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Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

Keep Looking Back at 2014? Look Forward to 2015!

As we usher in a new year, shake off the inevitable hangovers, grimace at our waistlines and look ahead at the year to come, many of us also look back on the previous year.  We assess our achievements, successes, adventures and the missed opportunities.   2014 was my second full year living in Barcelona.  I had some definite highs and some real ‘kick you in the crotch’ lows, all of which I have learned from.  I am older, hopefully wiser (or…

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Where to drink in Barcelona: Tasca el Corral

Where to drink in Barcelona: Tasca el Corral

Carrer de la Mercè is a fantastic street for bars & tapas restaurants; and if you fancy some cider and cheap & cheerful service then this is your place. Another no-frills bar with simple rustic & delicious food, to be washed down with a bottle of cider or the local speciality ‘leche de pantera’ (panther milk). The staff are friendly, and patient, posing for photos as they pour the cider as should be done – from a height! Then cheerfully…

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Ten Simple Pleasures of Travelling

Ten Simple Pleasures of Travelling

There are many simple pleasures in life, that don’t require any technology, hard work or complicated designs.  And for me, most of these can be found through travelling.  I was planning to just do a top 5 list but there are just too many pleasurable aspects to travel!  The sheer joy of discovering something new, leaving your daily grind back in the city, and breathing fresh air somewhere else….. just get me on a plane! 1. The moment you get…

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Lucky 7? My Tips for Flying with Ryanair (& other Low Cost Airlines)

Lucky 7? My Tips for Flying with Ryanair (& other Low Cost Airlines)

Cheap with no frills, these so-called “low cost” airlines are usually adequate as long as you don’t need anything else from them, but are to be approached with caution, and typically, low expectations.  I don’t like flying with Ryanair et al, but I continue to do so simply because they are cheaper, and still get you from A to B (even if B is slightly further away from where you actually need to get to). Having said that, both the…

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What is the Best Thing about Solo Travel?

What is the Best Thing about Solo Travel?

As I sip my glass of white wine out of a plastic cup I gaze around at my surroundings.  A pop-up bar along the banks of the Danube, made up of an old camper van, pallet furniture, and a couple of hammocks, it also boasts recycling for our cups, and a banging stereo system propped up on the bar.  Chatting with my fellow party goers who I only met a couple of hours before, it all feels slightly surreal.  But…

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What is the Worst Thing About Solo Travel?

What is the Worst Thing About Solo Travel?

The world is full of adventurous souls, discovering new and exciting lands every day, and many of these travellers are doing it solo.  Going it alone can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it is not without its trials and tribulations.  So what is the worst thing about solo travel? For me, it is dining alone.  I can go to a museum, visit a monument, wander around a city to my heart’s content; all quite happily by myself.  However,…

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Exploring Catalunya: Girona Flower Festival “Temps de Flors”

Exploring Catalunya: Girona Flower Festival “Temps de Flors”

In what will be a series of posts, I am chronicling my trips outside of Barcelona in a bid to explore more of Catalunya’s beautiful countryside, towns and coastline.  Catalunya (in Catalan, Cataluña in Spanish, or Catalonia in English) boasts a spectacular variety of treasures to unearth, and if you are spending more than a weekend in Barcelona there are plenty of incredible places to visit within easy reach of the city. My first stop was Girona, in particular during the…

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Activities in Barcelona: Explore the Beaches and Ports

Activities in Barcelona: Explore the Beaches and Ports

There is definitely something inherently relaxing and ultimately satisfying about a sunny day with clear blue skies, and looking out to sea – seeing nothing but the blue horizon glinting back at you. The combination of blue hues in the sea and sky; the glistening rays of the sun shimmering on the gentle waves; the sound of seagulls calling out to the white yachts as they float above….. Just thinking about it relaxes me. One of my favourite places to…

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A Calçotada: The Catalan Way to Get your Hands Dirty

A Calçotada: The Catalan Way to Get your Hands Dirty

When I tried calçots once before in a restaurant, I wasn’t overly impressed. Essentially a cross between a spring onion and a small leek, it was ok, but it didn’t blow me away by any means. However, this humble onion has now risen well above my expectations, thanks to 5000 other onions, 400 botifarra sausages, gallons of red wine and several buckets of romesco sauce. Take these delicious ingredients and throw in a gloriously sunny day, then you get the…

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My Head in the Clouds: Spectacular Views of Barcelona

My Head in the Clouds: Spectacular Views of Barcelona

I love a beautiful view.  Nothing makes me happier than gazing at scenery that stretches as far as the eye can see; it gives me an amazing sense of freedom and relaxation, a feeling that all is right with the world.  Add to that clear blue skies and my blissful smile gets just a little bit wider.  So when I was feeling particularly blue myself one weekend I wondered what would pull me out of my metaphysical funk and give…

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