Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona! How to enjoy it in a smart and funny way!

Reading time: 10 minutes. Enjoy!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

Barcelona has been amazing from the very first touch. We were landing and it was sunset time. The beautiful panoramic view from my plane window prepared me for one exciting week in Barcelona! Can’t wait to share with you!

Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona Fountain

The food, the music, the street dance, bikes around me, the breeze, the whole spirit is something I fell in love with! But let’s start from the beginning.

We used Airbnb to reserve our apartment Habitat ApartmentsIt is suitable for 2 couples/ 4 people. It is close to the city center and close to some of the most popular Gaudi’s houses. The restaurants around are one of the bests.

Smart Tip 1: It is much better to be outside of the city center during your stay. You can walk to the central areas. The reason is the main street is not the best choice to eat and to rest.

Colorful Barcelona
Barcelona is so colorful!

Smart Tip 2: If you use Airbnb, check what is the cleaning fee and the fee if you arrive later than the arranged hour – sometimes these fees can be unexpectedly huge.

Smart Tip 3: Plan in advance what you will visit during your stay in Barcelona! The city is so charming, there are plenty of architectural and historical places, some of them are far away from each other. Organizing what you will see during the day, will save your time and energy and you will have an enjoyable experience!

Not to be missed. Sharing my list 🙂

  1. Casa Batlló and La Pedrera

Casa Battlló can be seen from the outside, there are benches you can sit on and admire the building just in front of it. Inside, there is no furniture and taking into consideration all the entrances you’ll pay during the next days, you can save money from this entrance. Of course, it is up to you and Gaudi is always charming, no matter which masterpiece you are visiting.

La Pedrera is one of my favorite attractions. They have one of the best audioguides. It’s like you are in a fairy tale. The house is one of a kind and the symbolism is everywhere. You will see the four vital elements as parts of the house and many more… I strongly recommend this house to be visited even the entrance is 20 EUR. I will write my fairy tale in La Pedrera in a separate post soon! The house is so vital and inspiring!

2. The main street Las Ramblas and the most famous market La Boqueria

The main street is full of tourists, emotions, different languages and offers unexpectedly little streets you can take to escape from the crowd. In the past, it has been a flowing river here and that’s why you can notice the waves on the mosaic of Las Ramblas (representing the water element). The market La Boqueria is on Las Ramblas. Only Sunday is not working day for it. There you can find yourself exploding because of the delicious food you have tasted.

Las Ramblas
The waves on the mosaic of Las Ramblas
Gothic Square
Gothic Square

Patatas Bravas, Paellas, Gazpacho, Jamon Iberico, Calamari and seafood, Tortilla Espanola, Crema Catalana, Chorizo, and much more typical Spanish delicacy will make your day one of the best! The wines, of course, are the cherry on the cake! Saludos! Cheers!

3. All Squares has their own charm. Gotic Quarter. Columbus Monument.

Columbus monuments have to be observed by all 4 sides as the figures are quite nice. If you decide to go on the top of it, the panoramic view well worth it. The monument is on the first line of the sea. Another option is to enjoy this view from a cable car, which I did.

Columbus Monument
Columbus Monument

Smart Tip 4: Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, and The Columbus monument plus some nice squares around (The biggest Square is Plaza Catalunya at the beginning of Las Ramblas) can be good combination on your planning list as they are close to each other and basically you will follow the main street and will reach the seaside where is the Monument at the end.

Plaza Catalunya
Plaza Catalunya
La Boqueria
La Boqueria

4. Biking on the seaside + Ciutadella Park and Monument

Actually, this was one of the best choices we’ve been taken. Amazing way to discover the whole seaside, to refresh yourself, to visit the sightseeing around and to do some sport before the next portion of TAPAS and WINES. I truly enjoy this biking tour that we’ve organized for ourselves. I felt like Shakira who actually did her clip of “Loca Loca” song on the main seaside street. In the city center, you can easily rent bikes. It is cheap and saves your time.

The Aquarium is on the seaside as well and it is quite nice!

Smart Tip 5: If you don’t have much time to spend in Barcelona, definitely this is the way how you should explore the city.

