Archives for category: Spain

A mere glance will do you in. On every corner, there they are. In every cafe and restaurant , at all hours of the day their temptation never ceases. They expose themselves in full view of anyone who dares make eye contact; daily commuters, wandering tourists, weekend lollygaggers. They are shameless, and we are weak. No use fighting it, might as well give in.

Beneath clear glass domes they taunt, with their velvety chocolate frosting or custard filling just begging to be devoured alongside a café con leche.

Whether you’re attempting to crawl back home after an enormous menu del día or are on the hunt for the first meal of the day, they do not care. They pay absolutely no mind to your calorie-counting, low-carb, no-sugar, salad-eating ways.

They are shameless, and we are weak. No use fighting it, might as well give in.

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In the Gràcia neighborhood one mid-week afternoon, we salivated over the selection of cakes and pies at A Casa Portuguesa. Coconut cake with a custard filling pleased, a balanced maracuya meringue pie with reminded me of Hawaii’s Liliko’i pies back home, cheesecake with chocolate and berries comforted.

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On another occasion, we wandered into the flamingo-print walls, charming mismatched chairs and china bruncherie of Ugot. From what I recall, a quick coffee before returning to the flat to work was the original intent, or in my British companion’s case, a cup of tea.

We sauntered up to the counter, admired the decor and nearly stayed true to our original plan, until our eyes made contact with those orbs of heaven that gazed longingly at us from beneath their glass cake covers. Give in we did, regret we did not.

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From the depths of my dreams, the insistent chime of my iPhone alarm signaled that it was way too early to function. A quick look at my messages suggested that it would be easy to deviate from my the mission.

“I don’t know if we’ll make it before then. Should we just go another day?” the proposition tempted.

The plan was to make it to Park Güell before 8 a.m. An insider tip recommended an early call time to beat the crowds and slip into the park free of charge before ticketing opened. With those benefits in mind I cursed the heavy pressure behind my eyes, summoned my willpower and shoved a banana and my water bottle in my tote and stepped out into the quiet streets in San Antoni. This is happening.

I entered the park through a side entrance and meandered around a path while more energetic early birds walked their dogs, jogged and did push-ups on park benches. Gaudi’s wavy, kaleidoscopic bench came into view and aside from two young girls taking selfies and a few others with serious camera equipment, I was able to snap a few iPhone photos myself; no jostling for the best angle, or waiting for other tourists to get out of my frame.

Higher I climbed to one of the viewpoints that gave me a panoramic view from the Sagrada Familia, out toward the Mediterranean and Montjuic. Planes glided over the city’s super blocks toward El Prat. Birds gossiped, pigeons cooed. Pollen tickled my nose as I tapped notes into my phone and snapped more photos.

In my periphery, elderly locals prattled away on park benches while their dogs played. The sun drenched the city in morning warmth, clouds nowhere in sight. A cool breeze brushed through the park like the final resting pose in yoga; welcome relief.

“Sube Miko, sube…Miko, adonde vas? Adonde vas Miko?” one of the men mildly threatened as he patted the bench. Miko, the most mischievous and stubborn of the pack did what he wanted. A few weeks ago, I didn’t want to get out of bed, though I’m glad I did.

The stories I enjoy sharing on The Curious Passport are narrative, colorful snippets and oftentimes humorous (at least to me) slices of the places, faces and circumstances I’ve encountered on the road. If you are stirred to any type of emotion except boredom when you read my writing, I call that a win for me. If you are then inspired beyond that, or at least curious to learn more, that’s a win for everyone.

Curiosity keeps you sharp. To possess it means that you are engaged in the space around you. It demonstrates an openness to different ideas, and ideas (for yourself, for others) drive our purpose and help us understand ourselves, each other.

Looking for ideas? Maybe one of my favorite stories from the year might help:

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around for more stories next year.

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2017

In the New Year, my hope is to hone in on exploring experiences that connect ideas from the worlds of travel, food and wellness and its role in illuminating the human condition and its role in helping us live a meaningful life.

I intend to keep those themes in mind as I head back to Europe in the spring. Currently, the plan is to begin in Stockholm and end up in Portugal as a base country by way of Spain.

If you have any recommendations for co-working spaces, creative communities, a good pilates class or coffee shop throughout Europe (because plans can change and my plans are flexible!), please send them to me here: thecuriouspassport at gmail dot com.

I am also interested in collaborating with like-minded individuals, companies, collectives who value storytelling over content, the connection over the bucket list, authenticity over trends. These partnerships can manifest itself in different ways, so if you like what I’m doing over here let’s chat!

That was long, now I’m hungry

Me too. Good news; these featured recipes from Haaps & Barley will fill you up with the good stuff. Whole, nourishing foods, comforting flavor profiles and easy-to-follow preparation means you can eat well without spending hours in the kitchen.

Miso-Marinated Salmon by Haaps & Barley

Photo: Haaps & Barley

Want more recipes? See them all here.

ICYMI

Sometimes I write about travel for other parts of the internet. See them all here.

Are you finished yet

As soon as I plug my social media sites! Find me on Instagram here, because sometimes the plugin on this website refuses to work. I tweet on occasion here.

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