Thursday, August 31, 2006


As promised, yesterday I joined Christian on two visits to olive oil cooperatives in Catalonia, the so called Almazaras. It was cool to see the “selling business” live and discover how important the Catalan language is if you want to make business in this autonomous community. Since I was introduced as the “Danish colleague from marketing”, the manager of the first plant we visited switched to Spanish, which didn’t help me in 100% – he was still talking very quickly. The second plant was, in contrast, purely Catalan, thus I sat and pretended to understand pretty much every word being said. This was in Tarragona, a province growing tons of hazelnuts (guess that’s where one of Cloetta’s oldest chocolates got its name). We were recommended a restaurant just next to the cooperative, which showed to be superb in ambience, quality and service, billing just a few Euros. You would never expect such a restaurant to exist in this kind of an outback.

Wine fields of Catalonia

Transporting olives

Manufacturing special brand of oil: one person doing it all

Everywhere in Tarragona you see hazelnut trees

The business doesn't stop because of lunch

Cheers Christian!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Linguistics at work

Once again, we have had a class at work: E is a linguistically interested Spaniard, always trying to include some phrase in the recipient’s mother tongue in every email he writes. Except of Pere, he is the only Spaniard/Catalan to be able to say something in Swedish. Today, we had yet another language session, trading my German for his Spanish. The exchange does not always include words necessary for making a decent conversation. The top trade of Today:

Geil [de] = horny, lustful, cool, wicked (do you still use this word?), på svenska tydligen också fet eller bördig (Prismas Tyska Ordbok)

De puta madre [sp] = excellent (BBC warning us not to confuse the phrase with another one)

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Tibidabo run

The results of the Tibidabo run:

Uptime: 59 min
Downtime: 54 min

Except the apparent difference between up and down, the roads chosen were not the same. Running up I chose what I know to be the shortest possible way, taking the rough paths rather then roads, which I chose on the way down. The two distances were circa 8 and 12 kilometers, making it a bit over 10 km/h. Not bad, but I will of course make another attempt to improve it as soon as I can. ;)

Good beats for going Tibidabo up:

  • Vitalic – Woo
  • Thomas – Brinkmann Piste 7
  • The Egg – Wall (Mylo Remix)
  • The Tough AllianceMany Man

Great beats for going Tibidabo down:

  • Foo Fighters – Breakout
  • Tiga – Jamaican Box
  • Missy Elliot – Loose Control (Scumfrog rmx)
  • Kaiser Chiefs – I predict a Riot

The monestary is visible from a long distance

Some people choose to bike up, good not to be the only one that is crazy...

Communcation tower, I think it was drawn by Calatrava...

T-tags everywhere...

Blackberries - the favourites besides cherries

View over Barcelona

Amusement park next to the monestary, suitable choice


The guy guarding the monestary, stiff most of the time

The explanation to the name of the mountain...

Can you see it (him)?

Yes, it's a wild boar!

Wine insider

I have just been promised to join one colleague sales manager visiting some of our wine customers and olive oil customer prospects! Yesssssss!

The wineries in Spain are just about to enter the harvest season and busy they will be. I am looking forward to seeing a Big Bang wine harvest – the wineries are working from dusk till dawn during the whole of September, creating the base for many good wines and just as many cheap ones (those of course don't have our instruments. We're to good for them.) I guess that the master country in having the most Schwung and volume in growing and harvesting is Australia and soon I will take part in the Australian wonder! Best to learn the names of all the socceroos :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Today’s activities include climbing the 512 meter high Tibidabo Mountain, being the highest peak of the Collserola mountain range, delimiting the organic growth of the city of Barcelona inwards the Catalan country. The area delivers a well needed portion of green to the city, making the air a bit more fresh and breathable. The name Tibidabo origins from Latin’s

“… ET dixit illi haec tibi omnia dabo if cadens adoraveris me”,


"… And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me",

being said by the devil to Jesus from a high peak (not this very one that is) looking upon the beautiful land below. The view from the mountain is truly nice, giving you an impression of the plan of the city of Barcelona (or rather the lack thereof ;)

The mountain is crowned by a monastery, with an amusement park being placed just beside. You can reach the peak by metro and funicular, but some choose to ride their mountain bike, walk or run upwards. I will do the latter and discover how sweaty and tired a man can get.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cashier analysis

Visiting Spain, you may experience what slow motion really does mean. A pretty good example: the cashiers in the nearby Consum (a grocery store chain present on every street in the half of the Spanish provinces). Even though the line is fifteen people long they:

  1. chit-chat with the customer allowing her/him to look for the consum-member-card for three minutes without even finding it.
  2. put the customer’s groceries in the bags before handling the next customer.
  3. walk away to the fruit department in order to weigh and price-tag the bag of tomatoes because the customer forgot to do it her-/himself.
  4. chat with the other cashier.

Comparing the speed of their work to that of their European colleagues, the Spanish Consum and the Austrian Hofer (Aldi) are perfect antonyms.

Posting using e-mail

A test of the e-mail-to-blog-post functionality. Would be good to be able to include images…

Let's get this baby started.......

Time for starting up a real blog, though seamed as a good idea from the beginning, it is to slow in uploading images and incredibly static. Let us see what this platform has to offer and move the travel to!