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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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Looking Out For Number One: The Importance of Claiming “Me Time”

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “All I do is take care of everyone else”? If you’re a woman who farms, the answer is almost certainly yes. After all, there’s a huge amount of pressure on female members of the farming community to take on multiple caring roles. You’ve probably found yourself working on the farm while looking after the family, keeping the house in order, and dealing with suppliers, buyers, vets, and the thousand other little things that require attention. But who’s taking care of you?

If you’re used to putting other people’s needs before your own, it can be hard to break the habit. Sadly, there can be a lot of guilt attached to taking time for yourself. In reality, taking a bit of “me time” can be hugely beneficial for your physical and mental health, but it’s often easier said than done. The most important thing for you to realize is this: prioritizing yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Once you’ve put in a full day’s work, you need some downtime to recharge and bring your mind and body back to a healthy, productive state.

It’s natural to have busy days or times when your energy is focused on someone who really needs you. Sometimes these things cause you to cut back on time for yourself. However, this shouldn’t be an ongoing issue in your day to day life. A few days without time for yourself is unfortunate; a few weeks without it is unacceptable. You’ll be a more responsive, effective, and balanced person when you’ve taken some time to recharge, so make it a priority. Schedule me time into your day, if that’s what it takes. Stop responding to emails after a certain point in the evening so you can make time to relax. Delegate manageable tasks around your home and farm to family members or other workers. If you’re a parent, tell your partner to watch the kids for half an hour so you can read a book, take a bath, or chat with a friend.

If anyone around you passes comment on your me time, shut them down firmly but politely. Tell them that taking some time for yourself allows you to run at full capacity the rest of the time, providing the level of work and care that they expect from you. It’s as simple as that. In reality, the biggest hurdle you have to leap over is your own guilt. You understand the importance of nurturing your work and loved ones – now you just need to accept the importance of nurturing yourself.


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