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Monthly Archives: June 2012

the fairy tale – that is parc Guell

If you could concoct your personal fairy tale, where would it take place?  For me, a pretend cynic posing as a pessimist who’s really a romantic, I have not really let myself ponder this question before, until I met Gaudi’s Parc Guell.

Rising high above the frenzy and hectic Catalan capital that is Barcelona, Parc Guell is truly a place of fairy tales, with explosions of kaleidoscopic colors and swirling ideas.

 Curving stone and glass marry each other in these exquisite castle-like structures and walkways, the paths unfurl before you like rivers of lava and the columns stir up memories of ancient trees, the sort of happily ever after you would expect from a union of Hansel & Gretel to Lord of the Rings.

Any photographer or other sort of light-chaser can appreciate Gaudi’s masterful strokes at bending and refracting, the use of light and shadows directs and co-writes your personal tale of the park.

I wanted to wear an outfit that could interpret Gaudi’s vision but does not sacrifice comfort (the climb up to the park is no small matter).  My trusted vintage cowboy boots were loyal through and through, worn with a colorful F21 ruffled skirt and Zara denim shirt, belted up with JCrew and carried along by my travel-friendly inconspicuous black leather satchel.

The stunning view of La Sagrada Familia from the highest point of the park.


Gaudi’s beautiful home and his personal view of the park from his window.

If you would like to check out the rest of my photos from Barcelona, you can scroll down and look at the archives on the left.  Enjoy and thank you for reading and dreaming with me.

{travel diary} barcelona. chapter 2

Sometimes we travel a lot of distance 
to move a little bit

Barcelona remains a city that changed me inside, not only for the obvious reasons: its beautiful and famous architecture, the ever-evolving culinary scene, the gorgeous residents of the Mediterranean seaside. But also in the quietest curiosities and the differences that only further highlight similarities within us all, an ultimate quest of travelers.

[above] clothes-drying at an apartment building in the once dangerous El Raval neighborhood
[below] Spanish guitar near the Gothic cathedral

[5 above] lines and curves of the Gothic quarter
[below] a merchant plays with his dog during the lazy afternoon instead of taking siesta

[2 above & 3 below] precious curiosities from a paper and ink shop in the Gothic Quarter

[1 above and 3 below] Barcelona coastline, its spirited dancers & sails.

[above] Catalans eat their bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic
[below] seafood fideo: signature Catalan dish, similar to paella but made with noodles

[2 above and 4 below] dishes and scenery from the beautiful and famous restaurant Seven Ports, the most delicious meal I had in Barcelona, also eaten by the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marques and Woody Allen.

[2 below] doors and arches of Barcelona

la sagrada familia

Gaudi’s most famous work needs no introduction.  So I’ll let the photos do the work.  Please enjoy…

For those who are magicians, this is Gaudi’s version of the magic square, I was really excited to find it, considering I love that routine!

Wearing vintage cowboy boots & cropped blouse and Zara skirt.

I really love models of the temple that were on display as well.  They are miniature windows into a genius’s mind!

For more beautiful things and places from Barcelona, you can go check these out:

Travel journal Barcelona part 1
Las Ramblas & Street Performers
La Boqueria market
Side Alleys of Barcelona
Gaudi’s Casa Battlo
Restaurant Can Culleretes

Can Culleretes – a Gothic Quarter favorite

Just off the Ramblas in the Gothic Quarter, this family-run restaurant founded in 1786 displays tradition in both decor and culinary offerings. 

As Barcelona’s oldest restaurant (listed in the Guinness Book of Records), generations of the Manubens and Agut families have kept this unpretentious spot at the forefront of the city’s dining options for over two centuries. 

We got lost a few times trying to find Can Culleretes, hidden in the tiny winding streets of Barri Gotic.  I found this to be more of a blessing than a curse, since getting lost is the only way you can find yourself in this magical city.  

The families run the restaurant with knowledge and efficiency.  When we visited, our waitress had me convinced she should win the ultimate prize for hand-gestures-communication, that and/or mind-reading (she understood exactly what we wanted despite our extremely limited Spanish).

Wooden beams overhead and bright paintings of sea and landscapes on the walls surround a jumble of tables. 

Catalans eat their bread toasted and rubbed with tomatoes and garlic, which I love.  But the red sauce that accompanies the baguette at Culleretes is something else entirely.  Fresh and creamy at the same time, I was so determined to discover the recipe, I considered hiring a Spanish-speaking culinary spy.

The seafood is the best here, they taste like they were fished out of the Mediterranean that morning, and I’m actually quite convinced they were.  The meaty traditional dishes are delicious too, if you’d like to be sent straight into siesta after the meal.  

We had a lot of memorable meals in Barcelona, but Can Culleretes was my favorite, structured in historic architecture, served with the freshest dishes and managed with both modern functionality and Catalan hospitality, it’s the best food in Gothic Quarters.

For more beautiful things and places from Barcelona, you can go check these out:

Travel journal Barcelona part 1
Las Ramblas & Street Performers
La Boqueria market
Side Alleys of Barcelona
Gaudi’s Casa Battlo

Casa Battló

Overlooking the Passeig de Gracia,
Gaudi’s masterpiece rises as a fantastical dialogue between light and color.
An imaginative journey that mediates between
fantasy and function.

The spectacular facade is an iconic landmark, 
reminiscent of spines of dragons
evoke a sense of wonder
from visitors and passerbys alike

As a whole,
the casa is a joyful and allegorical representation
full of organic elements,
architectural creativity and
charged with symbolism

Information from the home was found at www.casabattlo.es as well as visitors’ brochure.