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Barcelona is the very modern Spain and if you ask those in Andalucia, not really Spain ;). Also if you ask many in Barcelona they’d agree they aren’t really Spain, they are Catalan. Catalan being the language spoken by 95% of Barcelona residents, but also the historical region of Catalan, before it was absorbed into Spain, which also included parts of south west France. To my ears, Catalan sounds like you take 1/2 Spanish and 1/2 French and there you have Catalan, makes sense really. There is a very strong separatists movement, which may see formal separation voting later this year if some local politicians have their way.

Barcelona is quite the modern dynamic city, filled with skyscrapers, turn of the century buildings, medieval structures, century spanning facades, and hidden layers of Roman architecture under many corners. It’s a fascinating and surprising cornucopia of sights, sounds and (delicious) smells. I have to say my favorite tapas meals were here in Barcelona and the only city I wished for a companion so that I could sample more exotic dishes at each meal!

Barcelona is also a city of art, with Picasso, Antoni Gaudi among the primary contributors, I will do a separate blog just for Gaudi as his work is quite prolific in Barcelona.

Near the harbor is this statue in honor of Christopher Columbus and his journey to the new world, as well as to the King and Queen

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Gorgeous buildings throughout Barcelona, this was a connection between buildings

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Another gorgeous building

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Randomly walked into a fashion show with kids modeling summer wear.

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Catalan people have some strange customs, these hugely popular little figures are set out for Christmas, they are of various celebrities, squatting to take a you know what??? Why?? Why??

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Again, upon some excavation work, Roman ruins were found underneath the former royal palace, now the city museum. It was so interesting to see how 2,000 year old history can just come to light and be displayed.

It appeared to be a fish sauce factory, winery and laundry at various times in Roman history.

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Since I was in the gastronomic town of Barcelona, I thought it a good idea to try a cooking class, and what better dish to try than paella!

At the market, buying ingredients for our feast

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The meat section of the market, yum Iberico jamon…

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A few Tapas before cooking paella

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A huge pan! Hmm how could I fit that in my kitchen

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All the ingredients are in except one, hmm need the rice!

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Our chef Eduardo explaining technique, properly stirring the ingredients is important as well as turning the pan

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Pheh, hard work cooking this Paella

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Finished dish with sangria

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