Monthly Archives: March 2011

Vale!

Finnaly some extra free time! The last week was really crazy. There has been so much to do, and practically no time to write. I guess people say you can always find time, but when you are sick, going to school, studying for a test, having visitors, working with your company and trying to exercise there is not much time left!

I don’t know if it’s the climate change or if it’s just me, but I have been sick for  two weeks now. It’s not like I am dying, but I cough like a chain smoker and my throat hurts. Well Except for that I still LOVE Barcelona! This city is really fascinating and i am considering moving here to study or work.

Last week the company I work for (www.mybestjourneys.com) started a competition where you can win 10 000 Norwegian kr, or 1300€! It’s actually a lot of money and I really hope a lot of people will write, YOU SHOULD WRITE! You really have nothing to lose, but if you write you can win a lot of money! I believe in you 😉 There are so many cool places in the world waiting to be explored!

 

On Friday a good friend of mine from Norway came to visit. She had never been to Barcelona before, so we agreed on being tourists for a few days. Ofcourse I had seen some of the places before, but we went walking in the streets and ate some spanish food. By Spanish food I mean TAPAS and PAELLA! Since we were in Spain we figured we had to try some spanish food, and of course we had to try the Paella Marisco. Which is a national dish with animals from the sea. normally I am not a big  fan of seafood, and squid is deff not the first thing I order if I go out to eat. Anyway, we ordered the “Paella marisco” and we did not exactly know what was in it until we had a huge pan on our table.  Still we were not sure what everything was, but we could se shrimps, blue shells, and some long legs! There were like 3 animals we had no clue what were. We started eating, and we actually tasted all of it, me and my friend were so impressed over what we just ate that we gave each other a high fife in the restaurant(yeh lame, but it just happened). If you knew me, you would also be impressed! It had a very interesting taste, and It was not bad, but I think I need some more time to get used to it. The other day we tried tapas, which in general is all kinds of different things. normally they give you a huge menu and you choose like 4-5 things that you want to eat, and they serve you small portions of it. So we actually had tapas twice and ate bread, potatoes, chicken, olives, cheese on a stick, and some avocado. Tapas is actually kinda nice, because you can always order what you like, and instead of having one thing you get to try many different small things.

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I am really glad my friend came to visit, because we got to walk around and explore a lot of places together. We actually found a lot of nice places in the area where I live that I had never been to!  Turns out that right around the corner where I live there is a really nice place! On sunday, we tried Sangria! The famous spanish drink! I am not 100 % sure, but I think its red wine, mixed with some strong liquor, some fruits(lemon, lime, apple, orange) and some cava or sprite. Its uniq and must be tried if you are in spain! During here visit we also went to the laberint, the market, la sagrada familia, park güelle, park cituadella and the beach.

The Weather is starting to become a little better, and we actually got a little sunburned the other day.  The last 2 days I have been trying to study Spanish gramatics for the test we had today. I know I should have studied more, so right now I am hopping that i passed. If not I will have to do the same level again! 

I must admit I don’t really miss Norway too much except the “knekke brød”! And ok maybe I do miss some friends to 🙂 . I wish they could come here and experience Barcelona! 🙂 During easter I will go home for a few days to fix my “insurance” so that will give me time to se some friends and family before i go back for 7 new weeks.

Kristi

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“Falling in love”

Yeh, I wish it was a person, but it’s not, I am starting to fall for Barcelona!  Why not fall in love with a city, got to give my love to something right? And something tells me, falling in love with a city is a little easier, and less complicated! 😉

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Since I am not In love with some one, or some one is in love with me, I might as well give some LOVE to the city! I have lived in Barcelona for a little over 2 weeks now, and I am really starting to appreciate this city. The day goes by so fast, and there is so much to do. The last days, I have been going to school, exercising, exploring, making food and acting a little bit like a tourist. You know, those people you se walking around with a big map with a camera hanging from their neck, yeh that was me the other day. We used to say that tourist with white socks and sandals were Norwegian, but I don’t know if you can say that any more?

