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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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11 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Belongs in Your Pantry

You may already stock apple cider vinegar in your pantry and use it in your favorite recipes, but there are many other reasons to keep it on hand. From health benefits to natural cleaning, apple cider vinegar has benefits that go far beyond the kitchen.

If you have not yet discovered the power of apple cider vinegar, just consider some of these powerful benefits.

  1. Apple cider vinegar can soothe your upset stomach. The ingredients in apple cider vinegar coat your digestive system, relieving stomach upset, reducing diarrhea and preventing stomach upset. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar dissolved in water or apple juice can be just as effective as store-bought remedies.
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  3. Apple cider vinegar can make your hair look great. Mix 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water and use it as an after-shampoo hair rinse. Follow with a thorough rinse with cold water.
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  5. Apple cider vinegar can fix your runny nose. If you suffer from sinus problems or have a cold, try mixing a teaspoon-full of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. It will soothe your nose, help your sinuses drain and make you feel better.
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  7. Apple cider vinegar makes a great facial mask. Mix equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar, add a tablespoon of honey and apply it to your skin for an inexpensive but highly effective facial mask. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes and rinse it off with warm water.
  8.  

  9. Apple cider vinegar can relieve nighttime leg cramps. Dilute a small amount of apple cider vinegar in water and drink the solution twice a day to relieve troublesome nighttime leg cramps. The ingredients in apple cider vinegar dissolve acid crystals in the bloodstream while giving your muscles the potassium, calcium and other essential nutrients they need.
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  11. Apple cider vinegar can make your bath more relaxing. Fill your bathtub with warm water, and then add two caps of apple cider vinegar to draw toxins from the skin and leave you feeling refreshed.
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  13. Apple cider vinegar can cure your hiccups. Hiccups are often the result of an imbalance of acid in the stomach. Drinking a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar dissolved in water can restore that balance and send the hiccups packing.
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  15. Apple cider vinegar can whiten your teeth. You do not have to spend a fortune on whitening treatments; just gargle with apple cider vinegar every time you brush your teeth. The natural acids can remove stains and leave your teeth feeling great.
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  17. Apple cider vinegar can reduce swelling in your hands and feet. Rub apple cider vinegar on your swollen hands and feet to reduce swelling and make them feel better.
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  19. Apple cider vinegar can soothe a sunburn. If you have been out in the sun too long, try soaking a washcloth with apple cider vinegar and applying it to your reddened skin.
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  21. Apple cider vinegar makes an effective and low-cost mouthwash. Send bad breath packing by mixing half a tablespoon in a cup of warm water and gargling with it.

by beconrad


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