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14 musts in Barcelona

Summer 2013 is around the corner and I’m looking forward to go back to Spain for a month or so this year. As always I’m off to Barcelona in June and the Sonar festival (this year even with a proud V that will present the South Africa launch of Bridges for Music), and hopefully to Ibiza & Costa Blanca (Alicante & Valencia). I’ve written a lot about these places before, and will repost some of it this week, starting with the oldest post.

It is a list I first wrote in 2007 over 14 must do/sees in Barcelona. I’ve been to Barcelona several times since and find the musts equally relevant today. Though I’m unfortunately not too updated on the nightlife scene (I haven’t been to more than one of the mentioned clubs for instance) I know they are all there. But do feel free to share your points of view on newer/ other clubs.

credentials: googleimages.com

credentials: googleimages.com

In 2004/2005 I was fortunate to work as a volunteer for a huge EU-initiated ONG in Barcelona, and lived for six months together with other young volunteers from various European countries. My particular work experience itself was a rather dark chapter, but that’s another story and anyway I wouldn’t change those months for anything. Besides I was obviously keen to go to Barcelona for much more than the job, just like all the other volunteers. We were there to meet others alike, learn Spanish and “have the time of our lives”. And we had! Some of the guys with whom I lived still live in Barcelona and I dream of living there again one day myself.

So. Here are 14 things to do/see in Barcelona, starting with the obvious temptations:

credentials: hdrcreme.com

credentials: landarchs.com

1. Gaudi, of course. The extraordinary architecture by the extremely innovative and very much admired architect Antoni Gaudi (1852- 1926) is known for having made Barcelona into the city it is today – due to its looks. There is no place in the world you will see anything like the buildings he constructed over hundred years ago. Sagrada Familia, Casa Gaudi, The Guel park, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo and much more. At the tourist information in the airport, or downtown (or at your hotel) you get maps over where to find the marvelous constructions. There is also a Gaudi museum in Barcelona that can be good to start a full-on Gaudi day with. My recommendation however is to divide the Gaudi- tours into two days according to where the spectaculars are and mix the go-see with other interesting things in each part of the city.

credentials: architectsandartisans.com

2. The beach! When cultural and vibrant cities has a coastline, they often get considered even more beautiful. This fact certainly concerns Barcelona with its not too polluted beaches, despite of being timely over-crowded. The beach is long and I always make sure to give a day to strolling from one end to the other along the well-kept promenade. On the way you can find the perfect slot for you whether that is the more family-friendly, party-like, high-endish, or hippie-ish…  There are small beach bars every 100 meter and good restaurants along the promenade. Make sure to choose local small places over chains like KFC.

3. The different barrios. In my opinion you don’t actually get to know a city before you get to know the features of at least 3,4 of its neighbourhoods. Some cities may not have too defined neighbourhoods (something I quickly find boring), but luckily Barcelona does. You can say the typically ‘of tourist interest’ “city center” is what is called Ciutat Vella in which you find the old towns Born & Barrigotic (see the Gothic Quarter!) on one side of the avenue La Rambla, and the vibrant (and very popular) immigrant area Raval on the other. Then you have Barceloneta by the harbour/beach with the areas La Barceloneta & La vila Olimpica. Look at boats, stroll down the beach promenade and if interested visit the Aquarium. If you got more time in Barcelona, or if you are the kind of person not interested in walking where all the other tourists are, consider visiting the surrounding Le Corts (a little west-endish), Gracia and Glories (though the most famous tourist attraction in Spain (La Sagrada Familia) is situated in between the two latter so you do indeed meet foreigners here too).

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Born, close to Barceloneta

4. The plazas. Because people love getting together for chats and drinks in a climate that allows it pretty much all year, small and big squares packed with restaurants, bars and fountains are characteristic in South European cities. In Barcelona they are everywhere, however not always that easy to find on a map. Plaza Real (at La Rambla) is one of the bigger and very touristy, Passeig del Borne (Born) is more of a street than a plaza but cool (young, hipstery) people hang here, Plaza del Sol (Gracia) is small, young and hippie-ish, the huge Plaza outside of MACBA in Raval is chilled and full of skaters and tourists, Plaza triangular (Barrigotic)  is tiny and quite local, Plaza de Sant Jaume connects two barrios, etc etc. Sit down on the pavement with a taken-away beer, or order a cold Clara (Spanish for shandy) and enjoy.

