Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday May 15, 2015

Such a lot to tell you about today. We had a wonderful day at Cook & Taste. Davide was our guide/teacher and he took us on a tour of La Boqueria market. Let me tell you this was the market to end all markets. The produce was like artwork -- I mean absolutely gorgeous. And the fish! My Goodness what fish -- stuff I have never seen before. Halfway through the market I turned to Russell and said "This place makes me think I don't know anything about food!"

After purchasing the food for our lunch, the group (2 couples from Australia and two people from Pennsylvania plus ourselves) returned to the cooking school and spent the next three and a half hours cooking and eating. 

We made some antipasto and a cold soup of tomatoes with bread softened in vinegar. It was garnished with Iberico ham, hard boiled egg and onion sprouts. Delicious. Second course was flatbread with sautéed spinach, pine nuts, raisins and salt cod. Also delicious. Our main course was, of course, paella and for desert we had Crema Catalonia (similar to Creme Brûlée). It was a great experience and a good value too.

After our cooking lesson we went to Palau Guell, an early Gaudi building. It was a high-end residence in which Gaudi used many of the techniques and ideas that he would later become famous for most notably mosaic tile work and "crazy" chimney treatments. It was not our favorite Gaudi building but it was interesting and well worth the visit.

Looking up at spectacular ceiling in main room

Dinner tonight was on our own and we chose ... wait for it ... hamburgers. To be fair, they were from a local place and 100% organic. Still it was a far cry from last night's dinner at El Glop. This not so attractively named restaurant was friendly and the food was tasty. We had fried artichokes and ham followed by black rice paella (made with squid ink) and grilled meat. It was quite good and we enjoyed getting to know our tapas' tour guide Claire and her friend Mery (not a spelling error). 

Claire & me with Black Rice Paella 

Earlier in the day (yesterday) we visited Casa Mila which is also known as La Pedrera (the Rock Quarry). I am sure you've seen pictures of this wavy concrete building. The most remarkable feature of the building is its roof which is quite striking -- full of decorated chimneys some of which look like helmeted warriors.

Casa Mila -- they call it a "Casa" but it is really an apartement building

Before La Pedrera we spent several hours touring the Joan (pronounced Zho-Ahn) Miro museum and the Museum of Catalonian Art. We had an excellent guide named Bernat and he explained to us the Miro art and made sure that we didn't miss the best of the Modern Art section of the huge Catalonian art museum. It was a lot of walking so by the end of the day, well obviously I was too tired to write.

On a totally unrelated note, can we talk for a minute about how painful it is to be surrounded by great stuff to buy and not be able to buy it because you have no room in your luggage? (And this is after we went out and bought an emergency fourth suitcase!). It's almost as painful as tons of bookstores with no books in your language! Or huge, beautiful food markets and no cooking facilities. Why it's downright cruel.

At the museum gift shop -- frustrated!

Seriously though I can't believe our time in Barcelona will soon be coming to an end. Two more nights at the hotel and then two nights on the ship in port here and then no more Barcelona for us. We've really enjoyed ourselves here. Russell has said on several occasions that you need a month to explore all that this city has to offer and I am inclined to agree with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment