There are so many things to do and see in this beautiful world of ours! However, we have to get used to the idea that there is no time to do them all. Yes, this might appear as a sad statement for many, but then again, who says we have to do everything?
Instead of running after quantity, maybe we should stop for a moment and think about the quality of our own lives and plan our vacations with more patience and enthusiasm. There are places, cities, countries… that mean more than a spot you have to check on your endless lists of must-see places.
The way you see a city might be different from the way I see it. This is why I strongly believe that the person you share the experience with has an enormous influence on how you feel the city. Yes, feel. I like to feel the places I visit. Therefore, I don’t eat french fries in every corner of the world, but I taste their food. It might be bad, but I have to check it out in order to know, right?
Then, there’s the coffee and the alcoholic beverages. How do you know the people if you don’t know what they put inside them? And how do you know the place if you don’t know the people? How can you understand, or at least try to decipher the past if you don’t get the present?
Incredible History, Surprising Art Representations and the Delights of Good Food: Welcome to Spain!
There is no secret that Spain is one of my favourite countries in the world, but I am wondering: would it lose its special place in my heart if it didn’t have beautiful Barcelona? I only need to think about the city and an amalgam of different feelings passes through my whole body. I love this city just like I love Lisbon, but …a little bit more.
I profoundly recommend you to put this on the must-see list and if you’ve already explored the Catalonian pearl, just put it on your “must-see it again” list. Why? Well, there is always more to see or, in my case, more to taste!
Let me be clear from the beginning: Barcelona is more than a city. It is one of those places that carry not only incredible history but also part of the amazing people’s souls. Don’t tell me you can’t feel Gaudi’s passion when you stare at the Sagrada Familia!? Fortunately, I do! I smell art and history on every little street in this challenging place.
And there’s the food! Oh, and it is so good! Just keep away from the touristic areas and your tasting buds will have multiple orgasms! I’ve eaten in so many incredible places, but I do have a favourite culinary experience in Barcelona.
The mixture between history, romance, adventure and creative food gave me the perfect evening at Speakeasy, a clandestine restaurant that celebrates the prohibition era. Located in the warehouse of Dry Martini, a lovely bar where I realised I DO like drinking Martini ( a bit too much, actually), Speakeasy offers a unique Food&Cocktail Pairing Menu. The dishes are delicious, the drinks are strong and this is what I call romance! If you don’t believe me, you have to check it out!
In you want more specific tips regarding what to do in Barcelona, check out My Top 20 Things to Do in Barcelona. And if you want to be less touristy, you should also have a look at My Top 8 Ways to Live Like a Local in Barcelona.
Photo credit: 4:44 Film & Photography
Where the Past Shakes Hands with the Present: Old Yet Modern Portugal
I’ve already written an article about the taste of Lisbon and I am planning to write one more, because I truly fell in love with Portugal’s capital, with the Portuguese food, WINE and way of living. To be honest, Lisbon makes me feel like this is the spot in space and time where the past salutes the present in the friendliest manner possible.
Have you seen those places where the huge buildings interfere with the old style of the city making it less pretty than before? Well, in Lisbon the old and the new go together like they are members of the same family. It is one of the strangest but most amazing feelings I’ve ever had!
And then, of course, there’s the food. If you want a few tips about the best restaurants I’ve been to, you can check out this list. But if you think about having a less usual experience, why not enjoy a cooking class session?
We’ve had a fantastic time while learning how to cook codfish with cream, Portuguese style pork and Farófias, an easy and delicious desert. Besides learning how to cook these tasty dishes, we’ve also learned a lot about Portugal’s economy and politic scene. Talking with locals is a lot different than reading news and sightseeing, but you all know that, don’t you?
So, if you are interested in both tasting and learning how to prepare Portuguese dishes, as well as in meeting and chatting with amazing local people, you should definitely take into consideration attending the classes offered by Cooking Lisbon. Bom Apetite!
The Ultimate Multicultural Experience in a Modern Babylon: England
I’ve told you that I am in love with Barcelona, but unlike I do in my human relationships, when it comes to places, I am supporting bigamy. So, even though nothing can take away the love I have for the Catalonian paradise, London and I are a bit closer. We shared the same dark sky for a while, so it’s understandable.
There is no doubt that the busyness and expensiveness of England’s capital can make many angry, but the city can also make everybody fall in love with it just like Disney princesses fall for their prince charming; especially those who are art enthusiasts, history lovers and foodies! So, forget all about fish and chips mates, because in London your tasting buds can travel the whole world without leaving the city!
I know the taste of the food might change a bit, depending on the country ( Indian food might become milder in Europe, Italian pizza might be different in Spain, and paella in Sweden is not exactly like it is in Andalusia ) but then again, it is basically the same food…and it is delicious!
Besides the fantastic restaurants you can find all over England, and especially in London, what made my foodie emotions activate were the food markets. I am a food market addict and, it doesn’t matter what city I am in, I spend a lot of time in these incredible places. So, believe me when I say that London rocks when it comes to food market culinary experiences!
I loved Greenwich market because it was just around the corner and it made my Sundays delicious and comfy, but I also enjoyed wandering around the crowded, touristy Borough market. However, my first choice was always Urban Food Fest (held in Shoreditch, on Saturdays), the place where I discovered that macaroni&cheese is one of my favourite foods. Besides great dishes, the market also offers fantastic atmosphere, with music, tasty drinks and very relaxed people.
These are my first three choices when it comes to European destinations for foodies! However, I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t admit that Italy, France and Croatia deserve to be mentioned. Yummy!