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Roman Relics and Magic Fountains

Roman Relics and Magic Fountains

May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Tarragona & 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

About an hour west of Barcelona is Rome’s first outpost in the area, the city of Tarragona, so we head out from nearby França Station for a trip back in time to this Unesco World Heritage Site.
We approach the city right along the coast, waves nearly lapping at the train tracks, and as we walk up to the center from the station we get a great view of the Roman Ampitheatre.Our preferred approach is along the Roman walls, entering near the archeological park entrance to take a look at the excellent Maquette of Roman Tarraco, which gives a clear impression of what the city looked like centuries ago.
Walking through the city, we appreciate the traces of ancient Rome incorporated right in to daily life – a bit of a wall here, an impressive cathedral up the steps where the ancient temple was. We even eat lunch in the shadow of Rome – in Les Voltes (The Vaults), tucked right under the arches of the Circus in the middle of town.
Pilate, of Biblical notoriety, is said to have been born in Tarraco – his statue stands not far from exposed tiers of the Circus. Another of Tarragona’s claims to fame is their expertise as Castellers, a Catalan tradition – giving them the name  City of Human Towers. Sure hope we can see it in person someday!
A watery musical extravaganza ends our day  back in Barcelona as we join the crowds to take in the Magical Fountains of Montjuic, the lavish flow choreographed to snippets of music.

 

Artistic Genius in Barcelona

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.

Hola Barcelona!

Hola Barcelona!

Friday, April 7, 2017
Barcelona, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer –  why not join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast , in Provence, or Amsterdam?

What fun this city is! We’ve planned a quick couple of days to brush up on our knowledge of Barcelona for next month’s Music and Markets Tour. We’re adding some new adventures, and including some vintage favorites, such as a walking tour of the Barri Gotic, the old town. Plaça Reial is hopping today, with outstanding young pianists performing their award-winning choices as we choose a place for lunch. A few minutes later an opera singer steps out on a balcony and serenades us – love it!
15 Nits, on the Plaça serves a delicious lunch at a bargain price – 11 euros for three courses! A great choice for the tour…
Our “R & D” days always include LOTS of walking, and we rack up as many steps today as we do on a New York City weekend! Last stop, the Magic Fountains of Montjuic, after a quick bite at a nearby tapas place – Pa amb Tomaquet shows up on nearly every menu: coca bread (rather like a ciabatta) rubbed with tomato, drizzled with olive oil. Simple but delicious!
The fountains are stupendous –  lavishly flowing water choreographed with snippets of music. We join hundreds, if not thousands, on the steps leading up Montjuic mountain and take it in…a first for us, and an experience perfect for a Music and Markets tour!

Up in the Air Again!

Up in the Air Again!

Friday, November 24, 2011, part 2
Barcelona, Spain

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Next on the itinerary: New Year‘s Jazz in Italy

We return from Montserrat to Barcelona for a quick jaunt up another mountain, the museum- topped Montjuic. The funicular chugs up from Paral-lel, and a few steps away is the reason we’re in Barcelona, the Fundació Joan Miró. Our May tour, Barcelona Discoveries, is inspired by the exhibition, Joan Miró and The Ladder of Escape, currently here in Barcelona, which will debut in May at the National Gallery of Art in DC.
We’ll have the opportunity to leisurely peruse the exhibition in DC. Today we’re packing in the sights and experiences, all to include in a more relaxed manner in May. So we’re soon up in the air once again, swooping over the port on our way to Barceloneta, one of Barcelona’s beachside neighborhoods. Barcelona’s a highly popular cruise departure port, and why not, with the ease of access from ship to city and beach?

That’s Columbus over there, high on a pedestal gazing towards the New World (with the cucumber in the smoggy background).

The exhilarating tightrope across the water ends just steps from the beach.

And there’s where we came from – Montjuic. My least favorite part of the ride was when we approached and departed from the “pole in the middle of the clothesline”.
From here it’s a quick elevator ride down to earth,

and we’re on our way to a beachside lunch at Can Majo.

The food is terrific, the staff smiling and welcoming, the fresh sea air inspiring… one of our best Barcelona meals. A pan of Fideua, Barcelona’s answer to Paella, is delicious… and the relaxed atmosphere could keep us here all afternoon.

Eventually we force ourselves to leave, and enjoy a walk down the boardwalk – Gehry’s huge coppery PEIX
(fish), placed on the waterfront for the 1992 Olympics, stalwart ahead of us.