Plaça del Sol
“Me and Barcelona have a passionate relationship. It was love at first sight. Barcelona seduced me on its birthday, on the Mercè in September when everyone was invited to celebrate. We met on a dark street in Raval, where I was wined with sangría and dined with the cheapest and most heavenly tapas I had ever eaten. We looked at pictures of bullfighters on the wall and I was star struck. We went down to the port, bought a bottle of cava, laid down to watch the fireworks. “I never want to leave your side” I said quietly, so I didn’t. 5 years later we are still in love, a love equally as passionate as the first day we met.
…a swim in the ocean…
Barcelona is a master of all that is seduction. We meet in embraces on hot summer nights in dark narrow gothic streets, we steal kisses under the moonlight on the stairs of Santa Maria del Mar, and we get drunk on cheap wine in a restaurant in the Raval that has been there for a hundred years or more. We dance until the first rays of sun in the morning at the Port Olimpic, and end it all with a swim in the ocean when the city is just waking up. It’s the best date you’ve ever had, but it never ends. Read the rest of this article…
Playa de la Mar Bella
“Barcelona… the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.
The perfect day in Barcelona would fall in late September, when the stinging heat gives way to long barmy nights. Barcelona is the only global city with access to incredible beaches via public transport (Sydney and Rio de Janeiro also come to mind), so a morning swim at Playa de la Mar Bella is obligatory.
Breakfast in Spain does not hold the same status as it does in the UK (Full English) or Latin America (Calentado), but a slice of melon draped with jamon, some fresh mato cheese with honey and the caffeine kick of a cortado is a nice way to start the day.
Shops and galleries begin opening at 10am in Barcelona so a visit to the Picasso Museum, the Ferran Adrià & El Bulli exhibition and Roca Gallery will easily fill a few hours and have you thinking about lunch. Read the rest of this article…
La Diada Nacional de Catalunya (Source)
The National Day of Catalonia or La Diada Nacional de Catalunya on 11th September each year was first celebrated in 1886. The 11th September is a historic date in the Catalan calendar. The day, simple known as La Diada, commemorates the 14 month Siege of Barcelona, and when on the 11th September 1714, Catalan troops were forced to surrender to the Castilian forces of France and Philip V of Spain towards the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was unfortunately all pretty much downhill from there for the next 250 years. All institutions of Catalonia were destroyed and they became part of the Spanish kingdom.
Many Catalans have been battling this repression ever since. Most recently from the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. The National Day of Catalonia was reinstated after 94 years in 1980, five years after Franco’s death in 1975. Catalonia today is at least an autonomous community. Though this is still far from acceptable for many. Read the rest of this article…
“I have to thank Rob for letting me share on his blog one of the routes I’ve done on more than one occasion when I go to Barcelona. We usually go alone my Nikon camera and I, from now on I will have the feeling that you’re all accompanying me, it will be a pleasure.
I have the great fortune to live 30 km from this fantastic city, which allows me to get there any day of the week. I don’t know why, but I usually choose Wednesdays. I suppose that even though the city is always crowded with tourists and local people, you can still breathe the calm of the beginning of the week.
First of all a good breakfast and if it can be Pa amb tomaquet i pernil (Bread with tomato and ham) all the better. I know! It is very typical, but… the roots are the roots. Once I have the batteries fully charged I start the route. I advise that if you want to follow me you’d better wear comfortable shoes, because the whole journey is by foot. Read the rest of this article…
“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…