Thursday, January 23, 2014

PEOPLE: Timo, Barcelona

Timo (29,) medical student. Barcelona, Spain.

Why do you live in Barcelona? 
- I wanted to live in a famous international city which everybody knows. And I'm full of wanderlust  and want to learn Spanish.

What did you learn in Spain so far?
 - I've learned a lot about Catalunya that I didn't know before. And I've learned how to appreciate every single day. Life quality is not about money. It's about the joy of life.

What do you like the most about Barcelona?
- The beach, culture and internationality.

And what don't you really like about Barcelona?
- Narrow-minded tourists, the Spanish economical crisis and offensive prostitutes in Raval.

What are the three "must-to-dos" in Barcelona?
- To lay by the crowded beach, to visit the Sagrada Familia and to eat Paella and Tapas.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- I see myself traveling a lot between Spain and Germany and having three beautiful children. 

- Thank you

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

FOOD: No date nights and going outs without delicious food

There is no excuse of not tasting the delicious variety of Spanish dishes and Estrella beer when you come to Barcelona! Hitting the streets in the districts such as Pòble Sec, Barri Gotic or Born, you can't pass by the fourfold cafés, bars and restaurants. Spoiling yourself with mouth-watering tapas, pinxtos, churros or wine is a must-to-do in this easy-going city. Go out late, no need to rush and enjoy the late evening hours with a diversity of plates full of yummy bites.
I recommend to just order several dishes of either tapas (which you find everywhere) or fondly prepared pintxos from La Tesqueta De Blai (for just 1€ each!) in Pòble Sec. Also walk by the harbor and pass by the cute market stands in Barceloneta trying their churros con chocolate. But I do only recommend these sugary creations for those who have got a sweet tooth.
From Barceloneta you should go to Born and drink a nice glass of white wine at the Disset Graus at the Carrer Antic de Saint Joan with juicy olives and tortilla before heading to bed . If you're lucky you'll bump into a nice lady on the way to the wine bar who will offer you a voucher for a wine for free. Don't miss this bar if you want to have a rather elegant wine tasting evening. And the service there is great as well.

- AJ xx

Sunday, January 19, 2014

PLACES: Let's do the Sagrada Familia audio guide tour.

Saturday is tourist day. Get a ticket to the Sagrada Familia and have the whole tourist audio guide tour which is such an amazing thing to do on an early Saturday morning.
It is unbelievable to be infront of such a huge cathedral and to know that it is being build since 1882 and yet it is obvious that it won't be finished until 2030 (or maybe even later?). If you're a Gaudi fan or not, it doesn't matter. For anybody who loves extraordinary architecture this is definitely a place you should not miss out when you visit Barcelona. Unfortunately the scaffolds and cranes detracts from the beauty of this work but if you enter the cathedral you don't even notice that it's still under construction.
Once you enter Gaudi's masterpiece you can't keep from sticking your eyes to the breath-taking ceiling full of detailed vaults, windows, mosaic and the act of light beams flowing onto the white surfaces. The huge columns symbolizes tree trunks in a forest and while looking up at the ceiling makes you imagine you're beneath bushy treetops while sunlight creeps between the leaves.
Notice also the colorful windows and all the hidden symbols you can find in every corner. It's so amazing how someone can be so intelligent and create such a detailed example of architecture with having a certain intention hidden behind every detail. When you're there, it feels a bit surreal and unbelievable to realize that this building really exists.
Getting out of the Sagrada Familia and entering the elevator which brings you to the top of one of the towers (approximately 80m) you notice the mixture of antique and modern construction work. It is nice that people invest so much effort on culture to finish a piece of a legendary artist who doesn't live anymore but who had a dream which is now being fulfilled.
Once you enter the top of the tower you can walk through the narrow staircases and look over Barcelona's wonderful big city view through the tiny windows. Don't forget to wear comfy shoes and don't bring a huge handbag if you want to fit into those slender corridors.
It's recommendable to plan enough time for visiting the Sagrada Familia. We spend more than 3 hours there taking our time to really understand the whole architecture and scriptural symbols on the facades.

