Saturday, 25 April 2009

Paris, je t'aime

Do you know these Ryanair magazines, which you get during the flight? Well once on a flight to somewhere, there was an article about the places to go and when to go. So as one of the destinations in this edition was Paris. It said smth like: You have to vist Paris in spring!

So since September we wanted to go to Paris. To be precise, we wanted to go to Paris in Spring. Finally, we bought tickets for 4th-7th of April.

At the beginning and due to the forecast in Barcelona, we though that we were too naive buying the tickets during those dates, as instead of those idyllic sun-spring-flowers walks we were dreaming, we were going there just to catch a big cold. But as pleasant surprise Paris was not affected by the rain invasion there was in the rest of Europe :)
We arrive on 4th afternoon and went to Antoine's place. Toni is an old friend we know for 3 years already and was so kind to host us in his cute appartment in the 15th district. Just after we arrived, we went to enjoy the last light of the day in a terrace next to his place to wait for him.

When Antoine arrived we went to meet some other old BESTies for dinner; for diferent reasons, it came out we had many friends those days in Paris and so the conversation&wine last till quite late.

Next morning we started with our "guiri" status (guiri=turist) and so we walked till Eiffel Tower, we had lunch on the grass in front of it, made 100 of photos and continued our walk to Champs Elisees. For the coffee break we met again with Alex, who was in Paris for bussiness reasons, and continued together till Louvre, Madeleine, Place Concorde, Place Vedome, and so on. By that time Beta was hungry and wanted a Crepe and Adriana fully supported the idea :D
Crepe&cofee and in our way to Notre Dame we stop on the oldest bridge of Paris to enjoy the view of sparkling Eiffel Tower on the Sena. Finally we reached Notre Dame and met there with Antoine who took us to a Restaurant were we ate fondue and other delicious dishes.
Later we went to a very curious place were just girls were alowed to enter and practicly the only guys there were the waiters. Cocktails there were delicious. And the atmosphere... well some things are not to be written down, but have to be experienced. Lets just say it was a hot place! :)
Next day we started with coffe and croissants and continued visiting Montmatre, we tryed to get lost in the tiny streets of the artists district but we just were 3 more turist in its crowded streets. During the afternoon we walked arround Le Marais area and discover some interesting designers shops, and from there we walked to pompidou, Saint Michelle church and crossed the river to Saint Germain where we met with Toni for dinner and some cocktails.
On Sunday we were already habituals in the cafeteria next to Toni's place. The woman just made it sure: "Trois cafe creme et trois croissant?" "oiu, oiu!"
In the bakery (or boulangerie, sounds fun that name) happened a similar experience than in the cafeteria. And after we walked to Les invalides, and from there a lot more and finished in the afternoon in Luxemburg Gardens where we rested a bit. Adriana and Beta didn't want to leave Paris without the last crepe and Vikachuu in that moment would kill for an icecream, and we found the perfect place for it. During the night we prepared our own french dinner with cheese and wine and it was when Paris started to cry.
Next morning, we used last moments in Paris to have coffee and croissants in our habitual place. Paris was still crying, but we were leaving knowing "We'll always have Paris".

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sant Jordi

(or the Catalan lover's day)

Hard to understand for those who have never experienced it, Saint Jordi's Day is a popular festive day when book and rose stalls, and, above all, floods of people, take over the streets of all Catalan towns and villages. The celebration could not be simpler: the ritual consists of going for a walk and buying a rose, a book or both to give to loved ones, family members and friends. Although it is not a public holiday, the day and the essential walk fill the streets and squares, making it a unique national festival celebrated on a working day.

The origin of this unusual festival can be found in a mixture of traditions and customs from different periods. The fact that Saint George (Sant Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalunya coincides with another medieval custom of celebrating a Rose Fair or "Lovers' Fair" at the Palau de la Generalitat.

To these more traditional celebrations was added Book Day, established throughout Spain in 1926. The literary celebration ended up mixing with the Catalan traditions to create a special day which has won widespread public support.

The Legend

Once upon a time, a terrible dragon was terrifying the locals in a village in Catalonia called Montblanc. The dragon caused havoc among the population and ate up the village's pasture animals. To assuage the dragon's anger, the villagers decided they would sacrifice someone every day, chosen by lot and offered to the dragon as a gesture of good will.

But one dark day, the person who was going to be sacrificed was the king's daughter. Before the dragon could swallow her, a splendid knight appeared and attacked the cursed beast. This was Sant Jordi (St George). He thrust his lance into the dragon and from the beast's blood a rose bush with bright red roses arose. Ever since then, it has been a custom in Catalonia to present one's beloved with a rose.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Research work: How long is "5 Greek minutes"?

Just a little clarificacion: The development of this formula is based on an profound research.

All rights reserved (c)

This calculation in fact depends on many factors:

GT = T*[1 - T/(HS*60)] + HT*dwf*ff

GT - Greek time[min]

T - Time as the rest of the world understands [min]

HS - Hours of sun [hours/day]

HT - Halara time needed for average Greek native [min/day]

dwf - day of the week corrective factor [0; 1]

  • Monday = 0,7
  • Tuesday = 0,6
  • Wednesday = 0,4
  • Thursday = 0,78
  • Friday = 0,9
  • Saturday = 1
  • Sunday = 1

ff - food factor

  • Before lunch/dinner time - 0,1
  • After lunch/dinner time - 0,2


Calculations based on a normal Friday in August after lunch/dinner(ref. solar calendar)

GT = T*[1 - T/(HS*60)] + HT*dwf*ff

GT = 5*[1-5/(12,08*60)] + 240*0,9*0,2

GT = 48,17 min


Calculations based on a normal Wednesday August before lunch/dinner(ref. solar calendar)

GT = T*[1 - T/(HS*60)] + HT*dwf*ff

GT = 5*[1-5/(12,08*60)] + 240*0,4*0,1

GT = 14,56 min

Sunday, 22 March 2009

El barri de Sant Andreu mola molt!

