I’m back from my trip to…. Barcelona! Work was the primary reason for going, but I managed to have two whole days of sightseeing. I walked from one end of the city to the other and had a great time looking at all the beautiful parks, buildings, churches, and quilt shops! Yes, that’s right, Barcelona is home to at least 12 quilt shops (more if you count stores outside the city center) and my plan was to visit all of them. This website – www.cosman.nl – lists quilt shops in Europe and I used this to generate an itinerary. Since I have so much to tell about my trip, I will split this into two posts – one today and one tomorrow, so be sure to check back!
First, a brief word about the food, specifically the treats! I am not a huge foodie, but I do love cakes, candy, and ice cream. Barcelona does not disappoint, you can find some type of candy store, gelato parlor, or bakery on every corner! The treats are arranged in eye catching ways and you can’t wake by too many of them without eventually being tempted to stop and indulge.
This bakery was next to my hotel and I stopped in each evening to pick up a little something to enjoy before going to bed. Meringue is very popular there and it is usually dipped in chocolate or flavored with some type of fruit.
My first chance at sightseeing was on Friday night. I was done with my business and had an evening to my self. I wandered around the Gothic and Las Ramblas districts since they were close to my hotel. I stumbled upon a chamber orchestra practicing Vivaldi’s Four Season in a beautiful cathedral. They were giving a proper concert later that night, but the rehearsal was open and it sounded as beautiful as an actual concert.
When I walked out of the cathedral, I found myself in the middle of festive processional. The procession was headed by these large figurines – they are basically large puppets and someone gets inside the base and navigates the figure. A children’s band plays music and they throw out candy to the spectators! I followed them for a few minutes and then headed back to the hotel for the night.
Saturday was the day earmarked for the whirlwind quiltshop tour. Unfortunately, due to jet lag I didn’t start until about 11am, which was a problem since on Saturdays many of these shops close at 2pm! I did manage to visit a few shops – Nunoya, Fet a Ma, and Lola Botona, but not see as many as I would have liked.
I am most disappointed I didn’t get to go inside Dona as this was the largest by far and the display windows (see picture above) were packed with projects and ideas.
This picture on BCN Patchwork’s gate is adorable. Too bad this is the only thing I could see!
However, from the few shops I visited, it was obvious that things were way out of my price range. Basically, these shops have the same fabric available in the states – Moda, Robert Kaufman, Batiks, etc. but it is $25 a yard, versus the $10 – $12 a yard! They also have the same books — but again, these are priced at least double. There was a very simple pincushion pattern that would sell for $5 here, but cost $20. The shops had lots of attractive samples and I got a few ideas (you can’t take pictures in the shops so I have to rely on my memory). So for all my friends who wanted me to get you some fabric while on my trip, I am sorry to say I came back empty handed. However how about we hit up the local quilt shops and buy it for half price :)?
I did find one unexpected surprise, a purse shop called “Baghangers Barcelona.” This was a small shop packed with lots of novelty purse made out of leather. They had a pumpkin, tomato, Noah’s Ark, porcupine, and tons of other clever purses.
Since I didn’t buy any fabric, I splurged and purchased a Mushroom House purse. I couldn’t resist how cute and colorful it was!
Well, that’s the end of Day One! Check back tomorrow for Day Two which features my trip to the Zoo!
Keep it thimble!