Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven't experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth."

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The first week of March was incredibly warm in the Costa Brava – which was a nice change from the Tramontana, which is the Northern Wind and literally is the coldest wind I have ever experienced. The term ‘sweeps you off your feet’ also comes to mind. Apparently, the word originates from Latin/ Italian and means ‘From over the mountain something foreign comes’, so before was used to refer to anything foreign coming over the mountains. Now it is mainly used to describe the Northern Wind. I never really took an interest in winds until I moved here, but it really does affect your daily life, so it is useful to know what wind is blowing. This is also useful if you are planning to go onto certain beaches as you might make the wrong decision. Anyway -

On one of the Sundays, my chef friend invited me to a ‘Calçotada’ which is a traditional outing where you go out with your friends out into nature – for us the choice was near the Castle of Torrella - and you have a barbeque. But this isn’t just any old barbeque. This includes and is mainly consisted of ‘Calçots’ – which look like big spring onions. I was sceptical at first, but this vegetable is probably one of the tastiest I have ever tried. You put them on the barbeque and when they are completely charred you take them, allow them to cool for a few minutes and then use your hands to take the charred bits off in one ‘smooth’ sweep (I took a couple). You then dip the calçot into a Romesco sauce which is made of tomatoes, nuts, garlic and tastes incredible. I thought I’d share this experience as it was my first Calçotada and the season is apparently nearly over. Hope to have a few more outings before it’s too late.

(photo from Restaurant Can Oliver)


Where the famous Surrealist painter Salvador Dali used to live. This place really has a magical feel about it. We arrived at nighttime, four friends and a pink Volkswagen Van, and went to dine in a small, comfy restaurant called Tao (run by four old women). I’d prefer to call this restaurant just a ‘home’ really because it is not a traditional restaurant. You enter through a wooden door which is situated on a mountainous side street. There are perhaps two low tables and the ‘living room’ is basically the ‘dining room’. When you go out back you see a large garden with lemon and orange trees around. It’s quite beautiful.

In the morning we went for a walk and you really do understand where Dali got some of his inspiration from. His house is situated right by the most serene part of the beach and little islands are dotted around the bay.

The sky of the Costa Brava is also something else. If you take a look at a lot of Dali’s paintings you may see a ‘Vanilla Sky’ – skies with different shaped clouds, colours and amazing sunsets. This is pretty much true. Everyday there is a burst of character in the sky and it is truly beautiful. Would recommend going to Cadaeques to visit Dali’s house as well as Tao for a beautiful home made vegertarian meal.

Info about Costa Brava
Info about Salvador Dali's house