Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Currently Obsessing: Barcelona

For my honeymoon this past March my husband and I traveled to four cities in Spain, and each one had such a unique flavor and personality.  We truly fell in love with each city's story.  Someone at work recommended a great book to me recently that is set in Barcelona, and I was immediately transported back to our vacation and the incredible history and spirit of this city.  Need a reason to escape?  It is not too late to squeeze in a great summer read and I would highly recommend taking a little Barcelona tour with Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The Shadow of the Wind is set in Barcelona and a lot of the more mysterious and artistic side of the city is showcased.  It's a bit of a wild ride, and perfect for someone wanting an interesting and engrossing read that is a break from the usual suspects these days -- how many disutopian teenagers can you read about in one summer?  It has a little bit of everything, but I especially enjoyed the kind of dark and "noir" aspects of this literary mystery story.  


One of the best things about Spain is the sangria. The best thing about Spanish sangria it is incredibly simple -- just focus on a great red wine and fresh fruits.  Everything in Spain is fresh eating.  Order orange juice with your breakfast?  You are going to see oranges being juiced behind a counter.  There are some things we could learn from, America.  If you are wanting to make a simplified version for your night, all you need is:
1 bottle red wine
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 
orange slices halved from your squeezed oranges
1 cup chopped pineapple, cubed

Churros con chocolate.  I honestly don't even want to try any American versions so that the memory of churros done right can live on forever in my heart.   Churros are the true breakfast of champions.   via

And lest I not mention, the true joy of Barcelona is the amazing architecture.  From Gaudi to Tibidabo (named for the Biblical mountain where the Devil tempted Jesus during his 40 days in the wilderness) you can see the odd and beautiful and poetic fascination Barcelona has with religion, life, and death.  It is a celebration of all joys with an unyielding acknowledgement of our own mortality.  Truly a city to sink into, even if your transportation of choice is a book and your favorite chair.

A picture of Casa Battlo, one of Gaudi's masterpieces taken on our recent trip.  From the distance you see a colorful, vibrant building.  Up close you can see its skeleton peeping through.  Gaudi is a bit grotesque like this, in a truly Barcelona way.
Tibidabo is a moutain overlooking the city of Barcelona below, home to a church and an amusement park.  Who wouldn't want to ride a ferris wheel on the Devil's mountain top?  It is only open during the summer months so we missed our chance via

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