Tag Archives: Barcelona

This one time, at Barcelona

This one time, I went to Barcelona. It is a vibrant city in southern Spain.

In Spain, they have signs in English for tourists like me:

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The Spaniards also like to be safe, so the signs are also in Spanish.

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Barcelona is located in the Catalan region of Spain; thus, signs are often in Catalan language.

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Basically Barcelona is a tri-lingual city at the least. It has a booming tourist presence and English is widely spoken. I found it difficult to practice my Spanish in some tourist areas, where clerks and servers opted to use English for clarity.

When I dressed more uniquely, I was often able to get by with my Spanish as long as I kept it simple enough for the Barcelonian to not make out my US accent! More likely, they would hear my Mexican and Ecuadorian accent, since those places strongly influenced my accent and lexicon.

Barcelona is known for embracing personal style, practically speaking, this means that anything goes. As long as I avoided mainstream trends, I felt a little bit like I belonged.

I also felt like I belonged after eating a traditional lunch of Catalan dishes.

I started with Fabada Asturiana, warm and comforting, with a flavorful sausage.

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The cafe was adorable, obliged me by conducting our business in Spanish, and made excellent recommendations.

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For my second course, I went with Chanquetes con huevos rotos. Basically I had never heard of Chanquetes, huevos rotos are always good (translates to ‘broken eggs’), and the server assured me it was a delicious dish, so I went with it. The Chanquetes are teeny tiny fishies lightly breaded and lightly fried.

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I could easily imagine fishing families eating this dish in seaside communities for centuries into the past. The flavors were simple, salty and ultimately satisfying.

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Escriba, from Barcelona

Picture it! Barcelona, 2012. Three hungry travelers search for breakfast.

Mmmmm…that doesn’t look like a pastry shop.

Yet, it claims to have pastries.

What’s this in the window?

Why would a pastry shop be selling shoes?

Well, as it turns out, this pastry shop extraordinaire was a fancy chocolatier, full of hubris, displays and awards. Just check out this chocolate pastry cheeseburger.

Despite the shiny surface, uncertain entryway, and designer chocolates, Escriba was definitely a must-see pastry shop in Barcelona. The wide variety of sweet and savory pastry offerings were tasty enough to overcome the self-promotion that is the art on the walls.

If you get the chance to pass through Barcelona, Escriba is well worth the visit!

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I wanna new drug

Cinquecento

So many new formatting ideas…so little time. For the next month, I will be exploring topics, daily format and playful posts. Today, I am giving you a taste of Barcelona, and the chorus line of that song from the 80s “I wanna a new drug, one that won’t make me sick … One that won’t make me nervous, wondering what to do, one that makes me feel the way I feel when I’m with you!”

Thanks for a wonderful first six months – writing to you has provided daily stability and a way to stay in touch with my personal truth.

Five Barcelona Faves:

Parc Güell – designed by Gaudí

The first two shots are my favorite place in the park. I would pay some good money to get a sunny afternoon to myself with these waves.

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There is peace and quiet to be found in the park, just keep looking for it when you visit.

By popular demand, dining room table photos are below. The table doubles in length when the leaves pull out. The simple square is perfect for our everyday use, we got the Gaudí inspired coasters in Barcelona and I am in love with the chairs!

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Where in the world is Jonathan Wakuda Fischer?

Cinquecento

(Uno) 1. Tomorrow is the strike talk day! Oh my goodness, I have completely forgotten the huge inconveniences of the gas shortages already. I have no trepidations about the negotiations – mostly because we’ll just deal with whatever situation arises with the resources we have available. Attitude!

(Due) 2. Cime rapa. (say it “chee-may rah-pah”). We bought these hearty greens tonight at the grocery store. The look of the greens and the “rapa” in the name had me thinking of “rapini.” Rapini is an Italian broccoli that has much smaller florettes and leafier stems than “American” broccoli (and I think I said that a million and one times while I worked at Lombardino’s). We sauteed the “cime rapa” with onion, garlic, and mushrooms and then tossed it with fresh pasta (purchased). Yummmmmmmm-my!

(Tre) 3. A bag stuffed full of groceries for only 14.39 Euro! We got a loaf of bread, four sandwich rolls, the cime rapa, four late-season tomatoes (green tomatoes), a huge head of frisee, three mushrooms, six small apples, nearly a pound of fresh pasta, a jar of pickled eggplant, and 100g each of orzo (teeny tiny pasta) and borlotti (beans). All that good stuff for about $20 USD.

(Quattro) 4. Getting back to my work-out. Do you ever have a really great weekend where you completely relaxed, had plenty of wine and conversation and ate more meat than you usually do in a fortnight? I had one of those weekends this past weekend and while it felt great to get my body moving again, it was…a little tough.

(Cinque) 5. Jonathan Wakuda Fischer. He is a Seattle-based artist doing really amazing work. Check out one of his latest works at this link.

Cento

Barcelona!!! I absolutely LOVE this city. My first experience with it was in 2007 and I recently returned for a refresher. My heart is going pitter-patter just writing these lines. Watch the blog for an in-depth post about my trip by this weekend. Despite being located in Spain, Barcelona is also the de facto capital of Catalunya (English spelling: Catalonia). As such, Catalan and Spanish are mixed together in a fascinating mezcla (“mix”). By popular demand, I will be including a sample itinerary for a weekend trip to Barcelona from Catania/Sigonella. You can use it no matter where you begin your adventure begins or ends!

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