Well, as I said earlier I needed to expand my cooking if i wanted to avoid hating pasta the rest of my life. So, lately I have been making grilled chicken with rice and a salad, and a type of beef with rice and salad. It’s really simple and its pretty healthy. It works out really nice with my new exercising schedule. I would not exactly call it a master piece, but its quick and tasty, besides we don’t have a owen, so we have to put everything in a pan or in the microwave. At the fitness center I am doing a three split program which means I have 3 different days, that I repeat 2 times a week. I have only been doing it for a week now, but I am hopping to se results in about 3-4 weeks. The people working at the fitness center is starting to recognise me, so that means I get to practise my spanish also! DIR, is actually pretty nice, as I said before, when you come you get a clean towel and when you shower they supply you with soap, shampoo and conditioner! It’s prabobly not the best quality, but hey its free and my hair is still there.

The other day I actually went to the Picasso museum. I was going to meet a friend of mine from Norway and then we were going to se the museum together, but they were a little late so it gave me som extra time. I was walking around, looking at the old buildings, listening to the street music and “falling in love” with the athmosphere. When I meet my friends we ended up going to eat at a restaurant where Mojitos cost 4 €! I don’t know how that is price wise for Spain, but compared to Norway that is very cheap! Then we walked to the museum and found out that on Sundays after 15.00 o clock, ITS FREE! normally it costs about 9 €. The museum was really nice, but we were not allowed to take any pictures inside so if you want to se it, you  have to go there or by a book.

I live 30 meters from the Metro station and I love it! The Metro is so easy to take here, and I find it a little interesting. On weekdays it goes all day until 12.00, on Fridays it goes until 02.00 and on Saturdays it goes ALL NIGHT!  The metro is actually pretty safe, there is almost always people on it, and you are never on your own.

Another thing I really like about Barcelona, is that the city is really Liberal. You se all kinds of people everywhere and its natural. Actually I don’t like it, I Love it 🙂 On saturday we actually went to a gay bar, for my friend’s birthday. Aparently Barcelona is like one of the Gay capitals of Europe.

Last night, I decided to go meet my friends from Norway and go for a drink. They live at a pretty nice hostel, like 2 stops from my house with the Metro. Wihu, a reason to take the metro! We ended up going to a tapas bar where we ordered San Miguel for 2.75 € and a Mojito for 5€! I LOVE IT! 

Well, you are probably getting bored now, so I will think about my new Love, and find out what I will do next.

Kristi


“La lluvia/Rain/Regn”

I was laying in bed listening to the rain. It’s actually pretty neat, when all you can hear is rain drops hitting the window, splashing on the roof or hitting the ground. It was raining all night, so I was hopping that it would stop when it was time to get up. I don’t know if some one did the “rain dance” or something, but it would not stop raining!  Talking to the spanish people about rain, most of them would say they like it. If you ask any Norwegian or Scandinavian, most of them would say they hate it. On the other hand, some would say “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes”!  What do you think? We were actually talking about Scandinavians and the sun in class the other day. The spanish teacher was talking about how Scandinavians walk around in shorts when there is 10-15 degrees, while spanish people were winter clothes and scarfs! We were also talking about how they close the stores to go hide in the shadow during the”Fiesta”, while Scandinavians stay out in the sun til their skin peals off!

Most of the time its ok with some rain, but I did not bring any waterproof shoes! Apparently I am not the only one, because none of my roommates did either. So, since my plans to explore the city was thrown of guard, I decided to exercise and relax at home. Walking to DIR, my shoes and socks got socking wet and I was really glad its only about a 5-10 minute walk. When i finished I went to get an Umbrella, which is kinda funny in spanish, because they are called “paraAquas”. Which directly means “for the water”, in Norwegian they are called “paraply” but if you would do it the spanish way it would be “forvann”.  Any way, i did not get a “Paraaqua” so I walked home getting my shoes even more wet.

