Barcelona - Quick Guide to a wonderful City Break

When to go and where to stay in Barcelona (better than hotels)


The best place to stay in Barcelona is near Placa de Catalunya, as you are in the center of EVERYTHING touristic, and you have a direct connection to the Barcelona airports, and the Barcelona Tourist Buses, making your Barcelona experience very pleasant.

A great way to find a nice place to stay in Barcelona is through the airbnb website, using the map to narrow down the area where you want to stay. You can find very reasonable priced apartaments located right in the center of the city when booking with at least 2-3 months in advance.

Wondering when is the best time to visit the catalan city? Weather in Barcelona is lovely in May and June, as well as in early fall, September to October.  Buying the airline tickets 4 to 6 months ahead will usually help you get them at good prices as well.

Recommended Transport in Barcelona (and attractions Map) 


I strongly recommend purchasing a 1 day or 2 days ticket for using the BarcelonaBusTuristic. I at least found the Barcelona metro system a bit complicated. What you give extra for the bus tour you make up in full and more with the discounts they offer you for visiting almost every must see touristic location in the city.



As you can see in this Barcelona map the tours offers, the buses will take you to all the houses, parks, and other main attractions. The beach in Barcelona is also just a few bus stops away from the center. The ticket will cover the transport on all three lines: red, blue and green, and you can hop off and on whenever you wish.


Things To Do and Places to See in Barcelona (besides Sagrada)


Of course, Sagrada Familia and Park Guell should be on your visit list.

 


As well as Casa Battlo and Pont del Bisbe (the second one being located in the Gothic Center).

 

You might feel like you already know them from pictures, but there are many details you can`t see in the images.


Still, don`t forget to visit this surprising interesting places as well:

Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital



Originally built as a hospital for the poor, the work done by Gudi`s professor turned this complex into one of the most beautiful set of buildings in Barcelona, serving the high purpose of healing people. Get the audio guide to enjoy all the stories about the hospital, such as those about the tunnels connecting the buildings and why there are P`s everywhere where you look.

Pablo Espanyol


 



Located close to Placa d`Espagna, this is no ordinary village museum. It`s buildings, replicas of spanish houses from all over the country, separated by regions, house many local artists, local pubs and even a flamenco bar (pretty busy in fact, so book a place in advance). The Spanish village is close to another beautiful place I recommend visiting: Placa d'Epagna.



Other Things To Do in Barcelona


Try out the Airbnb experiences - you can play with cats, have a brunch on the beach, learn different dances or simply discover the city with a guide. Just be sure to search and book experiences with at least 1-2 months in advance.


Short trip to Serbia - A visit to Golubac Fortress

Visiting our family this Easter in Romania we realised we were quite close to the Serbian border, so we've prepared a plan to go visit our south - west neighbours.

Apparently you don't need a passport to enter Serbia, even though they are currently not part of the European Union, so having your identity card with you is enough at the border.

The line at the Serbian checkpoint was surprisingly high - with the Easter Holiday and all, we were expecting less drivers on the roads, but apparently many of us had the same idea.

Once we were in, we kept the road close to the Danube. Joining us were my parents-in-law, at their first trip outside the country, enthusiastic but also a little fearful. The grass is greener on their side, my mother-in-law quickly draw to the conclusion. But their roads are worse, my father-in-law added.

Serbia's nature is beautiful without doubt

Along the road you can see many green hills, "The boilers" of the Danube, the name people gave those bubbling waters between the Romanian and Serbian mountains, as well as the Romanian villages on the other side of the Danube and Decebal's rock sculpted face.

We first stopped at a small restaurant called Varnica, situated at about 50 km from Drobeta-Turnu Severin, where we crossed the border. The word for restaurant in serbian is restoran. (Not that good for Fazan games - just to make a small romanian joke :D). There was a serbian menu and a romanian one, and the waiters spoke both languages, so ordering and communicating was not a problem.



We stopped one more time after the restoran to take a bite at one of the many picnic areas you can find along the road, and in short time, at about 130 km from the border in total, we found the Golubac Fortress or as it would be translated:

The Pigeon Fortress





Nicely and newly restored (I think it opened up on 30th of March), the fortress seemed like a popular touristic attraction, with many serbians, bulgarians and romanians in the area. As my companions escalated the citadel towers I was lucky enough to find my self in a concert hall were I heard the most beautiful violin duo ever.

Wonderful!

If anyone is interested in the prices, we paid about 600 dinari (about 25 lei) per person for visiting the Fortress, and 200 dinari (8 lei) for a juice or coffee. 

