Well, the trip is over. We have said “adios” to Barcelona and after a long, but oh-so-comfortable, flight in Business Plus on Iberia direct from Barcelona to Miami, it’s all over but the trip to the dry cleaner.
Barcelona and the surrounding area offer that proverbial something for everyone.
Barcelona is a beautiful city. Wide avenues, wonderful buildings, gracious people. The sea on one side, mountains on the other. But always — from everyone in shops, hotels and restaurants — the caution “watch out for pickpockets.” It is a bit distracting, and it is the same caution I’ve heard each time I’ve visited Barcelona.
If you are careful, and you keep alert, you shouldn’t have a problem, but it is daunting.
Nonetheless, the trip offered some wonderful opportunities.
Our first night there we went to a restaurant in the Gothic Quarter where we actually cooked what we ate. I surprised myself by volunteering — there were only three of us who did — and it was great fun. Our menu was a typical Catalunyan meal at Cook&Taste (www.cookandtaste.net).
The typical tomato bread involved a rustic and crusty bread. We grated and sieved the tomato, skinned sausage, cut lengthwise in thin strips, cut the bread the same way and placed the tomato on the base, some sausage on top and then salt, pepper and the wonderful Spanish olive oil to provide a wonderful starter.
I also helped with the dessert, a cottage cheese mousse with chocolate biscuits.
It was great fun and a wonderful meal and a delightful way to get to know our traveling partners. The amazing wines helped.
On a visit to Girona we walked through the Call, the old Jewish Quarter and Arab Baths,
Back in Barcelona, a major highlight was a concert at Palau de la Musica Catalano with its marvelous decor, awesome acoustics and an exciting musical program featuring German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann.
A visit to Barcelona is definitely a trip for the senses. And now? It’s a trip to the dry cleaner.
Editors Note: We thank Marcia for these wonderful reports from Barcelona. She is correct about pickpockets and muggers in Barcelona. During my first trip to that city, one of my companions had her purse snatched while we were standing outside a restaurant looking at its menu board. So do be cautious. The best thing is to carry only a small purse on the front of you or inside your jacket, with only a small amount of cash and one credit card. — Cindy Janssens