5. Tapas! Though some Nationalistic Catalans (they’re plenty) would disagree, Barcelona is in Spain, and the Spaniards love their tapas. Get used to eating your lunch and dinner like them – and remember tapas is to be shared between people. The classic ones: aceitunas (olives), pan con tomate (bread with tomato), aioli (thick white sauce made of garlic and olive oil, to eat on bread and with seafood), patatas bravas (thick fried potato chunks with a special spicy tomato sauce), tortilla (thick egg omelet with potatoes) and albondigas (meat balls with a touch) and gambas a la plancha (grilled shrimps, or shrimps cooked in a dry-fryish way on a pan). For the seafood lovers there are plenty of options – especially for the valiant. Grilled pulpo (octupus) and calamar (squid) is very common and delicious! Chipirones en su tinta (mini squids served in their ink!!) as well, and trust me- it’s yummy! Grilled or dry-fried boquerones (anchovies) you eat whole, and various bacalao (cod in sauce) dishes are served many places. And don’t forget your sangria, it’s just a myth Spanish people don’t drink that.

6. La Champañeria. Actually I was unsure whether to post about this, or not, as it’s one of these places you love just the way it is. But I hate it when others keep those secrets away from me, so here it goes. La Champañeria is a gem of an authentic Spanish cava & tapas bar. It’s located at the bottom of Born, in the small street Carrer de la Reina Cristina 7 (close to the harbour). You find it by noticing the crowd of people outside, especially around midday (lunch time for locals). In my opinion it’s the perfect place to go as a couple or with a small group after (or before) a day on the beach. The bar is tiny, but it takes surprisingly many people if you squeeze your way inside to the corners. And beware! You go to La Champañeria to get some local, historic vibes and taste their Cava and tapas (both simple, but delicious). In here you kick your way through used carton plates and tissues, and order at the bar with jams hanging over your head. The old sweaty waiters are in a hurry and don’t speak much English, so be patient and speak clearly as it’s normally crowded and noisy. One bottle is served with three plates of tapas.  Open from 9am – 10.30pm, closed on Sundays.

IMG_8744 Champaneria

7. La Boqueria. This is one of the oldest markets in town, and easy to find on a map and by walking up La Rambla. It’s a good place to suck in some history and watch how a typical old Spanish market works, and to buy fresh bread, cheese, fruits, fish and meet (if you live in an apartment and want to cook).

8. Understand the Spanish VS Catalan issue. The sooner you learn some about this, the better. It can in fact affect even a short stay in Barcelona, if the (wrong) person confronts you with this and feel you’re ignorant to the topic. Respect the locals’ feelings about this topic. Advice: Learn to say good day and thanks in Catalan – they’ll love you for it. “Bon dia” & “Merci” (NOT “Buenos dias” & “Gracias” – that’s Spanish!).

9. Bars! Oh lord.. Where to start? I’d say the nicest bars are the ones you don’t find in the middle of La Rambla. Then again, some of the most historical ones (and also frequently visited by locals) are very close by. Just google and mark them on a map and start your round. The level of cocktail making skills is high! In Raval you have Rabipelao, Ambar and Lobo bar: all stylish yet chilled and great fun. Close by are the two old and unique bars Bar Marsella (be careful with the absinthe, they’re not joking), and Le Pastis (Raval). However Boadas in Barrigotic claims to be the oldest in Barcelona and you definitely go here if you want to feel like in the 40’s again. Sugar bar, Pipa club and Le Petit Jet lag are also all in Gotic, tiny and innovative. In Born around Passeig del Borne and its side streets (mentioned above) you have many more! Not to mention in Gracia. Long story short: BARcelona!