Biking in Barcelona
Biking in Barcelona

5. Sagrada Familia – Gaudi’s masterpiece!

Definitely, a must on your list. It is a symbol of the city, one of the most significant works of Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia has been building for many years and it is expected in 2021 to be finished. It represents an amazing symbolism and an unbelievable architecture. Gaudi has been a genius!

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

Smart Tip 6: Book your ticket in advance to skip the queue. Saving slot for a certain hour of entering the building will give you 15 minutes to walk around and then you will need to follow your second slot on the ticket for one of the 2 Towers. Don’t be late for this second slot! After observing the Tower, you will have time to walk around the whole Basilica.

NB: The hours after lunchtime are better because the sunlight is going inside the Cathedral in a unique way! The photos will be better as well if taken during this time.

Smart Tip 7: When booking your ticket for Sagrada Familia, you will be requested to choose which of the 2 Towers you want to visit – the Passion or Nativity Tower. The choice is yours. The Passion tower is the new one, built after the Gaudi’s dead. It is without much ornamentation. The Nativity Tower is the older tower and the ornaments and symbolism are everywhere. Both towers are quite nice, but you need to choose one of them. There are no tickets that include both.

Smart Tip 8: Take an audio guide for Sagrada Familia. Definitely worth it! Otherwise, you will skip most of the little details which are so interesting and hide history behind.

6. Park Guell

Nice park with lots of opportunities for fun, walks and relax. Nice alleys and you can spend 2 or more hours walking here. There is only one paid part of Park Guell, where you can see the famous mosaic of Gaudi and the famous Gaudi’s lizard.

Smart Tip 9: To be honest, you can save around 17 EUR for this paid part if you plan to visit other Gaudi’s things like houses, Sagrada Familia. Because this paid part is nothing really distinctive from his work done at La Pedrera or Sagrada Familia for example. It is nice of course and totally your choice.

Park Guell
Park Guell

7. Camp Nou

If you are a big football fan, then it totally worths to visit Camp Nou. For all the rest, the entrance is expensive – around 30 EUR and you can save some money for tapas and wines.

Camp Nou
Camp Nou
Camp Nou handball
Did you know Barcelona has quite a good handball team!?

8. Olympic Park and Montjuic Castle

The Olympic Park will be more interesting for people who like sports. Montjuic Castle is more related to local history. It is with nice architecture and beautiful view. Olympic Park and Montjuic Castle are close to each and should be considered to be visited together.

9. Tibidabo – the translation of the name means

” I am giving to you”,

taken from The Bible. It represents the episode where the evil enchants.

Tibidabo is a hill with a beautiful church and an amusement park. The perfect place if you are with kids. In the church, you can see one of the Black Madonnas. There are 400-500 Black Madonnas in Europe depending on how they are classified.

The Black Madonna at Tibidabo
The Black Madonna at Tibidabo
Tibidabo Amusement Park
Tibidabo Amusement Park

What I missed was the Montserrat tour but I heard it is hot! Next time I am there and if you have time, don’t miss it!

This seems like the end of my Barsa experience. For now! I will definitely visit this city again! Maybe next summer!

Kisses from Barcelona!
Kisses from Barcelona!

 

 

Floro – hidden beauty in the North Norway

Reading time: 7 minutes. Enjoy!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

I was traveling for a whole day to reach my final destination Floro in Norway. And this was just the beginning of exploring the culture of the Vikings living in Norway!

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Floro, Norway!

My route: Sofia ( Bulgaria) – Vienna ( Austria) – Oslo ( Norway) – Bergen (Norway) – Floro (Norway).

I reached Floro from Bergen by boat. And this was so cool because I could see some of the very popular and beautiful Fjords in Norway. They are really nice, it’s true! When possible try to travel by boat while in Norway because these Norwegian Fjords are quite beautiful and impressive.

 

 

 

Floro. Beautiful small town on the North Sea. Traveling to Floro can be organized with a flight from Oslo or Bergen. Another option is to get a boat to Floro. If you are in a hurry, you can take the fast boat. If you want to spend some more hours in the water, take the touristic boat. Taking some of the touristic tours will mean deeper exploration of many Fjords and amazing breathtaking mountain views.

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The White House in the middle of the North Sea. On my way to Bergen from Floro!

