!Hola Español! Part I

Casa batllo


Trust that you had a blast over the Christmas and New year festivities with your loved ones – family and friends.

Just to start off this year with a happy travel post to fuel your wanderlust or coax out warm feelings of past adventures. This is my second trip to Spain; my first time in Spain was back in 2008 where I covered Barcelona, Madrid, Granada and Seville. This time, I made time to revisit my favourite Spanish city, Barcelona, alongside the basque country and the wine-producing, Rioja region.

Barcelona La pedrera 2 Barcelona la pedrera

I find that Spain is a very lovely country and almost at every corner you will stumble upon unique architecture. I’m not just referring to the prominent Gaudi sights (which far surpasses anyone’s imagination) that you find, but it seems like the whole nation is wired for visually stunning buildings – like the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the many bodegas in the Rioja. I was in awe even as a layman.

Bilbao Guggenheim

As much as Spanish architecture impress me, it was definitely not the only thing that made my heart sing; the coastal drive (and getting lost)  in the basque country, the three- Michelin starred dining experience at Arzak, the expedition to seek out the best paella (and later, best sangria) in town, and the craziness in the bars over pintxos (small snacks in the Basque region) – all made the trip memorable.

My favourite part of the trip would have to be a toss up between the beautiful heart of the basque country – San Sebastián and the winding hills and valleys of the Rioja wine region. I love the laidback culture and the exciting pintxos-hopping culture in San Sebastián – it is truly a food lover’s dream. On the other hand, Rioja… there’s little need for words – waking up to beautiful views of the autumn colours with fresh air in the bodega is amazing and then, there is eating and drinking for an entire day without a worry or hurry.

I shall leave you with a few more photos and will continue to share about my Spanish adventure in detail in the next few posts…

Rioja vineyard Rioja grapes Bilbao old town
san sebastian



About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
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6 Responses to !Hola Español! Part I

  1. Every photo you shared is like a full-color postcard! How lovely your trip looks to have been. I’m so envious of all of your glorious travels, but I have to say Italy is first on my list (someday, I hope).

    Enjoy your day!

  2. Such stunning architecture and you’ve really captured it so well Jo – can’t wait to visit Spain one day! 🙂

  3. Oh, those photos! The golden light is absolutely glorious, almost other-worldly. You go on the most magnificent travels!

  4. What a glorious holiday, I can feel the Spanish sun beckoning me! 😀
    So much culture!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. LB says:

    Is envy a sin? Because if it is, I have sinned big time!
    All of the photos are fabulous, and the one with the Guggenheim, with the lights, the soft colors, and the reflection, is just stunning!

  6. pattyabr says:

    How lovely your pictures are. I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

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