1o. Nightlife! My favorite club when I lived here was Sala Apolo! An old small theatre situated in Raval (metro stop Paralel). It still exists and hopefully ever will, has amazing bookings and loads of experimental electronica and hip hop. Razzmatazz is also great, a huge venue with 5 rooms and good concerts from time to time. La Paloma is a historical gem but be sure to check it’s open. It constantly has neighbour trouble as it’s in the middle of a resident area in Raval. La Terraza is beautiful and located up in the hills of the city (perfect for warm summer night), though it’s not my kind of vibe (quite high-endish). City Hall (on Placa Catalunya) also had some good concepts going on, but I’m afraid you have to find out of these things yourself when first deciding to go somewhere. Depends on your music and style, amigo. I’d check ResidentAdvisor.com and Timeout.com to find recommendations for the style/music I’d fancy. El Row 14 is apparently a mad club where they play with inflammable toys and dress out. It typically offers electronic music and is probably for the more party valiant as it’s situated a bit outside town and in the Spanish clubbing-way open til early morning (I’ve heard many people start their daytime party here around 10am). Very good bookings of national and international DJs.

credentials: bcneventsandcrawls.com

EL ROW 14. credentials: bcneventsandcrawls.com

11. Get inspired! Absorb quirky art and fabulous street performance. Regarding street performance, many seem to think that the street artists in La Rambla are of the best. Re contemporary art, visit MACBA in Raval and google where to find other galleries – they’re plenty! Between Gotic and Born you have two streets full of photo shops and posters and quirky art that I love to visit. For graffiti-interested google this too, -there is a lot of inspirational stuff to see in all neighbourhoods.

12. Festivals. Yup. The Spaniards love their holidays and any other excuse to throw a party. Feb/ March: Sitges (gay) Carnival – has become a wild tourist attraction. Each end of May/June: Primavera soundfestival. Mid June: Barcelona’s biggest festival (electronic music but also experimental and old school hip hop. June 24: San Juan (celebration of a saint (generally speaking: a massive beach party). September 24: La Merce (kids, families, tourists enjoying the Carnival parade with tons of crazy fireworks on the streets). Plus more, more, more. Google!

13. Tibidabo. Go hiking (and later watch/try the old carousels) in Barcelona’s highest mountain and get the most beautiful view over the city! On Tibidabo not only do you get nature and a spectacular view, you get to visit the antique amusement park (known from the movie Vicky Christina Barcelona) and see another precious cathedral.

14. Avoid getting pick-pocketed, or mugged! With mass tourism, Barcelona that also holds a huge number of poor inhabitants, has become a mecca for pick-pockets. Like in any other place in the world you have to take precautions, and the typical advices are: Don’t watch street performers in crowded areas/ stand on crowded metros/ walk in crowded streets without having control of you valuables. It is quite common that kids from marginalised backgrounds go over to tourists tables and ask for money, cigarettes or directions. They can put a note, or a map on the table and steel what’s under it without you noticing. I’ve been many places considered more ‘dangerous’ than Barcelona, and it may of course be a coincidence, but I’ve never been a place where I’ve seen (and stopped) as many robberies as here.

General points: Barcelona is perfect for a lot of walking so wear good shoes. To travel further however you depend on taxis and public transport. The latter is more environmentally friendly and a cheaper and fun way to see the city. Barcelona is very children- and gay friendly.

Have fun!

Neverending summer

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It hasn’t actually been the plan to escape winter like this for two years in a row, but now that I am, I’m not complaining. Though I did wish – a couple of weeks before heading home from South Africa– to get a few Norwegian winter days for skiing and to wear huge winter coats.

Then it took me 20 minutes of Toten (where my mum lives on a farm) with its crispy aired early morning and late nights to get reminded how nice it is when spring is around the corner. It really makes people happier too (even more so in Nordic countries), and who doesn’t prefer times in which people smile more.

So. After a very nice, long South African summer, I’m now already preparing for an European summer.  And to me that always means FESTIVALS.

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credentials: blog.witlr.com

This year I think Ill top my personal record with the number of festivals Ill attend. Part from the three Ive already attended in Cape Town (read here), these are the festivals Ill go to:

Sonar

Glastonbury

Tomorrowland

Oya festivalen

Burning man

Yeah I know, brag brag, but WOOP WOOP

Read more here about why I love festivals.

Fireworks

Catching up with friends

Slowly recovering after yet another awesome time in Barcelona, the city that knows how to keep you going.. The Sonar festival had one of the best line-ups in years although I didn’t get to see half of what I wanted, as normal. All the OFF Sonar events (that I started thinking really overdid themselves themselves. I mean, is there really that many people out there to fill up all these different parties every day..?

