Ciutadella Sketches | Barcelona

Maybe you won’t be able to tell from looking at these pictures but: I drew these sketches with a smile on my face. My eyes are screwed up and squinting because of the early evening still-hot sunshine. I’m crouched over the paper and the heat and this posture are giving me a headache. I sit up straight and drop my shoulders (remembering the instructions from Luz) I can feel the tension run down from my temples and roll off my shoulders. I can hear music pouring from two different speakers on either side. Two groups of people and two songs coinciding. Mostly, the different types of music clash and add to the molstrum of sounds, the skaters, the shouting, the cars and the buses. Occasionally, it works. There are a few seconds where they sound in perfect harmony. Like a bad dj who doesn’t understand what he’s doing but occasionally, occasionally and by accident there are moments of magic.



Galeria del Viejo Hotel | Buenos Aires

El Patio de Cabo Verde | Galeria del Viejo Hotel | San Telmo | Buenos Aires

This old hotel in San Telmo was converted into a gallery and houses the studios and shops of more than 40 artists and craftspeople. We sat on the patio in the middle of all of the workshops until the sun started to set.

“.. una de las principales atracciones de la Galería, para vecinos y turistas, es el bar-restaurante de la planta baja. Allí también suelen juntarse los artistas de la casa para debatir en grandes mesas hasta que arremeten empanadas, vinos y cervezas.
Al caminar por estos pasillos, se respira el olor de las paredes recién blanqueadas, se aprecia el verde de las plantas que se extienden de balcón a balcón mediante hilos bien dispuestos.”

(Alejandro M. Zamponi)

Visit one of Europe’s oldest open air markets ENCANTS | Barcelona

Illustration of Els Encants Barcelona
Els Encants Market

The first time I went to Encants I was overwhelmed. The multi – levelled, mirrored structure creates distorted reflections of the stalls and mountains upon mountains of ephemera. Despite looking compellingly futuristic, Encants is reputedly one of the oldest open air flea markets in Europe. Dating from the 14th century, Els Encants has been housed in Glories since 1928 and is still up and running today. The metal canopy (the result of a renovation in 2013) also means the ‘open air’ market can trade in all weathers. This isn’t one of those trendy, or especially pretty, vintage markets but a real old style wade-through-tat-to-find-your-treasure and then spend 20 minutes bartering, to leave with a bargain, kind of place. Be prepared to spend some time rummaging with your elbows out and it will be great.

The market is located on the edge of the center of Barcelona but is easily accessed by metro to Encants (L2) or Glories (L1). There are food stalls on site and the Design Museum of Barcelona (Museu del Disseny) is a couple of minutes walk away, so there’s enough around to make a visit to Encants worth the short journey.

Map of Glòries
Map of Glòries





In my opinion, the best thing about Barcelona is its FULL ON energy. It’s fast, wild & busy, but sometimes you want to escape the hustle and bustle and eat a relaxed meal al fresco without just going to the beach and getting sand in your sandwiches again.


If you head in direction of the famous Gaudi park you’ll be treated to amazing 360 views of the city, but if you’d enough of everyone’s favorite Catalan modernist architect and his fans that crowd so many sites in Barcelona and are after a more peaceful camino then try Graunido – same great views but a quieter place to stop and eat your snacks.

Con: it’s a bit far away all, but then again, that’s kind of the point.


Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona with a castle on top. It’s a pretty big area but crucially has lost of little pockets of gardens tucked away from the heat of the sun and the chaos of the city. If you head up from Placa Espanya you’ll likely first come across the Olympic Park – it was constructed as an add on to the Lluis Companys stadium when Barcelona hosted the Olympics in ‘92. It is worth a visit, but the cool benches of this nineties vision of the future don’t make for a comfy picnic spot.

Better head to some of the more grassy areas, closer to the funicular station that runs between Montjuic and Paralel metro like Jardins de Mossèn Jacinto Verdager.

If you’re after a sea view, saunter over to the Hotel Mirimar and follow the path that snakes around the side until you reach a gorgeous little garden – Plaça de l’Armada, ornamental with fountains and gorgeous flowers. Take a moment here to enjoy the tranquility, and, if you listen carefully you can follow the sound of crooning jazz music to a fancy restaurant on the right hand side of the hotel (facing the sea), if memory serves me correctly and this magical place wasn’t a mirage induced by climbing the slightly inclined path from paralel, then here you will find a menu of pricey sea food. It’s possible to grab a table just to drink if it’s not too full and I’d recommend paying to enjoy a caña or their house vermut. The views are great and you feel like you’re at the edge a of sexy 1920s cocktail party.

Con: the layout of the top of the hill is big and pretty complex which means that it’s easy to get lost and walk a lot. Don t forget to amble.


The main entrance is captivatingly placed in line with the famous Arc de Triomf and a stones throw from the trendy El Born neighborhood. The park is pretty, you can also visit a beautiful Catalan parliament buildings from the 1700s and the atmosphere is fun – usually you will end up watching someone practicing acro yoga or tightrope walking and there’s a lake that you can row boats on.

con: Not so peaceful especially on the weekends. Although who doesn’t love making new friends?


BONUS: Bunkers del Carmel

On top of Turó de la Rovera, ruins of bunkers from the Spanish civil war boasting 360 degree views and cool vibes.

Best Served: at sunset accompanied by wine and friends.

Check out Picasso’s old haunts | Barcelona

There’s something beautiful about spending time in a historic city is imagining the lives of all the people who have lived there over the years. Although there are newer buildings and areas, in Barcelona you can walk on the same streets that were walked upon by Picasso and it’s a mind blowing feeling. Picasso lived here at various points during his life and the city had a formative effect on his artistic career – he staged his first individual exhibition at Els Quatre Gats cafe on Carrer de Montsió, which he used to frequent along with other creative thinkers of the time. You can check out the restaurant, explore the neighborhoods where he lived and visit the Picasso museum in El Gotico – its free Thursday evenings 6-9.30pm.

Picasso’s significant addresses are listed here