Friday, 3 July 2015

Barcelona & Time for Czech tea!


I'm in Spain. Not been here before, and I'm looking forward to the next few days. The hotel is really nice, and in a quiet part of town. It's nice to be away with someone, makes going for food a bit more fun as you're more likely to try something new!





We met a really lovely local couple who gave us the heads up about the area in the first restaurant we sat down in. They asked what we were interested in, and gave us an itinerary and a note of good places to eat. I thought that was so lovely of them to take the time and trouble to ensure that we didn't waste time trying to find our bearings. We knew where we wanted to go, and they pointed us in the right direction!


The architecture here is stunning. It is a bit like walking around Prague, look up and you will see some beautiful stonework. Unlike Prague, a lot of this is obscure and modern!





Above is Casa Batllo shown in the day, and then when lit up at night. Sometimes known as the house of bones or house of yawns, I prefer to think of it as a sleeping dragon, I mean just look at that scaley roof!


 This is another piece of Gaudi's work, La Pedrera commissioned by a wealthy couple who wanted a building in the Passeig de Gracia. They hired Gaudi and the building was completed between 1906 and 1912.

Time for tapas, a glass of fizz and a trip down the road to watch the fountain change colour before going back to the hotel and bed!


Oh yes. I might be in Barcelona, but I've found a Czech inspired tea shop, Caj Chai. My friend found it, but she's not a big fan of tea, but after spending the morning in the searing heat and walking around the cathedral we both headed off with map in hand to find the tea shop.

We started speaking to the owner, and we asked what had got him interested in tea. He said he had been in Prague for sometime, and that is where he learnt all about the stuff, then he came home and opened his tea shop. I spoke to him about Prague and he recommended another shop for me to try next time I am over there. He also recommended somewhere in London, hmm I think it's easy to guess which place I'm more likely to get around to visiting!

Anyway, my friend decided to take herself off for a walk whilst I sampled a rather special 40 year old Oolong tea. I had to tell the owner what tasting notes I could decipher when drinking it. I got them right thankfully. It was such a lovely experience. As I was leaving I remembered my hero likes tea, and I'm set to meet him in a few weeks, I'll take him a business card. You never know, if he ends up filming in Barcelona he'll need to know where to get a good cuppa from!!!

So today, apart from tea the other highlight was a trip to the Sagrada Familiar. Work began in 1882, and it's still not finished. What is there though is totally amazing. We went to the top of one of the towers and it was great to have a birds eye view of the city. As you walk around the outside of the building you can see different styles, from the old ornate gothic Nativity façade, to the more modernistic Passion façade.

The inside is glorious as the sunlight streams thought the stained glass windows, and upon looking closely, a couple of Musketeer references could be seen! Gaudi is buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familiar.

 

 

 

 

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