Experience showed that yes there is – and other times that there is not – but when there is, it does definitely give the increasingly commercialised – and official – Sonar festival a rather potent competition! The Minus party in Boo on Sunday was mental. Way too crowded as the “secret” venue was fairly small, and Richie and co are fairly big. However I loved seeing some known faces again and got some good laughs hanging with a group of people that had been partying solidly for like three days. At least it serves to put things on the farm (at home) in perspective. (Search for farm in my search field and you’ll see what it’s about).

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Now back in a Norwegian friend’s flat that is situated literally next to Sagrada Familia. Passed by there today, and got stunned like always by its immense beauty, but also by what a tourist machine it is! The queue of people covers the whole building and goes over the street into a freaking park.

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When walking around the streets of this city, over-touristy or not, I cant help but dreaming about living in Barcelona again. Or Spain for that sake.

It’s just something with the cozy street restaurants and bars with tapas in all colors, nice waiters chatting to you over a beer, and locals gathering with friends spending time outdoor, which naturally contrasts a little bit with what is even possible to do many months of the year in my own city.. Besides, Ive always had this special passion for narrow streets, clothes hanging outside the balconies of the blocks in Born, and love Spanish architecture, food, language and culture in general.

Here is what I had at a bar on the corner tonight. Octapus! My favorite is actually the smaller octapus in its own ink Sepia en su tinta, but this is not the most common thing they have in any random bar.

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So, as I don’t want to leave this Spanish atmosphere that I adore yet, I’ve decided it is the perfect time to go see one of the Spanish Canary islands I still haven’t been to: Gran Canaria, where two good friends of mine have been living for nearly a year. They’re working for the Norwegian Sailor church, on an assignment to mainly be in charge of the children and young people using the place as a center for Norwegians living on the island.

Because, if you weren’t aware of it; Gran Canaria holds one of the biggest Norwegian communities outside of Norway. In fact, many of the kids my friends work with have lived there for years, while others come to do a year as part of their secondary school for instance.

My friends have absolutely loved being this year abroad, and I can’t wait to hear all their stories, see how they live, see Hilde’s belly (she is 5 months pregnant), chat all night on their porch with a sea view, eat tapas with them, speak Spanish and laugh a lot.

After the past year I just miss to be around close Norwegian friends I haven’t seen for a while, in this case people that also have a certain happiness affect on me.. And these two are of the kind that makes one see how much beauty there is in love and compassion. They are a truly special team, with a unique admiration of each other.

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Check out their very own blog by the way!

Weekend in Warsaw

It is so good to be spending some time with Marysia again, my Polish friend from the time we lived together in Barcelona in 2004/05. She has her own little flat in Warsaw now which is occupied by herself and a massive lazy cat.

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We hadn’t seen each other, other then over the screens, in a years time so after my arrival we went straight to an Italian place to catch up over some pasta and wine.

Before going to Poland I found out that the Norwegian promising producer and DJ Todd Terje (check his soundcloud here) that I havent seen playing in years as not only him -but myself too- are always out traveling somewhere, was going to play at Klub 55 the same Saturday I arrived. Upon a request I sent him through Facebook he put us on the guestlist. KUDOS to nice Terje! Before going to the party we met a bunch of friends of Marysia and her boyfriend Krzysiek, in town.

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Later on in Klub 55 the crowd went crazy with Todd Terje and him with them

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After 10 vodka cranberries Krzysiek and some friends dragged me along to an afterparty in which one of the coolest DJs Ive seen in time, Eltron John (soundcloud here) was playing. The Poles told me crazy stories about Eltron John’s old time performances ala nude DJing etc, and could reveal that he is going to this year’s Sonar festival as one of the Redbull Music academy artists. Yeay!

Today we are just chilling out, I woke up covered in cat hair obviously which is not good for the allergy. Have read some more about Auschwitz and chatted briefly to Ross, my friend there who is already installed. Starting to get slightly exited for the train ride tomorrow. I LOVE train traveling.

Jonsi makes me fly

You know that feeling when music lifts you up, gives you wings and makes you fly? When the goosebumps spread all over your body and you feel an instant overwhelming happiness and just want to jump forever. Or hug everybody. And scream out loud.

I love it when that happens.

Just suddenly, while walking down a street or jogging in the park with the headphones on full.. While sitting on the bus after work in rush hours. Or at a festival when an artist I’ve hardly heard of appears and plays something amazing.

The first time I heard this song I got that feeling.

 

Since then Ive played their record hundreds of times, and guess what: soon Ill see them at freaking Sonar!