AJ xx

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PLACES: Barcelona - Getting some orientation

Arriving in Barcelona, or generally when arriving in a foreign city, I always ask myself where north, east, south and west is. Where am I? In which district are we now? Cause I love coming back to the same place again without needing a map all the time looking like a stressed tourist. And it makes me feel much more comfortable and not too foreign. I still had some navigation from my first visit to Barcelona so the typical Gaudi experience wasn't such an overwhelming experience (expect for the Sagrada Família which will always look astonishing no matter how often you've been there!) and a lot of places returned to my mind again.
To be geared to such a big city you should know the central located districts and notice the differences. There is nothing better than knowing where you are and where to go and knowing where to invest in your next imaginary holiday flat.
Thanks to my personal tour guide (just kidding - but it's always an advantage knowing someone personally who want to show you around. Thank you again!) I can now say where I mostly enjoy beautiful Barcelona. Here are the central located districts you should get to know before heading to this wonderful city.

Now definitely Barcelona's cultural epicentre, the place of aggressive gentrification. A district which brims with bars and boutiques. Here you should for sure not miss out the mojitos for only 3€ each and don't be intimidated by the mass of Pakistanis trying to sell you drugs or the brash prostitutes trying to go for your money. It's like the Neukölln of Berlin. Attractive for the young generation and not too full of tourists. A great place to enjoy some drinks at night.

Poble Sec
Head to the leafy squares and quiet streets of this charming district for a change of pace after wandering through the Monjuic. Enjoy the residential and laid-back district. Walk though the Carrer de Blai and grab some Pinxtos and a beer.

This is the heartland of modernista architecture and the port of call for Gaudi fans.
Most of the city's gems are located here in this sizable district (which translation is extension in Catalan) such as the Sagrada Famila, Casa Mìla and the Casa Battló. A place for catching a load of modernista culture and a paradise for shopaholics.

Barri Gòtic
A historic core with a warren of medieval lanes encircling the flamboyant cathedral dates back to Roman time. Eat and drink at this multifaceted accumulation of bars, cafés and restaurant. Also keep an eye on the small hidden boutiques.

cute enormous cat in Raval
Catalan flag seen in Raval
Poble Sec
Barri Gòtic

Hope to have awaken your wanderlust,

Friday, January 10, 2014

PLACES: Packing for a weekend trip to Barcelona

Packing for just a weekend is so easy. I am leaving for Barcelona in few hours and will come back to Berlin on Monday evening. So packing for just three days is no problem. I have only my camera and my cabin bag as one hand carry. And yet my cabin bag is only half full. So that it is an easy peasy piece of baggage. Packed just three casual outfits for museum trips, having a walk, cinema, eating or whatever we are going to to during day time. And for the parties (You really miss something if you are in Barcelona and you don't go partying - it's a MUST!) I've packed some thin shirts, a pair of skinny jeans and additional to my flats some heeled booties, as well.
For my beauty essentials I've got these practical transparent bags from MUJI which are perfect for hand carry (see below). For going out I've got my little ZARA leather handbag. It's not too big for going out, so it can be used for both day and night-time going-outs. It has just enough space for my little travel guide, a wallet and some chap sticks and hand creme. What else do you need?

Have a nice weekend,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

LIFE: Saturday is pyjama day - Time to have a rest

My internship at the emergency room is now over. I'm glad to have finished the practical part of my apprenticeship but I'm also sad to have to leave the great working atmosphere and the lovely team in the ER. Now it's time to study, part-time jobbing and ......travelling!! Next week I'm off to Barcelona and then in one month I'm off to Bangkok! Hell yeah, I'm happy. You get what you want as long as you work hard for it!
Today I'm free from work, so it's time to have a rest, calm down, drink tea and to wear my pyjamas aaaaaall day long. Ouh yeah, that sounds great, huh?!

Have a PJ-Day!

BEAUTY: Love Stories Eye Liner

I can't have enough eye liners from I love all of them.