Artistic Genius in Barcelona

May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Barcelona, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us on our newest tour in September – Bordeaux and Dordogne

Montjuic rises near the sea, crowned with a fort, several sites for the 1992 Summer Olympics, and parks and museums, the most popular one filled with Joan Miró’s work….which was the impetus for our Barcelona Tour when in 2012 there was a special Miró exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. At the suggestion of the former Director of Music at the gallery, we put together a week full of art and music for a new Music and Markets tour – and liked it so much that we’ve continued to offer it!
Tracing Miró’s work from beginning to end, Fondation Miró is an open, airy, and well-designed space, welcoming individuals and groups of all ages. There have always been young school children there when we’ve visited, and it’s delightful to watch them discover the secrets and lessons within these colorful works with the help of an engaging young docent.
We soar through the air to our next destination, Barceloneta on the beach. After a stroll along the sand, taking in art installations both permanent and transitory, we find our reserved table at Can Majo to enjoy some fabulous seafood – this chef is a genius of taste and presentation too! It’s not far back to the hotel, and we all enjoy the walk after our deliciously filling meal.
More artistry awaits us beside a peaceful cloister in the chapel of Santa Anna in the Barri Gotic at an evening concert –Ksenia Axelroud and Joan Benejam, the Barcelona Duo de Guitarra. Spanish melodies of Albéniz, Granados and Soler fill the intimate space, before a rousing finale from Bizet’s Carmen.
Stopping for tapas at a couple of places on the way back to the hotel, we enjoy a final stroll through the Born, with Santa Maria del Mar’s belltower lighting our way.

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Barcelona Bounty

May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Barcelona, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us on our newest tour in September – Bordeaux and Dordogne

Each day is unique and exciting around Barcelona – from Art Nouveau neighborhoods, gorgeous seaside, ground-breaking art such as Picasso and Miro, to today’s multi-layered Barri Gotic. Passing through bright and sunny Plaça de Sant Jaume, the administrative heart of both the city and the region, we’re enveloped in the warren of ancient streets of old town.
To the right of Sant Jaume is the cathedral, and before the crowds arrive we enjoy the peacefulness of the gothic cloister, with its 13 swans-a-swimming around the fountain. Not far away is a trace of yet-older civilization, a cluster of elegant Roman columns incorporated right into an apartment block! And here are the steps Columbus trod when he brought news of the New World to Queen Isabelle…around the corner from my favorite courtyard – the gorgeous Archives of the Crown of Aragon, built in the 1500s. Of course Music and Markets guests don’t want to miss Barcelona’s premier market, La Boqueria! And neither does anyone else – it’s always jam-packed! And overflowing with Spanish temptations from landand sea. Across the Ramblas, the main pedestrian walkway, narrow lanes are filled with more enticements – fulfill your flamenco dreams here, or purchase a fragrant candle from the oldest shop in Barcelona – Cerería Subirà. One of Barcelona’s don’t-miss venues is the magnificent Art Nouveau Palau de la Música Catalana, under whose glorious stained glass ceiling  we complete the day with some un-Catalan music, an evening of flamenco and opera.
Tastes and sights, smells and sounds, what a day full of Barcelona’s bounty!

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Hidden Coves and Medieval Towns

May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Girona and the Costa Brava, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us on our newest tour in September – Bordeaux and Dordogne

We’ve sped northeast to Girona on one of Spain’s super fast trains, picked up a car, and headed for the sea, where the coast towards France becomes rugged and remote, with gorgeous little coves edging in to the the rocky forested hillsides. Villages are few and far between, but worth stopping by – we pause at the pretty village of Begur for lunch, wandering through the market stalls til we find a few cafes in the historic center. Expecting a simple goat cheese salad, I’m surprised with a towering creation – lots of flavors complementing the baked cheese atop the salad-filled crepe – wow!Catching enticing glimpses of vivid turquoise as we wind down the steep road to Sa Tuna, we eagerly step out of the car – glad that the rain is holding off so we can walk to the next cove, as planned – see the path on the left? Knowing that our tour guests enjoy walking, we’d given them a choice of another museum today, or a coastal walk – we’re glad they wanted the hike! Every other step demands a pause to take in the latest vista – just gorgeous! Rounding the edge, we pass a couple of walkers and beg for a foursome photo, then continue towards Cala Aiguafreda – how about that private stairway to the water?! The raindrops start as we’re nearly back to Ca Tuna, with its little chapel  – just in time! An hour or so through the rain and we’re back in Girona, with its colorful homes hanging over the river – and a snazzy Eiffel-designed bridge across!The cathedral tops the town – lots of steps up no matter which way you go! On the way we pass through the Call, the ancient Jewish Quarter, and walk by several vaulted stairways – the rain has passed so we stay out in the open. And we head even higher, walking a ways on the ancient walls that used to surround the town. Behind the church, the wall is easily accessed from the Bishop’s Garden. We have time for one more stop before catching the train back to Barcelona – the best churros ever at Montse L’artesana on Cort Reial under the arches. Dipped in thick hot chocolate they’re a don’t-miss Spanish treat – wish I had some right now!

 

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