Tuesday, April 19

Make the Most of Your Trip: Tips for Touring Barcelona



Barcelona is a seductive seaside city with dreamlike landmarks that hold historic secrets deep within their walls. The avant-garde city hosts a labyrinth of twisting streets that are home to Gothic-inspired architecture, award-winning restaurants, boisterous bars and elegant hotels.
When visiting, make the most of your trip by following these tips to touring Barcelona.
What to See
Discover the city of Barcelona on foot or bicycle to get the authentic feel for its charming streets. Las Ramblas is the landmark many tourists identify with the city. The central boulevard cuts through the heart of the city and is an ideal place to begin exploring. Its vibrant and lively promenade is a must visit during the daylight hours. You’ll be right near the Gothic Quarter, as well, which is another must see.
With Antoni Gaudí as its legendary architect, Barcelona is blanketed with Art Nouveau sites and fascinating modernista buildings. Don’t miss:
·         La Pedrera
·         Parc Guell
·         La Sagrada Familia
Picasso plays an integral part in Barcelona’s art scene, as well. Walk down C/Reina Cristina to visit landmarks that shaped his youth. Visit the Museu Picasso to see some of the work from his formative years.
What to Eat
Pinchos (pintxo), tapas and vermouth top the list of Barcelona’s culinary trends. Tapas is the general term for small dishes in Spain and they are meant to be shared, whether it's a bowl of olives or a plate of grilled prawns. Raciones are a bigger portion of tapas, and pinchos are bite-sized tapas served on top of a piece of bread.
There are countless tapas bars around the city, so pop into one along your journey. If you don’t know what to order, get the Pan con Tomate, which is a quintessential Catalan tapa composed of tomato rubbed on bread and drizzled with oil and salt. Sip on cava, vermouth or Txacoli (a light white wine) with your tapas.
Do not leave the city without sampling the seafood, either.
Where to Stay
Barcelona lodging can get pricey, so travel with others and share rooms when possible to save some money. There are several mid-range hotels in the city. Look for a place in the Eixample area to be near to the modernista scene and close to shops, restaurants and tourist landmarks. If you want a more luxurious stay, the Hotel Arts Barcelona is beachside and fancy. If you’re more into the neighborhood feel, Gracia is a good option. It's close to Park Guell, but you will need to take the metro into the city center.
Another option is a hostel, also called an albergue in Barcelona. Hostels tend to pack bunk beds into a room so be prepared to get cozy with your roommates. Bathrooms are also shared. It can get a bit noisy, but if you want a cheap room, this is your best bet. Do your research before choosing a location as some pockets around Las Ramblas and in the Barri Gotic can be a little sketchy at night.
How to Stay Safe
As with any city in the world, tourists need to safeguard their belongings. In Barcelona, be especially cautious of pick pocketing and bag snatching, advises the Barcelona Tourist Guide. Don’t walk down Las Ramblas with an open map, looking lost and bags unguarded. You know how to be a savvy tourist:
·         Pay attention to your surroundings. If something doesn’t seem right or if a group of locals are trying to gain your attention, walk away. It may be a ruse.
·         Only carry the money you need for the day and leave valuables at the hotel. No flashy jewelry.
·         Wear belongings on your front side and close to your body. Avoid shoulder purses unless they are crossbody bags.
·         Don’t wear a camera around your neck. Thieves will snatch that right off you and take off before you even know what happened. Instead, use a high-quality camera phone with a large memory for pictures and video. The new LG G5 has a 5.3-inch Quad HD screen with a high-contrast display that makes video and images look spectacular. It also has a LG 360 degree cam attachment that is a perfect way to capture the panorama of the city.
Lastly, if you want to impress the locals in Barcelona, learn to speak their language, Catalan, which is derived from Latin and Provençal French. In comparison, Castilian (Castellano) Spanish has heavy Arabic influences.

Friday, December 11

Crypt Pillars and Ceiling at Sagrada Familia Cathedral



Close your eyes and think about architecture, try to establish a pattern of what is something astonishingly beautiful for you and for people in general and I am sure that when you open them again you will hardly come even closer to what Antoni Gaudi should have had in his mind when he created these beautiful pillars and that odd ceiling for his Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Who would have thought of such daring strange shapes then, by the end of the XIX century and who can think of them right now unless you take a computer and use an advanced software to calculate mathematical possibilities for architectural impossibles.

Thursday, December 3

10 Fun Things to Do in Barcelona



Barcelona is among the most popular choices in the world, when it comes to holiday destinations. This is because there are so many great things to do there – like these ten.