My first township tour in Cape Town

The other day I mentioned that we had decided to go on a township tour in the end. Before telling you about the actual tour day in a coupe of following posts, Ill tell you a bit about my interest in even going to a township as some people find it odd that I even want to visit.

First of all my interest in townships stems from the fact that they are similar to slums per definition. They are places that don’t exist in my own country, and although I’ve traveled to developing countries and seen many from a distance, I’ve never seen one from within with my own eyes.

However, I’ve read a lot about slums and living conditions within them globally, in addition to studying society differences, poor people´s struggles and so on through my Human Geography studies. On top of that, how the media portrays slums (often on a negative note) grabs my attention.

Also, a couple of friends of mine that spent some weeks in South Africa years ago, told me about the interesting township youth culture and funky music scene within, and although I don’t know much about the music from here I was a huge fan of the kwaito- tune township funk by a local artist called Mujava.

The music video is pretty cool too:

Mujava was in fact supposed to play on Sonar 2009, but cancelled to friends’ and my huge disappointment.

Anyways. Back to the townships.

Since we arrived to Cape Town we’ve passed many of them by car and talked about how little we know about their history, questioned what is in their reputation (which seemingly is bad) and finally we decided to go to see one from the inside. Therefore, while being here, I´ve read more – and talked to people – about why townships were created in the first place, and how they´ve got overpopulated with black people during Apartheid.

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Photo of Langa township, the closest one to the city center of Cape Town. Credit: Google images

Like other slum areas, and regardless of Apartheid, people seem to agree that areas like a township in which many deprived people live, are dangerous for outsiders. On the Cape Town tourism government pages it is not recommended to enter one alone, but with a guide.

This has made me start thinking back and forth, first of all because I’m not a fan of media or others pushing the “fear buttons” in people, nor am I found of stereotyping or categorising things/ people/ places. I simply prefer to think that anywhere in the world people are people, and most people are good and peaceful. And when they´re not, there are often quite good reasons behind it!

Also, on a much more important note: It’s pretty obvious that crime rates increase with tourism due to the often extreme socioeconomic unbalance between hosts and guests. The awareness about – and desire to affect – that unbalance, is at the core of why I´ve become so passionate about the tourism industry myself. True story.

This means that I´ve come to understand as a traveler myself – and as a student going a bit deeper into the academic field of this specific topic – that the world would be a much better place if travelers took more responsibility to engage respectfully in the places they visit. If travelers would be more aware of the various impacts their traveling can have on communities and workers around the world, tourism could probably have a lot more positive impacts.

So, why am I writing all this under the title My first township tour?

Well, as I said Ive for long been interested in how a township looks myself, not to mention how tourism is conducted in them. The latter is in fact an enhanced interest of mine after reading a Norwegian travel article about Cape Town, in which the author gave the impression that township tourism in particular is about teaching tourists about the legacy of Apartheid. In addition to showing how residents cope with poverty on a daily basis, emphasising that their lives perhaps aren´t all that gloomy as the (mass) media wants us to believe.

The author thus stressed that touring a township had good impacts both on the traveler (who often is from a privileged background) and the local residents. First because it both educates the traveler on township lifestyles and helps to combat stereotypes, which secondly would benefit locals socially in terms of cutting down the barriers between rich and poor people. Economically it´s said that if visitors spend money inside the poor neighbourhoods they are visiting, this will obviously benefit at least some residents.

Still after going, it’s difficult to know whether all this in fact is taking place, however the experience was really eyeopening and made me think a lot, and want to question thousands of things. I feel like I understand a bit more about township life since going, yet it feels like I have no clue about “what’s in it for them with tourists coming to visit”. Therefore, thinking more and more about how I can study topics related to tourism as a development tool in the future, Ive now become extra curious about what this sector in South Africa entails.

The mentioned Norwegian article talked warmly about a small family run company and its owner Neville, which we chose to trust and booked a tour with. It was an interesting Christmas day indeed. 🙂 Meet Neville and get the rest of the story about our day in the township of Langa here.

Pleased to meet you, Valencia

When a special person I met during the Sonar festival invited me to Valencia shortly after I replied W H Y  N O T ? I’ve got a long holiday now after finishing my Bachelor degree, before I start working as a teacher in August. Also, Valencia is a city I’ve wanted to get to know for a long time, besides some safe Mediterranean summer weather never hurt any Norwegian lassie.

