Hospital Sant Pau: Barcelona’s Window to Art Nouveau – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 4th, 2018

Hospital Sant Pau Barcelona - Keep Calm and Wander

The former hospital Sant Pau is Barcelona’s window to art nouveau. The moment you enter the gate, you know you’re inside a place that would take you to bygone times. You’d never even know that in the past, these buildings were used as hospitals. From outside, the pointed spires and well-decorated walls and windows give you a Gothic feel but wait until you see its interior.

I’m not really good at remembering addresses but it’s less than 10 minutes walk from Sagrada de Familia. My google map led me there. If you ask a local who lives around Sagrada, there’s no way he won’t know. If you find a gas station at the corner, and facing it, follow the street on its left lined with cafes. The closest subway/metro is Sant Pau or Dos de Main.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona’s Stunning Park Guell – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 2nd, 2018

Barcelona's Stunning Park Guell - Keep Calm and Wander

Park Guell in Barcelona is visually stunning. I’m not only referring to the legacy of arts and architecture that Antoni Gaudi left but also to the nature and breathtaking views you’ll see from up here. You’ve never been to Barcelona if you’ve never been to Parc Guell. This is the city’s green space on a hill with views unequalled anywhere in the world. No wonder, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Though the Park Guell isn’t really in the centre of the city, public transport is accessible. There are buses that stop right in front of the gate from downtown. All you have to do is find the exact bus number. I found it using google maps. The nearest subway or metro is Lesseps. From here, you have to walk uphill for 15-20 minutes.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Hidden Barcelona – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , March 30th, 2018

Hidden Barcelona - Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona remains one of the most popular destinations to visit in Europe, attracting over 32 million people per year and it is easy to see why. This historic city, with its incredible architecture, energetic nightlife and famous beaches make this an attractive holiday destination for tourists. Barcelona also has a fantastic array of restaurants, including 24 Michelin-starred eateries such as ABaC, a three Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the city.

While it is exciting to see a different side of the city, there will be some things you won’t want to miss when you visit Barcelona. La Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Catedral, for example, should all be on your must-see list. However, there are also some fascinating places that you can see in Barcelona that are not as obvious choices for tourists.

For example, you could pay a visit to the Museu Nacional de Art de Catalunya where you can admire the breathtaking views of the city as well as an amazing array of modern art. Don’t forget to check out the stunning waterfall!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Santiago de Compostela in Spain – Carlos Melia

Author: , January 17th, 2018

Santiago de Compostela

Two weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. Our first stop was Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa. This is my report on that first night.

A Quinta da Auga charm and boutique hotel, with a luxury Spa and gastronomic restaurant to discover the luxury and the beauty of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. A Quinta da Auga, the only Hotel Spa Relais & Châteaux of Galicia, is one of the hotels with more charm of Santiago de Compostela. A Quinta da Auga design hotel stands out by his carefull restorage and decoration, a unique 5 stars Spa and the high quality of The Filigrana Restaurant a real Relais & Châteaux gastronomic experience through the “Galicia Haute Cuisine”.

Our stay and visit, was warmly hosted and coordinated by no other than Mamma Luisa and her charming daughter Luisa – owners of A Quinta da Auga. These two ladies are the sweetest ever, and if you are lucky enough to meet them, they will make your stay even more special. But I must say that their energy and hospitality, extends to all their staff. THANK YOU Mamma Luisa, looking forward seeing you soon again, in Compostela or anywhere in the world.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog

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A Crash Course in Spanish Paella – Tango Diva

Author: , January 11th, 2018

paella - Pixabay

They say the secret to getting to know a culture is born through a passion for its food. Spain is no exception. Paella, the country’s most well-known and celebrated dish, is a reflection of the richness and diversity of the country that created it. The bright, inviting colors and layers of intense flavor the dish is known for tell a story. They take you on a journey to a land that is steeped in tradition, history and a love for community. Whether you are planning to make your very first paella or you consider yourself a seasoned paella pro, here is some information you may find helpful on your road to paella perfection.

It is said that the Moors brought rice from northern Africa to Spain in the 10th century. And, it is agreed, what we know today as paella originated in the 18th century in Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. Like many of the world’s best recipes, it is a beautiful melding of cultures that has led to Spain’s most popular dish, now happily eaten in every corner of the globe.

You may not know that the word paella actually refers to the name of the pan used to cook the hearty rice dish. Traditionally prepared in a large metal pan with a dimpled surface, these days, cooks can opt for a dimpled or flat-bottomed pan, depending on personal preference.

By Allison Neves – Full Story at Tango Diva

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Hiking the Camino de Santiago – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , October 14th, 2017

Camino de Santiago - Dani, Globetrotter Girls

When I started planning my 500 mile hike along the Camino de Santiago, I wanted to make sure I’d be as prepared as I could be, to ensure I’d have everything I’d need to make it to the end. But I also knew I’d need to pack as light as possible – something I am not very good at. Even one or two kilos can make or break a hiking trip, considering you will have to carry your own pack from place to place (even though it turned out I could have avoided carrying it, but more on that later).

