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Being out in the sun all day is often unavoidable. Most people are well aware of the possible skin damage, including wrinkles, burns and premature aging. Fewer people are aware that the sun can damage other parts of the body too, from your nails to your hair.

Overexposure to the sun can cause your hair to become dry, brittle and discolored. UV rays permeate your nails, which may eventually become yellow with raised ridges. Your lips also feel the wrath of the sun — they have almost no melanin, so they’re not protected against sunburn. Excessive UV rays can also cause eye diseases such as cataracts.

Prevention is key when it comes to sun damage, so follow these tips for thorough protection.

Skin & lips

Sun protection is especially important during summer months, but even cloudy days can damage your skin and lips. Young people are particularly vulnerable, though the damage doesn’t show up until later. In addition to arming yourself with a high-quality sunscreen to prevent burns, wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide all-day shade. Use a chapstick that contains SPF, and apply it regularly throughout the day.

Hair

To prevent hair from becoming brittle or discolored, you can use a conditioner that contains sunscreen or simply run sunscreen through your hair. A more practical solution, however, is to wear a hat or scarf when you’re outside for long periods of time. This protects your scalp as well as your delicate hair.

Nails

Nails are one of the most-often neglected areas of the body when it comes to sun protection. Excessive sun isn’t any more healthy for your nails than it is for your skin. Luckily, the solution is simple: protect your nails with an opaque nail polish. There are also top coats on the market that are specifically designed to handle extra UV rays.

Eyes

You may already be doing everything that you need to do to protect your eyes from the sun –wearing sunglasses. To reduce the risk of eye damage even further, however, make sure to choose sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV rays. The lenses should be dark, as well as large enough to shield your entire eye. Make sure to wear your sunglasses whenever sunlight is reflecting into your eyes, even if the sun isn’t high in the sky.

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7 Days in Spain Finale: Culinary Adventures

We end our fantasy trip (see part 1, part 2) in Northern Spain. Soaked in sunshine, Spain has long served up alluring sights, sounds, and savory delights. Northern Spain, is especially well known for it’s cuisine and culture. The following itinerary takes in the delicious delights of La Boqueria in Barcelona, learning how to cook Catalan dishes, the tapas bars of Logrono, wine tasting in the La Rioja region, and pintxos tasting in the famed bars of San Sebastian.

Day 1

Your first stop is Barcelona, the heart of Catalan country. Shake off your jetlag by diving headfirst into the chaotic colour and mouth watering aromas of La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous food market. Sample the jamon – iberico, bellota or Serrano – and Manchego cheese on offer, then find a seat at one of the tapas bars while enjoying the hustle and bustle going on all around you.

Day 2

On your second day in Barcelona, take a wander around this easy to navigate city and visit the famous Sagrada Familia, a cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, Spain’s most famous architect. Other sights include the beaches of La Barceloneta, the rambling Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter.

Day 3

Book a Catalan culinary course with one of the many cooking schools available in Barcelona for a hands-on learning experience of the local cuisine. Classes are mainly conducted in English and run between 3-4 hours – you’ll even get to sample your own cooking at the end of it! Learn about the secrets of Catalan cooking, including how to cook with botifarra (pork sausage) and picada (ground and herb nuts).

Day 4

Leaving Barcelona with a heavy heart and full belly, take the train to Logrono, the heart of Spain’s wine country. Here, in the jumbled streets of medieval Casco Viejo, let instinct be your guide as you tapas hop through the city. Each bar usually specialises in one divine, delicious dish – wild mushrooms cooked in butter, grilled chorizo, fishcakes in béchamel – so if you want to sample as much as possible, keep moving. If you stick to the vicinity of Calle del Laurel, you can do no wrong.

Day 5

La Rioja is one of Spain’s most famous exports, and it would be a shame to leave without trying some of the region’s award winning wines. There are plenty of wineries within Logrono itself, ranging from small, boutique family run businesses to new, modern behemoths with cutting edge technology.

Day 6

From Logrono, it is a short 2 hour bus ride to the culinary center of Spain – San Sebastian. With its stunning beaches, historical architecture and thriving art scene, San Seb, as it’s affectionately known, offer a whole different take on Spanish food. Take in a txikiteo, a pintxo bar hop – the Basque equivalent of tapas – in the Parte Vieja, pintxos where have been elevated to tiny, bite sized, edible works of art.

Day 7

Glorious San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per square metre than any other city on earth, with 16 stars in total. Dine in luxury at Arzak, Akelarre, or Berasategui, which all hold 3 Michelin stars each; or if you can’t get a reservation, try your luck at Kokotxia or Mirador de Ulia instead – the experience will be as transcendent.

On your final day in San Sebastian, look to a traditional cider house, or sagardotegia for your last supper. These establishments are located a little further away from the city center and serve delicious meals to accompany the local brew. Ask your hotel concierge to organize this for you. After eating your fill, catch the train from San Seb back to Barcelona. The journey will take you five and a half hours.


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