Saturday, 28 October 2017

My Itinerary In Spain

The Alhambra

So before we start, I would like to mention that this is my itinerary and what all places I visited. At most places, I stayed in Hostels and was traveling via public transport or on foot but you can alter things according to your convenience and the time you have.
The total duration that I was in Spain was 16 days (including the internal transfers, arrival, and departure from Spain) and the break up for the same are as follows - 

Barcelona - 4 days
Seville - 2 days
Granada - 2 days
Madrid - 4 days
Valencia -  2 days

In Barcelona, I stayed at Kabul Party hostel located in La Rambla. You can check a hotel suitable for you. 
What all I visited in Barcelona - 
1. Montserrat - It's a Monastery located about an hour away from Barcelona on the multi-peaked rocky range.
2. The local vineyards near Montserrat along with some Spanish Lunch and a tour of the Vineyard. 
3. Once back in the city, roaming the streets of Plaza De Catalyuna. 
Tossa De Mar
4. You can take a bus from Plaza De Catalyuna to Costa Brava i.e. Lloret De Mar, take a walk on the beach and then a ferry to Tossa De Mar where you can tour the Old Town Village and the new Fisherman's Village. Lunch options are huge there with lots of varieties and good alcohol. 
5. Take a walk down the streets of La Rambla while sipping on some coffee and post that dinner can be done at a good restaurant in the same area. 
6. Ham Tasting can be done at Jamon Experience in La Rambla. 
7. Walk till the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar one great cathedral you can check it. 
Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
8. All chocolate lovers need to visit the Museu De La Xocolata and then sip onto the rich, dark, creamy hot chocolate. 
9. Picasso Fan? Stand in the line to enter the Museu Picasso and enjoy the art. (I didn't have the patience to stand in line for about almost an hour and a half).
10. Just close to this is located the Parc De La Ciutadella. It's huge, take a walk, and go and see the Arc De Triomf. 
La Sagrada Familia
11. Don't forget to eat and post that sit beside the water at Moll De Bosch I Alsina. Close to La Rambla. If you want check Museu d'Història de Catalunya if you are interested in knowing the history of Catalyuna. 
12. Camp Nou is a must for all football fans. Take the tour of the whole stadium. 
13. Limited time in Barcelona? One place which you must for sure visit is the La Sagrada Familia, it's beautiful. 
14. Love food? check the La Boqueria market.
15. Montjuïc - A hill in Barcelona and the view from there is very good. You can see the docks, the city.
That's all folks for Barcelona - Check the detailed blog for more suggestions. The blog will be out soon.

Camp Nou
Alcazar of Seville

It's time for Seville -
1. The most important place The Alcazar of Seville along with a tour of the Jewish Town.
2. One of the most beautiful cathedrals is the Seville Cathedral. Located near the Alcazar.
3. Plaza De Espana and Parque De Maria Luisa go hand in hand. Do check this place out and take a walk here as well.
4. Do not miss the Flamenco here and some drinks and tapas in the bars/restaurants nearby.

Plaza De Espana

The Alhambra
Time to explore Granada -
1. The Albaicin which is a small town located about 15 mins from the city center.
2. The Alhambra and the Generalife is the must here. Remember to book the tickets in advance.
3. Do not miss the bylanes near the Granada Cathedral if you want to shop.
4. Food ? check the restaurants and bar near Plaza Nueva. Tip - Granada has a tradition that if you order a drink at the bar, you get a free Tapas.
P.S. Stay somewhere in the city center. I stayed at Hotel Inglaterra.


Let's check out the capital - Madrid.
My friend - Priyanko Sarkar who also writes joined me for the next couple of days. In Madrid, we stayed at Hotel Silken Puerta America. The rooms were really good just FYI.
Things to do in Madrid.
1. Plaza Mayor, the city center has lots of attractions and things to check out in the areas surrounding it.
2. San Miguel Market, lots of tapas, shopping for vegetables and more, some good sangrias and a bar kinda feeling.
3. Do not miss the churros at the Chocolatería San Ginés, it is the oldest place in town serving them.
4. If you are an art lover then you need to spare one day for the 3 Art Museums

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
  • Museo Nacional del Prado - This is the biggest of the 3.
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. 
Palacio Real
5. The king's palace - Palacio Real and the Cathedral de Santa Maria. Both of them are opposite each other and worth visiting. 
Parque de El Retiro

6. Palacio de Cristal and Parque de El Retiro, they both are located together and you should take a walk in the park for sure. It's really good. 
7. We decided to take a single day tour to Segovia and Toledo which you can do as well. (Check city discovery for the same. They will show you around the two places.)

