I've been wanting to create a new heart-route in Barcelona since 2013. At the end of October, my heart finally spoke, Cycle your heart out... and share 1 minute!
Watch the video and read the full story below.
Follow Your Heart
The World's Biggest Eye Contact Experiment took place on Saturday 29th October around the world, a beautiful annual event run by The Liberators & Good Vibrations Barcelona. The idea is simple, share 1 minutes eye contact with a total stranger to help regain human connection.
Do you ever notice how little we sometimes look into people's eyes? All our information seems to be at our fingertips. But can our smartphones smile back at us, or hold a gaze enough to lift our mood?
I grew up extremely shy, always avoiding eye contact... which is why I went last year to the event. I was a bit nervous at having to stare into a stranger's eyes for 1 whole minute, but the more I did it, the more my confidence increased, convincing me to return again this year.
The event was back again in Gracia, one of my favorite neighbourhoods in Barcelona, the perfect place to cycle my heart out through!
If you live in Barcelona you can use their local bike hire scheme called Bicing. I love how much freedom it gives me, and has saved me from going crazy without a bike these last 2 months. If you’re visiting Barcelona there are plenty of good bike rental shops to choose from, the area Gracia is perfect to pick up your bike as it's along the heart-route!
On the morning of the event I was looking at my map of Barcelona and the route just jumped out at me, it was probably the fastest route I've ever made. I cycle frequently up Passeig de Gracia and Gran Via which I think helped in creating the design. These 2 streets are super wide and I love how bicycle friendly they are.
View Heart Route Map
I really love this new route, you get to cycle past all the hot spots of Barcelona, while still making use of the wide bicycle paths. Highlights include Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Gracia, Placa Del Sol (where the event was) and the Sagrada Família. If you love the beach you can view my 1st Barcelona heart-route which I created back in 2013. This route was slightly larger in size and took full advantage of the beach path, click here to view the map and video.
I love eating in Gracia, one of my favourite spots to eat is Sol Soler in Placa del sol, the same place the Eye experiment was in. I love their Patata Bravas and being able to sit and relax on the terrace.
Best lookout spot:
I discovered this rooftop at Royal Hotel with a friend last winter and instantly fell in love with its views. It's the perfect spot to sketch as the heaters keep you nice and warm, while the views of the sea keep you in a state of pure Barcelona bliss.
Thank you to Emma Bradford, one of the Co-organizers of Good Vibrations for taking the time to share her thoughts on the event in my video. Emma is also a NLP coach and runs an online Facebook community which offers free guidance and support, to find out more you can visit her website here.
I am also grateful to all the people I shared 1 minutes connection with at the event. I really admired one lady who told me she has trouble looking into people's eyes, which was why she came to the event. A big thanks also to my friend Guiu for sharing the event with me for the 2nd year in a row.
Music: The song in the video is called Pillow Talk by Guh, it's been part of my morning playlist for over a year now and still gives me goosebumps every time I play it.
Want to Create Your Own Route?
Cycling your heart out for something close to you can spread the love, & create a ripple effect of heart- routes all over the world. Last year I made this 5 step video guide, I hope it helps you on your journey!
I hope that Route 19 inspires you to create your own heart-shaped route, and spread the love around the world.
Remember, "Your wheels are your paint, and the world is your canvas"
Cycle your hearts out and I'll speak to you soon,
Today woke up in Toulouse with some incredible news, my sister Helen had finally completed her mammoth 3007km trek across New Zealand with her boyfriend Alex! Their Te Aroa Charity walk was complete after 4 months of adventuring. Smiling from ear to ear I couldn't explain in words how proud I was of her... So I decided to show her instead.
Map: To see the 6.8km route click here - no live gps route due to little bit of a battery fight ;-)
Bike rental: Pierre Qui Roule www.pierrequiroule.fr
Highlights: great views along the La Garonne river, including Dôme de la Grave, Ecole des Beaux Arts. Cycling along Canal du Midi, Jardin Compans Caffarelli, the tasty food market on Boulevard D'Arcole
Hostel: La Petite Auberge de Saint Sernin
Grateful to: All the kind people I met along my route, who showed me the best bicycle paths, great tips & good tea!
Flavien at Pierre Qui Roule bike shop
Marieke & François in the L'Impro
Bernardo de Jeurissen at L'appart cafe
Manual at Le bonheur est dans le for my cup of Yogi tea, the quote said "Il n'y a rien de plus precieux que la confiance en soi" which means There is nothing more precious than self confidence, so true love it!
Tips: You can also use the city's hire bike system called Vélô Toulouse
Food: Amazing traditional food at La P'tite Gouaille
Music: St Germain - Flute (Mozambo Remix)
Want to Create Your Own Route?