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!

 

 

On the west coast of Norway. Bergen!

Reading time: 6 minutes. Enjoy!

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

I didn’t travel the whole of Norway but Bergen is my best staying! It is an amazing city with World Heritage colorful wooden houses which are part of the UNESCO list. I’ve spent about a month in Bergen. I have experienced Fjords tour in the North Sea with a lot of snow and it was really cold and windy. Before my living from Bergen in June, it was summer already and I climbed on the top of the mountain nearby with shorts and short sleeves. The temperature during my stay varies from 5 to 30 degrees… But even on the north, the climate is warm because of The Gulf Stream. For Norway, you will need warm clothes no matter the season!

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During the summer you will have plenty of time to walk around as it is the time of the white nights.

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Sometimes I needed to go to the gym at 1 am because it was hard for me to sleep. But this is me, don’t worry. In the hotels, they have really cool curtains and you will never see the white nights through them. I stayed in Augustin Hotel. It is well priced but it has sweet rooms, perfect location close to the city center and close to nice areas to walk around the North Sea. The gym is ok and they have a really cool Winebar & Kitchen restaurant Altona! It is a really interesting place as they kept the very old architecture from the past, they serve nice wines and the food is extremely delicious!

 

The Norwegian kitchen is a must to try. On the Fishmarket in Bergen, you can eat the fresh seafood, they have plenty of different kinds of fishes. I tasted the food there and every time was a joyful moment!

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Well, it is time to have some fun around Bergen! I will love to share what I managed to visit and what impressed me in this North pearl of Norway. Let’s go through my Top 10:

1. Bryggen – since 1979 has been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. Why? Because of the beautiful old wooden houses – a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vågen harbor in Bergen. The houses are really old and even wooden they were protected from burning during the years. The area is magnificent, there are small shops with handmade stuff, Christmas shops and nice coffees and restaurants.                                                              IMG_20180424_104244_929.jpg

2. Fløyen – the closest mountain where you can get on the top and see the city from really cool perspective! There are a funicular and a cable car which can take you to the top for about 15-20 minutes. The price if you want to go up by funicular/ cable car is 270 NOK (28 EUR) for adults and 160 (17 EUR) NOK for children. I went there on a hot sunny day and I preferred to walk up. It takes me about 2 hours to reach the top and to go back. Personally, I found this way more enjoyable as on every corner there is a nice view, I can walk and breathe the fresh air of the mountain. I experienced the beautiful neighborhood on my way. It is up to you how you will reach the top, but it is totally worth it because of the view! Simply breathtaking!         IMG_20180611_000835_593.jpg PANO_20180609_200001.jpg3. St. John’s Church

 

4. Bergen Cathedral –  There have been 5 fires here.

IMG_20180501_181512.jpg5. Gamlehaugen – historical royal castle. The locals go there for swimming and outdoor activities during the weekends. They play volleyball, do jogging and running, walking with dogs. It’s perfect for a picnic and relaxing.

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6. The Akvariet – I missed this aquarium because I have experienced many others but for people who are new to this kind of attractions that can be a lot of fun!

7. Fjords tours – The Fjords are the biggest attraction in Norway. There are many opportunities and you will be able to see the longest Fjord, the widest… the deepest. Bergen is in a unique situation halfway between the two biggest fjords in Western Norway – The Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord. The Fjords in this region have been inscribed on UNESCO’s famous World Heritage List. Norwegian people say: “when you are in Norway you have 2 options – to go in the sea or to go to the mountain.” The Fjord tour combines both and it is a really cool experience. The prices of the Fjords’ tour varies from 1600 NOK to 2000 NOK per person for a day.

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8. Bergen on foot – walking through the narrow streets and alleyways can be a lot of fun! The narrow idyllic streets are so romantic and sometimes with beautiful views of the North Sea. A great mix of residential houses, small shops, and cafes create a lovely relaxed urban atmosphere.

 

Bergen is a lovely city with musical and cultural events running all year and you can check what’s on the calendar next.

 

9. Bergen is surrounded by 7 mountains. Whenever you have a chance to get to one of them, it will be a lucky day! The freshness of the mountain is one of the best things I have experienced in Norway. Never ever feel the air in this way.

 

Now you are ready to go to Bergen! Enjoy and remember to take your credit card because sometimes this is the only option to pay here. A lot of services are automated in Norway and allow you to pay only by card. Including bathroom services.

Norway is an expensive country to be visited and never can be on a budget. Plan to spend money on your joyful moments there. And be happy!

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Kisses!

