Day 17, May 28, 2014
Today we decided to explore the district south east of La Rambla and get away from the tourist crowds. We discovered a shop called Oleoteca Gourmet that sold extra virgin Spanish olive oil and olive oil products such as creams and soaps and pastes. It was a beautiful store with exposed brick. We tried several oils and settled on the fruity one and a delicious olive and sweet red pepper paste.
The old narrow streets and alley ways are so interesting with their tiny Juliet balconies. They were built so close to keep out the heat of the sun. We are happy to be here during the cool days of early summer. Temps haven’t gone above 19 degrees since we arrived in Barcelona.
|View of a side street from our apartment|
We passed a store with large wine barrels where you can buy wine by the litre for 1.45 – 1.90 Euros. A man came in with two of his own containers and got a fill up as we watched in amazement and envy.
As we strolled, we discovered the Raval Market, the other large market, which they say is priced better than the Boqueria Market. We picked up some yellow chicken and chorizo sausage for dinner tonight.
|So much tastier than home|
|Fresh meat wrapped like a present in heavy wax paper|
Then as luck would have it, we found Rambla del Raval, a mini version of La Rambla without the vendors and hordes of tourists.
|A bronze tom cat on Ramla del Raval|
We were surprised to hear the unmistakable sound of parrots, dozens of green ones making their presence known. I learned they were Monk parakeets, a type of parrot common where ever there are palm trees in Barcelona.
We found a nice restaurant for lunch in the shade of the many arbutus trees that lined Rambla del Raval. We each had paella and an inexpensive bottle of dry crisp Catalan white wine.
When we got home I realized we were out of beer. I popped out to the grocery store, just a few doors down. They only sell Estrella in 6 packs and I just wanted 3, so I bought Carrefour 500ml singles (the name of the store) for .38 Euros each, that is 60 cents Canadian. It is the winner of the cheapest beer on our trip, a premium lager at 4.7% alc. Not as good as Estrella, but certainly quenches the thirst and still better than Coors Light (sorry Bruce).
Dinner at home tonight was the tastiest meal we have had on this holiday. Who would have thought? I cut up several rashers of the smoked pancetta we brought from Herceg Novi (thank you Ivo and Danica) and fried it up to create the fat to brown the chicken. I added sliced chorizo and two cloves of garlic. Then a half cup of delicious, semi-sweet Catalan Muscat, one of my most expensive wine purchases at 8.60 Euros, and half-cup of dry Catalan white wine. Some black kalamata and green Catalan olives and the lid on for half an hour. The smokiness of the pancetta and the flavour that came out of the chorizo was a marriage made in heaven. It was a soft chorizo, nothing like what we get at home. We still had a whole wheat bun Jill saved from our last Lufthansa flight, which she toasted and buttered and I used to soak up the sauce. Yum, yum, yum.