Images don't do justice, so I encourage you to visit Serbia if you have the chance and see everything with your own eyes. I'm sure you will find it surprising.



On turning 33

11, 111 and so on, were always something like lucky charm numbers for me and a sign I was in the right place at the right time. Soon I will be turning 33, an age I kind of look forward to.

It happens I'm in a real good moment in my life, with great jobs and daily social relationships I enjoy, taking better care of my health than ever, and continuing to make a great team with my life partner of 9 years already. It's also quite a busy time of my life, but studies say I am no exception.

So let's see what else studies say about the age of 33...

Studies suggest that 35 is the “best age” and that real happiness begins at age 33. A 2012 survey found that 70 percent of British people over age 40 said they weren’t truly happy until age 33.  Another survey conducted by the U.K. site Friends Reunited says 33 is the magic age people are happiest at. - something must be right about all this

Women Start Turning Into Their Moms At 33 Years Old, Study Reveals - though it mostly reffers to women usually becoming mothers at this age and starting to use the same parenting style they've been raised with.

The whites of your eyes become less white, and your buns slowly begin to deflate, a BuzzFeed type of article states.. - taking it with a grain of salt but stil, noooooooooo


Women in their 30s should aim for at least 15 milligrams of vitamin E each day to reduce the signs of aging and boost immunity. Vitamin C facilitates the absorption of vitamin E, boosts immunity and reduces risk of heart disease. Don't forget about Vitamin D and iron! - oh goodie


Age 33 is the 'Jesus Year' - the year that scholars generally believe Jesus of Nazareth was probably arrested and crucified in Jerusalem after starting a spiritual, political and intellectual revolution.


What people are searching on Google related to 33 years old...

first tattoo

Well, not feeling that yet, probably will leave this one for my 40s! :)

Recipe for happiness


I might have found the recipe for happiness. The heart-filling roof-exploding happiness. And it isn't that hard to cook, though getting the ingredients might not be that easy.

1. First you need your tension to be low. (Hm, I think I finally figured out why some people meditate.) Lowering your tension is like buttering up the pot. Relax your muscles, clear your head.. And let's hope your body chemistry will work in your favour, because sometimes we feel bad just because of some weird chemical reactions in our body. If it all went well, you are now ready for the second step.

2. Catch a rhythm. Like the one of your breathing. (Oh yeah, it's all definitely connected to meditation.) It might help you have a repetitive sound in the background. You can use a relaxing train sound or something else you can find on YouTube. Something that repeats itself and makes you feel safe, stable. (I think that's why mothers swing their babies to sleep. I guess if you have a swing that would work to.) If you've managed to get this in the mix, now it's all starting to come together. Let's warm things up.

3. Now get excited. What's something that you like or wished for and could happen quite soon? Put some icing on your happiness cake by imagining how good that will feel. What will be those things that will happen? Aren't you lucky this will all be possible? Doesn't it fill your heart with pure happiness? Can you feel the happiness in your body, and even growing out of you? You just made yourself really happy. Enjoy, rinse and repeat!

Prima cafenea de cereale din Romania

In postarea trecuta ziceam ca ii am pe lista de obiective de vizitat in Londra si pe cei de la Cereal Killer Cafe. M-am intalnit insa cu o astfel de cafenea chiar azi in Romania. Puteti incerca experienta in centrul Bucurestiului, la Piata Amzei, strada Christian Tell nr 1-3, unde s-a deschis de curand Cereal Crunch Cafe.



Va alegeti bolul, cerealele (la un bol mare puteti pune doua tipuri de cereale), toppingurile (mushrooms, bounty's, m&m's, siropuri etc) si laptele, si o sa aveti doua deserturi pacatoase dar pe care merita sa le incercati macar o data.


Ce sa vizitezi in Londra

Dupa prima excursie in Londra, orasul acesta a urcat in top 3 care mi-au placut cel mai putin, din toate cele pe care le vizitasem pana atunci. Asa de putin mi-a placut prima oara.

Dar uite ca viata a hotarat ca aici sa mi se mute si prietenii si business-ul. Si daca acum merg tot anul pe acolo, am inceput sa fac eforturi sa imi placa si imi iese din ce in ce mai bine.

In prima excursie m-am dus ca tot turistul sa vad London Bridge, Big Ben-ul, roata, adica London Eye, si un Muzeu, cred ca de Stiinte. Aici postarile despre prima zi in Londra, ziua 1, si weekendul, adica zilele 2 si 3. Din articole mi-am amintit acum ca am mers si prin Harrods si printr-o librarie de langa Piccadilly.

