Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Visit to L'Escala in Spain - Barcelona - Wednesday November 10th

We left Mount Tibidabo and drove into Barcelona. I say "we drove", but Dave kindly drove us. I have never driven in Barcelona and wish never to do so. We parked in an underground car park. Barcelona and Madrid have more of these than we do in the U.K.

One of the things I really like doing when I am abroad is to visit food markets. Even if people eat similar food to myself, they are often presented differently. The first time I came across a ticketing system for food counters was outside the U.K. I can't remember if it was in Holland or Spain. Chicken is displayed very differently in supermarkets in Spain. In the UK, the heads are off and they are covered in cellophane. In Spain, they sometimes have the heads left on and are not covered at all. I love the bright colours in this photograph. Click on it to see more detail.

We considered eating in a restaurant attached to this market but decided it was too busy. We then went to another one attached to the market and decided it was too expensive. So we toddled along and found a more traditional restaurant for un"menu del dia". This is the equivalent of a set meal. DH always tells me that Franco decreed that all restaurants should have a menu of the day, I'm not sure if that is the case. Have a look at Table d'hôte in Wikipedia, it is interesting.

Dave has been learning Catalan and Mandi has been learning Castilliano. They live in a Catalan speaking area. However, many waiters don't speak Catalan because they are either from a different part of Spain or are not from Spain at all. I think that our waiter was one of the latter. It is a pity because Catalan is very hard to learn.

On the way to the restaurant we passed the Cathedral, not to be mixed up with "La Sagrada Familia" which I adore but did not visit on this occasion. Click on any of the images to see more detail.

We then decided to go to the "Palau de la Musica Catalana". It is a place that I missed when I last visited. Other than seeing it from the outside, I missed it again. The last English tour had left and both Dave and I didn't feel up to the Castilian tour. I do have a GCSE in Spanish (an exam that 16 year olds take) but I am very rusty and was probably never up to a full blown guide of this nature. Click on any of the images to see them in full size.

Palace of Music

Detail of the middle top mosaic

I just love the street lamps in Barcelona and Madrid
After our abortive trip to the Palace of Music, we took a walk along the Ramblas. Mandi and I visited a craft shop and did not come out empty handed.

In the last couple of years, I have become interested in screen printing. I loved these bags. I can translate the words on them word for word but I don't understand their meaning. I think they are particular sayings used by the Spanish. If any one out there can enlighten me, then please do.

Some of the streets in Barcelona are very wide, with a large area between both carriages. People can sit and rest, cafes have seating areas and there are also retail "sheds". There were several stalls selling pets, particularly caged birds.

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