I started few days ago explaining what 2014 had meant for my trips. Obviously they are not only holidays, but also visiting friends, reunions or simple changes of residence as well as work travelling. A frenzy of madness that not many understand. In today’s post I will explain how I continued establishing myself in Barcelona and the journey that was going to change my life.
As I told you, 2014 had been so far a series of trips to Germany and Austria, a meeting with my ex-classmates in Salamanca and some other trips. After three weeks of calm in May (and I really needed after the hustle), Ryanair surprise me in June with two consecutive “flashsale” that would fit my non-weekend plans. The first one lead me to Bristol, where I enjoyed a magnificent couchsurfing experience as pleasant as sleeping on a boat in the center, overlooking one of the most hidden Banksy graffiti. A week later I flew to London, one of my favorite cities and where there is always someone to visit in a new neighborhood. This time I discover everything Waterloo and its surrounding area has to offer, while I get in a Polish bubble of friends who discover me some of the most picturesque bars.
July starts and so does the sweltering summer in Barcelona. An here there is another express visit to Düsseldorf and Berlin because of mere bureaucratic issues that also become leisure if you plan (and it is because Dusseldorf is celebrating its Quadrennial of art precisely in 2014, which I still didn’t know despite my three years living in Germany). But we continue in Barcelona, sweltering, but also a bit fed up of the tourist crush that makes of Barcelona a destination to avoid during the high season. It’s time to think in a short, quick getaway, but to take me to a state of absolute tranquility. That destiny is Menorca, a jewel of the Mediterranean I would not tell much about if it helps to keep it unspoiled, beautiful and quiet as it is today. For these reasons and because 150 kilometers by bike around the island are easier to handle without crowds.
August is another quiet month, as I do not like traveling in high season. I normally push all my plans before or after July and August. It is time to rediscover Barcelona -after four years of absence as a citizen- and to visit new attractions such as Montserrat: one and a half hours away from Barcelona, it unites nature and meditation at very different levels. For many a minor destination, but actually a great one for all types of profiles: families, singles, religious, nature lovers, intrepid sportsmen…
The high season in Barcelona covers also September, but It was time to start the great journey of the year: Panama. A two-week trip with one of my best friends in which we visit the Atlantic archipelagos of Bocas del Toro and San Blas, as well as the peaceful and quiet town of Santa Catalina and amazing -amazing- amazing convict island of Coiba. This trip also would mean a twist in my life, as it forces me to look for a new job around (and the result is still excellent) and because I met there great people who still are my current circle of friends in Barcelona.
October is one of my favorite months to travel, but, as I said, I needed to shift jobs. I decide to get new energy in an inspiring destination, always appealing: Madrid. This time I discover my new favorite corner in Malasaña and walked through the neighborhood “de las Letras” along my co-blogger’s, Juana, perspective. The following weekend, my flatmate’s birthday’s present took me also in a car to southern France. They stopped in Carcassonne, but I continued to Toulouse, a city full of activity, shows, culture and a pretty mediterranean nightlife. My most express trip so far.
And after weeks of a friendly autumn, with a new nice job that frees all my weekends, I decided to revisit two of the cities where I have lived. The first, in November, is Paris, where Jorge Garlo showed me the 19th district, absolutely unknown for me, but with gems like the old coffin factory, now a art & culture center. Moreover, even despite being my umpteenth visit to the city and having lived there for a few months, I climbed the Eiffel Tower for the first time in my life.
The second city to revisit is my recently abandoned Berlin. I took the long weekend that every year is enjoyed in Spain early in December to escape three days to crowded Berlin Christmas markets. I can still remember the smell of mulled wine and cinnamon-apple stuff invading everything. And it is time to close the year, back to our Christmas shelter: Galicia, the Baixo Miño and northern Portugal, but, hey, I have already told you something about it.