Paris for the recurring traveler – Day 1

I’ve been to la Ville de l’Amour a few times, visited different areas, seen the main attractions as well as not so well known neighborhoods, but maybe not enough time to just live the city and make it my own.

Taking advantage of my sister’s hospitality I went back in the beginnings of November for 5 days. And it made such a difference! Maybe it was the sun that accompanied me during most of my journey, maybe it was a more open and carefree mindset or maybe it just was that – and please forgive my cheesiness-  Paris is probably the most beautiful city in the world. Period.

So, if like me, you’ve visited the capital of France more than once, let me share with you some of the routes I took wandering around the city. We’ll start with the fancy 5ème arrondissement, on the left side of the Seine.

Day 1- 5ème: Jardin des plantes, Mosquée de Paris, Rue Mouffetard, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont

Jardin des plantes  Panthéon

So this time I decided to visit the Jardin des Plantes by Gare d’Austerlitz metro station encouraged by a friend.

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The Heart of la Sagrada Familia

Although I never intended this blog to be a tourist guide of Barcelona, I believe that a post about La Sagrada Familia had to happen some day or another.

I was raised and still live literally 1 minute away from the famous temple, which means dealing with hordes of tourists taking pictures at it every day. (People sometimes ask me if I’m not tired of it, but  actually it’s not that bad if you walk a few blocks away, and I get great views while walking around my neighborhood).

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen images of the most famous Gaudi construction from the outside, so let’s take a look at the heart of it:

sagrada familia entrance

If you’ve bought your tickets in advance (highly advisable), you’ll enter by the Nativity’s Façade designed by Gaudi to serve as an example of style for the rest of the temple. I find it quite peculiar, at least different from other catholic temples.

La Sagrada Familia
Once on the inside, the style is completely different. A high and spacious nave surrounded by columns. I must admit I was impressed by its beauty when I first entered the building after its renovation in 2010 (and understood the ticket price). The light shines through the stained-glass windows coloring the walls. It gives an overall feeling of peace and admiration, certainly what a religious temple aims to produce.

Now let’s see some other pictures from the interior, hope they make you wanna visit the building if you still haven’t done so!

interior of la sagrada familia

The main nave and the stained-glass windows

The altar of la Sagrada Familia

The altar

ceiling of la sagrada familia

The 45 metres tall ceiling

heart of la sagrada familia

Colored stained-glass windows

the organ of la sagrada familia

The impressive organ

What do you think? Worth paying a visit?

Barcelona from the magic mountain: Tibidabo Views

pANORAMIC VIEW OF bARCELONA FROM TIBIDABO

There’s no excuse. It’s been almost 4 months since my last update, the longest period of time I have remained inactive since I started this project back in 2011.

However, I’ve always believed that quality beats quantity, and that means some times I rather wait until something worth it comes up.

For example going up to the Tibidabo Amusement Park, one of my favorite spots when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t actually go into the park and ride the attractions. I just went up the mountain and enjoyed the breathtaking views of Barcelona, completely worth it!

Barcelona views from Tibidabo

My relationship with Tibidabo started as far back as I can remember. My grandfather used to drive the tramway that connects Barcelona to the funicular that goes on top of the mountain and for that reason we got free entrances. I don’t know how many birthdays I celebrated (or attented to) in Tibidabo, but I never got tired of it!

If you plan to go up the mountain, and you don’t have a car, I recommend to take the bus in Plaça Catalunya, otherwise the price of the combination of metro + tramway + funicular will go higher.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Tibidabo allows you to enter the top floor of the park without a ticket and wander around the most classical attractions: the merry-go-round, the wheel and the watchtower.

 Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Tibidabo

From there you can also have a closer look at the  Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sagrat Cor), with a combination of different styles ranging from Romanesque to Modernist. But as I said before, the main point of going up the mountain are the excellent views of the city. Don’t miss it out!

barcelona views from Tibidabo

Images of Mexico

Soundtrack

Better late than never.

I may have taken my time to update this blog, but I wasn’t going to give up so easily! Lazyness has been my companion for too long, but today I decided it was time to shake things up.

So basically I went to Mexico after New Year’s to visit my sister and had lots of fun. I visited Riviera Maya for a week of rain and cold and then went back to Mexico City where surprisingly the weather was much better. I took some pictures, which I thought were great but ended up being just  O.K., and then decided that I wanted to show them to the world and say a few things about this amazing country that has many beautiful places to go and too much bad publicity.

Riviera Maya has lots to offer

In spite of the bad weather, the views and landscape in Riviera Maya were like paradise. When in Yucatán, relax in your hotel, visit the ruins of Cobá, Tulúm or Chichén Itzá, swim admist fish in a cenote, take a boat to Isla Mujeres and if you have extra time and money, go to a park like Xcaret.

mexico maya koba riviera maya

Swimming pool in front of the Caribbean see in Riviera Maya

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Universal children’s day around the world

Over the course of my trips I like to take pictures, not only of the main attractions, but also of locals and their way of life. To celebrate the Universal Children’s Day I’ve made a selection of some of my travel photos where kids are the main characters.

Miyazima (Japan)

One of the places I highly recommend you to visit is the beautiful island of Miyajima in Japan. There’s a a Torii Gate that seams to float on the water when tides are high, and when they are low you can approach it by foot. You can see its red reflection in the background and the little kid playing with sand and water.

japan kid miyajima

Atlas (Morocco)

When we travelled to Marrakech in 2011 with my family we made a trip to the mountains of Atlas. It was like a trip in time seeing those kids playing with toys from my grand parent’s time.

kids in morocco atlas

Jardins du Luxembourg (Paris)

While visiting my sister in Paris last year, I took my camera and went for a walk in the beautiful gardens of Luxembourg. In the pond it was possible for kids to rent little boats and let them float away,

kid paris little boat

Nara (Japan)

Again in Japan we met this group of cute schoolkids visiting Nara in front of its Buddhist temple.

school kid japan nara

Poblesec (Barcelona)

Correfocs are very popular in the Catalan tradition, it consists of a group of Diables ( Devils) lighting fireworks and dancing. I had never seen such a young and proud diable before!

kid in barcelona correfoc

Hope you enjoyed those pictures, have a great day!