Pictures from Arenys de Mar

The problem with having a film camera is that I’m always behind when it comes to posting pictures on this blog…

Anyways, the pictures from our trip to Arenys de Mar are in! Click on the image below to watch a slideshow:

Arenys slideshow

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Monks, kings, markets & calçots

Yesterday was amazing! We drove through wine country, discovered a gorgeous thirteenth-century monastery, wandered through the market at Valls, and drove through half the region searching for calçots.

I can´t wait to tell you all about it but since I´m at work right now, I´ll direct you to Alan´s blog, where he talks about our day and shares some of the beautiful pictures he took.

Travelling the world…

At our friend Zephyr’s birthday party yesterday we met a very cool couple. Peace and So Jung are from Korea and are taking a thirteen-month trip around the world. In the past seven months they’ve been through Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and then by land through Cambodia, Laos, China, Tibet, India. From India they flew to London and Liverpool (he’s a big Beatles fan), and then Barcelona to study some Spanish before they start the next leg – South America! This morning they left for NY for ten days. The next six months will take them through Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, then back to Europe to explore Scandinavia & Eastern Europe before they moved on to Japan and then home.

I really admire people who do that…. I secretly hope I can do that one day…

GOOD LUCK PEACE AND SO JUNG!!!!

Peace & So Jung

Meeting friends from the blogosphere

Bruna is a Brazilian web designer who spent many years in France and now lives here in Barcelona. Cris is a Brazilian chemist, who lives in Paris where she does a master in chemistry and works for L’Oreal. We first met in the blogosphere and today we met in person for the first time.

Girls out for lunch

I discovered Bruna’s blog when I was searching for info on living in Barcelona. Somehow her blog came up and I got hooked right away. She seems to be a very positive and adventuresome person, and we would post the odd comment on each other’s blog. She’s also a great writer. I’ve discovered Cris’s blog through Bruna’s site recently and have enjoyed reading her impressions of Paris, a city I love.

Bruna and I have been trying to get together for a while and with Cris in town for a few days, we decided to grab the opportunity and have lunch together. We went to Wushu (no, it’s not the only restaurant in this city! this time it was Bruna’s fault; she suggested it) for lunch where Cris and I had the special of the day:

Curry Rojo con Ternera

Curry rojo con ternera & boniatos (red curry with beef & sweet potatoes)

While Bruna had this wonderful dish:Curry Verde con Gambas y Vieiras

Curry verde con vierias & gambas (green curry with shrimp & scallops) [must have it next time, it looked very yummy]

For dessert, we all had the dessert that came with the special of the day:

Tatin de Manzana

Tatin de manzana con gelado de coco (Apple pie with coconut ice cream)

We walked out very happy and I wish I could have gone with them to explore the city. Alas, I had to work…

But now that I know where Bruna lives and since she swims very near where I work, maybe we can get together more often ;)

Paella Day

Thursday is Paella Day here in Barcelona (maybe in all of Catalunya?). Every bar and restaurant that serves a menu del dia (those lovely three-course meals with drink and bread that one can get for as little as 7 euros) has paella on the menu on thursdays. Nobody really knows when/how the tradition started but it’s been around for as long as people can remember.

Paella is one of those emblematic foods that became the gastronomic symbol for a particular country, much like feijoada in Brazil and curry in India. Like the curry it’s a pretty general dish rather than a particular recipe (it basically mean rice cooked in a paella – a wide, flat dish) and like the feijoada, despite being known internationally as the country’s national dish, it hails from a specific region and it is better known (or better period) in some regions than in others. I don’t think I would go for a paella in Madrid (as I wouldn’t go for a feijoada in Manaus), but I wouldn’t miss one in any Catalan or Valencian seaside town.

In Barcelona, there’s paella for all tastes. There are expensive ones at the seafood restaurants around Barceloneta, there are crappy, horrible ones at touristy restaurants across the city (stay as far away from restaurants with a placard in front with several pictures of paellas saying “El Paellador” or some such name), and homey, honest ones at bars & restaurants for lunch. I tend to favour the latter. So on thursdays Alan comes to meet me at the archives, we go over to one of the many bars & restaurants nearby and have lunch together. Today’s paella had seafood (shrimp, bits of calamari, mussels, clams…) and meat. I had a salad to start – they call is a ensalada verde but it resembles very little the green salads we eat in canada; the lettuce (that’s the green part) comes covered in tuna, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, olives, onions, corn nibblets, bits of pickles, chicory, endives, etc… – followed by the very juicy and fresh paella, acompanied by peach juice and finished with yogurt. All for the modicum price of 7.50 euros. Hmmm, as Borat would say – I LIKE, very MUCH. Long live Paella Day!!

Here’s a picture of Sebastian and Patxi making paella & black rice when we first met:

Chefs at work

I have to get him to teach me how to make it….

Wushu – New season

Yesterday we introduced our new friends Kim & Steve to our favourite restaurant in Barcelona. Wushu had been closed for about 2 weeks while Brad & Paula did some work on the place and took a much-needed vacation.

They started the new year with a new menu. Some of the basis remained – Brad’s amazing thai curries and attention to detail were still there – but dishes changed somewhat. The red curry – which I love! – now comes with duck & eggplant, the yakisoba comes with kanagaroo meat, and there’s a new green curry with prawns that looked really yummy. The prices of the mains went up a notch and the list of appetizer grew. According to Brad, they wanted to make the place more “restauranty” and less “noddle-housy”. Lunch menus continue – from tuesday to friday you can get a special dish of the day with dessert & drink for 9.90 euros. A really good deal considering the quality of the food and service.

Still highly recommended. I think I’ll have the green curry next time.

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Wushu Wok/Restaurant/Bar is on c/ Colomines, 2, right behind the Mercat de Santa Caterina (Born). 933 107 313 . They are open Tue-Sat from 13:00 to 23:00.

Update: Wushu has moved to larger premises:

Avda. Marqués d’Argentera 1
08003 Barcelona
Metro: Barceloneta
Tel: 933 107 313