ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Taking the Subway in Barcelona

A few days into our week in Barcelona we had to travel a bit further afield, further than I could comfortably walk. We had advance tickets to see the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a truly outstanding and awe-inspiring architectural marvel by Antoni Gaudi. That visit warrants a blog post of its own. In the mean time, I will talk about how we got there. These two country bumpkins learned to take the subway. The greater Ottawa area, that we live in, has a population of about 934,000 so we do not have a subway and rely on our cars. The subway in Barcelona is efficient, fast, clean, modern, and relatively easy to maneuvre. It is an excellent and inexpensive way to get around. Besides that, the local people were always friendly and helpful when we looked like we didn't know what we were doing.

There were even dogs on the subway (as well as in restaurants and literally everywhere in Barcelona).

Very close to the subway station where we exited to visit the Sagrada Familia, we encountered another market. This one was far less touristy.

In my next post I will share an amazing experience of colour and light 

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Day with Friends in Barcelona

My previous post was labelled "First Day in Barcelona", when actually it was our second. I confess that on our first day I was a tad tired and engaged in some retail therapy. Our hotel was situated right across from a wonderful shopping centre called Las Arenas. It even had a fantastic food court and grocery and health food store in the basement.

Did I mention that we did a lot of walking in Barcelona? Before we learned how to take the subway we walked everywhere. These are just a few photos I took on the walk into the old part of town.

We were very fortunate to spend an entire day with friends Cecilia and Merce Gonzales. We met these two textile artists (also sisters) in 2013 when they and I were both exhibiting at Quilt en Sud in St. Jean de Luz, France. Their shared web site is Desedamas. Cecilia and Merce live just outside Barcelona.

From left to right in both photos, Merce Gonzales, Cecilia Gonzales, and me.

We were guided on a walking tour through part of the Gothic quarter. The arches you see to the right date back to Roman times.

We walked through the El Born region, a charming quarter housing many artist studios, shops and restaurants The streets here are much quieter than in the tourist areas.

We saw the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, built in the 14th century. This church is built in the Catalon style.

We ended our day in the seaside neighbourhood of La Barceloneta. This is the area on the waterfront that was once known as fishermen's wharf. Now it is a place to surf and sunbathe in warmer months. It is also in close proximity to where the 1992 Olympics were held. We had a fabulous and leisurely meal at a seafood restaurant in that area.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

First Day in Barcelona

After the Patchwork Sitges Festival finished, we spent a week in Barcelona. On our first day we did a lot of walking! Spring had arrived ... we found these trees in bloom.

We spent considerable time at the large and famous market, the Mercat Boqueria Barcelona. The fruit and vegetables and seafood were incredibly fresh in Spain! Please enjoy these photos of the bounty!

Fruit juices from a wide variety of fruits in a wide variety of colours.

Fresh eggs

The very tender and tasty Iberica ham.

So much tapas! Little snack sizes of all kinds of delicacies.

Fresh chicken.

The freshest of seafood.

Chocolate drizzled strawberries.



Nuts and dried fruit

Here's my husband with his flavour pick: coconut juice. He deserved it as he had been carrying around a box containing three of my quilts all day. We were looking for a UPS Store. We did find it but were directed to a post office instead. It is impossible to ship a parcel with UPS in Spain without paying on-line first and getting your mailing label. We didn't have a scale to weigh the parcel. These three quilts were on their way to Jane Rollason in France for our upcoming Crossing Oceans group show (more on that later).

And then I got to go to Petritxol Xocao for my first ever churros. Churros are crispy fried donuts, sprinkled with sugar, and are typically dipped in a cup of chocolate. The cup of chocolate came with a whole lot more whipped cream on top than I could eat! But oh, the chocolate!!!!

I know I look tired at this point because I had trouble sleeping the first few days from the time change. It was also a few days of much activity with my exhibition and workshops. The churros were a real treat as I have been following a very healthy eating plan for a while now.