Although I thought it’s a bit scary to go away to see a ‘random guy from a festival’ like this, I also find it extremely exciting and good for self-developing. I thought that if he turns out to be completely mad – or worse: boring – I’d just travel on my own in the region and take it as a fun lesson.

He didn’t turn out to be mad or boring. Yet. In fact, he is awesome. All together interesting, interested, handsome, low key and funny, as if sent from above. Hah!

Now over to some pics from my trip so far.

Valencia sure is a city to love! It has that little Barcelona touch to it, and although there is no Gaudi architecture here the city is full of buildings by Calatrava, another Spanish unique architect.

Check this out:

photo credential: blog.kmpfurniture.com

photo credential: blog.kmpfurniture.com

Photo credentials: volcania.wordpress.com

Photo credentials: volcania.wordpress.com

Photo credential: 21stcenturyarchitecture.blogspot.com

Photo credential: 21stcenturyarchitecture.blogspot.com

Pretty wicked shit right?

And here I am in front of it:

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The whole area with three of his buildings is called the Science city by the way.

On the first night I was here my new friend took me to a really cool place downtown. I must say that I love it when Latin cultural (South European) men put that conqueror- attitude on, which at its best entails taking a woman to a live Flamenco concert in order to put her in the right (romantic) mood. 🙂

Cafe del Duende was a tiny place where we all had to squeeze together on small wooden chairs on the floor. We were lucky to get a place just in front of stage where we saw see the 1,5 hour long heart-breaking show up close.

Needless to say, I was in heaven from the very first minute.

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Part from going out late at night, meeting friends and eating tapas, Ive gone for a run in the park that divides the city more or less on the middle. Interestingly the park is called El rio the river) by locals as it used to have a river running all the way through it. Apparently the government decided to dry it out two decades ago as the city frequently got flooded during rainy seasons due to the river’s proximity to surrounding buildings and traffic. Although I never got a chance to see it I’d love the park to still have that river… Nevertheless El rio still gives Valencia that added wonderful nature element, as one can escape from traffic jams and skyscrapers and suck atmospheres like these up:

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Then there are the beaches.

Just like in Barcelona, Valencia offers kilometers of sandy (and decently clean) beaches just a stone throw away from the vibrant city center and old town.

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The harbor by the beach offers a variety of cafes, restaurants and night clubs, some of which got cool roof terraces to see the sunset from.

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As my friend V loves kite surfing we also went to Oliva the other day, which is a beautiful beach south of Valencia where the wind can get strong enough for wind surfing and kiting.

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And of course, let’s not forget the CITY itself!

Valencia has a long history…. dhsoghdlnl

and its old town is so pretty and msnjwhriofc

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Then, there is the Aquarium that in fact seemed very good to me. Not that I investigated that much prior to entering, but it was a delightful experience to see how the place communicates its conservation and breeding work of endangered species.

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Although I don’t know how happy these seals are living here as opposed in the free….

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The next three pictures are from Altea, a small town in between Valencia and Alicante. This is where V grew up parts of his youth and where his folks currently live. It also happens to be invaded by Norwegians as its so close to other hot spots for Scandinavians and alike around here.

The beaches in the area around Altea are not like the ones of Valencia or Barcelona, but more like small stony coves (calas in Spanish) neatly inhabited by big rocks and green trees.  I think I prefer them actually.

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Lastly and to be continued we spent a day with my friend Merete that happens to be just around the corner from Altea together with her boyfriend whose family has a vacation house here (the Norwegian invasion again).

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We even went to a traditional bull fight like thing in Denia, something that certainly wasn’t the best thing to write home about. But I will write about it asap as it serves to point out what I mean is the dark sides of ‘Spanish culture’.

Also, we’ve obviously got some time for clubbing too, and apparently the club we went to, Barraca, is one of Spain’s old mythical night clubs that has been going on forever.

