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Showing posts from January, 2011

Eating my way through Spain

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A weathered door from the Cathedral in Morella Dear Citizens of the World, Tourism in Spain is equivalent to eating. Most destinations are known for their gastronomy as much as their monuments. Morella, a mountain village in the North of Castellon (along the Med between Barcelona and Valencia), is no different. Local "rosemary" honey from Morella During our visit to Morella we did spend some time walking around the area and checking out the monuments; however, the focus of the day was really the lunch and specialty shopping for local foodstuffs. Local sweet wine/spirts... we decided on the Garnatxa The day did not come without it's challenges. We ate so much for lunch that it was tough to complete a proper cheese tasting -- we ended up with three types of cheese... and we normally avoid lactose! Reflection of the sky and street in a large decanter full of red wine Remember, when visiting a Spanish village there are three rules to follow: 1. Get advice on a good r

Breathing in a fresh? New Year -- Part II

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Traditional Chimneys from the Aragón region of Northern Spain -- smokeless in July Dear Citizens of the World! The new year has started and the ban on smoking seems to be holding up -- but not without some problems. I am happy to report that we were able to go out for dinner last week and we got home without smelling like smoke! This is no small feat in Spain. On a cold Saturday evening, the sidewalks were packed with smokers... a good sign that the ban is working. Most bars and cafes seem to be following the rules, but the first time I went into a café in January (partly to support the ban by spending more money in cafés and restaurants... and partly because I just wanted a coffee) was a no-go. As soon as I entered the cafe, a women lit up a cigarette and practically blew the smoke at me. Slightly shocked and frustrated, I turned around and left. Like all changes in society, it will take time to take root and for the holdouts to accept the change. Not so far in the past, teache

Breathing in a fresh New Year

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Dear Citizens of the world! 2011 has started with a breath of fresh air, both indoors and out. As of January 2nd, it is illegal to smoke in any bars or restaurants in Spain! Now I can finally go out for a drink or coffee and not come home smelling like a musty ashtray! We decided to start our newyear by going cross-country skiing and hiking in the Spanish Pyrenees. We were blessed by sunny weather, great snow and fresh mountain air -- the only smoke being the soft, sweet smell of ceder coming for the village chimnees... As of 2011, you can only smoke at home and in the streets Enjoying the sun and snow in Benasque Whispy, smoke-like, clouds over a mountain that apears folded like a duvet Thanks for listening, The United Statesian A parting shot... Sunrise from the hotel in the village of Campo