2015 24/08

Feel Like a Modern-Day Sancho Panza with Steel Donkey Bike Tours

Steel Donkey Bike Tours

Steel Donkey Bike Tours

If you’re in Barcelona and you fancy getting out and about on a bike for a few hours then you could do a lot worse than checking out Steel Donkey Bike Tours.

These guys have been around the block and are consistently recommended on TripAdvisor as a great way to see the city on two wheels.

They kindly asked me to join them one morning, and so, feeling like a modern-day Sancho Panza and on a very comfy set of wheels from Green Bikes, we set off from Plaça George Orwell with our guide whose name escapes me.

This lapse in memory is no reflection on the guide himself. He led the tour extremely well and was always ready to answer my questions. The groups are small, usually no more than 4 or 5, so I certainly felt there was opportunity to pick his brain. Read the rest of this article…

2014 07/12

Cooking paella (and getting a little tipsy) with Barcelona Slow Travel

Barcelona Slow Travel

The slow movement, ironically, continues apace since its roots in the mid-80s and the founding of the Slow Food organisation whose ideals advocate slowing down life’s pace and fighting against the notion that faster is always better.

But what is slow travel?

In writing A Manifesto for Slow Travel in 2009, Nicky Gardner describes it thus:

“Slow travel is about making conscious choices, and not letting the anticipation of arrival undermine the pleasure of the journey. By choosing to travel slowly, we reshape our relationship with place and with the communities through which we pass on our journeys.”

Guillermo and Cristina of Barcelona Slow Travel combine the values of slow food, slow travel and eco-tourism. They pride themselves on providing experiences that align with the principles of authenticity, sustainability and human experiences. And above all, they’re just lovely. Read the rest of this article…

2014 22/11

Foto Ruta Barcelona Photography Tour

UPDATE: Unfortunately the Foto Ruta photography tours in Barcelona have closed shop. An excellent alternative is Shutter Kings, photography tours and photoshoots in Barcelona’s top locations. Check them out instead!

Foto Ruta Barcelona

Foto Ruta Barcelona Photography Tours

Foto Ruta was born in Buenos Aires. It grew up in Santiago and now, fully grown it has ventured across the pond to both London and finally Barcelona.

A creative way to explore the city and learn about photography

Foto Ruta is “a creative way to explore the city and learn about photography”.
From the Foto Ruta Barcelona website…

Our creative photography tours, events and workshops are unique in that they help you see the genuine side of Barcelona, encouraging you to venture off the well-trodden tourist trail whilst teaching you how to take great photos in the process. Not just for photography lovers, our experiences take a fresh approach to photography tuition through a range of interactive, informative and affordable tours and workshops that will appeal to anyone and everyone who wants a sociable, fun and memorable adventure in Barcelona.

I was kindly invited to go on their Streetscape tour around El Born (which if you see below is one of 4 tours they offer), a beautiful neighbourhood of Barcelona ripe for some stunning photography.

Unfortunately my level of photography skill would be classed as intermediate at best. Don’t get me wrong, I would venture to say I take a better photo than most – it amazes me how few people can actually frame a picture correctly – but I don’t even own an SLR. So armed with my iPad Mini (yes, sorry Yvonne!) we met at one of my favourite cafe/bars for people watching, En Aparte in La Ribera, just off Plaça de Sant Pere, which as some of you may know is one of the most charming squares in the whole of the Barri Gòtic. Read the rest of this article…

2014 30/09

A Morning Spent Devouring Barcelona

Selecció d’olives i conserves Gloria

Selecció d’olives i conserves Gloria, Mercat de l’Abaceria

I kindly received an invite from Devour Barcelona food tours to join them one morning. A food tour in Gràcia, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona, sounded like great fun. So one Friday morning I found myself at the top of Passeig de Gràcia with our guide, the lovely Renée, giving us a brief history of the street and its connection to the neighbourhood of Gràcia.

And then off we went. Four hours of walking, talking, grazing, learning and generally passing the morning in a thoroughly pleasant way.

This was a food tour that was about more than just the food. Renée knew her stuff. And we were taken on a tour of not only the food, but of the people who prepare and serve it and the neighbourhood that they call home. It is a cultural walking tour that focuses on real lives with the added benefit that these people’s lives are about their passion for food. Read the rest of this article…

2012 22/11

Barcelona Cooking Classes with Papa Serra

photo of the Boqueria entrance

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

He doesn’t sound Spanish, he doesn’t even look Spanish, but second-generation Catalan, Joel Serra Bevin certainly knows Spanish food. Papa Serra was his grandfather and after living in New Zealand, Australia, London and New York, Joel has come back to his roots and started his Barcelona Culinary Adventures.

photo of ingredients

Barcelona cooking classes

His Spanish cooking classes and food market tours in Barcelona are a fantastic introduction to this fascinating cuisine in the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations fame described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.

The Boqueria Market Tour

Joel was kind enough to invite me along, so I met him, and the rest of the group, at 9am one morning at the entrance to the Boqueria market. Joel furnished us with glasses of cava and explained a bit about the history of the market and how it had developed over the years. I’d never been to the market at such an early hour and it was such a joy to see it a lot less crowded than I’m used to. Read the rest of this article…

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