Spain. My dream country. I remember flipping the pages of travel books in my younger days and always wanting to go to Spain. I actually wanted to go to Spain for exchange, but my mum would not allow it because it is “dangerous”. But I am perfectly happy with Austria now, and I got my chance to visit three cities in Spain. First stop – Barcelona.
We visited Parc Guell on our first day in Barcelona. Parc Güell is another masterpiece by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The park was initially meant to be used as a housing estate for the rich. However, it was a flop and only Gaudií and Count Güell resided there.
Throughout the park, mosaic is used in the design. I think the park, like many of Gaudí’s creations, are pretty whimsical. At the entrance stands two gingerbread-looking houses, and as you walk in, you meet the mosaic salamander.
No visit to Barcelona is complete without seeing La Sagrada Familia. Once again, it is another work of art by Gaudí.
Construction of the basilica started in 1882, and it is still a work in progress. I wonder how many more years it will take before completion! To say that the basilica is huge is an understatement. I have never visited any that comes close to its size. It is over-the-top, in typical Gaudií fashion.
There are three façades – the Nativity, Passion and Glory. My favourite is the Nativity façade. It is also the most elaborate. I was amazed the sheer amount of detail.
Later in the night, we went to the Font Màgica de Montjuïc (the magic fountain of Montjuïc).
I really enjoyed the atmosphere during the spectacle. Great music, great crowd. And the water show was amazing. Vibrant, colourful.
Taking a break from the attractions… Let’s talk about food! I think we all loved the food in Spain. From the sweet to the savoury. Here are some of the delicious eats we had.
We came across a lovely pastry shop called Bombeneria La Colmena Pasteleria. They sell such beautiful meringues (DJ’s favourite), chocolate mediants, cakes and pastries.
Ensaïmada – traditional sweet bread from Mallorca
I loved it. I tasted a hint of citrus, like orange blossom, in the pastry. It is soft and light and just plain pretty.
Magdalena – Spanish muffins
More cookies. The longer variant looks like Langüeta del Gato (a.k.a. Cat’s Tongue cookies).
Everywhere I went, I had bocadillos, which are like Spanish baguette sandwiches. This one was from our favourite joint in Barcelona. Vegetable omelette. I also had the Spanish Tortilla bocadillo, chicken and tuna one too. I don’t know how they make their omelettes, but they are near perfect.
Jamón Ibérico – Spanish ham from black Iberian pigs
Sangria – my favourite drink
Paella – our first and certainly not last Paella during our stay in Spain
Unfortunately, no paella we tried in Spain, even in Valencia where it is supposed to have originated, tasted as good as the one my dear Valencian Exchange group mate made for us earlier this year. I was utterly disappointed! But the guys enjoyed themselves, and I am sure they would love to have paella agains soon. My goal – to reproduce my friend’s paella!
Alfajores – sandwich cookies with dulce de leche filling and coconut
Part 2 of Barcelona soon! I need to get back to my workout. I am certainly getting much fatter here in Europe with all the traveling and the good food ):