View of Barcelona from Palau Nacional, Montjuïc
“A warm, late September day would be the perfect time for me to enjoy this Ciudad Condal to its fullest. The heavy crowds of noisy tourists have vanished, and I can have my Barcelona back. I would start the day with a cortado sweetened with honey, and a freshly baked croissant, or cruasán, as the Spanish call them. I like my breakfast extra-long, when I can sit in the rays of the sun, enjoying that morning energy you can almost touch.
The fresh, vibrant air seems to animate everything around, from people to palm-trees, and the city’s green monk parakeets alike. Sipping on my coffee, I scribble down some ideas for articles, or just doodle in my diary, letting my rested mind crochet unwritten stories. I like to reserve my mornings for writing, my biggest passion, and my profession as well. Read the rest of this article…
Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera, Montjuïc
You could spend a whole weekend walking around Montjuïc and not see everything there is to see. Of course there are the museums, the Olympic stadium and swimming pool, Montjuïc castle and the frankly underwhelming Poble Espanyol. But there are also a number of individual parks within Montjuïc itself that are all worth a visit. One that is tucked away on the eastern side facing the sea is the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera, named after the 19th century Catalan poet, Miguel Costa i Llobera, it is also known as the Cactus Park. This garden of succulents and semi-tropical plants perched on the steep side of Montjuïc below the Hotel Miramar, is a perfect place to escape the city, although you do get a certain degree of noise from the port and Ronda del Litoral below. Read the rest of this article…
- By Rosie
- Filed in: Perfect Days
“My perfect day is inspired by a First World problem, if ever there was one. I apologise in advance if I sound ungrateful, (and I’m really not) but Barcelona sometimes just has a little bit too much going on. For instance, I’d love to try more of the tapas bars, drinking dens and restaurants, old and new, that I hear about, but I don’t want to end up looking like Jabba the Hut on the beach every weekend. When I’m on the beach, nibbling on some watermelon, I still feel guilty – because I’m lying in the sun and not, say, checking out an exhibition that I know is about to finish. I’m not really tugging on any heart-strings, I know, but if we’re talking about a perfect day, and since those rarely happen, then I’d fill mine with low-key indulgence and guilty pleasures.
Santa María del Mar
For maximum clarity of conscience, this day would take place in October, when my bikini has been safely packed away for another year. It would fall just after payday, and would be enjoyed with a like-minded, undemanding visitor, such as my sister.
We’d start off with a bit of late breakfast and a look through the paper at the most unpretentious café in the world – Bar Mendizábal, across the street from me (c/ Junta de Comerç, 2) – then would wander over to the Gótico to begin our assault on the off-high street shops. We’d coo over the lovely accessories and separates at Le Fortune on Avinyó, then swoop onto El Born, the richest hunting ground of all. We might get little a taste of the spine-tingling Gothic interior of Santa Maria del Mar, and remind ourselves of what we can enjoy on a day with a more cerebral bent. (And we can try to spot the FC Barcelona logo in one of its stained windows, too.) Read the rest of this article…
I got an email from a website called CityBlink this morning. They said I could use any of their videos I liked on this website. I was just about to hit the delete key as I do on most unsolicited email but thought I’d take a quick peek at who this bunch were.
CityBlink provide short 1 minute videos of Barcelona that are nicely edited and although they are presumably paid for producing the videos of these locations (at least the hotels and apartments surely) there are a broad range of topics. With videos covering sights, art & culture, hotels, apartments, restaurants, bars & cafés and shopping, these videos are a great way to check out the city.
Personally I’d like to see content from some slightly quirkier places and not so many upmarket establishments. But I guess they’re the ones that pay. Read the rest of this article…
- By Sarah Perkins
- Filed in: Perfect Days
Arc de Triomf
“I have had many perfect days in Barcelona and inevitably they involve three things… sunshine, beach and friends.
For me, there are actually two types of perfect Barcelona days, one involves the discovery of another hidden treasure in the city that I didn’t know. The other is to introduce my friends to this magical city that I love.
My perfect day starts with a morning run to the Arc de Triomf along its avenue lined with palm trees and beautiful wrought iron lamps then on through the green oasis of Parc de la Ciutadella. At 10am, it is time for friends and breakfast, cafe con leche and a pain au chocolat (ok, maybe they are french, but they are still good here and France is just around the corner). And a freshly squeezed zumo de naranja (orange juice).
Read the rest of this article…
El gato del Raval, Fernando Botero
It is simply called El gato del Raval, The Raval cat. A large statue that is a landmark of this often frowned upon barrio. At one end of Rambla del Raval it stands to attention.
It is climbed upon, hidden under and circled by children. It is asked to pose for incessant photos, it’s whiskers never out-of-place. I admire this cat.
It’s body looks like that of a bears. It has a tree trunk of a neck. A tail like an elongated party balloon. And a face… I can never quite work out the face. It’s serene I think. Quizzical. Maybe just a little pissed off. Read the rest of this article…
- By Lauren Heineck
- Filed in: Perfect Days
Bar Pinotxo, La Boqueria
What is a sobremesa?
Sobremesa is one of my favorite Spanish words, but it’s much more than a word, it’s a cultural act. In Spain people take their meals very seriously, hours can be spent at the dinner or lunch table chatting long after the plates have been cleared and the coffee has been served. It’s a time to bond with your guests, savor the moment without rushing and pragmatically, to digest your food. Overall it’s a wonderful and celebrated practice throughout Spain.
“I write about food, take pictures of food, think about food, turn every conversation into some topic of food, so it comes as no surprise when I’m in Barcelona, one of the food capitals of the world, I chow down. What I love about Catalan cuisine and the food culture of Barcelona is its determination to provide fresh, flavorful combinations to the masses at reasonable prices and with a slice of humility. Sure some have received Michelin stars, or can show off hundreds of press accolades adorned on the wall, but besides this, many continue to do what they set out to do decades ago. Setting an example for new chefs and young talent to follow in role-model fashion. Catalans have a very concrete culinary identity and I think this confidence shines through in their creations, meanwhile the patron walks away with a smile and without having this experience leave a whole in their wallet. Read the rest of this article…