Every major city in the world now has Spanish tapas, but none compare to those found in Barcelona.
More on that later.
It's only about 3 hours from Carcassonne, France to Barcelona, Spain by train. We were on the road again, but thankfully - not so long of a trip as some of our other rides.
|A look at a cool, old church along the RR tracks.|
|We took some French cheese to eat with our bread. Very tasty!|
|Our own comfy bedroom to ourselves!|
|Our own bathroom to ourselves with a jacuzzi!|
|A washing machine AND a dryer - up until now, very few hosts had clothes dryers.|
|A beautiful kitchen which we were able to use and cooked many meals.|
|A lovely living area with nice TV, sound system, and comfy chairs.|
|A balcony which was so beautifully decorated with plants.|
|We had a few meals at this table with our hosts - they were GREAT!|
Ivan was learning English and actually was doing quite well. We understood him and we all communicated very nicely.
|Our view off their balcony. Many a crying baby and screaming moms did we hear.|
|Rich is so sad to give up his Lidl bag from Germany! HA!|
She was part of their family and had a mind of her own. oops...her/him?? Well, I think it's a "she". Anyway, every morning at 10 a.m. she would wake up and do her thing. She was always very hungry, so one morning she went to her favorite place. Unfortunately I don't have a photo, but she went to our host's bedroom where there was a beautiful plant.
Pepe knocked down the plant and began eating the dirt and leaves, making quite a huge mess. It reminded me of the time when my son, at 9 months, would crawl around and grab at the leaves of my plants and tear them off, then eat the dirt.
When she tired of that, Pepe turned for another room and she left a trail behind her of dirt and chewed up leaves. Patricia really scolded her and put her back in her container, turning her off for a day. Pepe hopefully learned her lesson.
It was fun watching her scurry from room to room, doing her thing, but I noticed she often times would skip the kitchen. I think she was really pretty lazy since that is the messiest room in the house. Maybe she's just smart!
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers or snacks originating in Spain. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such aschopitos, which are battered, fried, baby squids). In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. They are the full meal deal!
Tapas go back a long way in Spanish history. The word "tapa" translates as "cover".
- One common explanation is that an item, be it bread or a flat card, etc., would often be placed on top of a drink to protect it from fruit flies; at some point it became a habit to top this "cover" with a snack.
- It is also commonly said that since one would be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, they would need to place their plates on top of their drinks to eat, making it a top.
- Some believe the name originated sometime around the 16th century when tavern owners from Castile-La Mancha found out that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine, thus "covering" it, and started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine.
- Others believe the tapas tradition began when King Alfonso X of Castile recovered from an illness by drinking wine with small dishes between meals. After regaining his health, the king ordered that taverns would not be allowed to serve wine to customers unless it was accompanied by a small snack or "tapa".
- Another popular explanation says that King Alfonos XIII stopped by a famous tavern inCadiz (Andalusian city) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine "with the cover".
|Potatoes that were fried with basil, avocado, garlic and salt - these were delicious!|
|Lettuce with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese|
The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them. Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.
|Calamari - Squid|
|Pig's Feet - I tasted these, but I couldn't eat any more.|
|Stuffed Mushrooms were fantastic!|
|oops...must have been ice cream and dessert - can't remember!|
|A super introduction to what Tapas are - nice to eat outside, too.|
|They look like they are meant for each other - such a great couple!|