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Places — Leon Liberman Talks Spain, Paradors, Pintxos And Architecture

Leon Liberman, our correspondent about all things Spain, updates us on things not to miss this year. As always, Leon offers valuable tips on how to get beneath the surface of Spain, whether staying in a Parador, sampling pintxos (Basque tapas), or tasting artisanal chocolate.

Some of Leon’s latest Spanish finds … Architect Antoni Gaudi’s first completed building recently opened to the public in Barcelona, and  Malaga surprises with great museums.

Click here for more information on Spain.

 

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Leon Liberman Shares Spanish Memories Of Some Special Places

OnTravelLogoSquareLeon Liberman joins Paul and Elizabeth to recall some of their Spanish adventures. Learn how you can stay in a parador that’s a 16th century monastery. Learn the real story of El Greco in Toledo. Spain expert Leon Liberman shares some of  the country’s lesser-known treasures with Paul and Elizabeth. An insider’s look at one of the world’s most alluring places. For reliable information on Spain check with the Spanish Tourist Office.

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Barcelona Is One Of Our Favorite Cities And There Are Many Reasons

Barcelona Pere DuranThere isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Barcelona by literally thousands of journalists over the years. For us it’s a city where we instantly feel at home and comfortable. It’s the Catalan heritage and culture that shapes much of what visitors enjoy about Barcelona. I visited Pere Duran the director general and managing director of Barcelona Tourism. We talked about what makes Barcelona special and the Catalan culture. But then we the interview led to a conversation about dining and that led to lunch just a few doors down from his office. Petite Comite is a sleekly modern restaurant and not one that we would pick as a showcase for traditional Catalan dining but with some help from Pere’s experts dishes magically appeared that demonstrated the complexity of one of the great cuisines in the world. There were familiar flavors of beef and lamb but then a distinct marine flavor appeared. Turns out combining flavors from land and sea is a Catalan signature. And then there were the croquettes for desert. Actually they were little balls of deep fried mystery filled with chocolate. Not croquettes as they are commonly found.

Lunch led us to a conversation of tapas and that led us to Bar Velodromo where we took friends that evening. It’s one of the older bars in Barcelona, beautifully restored with a well-worn patina. I was early and had time to look over the huge antique ham slicing machine. No visit to Barcelona would be complete without at least one taste of Iberico, the legendary cured ham of the region. The thinly sliced pieces were an intense deep red, not at like so many hams such as the delicate pink color of the more common Serrano. Eating ham is almost a religious experience in Barcelona and markets display dozens of different types. Iberico isn’t cheap but you just can’t visit the remarkable city without some Iberico. Unfortunately on this trip I was only in the city for one night but I have memories of a lifetime thanks to Pere Duran and our mutual love of great food.