Since I’d never gone on a five-week hiking trip before, I consulted every blog and website with travel tips & resources I could find, making notes on what equipment to buy and which brands were recommended.

Before I get into the details of what I brought, I wanted to start with a few remarks on stuff I didn’t bring and wish that I did have, and some things I brought and could’ve done without.

WHAT I BROUGHT AND DIDN’T NEED

Compeed: If you are a serious hiker, you’ll probably have heard of Compeed, a popular blister bandaid brand. My sister, who works at a pharmacy, brought me three different kinds of Compeed, and thank God I didn’t need a single one of them! I gave a couple of them away, and of course I held on to them in case I’d develop a blister, which luckily I didn’t. Since I saw Compeed bandaids in every single pharmacy along the Camino (I am sure they’re making most of their sales here), I wouldn’t buy them before the hike next time, and instead pick them up along the way if needed. People do swear by them though, so if you’re prone to getting blisters, you might want to bring a pack (they’re small and very light).

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Spain’s Salamanca Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 17th, 2017

Salamanca Cathedral

Salamanca Cathedral refers to two cathedrals combined into one. One is called the Old Cathedral and other as the New Cathedral. The former was built in 12-13th century and the latter was in 16th century. So, the earlier Cathedral is really ancient (Middle Ages) and the new one isn’t really that new. 😀

Salamanca is a university town, famous for the world’s 4th oldest university, the University of Salamanca. And if you walk around, you’ll notice that many of the structures here are really ancient and they all stood the test of time.

From Madrid to Salamanca

You can take a train from Madrid to Salamanca in the morning (8:55) and be back at 6:20 in the evening. Round trip would cost you around 30 euros. You can buy your train ticket here. And also, some tourists visit Salamanca with a combined trip to Avila, where you can find Spain’s most impressive city wall. The two historical cities are just an hour away from each other by car / tour bus. You can find these trips at TripAdvisor.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Spain Gay Travel Resources

The Aqueduct of Segovia – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 15th, 2017

The Aqueduct of Segovia

The aqueduct of Segovia is ancient Rome’s indisputable legacy in Spain. The towering aqueduct is synonymous to the old town of Segovia. You can’t mention the city’s name without identifying it to this arched aqueduct.

The city of Segovia, as legend has it, was founded by Hercules, the son of the Roman god, Zeus.

The Aqueduct of Segovia

This structure is 15 kilometres long from the mountain to the other side of the city. It is made of granite blocks that are as high as 800 meters. The downtown part of the aqueduct you see is consist of 120 pillars and 166 arches. And guess what’s the most brilliant thing about it? The pillars are built without using cement or mortar to hold them together for safety. The stones were masterfully cut to carry the load in perfect balance!

While this is a feat of engineering, some locals call it “Puente de Diablo” or Devil’s Bridge. According to legend, this bridge was built by the Devil himself to impress a young woman he liked. But his efforts failed. The holes on the stones are said to be the marks of Lucifer’s fingers.

Alcazar de Segovia, A Fairytale Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 12th, 2017

Alcazar de Segovia

Before Disney, there was Alcazar de Segovia. If you look at it near and far, the castle resembles that of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. You can’t leave Segovia without seeing and getting into the heart of Spain’s most famous castle. The structure wasn’t really meant to be a castle. It was built as a fortress. Then it became a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy. Today, this wonderful castle is now a museum that allows us to see what’s hidden inside.

Madrid to Segovia

The fastest way to get to Segovia is by train from Chamartin Station in Madrid. It takes 30 minutes and it costs around 10 euros. You can buy your train ticket here. By car, it would take an hour and 15 minutes. Another way to get there is by joiniing an organized tour.

If you are planning to stay in Segovia for the weekend or for a night, you can book via HostelWorld or Expedia.

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Morning at Puerta Del Sol, Madrid – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 11th, 2017

Puerta del Sol, Madrid - Alain

Puerta del Sol is the centre of Madrid. In here, you’ll find the Kilometre Zero slab of Spain’s 6 national roads. One weekend morning, I walked here from my apartment and found out that this place is a hangout of people with hangover from a night of partying. There were many of them sleeping, chatting and sitting on the circular foundation of the statue in different states of drunkeness. They were all waiting for the metro to open so they could go home and hibernate.

Puerta del Sol or Gate of the Sun is a public and business square in the city of Madrid. During Pride celebrations, the square is a main thoroughfare of wild events, parties, and protests.

The clock tower, built in the 18th century, is the main attraction when Madrilenos do their countdown to the New Year. The event is shown on national television.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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