In one of the first posts we have already explained what correfoc is. So take a look back to refresh your memory. This topic just poped up because of a pure coincidence.
So we are spending this normal saturday morning/afternoon, when it takes you a lot of time to wake up, get ready, decide what you want to do and so on...
After 17 o'clock when you finally get out of home, you go to eat some lunch in a nice place in the district, our district - barri Sant Andreu. And just when you think that there are no surprises waiting for you this day anymore, so you decide to take metro and look for some exciting things in the center but .... no, Sant Andreu has a surprise for you.
Sudently you hear all this rytmic noise of drums, lough of small children dressed as small devils and louds of people filling the small streets around the main square of the district. All this bustle is because of correfoc and another catalan traditions. It was so amazing that we got carried away with this huge crowd of people, dances, music and fire.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Calçotada season

Calçotada season starts in February and last till the end of March, beginning of April. It is a gastronomical Catalan tradition where calçots are consumed in exaggerated amounts. For the ones who are wondering what da... is a calçot we will explain: Wikipedia says that a calçot is a variety of scallion known as Blanca Grand Tardana from Lleida. If still you don't have a clue of what is it, we will try it with our words: It is a kind of onion more tender and softer. A calçot looks like this:

Altought this event it's called calçotada, the main actor here are not calçots, but the sauce, mmm.... romesco :) (Again wikipedia translation looks convincing :P)

15th of February we went to Helena's place in la Garriga (a village 40Km from Barcelona) to have our first calçotada from the season, and the first ever for Vikachuu. As you can see she was super excited :D

But she was also a little bit scared watching how they were "burning" what has supposed to be our food, and indeed, calçots are cook with a very strong fire that make them black from outside but very tender from inside.

Manual to eat calçots:
0. Cover your dear clothes with a napkin
1. Peel them, removing the black carbonised skin
2. Hold the calçot from the upper part (the green one) and soak it into the sauce
3. Rise the calçot above you heat and open you mouth
4. Enjoy!
5. Reapeat from 1 to 4, 10 times
6. If still not dead go to 5
7. Now you are ready to continue with the meat :)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Feliz Cumple Años!

Happy birthday Beta!!!
On your birthday I wish you a lot of happiness and joy; I hope all of your wishes come true. May each hour and minute be filled with delight, and your birthday be perfect for you!


7th of March

The day started with a Calçotada (you will read about it next articles) at Cris place. It was a sunny hot pre-spring day and as always, cris special calçot's sauce didn't decive us. 
We also have some nice guests durign that weekend and we all could enjoy the perfect weather, the super food and the good company :)


After a siesta, in the evening we meet all again for dinner in Chinese, go for drinks and to club later. 

Guapos, thanks for this suepr party, it was really great! 
Us estimo molt! Mua!

I amsterdam

Here I am. After long, long looooong period of waiting, I got myself together and said “No, it has to stop! I can not leave people without posts in the blog!!!” hahhahahaha

But to be serious, there is a huge part missing of stories from the last post until now, but as I just came back from amazing trip to Amsterdam, want to share it with you while I still have the memories fresh.


So I went to Amsterdam on a university project – IVCF 2009, which means International Virtual Consulting Firm. It is a project for students of Amsterdam and Barcelona. The project is connected with marketing and my case is connected with fashion and design, so I am even more excited.


I have been already 3 times in Amsterdam before and every time I go there I get a new feeling and new emotions from this city. The first time I really didn’t like it, but now I probably look at it quite differently.  I met a lot of nice people and made a lot of new friends and also got quite inspired by many things.


Photos above: making a show in the Dam Square.

Further on just wanted to share with you something which I really liked in Amsterdam.

Poem: YES I AM
One voice was raised and sounded strange,
just a thought turned an idea, into something familiar,
it was the whisper of freedom, that was starting a revolution,
with this spirit as a weapon and unity as a shield. 
Yes I am. 
The world was first amazed by the sex, drugs and rock & roll, 
these people are crazy, 
these people are strange,
they didn’t understand the power of the claim,
impossible is nothing, was in front of their face. 
Yes I am. 
An empty canvas land,
is a world without a map, 
where air can be shared, and invisible is fear, like a dog to a child,
ideas will spin, like flowers grow in the field. 
It was the dream of a guy that ate flower bulbs to survive, 
same reason brought a woman to work from Surinam.
Yes I am.
Lots of no’s were said but just one yes remains, 
where one - seven - four, just means we are more,
it was for sure, that no colors stayed pure. 
Yes I am. 
Oui je suis. 
Si io sono. 
Sim eu sou. 
Si yo soy. 
Ja ich bin. 
Ja ik ben. 
A leaf left the tree and arrived in Amsterdam,
like many hopes of others,and more and more they will,
inspired by something you can just feel. 
Yes I am.