Badalona, Barcelona, Montgat, Thoughts, Travelling

MONTGAT – and some thoughts about travelling

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During our Easter holiday we decided to go on a little trip to Montgat.聽Montgat is a little town about 16km away from Barcelona. The road there is simple: you just have to follow the coastline. Barcelona is a great city for bikers and they are building new bike lines all the time. The weather in Barcelona is sunny most of the year so it’s optimal for biking. If you ever travel to Barcelona I recommend you to explore it by bike.

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I’ve lived in Barcelona now for almost two years and I’m a bit ashamed that I don’t know much about towns that are close to Barcelona. My resolution for the year 2018 was that I have to explore Barcelona’s outskirts more. There are so many places to see and little villages to visit. For a long time I’d been so focused on travelling far that I’d forgotten to focus on my surroundings. When I lived in Finland I was always planning the next trip and constantly dreaming about new places to go. I was waiting for the next holiday to be able to travel and go somewhere else. Moving to Barcelona changed my travelling habits and for the first time I realised that I didn’t even want to go anywhere.

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It’s important to love the city you live in. Previously I thought that it was normal to have this feeling where you constantly wanted to be somewhere else. I’m not saying that I don’t want to travel anymore because that’s a lie but let’s say I’m a lot more relaxed about it. That has a lot to do with the fact that I love the city I live in now, it’s very relieving to realise that you don’t need to escape anymore. 馃榾 This time instead of planning the next trip we packed our backpacks went biking..

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.. and it really did work out!

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I enjoyed our day trip so much. The weather was beautiful and the hill we stopped at was totally worth visiting. The road to Montgat was very nice and interesting because you see the modern side of Barcelona and also go trough the beautiful boulevard in Badalona. I had this feeling like I was far away from Barcelona and even though you might love the place you are in, it’s normal to want to disconnect for a moment. In the evening I was happy to bike back home without passing any airport security checks or sweating in a metro.

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Boulevard in Badalona

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So whenever you feel like you want to be somewhere else or your next holiday feels like a distant dream, do a day trip. Pack some food and go somewhere near where you still haven’t been. After that if you still feel like you need to leave, maybe you can think about buying plane tickets, but at least give it a try. 馃榾

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I would definitely bike to Montgat again and I’m sure at least we will sit in the boulevard in Badalona. The reason why I even wanted to go there was that I’d heard that there were a lot of cats everywhere but this time we didn’t see any! I have to say that I was looking forward to seeing the cats but even without cats the day trip was successful. 馃榾

– Eeva –

 

 

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Barcelona, Music

SOUNDEAT

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Two weekends ago we went to see “Chaos in the CBD” and “Detroit Swindle” in this event called SoundEat. It’s located in Parc del Forum. The place is perfect for this kind of event, it’s a big open space with a massive roof. We weren’t that lucky with the weather though, 7 degrees and cold rain is not the nicest if you want to be outside, but luckily the roof took care of us and the atmosphere was great!

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We arrived at around 5 pm and my personal favourites, Chaos in the CBD, had just started playing, their set was amazing and so much fun!! Everybody was dancing and there were smiley faces everywhere. If you ever have a chance to see them DJ, you should go! They play a mix of deep house, disco and techno. They played for two hours and after we finished we caught half an hour of Detroit Swindle but since the weather was so bad we decided to leave early, everyone was also pretty hungry after all the dancing. 馃檪

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I tried to take some nice pictures to capture the atmosphere and feeling of the evening. The event was well organised and the sound was very good, so in that sense I can really recommend SoundEat. Sometimes you have a great set of artists but then the sound is not good and you can’t enjoy the event at its fullest. Another positive thing is that it starts early and it finishes at a reasonable hour (from 1 pm to 10 pm), so you don’t have to spend the whole night outside.

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The best thing about early events is that you still have time to continue the evening with your friends. After the event we went to eat in one of our favourite restaurants “Capitol de Vietnam”. If you are a fan of Vietnamese food, this is a place for you. The service is very good and fast, the food is a heaven on earth and the prices are decent (there will be a post about this place later on). I don’t know if I’m getting old but this kind of evening is just perfect. The older you get it’s more difficult to stay up late and if you do so, the next day you can’t function at all. 馃榾

Looking forward to more day events and music!

– Eeva –

 

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Barbecue, Barcelona, Food

BARBECUE

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I have to admit that I had never been that into barbecues until I met my Mexican friends. I can count with one hand how many times I’ve been grilling food in Finland. Usually we just walk into woods and heat sausages on a campfire. Mexicans (or at least the ones I know :D) are professionals when it comes to barbecues. An interesting mix of meat, onions, sausages and more importantly “salsas” were the key to success. Also the beautiful weather we had added an extra flavorful touch to our already amazing food!

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Our friend’s rooftop is barbecue heaven! Last time we visited him, it was raining a lot and we were only able to dream about sunny days and barbecues. I’m really glad he invited us and we were able to make our plan true. The day was perfect and it really felt that Spring was here! The past few weeks have been rainy and grey so last Saturday was a real reminder that Summer is coming. I didn’t realise until I moved here how much the weather actually influences my mood. The sun gives you so much energy and I couldn’t stop smiling!

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Before you put the food on the grill you can clean it with onion and olive oil.

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Grilled onions need only some lime and red “salsa” and they’re ready to be eaten!

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Jay the Englishman enjoying onions with red salsa.

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Jay’s rooftop is massive!

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I was a bit sceptical when Rafa said that we were going to make tacos with chistorra (spanish sausage similar to chorizo) and cheese. I couldn’t believe that you didn’t need more ingredients. Like I mentioned before the trick with Mexican food is the “salsa” you put on your taco. In my head I always imagined Mexican food being complicated but in the end the important thing is to combine ingredients wisely and make the “salsas”.