The other night I found out something really funny. We decided we would go out Wednesday night for my flatmates birthday, to the Club called “shoko”. They were having a special them, and you could get your face painted, which for me is a little unusual at a club or bar in Norway, but any way. What I found to be the most interesting, was that before 01.00 klock, they gave out free punch to all the girls that asked! I am not talking about a  free drink, I am talking as many glasses as you wanted! All you had to do was stand in line, and show them your entrance stamp! It was probably som really cheap alcohol, but it deff attracted a lot of people! Its a little unuzual to go out on a wednesday night and stay in the club til around 4-5! I wonder what would happen if the opening hours in Norway would change to the same as in Barcelona.

Well, it’s still raining outside. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow. 

Kristi


Barcelona V Arsenal

Last night we decided to go to a bar to watch the football game of the night. Were not talking about a random game with some regular team’s, were talking the real thing with  Barcelona V Arsenal! The game was going to be held at “camp Nou” Which holds about 90 000 people! People had been talking about this game for a long time, because the last time they played Arsenal won, so this time Barcelona had to win!

We went to and Irish bar that was pretty big. There were so many international people there, I don’t even think I saw any spanish people. The majority still wanted Barcelona to win. The Atmosphere in the bar was fantastic, people were screaming, yelling and clapping at the tv. It was really crowded, so since we got there a little late we had to stand the whole time, but that was ok, its only 90 minutes! After a few minutes i found out the people standing next to me were swedish, and the people sitting on the table next to us were also swedish! So, when they say there are 50 000 swedish people in Barcelona, there not joking”

The game started out pretty good, and the score was like 1-1 until suddenly one of the players on Arsenal got a red card! From the time when he left the field, until the game was over, Barcelona was killing Arsenal! So the score ended 3-1 to Barcelona, and all the spanish people were satisfied 🙂

It’s a little expensive, but I hope that I can get tickets to “Camp Nou” one day.

kristi


“One week”

One week = 168 hours, which means that I have lived in Barcelona for about 182 hours now. I’m starting to get used to it, but it does not seem real. Today the weather was really nice, so I started the day by taking the metro down to the beach and going for a walk. That is something I would not be able to do in Norway, it would be more like putting on my skis or reign clothes to make sure I did not get wet. 

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This weekend I learned a little bit about the night life hear in Barcelona. It’s a little bit different, than what we are used to at home. First of all, people don’t go out between 12 and 01, they start going out at like 1 and most people don’t even show up until like 2. I don’t know how it is in your country, but in Norway bars and clubs, close pretty early at like 3. Well here its a little bit different. Most of the clubs, don’t close until 5! They say a really good party don’t really end until 7-8 the next morning. Another ting that is interesting is that to get in to the clubs for free, you need to have your name on a list, or you can get a card with a free entrance in the streets. If you are not on the list, or you don’t have a card, you normally have to pay between 10-20 €, but when you do you normally get a free drink with it. I have to admit, that I did not know the age limit on alcohol and bars here. They did not ask us for Id when we came and I am not sure if they ever ask anyone. Another thing I find interesting is that in bars, they don’t play loud music like we do where we have conversations screaming at each other, its more like lounge music where you can sit and talk.  So, on Fridays the metro stops at like 1 or 2, but on Saturday’s the metro goes all night long! I am really surprised of how good the metro system is here. Yeh, there are sometimes you have to walk a few “km” under the ground to change lines, but that’s just good for your health right? 😉

Even dough we went out on saturday, I got up early sunday morning to go to “Park Güell”. I wanted to go there to se the park, and to get a nice view of Barcelona! It’s actualy pretty close to my apartment, so I decided I would walk all the way up there. On my way to the park, I came across some escalators in the middle of the road! So, I just had to take them and apparently they led me right to the park. Inside the park, there are many pathways to walk on, and there is a whole round you can do that will take you through the whole park. Inside the park, you will find Antoni Gaudis house, some of his sculptures and buildings, some view points and some really nice decorated pathways. I was walking around listening to the music and thinking, OH This is great! I feel sorry for all of you in Norway, with the reign and the snow! I guess soon it will be dry, hehe oh wait, maybe not for another month!

