Espana – Spain – Well Barcelona to be exact

Although this is going to be about cooking, I thought I should put it in the main part of the Blog. The last couple days we have so been enjoying the Market and even more so; the tastes of Spain. But let me back up a bit…

We are staying in a great little apartment in the old part of Barcelona just off La Rambla, so we are in the center of a lot of action. As a side note, Ireland, Celtics, are playing Barcelona in Soccer and with all the white and green around you would think you could be in Ireland. But I digress…

We have been doing the “Hop on, Hop off” bus the last couple of days and doing a little shopping as we go to bring home to cook in the Apartment. Last night we made Carbonara using white wine, garlic, some lemon, egg yoke and the crown jewel, Serrano Ham. This isn’t the prepackaged store stuff this is the real deal. We bought a little sampler for 2.5 Euros that was the perfect size to make the dish and my the flavors…Mouth is watering just talking about it – but hey that was last night.

Tonight it will be a pasta dish with Fresh Porchini’s. This is a picture of what we are going to use…

That pile cost us 3 Euros too, so you know we will spared no expense in making this dish. It will be a simple dish but I don’t get a chance to use fresh Porchini’s often as they are so bloody expensive if you can find fresh ones. These were bits and pieces is why they were so inexpensive, but why spend more for whole perfect Porchini’s when these are perfect for what we are going to make.

While at the market we decided to have a quick lunch and ordered Shrimp and Calimari – look and see what we ate…

Both dishes were cooked perfect and were tender, juicy, and mouth watering good. It was just what we needed to head over to the wine store and then pick up our Porchini’s

Well time to get to work in the kitchen and see what this Porchini Pasta dish is going to be like…

Normandy – France

Rotterdam Spanish Charms 15 days Nov. 2011

Check our cruise highlights and travel 15 days in 10 minutes with visits to Rome Italy, Corsica France, Barcelona-Cartagena-Malaga Spain, Tangier Morocco, Funchal Portugal and Fort Lauderdale USA.

With special thanks to our new and fabulous friends Noel & Pat Bell! Noel was our videographer on board – enjoy!

More of Noel’s videos on You Tube are here

Rotterdam Ancient Discoveries 12 days Oct. 2011

Check out our cruise highlights travel 12 days in 8 minutes with visits to Athens, Piraeus, Rhodes and Gythios in Greece, The Pyramids of Cairo Egypt, Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee & Nazareth in Israel, Ephasus Turkey and Rome Italy

With special thanks to our new and fabulous friends Noel & Pat Bell! Noel was our videographer on board – enjoy!

More of Noel’s videos on YouTube are here

Back in Santorini

We flew to Santorini today and were met at the airport upon our arrival by the hotel we were staying at. We are staying at the Villa Rose, a great small hotel, we will cover them in a review separately. But we can tell you here that it is a great place, great owners, and just a nice place.

After we unpacked in our room we took the recommendation of the Hotel for a traditional Greek dinner. We went to Café Nikki, it was only a couple blocks walk. What a great place and great food too. Look up the review on Café Nikki to see more details about the place. The Villa Rose has a review too so check that out too. I can tell you this much right now, we like both places.

The day after we arrived we went on a tour by boat. We went to several islands just off the coast that used to be part of Santorini before the volcano erupted. It was a great day, lots of sunshine and we even hiked up to the crater of the volcano too. It made for an interesting view of Santorini, one that we had not seen before even after as many times as we have been here. We will get the pictures up fairly soon.

We made a stop at the hot springs on our tour and many of the people on our boat jumped off and swam over to the springs. What a sight that was. Some were good at it and some…well lets just say they all made it. There was only one that they had to bring him a life preserver to use to finish swimming back to the boat.

All in all a great start to our visit to Santorini.

The second day, we will just kicked back a little and explored the town. Read that bead shop and the many stores by the cliffs.

There was a protest going on too. The police were out making sure things remained safe and calm. There was a sign across part of a road in town that said they were part of the Wall Street protests. We saw it about 10:30am when we walked by it. About 11:30am I thought I should walk back and take a picture of it to show you what the protest was like but alas, it was over and the sign was gone. Business went on as usual, except right in the immediate area of protest. No one said anything about it or seemed to be bothered about it either.

We ended our day in town by stopping at a bar / restaurant and having a drink before walking back to the hotel. Ok, we had two drinks, the view was just captivating looking out and down over the caldera. We could see the cruise ships that were in port, all tendered to shore. By the time we had are second drink or so all of the boat people were heading back to their ship. Amazing how much that cleared up the streets of people.