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To be continued…

Dreams coming true

Then it was my turn. To jump on the blogging wheel. The thing to do these days apparently. I’ve always loved writing and kept a diary for as long as I can remember. Although I won’t share my most inner and private thoughts here, I could definitely do with a cyber place to discuss and share what is on my mind, with like-minded and not like-minded. Anyone really. I did in fact create a Myspace account recently, after seeing so many friends doing it, even wall papered it haha, but then I found the whole thing a bit confusing. Like “I’m not a musician, and if I want to exhibit my writing and connect to people I should perhaps do it in a blog site rather than on Myspace. We will see. What I loved there though was the whole listing of favorites thing. Because I LOOOOVE lists to organise things in this crazy head of mine.

To present myself we start with a pic taken this year at the Sonar festival in Barcelona. I may not look too happy, but on the inside I am because I’m at a festival. And whenever I am at a festival I am at my happiest. Really. And I know Ill write a lot about festivals and music experiences in this blog if it ever gets going, so better just start with it already. mesonar2006

The reason it says Oslo in my forehead is because I’m standing inside of a light installation thing they had on a wall showcasing  random city maps. Cool thing at Sonar is that part from all the acts, it is a platform for music and techno geeks, thus are there lots of visual and digital art work around music performances. I’d say the festival is quite unique in this sense, rapped up as a technology and EDM industry event – with a great line-up of course. I’ve only been twice so who am I to speak, but it always seems everybody is there with the same genuine interest in the industry and new electronic music. Part from that, like in any other festival you’re at Sonar to connect with people, see live acts and hear new music (both during day and night) and if you’ve got the time add some days on to spend more time in Barcelona.

Now, it is true I need to do my homework a little better with regard to all the names of the artists, but as my music nerd friends say it’s actually even better that I’m professional at having fun to the music, rather than nerding and chatting to everybody about “what is better and worse this year as opposed to last year” etc.  So I’m fine being the clown actually. And well, Sonar is really one of the best festivals I know of, in one of the coolest and most beautiful cities on earth.

In fact I spent 6 months in Barcelona 2 years ago. I was working as a volunteer through this EU program called European Volunteer Service (the job I did is another story). For me to go and live in Barcelona was actually a dream coming through, partly cause I loved the city when I was there for the first time in 2003, but mainly due to the language skills I thought I could get by spending some time there.

Talking about dreams, I am full of them, and for now I think this blog will be about presenting them. Not only in the sense of what my dreams are all the time, but about how I’ve pursued them, and how I plan to continue that way, as well as mentioning new ones appearing on the way. A kinda Stop dreaming your life, live your dream – blog. Maybe that can be of inspiration, or maybe it’ll turn out freaking boring. We will see.

 

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Either way I found out that this year is a perfect start because I just turned 25 years old. And that is the age I set for myself by which I wanted to fulfill 13 dreams I listed at the age of 17. This way we get onto that listing topic again too. I wrote it in my first language Norwegian, but Ive translated it. The ones with a V next to them represent achieved dreams.
My “13 dreams to fulfill by the age of 25” written down at the age of 17

1. Loose my virginity V

2. Get a proper boyfriend V

3. Live together with many friends in a big flat somewhere in Oslo (called ‘kollektiv’ in Norwegian) V

4. Travel somewhere foreign all on my own V

5. Backpack for months through at least two continents

6. Learn Spanish V (Still working on it, but the basis is there and I’m soon of to live in Argentina learning more. Can’t wait!)

7. Live in a warmer foreign city/ country V (Havana, Barcelona)

8. Get the driver’s license

9. Do/ be something good for somebody that needs it (working as a volunteer abroad) V

10. Work as a journalist for a newspaper or girls’ magazine V (partly, – I worked for a while in a student radio)

11. Find out what I really want to be/ work with V (partly)

12. Get to know my dad better, potentially look for his family in Denmark

13. Get a cool scooter

 

the End

I can’t remember why I made it 13 points long… probably cause 13 is my lucky number. Maybe I didn’t have more dreams. Figuring that partly achieved dreams counts as 50%, what we see here is an achievement rate of approximately 55% .

It’s not like Ive walked through life since the age of 17 with these dreams on my mind constantly, however, it is true that some of them have been clear aims, hence Ive done a lot to pursuit them. For instance I dreamed of learning Spanish since the age of 12 or so, and also of living in several cities. Ill continue following that dream as I just got in to a university in Buenos Aires Argentina, which is part of another dream I developed at a later stage regarding studying abroad. In order to learn more of the Spanish language, but also about cultures far away from ‘my own’.

Ill go more in each dreams’ depth next time

Buenas noches 😉