Alexey _

Bytes and bites.

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Matagalls peak

Matagalls is one of the three highest peaks in the Montseny Massif, located approximately 80km north of Barcelona, Spain.

I was glad to discover that my town’s local mountaineering club is setting up a hike to this famous mountain.

The trek itself turned out to be very approachable: the car parking is located at approximately 1100m, so there is only 500m of altitude change to the very top, the ascent was very direct, mildly intense and very pleasant because of the excellent weather.

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A lot of space at the top.


Singular monument marking the peak.


One of the shelter houses found on the way.

You can find the photos in higher resolution right here.

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Review: Right Side filter coffee course

Right Side Coffee Roasters is one of the most famous roasters in Barcelona, and in Spain in general. When they published the new filter coffee course, it was a great moment to get my AeroPress skills to the next level, so I signed up.


The course has been developed and is presented by Miguel Lamora. Miguel has taken multiple awards at Latte Art championships, and has built up his experience by running one of the most advanced coffee shops in London.


The course took place at the Right Side roastery in Castelldefels, 30 minutes by train from Barcelona. The place is located very close to the train station and has quite a bit of space. Of course, when thinking of a place where all the amazing coffee I have been drinking throughout all these years is actually roasted, I have been imagining an industrial warehouse and some magic in it, but in reality everything was much nicer...

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Cooking patterns

I started cooking not a long time ago. I was enthusiastic, though, and thought that I made serious progress in just a few years. My workflow consisted of buying cookbooks, glancing through them while searching for pictures that looked appealing, and following the steps outlined in the recipe.

Only after a few years of this kind of cooking I realised that my workflow had a serious flaw in it: take the recipe books away, and my cooking talents are worth nothing. This was definitely not where I wanted to be, therefore I started to look for a solution. As I had no connections with good home cooks or chefs, the books were the first place I started to look at.

You could classify most existing books on cooking into two classes: a) cookbooks and b) cooking theory.

Cookbooks are basically sets of recipes that are connected by a single theme, for example their author or place of collection...

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Labour division

Let’s consider some end users of a government. There are two major categories of them: individuals and organisations. Most commonly these two groups have opposite interests. An obvious example would be the two parts’ opinion on a country’s economic situation: businesses prefer to sacrifice short-term profits for the long-term growth, while families just cannot cut spending waiting for a better future. So, what the majority of governments do is balance between the goals of each of these groups. As you know, it’s impossible to please everybody at a time, consequently there is a very limited quantity of people that are satisfied with the stuff their government does for them and a very limited quantity of organisations that consider the government they work under competent in protecting their interests in domestic and international environments.

But here is an idea: maybe it would be better...

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Economising on culture

Europe is a home to six microstates – countries somewhat too small to get noticed on a 1:100M map. Among these you can find Vatican City, the state with the most weird citizenship policy; Andorra, the only country on Earth smart enough to be governed by a bishop and the President of France; San Marino, governed by a Captain since early 1600s; Malta, the group of islands that witnessed more regime changes than anyone else; Liechtenstein, the world’s largest false teeth producer; and Monaco, the land featuring the only casino almost owned by the state. These microstates are actually only small by size: GDPs per capita of each of them stand among the first 50 in CIA’s rankings, and all this during the economic downturn of last years. But let’s take a closer look on these small sovereign territories.

Vatican is obviously an odd man out here: it’s a purely functional state that serves as a...

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