Brunches Past: Granada and Barcelona, Spain (along with a little airplane brunch)

Part II of Brunches past from Spain.

Granada

After a short six hours bus ride to Granada, we arrived in the grand old city nestled amongst the original Sierra Nevada mountains. After a well narrated taxi ride we checked into our hotel and got better acquainted with the tapa culture downtown. I must tell you that Granada is one of the last few cities in Spain where tapas are still (generally) free with a round of drinks at most bars/dinner joints. Just make sure you only order a round of drinks at a time, after they are served you usually get a nice dish of anything from gazpacho to fried sardines (so much tastier than it probably sounds). This can go on for two or three rounds, but at that point if you are going to keep drinking you should maybe order a dish or two, the first specialty we tried and by far my favorite was a fried eggplant with a maple syrupy like molasses sauce, both parts of which were surprising light and incredibly tasty.

fried eggplant with maple syrup like molasses sauce and a cerveza
fried eggplant with maple syrup like molasses sauce and a cerveza

Our main reason for visiting Granada though was the Alhambra, a medieval fortress containing a variety of historical sites and gardens. Before we could start I needed a little cafe con leche and a croissant to get me going. The view of the little cafe we chose didn’t hurt either.

Cafe con leche and croissant over Granada
Cafe con leche and croissant over Granada

One of the sites I was most excited about was the Palacio Nazrides, which was ornately covered with Islamic tiles, wood carvings and Quranic passages.

interior courtyard at Palacio Nazrides at the Alhambra
interior courtyard at Palacio Nazrides at the Alhambra
carved Koranic inscription and geometric tile work
carved Quranic inscription and geometric tile work
beautifully molded ceiling of one of the rooms at the Palacio Nazrides
beautifully molded ceiling of one of the rooms at the Palacio Nazrides
One of the many fountains in the water gardens at the Alhambra
One of the many fountains in the water gardens at the Alhambra

It was amazing. We spent the whole day and I could have come back again, but hubby was not as excited to walk around the large compound in 100 degree heat.

Barcelona

So the next day we hopped on a plane and headed off to Barcelona where I finally partook of the quintessentially Spanish Churros con Chocolate, I also got a little espresso to add an extra (and much-needed by this point) caffeine boost.

Cafe and Churros con Chocolate
Cafe and Churros con Chocolate

After this lovely little brunch we saw La Sagrada Familia which Rick Steves says is the building he would “most like to see when finished.” It’s been under construction for over a hundred years and probably still has another 20 or so years to go until it’s completed. Currently though it’s still freaking amazing and beautifully decorated.

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
fantastic interior of Sagrada Familia
fantastic interior of Sagrada Familia
The Nativity Facade at La Sagrada Familia is just overflowing with beautifully intricate stone carvings
The Nativity Facade at La Sagrada Familia is just overflowing with beautifully intricate stone carvings
detail of the Nativity Facade's iron cast doors at La Sagrada Familia, which have some amazingly detailed enamel/paint
detail of the Nativity Facade’s iron cast doors at La Sagrada Familia, which have some amazingly detailed enamel/paint

You can also take an elevator from the Passion or Nativity Facade to see a beautiful view that is well worth the extra 10 or so Euros.

View of Madrid from the Nativity tower of La Sagrada Familia
View of Madrid from the Nativity tower of La Sagrada Familia

The next day after seeing the Picasso Museum and before heading to Palau Guëll, we were able to take a nice short break where hubby could get lunch and I could enjoy amazing chocolate croissants and coffee for brunch.

For me: Cafe con leche and chocolate croissants. For hubby: a ham and cheese sandwich and some orange Fanta
For me: Cafe con leche and chocolate croissants. For hubby: a ham and cheese sandwich and some orange Fanta

As I said a lot of the brunches/breakfasts  (and meals in general) were really very simple yet always satisfying and done well. This was my second trip to Europe and the thing I love about the food I’ve eaten on both trips is it’s lovely, simple goodness. These meals that showcase how everyday food can enrich you life and experiences without becoming your master. But I digress…

Enjoy this view from Palau Guëll.

what was to be the center of the gated villiage at Palau Guëll
what was to be the center of the gated villiage at Palau Guëll

Of course all good things come to an end and eventually we had to leave. At least international flights have an okay brunch fare, simple though it may be. My coffee and croissant with Irish butter and strawberry jam tied me over until a more substantial lunch was served.

Coffee and Croissant from the airplane
Coffee and Croissant from the airplane

Flying over Switzerland also provided some amazing views of the Alps, which make almost anything else you are doing at the time that much more enjoyable.

view of the Alps from the airplane
view of the Alps from the airplane

So yeah. That was our little trip to Spain, with some of our brunches (and breakfasts).

Hope you enjoy and that if you haven’t been you get the opportunity to travel to somewhere like this. Until next time keep eating and drinking well in good company.

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