The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “breakfast choices”

Reflections on Auckland

The general impression of arriving in  New Zealand is positive from the moment that the immigration forms ask is one wants to stay and the immigration process is complete in maybe 5 minutes or less.

The general drive into auckland is unspectacular with normal housing and industrial developments lining regular dual carriageways. There is however an absence of the hideous traffic jams that line most of the UK motorways.

The centre of  Auckland has the regular shops and hotels that one expects to see but the focus point is maybe the harbour filled with various yachts of immense expense, boats offering whale and dolphin trips and the edges lined with appealing bars and restaurants. An Italian restaurant  Portofino can be recommended for basic but nice Italian fare and not too pricey.

As one walks around the people look happy. When I was there there was an international Karate tournament with most of the young teenage contestantants staying in the hotel. There was no arguing with these guys when they rushed up en-masse to get their breakfast items. The Austrian girls were particularly scary.

The city is also lined by a series of dormant, hopefully, volcanoes. Mount Wellington being one example giving great views of the city and worth a decent climb. At the moment cars are allowed to the top to a small car park but soon this will end and car passengers will have to take the same walking route as their coach passenger fellow tourists.

The food generally is interesting. Gorgeous slices of Mango at breakfast with fresh pears and apricots. Lebanese restaurants with very different menus to what might be expected in UK.

There is the usual selection of excellent graffiti and one piece of a guy trying to break into a locked garage caught my eye and was spectacular. A few curious signs too.

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Reflections on Barcelona and Catalan Food. A nice surprise

A visit to Barcelona is never without surprises. And in many ways this time it was the food. There are some basic facts about eating out in Spain in general that need understanding. Mainly that food is never served as hot as it is for example in UK. Lets run through my three meals. Breakfast is the same as anywhere, but the fruit quality is the best. fresh Kiwi tasting like it had been picked a few minutes ago and Oranges that tasted like …Oranges.

Lunch was an interesting affair too. The lunch kitchens do not open until 1pm. So realistically eating till 1.30 pm is fairly complex. The Catalan specials include great meats of course but also Catalan sausage served with white beans. For dinner curiously I had a Spanish omelette which was served with bread covered in a thin layer of tomato, not tomato sauce. The story is something like this that the Catalan dishes are basically the food for the poor from 100 years ago when vegetables like tomatoes were cheap. dishes are also renowned for mixing sweet and savoury foods.

Catalan dishes rely heavily on ingredients popular along the Mediterranean coast, including fresh vegetables (especially tomato, garlic, eggplant (aubergine), capsicum, and artichoke), wheat products (bread, pasta), Arbequina olive oils, wines, legumes (beans, chickpeas).

The traditional Catalan cuisine is quite diverse, ranging from pork dishes cooked in the inland part of the region to fish recipes along the coast.

The cuisine includes many preparations that mix sweet and savoury pbbhotophodto 3 photo 1 photoc 2 photod 5 phoxxto 4

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