Wednesday, August 20

The Broken Bell of Sant Miquel del Fai

The broken bell of Sant Miquel del Fai

Sant Miquel del Fai has been featured in this blog in the past. I recommend you follow the previous link for more information about this natural park. In fact the bell was included in yet another post titled Sant Miquel del Fai Church. I really love this broken bell standing still, enduring the passing of time, right in front of a church built under a cave, in a place that seems to have held acts of pagan cult a long, long time ago and that later became l'Església de Sant Miquel (the church of Sant Miquel) around the 10th century. There is nothing like the charm of an ancient object such as this beautiful bell to blow your mind and embark you on a voyage towards a time of faith, self sacrifice and devotion when monks decided to seclude themselves in the most incredible places to carry the word of their god.

Wednesday, August 6

Gem Stores in Barcelona: Blue Howlite

Blue Howlite

Blue howlite has antiinflammatory and detoxifying properties, helps the immune system and it is used to deal with heartburn. It is also good for your memory and it is very soothing in general. It calms your anger, reduces anxiety and tension. It is said to prevent insomnia and help you remember what you dream.

Wow, considering I am not an expert in such matters and rather agnostic about gemstones and crystals I have to admit something that beautiful must have powerful qualities of some sort. Be it true or not, I love that blue. There are many gem stores such as the one selling the gemstones in the picture spread around Barcelona, here are some of them: 

CRISTALLJOIA
Jaume I nº16
08002
Tel: 93 268 44 52

DON MINERAL.
C/ Call, 19
08002
Tel. 933 024 830

VIVES DE LA CORTADA.
C/Call 24-26.
08002
Tel. 933185846

Monday, July 28

Barcelona Buildings Main Entrance: Rambla Catalunya

Main Entrance Hall at Casa Modernista in Rambla Catalunya, Barcelona

Barcelona map is studded with numerous emblematic casas modernistas, sumptuous buildings with exquisite main entrances that are a pleasure to the eyes of those who take the time to stop and snoop inside. This one here is a good example. You can find it at Rambla Catalunya near Gran Via. That polished floor, the elaborate ironwork and the old elevator so well preserved, make you feel as if you were traveling in time somehow.

Saturday, July 19

Catalan Cuisine Suggestions: Restaurant La Violeta, Castelltersol, Barcelona

Violet Marmalade and Fried Cheese Gaspacho
Tuna Fish and rice Icecream with Strawberries on top


One the good things in life, if not the best, is to go out and find a nice meal, at a nice restaurant in a nice place. When it comes to enjoying excellent Mediterranean dishes, Catalan cuisine, is one of the best choices. It's been a long time, I haven't recommended an interesting restaurant in or out of Barcelona and in fact I always forget to use cellphone pictures I take while traveling around Catalonia to share them here with you. That's what a blog is for after all. Today I want to suggest Restaurant La Violeta in Castelltersol (there should be a letter cedilla after the R but Google spiders don't like foreign letters too much). This Catalan municipality that is part of Barcelona province which historically devoted to the textile industry and took its name after a castle that dates back to the ninth century. Restaurant La Violeta and the hotel with the same name, are located in a house from 1860, restored in the 90s of XX century. Apparently is just another normal local restaurant, but I have to say that if you happen to be nearby, you shouldn't miss it because its cuisine is certainly worth tasting. When I say nearby, I mean, you could be watching eagles fly in renown Cim d'Aligues natural park or admiring the views at Sant Miquel del Fai

But let's talk about the menu at La Violeta. For starters, I recommend you don't miss their special tapas, like Formatges arrebossats amb melmelada de violetes (breaded cheese dice in violet marmalade) in the picture above, or the Patatas Bravas a la Violeta. In fact, my wife and I fell in love with that violet flavor and that's why we always try to return when we have the chance. They have a nice selection of salads like the season salad with nuts, cheese, quince and apple. For the main course, you can either have pasta dishes like the Rossejat de fideus mariners (a sort of Paella but with noodles and sauce) or a good shrimp risotto. I would go for the Arros amb llamantol (rice with lobster) but as you can see in the image, pan fried tuna can suit you well for less money. We were fortunate it was summer and they had the Gazpacho, one of the best I have tried, out of Andalusia of course. For dessert, there was this homemade ice cream with strawberries that was just the cherry on top of the day. As to the price, it is slightly pricey, not much, but you get quality food and they are not minimalist at all, if you know what I mean. More details on their website following the first image.

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