Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Spanish culinary delights!

During the trip, we had paella after paella, having found out that each region has their own specialty in preparing the stuff. The best is said to be in Valencia. We had that while there but too hungry to take photos. And of course, tapas! These are small plates or bowls of cooked dishes served either hot or cold to accompany your favourite beverage. Here's some images of the food sampled in Spain.

Seafood paella in Barcelona

Grilled cuttlefish

Deep fried peppers

Shellfish in some spicy sauce

Fried calamares

Spanish bruschetta - raw tomatoes rubbed against bread with olive oil

Patata bravas - fried potatoes with a special tangy sauce

Selection of olives

Spinach omellete - popular breakfast item

Estrella - local beer

Hot chocolate at the Bra Cafe (since 1929)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Faces of Spain

I had brought along the Sigma 70-300mm lens for the trip just in case there were opportunities for some people watching. Here are some random pics taken.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


The first stop in Barcelona was the Park Guell in Montana Pelada. This is actually an unsuccessful planned housing site, given to the city as a permanent park in 1923. Designed by the architect, Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi was born in Reus, Spain in 1852 and studied at the Escola Superior d'Arquitectura in Barcelona. He designed his first major commission for the Casa Vincens in Barcelona using a Gothic Revival style that set a precedent for his future work. Gaudi developed a sensuous, curving, almost surreal design style which established him as the innovative leader of the Spanish Art Nouveau movement. He died in Barcelona in 1926.

Gaudi designs

Gaudi ceiling - broken mosaic & glass

Gaudi designed mosaic wall

Sagrada Familia - most famous structure in Barcelona

Casa Mila - Gaudi designed apartment building completed in 1910

Musical fountain

Barcelona port - night scene


Landscape on the way to Valencia

Police car

Science city structures

Street artist

Gypsy dance

The Albaicín

This is the old Arabic quarter located on the hill opposite the Alhambra. Characterised by cobble stoned streets with white washed houses, it exudes a strong Arabic feeling.

Narrow cobblestoned streets

Trinket boxes

Arabic teahouse


From Seville, we travelled to Granada where the must stop place is the Alhambra, described as a sprawling palace that comprised royal residential quarters, court complexes flanked by official chambers, a bath, and a mosque. Built in the thirteenth century by Ibn al-Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid dynasty, and was continued by his successors in the fourteenth century. The structure comprised of a varied repetoire of Moorish arched, columnar, and domical forms.

Entrance to the Alhambra


Pooled courtyard


Stone column details

View from the Alhambra

Alcazar - Royal Palace

Alcazar, the Royal Palace of Seville was completed in the 1360s for King Pedro and his mistress Maria de Padilla. The structure is quite Moorish and is called Mudejar architecture.

Imposing courtyard

Looking out into another courtyard

Courtyard with a dividing pool

Intricately designed doors

Carvings on the wall

A metallic dome ceiling

Huge oil lamp