Saturday, January 28, 2012

Grilled Artichokes in BCN

We’ve been in Barcelona (BCN) for two days now.  Since we live near the top attraction here, the Sagrada Familia, we visited that on the 26th.  Sagrada Familia is the most spectacular cathedral we’ve ever seen; designed by the architect Antonio Gaudi, famous for his modernistic style in which he used many of the themes of nature in his design. For example, the main columns in the cathedral are essentially tree trunks in structure with a single pillar that branches out as it approaches the ceiling.  He’s also incorporated the design of palm leaves, seedpods, honeycomb, coral, and more in his designs. The cathedral is in its third century of construction  (begun in the late 1800’s) and continues with completely private and anonymous funds (mostly entry fees).  There was much construction in evidence. 

We searched after that for a restaurant that we thought we had the address for, but to no avail.  We eventually settled for Bacab a traditional Catalan diner.  The butifarra (pork sausage with peppers), French fries, green bean and peas, baked apple and wine were warm and satisfying.  Arriving back in our apartment that night my pedometer read over 8 miles of walking!

Yesterday the 27th we took the tourist Hop on Hop Off bus.  Traveling around the northern perimeter of the city down to the Old City we hopped off looking for a good meal of the day.  Not to be disappointed we found a place we’d recommend, The Troubadour.  Grilled artichoke with Romescu sauce for dipping, baked monkfish with sauce Vazencia and coffee.  It was all wonderful.  Then to a market where we found a cheeses for our evening, at home, tapas dinner.  Saw a few more Gaudi buildings from the bus, walked the final leg, putting in 3.2 miles – although it felt like 10!

Our tapas dinner at home consisted of green salad with roasted red peppers, a Catalan cheese, Cabra Moia with vinaigrette, baguette with two types of beans, one with clams in sauce and another with vegetable.  We accompanied all this with Olmillos, a tempranillo, and finished with a wonderful light fresh white cheese sweetened and made roulade style with pomegranate seeds.  

Went to bed early and slept for twelve hours!

Yesterday we also went to the Picasso Museum and today to the Joan Miro Museum.  Picasso’s was informative in that it showed such a progress of his work from childhood to mature artist.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whew...we made it!

We are in our apartment in Barcelona, the wifi works, yeah!
We're starving so we are going to explore the offering in the neighborhood. Tibetan sounds interesting, although I have no idea what that consists of.

We made really good connections getting here.  The Lufthansa flight from Newark to Frankfurt was nice.  They treated us in economy with some of the first class amenities.  Since the plane was half empty we had four seats to stretch out and lay down in.  Slept a bit. So we made seven transfers not counting the airport terminal shuttles from the time we left our home until this apartment.

It's interesting to see the contrast between the German 'sensibility' vs the Spanish 'sentimiento'.  Spanish definitely more layed back but things are not as clean and well run either.  For example. Trying to buy a train pass at the airport for the city, the automatic machine wouldn't take a debit card, then it wouldn't take the credit card, then it wouldn't take a large euro bill and then it 'thought' twice about whether or not to take the 20 euro note.  Meanwhile it took two employees to help us go through this whole supposed automatic process! 

Time to eat!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We're Leaving On a Jet Plane

Today's the day, can you tell we're excited?  Looking at the beautiful snowy landscape this morning, it looks so cozy and calming.  Browsing the internet for lodging in Valencia this morning, it also beautiful, bustling, ancient and stimulating.  Valencia is the city that Joaquim Sorrolla was from and their museum has opened a new Salon of his work.  If you need to reach us while in Spain, please email us at

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What to pack?

We've been reading lots of blogs on about all the great food, especially in Barcelona. Now it's about time to start packing.  I  am actually  planning on checking a bag so I won't have to pack as light as we usually do, a little carryon with a small backpack (for the tenor uke) or a duffelbag.  I'm going to a have real roller bag!!

We went out and spent over $50 on Randy yesterday.  Must be pet owner guilt?  No actually we just know how much he likes warmth and since we'll keep the house cooler and he won't be sleeping with us, we got him a bed warmer.  His very own.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Travel with JoY

The name of our blog uses the first letters of my name, Jean and Yata's, combined to create Joy....Jean or Yata!  We love to travel and will soon be going to Spain and possibly Portugal.  We leave January 24th.
BTW if you know of someone who would love to take care of our super snuggly 13 year old cat for three weeks, please let us know.