Claudia arranges a one-of-a-kind tour of architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous architectural oeuvres, including the fantasy filled Casa Batlló (fantastic on the outside, according to Gaudí expert Daniel Giralt Miracle, but nicely utilitarian on the inside), La Pedrera and the Parc Güell, which was actually designed as a residencial “garden city,” not a park. The lunch of baby squid in hot pepper sauce, tripe and langostines is at Can Pineda, unassuming on the outside, “smokin’ hot inside,” according to Mario.
From there Mark and Mario head west to the rugged region of Asturias. They stop in Oviedo for some sweets from the Canito de Blas pastry shop (perhaps the finest in Spain…) before reaching Covadonga, the hilltop town where Pelayo, a local lad turned back the Moors in year 721, thus initiating the Christian reconquest of Iberia. The pilgrims press on to the hamlet of Sirviella, to share an aperitivo of homemade cider and local Gamonedo cheese with Pepín and his mom, Pilar. Mario and Mark tower over this tiny grandmother but her flashing eyes and brilliant chicken stew and cider-baked apples leave them humbled, “the best chicken stew I’ve ever had…” says Mario.