Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seville: Plaza de Espana

The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.
Christopher Columbus

After a five hour train ride from Barcelona, we're finally in Seville.  Seville has the charm and warmth of the old and ancient.  The streets are narrow like the ones in Rome, but the people are a lot more laid back and friendly.  While Barcelona offers the convenience of the city, Seville, although it is starting to be urbanized in some areas, still offers the comforts of the old country.

One of the highlights of Seville for me is the Plaza de Espana.  You can tour the plaza by foot or by horse drawn carriage.  The plaza is in the Parque de MarĂ­a Luisa.  It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

The plaza itself is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture.  You'll see a lot of this Moorish designs around the building, as a sign of the Moorish revival in architecture.

You can also ride one of these boats for a fee to go around the plaza.

The halls were quiet that day we visited.

These are the tiled "Province Alcoves" along the walls of the plaza.

The reflections on the water made it a great day for photography. We were so lucky.

If I were a sketch artist or a painter, this is the place I'd be spending my mornings and afternoons.  If I were thinker, this is the place you'd find me all day and all night long. This is one place in Seville, among many, that made me closer to the old Spain.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bar Celta Pulperia: A Must In Barcelona

Barcelona's food is not to be missed especially their tapas.

One of the places that caught our appetite and heart is Bar Celta Pulperia located at Carrer da la Merce.  The place isn't fancy at all, but it has a lot of character and the bar owner is friendly and welcoming; he will talk to you as if he'd known you for a long time. It was funny because when we were there, he was talking about the Pacquiao fight with a Filipino guest.  And yes, there are Filipinos working there, so I felt at home.

Bar Celta serves Galician style tapas.  You can sit at the bar, point to the tapas you'd want, and in no time, they'd be on their way to the kitchen to be cooked or warmed up.

 We started with these delicious bread with tomato spread.

 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND OUR FAVORITE: A plate of delicious Pulpo a Feira. The pulpo is tender and the Galician spice hits the right spiciness and flavor.  Every bite of this dish is a delight to any adventurous foodie.

 When the owner saw us taking photos of our plate, he invited us to the kitchen to show us their Octopus catch for the day.

In addition to the pulpo, I ordered another plate of grilled Calamares. The Calamares was also delicious, but I think it cannot surpass the pulpo.

Since we were leaving for Seville the next day, we decided that with our return trip to Barcelona, we'll come back for another plate of Pulpo a Feira. Yes, we did.

Pulpo a Feira was our meal before we flew back to the US.