plate.

OMG the typical crowd. You can wait up to 30 minutes for a seat

And even though it's batshit busy, they will not rush you through your meal. Instead, you are welcome to a second coffee and, by the time you are through, most likely you are good to move on to the next item of your itinerary.

My best tip. Get there before 9am and also do your research on their menu online.

Great way to start the day. And here's what we had.

Grilled Sausage.

Croquettes. Deep fried potato balls with aa variety of creamy fillings

Beef Stew. Rich chewy texture and filled with beans and raisins. It was comfort food.

Tripes. It was peppery and tasty.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Barcelona: The First Morning

The husband and I just returned from a fortnight in Spain.

The idea started when he asked what I would like for my 30th and I said, "Paris" but he suggested "Spain".

Tapas, Gaudi and Europe is always a good idea. So off we went.

We landed blurry eyed in Barcelona after a 16 hour flight, and after dropping the luggage off at the hotel. [After walking like 8 blocks to the hotel] It was food that we sought. And where better than the La Bouqueria market down at La Rambla.

The market was already bustling at 11am in the morning. The array of fresh produce is incredible. Plus the vendors take great pride in the stall's decor. We took some time wondering around the market and it was a little hard to resist buying stuff cause everything looked fresh and the spread was much more than what you see here in SG.

Mercato La Bouqueria

Jamon, anyone?

Fresh fruit juices

An array of eggs

All zonked out by the long flight

Friday, June 03, 2011

'olla from Spain

Hello from Spain!

We've been traveling through the different cities in this part of Europe and it has been such a wonderful time spent exploring the region and seeing all the architecture and sights.

If there is one place to live in, it's Spain, I'd tell ya! The stores open at 10. Close at 2. Then it's a loooooong siesta!! (seriously NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING!!) is open. Not till 4 at least then it's work all the way till 9pm before you hit the streets for tapas and a glass of cava or beer! Incredible!

Needless to say, we are getting used to this and I think my husband is going to have a hard time going back to work when we get home!!

Anyhow, here's a preview of the pics I took on the iPhone. (my memory card reader is not working on the Mac. Gah!)

More when I get back!

The amazing Casa Batlo by Gaudi.

The gourmetlicious San Miguel market in Madrid.

Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museo in Bilbao.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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