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

 

Kavaci – Bulgarian Black sea

The sun is up and the summer is coming soon here in Bulgaria. There are amazing Black sea beaches and summer spirit everywhere!

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Do you remember my story for Sunny beach. Now let me take you in a place where the story is the opposite – it is relaxing area, beautiful, exciting wide siren beaches.

Here we are – Kavaci, region Burgas. It is between Burgas and Sozopol – so it is really reachable destination on the Bulgarian Black sea.

Destination Kavaci on the Black sea

There is a forest around to decorate the camping area of Kavaci. The subject of protection here is the rare Pontic white dunes and the characteristic sand-dunes.

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The name of the district Kavaci originates from the word “kavak” which in Turkish means the poplar, and is so named because of the poplars that grow in the area.

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Laying on the beach, drinking cocktail, reading a book… And watching the seagulls’ dance in the air… sounds like a paradise and it is possible! Kavaci. Black sea! Bulgaria!

I was there in September, so my pictures are a little bit different from the usual summer pictures. But I think the beauty of the place is so obvious. Follow me!

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Kavaci is famous with the camping area but also have four stars hotels around. Absolutely for everyone destination!

I like the area because it’s calm and I can practice sport activities on the Black sea beaches here (That’s why I decided to go in September), I can stay alone and just breathe. And of course there are beach bars in Kavaci for the time when your summer party spirit will get wild.

I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than the sea before storming!

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Can’t wait to visit this summer the Bulgarian Black sea!

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Are you ready?

Starry threesome: Budva – Kotor – Dubrovnik

Summer time! Many opportunities to travel. We should grab them all!

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Here is my suggestion how to combine everything joyful for your summer trip 2016: Take the road to Budva – Kotor – Dubrovnik.

I know you are brave enough to visit more than one destination. If you didn’t think about it – That’s my challenge for you. Take it!

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Beautiful view from our terrace…

Budva is waiting for you to show you beautiful mountains, sea sides, nice beaches and old spirit. Budva is famous from its night life and Mediterranean architecture. The city is established by one Phoenican who exiled in Thebes and after leaving it, together whit his beautiful wife found Budva. The city was a part of the Rome Empire, Austro-Hungary Empire, Venice. After the Second World War it is a part of the Yugoslavia, nowadays it is stated in Montenegro. The rich city history stamps the city forever with unique energy and mystique. In 1979 a significant earthquake ruined the city, so now it is rebuilt again and combines the new trends and architecture styles with the old history.

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Old town of Budva

You can have a romantic walk in the old town or go straight to a bar to drink some fired shots. There is variety of beaches with summer atmosphere and joyful views. A lot of Balkans go there, so the party is on the maximum. On the other side very nice restaurants give you plenty of seaside views and satisfied food. Only men are servers and they usually wear folklore clothes as a bonus.

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Nice walk through the Old Town streets in Budva

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While walking in the old town, I really wanted so badly to get lost through these streets!

Now let’s jump in Kotor.

Just in 30 minutes far away from Budva you can reach Kotor. Definitely do the Fortress Walls around The Old town on the hill St Ivan! Ivan is traditional Bulgarian name. Maybe it is called like that because of Bulgarian possession for an year. It’s a high adorable view at the top of the Fortress Walls. Take some crazy person and give him or her a big kiss – just to memorize the place. Be careful with the stone walls – on your way up you need to lean under them a bit.

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Kotor!

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Amazing Montenegro! And as a destination it is cheap compared with the priceless beauty and old towns’ atmosphere of the decades.

The cherry’s cake is Dubrovnik in Croatia. Maybe you have heard a lot about Game of Thrones. I am not going to explain you details where the specific scene has been taken.

Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic, part of the amazing Dalmatia region. Take a walk on the Fortress Walls and on the main street. Feel the wind’s whispering. Feel the sea waves and the sun!

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I found one old clock and stayed in front of it for a while. I remember now the atmosphere in details and my skin is bristling: some street musicians play folklore songs, it is crowded and people pass by me talking in different languages. I can feel the sun on my skin and can hear the voice of the sea. The wind is calling me for secrets … I closed my eyes and had the feeling the clock started ticking back. I was in the real parallel time, I saw battles and people, cries and greetings. I felt I was in a Great time and before to be prepared to leave it my friends came to distract me and bring me back in my world with an ice cream in their hands.

Beautiful Adriatic sea, thank you for your salt kisses, nice weather, gentle atmosphere and sunny views.

One last tip before going there: Take the right company with you, which will drink  lots of shots in the night and will walk with hours to discover new places during the day.

Now pack your things!

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