“Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to guide my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone”
— Pink Floyd —
An unusual calmness reigns at El Prat Airport at midnight. A few people staring at you make you understand that you should leave the premises soon so everyone can make it back home to enjoy the Barcelona sunrise, accompanied by a good cup of coffee and xuixos.
El Prat Airport at midnight
I make my way back home as fast as I can. The taxi driver brings me up to date with the latest weekly developments in the City of Counts. This is still Barcelona, part of Spain. Quietly I open my apartment’s door as the two ladies are asleep. I check that the plants have enough water to survive next day, and I jump into bed. It’s already: Friday I am in love! Read the rest of this article…
The bread at La Fabrique in Poble Sec
This month, Poble Sec and I will have enjoyed a full year of blissful cohabitation. One of the reasons I love living in Poble Sec is because it feels so homely and laid back. The streets are narrow and you generally get to know your neighbours in ways you weren’t quite expecting, but with that comes a sense of community, of closeness. Although I must admit to crossing Parallel on occasion, I regularly enjoy spending a whole day without venturing much further afield than the Sant Antoni metro station. So, I wanted to share my perfect day in Poble Sec and Sant Antoni (to which the subtitle could probably be “A day spent eating and drinking in Poble Sec and Sant Antoni”).
My perfect day would be at the weekend – I like the buzz that occurs at weekends. They feel special somehow, like a lesser version of the feeling you get at Christmas. I love cooking so I often like to start my day with a bit of breakfast at home. And if there’s one thing that makes breakfast special, it’s a croissant, or better yet (if I’m feeling really extravagant) a pain aux chocolats aux amandes from La Fabrique (c/ Radas, 35). This bakery is by far my favourite, all their breads are sourdough and organic – and absolutely delicious. Having grown up in France I’m a harsh judge when it comes to croissants and have not quite been able to come to terms with the lard croissants you sometimes find here in Spain. Unsurprisingly perhaps, and a testimony to my tremendous if unknowing bias, one of the owners/bakers is French. Oh là là… Read the rest of this article…
Houses in Carrer Campoamor, Horta-Guinardó
Being born and raised in Barcelona has given me the chance to enjoy this wonderful city in many ways. Now that I live abroad, I still regularly come back to Barcelona, to see my family and friends, to enjoy Barcelona’s culinary and cultural hotspots, and of course, the nice weather and the sun! For my perfect day in Barcelona I’ve made a summary of my favourite places and local spots, which I always enjoy visiting.
My perfect day would begin in Horta, which is the neighbourhood where I grew up and where my family lives. At one of the terraces in Plaça Eivissa I would start my day with a café con leche (a cup of coffee with milk) and some sweet pastry. At Plaça Eivissa there’s also a churrería. Pick a handful of churros and eat them while you discover Horta! Carrer del Tajo is the main shopping street with a local market you cannot miss. A bit further you can discover Carrer d’Aiguafreda, where in the past century clothes from Barcelona’s upper-class members were cleaned. Read the rest of this article…
“Fantasy comes from ghosts. Fantasy is the people of the North.
We are concrete. The ideal is from the Mediterranean.
Orestes knows where he is going, while Hamlet wanders lost in doubt.”
“La fantasia ve dels fantasmes. La fantasia és de la gent del Nord.
Nosaltres som concrets. La imatge és de la Mediterrània.
Orestes sap on va, mentre que Hamlet divaga perdut entre dubtes.”
– Antonio Gaudí
I’m not an urban planner or an architect or even a philosopher. I can’t claim to know exactly why one city feels like an overwhelming mess and the next is as well-balanced as BARCELONA. But after 10 years here (living in 7 of her neighborhoods) I recognise that there are a few elements which I believe make her as close to perfection as a city could hope to be. Here they are in a 24 hour experience on any given Summer’s day in BARCELONA. Read the rest of this article…
Carretera de les Aigües
My perfect day would be a sunny Saturday in early May, when the weather is fine and you notice for the first time the smell of summer in the air.
I get up early and drive my motorbike to the Carretera de les Aigües for a morning jog. This is a beautiful path in the Parc de Collserola where you have an amazing view over the city and at the same time can enjoy the greenery and fresh air. Jogging while watching the sun rise and with the awakening city at your feet is priceless.
After a refreshing shower it’s time for breakfast. I go for a strong fork-breakfast because we have a long day ahead. Can Vilaro is a family run restaurant in the Sant Antoni area where I love to go. Cisco, the owner, is always in a cheering mood. He advises me on what to have. I always plan to try something new, but most of the time end up ordering the same as always: butifarra amb mongetes and some tomato bread on the side. It’s delicious and sets me up for the rest of the day. Read the rest of this article…