This month I will be taking 7 planes and 1 train: Berlin to Athens; to Bilbao; to Paris; to London; to Berlin; to Verona; to Berlin.
In my twenties, I was the type of person that came close to preparing a spreadsheet before I traveled. I checked the weather to pack appropriately. I carried along an emergency kit of rehydration salts, aspirin, Band-Aids, hand cream, lip balm, travel sized tissues, wet wipes, miniature inflatable boat.Imagine everyone’s surprise when for the coveted role of life partner, I chose, the polar opposite of me.
A man who until a couple of years ago thought it was perfectly acceptable to travel with a multitude of flimsy plastic bags standing in for the role of suitcase. We embarked on winter road trips without snow tires. Arrived at destinations without having a hotel booking. He was guaranteed to have brought along at least 10 car magazines, in 5 different languages but clean underwear? No. Toothbrush? No. “We can buy all that stuff there.” was the answer to my pointed tap tapping of my right foot, hand on hip.An uncharacteristic choice, for a risk averse person such as myself. But it worked or is working. I think had I picked someone almost perfect (perfect here meaning as uptight as myself) I would have inevitably picked at the last 5% of flaw. Faced with utter chaos however, I am at a total loss of how to go about fixing it. So I let go, into a free fall and I still haven’t touched the ground.
Now don’t go green with envy, that I have found the ‘one’. Nothing man-made or that involves man is ever perfect. He loves cars, I love food. We try to be enthusiastic about each others passions but most of the time we fall short. I make an elaborate cake and he turns down a piece because he is “not that hungry” only to gobble up two pots of supermarket chocolate pudding. Similarly, I usually only manage to make it about 5 minutes in some old banged up wreck, oh um no sorry, “antique”…ummm, no “classic car”: before I start complaining about it.
Ah but you do crazy things for the one you love. So here I am on a 5 day rally in Burgos. His concession to me? Right after we got out of the airport, we stopped at a restaurant on my list. Bascook, recommended by the New York Times.
Both of us were starving and were instantly seduced by the gorgeous design of the place. There were plenty of unique branding elements. Like a tray of business cards in all different fonts and colours, usually a big no-no, never mess with the logo, unless you are Google, then you pretty much can do anything. Or the menu which is printed inside the restaurant ‘newspaper’. I ordered badly but really the dishes I got shouldn’t be on the menu anyway. To begin a slow cooked egg with slow cooked aubergine and mushrooms, completely unseasoned, not under-seasoned; unseasoned! The cod with purée of confit onion and some other thick yellow purée, was too sickly and too soft, an example of being over reliant on the sous vide technique. My husband’s dishes were better, the carpaccio pictured above was delicious. I ordered him a burger without truffle butter (he hates truffles and once made me throw out my truffle salt because it was stinking up the car), the waiter nodded his consent and then brought him one with extra truffle oil. We were too tired to complain.
Not a good start to the culinary part of the trip but hopefully things will only get better?
Barroeta Aldamar, 8,
* I will be writing from my various destinations for the month of June and will be back to Berlin and Berlin based posts from July. In the meantime check out “Places I’ve Eaten in ” for more reviews on restaurants in Berlin and “Berlin Favourites” for the places I recommend. And of course, I always love your comments and your emails so write!