Time for the last destination of the trip - Valencia. 
To be honest, I couldn't enjoy it that much as it was raining most of the time (it usually doesn't rain during those months I visited)
Mercat Central
1. Visit the Mercat Central for some freshly baked croissants/bread and coffee. You can also find amazing vegetables and ham. 
2. La Lonja - The Silk Exchange - the place will show you the background about how the silk exchange started here. 
3. Iglesia de Santa Catalina Mártir (Santa Caterina) - Located a few mins walking from the Mercat Central. The cathedral has a tower having just 127 steps to climb up and you can see Valencia from there. 

Cathedral De Valencia
4. Cathedral De Valencia - You can easily spend 2 hours here. Take an audioguide to know the story behind all. 
5. Museo Nacional de Cerámica - I enjoyed this place, the art, the designs and the sculptures. It was worth it. (At least we were indoors and saved from the rains)
6. Museo Arqueologico De La Almonia - An innovative way of seeing the remains of the different civilizations that have existed in Valencia.
6. It was La Tomatina time when we were in Valencia and decided to take a tour to Bunol in order to play with tomatoes and have fun there. The festival happens on the 31st of August every year so you can plan accordingly. 

With this, the trip has ended. I wish I had more days to explore other areas as well but with the time I had in hand, I think I covered quite a lot. I hope you guys enjoy traveling through Spain and exploring the places. There might be some places I have missed which you might come across so you can put it down in the comments section below so that other reader can check it and visit them.
BTW, I forgot, you can follow me on Twitter - @HungryBawarchi, Instagram - HungryBawarchi, Facebook - The Hungry Bawarchi for travel updates, food updates and more. I'm soon going to be traveling more.

Lastly, the detailed post about the cities will be up soon, hence subscribe to the blog so you can get updates and check them out as well.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Food Hop Around Dubai

To me, Dubai is a place where one can enjoy various delicacies as you can get almost all types of food there. All you need to do is look around for that restaurant and I'm sure that will be there.
On my recent trip to Dubai, I happen to go on a tour around the city in look for different types of food and stuff my self and gain all the calories that I had lost in Mumbai before going on my trip. 

There is a small story as to how did the plan for The Food Hop happened. It all started a couple of years back when my very good friend - Pallavi Sangtani long distant relative and a foodie was visiting Mumbai (Btw she has a blog - Life In An Oven, as well and writes about her food experience and travel also sometimes, check it out). We decided that why not meet each other over a little too much food and roam the city exploring different places. We visited around 11 different places and were just eating and hogging our selves out for about 8 hours. Just before when I was in Dubai, a notification pops up on both of our Facebook Timeline (Damn you Facebook Memories) reminding about that food tour and it was then Pallavi decided that it's revenge time. 

She called me one day and said, be ready by 7:00 pm, let meet and grab some good food and I was like perfect, let's do it. It even better to go to a place to eat good food who knows a lot about the city and a foodie like me only. I should have understood/guessed it that she will not stop at one and will try to take me around various places. She did make me try stuff from 9 different places. All the details of the food that we had are below and if you are in Dubai or traveling to Dubai, you can visit these places to try the food. 

Let's begin - 

To start with there was a parcel she got for me from Persian Cafeteria and it was the Samosa Sandwich. It was a rolled up sandwich in a pita bread, crispy, good flavor of the chutney applied inside and the pickle to go along. Look wise, very similar to a shawarma. 

Next was a stop at the Al Malla in Al Satwa for some local food i.e. the Shawarma. Ordered the Spicy Shawarma but it wasn't that spicy (I have a high spice level just FYI). Was filled with meat and some vegetables. 

