Year: 2017

Travelling through the world and the cosmic space of my own four walls 2017

2017 has been a year full of travels for me. And that not so as to escape home. After all, I live in magnificent Barcelona and it has been my first full year in this city. I think it’s the constant need and lust to explore, to be surprised, to live deeper that has had me hop on airplanes and roads much more often than ever before. So I’m putting together my travel highlights of this year and some plans for the next. Maybe there is some inspiration for your bucket list among them. January – Budapest, Hungary My first city and solo trip this year would take me to -20ºC Budapest. I had always wanted to visit this place and was absolutely amazed by all its morbid beauty, coffee scene, fin de siecle architecture and ruin pubs. February – Palermo, Sicily Without a doubt my top destination this year! I imagine whole Sicily beautiful throughout summer season, but Palermo in winter was an unexpected highlight. Fresco-like architecture all around, gelato, arancini, street food, enchanting …

The Big Journey – Returning Home for the Holidays

There is this one big journey you probably take at least once a year no matter how far you live away from that destination. I’m not talking about an extensive retreat or adventure trip at the other end of the world here. I’m talking about that kind of flight on which anticipation meets a sudden queasy feeling. I’m talking about returning home for the holidays. As much as I travel – far, close, alone, with others – visiting my native town, my home, my old children’s room is always one of the biggest challenges in the travel cosmos. So here’s a little unusual and not so serious piece (or call it survival guide) on the 5 phases of going back where you come from. 1 – The “It’s actually all not too ugly” phase So you come back and see everything with completely different eyes as they say. Enjoy it while it lasts. It won’t be long. It’s this phase where your up to now unconscious nostalgia comes through and you put a shiny filter …

Berlin in the Cold

There are places that have this yearning melancholy to it. Berlin has always been that place for me. And so I returned to the German capital to pack some of my last belongings when that feeling of melancholy is the strongest: in the crispy cold with small snow flakes falling down on the grey city. An also grey but incredibly cosy shelter from Berlin winter was my studio in Prenzlauer Berg. I arrived late at night at the airport, so I enjoyed falling into that supersoft bed just the more. The next day the temperature dropped to 0ºC and so a coffee and waffles at The Barn Coffee Roasters were overdue. Warmed up, I made my way to Kreuzberg to visit Markthalle Neun. I’ve always loved the regular food market here but now in December it got even better: it had turned into a Christmas food and hand-made gift market. The perfect place for my pre-Christmas trip! Over the Spree and through the heavy cold, I went further down to Friedrichshain to stroll the organic …

A Hygge Holiday

You would think that a cancelled holiday would mean a little (travel)heartbreak to me. And indeed, it was not easy for me to call off the planned getaway to a cosy cabin in the midst of the Mallorquin countryside. But I had fallen sick some days before and was in no condition to step on a flight. And to be quite frank, I think it was not the worst thing to happen. As much as I enjoy travelling, I have been on the road so often this year that it felt good to slow down for a few days, pick up a book, take care of myself, prepare lots of breakfast and hop on a train for a relaxed day trip. But it all started with me being pretty sick, so the first days meant bed, sofa, bed, tea and some reading. My taste in books is pretty highbrow… except for the Christmas season. This is when I fall for all those kitschy single-girl-owns-a-quaint-bakery-fights-the-evil-company-chain-Christmas-is-almost-ruined-but-then-all-is-merry-after-all-plus-snowflakes novels. I’m quite sure they did help me recover though. So …

Drifting through Fez

With living so close, I have come to be a regular Morocco traveller by now. Hardly any other destination can put one into a whole new setting within not even a 2-hour-flight. It’s this compelling chaos that takes me back again and again. Fez is often recommended as a first stop in Morocco and yet it took me some Marrakech and Tangier as well as Essaouira trips to come here. Once the country’s capital and with one of the biggest medinas in the world, Fez has a lot to offer. Yet it has kept in my opinion more of its original tradition and pace. It’s less touristy, less entertaining than Marrakech and at the same time less rough than the coastal cities Tangier and Essaouira. The 2017 edition of Lonely Planet Morocco describes its medina as rather rundown and ragged. Arriving in Fez, I experienced quite the contrary: Initiatives to let the medina shine in new splendour have already brought out a visible effect. I arrived in Fez late in the evening and was directly …