Saturday night we went out to a club called “Shoko” down by the beach. What I found out walking on the beach today is that all the clubs down by the beach, are actually fancy restaurants during the day! These are nice restaurants to look at, but price wise, they are super expensive! After a little walk on the beach, I walked up to the city park, called “Park de la Ciutadella”. This is a huge park, kinda like “Frogner parken” in Oslo, except there are no naked statues, instead you can rent little boats and look at huge elephants.

Well, tonight I wanted to explore a little bit so I took the metro to a place called “Universitat”. It was already like 8 o clock so I was not going to walk in any scary streets, but I found a Starbucks and ordered a frappucino with mango.

Today we did not have school, because March 7 is a holiday in Barcelona. apparently all the cities in spain, can choose one day that they want to celebrate the city. So, tomorrow we start school again, but this time at like 1.30, which kinda sucks because we all want to have class in the morning so that we can go to the beach in the afternoon.

Well my first week in Barcelona is over. I only have 14 weeks left! Do you Like barcelona? If you have any suggestions on where to go and what to do, please tell me! I would like to know, where the best bars, restaurants and clubs are! Especially spanish places, where you can dance salsa and eat good spanish food!

Kristi


Life, candy, and “La Sagrada Familia”!

Hola! Como estas?

Time goes by so fast down here! It’s a little wired to think that I have already been in Barcelona for 5 days! The last few days has been really hectic and I am starting to catch on to Barcelona 🙂 By that I mean, its very important that you stand on the right side on the escalators! If you don’t, some one behind you will tell you right away! It’s a little funny to se how mad some people get when you stand on the left side. The Metro system here is actually pretty neat. You just take some stairs or escalators down under the ground and you almost have a new world of tunnels and pathways. Its clean and nice, and it looks really modern. In the beginning I thought it was going to be hard to understand it, but after like 2 trips I realized it was really simple! 

yesterday I went to meet two norwegian friends of mine and to go se the “la sagrada familia”. The famous church by Antoni Gaudi. They started building the church in 1883, and guess what? They are still not finished! And who knows if they ever will be! The Church is huge, with thousands of little details. Antoni Gaudi was known for being creative and he used things from the nature in his work, like wheat , and the bee’s houses. Antoni Gaudi, died in 1926 and did not get to se how the church is today, but they still use his sculptures and drawings trying to finnish the work he started. In 2010, the pope actually visited the church and they had a ceremony there. I am not really a christian, but I still found the church to be fascinating. The glass paintings and the high ceiling is rare and something worth seeing.

In the evening I went to DIR to Exercise and when I came out to go home, I noticed something wired. The street was closed for cars, and their was police officers standing at the corners. I started walking up the street to my apartment and while walking the side-walk was starting to get more and more crowded! There was like people everywhere and they had umbrellas, and there was no reign! I stopped and asked a police officer what was going on, and he said something about a “Fiesta”. So I remember that we had talked about the carnival and a tradition they have here in spain, where they drive down the main street and throw candy out to the people! So, I ran to my apartment, got my camera and went back down to the street. I was not sure what was about to happen but i stood on the sidewalk waiting like everybody els did. After a while, we could heir loud music! Then we saw horses coming down the street! Behind the horses were huge white cars with people on the back literally THROWING candy out to the people. There were kids, teenagers, grown ups and grandparents all over the streets! Candy is nice to eat, but mean, it hurts to get candy in your face! So you had to catch the candy with your arms and duck for the once you could not catch! In Norway we use umbrellas to protect us from the reign! Here the umbrellas apparently have a different meaning! They turn them upside down and catch candy! All over the street your would se people with umbrellas turned upside down! If they did not have one, they used there helmets or bags or what ever they could find that would hold the candy! I was trying to take some good photos, but it was dark out side and everything was moving. The “Candy Train” was really long, and it took about 2-3 hours for it to pass my apartment! I have never seen anything like it, and it was a huge experience! Between the cars and the horses, there were also different kinds of music bands that would walk and play music, kinda like “drum line” if you have seen that movie.