Privind in urma inteleg de ce nu mi-a placut. E ca si cum ai vizita Bucurestiul si te-ai duce la Arcul de Triumf, Antipa, in Unirea Shopping Center si la Carturesti. Si te-ar mai costa si o gramada de bani.

8 ani si cam tot atatea vizite mai tarziu, am inceput sa gasesc insa ce merita sa vizitezi in Londra:

Studiourile Harry Potter


Pentru fanii Harry Potter dar nu numai, studiourile Warner Bros sunt o mare distractie. Biletele trebuie cumparate dinainte cu cateva saptamani, iar ora turului aleasa mai dupa amiaza va recomand, candva sa fii sigur ca poti ajunge, fiindca locatia se afla in afara orasului, cam la doua ore de mers cu transportul in comun. Exista un restaurant in afara studiourilor, si unul in interior, de unde se poate comanda chiar Butter Bear.



Muzeul Madame Tussauds


Stiu, o atractie cunoscuta, dar eu m-am zgarcit la primele vizite, nu am vrut sa il vad cand existau atatea alte obiective gratuite. Insa pana la urma am mers si a fost una din cele mai grozave experiente. Muzeul nu are doar figurine cu ceara, ca cel din Paris sau Roma, ci si multe alte activitati surpriza. La fel, e bine vizita sa fie programata cu ceva timp in avans si exista niste pachete prin care puteti iesi la un pret foarte bun, daca va intereseaza si alte obiective.



ZSL London Zoo


Aici am tinut neaparat sa ajung pentru ca nu mai vazusem girafe in viata reala. Au o piele groasa, ca o patura, o limba lunga si mov, si niste ochi mari cu gene fermecator de lungi. Acolo m-am intalnit pentru prima oara si cu pinguini, coioti, nevastuici si suricate. Nu prea sunt de acord cu ideea de gradina zoo, dar ma gandesc ca poate unora din animale le e mai bine acolo, decat in natura cu pradatorii.




The British Museum


Mai exact sectiunea lui egipteana, are tot felul de faraoni, mumii si alte statui interesante. Ca orice muzeu de istorie insa, cel mai bine ar fi sa il vizitati cu un ghid, pentru ca altfel nu veti stii povestile din spate si ele sunt chiar mai frumoase decat ce se vede.





Cake Shops & Afternoon Teas


In Londra am vazut si am gustat primele briose care ne-au impresionat. Si nici nu erau din cele mai laudate, ca cele de la Peggy Porschen sau Palm Vaults. Mai exista si experienta ceaiului de la ora 5 (apropo, la Madame Tussauds exista o oferta buna pentru un afternoon tea cu regina). Unde pe langa ceaiul in sine esti servit in stilul traditional si cu sendvisuri, si tot felul de prajituri.





Vreti mai multe idei? Mai jos un clip cu 100 de lucruri de facut in Londra, iar aici linkul spre canalul de Youtube al unui ghid londonez, plin de videoclipuri cu tot felul lucruri stranii sau amuzante din Londra. Urmarindu-l pe el am aflat de stradutele din 1600 din centrul Londrei, ca Goodwin's Court, si sigur nu am fi dat de ele altfel.






Unde planuiesc sa mai ajung eu in Londra in curand:

- London's Sky Garden, pare frumos si spre deosebire de punctul de observatie din The Shard, e gratuita intrarea
- un dog cafe (ca Pug Cafe sau Sausage Dog Cafe), ca cele din Coreea. Pana la urma asta cred ca e cel mai minunat in Londra, s-au adus cele mai bune idei din toate celelalte tari aici. Cred ca tot ce exista la New York poti gasi si in Londra.
- mai multe localuri care servesc mancare cat mai autentica din alte tari, ca patiseria japoneza pe care am gasit-o intamplator in plimbari data trecuta. Am gasit un Beigel Shop care pare ca are tartute portugheze si cronuts (croissant donuts), daca nu, incercam la Dominique Ansel Bakery
- Porridge Cafe, Cereal Killer Cafe sau Biscuiteers, unde poti sa iti decorezi singur desertul
- Kyoto Garden si ale parcuri
- Templul hindus
- Emirates Air Line Cable Car


Alte linkuri pentru inspiratie:
https://secretldn.com/category/things-to-do/
https://londonist.com/things-to-do
https://www.atlasobscura.com/users/fleurdelisgrrl/lists/things-to-do-in-london