Enchantment Learning & Living Blog

Welcome to Enchantment Learning & Living, inspirational blog about the simple pleasures, dreams, and fantasies that bring true magic to the everyday. 

The Colorful Barcelona In Review

The door to the Air B&B apartment we stayed at--fantastic!

The door to the Air B&B apartment we stayed at--fantastic!

Jamon on display at La Boqueria.

Jamon on display at La Boqueria.

Barcelona is the city of all cities in my opinion--such a livable place and so full of history, culture, and art. My family and I stayed in the heart of the city, near Las Ramblas, a stretch of street full of great shops and sights, including my absolute favorite, La Boqueria, an amazing open market filled to the gills with seafood, fruits, veggies, and, of course, jamon!  And let me tell you, we ate a lot of jamon, a ham the Spanish are famous the world over for.  Yum!

Fruit display from vendors at La Boqueria.

Fruit display from vendors at La Boqueria.

Seafood at La Boqueria--I've never seen some of these types of fish before!

Seafood at La Boqueria--I've never seen some of these types of fish before!

La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia.

Other highlights of the trip include a whole day devoted to Gaudi.  We were blown away by the light and magic of La Sagrada Familia, a church designed around Gaudi's love of nature.  It truly felt like a sacred space of light and healing that transcended any notion of traditional religion.  Then it was on to Park Guell, a space Gaudi designed to be house development but that, when that project failed, became a gorgeous city park dotted with Gaudi's whimsical architecture.  We finished off our Gaudi-fest with a night-time tour of La Pedrera, a space once built for a rich family to live and rent out that was reviled in its time for its strange organic shapes mimicking a rock quarry, but is now loved for those same features.  Absolutely awe inspiring!

Interior view of La Sagrada Familia.

Interior view of La Sagrada Familia.

Park Guell.

Park Guell.

Bridge in Park Guell.

Bridge in Park Guell.

Sculpture on the rooftop of La Pedrera.

Sculpture on the rooftop of La Pedrera.

Me enjoying an amazing basil gin tonic from Xixbar, a local haunt dedicated solely to the art of gin tonic.

Me enjoying an amazing basil gin tonic from Xixbar, a local haunt dedicated solely to the art of gin tonic.

And there was tapas.  Lots of tapas.  And gin tonics.  Thankfully, my sister and her husband knew all the great local spots to go, so we feasted at the cheap places the real Barcelonians went to.  Perhaps one of our best meals (although, really it is hard to say with such great options), was our impromptu picnic at Sitges, a wonderful beach near Barcelona where we swam (briefly--it was cold!).  We got olives, jamon, Spanish cheese, fresh bread, and caper berries from a local market.  Heaven!  Sometimes the best meals are the simplest ones.

Jamon and egg tapas in Sitges.

Jamon and egg tapas in Sitges.

Papas Bravas, a local dish of fried potatoes in aioli-like sauce.

Papas Bravas, a local dish of fried potatoes in aioli-like sauce.

Octopus in Barcelona.

Octopus in Barcelona.

A selection of tapas from jamon to prawns, octopus, and two cheese selections and veggies, and finally a potato-meat ball.  Delish!

A selection of tapas from jamon to prawns, octopus, and two cheese selections and veggies, and finally a potato-meat ball.  Delish!

We strolled all the different neighborhoods and stopped off at a book fair on our last day.  We saw some incredible art by a famous Catalan artist name Antoni Tàpies, and we strolled through more neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter and Gracia.  We shopped a little neighborhood markets and enjoyed the locals.  I feel the words I use to describe this experience don't do it justice!  I can't possibly tell you every adventure we had nor fully describe the warmth and openness of this great city.  All I can say is it is worth a visit--and I would love to go back there again!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational collection of musings touching on life’s simple pleasures, everyday enchantments, and delectable recipes that will guarantee to stir the kitchen witch in you.  If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe here.

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