 

Today I actually went to se the outside of “Camp Nou”. You can go inside, but you have to pay like 20€ so we figured we would go another day. Instead, me and my friend Fan from China, decided to go eat at a chines place. We ate at a chines buffey where they had all kinds a seafood and all you can eat sushi! It was not really the best, but then again I am not really a huge fan of sushi.

I actually got a spanish sim card today, so I have a new phone nr. A few days ago I also got a rack to dry clothes on so now I am stating to feel like things are falling in place. Life so far is pretty good here in Barcelona. I am really starting to like the city, and I cant wait to se what will happen next! Last night they threw candy, what will happen now??

Kristi

Un Abrazote de Barcelona 😉


Si, estoy en Barcelona!

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There is so much to do!

yesterday I went to the school for the first time! It was about a 5-10 minute walk from the apartment. It’s actualy a pretty nice distance in the morning. First of all it gives you time to wake up, and second of all its kinda like a little exercise.  I am really surprised on how neat and clean the streets are here in this neighbourhood. I am also fascinated by the small grocery stores that exists on like all the corners. It’s really practical when you forget to eat breakfast or lunch and you can just by 2 bananas like I did today. 

First they put me in one spanish class with 2 swedish girls, but I have to admit my grammatics were not good enough for that level. So, today I tried another level that I think is more suitable for me. In that class there are also 3 Swedish people! Some one told me that there are like 50 000 Swedish people in Barcelona! That is a lot! So, I guess I have to be careful about what I say 😉

I am starting to get a lot of things in place, but there are still so much more to do. Last night I went grocery shopping for the first time. On my way to the store I passed a fitness studio called DIR. This is supposedly the biggest chain in Barcelona, so i figured i would ask around for prices and such. The Place is really neat! They have a swimming pool, a few aerobic rooms, a weight room, some treadmills, tanning beds, Saunas, and some other stuff. Since it was the last day of the month, they would give me a special price, because of a campaign they had that week. The offer was so good i just could not say no. I paid 199 euros for 3 months! Which gives me the ability to go swimming and training when ever I want to. Another thing I like is that every time you go, you get a fresh towel to use, so you don’t have to bring your own. One ting that is a little ironical is that all the locker rooms are in the 3rd floor, and there are no elevators! So you have to walk up some really small stairs to change. Its cool when you come, but if you have had a workout just on your legs it must suck to walk up those 3 floors! So, one thing is clear, I am now a member of a fitness center!  Today I worked out for the first time and there was this old lady that kept staring at me! I was just thinking, did I forget my pants,  do I have something in my face, do I look wired! Like, what the heck are you looking at! She kept looking and I don’t know why, because I had my pants on and there was nothing in my face, so I’m still wondering why!

yesterday and today I made dinner at home 🙂 nothing more complicated than pasta! Its quick, tasty and cheap, so why not! I am thinking that I will have to expand my cooking abilities, because if not, I will hate pasta the rest of my life 😉  yesterday I also went for a little walk down town, to get a metro card and to se some of the city. A girl from The Netherlands was kind enough to show me around and walk with me down the Rembla. We also stopped by the marked, and walked along the sea before we took the metro back to the apartment.

Still I have to get a spanish sim card, I have to get my schedule, I have to get a rack to dry clothes on, I have to get some detergent, and so much more 🙂 Life so far, is pretty good in Barcelona!

Hope everything is good with you all 😉 

Kristi


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