It is not a rumor that the standard it’s high compared with many other European countries. The prices of the hotels are almost one and the same no matter of how north or east you are in Norway and the lowest fares in a good hotel can vary from 120 EUR to even 200 EUR per night. In the summer they get higher because of the high season. The high season is April, May, June when it is expected the weather to be a little more friendly and with more sun. During this period many cruises are organized for people all over the world and Norway is really full of tourists. The white nights are also happening during these months and I really like them!

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Midnight in Floro during the summer!

One of the charming things about Floro is that this town is really local town, no tourists and really calm even during the high season.

Everything in Norway is well priced. In the stores, in the restaurants. Norway it’s not on a budget destination. But of course, the quality of almost everything is good. The food is delicious. They have really warm clothes and accessories. Plenty of Christmas ornaments and the traditional trolls figures everywhere.

Good news: The drinking water is free in Norway! It is fresh and super cool! And clean! And you can drink from the tap with no worries! It’s even recommended!

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Cold, clean and beautiful. North Sea.

How about the weather? Yes, it is cold. And the local people are a bit cold especially at the beginning of a new conversation. But if you spent some time with the Norwegians, some of them can be nice.

 

 

Floro! The town is not a touristic place and the local people are not used to see many foreigners around. In the stores, they don’t have many touristic magnets and stuff and it is hard to make a gift from here.

Recommended hotels in Floro: Comfort Hotel & Quality Hotel. I stayed in Comfort Hotel and I can say it was fine for me, the gym is outside the hotel but it is a big one, the breakfast is super, it is clean and the relaxing area is nice. It is close to the center, close to supermarkets, close to restaurants. Quality hotel is just 5 minutes from Comfort Hotel.

What to see and what to do in Floro? Floro has incredibly beautiful nature! The nightlife is not something you can come for. It is a really calm city. Of course, there are small and big restaurants with beautiful views of the North Sea, also there are some pubs where you can taste local beer. The food is extremely delicious and you can taste different fishes and seafood. Be prepared to spend about 20 to 45 EUR per dish or even more if you gonna eat in a restaurant. A glass of wine is about 10 EUR and the beer almost the same.

 

 

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Regular view from office building in Floro

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Another usual view from office building in Floro

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Feeling part of National Geografic!

The harbor is something every town in Norway should have. In Floro, the harbor area is quite nice. Many boats are coming and going and they bring the vitality of the town.

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Floro’s Harbor

There is a town football team and you can watch some of their games. I had the chance to be a part of one. It is a good way to experience the Vikings’ spirit! I don’t watch football but I did enjoy the football game in Floro. Next, to the stadium, there is a beautiful path in the forest and of course I had a walk there. The air is so fresh, the trees so big, the forest was really impressive and massive. Everything is so green! It gives me the sense of freedom.

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Watching the Vikings football game

 

 

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Floro’s forest

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I feel so small!

There are so many lakes in the city and there are areas where you can sit around them and have a lunch with champagne. You can even have your dinner outside in nature. You know in the summer the sun doesn’t go down or it goes but really lately. So the too many light hours give you more time to be outside on the mountain or in the North Sea.

 

 

If you wanna go on a beach, that’s not a problem. There is a nice sandy area, a barbeque can be organized there. It is called Sørstrand Folkepark. It is close to the airport but hidden in nature. In a good weather you can get some ten here and even go in the water, locals said. But that’s more for the locals. I felt cold all the time being in Floro and the wind is cold. Around this sandy beach area, there are some historical monuments from the Second World War. These German Bunkers are many in this area and there are some more in the Forest Area of Floro as well. If you like history, this can be something to explore.

 

 

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Sørstrand Folkepark beach

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Sørstrand Folkepark beach

 

 

Hiking is a very popular activity and there are organized hikes for tourists but you can also rent a bike yourself. I got a bike from my hotel Comfort Hotel for free, so you better check your hotel options first. It is a really nice experience. You are passing mountains and North Sea views are just wonderful. The vast mountain area is called Flora district and offers good walking and hiking experience. On the south/ east side of Svanøy, there are many signposted footpaths and hiking paths. You better be in warm clothes!

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Biking in Flora District

I strongly recommend doing the Brandsøyåsen Hiking. This is the highest peak in the Flora mountain area. It is reachable from Floro town. I can say it was a little extreme to reach this top, it was rainy and even some snow but the sun came up when I was at the top and the view took my breath.

