We Are Barcelona
Birds replaced by helicopters
Music drowned out by sirens
Hate breeds hate
Love breeds love
Reaching for my map, I know what needs to be done
Drawing a red line
From the top to the bottom of Las Ramblas
Following the pen along Passeig de Colom
And into Ciutadella Park
Line by line
Passeig de Gracia
Plaza de Catalunya
Line by line
You’re now complete
The red pen is then replaced by bike tyres
Breathing in and out
Soaking into my memory
For every flower I see
Every candle I notice
Every message I read
I no longer feel fear
We are not afraid
We are Barcelona
Our heart beats on
The Heartful Sunrise
The feeling of satisfaction as you plot your heart on a map, set off on your bike and ride for the sheer joy of riding, is priceless.
Your mind only focused on the heart map before you and the next road you need to take.
As your eyes dance around a route which you’ve created,
you begin to notice your surroundings with more intensity, more wonder.
You spot a tree you never appreciated before,
the looks on people’s faces as you roll on past.
The surrounding birdsongs appears to grow in volume.
Thoughts of what you need to do tomorrow somehow get put on hold, regrets about past failures fade out, your inner critic takes a nap as you cycle your heart out heartfully, appreciating the whole journey, from beginning to end
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,
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes
from your own actions.”
Flourish! This word sits strongly in my heart, only we have the power to control our own happiness.
A few months ago over coffee with a friend, I discovered a fantastic UK Wellbeing Organisation called ‘Action for Happiness’. With the inspiring Dalai Lama as their patron, Action for Happiness is a beautiful movement promoting positive social change, bringing together people who want to play a part in creating greater happiness. Check out their website to find out more & have fun reading their 10 keys to happiness poster.
Madrid has been on my list of places to cycle in for ages, so I was happy to finally get the chance to visit! It's a beautiful city, with huge peaceful parks, great cycle paths & full of friendly people.
Check out my video to join me on my Madrid heart route!
Heart Route: An easy 6.13km traffic free route, view map here Wikiloc
Bike Rental shop: Rent and roll (next to Puerta de Alcalá)
Highlights of route: Cycled through the beautiful Retiro park, past Monumento Alfonso XII , Palacio de Velázquez, Palacio de Cristal, La rosaleda del Retiro, Real Jardín Botánico,
Cycled up Paseo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, walked bike along Calle de Alcala to avoid traffic , ended at Puerta de Alcalá to drop off my bike & enjoyed a tasty carrot cake next door at Vailima cafe mmm
Grateful to: Miguel at Rent & Roll & Lucas for pointing out all the best cycle paths & sights to see.
Cycling Tips: Cycle along the Rio to Casa de Campo & enjoy a cold beer with olives overlooking the lake at La Bicicleta Restaurant. Enjoy the traffic free bliss & birds singing. End your evening at the cool La Bicicleta cycling cafe for their amazing chai Late ;-)
Video Music: I fell in love with these 2 songs as soon as I heard them and just had to use them! Check out the music on Soundcloud PETIT BISCUIT — Sunset Lover & Sonnenkind (MÖWE Remix) - MOWE, Charlie Boulala
If you have been inspired by this post and fancy having a go at creating your own heart shaped bicycle route, check out my 5 step video guide here
Cycle your hearts out and I'll speak to you soon,
What is your heart telling you?
Listening to your intuition is the main key to guiding you along your heart route. Last summer after a breakup I decided to cycle my heart out somewhere I've always longed to visit, and embrace change.
I hope you got to enjoy International Women’s Day as much as we all did!
On Sunday Mirian from Quiroyogasatori and our friends had lots of fun cycling our hearts out around Barcelona to help spread the love to women with a heart shaped cycle route. As it was International Women’s Day we thought it would be a great idea to surprise a few lucky women along the heart route with a little gift.
Find out what we did below & watch the video of the route from 2013!