May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
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!
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you! Why not join us in Italy for New Year’s Jazz?
As usual, we’ve had way too little sleep before starting a full day of meetings, but a good cup of coffee in the splendor of the Alhambra Palace breakfast room gets us going.
And after all of those meetings – one interesting travel supplier after another – we’re invited to an exciting flamenco exhibition. This troupe normally performs in the openair rooftop theater of the convention center, after dark. Since it’s still light out, our show is in the darkened theater.
What we’re seeing is a “condensed version” of the longer shows presented here – with the expressive woman above, the fleet-footed male dancer here,
and after a flounciful solo
performance, an entire troup of dancers. Very exciting, entertaining, and well done.
We’ll have a morning of meetings tomorrow as well, but this evening is the closing dinner, in a “carmen” which I thought was a small farm but is actually a noble estate. This one is just uphill from our hotel, and we begin with tapas in the beautiful garden,
the requisite ham-cutter diligently slicing a plate-sized rosette of succulent iberico.
As we’re filling up on one delicious tapa after another, we’re invited inside for dinner – oh, there’s DINNER too?
The common language at our table is english, but conversations swirl between friends in polish, hungarian, and spanish.
We all ooh and aah at the finale. Called Origen, it’s a multi-layered and textured chocolate delight. We couldn’t finish all of our first and main courses, but we clean our dessert plates with pleasure!