Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beautiful Green Barcelona

Barcelona is a bustling metropolis. Full of beautiful and historical landmarks and still a sleek, urban landscape with amazing food and wonderful people.

Churches and cathedrals that date back to 11oo, Roman ruins so intact that historians can identify rooms designed for cooking in large vats, dying clothes and bathing -- all complete with water channels.

Gaudi's multiple world-renown art and architecture, including La Sagrada Familia, which I will post about next.

Las Ramblas, the most famous street in Barcelona, is a tree lined paradise of fresh flowers, love birds for sale and the home to the Boqueria market that will make your head spin with fresh food and wine and cava and tastings that make you never want to leave.

The market was filled with fresh fruit of all kinds.

Seafood played a prominent role in the market.
Peppers and spices and garlic galore to season great Spanish food.

And, most importantly, the famed Serrano ham and other charcuterie. I could eat the Serrano ham every single meal, and we almost did! It's at the top of the list of Tapas in every cafe (and there is one on every corner and 5 in between corner to corner on every block).
We ate dinner one night at a fabulous and trendy restaurant that was an anchor to another fresh market and I fell in love with this green wall. Because it was dark - dinner is LATE in Barcelona - and I didn't want to disturb the folks sitting next to it - my camera was lacking. But each row features fresh herbs used in the restaurant.
Like Italy, cypress trees are everywhere in Spain.
As were these beautiful trees with vivid yellow blooms. I never did discover the name of the tree, but they were such a breath of fresh air in the heart of the city.

Many balconies also sported beautiful plants and planter boxes.
Cypress trees weren't the only stars of the show -- they had to compete with beautiful palms all over Barcelona. Its beaches bordered the beautiful Mediterranean. Cloudy and rainy weather couldn't keep us from the beach though.

We did spend a few hours in the sand - button sweaters and all.

Our daughter was oblivious to the wind and cold as she went in up to her knees, searching for shells and rocks and building a sand castle.

And, the port was overflowing with beautiful sailboats, yachts and three cruise ships.

Las Ramblas - which seems to go on forever -- is also a tree lined oasis.
More cypress...
Another unidentified and beautiful tree with exotic bark.

It was a fascinating, exciting and educational adventure. And boy, did we eat well and drink fabulous coffee. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Next, how Gaudi's love of nature turns into art. A UNESCO World Heritage site, La Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia is the most phenomenal architecture I've ever seen throughout Europe, Greece, Turkey and the USA.


getgrounded said...

Wow, how gorgeous is that? I would love to see that avenue, and like you I love the old architecture. Great post, thanks! Love your perspective.

Diana said...

It was so fun and I love being able to blog about it and share with my friends this way.

Iris said...

Loved this tour! Thanks so much for sharing. It's so beautiful. Can't wait until I can get there. Looking forward to more Gaudi!

Diana said...

Thanks Iris - It was great - even with some iffy weather. It's beauty still shined through.

Lori said...

Awesome tour! Barcelona looks fabulous. I love all of the old architecture and the plants on all the balconies.

Lancashire rose said...

You are just like us visiting the markets. David likes to look at the fish! Me, Just like the flowers, fruits and all the bustle. So colorful and great food! We have taken a cruise to and from Barcelona a couple of times. Doesn't get easier than getting on in Galveston. Very fun city. Glad you enjoyed your Spanish trip.

Annie in Austin said...

Gorgeous seems to be the right word, Diana! The market photos are amazing & it sounds like your trip was an episode of Spain-On-the-Road-Again!
Barcelona beaches were covered with jellyfish when my daughter was in Barcelona - walking the beach looking for shells in a sweater might be more fun.

My guess is that the yellow flowered tree is Acacia dealbata... what's called Mimosa in Europe. Remember back in 2009 when Mimosa yellow was the Color of the Year?
Not that I've ever seen one, but Agatha Christie talks about the trees.

Sorry to give you such a hot, dry welcome back!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Linda/patchwork said...

Looks like you had a great time, in a great city.

Thanks for taking us along.

Caroline said...

How fabulous. I hope to go some day -- thanks so much for sharing your photos!

kacky said...

I just now got to finish all the Spain posts. I am so jealous. I have not been back there in so long. I lived there for 6 months and loved it. Yes the coffee is incredible - what do they do different?? I have tried to recreate it but finally gave up. The photos are a perfect depiction of Barcelona. I love the shots you got- you could not have captured the essence of it better. I miss the ham as well!!! I really enjoyed your posts on the botanical gardens- interesting they have so many of the plants we have there. When I was there I was in my 20's and not really interested in the plants so I didn't really notice... I am so excited to read your post- so many memories of being there. Love all the cafes. That wall with the herbs is so neat! What a great idea!! I love all the photos. Great captures!!! Thanks for sharing.

Pam/Digging said...

What a beautiful city as seen through your lens. Your post made me hungry though! The tree with beautiful bark resembles our sycamores.

I'm looking forward to your next installment of your Spanish vacation.

Cindy, MCOK said...

That first picture and your description of Las Ramblas have me drooling. Once again, a fellow blogger forces me to lean away from the keyboard!