Monday, June 09, 2014

Bus Turistico: Barcelona

Now that we finally got through fatigue and jet lag, we are ready for heavy duty sightseeing. We want to see a lot of Barcelona. So we started our day with the Bus Turistico. Every major city has one of those red double deck bus that goes around the major sights.

I am still testing out my new camera. It was a hybrid of DSLR and point and shoot. It was easy to use and takes great photos but it had an automatic sensor that keeps on adjusting when turned on. It took about half an hour of use till it shut down. It is upsetting to think that I checked the battery before going out. After this day, I made sure to turn off the camera when not in use.


We started our tour on the Bus Turistico stop in front of the Sagrada Familia. It had a long line that we had to wait for the second bus to get a seat on the top of the deck.


This was an interesting church to me. It looks new but the style is old. I guess it is Roman Byzantine style, it has small windows and double columns. I hope I could get another opportunity to see inside.


We loop into somewhere residential. It had new buildings with interesting modern facades.


One of the many pastry places I saw on this block. I would probably go here often if I lived close.


From what I gather, soccer is huge here. One of those original jersey costs about EUR 200. Steep!


Now we see some iconic Gaudi works. It is very distinctive that it looks playful and you don't see any sharp lines.


The bus now looped into the downtown district where you see buildings with modern aesthetics.


What is not to love on this balcony?


How awesome is this office building?


A blending of the old and the new.


We took a break for lunch in Barceloneta. We had a feast of paella and tapas. Afterwards, we took the loop to the beach area. By this time, we are all sitting inside the bus since it is getting colder. The wind chill on the beach area is biting. Good thing I am still wearing my winter jacket.

This is where we end our bus trip and head over to go shopping for folks at home. It is been a while since I fell for the charms of a city. This place suits me, it is a cosmopolitan city with lots of old world charm with a beach access. I hope to come back. Soon.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Jamon Experience

I have been trying to eat healthy these past few months. I try to avoid processed foods, sugared drinks and pork. Processed foods and soda had been easy for me but anything pork had been difficult. So the game plan came into a concession on eating it in moderation. I have been successful for now until Barcelona.

We passed by this wonderful place of ham wonderland along Las Ramblas. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to sit down and taste some of the ham tapas available. Based on the prices for these ham hocks, I am sure they taste divine.


 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hola Barcelona: Day 2

We have to pick up our friend at the airport. After we drop off the luggage in the hotel, we decided to grab something to eat and walk around the area. We found the city somewhat desolate, (almost!) nobody around. It is a dreary Sunday afternoon. Only the big stores are open.


No traffic either.


Found a lot of these faucets in the city. I have no idea if it is safe to drink.


Then we move on to have tapas on a random bar. The menu was in Spanish and Catalan, no food photos but we tried to figure out some items using our guidebook for translations. Somehow this guessing game can be fun - sometimes.


The menu indicates that this is Llonganissa, it is basically a chorizo. I was expecting a pepperoni type of taste but it was surprisingly has a sweet and smoky taste. We wiped this baby out.


Another random order, I recognized it as pork and potatoes on the menu. It was good but not my favorite.


So proud that I was able to recognize mushrooms on the Catalan menu. I really liked this one.


Calamares. This is a good one too.


This is something that I got obsessed, it is so good that I have to make it a home. This Pan con Tomate is such a simple fare but so satisfying. It is made of rustic bread, some garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and of course, tomato.

 
All this walking found us on La Rambla. I guess this is where the crowds are. Although I am not sure if the rest of the folks walking are tourists (like us!).

We end our day here and plan to do a heavy sightseeing the next day.