Friday, November 30, 2018

Buen Provecho

La Latina Market Madrid

November 2018 - Barcelona Spain/Toronto ON

I am way behind on my daily recaps from Spain but I have some highlights in my weekly recap.

Daily posts

Nov 12-13 Toronto to London to Madrid
Nov 14 Madrid on our own
Nov 15 Madrid on our own
Nov 16 Madrid on our own until Welcome Dinner
Nov 17 Part 1 Madrid City tour
Nov 17 Part 2 Toledo and Madrid dinner

Week 1 Recap  Nov 12 - 16
Week 2 Recap Nov 17 - 23


Pink Saturday
Six Word Saturday
Weekly Photo Challenge

Most of the tour group headed home today but Bob and Anne were leaving Sunday so we spent the day together with some vague plans.

Finally a sunny day!

In 1888 Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition. The Arc de Triomf was built as the gateway to the fair which was held in the Parc de la Ciutadella. The monument is classical in shape and proportions and features ground-breaking sculptural and decorative finishes replete with symbolism. It has become one of the city's iconic landmarks.

Our illustrious team.

Vespa renting place.

Museu de la Xocolata or The Chocolate Museum is a "delicious" museum in Barcelona. We popped in for a few photos.

Mid morning break.

The name "El Caganer" literally means "the crapper" or "the shitter". Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a peasant, wearing the traditional Catalan red cap (the barretina) and with his trousers down, showing a bare backside, and defecating.

The window displays all kinds of famous people assuming the pose.

Stunning buildings!

We happen upon the Santa Catarina Market as its colourful roof beaconed us. Opened in 1848 it was Barcelona's first covered market.

We were entertained!

Tortilla Espana, John's new addiction.

We choose a restaurant at random and it was amazing, Cuines de Santa Caterina restaurant.

Love how the menu was arranged.

Salmon for Bob and me, sausage and beans for John, and Anne had an uninspiring pumpkin ravioli (agreed by all) she she ordered the sausage instead.

Cool bathroom sign!

We then found ourselves in the Gothic district and looking at the Palau de la Música Catalana, home of the Catalan choir, l’Orfeó Català, this world famous concert hall is known for its excellent acoustics and exuberant Modernisme style. Designed and built by Lluís Domènech i Muntaner from 1905 to 1908, the Palau was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997.

The Four Cats: Meeting point of the Catalan avant-garde artists at the beginning of the 20th Century, this bar-restaurant-cafe was frequented by Pablo Picasso, who drew the menu. It was opened on 12 June, 1897 and housed on the ground floor of Casa Martí, a neogothic building designed by the modernist architect Puig i Cadafalch. Puppet shows, Chinese shadow plays, poetry readings, concerts and, above all, painting and sculpture exhibitions were held here.

Speaking of Picasso, in May 1955, the Official College of Architects of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands inaugurated its new headquarters in the Plaça Nova of Barcelona, in front of the Cathedral. The building was decorated with some friezes by Picasso, produced by the Nordic artist Carl Nesjar.

Anne insisted we had to try the best gelato, ever, in this world!

In case you want to end up licking your screen here is a link to the various flavours at gelaaati DI MARCO.

My small creama Catalana.

John had half crema Catalana and another flavour I couldn't find on their website.

Since Bob and Anne are leaving in the morning we decide to head back to the hotel, Anne and I went directly to our rooms and the guys went to check out a restaurant that we had heard about from a local guide. They made a reservation for 7:30.

Name is Xampu Xampu pronounced Shampoo Shampoo! Check out the video of Barcelona on their website. Seriously, check it out, it is a great armchair visit to this amazing city.

Our server was great and always smiling.

My duck salad with duck in three ways, sliced, pate and confit.

John's grilled goat cheese salad.

Grilled calamari and tortilla Espana cooked with lots of cheese.

Sad goodbyes and promises to keep in touch as our tour partners in crime leave tomorrow.

Inspired Sunday Gladstone
One Word Sunday Money
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

On our own we head out at 10 to wander. I wanted to go to an area called El Raval.

The area is vibrant, historic, authentic and full of personality. It is a lively, multi-cultural neighbourhood with a huge variety of tempting cafes, restaurants and bars. The area has also become fashionable being host to a wide variety of art studios, galleries and trendy bookshops, not to mention the imposing MACBA (museum of modern art) and CCCB which is the neighbouring exhibition centre.


Sipping the best coffee I've had while sitting outside.

As we explore we start to hear the beating of drums.

And then we come upon a parade with barefoot Sikh women sweeping the road in front of the Dhol drummers at the Vaisakhi Festival Parade.

Here's a video John took.

