Vamos a Comer

Let’s eat! Here are some food places I tried (and the hotels I stayed at) that were good and worth a visit (except maybe for one)! Arriving in Granada after a trans-Atlantic and a connecting flight, I was famished. Queried the hotel concierge for a restaurant and I was directed towards Pinot Noir. With the name alone, I should have known that this will not be a traditional Spanish restaurant that I would have preferred. Serving pastas and pseudo Japanese fusion food.   After being dropped off from touring the Alhambra, I came across Casa Colon, which served really wonderful tapas….

Museo Sorolla

I am glad I followed a friend’s suggestion to visit the Museo Sorolla in Madrid. Joaquin Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes and monumental works. Many of the famous pieces include the impressionist beach scenes. The museum occupies what was the Spanish artist’s family home from 1911. The house has been preserved, including his studio, together with a vast collection of his masterful works. The Museo Sorolla is considered one of the best preserved artist’s homes in Europe.                                        


It was fifteen years ago when I first (and last) came to this monumental city – mainly to visit some dear friends. Now I am back to the grandeur of Madrid – built when Spain was at the peak of its power and the city became the seat of the great empire stretching around the world.                                              


The last time I was in Andalusia in Spain more than fifteen years ago, I missed visiting Granada and specifically, the Alhambra. Now, I made it the main reason for my return to this part of the country. Granada, the moorish Anadlusian city, conjures of the breathtaking Alhambra, snowcapped Sierra Nevada and the gypsy flamenco.                                                  


One of Europe’s greatest attractions, the stunningly beautiful Calat Alhambra (Red Castle) is perhaps the most remarkable fortress palace ever constructed. Moorish architecture in Spain reached its peak in this 13th century hilltop palace of the Nasrid kings. Originally constructed for defensive purposes on a rocky hilltop above the Darro River, Alhambra was converted into a lavish palace in the 13th and 14th centuries. Somewhat somber in its exterior, the delights of this palace lie within.                                     The summer palace, Generalife, was built…

Tapas, Paella y mas

Eating is an extremely important social activity in Spain. Barcelona is known for both its traditional and inventive cuisine — with lunch “rush hour” at 2:00 pm and a chic dining hour at 10 pm. El Fornet is good spot for desayuno (breakfast) as it serves fresh baked goods and bocadillos. There are a number of El Fornet‘s in the city.   Known for its traditional Catalan cuisine is Freixa Tradicio located in the Gracia district. Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, this restaurant has established itself as one of the city’s culinary institutions.   When I lived in Barcelona years ago, my…

Catalan Modernisme

Catalan Modernisme was part of the general trend that emerged in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. It is the equivalent of other art movements in Europe in the names of Art Nouveau, Sezession, Arts and Crafts or Gothic Revival. The Modernisme movement was centered in Barcelona and was practiced by Antoni Gaudi and Lluis Domenech i Montaner, among others. The former Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau was built between 1902 and 1930 is a masterpiece in Catalan Modernisme by Domenech i Montaner. It was a fully functioning hospital until 2009 and converted into a cultural site and research centre in 2014 after four…


Founded by the Romans, Girona is an important historical site in Spain. Located 97 kms northeast of Barcelona, it is an easy 35 minute high speed train ride to this city. It became a Moorish stronghold for two centuries and reputedly withstood three invasions by Napoleon’s troops. Today, its historic centre is a packed labyrinth of medieval buildings and monuments on narrow cobblestone streets with connecting stairways. For GoT (Game of Thrones) devotees – this is the location for King’s Landing and Braavos. It is also the locale for one of the most memorable scenes in the series wherein the Faith Militant…

Hola Barcelona!

Ten years ago, I lived in Barcelona for a month. It was a most enjoyable experience pretending to be a local, speaking my faulty Spanish where people prefer to converse in Catalan. Fast forward to May 2016 – and I have taken the chance to come back and spend an extended long weekend in this city. Barcelona is unlike any other Spanish city. It is dynamic, cosmopolitan and creative. A gothic and modernist wonder on the Mediterranean sea. Once crowned as the “coolest rendezvous” in this continent – the Catalan capital has some of the most inventive restaurants, bars, shops and hotels – making it one of the most…

Semana Santa

As Christians around the world observe Semana Santa or Holy Week, it brings back memories when I was in Alicante a few years back. Alicante is a port and seaside city located in Spain‘s Mediterranean Costa Blanca. The city holds an elaborate Holy Week procession, which is a tradition that dates back to the medieval times. Lifelike wooden and plaster sculptures are carried through the streets by penitents dressed in robes with caps and hoods, accompanied by elegant female mourners dressed in black with lace veils. Hundreds of people line the narrow streets in the historical centre of Alicante, with the scent of fresh flowers and…