Tag Archives: Spain
While it’s true we spent most of our time in Ibiza napping on the beach and dancing at clubs, M and I did find the time to tour the old port town. A little bit of travel trivia: Spanish (as we know it) is not the first language for many people in Spain. Ibiza and Barcelona are located in a region called Catalonia, where most people speak Catalan. Hence, the proper spelling for the island is Eivissa according to the locals. I found it interesting that some islanders preferred to communicate in English rather than the Spanish that I know (which is called Castilian). One restaurant server told me that it’s because some people on the island aren’t really fluent in Castilian Spanish. Street signs and government building are all labeled in Catalan and everyone is proud of their cultural heritage.
Followed by paella that I forgot to take a picture of
Lemon & mandarin sorbet at the bottom of the hill
Do you have any travel trivia that you’ve learned along the way?
Every summer M and I go away for a week together. We’ve never done the same spot twice until this year. We couldn’t resist the laid back atmosphere and gorgeous landscape of Ibiza. In my opinion it’s the world’s best people-watching. Even though we rented the same little apartment, we did try a few new places for meals.
The raw salad at Passion Cafe in Playa de’n Bossa
(that’s macadamia nut cheese along with yummy spicy peanut dressing)
M’s avocado wrap
Breakfast was eaten leisurely on the balcony everyday around 11 (read last year’s post for Ibiza’s schedule). I brought coconut milk for coffee and M went out for fresh bread and chocolate croissants each morning. We also picked up a bottle of chunky tomatoes stewed in olive oil from the airport gift shop.
Spain is separated into 17 regions and each one has their own language, traditions and foods. In Barcelona menus and signs are printed in Catalan, which is a language that falls somewhere between Spanish (known as Castilian) and French. One of my favorite experiences was the cooking class I booked from the internet before leaving home. On the day of our lesson we ran through the maze of streets in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter until we found the hidden corridor with the cooking school. Our instruction in Catalan cooking began with a market tour led by two Spanish chefs. We learned all about local products as well as market scams (fresh fish should never be piled up, they should be spread out over ice). Eating seasonally is a way of life for Spaniards. Cherries are three Euros per kilo in season and 100 Euros per kilo out of season (a kilo is about 2 pounds). It’s the same for much of their produce. Happily it was tomato season while I was there.
A visit to Boqueria Market:
Freshly laid unpasteurized eggs
I came back for a strawberry mango coconut version the next day
The cooking class menu: gazpacho topped with idiazabal cheese and a parsley walnut pesto, potato tortilla (which is kind of like an omlette), seafood paella and Catalan cream (a Spanish creme brulee).
Traditional Catalan bread
Toast the bread (stale bread can be used). Leave the peel on one garlic clove and cut it in half. Scrape the open end over the toasted bread a few times. Cut a tomato in half. Rub the just sliced part on the bread so that the juice and seeds spread on the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and then cut bread into strips. Enjoy at any meal.
A shot of gazpacho
Olives: the customary hors d’oeuvre
Barcelona is truly the city that never sleeps. Restaurants along the Mediterranean Sea serve dinner until 3 a.m. and the dancing goes until 6. City workers have a few short hours to clean up the sand before families turn up at the beach in the morning for a day of relaxing in the sun. My boyfriend and I arrived in Barcelona on Monday after a long weekend of wild fun in Ibiza with thoughts of taking it easy. That lasted one day until the wine and tapas beckoned. When in Spain…
A fun lunch spot:
The art, architecture, food, beaches and relaxed ambiance make Barcelona one of the coolest cities I’ve explored. What’s your favorite city?
Ibiza, Spain is known for gorgeous people, sandy beaches and an ultra laid back attitude. After four days of dancing until (almost) dawn I understand its reputation as party island. Between pitchers of cava sangria on the beach, listening to house music at Space and eating carbs galore I tried to balance things out with a few seasonal veggies. The average day in Ibiza went something like this: wake up around noon, eat lunch and then hit the beach. Return back to hotel for afternoon siesta at 6, dinner at 11 (p.m.!) and then dancing until… Sleep and repeat.
A modern interpretation of gazpacho made with beets and red fruit
A warm mushroom salad so delicious I got it two days in a row
Bread and tomatoes Ibiza style
Exercise happened the European way (lots of walking) and my sneakers and workout clothes stayed in the suitcase. The room had a mini fridge so my boyfriend and I were able to eat in a few times. We kept it simple with fresh ingredients.
More pics from Spain tomorrow… Have a great day!