Mountains, Medinas and Mezquita: Heading south to Córdoba and Granada

There is trips that involve meeting your new partner’s family and there’s trips that involve meeting your new partner’s family in Andalusia. I was lucky enough to go on the second one. Not that I choose my partners according to such criteria. I can’t deny the one or other advantage, though. So when the August sun stood the highest in Barcelona, I decided to head south to Córdoba and Granada – at 42ºC. You see the introduction to the family did come with some inconvenience, too. As I could not complain about any other detail than the heat though, I’m taking you with me to the magnificent south of Spain where siestas are long, food comfortingly heavy and conversations heated. The train took me from Barcelona to Córdoba in four and a half hours. With its white and yellow facades, beautiful architecture and candid people it reminded me much of Sevilla. Yet the city has so many Moorish influences, unique cuisine (Salmorejo! Flamenquines!) and tranquil vibes that it easily stands out. The Urban Vida Stays …

My Bars, my Boutiques, my Barrios – A Barcelona Neighbourhood Guide to Indulge in

Barcelona is unlike many other cities in Europe a master of understatement even though it is overflowing with culture, architecture, artisans, bars, restaurants and nature. The good thing is: There is no such thing as the restaurant to go to. Which is why I always recommend to avoid the big venues – whether it be for dining or shopping. Barcelona’s gems can be found in the midst of the winding alleys of Gótico, on the casual placas of Gràcia, in beautiful El Born and pretty much always just around your corner. That said, I understand it’s not always easy to locate future favourite places among a great offer on a 4-day-city-trip. And so it happens that more and more fellow travellers and friends ask me for my insider tips. As I have created such lists from scratch every single time anew, I thought it was finally time for a post with my personal Barcelona insider tips. This list is neither complete nor to everyone’s taste but might give you a guiding lead. And as you …

Solo-Travel Andalusia & Morocco: Seville – Cádiz – Tarifa – Tangier

With so many travels this year already made and published here, I haven’t managed to tell about one of the greatest ones last October until now. In fact, it had been my first solo travel in a very long while and somewhat meant the world to me. Having moved to Barcelona last summer and mastered all the new challenges, I felt like treating myself to an exciting yet relaxing trip. Living in Spain, the options are beautiful and endless obviously, so I decided to visit Andalusia and then cross over to Morocco. I first wanted to split those two destinations into separate postings but as I’m not selling any city guides here but rather sharing my experiences, I opted for placing it all in one. Which leaves you with dozens of images more to scroll through and me with a serious case of travel nostalgia. As you might have figured out by now, I’m quite the spontaneous traveller so I didn’t plan that much when booking a flight from Barcelona to Seville and one back …

Pretty Pastels: City Trip Lisbon

To tell you the truth I was a little afraid of travelling to Lisbon. Not because it’s a particularly scary kind of place. But because I considered moving to Barcelona or Lisbon last year without having been in either of the two cities before. As you know, I opted for Barcelona and feared I would fall head over heels for the Portuguese capital now. Let’s say I have a serious crush but my love for Barcelona remains incontestable. But now it’s time to focus on that little love affair with Lisbon for a few images and lines (sorry Barcelona!). I arrived in Lisbon late at night and headed straight to my lovely Airbnb. Bob Dylan over the bed, Woody Allen in the living room and beautiful views from anywhere in the apartment made this place the perfect basis for a weekender. As it was my birthday the next morning and I had only 1.5 days in the city, I decided to spend a very easy, laid-back city trip. I started strolling the streets of Bairro …