“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…
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…
The view from Montjuïc
It’s been more than 13 years since I landed at the airport of El Prat Barcelona and first started to enjoy Barcelona’s perfect days. Originally from Holland, I was living in Amsterdam at that time, when I decided to do an Erasmus in the Catalan capital. Barcelona was becoming more and more popular, but it had not reached the popularity it knows nowadays.
Over the years my perfect days have changed. In the beginning I enjoyed all the different sightseeing places Barcelona has to offer and I loved to discover the hidden and peculiar places of the city. My first summer here I also spent many hours at the beach, but now I hardly go there at all during the busy holiday season. And of course, I have seen a lot of the fantastic nightlife Barcelona has to offer. Read the rest of this article…
Tarannà, c/ Viladomat, 23
“She is lovely. She is flirtatious. She is passionate. Others call her Barna. Or, mistakenly, Barça, which only refers to the football club. Or, shortened, BCN. But I don’t call her by her nicknames. After several years of being together I began taking her beaches for granted, I got bored with her modernist buildings and I was not quite sure where things were heading. To beat the seven-year itch I moved to another part of town. There I discovered new eating-places. Barcelona knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
My perfect date in the city is on a sunny day in June. When I wake up in the morning some raindrops fall. Then the sun starts to shine like it is already summer and I have a late breakfast at Tarannà (c/ Viladomat, 23). Tarannà is the Catalan word for mood. And this place with a brick wall on one end, Parisian metro tiles on the other and vintage furniture certainly brings me in a good mood. I usually choose sweet muffins to accompany my glass of breakfast orange juice, but their savoury sandwiches are also really appetising. Read the rest of this article…