24 Mar 2014


One of my favourite pastimes on the weekends is reading The Guardian and The Times supplements with a nice cup of coffee. A subject that is especially hot at the moment is how to live your life healthier and longer. These articles instruct you on how to organise all aspects of your life from eating, drinking, sleeping, work, leisure, dressing, living status to pets. If you take them too seriously, I think they can cause you stress. And since stress is about the worst thing you can do to your health - well, that is even more stressful. To avoid this I try instead to pick up the things I am already doing and feel smug about them.

One of the latest articles is about Dr David Agus, who is a cancer specialist and famous for being Steve Jobs’s doctor. He has written a book, A short guide to a long life, which gives you 65 rules to follow for a better health and longevity. The two points I picked up were rule number one: drink coffee and rule number 11: wear flat shoes. It is a shame, that for the whole list, you would really need to buy the book. Maybe I could find a few more points to be smug about ...

Anyway, myself and my partner just returned home from a lovely, stress free break in Barcelona. A city where you can get a perfect cup of coffee in any cafe you set your foot in. And, what comes to the flat shoes, we also found a really nice Spanish shoe shop Vialis, that sells handmade leather shoes, and carries a trainer brand called Aro. It is not that I don't like high heels. They look lovely, but to walk with, they are just utterly impractical and painful. Therefore, I shall stick to my favourites,
ballet pumps and old school trainers. Below, a picture of my two new pair of Aro sneakers that have a really nice seventies feel to them. They come in several colours and prices are really affordable too.

We rented a lovely flat in the old town of Barcelona on Passeig del Born through Airbnb. I find living in a flat abroad a much more authentic experience when compared to booking into a hotel. You get a real feel of the life of the destination. This particular flat was the oldest building on the street with two sets of French doors opening to the lively pedestrian square.

The food, of course, is very good with a tasty tapas bar seemingly on every corner bar. Surprisingly, we also had the best burgers ever at a nearby place called Kiosko, a Spanish take on burger bars. Prepare to queue though as we are not the only ones to think so. While in the queue, you tick on a form the menu items that you desire. Then you pay and sit to wait for your burger and chips. I had a tofu burger with mushrooms, beetroot, aioli and sweet chili sauce between a brioche bun.
A bit unusual choice but, ah, so delicious. And my partner had Catalan burger with 200g charry, rare beef burger with potato cake, bacon, cabbage, aioli and sweet chili sauce with a light wholemeal bun. The chips were almost like roast potatoes, but double-cooked with two dips. Delicious, and the Kiosko is also a rather hip looking place.

Of course, we also wanted to visit the famous Gaudi buildings. It was interesting to see how the controversial construction work of La Sagrada Familia is progressing, as the church was left unfinished when Gaudi died in 1926 and is now being finished with more or less according to his style. You can see so clearly the difference, Gaudi's almost otherworldly structures in contrast with the new naive, disney-like extensions.

We also visited Barcelona's biggest flea market Els Encants on Placa de les Glories. It really was so big that even a flea market nut like me couldn't find the energy to go through all of it. I found a lovely old mid-century style tile with religious motif, and some really cheap enamel dishes. After the flea market we cycled with our rented bikes to The Parc de la Ciutadella, a gorgeous park with a huge fountain, green areas and a lake. On the other end there's also a zoo, a place to go when our daughter comes with us. My brave partner also had a long dip in the sea. I decided instead to have an ice cream. Enough cold for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment