From tiny Vias to bustling BarcelonaSpring in Spain - May 2012
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you! Join us on a summer tour in Provence or our featured (and expanded!) 2012 Amsterdam/Belgium tour!
La Belle Cour in Vias - we're on our way to Spain! It's a pleasure to travel by train - especially when there are no strikes (which have struck more often than we'd like on our previous rail journeys). MUCH more relaxed than on a flight, we settle into our seats and watch the world pass by: vineyards stretch for miles to the dark hills in the distance,
we nearly take a dip in a seaside etang (salt water lake)
and windmills twirl lazily over the varied countryside.
After an hour layover at Port Bou on the border, we're on a Spanish train for the rest of the journey, peeking down into quiet coves of the Costa Brava.
Our friends at Hotel H10 Montcada have reserved a spacious corner room with a great view for us, reminding us each time we look out of how close the Mediterranean is. We take care of pre-tour errands, looking forward to meeting our guests tomorrow.
A cava toast is the way to say "Welcome" in Barcelona - four of our five guests are here, and ready to discover this marvelous city.
We're in the Born neighborhood, the city's old maritime and business district which is now a museum, restaurant and boutique filled web of intriguing old streets.
Santa Maria del Mar holds court as the most beautiful of Barcelona's Catalan Gothic churches. This southern adaptation of Gothic valued width more than height, and the airy spacious interior shows off the simple and classic design.
Santa Maria del Mar was built in the early 14th century by the men of the neighborhood, sailors, tradesmen and merchants, and inside and out we're reminded of the maritime theme of the area.
We begin our Barcelona feasting at a neighborhood favorite, Montiel, with delicious tastes from scallops to suckling pig, and from meltingly rich dark chocolate to tangy mango sorbet... a don't-miss choice for sure!