If you're a vegetarian/vegan travelling to Barcelona, here is some advice.

As much as I love Barcelona, I recognize the place is far from Germany or the Netherlands in terms of veg-friendliness, but it is an easier place than the rest of Spain and most of France. There are tons of vegetarian/vegan restaurants, you can check the very reliable Happy Cow Barcelona for a quite extensive list.

If you are a vegetarian, at most regular restaurants you have to say that you don't eat meat AND you don't eat fish, even if you ask for a green salad. In many places, the green salad has tuna. Say that you are a vegan (vegano), if they don't get it, try strict vegetarian (vegetariano estricto).

If you go for tapas, the vegan tapas are:

  • Patatas bravas, and the all-i-oli sauce that looks like mayonaise is actually vegan in many places, it is just garlic and oil. You have to ask if the sauce has eggs (huevos).
  • Pa amb tomaquet, or bread and tomato.
  • Pimientos del padrón, which are delicious green peppers
  • Setas or alcachofas fritas, mushrooms or fried artichokes, which are rare tapas, sometimes available in some places

There are some nice fast-food restaurants and bars in Ciutat Vella, the old part of Barcelona, which are very yummy. My favorites are Gopal which has burger take-away and a couple of tables to eat there, and Cat Bar which is an English-speaking vegetarian/vegan bar with lots of local beers to taste. In another neighborhood, Gracia, there is this very small juice bar, Quinoa Bar, which also has great sandwiches. Also in Gracia, a good friend of us has a delicious take-away vegan shop called Vegetart, which has vegan versions of traditional Catalan food.

If you are up for a restaurant, I like Teresa Carles and Biocenter, both are nice and casual. For Indian food, VegWorld is a great choice.

If your travel partners insist on a traditional Catalan restaurant, the least bad alternative in my opinion is the Mussol; I once had nice grilled avocados there, you can have a veggie grill, and if you're lucky you can get to try the grilled soft scallions called "calçots" which are delicious.

If you're up for a short trip outside Barcelona, in winter, there are two Catalan towns who have their traditional "fiesta" around two delicious local products which are vegan. Artichoke lovers should not miss the Carxofada de Sant Boi, while those who like calçots can enjoy the Calçotada de Valls.

Enjoy Barcelona!

I love research environments, even when they are far from perfect. There are a few bad people, plus a great deal of good people that occasionally do bad things because they are single-minded or focused on their own goals. However, the bad things are a small part of what a research life has been to me.

It's like Barcelona: it's a great city, but there are pickpockets. I don't let that distract me from the fact that it's a great city. That doesn't mean I think they are not bad, nor that I endorse what they do, nor that I think they are some sort of necessary evil. It just means I don't let them define my experience of the city.

To enjoy a research life, one needs to learn to focus on what matters, to speak up when needed, to not take things personally, and to forgive and forget. Dwelling on the bad just ruins the experience.

In cybersecurity, the most important attack model of our times is government-in-the-middle, a variant of man-in-the-middle in which the spies of governments wants to mediate all of your communications.

Example: Kazakhastan's certificate.

The last 6 weeks have been crazy. We spent 2 weeks in Netherlands, touring by bicycle doing 300 km in total, visiting old and new friends and experiencing fantastic 3 days of electronic music. Then, 2 weeks in Doha, in a series of increasingly liver-harmful farewell parties plus a lot of packing! Then 1 week in Rome including moving to a new house with the 3 cats, clearing through customs and bringing home 280 kg of our stuff. Finally 1 week in Greece, for a summer school and for our first trip to a country we already love.

(Bicicletas en Holanda + plata en Grecia)

I don't complain, I mean we're so lucky, but damn it has been crazy. Now tomorrow will be my first day at a new job, let's see what it brings ;-)

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