Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Holiday Gems - Barcelona Blogger Challenge

The Challenge is simple: write a blog post about my ideal itinerary for 4 days in the Catalonian capital city of Barcelona.

Who would I take with me? Where would I go? What would I do? What makes my schedule so spectacular that Holiday Gems would be crazy not to send me off for my dream Barcelona break?!  Let me begin ............

First and foremost I am a Foodie and a food blogger and would use a trip to Barcelona as a perfect vehicle to feed my habit (bit of a play on words there!).  I would of course take my long suffering husband Mr R - he does love a nice cold glass of cerveza with some tapas!

I haven't been to Barcelona since 2004 and I am sure there have been changes and it is certainly a city of vastly different pieces of culture eg, Gaudi's cathederal La Segrada Familia and a short train ride out of the city will take you to Salvador Dali's residence and museum.

But back to my ideal visit.  Day 1 after checking into my hotel I would try to locate a nice little tapas bar to settle my taste buds into the local cuisine and a crisp, cold glass of sherry.  There are so many great restaurants in the city and I love to walk around the restaurant area reading the menus outside and making the difficult decision of what to have for dinner.

Day 2 after breakfast I would start wandering around the streets off Las Ramblas to find a nice little bar serving Churros, a sweet donut made to order that you dip into a thick, delicious cup of hot chocolate.  This would set us up for an afternoon of food market hunting.

The food market Mercat de Sant Josep/La Boqueria is a short stroll off Las Ramblas and is open Monday to Saturday.  It is a complete assault on the senses and will keep you busy for hours tasting olives and salami and all sorts of local specialities and deciding what to bring home.  If all that food made us peckish I think we would look for a small bar for tapas but I would always prefer one where local people go rather than on the tourist track.

If we had the energy I would like to visit another food market - Fira Artesana which is open the 1st Friday and Saturday of the month.  It is sometimes called the Honey Market and locals sell their wares there including loads of home made cakes and honey infused cheeses.  If we were too tired we could always visit this on Day 3!

Day 2 after strolling around markets and visiting little bars set in the side of little alleys we would retire to our hotel to get ready for dinner.  I would want to walk to the area known as 'Little Barcelona'.  At the end of Las Ramblas and turn left and walk about 10 minutes.  Facing the port is a little restaurant called 'El Rey de la Gamba'. The have a menu featuring the most amazing aray of prawns and seafood and serve prawns on huge platters.

Day 3 I might take a train trip about an hour from the city centre and visit a seaside town like Blanes or Loret del Mar for some fresh and fantastic seafood.

I will of course fit in a visit to the department store El Corte Ingles to see what cooking pots they may have, I like to add to my terracotta collection on each visit to Spain.  They also have a food hall and on the off chance that they may have something I had not come upon yet I will make a short visit.

All of this activity will of course be interspersed with frequent coffee stops and after 3pmish it will turn into beer and wine stops!

If we were there for any festivals there would be fireworks on the beaches and beach parties to gate crash! The best ever fireworks I have ever seen were on the North East coast of Spain!

With the luggage weight restrictions on flights these days everything in my suitcase will have to earn a place.  I will take the last few squirts of deodorant, sliver of soap and squeeze of toothpaste so that I can discard these to leave precious room for my foodie bargains.  Each item of clothing will have to work for two days (I don’t mind washing clothes in the hotel bathroom to save space) and if possible I will wear a coat and sweater to board the plane. 

I love buying food and sometimes drinks that we cannot get easily or at all in the UK when I am abroad and take great pleasure in making meals when we get home that will remind us of our foray into a new foodie arena.


I am entering this post into a competition set by Holiday Gems and would really love to win!

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