  1. Taking a stroll
Barcelona offers great weather for wandering and attractions unique to the city. Montjuic Castle, Parc de Joan Miro and Parc de la Ciutadella are among the stunning parks and buildings that you can enjoy at any time of the year.

  1. Take in a concert
While Barcelona is home to many concert venues, perhaps the best is Gran Teatre del Liceu. Fromthe luxurious red carpeting and gold leaf, to performances of Beethoven, Wagner and the annual Christmas concert, this is a pleasure to visit.

  1. Take the Picasso tour
Picasso spent his youth in Barcelona and you can grab the chance to visit haunts like the site of his former home on C/Merce, hit Els 4 Gats, where he spent time with the likes of Salvador Dali and finish at the Museu Picasso.

  1. Attend a Barcelona match
Barcelona is a city passionate about football and for anyone with an interest in sport, avisit to Camp Nou will be essential. Obviously this is best outside of summer, so you can take in a La Liga fixture.

  1. Tibidabo
This enormous mountain overlooks the city and yet many visitors neglect it. During the summer months it will provide superb views of the entire city.

  1. Las Ramblas
This area of the city is very tourist-heavy, but still well worth a visit – especially off-season. Then you will best be able to enjoy the shops, street performances and colour of this vibrant locale.

  1. Steel Donkey Ride
This means a bicycle, but the rides take in less touristy spots – such as El Borne’s back streets, the Gracia village district and the Poblenou ruins. This is perfect for anyone who wants a more individual experience of Barcelona.

  1. Skateboarding
Perhaps surprisingly, Barcelona is a European skateboarding centre, and a visit to the Plaza del Angels will be the ideal activity for any teenagers you have with you.

  1. Visit the Casino Barcelona
The city has several casinos, but the Casino Barcelona is the best. Poker is the popular game here, with the numerous tournaments having built the reputation of this casino. If you don’t fancy the hassle of going to actual casino try some online mobilepokies with sites such as mobilecasinoaustralia in the comfort of your own room. However you will also find slots and other table games in the actual casino.

  1. Try the cuisine
One of the best restaurants for sampling local Basque cuisine like Pinxtos is Euskal Etxea, making this a great stop for those who want the authentic culinary experience.

There is so much to sample in Barcelona, if you research and explore a little.

Saturday, October 17

The Best Spanish Restaurants in Hawaii



Hawaii offers plenty of culture throughout its many islands. But if you want to try something a little different and you are tired of having the local cuisine, rest assured that there are also several Spanish restaurants that you are sure to love. Check out some of the best Spanish restaurants in Hawaii in the list below so that you can plan for a fun night out with your date or your family.

Coquito's

Coquito's is a great Spanish restaurant that is located in Waianae on the island of Oahu. It is ranked one of the top restaurants in Waianae, so you definitely will not go wrong by having lunch or dinner there. The food is authentic Spanish cuisine, and the service is impeccable, with friendly staff that is prompt. Plus, the price is right for the value that you get for the money at this eatery, so you can definitely splurge on a large meal that your entire family will love.

Grondin

Offering delicious Spanish cuisine, Grondin is an ideal spot for those seeking the perfect place to eat on a Friday night or during the weekend. The menu is reasonably priced and there are plenty of food and drink options available to satisfy everyone's cravings. Many people who visit are pleasantly surprised by the bit of Spanish and French fusion on the menu, and they also really enjoy the atmosphere and overall vibe of this establishment as well. And because it is conveniently located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, you can enjoy this restaurant many times throughout your stay if you are planning on being in Honolulu.

Bar Acuda

If you are planning on staying at a top Kauai hotel, look no further than Bar Acuda, which is one of the best restaurants on the island. This establishment features locally sourced, fresh ingredients that are perfectly paired together to provide you with an array of Mediterranean options, from Spanish and Portuguese, to Italian and French cuisine. It is also one of the best places to relax with your friends, sip on delicious wine, and share tapas with one another.

Cactus

Cactus is a restaurant located in Kailua on the island of Oahu, and it offers a mix of Spanish, South American, Chilean, Latin, Brazilian, and Mexican cuisine, so there is definitely a wide variety of options on the menu and many different flavors to enjoy. Head over there for a fun happy hour with delicious drinks and appetizers, or go for a full dinner complete with dessert. No matter what you choose, the service will be friendly and accommodating, and you are sure to have a great time.
Remember that, in addition to heading out to these Spanish restaurants, you can also enjoy other local and global cuisine throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Many of the resorts on the islands, such as Koloa Landing Resort, even have their own award-winning restaurants on-site, so you definitely do not have to go very far to enjoy an unforgettable meal during your trip.

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