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“Pico de Gallo” on top and your taco is ready! You can find the “Pico de Gallo” recipe here. Simple and super tasty.

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We also prepared some burgers. They were super good! I added some red “salsa” to give my burger a nice spicy touch.

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Finally the sun came down and we continued our evening indoors. I moved to Barcelona over 1 and half years ago and I still feel that there is a crazy amount of things to see and do. Jay moved here recently so it’s refreshing to listen to him because I can relate to those feelings that I experienced when I had just moved here. His roommate actually summed up what Barcelona life is like: every weekend in Barcelona is equivalent to a holiday. It’s crazy, but true! I feel that you have so many things to do and time just flies so you are in this constant battle with time. Especially when Summer comes, you basically just go home to sleep and the rest of the time you spend outside. I’m really looking forward to it but I’m also glad that life is not an endless Summer. 馃榾

– Eeva –

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Barcelona, Music

TOMMY CASH

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First of all, I’m not an expert what comes to music. I can’t write a deep analysis of an artist, I can just describe my own experiences and feelings.

I have to say that I feel like a teenager when it comes to Tommy Cash. I don’t know if you know the feeling I’m talking about but it’s just this kind of teenage excitement. I haven’t had this kind of feeling in a long time and especially I haven’t had this kind of excitement about an artist in a long time. I was so happy that Tommy came to Barcelona and after buying the tickets I couldn’t think about anything else than the upcoming show.

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The first time I saw his videos, my mind was blown away! I couldn’t believe what I was watching: an Estonian rapper with weird accent on these crazy music videos. The visuals are hypnotising.聽I love the colours and the way people move in his videos. It’s just breathtaking. He is making something different and you can’t put him into one genre.

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I think Tommy’s visuals explain the music a lot. I really enjoy his music but to get the full experience I recommend you to watch his music videos. My favourite music video so far is聽“PUSSY MONEY WEED“. I never would have thought that a song called “PUSSY MONEY WEED” would make me cry. 馃榾 The way he represented handicapped people on the music video was one of the best things I had seen in a while. I have never seen anything like that before and it just hit me hard!

About the show here in Barcelona. I really loved it! He played all his songs except “Surf”. I had high expectations and it turned out to be better than I expected. I’m really glad he played in Sala Apolo because the sound was very good. Also I liked the visuals and well, the atmosphere was amazing! Everyone was dancing, jumping and singing. The only sad thing was that he didn’t play an encore but the show was so good so I forgive him. 馃榾

I took some videos to show you how great it was, hope you enjoy!

– Eeva –

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Barcelona, Food, Restaurant

CASA L脫PEZ

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If you are travelling to Barcelona or you live in Barcelona and you haven’t visited Casa L贸pez, you have to go there as soon as you can. I have to thank our friend Roger again for showing us this wonderful restaurant. Casa L贸pez is a perfect name for this place, since the interior reminds me of someone’s house. After discovering this place, we have been there many times and it has always been great! I’ve always wanted to find our own “go to”- bar and we finally have it!

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As you can see above, they have several different “Tapas” on the menu. Prices are decent and well, the quality is great! They also have sandwiches but we still haven’t tried them. One day we will!

If you like cheese I recommend you to try this “Tabla Queso Curado”. That cheese has a lot of flavor without being too strong and the size of the plate is proper. It’s a perfect starter and I recommend you to try it with “Tapa de Fuet”. “Fuet” is a Catalan sausage and this particular one in Casa L贸pez is just perfect! It is cut into nice, thin slices which won’t stay long on the plate as soon as everyone has a taste of it.

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We also ordered “Tortilla de Patata” which is a Spanish omelette. I would say that the best ones I have tried so far have been in Casa L贸pez and in Pinosa. The problem with “Tortilla de patata” is usually that it’s overcooked and dry. This one is nicely cooked, soft and tasty. My favorite dish in Casa L贸pez is “Chocos”. They are basically small calamari and they are super delicious! Usually when we have tried calamari they haven’t had that much flavor BUT these are definitely the exception, they’re the best ones I have tried so far. They have a lot of flavor, they are not oily and they are perfectly fried.

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Above you can see classic “Croquetas de Jamon Iberico” and a big “Bomba de carne”. Bomba is a fried ball of potato and meat with sauce on top. In Finland we have this dish called “lihaperunasoselaatikko” and I would say that this is only a fatter and tastier version of that. So far this has been the best “bomba” I have tried in Barcelona.

The potatoes above are the “all-i-oli” version, they are really good but in my opinion the spicy “Patatas Bravas” are a bit better. If you like garlic, I recommend you to try the ones above. I like both sauces a lot and my inner potatolover approves the flavor of the potatoes. They are soft and nicely roasted! We also tried the meatballs which are really juicy and tender, they are cooked in a tomato sauce with peas and mushrooms which is perfect for dipping some bread into! The combination is wonderful and it’s hard to tell which exact flavor makes them so tasty.

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We finished everything!!

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Digestivos, amazing as always! This one is Orujo de Hierbas.

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As you can see I’m the biggest fan of Casa L贸pez and the only thing left to say is: “just go there!”. The only “bad” thing is that it’s usually full and maybe you have to wait for a table a bit, but I think that is always the case what comes to good restaurants. I’d recommend to arrive at around 7 pm in order to not spend time waiting for a table, they also open during midday but I’ve only been there for dinner so I’m not sure about the situation at that time.

Another great thing is that it’s located in Gracia and that is my favorite area in Barcelona. I can’t wait for Spring to come and have a cold drink under the sun at Placa del Sol (a nearby square) after eating in Casa L贸pez. 馃榾

Casa L贸pez

Carrer del Topazi 11,

08012,

Barcelona

– Eeva –

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