Also if you are visiting this place, do not forget to try their Malla Special Falooda. But just a warning, I have had it in the past and was not able to finish it all by myself. 

The people who say that you should eat sweets in between the meals need to roam with Pallavi and me. 
At a distance of a few mins walk, there was a place known as Feras Sweets. They specialize in sweets and Kunafa was on the list next. This is another local dish made up of cheese, some pastry or vermicelli then topped with sugar syrup and nuts. This is one of my favorite desserts (I have many :P). 

It was warm, crispy, not very sweet, just perfect to be honest. I need some right now to fulfill my craving which started while writing about it. One needs to try the Kunafa if he/she is in Dubai.

It was at this place because of which I got about a 25 mins break from food. Operation Falafel was 25 mins away and located near Kite Beach - Umm Suqeim (They have other outlets as well). We got 2 kinds, the original Falafel which are tiny, kind of bite-size (2 bites to be precise) and then there was the giant stuffed falafel. This had the stuffing of the pickled vegetables. Served along with their house tahini sauce and a kind of harissa sauce. This place was quite decent as I have had better falafel but liked the idea of the stuffed falafel. The tahini sauce was also quite nice, subtle flavor and went well with the small falafels.

It was burger time on this food hop and we stopped at this place known as Falla again located in Umm Suqeim. I liked the decor of the place, it was a bit funky with the art on the walls and the tables. Ordered 1 burger between the two of us (Remember the dialogue from Andaz Andaz Apna Apna, 'Do Dost Ek Pyale Main Chai Piyenge' this was a similar case but only with food).

Just a couple of shops (hardly 3-4) there was this other place known as Burger Trip. Small, cozy place where it was mainly locals who dined it and it was packed coz the food was good.
Here we ordered the huge Xalapa.  I know the place is Burger Trip and we should be eating burgers but this was recommended by someone. So the dish was huge, at first I was like how are we going to finish this. It was filled with potato sticks, cheese, tandoori chicken, jalapenos, more cheese and you can literally see it how it was filled to the brim. The taste was it was just mind-blowing. I know I cant finish the whole thing, but I was craving for it 2 days later. Trust me, you need to try this out. You will thank Pallavi later and me as well for mentioning it in the blog.

A small break was needed, so we were driving around for a will till we reached the next place to try another local dish. The Irani Dosa - Regag which you can find at Labeeb Grocery on Jumeria Road. They make different varieties, but we went for the simple, Egg, Cheese and Oman Chips.

To be honest, I did not enjoy this that much but it was something different. I still like the Dosa you get on the streets here in Mumbai. But never the less, you might like it, everyone has different taste buds and palates.

About 10 mins walk from here there was another stop which this friend of mine had planned for me - Dip N Dip. The good thing was that we got this 10 min walk to digest some food and make some space for the Triple Chocolate Brownie Stuffed Crepe. Sounds quite heavy, delicious and mouthwatering, right? It was really good. It was filling but I did enjoy each and every bite of it. I finish like almost half of this. This is a for sure place to go if you liked desserts.

At last, I literally gave up and was like I cant eat more, I'm stuffed. I have gained some weight today. I needed a dose of caffeine after all this. It helps me digest food and feel at ease. We headed to Depresso and ordered the Flat White for her and the Iced Americano for me. Here also my iced americano came with a surprise on top, the donut. Will the food end tonight I was wondering but it did after that last donut. There is not much I can say about my coffee but it did help me.

So the evening came to an end, stuffed, and one thing that was going on my mind was that 'I doubt I will eat breakfast in the morning next day'. But it was a hell of an evening and I did enjoy it. You should try it if you are a foodie and love food like how we do. Also Pallavi Sangtani, this is a warning for you - The next time you are in Mumbai, be prepared and come empty stomach. I'm going to take the revenge :P.

Just in case you are wondering who is Pallavi :P.

Lastly, you can follow her on the below social media handles for her food updates -
Twitter - Pallavi Sangtani 
Blog - Life In An Oven
Instagram - Pallavi Sangtani
but do not forget to follow me as well on - Twitter - @HungryBawarchi
Instagram - HungryBawarchi
Facebook - The Hungry Bawarchi

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