Vaisakhi (vai-sahkhi) is the festival celebrating the creation of the Sikh Nation. Thousands of Sikhs, the women in colourful saris and the men wearing turbans or head coverings, join the Sunday Nagar Kirtan procession through the city streets. Women sweep the road in front of the parade which is led by drummers followed by five sword-bearing 'Beloved Ones' in saffron tunics escorting a float carrying the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib. 

This area is full of murals.

We happen upon another market, San Antoni.

It's finally time for lunch as we walked over to Las Ramblas and chose a place which turned out to be our worst meal, and yet it wasn't bad, just bad service and lukewarm, reheated food.

This was on my list.
Santa Maria del Pi meaning "St. Mary of the Pine" is a 15th-century Gothic church situated on the Plaça del Pi, in the Barri Gòtic district of the city.

One of the two resident cats.

We decide to visit the Cathedral.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is alsoa  Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, with the principal work done in the fourteenth century.

You've got to love the fashion statement over my right shoulder!

Here's a quick video I took just to pick up the music being played and the tourists outside the cathedral.

More buskers.

We decide to have a drink in El Cercle which is in an old Gothic palace and the bar is on the roof.

Window shopping.

We sat at the bar but apparently we were invisible but I at least used their bathroom.

Instead we found a cosy place with great service to round off our last night.

Foto Tunes Barcelona
Monday Mural Distillery District

Morning came early with a 4:15 alarm, limo pick up 5 AM.

Checked in and we head to the lounge in Barcelona airport.

Gluten free sandwich bread!

The Barcelona to London flight was delayed and by the time we bussed it to terminal 5 at Heathrow it was time to board.
Complimentary sparkling wine during boarding.

John got a delicious gluten free chicken (in a tinfoil) and then the flight attendant realized he had gotten the wrong gluten free meal and brought him another.

Everything was perfect until we landed at Toronto. We got to the immigration hall and chaos ruled. The machines were down so everyone was lined up, Not enough staff, and no separate line for Canadian citizens. Just a mess.

Home by 4 PM, we stayed up until 9 and then I was up at 3:15 AM. Oh, the joys of jet lag.

Tuesday Treasures and Travel Tuesday Thailand
Tuesday Photo Challenge CONTACT

We did some unpacking and just relaxed.

ABC Wednesday Letter U

We're still waking up way too early!!

I nipped out for some vegetables, how we miss them on vacation!

The Union Station food court FINALLY opened this week. Seriously this must be at least a year behind schedule.

The lower level itself is 25,000 square feet, and will also be the city's newest destination for sports game live streams, music performances and major events. It also has its own Toronto Public Library digital self-service kiosk for e-book and audiobook downloading on the go.

Thursday Doors Madrid
A Photo A Week Things with wings - Heathrow

We had scheduled the air conditioning/heat system replacement for today.

Pull Up a Seat Barcelona
Weekend Roundup Letter V
Weekend Reflections Madrid
Wit's End Weekly Photo Challenge White on White

After two very busy weeks in Spain we have just been mellowing out and getting chores done.

I went shopping and there were Christmas decorations everywhere.

Our meals have been basic and homey. We have been eating from the freezer and just buying veggies.

Sunday Book Market San Antoni Barcelona

Finally got some reading in when we got home.
Finished Things You Won't Say which was a good fast read.
Started The Birthday Girl and Somebody's Daughter which appears to be an interesting read so far.

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy.
Sundays in my City
Monday Walks
Monday Morning Blog Club
Through My Lens Monday
Our World Tuesday
Wanderful Wednesday #wanderfulwednesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Weekly Postcard Friday


  1. You always have the best photos of your travels whether are home or abroad! Thanks for sharing your adventure

  2. I love the photobombing fashion guys in your photo. Those meals sure look good, especially the seafood dishes. I haven’t been to Barcelona in over 30 years! Would love to see it again. I guess it’s hard to go from warmer temperatures back to the cold. Did you get your heating system replaced?

  3. I haven't been to Spain, but I think I may need to correct that. I also need to investigate Tortilla Espana -- looks awesome. I love how you always discover street art and murals -- and the photos of the pastries .... OMG.

    1. Street art and murals are a passion of mine. I hate to tell you how many pastries I had, they were my breakfast staple.

  4. Looks like you managed to see quite a lot in your stay in Spain.

    best... mae at

  5. I have the fondest memories of Barcelona, Jackie. :) :) Thanks for sharing.

  6. We went to Barcelona a year last summer - unfortunately when there was a terror attack - but we still had a wonderful time! I loved, loved, loved the Palau de la Musica. The Santa Catarina Market looks interesting. I didn't see that.


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