From getting inspired to travel planning
Sometimes it does not take much to inspire us to visit a place. A recommendation from a friend, a beautiful photograph or even a film can influence our decision to include a certain destination on our travel list. In my case it was one Spanish film, which was set in a city with amazing old town and spectacular backdrop of snowy mountains that piqued my interest in Segovia. The plot was average but this incredible location got me thinking and planning.
My trip to Madrid was a perfect occasion to stop by Segovia. The city is situated northwest of the capital. I had also finally a chance to explore Castile and León. That central region of Spain, was still unknown to me and I could benefit from convenient and fast train connections.
Already back in December I knew that I want to spend Easter holidays in a place, that is warmer and sunnier than Berlin during that time of the year. Reminiscing about my Easter travels around Andalusia my heart was set on going back to Spain. The prices of plane tickets increased almost overnight though. I just had to look for cheaper alternatives. Luckily I found this bargain of a ticket to Bergamo. and as soon as I snapped it up I realised that I completely underestimated Northern Italy. It was a perfect Easter holiday destination, especially Lake Como.
Since I don’t drive, getting from Bergamo to Lake Como gave me an opportunity to explore Lombardy region by train. It was hassle-free and provided me with great views when I was passing through different small towns. I would really recommend it. A train ride from Lecco to Varenna was very picturesque. Continue Reading
The Bilbao effect
During my arts management studies the Bilbao effect was a leading topic of many lectures and the Guggenheim Museum used as one of the flagship examples of arts-led regeneration. I was intrigued by this transition from the industrial port city to the cultural magnet and I always wanted to find out how this academic hype measures up to the reality. At the beginning of June I finally had a chance to visit the capital of Vizcaya.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Pinchos in Bilbao
Pincho or pintxo, as it is known in Basque, is a little piece of heaven on a plate. Well.. at least in my book! This small snack from the north of Spain can come in different forms and some of its variations can be very elaborate in terms of flavours and textures. Often a toothpick or a skewer is used to spike all the ingredients to a piece of bread, which could explain the name pincho – literally a spike.
Pinchos with cured ham and goat cheese
Although I had a chance to try pinchos in Barcelona, tasting this speciality in the Basque Country was unbeatable. I was spoiled for choice most of the times and it was very hard to decide on my snacking selection.
When visiting Bilbao I was lucky to hang out with Jess, my bubbly friend that I met in Valencia, as she knew the city and its best pincho bars like the back of her hand. She also introduced me to Txakoli, a very light white wine popular in this part of the country.
Barcelona’s Colourful Street Festival
Gràcia is a charming and fairly bohemian neighbourhood of Barcelona that only at the end of the 19th century became a part of the city. What is special about Gràcia is not only its village-like feel but also incredible community spirit – definitely a driving force behind famous Festa Major de Gràcia.
This lively fiesta is one of the largest festivals of this type in Barcelona. Even though la fiesta de los Coros in Barceloneta can get very busy and noisy, it is the Gràcia Festival and its street decoration competition that attracts the curious crowds. Within my circle of friends it is the fiesta that we always look forward to the most.
Fiesta in Carrer Providencia