Archive for July 2013

La Boqueria, Barcelona

Sunday, 21 July 2013

La Boqueria, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, is one of Europe´s largest and most famous markets. It´s located in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, with an entrance located on La Rambla. The market is very old, with first mentions circa the 13th century, before achieving formal status in the 1800s. Some of the roofing of the market is from the early 1900s. 

The market is so big it has its own website.There is a large map located at the entrance on La Rambla, and it has its own cooking school. Its buzzing with people, locals and tourists jostling for room down the cramped aisles. Multiple stores sell the same thing, and they sell everything. 

My favorites: Ice cold, fresh juice from 1-2€. Never have I fully appreciated my juicer and blender at home. In the sticky heat of Spain, I drank about four cups of sweet, refreshing juice everyday, trying all sorts of different flavours: strawberry, apple, orange; mango, dragonfruit, coconut; kiwi and banana; pineapple and watermelon. It was all delicious.


Fruit salads:

There were lots of fruits and vegetable stalls...

And seafood:




And lots and lots of meat, from jamon...

To cow tongues, tripe, lungs, heads, brains...

Our tour guide assured me that the heads, hooves, tails, etc are just used for soups and stocks, not for eating. And that curly, twisty thing on the right is a bull´s testicle. Looking at it makes me feel a bit sick, but I thought it would be interesting to see!

And some nice photos to conclude this post.. All manner of lollies, sweets and treats:

xx gee


Midnight Sun

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Hello from Iceland!

Sorry for the delay in posting. I didn't think about how I would get my photos from my camera onto my iPad (and didn't bring my computer.. ): ) I'll upload the rest of the photos of our adventures and the amazing food we've had so far when I get home in a month! (:

I'm already in love with Iceland. We've been here for three days, staying in the northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavik. Rake-yeah-vick. Iceland has a population of around 320,000 - making it the least populated country in Europe. Most of the population (about 300,000) live in Reykjavik, and the remaining are spread out across the country, which is 100,000 km2. I guess that explains how the country is so amazing, as its largely untouched and unpopulated, except by puffins.

Clear, clean streams and rivers criss cross the country, which is used as drinking water, and the hot springs, heated up by the lava underground, is a free and renewable source of hot water. Next to the highway are fields of lava that are 6000 years old. Nothing grows there for 200 years, until moss grows slowly, and thousands of years later, trees and other vegetation. I'm so in awe of this country... And they believe in elves!

Yesterday we went snorkelling in an icy cold lake in the middle of Pingvellir national park. There was a visibility of 100m, as the water is crystal clear. Silfra is a rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in the Pingvallavatn Lake in the Pingvellir National Park. We swam between continents in a gap that grows around 4cm a year and experiences about 30 earthquakes a day.

 There was a man who approached our tour, wanting to take a dip in the water... In just boardshorts. Our guide thought he was nuts. The water was an icy 2 degrees, and comes from a melting glacier through a lava field, so can be a hundred years old by the time it reaches Silfra. This is what I wore snorkelling..

1. Underwear
2. A singlet
4. Thermal underwear ($10 at Kathmandu! But they're full price now ): Here & here)
6. Jeans
7. Long sleeved top
8. Cardigan
9. Socks
10. Puffy Waterproof Dive Suit
11. Wetsuit
12. Head mask

It was still cold. Our faces were exposed (from forehead to mouth) to the icy water. I thought my lips would turn blue from the cold. We floated down the rift for about two hours, seeing absolutely everything.The brain freeze and waterlogged gloves were definitely worth it, and at the end we got to jump off a rock. It was the best. 

I'd go diving if we come back to Iceland. As our suits were so full of air we couldn't really dive any deeper, so couldn't explore the rocky bottom. There were lots of coins, from people tossing them into the rift for luck. The water is so clear that you can watch the coin float all the way to the bottom, catching the sunlight as it spins. 

The snorkelling trip was 16990 ISK, about $145 AUD, and well worth it: 

xx gee