Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
“Hi Elena! It’s Lauren here from Devour Spain: We run Food Tours in Madrid, Barcelona & Seville! Let me know if you have time in your schedule while in Barcelona, as we would love to have you on one of our tours.”
Oh my. Words like these are right up my #foodlover’s alley – and more so where the success & support of fellow travel writers such as Lauren Aloise of SpanishSabores.com is concerned. Lauren has truly succeeded in making a difference to her life & others by opening up a food tour company in several cities of Spain: Congratulations, dear Lauren! While confirming my interest & appetite for a “Devour Barcelona Food Tour” with her, I am wandering through the small streets of Barceloneta district, one of my favourite parts of town, a happy smile spreading on my face, thinking: Life is good.
… a part of Barcelona I particularly like for its mix of genuine local flair and pretty beach life. These days, Barceloneta is no longer reminiscent of the fishing village it once used to be – on reclaimed land off the coast of Barcelona city. Today, it rather exudes an atmosphere of laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle, of sunshine and beach life, of international tourists mingling with local people and students, of happy people meeting under the bright Barcelona sun simply to hang out, share a meal or drink, relax and enjoy. A place I like to call home feeling like a “temporary citizen” to the city of Barcelona myself, renting an apartment at five minutes walking distance from the beach. Listening to the sound of Barcelona lovebirds each and every night (yes!). Oh, heaven. All you need is love … so do come and take this walk with me!
Edu really knows what he is doing. And that is not only looking cool wearing dark sunglasses, or taking visitors around town: “Working with ‘Steel Donkey Bike Tours‘ has helped me see my own city in a new light and study some of its more detailed, intimate parts of local history. Like here, where we are standing now: Would you guess what this woman’s head carved in stone at the corner of this street actually represents?”
Silence. Difficult to say: A memorial to someone famous, perhaps? A sculptor indicating his profession? “Well, it is far more mundane”, Edu laughs. “Rather than anything else, this stone carving here used to indicate a brothel in former times …”. Touring Barcelona with Edu, we are not only introduced to some of the local area history of his town, but also offered to watch some amazing display of street art graffiti, take turns exploring local food markets (our lunch stop!) and venture into quirky little backyards that tell us something about the more recent urban planning developments of Barcelona city. Altogether, the regular “Steel Donkey Bike Tour” we are on takes about four hours, including a good half hour lunch stop at Concepció Food Market. A selection of all their tours can be found here: I am tempted to go back already!
“Well. I love food, history, arts and culture. Essentially I thought, when first contemplating to run these tours … I really thought this tour was me! Everything I love.! So today, I aim to bring you more of the essential Gràcia neighbourhood food stories, told through the love & passion of the local people of this Barcelona district away from the typical tourist trails in downtown Barcelona …!”
My mouth is watering, as I shoot our food tour guide Rene a warming look; Rene who originally hails from the United States and has swapped prospects of moving back for a career on the road – teaching English (and now food love!) in Barcelona as well as being married to a Catalan. She, too, speaks several languages fluently and is simply delightful: You can tell she knows (and loves) what she is doing. I smile, thinking back of my very first food tour in Porto last year spawning a series of “food lover explorations around the world” – and resulting in my publication of many more articles called “Food Tours Worldwide“, offering you useful tips and hands-on insights for enjoying food tours around the world.
The locals always know best. And now, I am left with a desire to explore even more of this Barcelona district called Gràcia, the food tour having been a mere four-hour appetizer of what I am sure merits a much longer visit. Next time, I recommend you (and myself) to stay there soaking up all those lovely local flavours we have whetted our appetites to in the local bars & markets. For now, sit back & enjoy my colourful Flickr Photo Album of Barcelona … Bon appetite!
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Steel Donkey Bike Tours & Devour Barcelona Food Tours on this visit of Barcelona city. All opinions are my own.
Elena, que experiências fantásticas. Barcelona é a cidade que eu adotei como minha e cada vez que vejo tanto carinho com ela fico muito feliz, porque pra mim esta cidade também é Maravilhosa.
Beijos e venha disfrutar da nossa Barcelona sempre que puder.
Thank you so much for the lovely words Elena! It was so wonderful to finally meet you at TBEX and I’m so happy you got to take our tour. Next time you’ll have to visit us in Madrid or Seville and join us there too! Hope to see you again soon!
What fun it is to travel creatively! I managed some of these activities on our recent stay in Barcelona, and am eager to return for more. Thanks for the inspiration, Elena!