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Breathtaking view from Brandsøyåsen!

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Norway is a really different experience from any other European countries. It is the touch of the nature that gives you the sense of the powerful energy around. It is once in a lifetime experience to explore the culture, The North Sea, The Ocean, The Fjords, the beautiful forest in Norway.

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Floro is just the start of one Norwegian adventure. I spent almost a month in Norway, so I am really excited to share more of what I’ve learned from the Vikings. Stay with me on the road!

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Kisses!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

#off-road #adventure #rodopi #buggy #speed #mechichal #mountain #chepelare

Rodopi mountain is calling you! Levochevo and Chepelare in the winter!

In the Central Rodopi mountain, there is a small village called Levochevo. When entering the village there is a sign “Welcome in a piece of Paradise”. We are driving slowly in a really tiny road between some cows. It smells of the village and the beautiful nature prepares you for gorgeous views.

#cows #road #rodopi #mountain #bulgaria
Cows on the road

#cows #road #bulgaria #levochevo #rodopi #mountain
Many cows welcome you!

#Levochevo #rodopi #mountain #welcome #Bulgaria #beautiful #nature
Welcome to Levochevo

I am making jokes that this is the “Bulgarian Tivoli” ( Tivoli is an Italian cute city) because it really has these small cobblestone streets and the food is so delicious. Every house keeps the old traditional look and at the same time the modern way of living. The oldest houses dated from 1876. Some of the houses have names – traditional Bulgarian names. It is so nice to see how the Bulgarian spirit has been kept for years here in Levochevo, in the heart of Rodopi mountain.

#traditional #house #bulgaria #traditional #Bulgarian #name #rada #Rodopi #mountain
House “Rada”

The biggest Festival in Levochevo is during the traditional Bulgarian celebration of “Илинден”. During this Festival the whole village is on the main square and everyone is dancing the Bulgarian traditional dance horo.

The views are simply fantastic as the village Levochevo is on a high hill and when you look down you see a big part of Rodopi mountain, many different shades of green color! It is so relaxing, there is no rush and you are infected by this calmness immediately.

#rodopi #mountain #fantastic #view #rodopi #mountain #beautiful #nature
Rodopi mountain

Chepelare – my favorite choice for skiing resort in Bulgaria, is around 14 km away from Levochevo town. The trip to both destinations Chepelare and Levochevo can be combined. Chepelare is an amazing winter destination in Bulgaria. The ski slopes are long, wide and beautiful. There are slopes for everyone – from amateurs to professionals. The Rodopi mountain loves all her guests and shows its majesty every day.

#mechichal #rodopi #ski #skiing #slope #winter #time #amazing #nature #beautiful #Bulgaria #Rodopi #mountain #skislope
Mechi Chal

#ski #slopes #slope #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain
On the slope of Mechi Chal!

#winter #ski #destination #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain #skiing #ski #slopes
Mechi Chal – just amazing!

#beautiful #sunset #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain
Sunset at Mechi Chal, Chepelare

The traditional food of Rodopi mountain is something you can’t resist. Definitely try “пататник“, “родопски клин“, “марудници“, “качамак“, “агнешко чеверме“, “салата от смилянски фасул“, “телешко“, Bulgarian yogurt (кисело мляко), “сарми“, “къпана баница“. This just the begining of a legendary kitchen!

#traditional #bulgarian #food #rodopi #mountain #patatnik #пататник #тиквеник #bulgariansalad #salad #mechichal #chepelare
Traditional Bulgarian salad; Traditional pumpkin pastry called “Тиквеник”; Traditional potato specialty called “Пататник”.

#traditional #meat #dish #сърми #bulgaria #bulgarianfood #food #delicious #chepelare #mechichal
Traditional specialty with chiken, beef and pork plus “сърмички”! Delicious! Called Капама!

#fantastic #food #delicious #Rodopi #Chepelare #mechichal #mountain #traditional #Bulgarian #food #родопскиклин #rodopi
Traditional banitsa with rice called Родопски клин! Fantastic!

Enjoy skiing, enjoy Bulgaria, enjoy Rodopi mountain, enjoy the incredible food and yes – the winter is blessing season!

#off-road #adventure #rodopi #buggy #speed #mechichal #mountain #chepelare
Off-road adventure time!