Author

Abby Roule

Barcelona

Living the Street Fair in Gràcia, Barcelona

The Street Fair in Gràcia are a unique street fairs where the neighborhood residents use recycled materials to transform the streets The first time we heard about the street fair  of Gràcia was from a friend of ours who was visiting the city. She was staying with a friend and they offered to show us around the fair and make a night of it. Since the Fair coincided with the Fair in Málaga and we were missing it, the plan sounded like a good one. Apart from that little introduction as a neighborhood street fair, I had no idea what to expect when we followed the crowds to the small side streets of Gràcia.

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Madrid

Unique places in Madrid : The Rose Garden in Parque del Oeste

Take the time to wander down the Rose Garden, read a book or get that perfect photo The Rose Garden “Rosaleda Ramón Ortiz” on the edge of Madrid´s Parque del Oeste, is best visited in the month of May when they hold a contest in Madrid for the best rose. The public is invited to come and view the roses in the competition and an expert jury comes in to choose the winners. After a winner has been chosen, that plant is given a special place with a little plaque in the garden. You can, of course, visit the Rosaleda at any point during the year, and the entrance is free to the public.

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Museums in New York

Museums in New York City : MoMA PS1

MoMA PS1 is an institute for Contemporary Art Everyone knows about the MoMA in New York City. In fact, if you think of the museums in New York, the first ones you would name are probably the Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art. What you might not realize, however, is that the Museum of Modern Art has an annex in Queens, and it is well worth your trip out of the city to visit P.S. 1. In fact, it is one of the oldest and largest contemporary art institutions in the United States.

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Belgium

Travel to Mons: A route around the European Capital of Culture 2015

It is a beautiful city with lots of charm and history Our third day in Belgium, and our third city in the area of Wallonia. This time, we were headed to Mons. We had a quick breakfast at our hotel in Tournai and made our way back to the train station. Note to all: the toilets were closed when we passed through…so if you need to use the rest rooms, do so before arriving or you will be out of luck. The train itself had little booth type seats with a most uncomfortable back that was board straight and left no room for poor posture. Luckily, the trip was short (no more than an hour) and we were in Mons by 11am.

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Belgium

Travel to Tournai (Belgium): A route around the city

Tournai is a city with a lot of history, and beautiful architecture Tournai was the second stop on our trip through Wallonia, Belgium. To give you a little bit of history and allow you to get your bearings, I´ll start by telling you why Tournai is historically important. The town is found along the Scheldt River (which runs right through the middle of town) only 10km from the French Border. In fact, one of the first signs we saw upon leaving the train station was pointing the way to Lille. This is a town filled with history, as it is one of the oldest in Belgium dating back to the Franks of the Merovingian dynasty who used Tournai as the seat of their kingdom during the 5th century. Another of the city´s claims to fame is the famous painter Roger de la Pasture (Rogierven der Weyden). And, in the middle ages, it was a center for tapestry weaving, along with export and trade of the blue grey stone which is so common in the architecture of Wallonia.

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Castile and Leon

Where to sleep in Aranda de Duero (Burgos) : Kinedomus Bienestar

Kinedomus Bienestar is a place to relax and learn what wellness is Last weekend, Pedro and I packed an overnight bag and headed north on the A1 highway from Madrid towards Burgos. We were going to spend the night in the country in a hotel, that we found thanks to the easy navegation of the website Escapada Rural. The hotel had no televisions,it had gorgeous views of the River Duero, and a professional spa! And, after the crazy couple of months we´ve had moving house, getting everything organized, travelling to New York and Málaga respectively, this weekend escape was more than needed!

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Unique Cafés in NYC

Where to eat bagels in New York City : Bagel House

Bagel House is an authentic bagel shop where you can enjoy some delicious bagels in New York City In Spain, when you think of a special breakfast, you might think of churros and hot chocolate. Or maybe (especially in Málaga) you remember a special place for eating “pitufos” (little sandwiches on delicious bread). But, the ubiquitous New York breakfast that trumps all others is, without a doubt, a good bagel and coffee. Every neighborhood has a place to get bagels (or if it doesn´t, maybe you shouldn´t be living there!)

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Sweden

Travel to Gothenburg, Sweeden: The charms of the city (3/3)

Our incredible trip to Gothenburg finished with delicious foods The next morning we went to a cute little café in the area of town where my friend lived. It looked almost like a house, but when we walked inside there was a glass case filled with pastries and cakes. There were wooden tables all around, and we sat in chairs by the huge windows, despite the fact that there was not much to look at on the street in front of us. And, after browsing the menu we decided that the perfect brunch idea would be to have “chocolate breakfast” and skip lunch due to our early dinner plans. So we ordered a piece of chocolate tart and a mocha latte. The breakfast was delicious, and we left the café happy and ready to begin our day.

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Sweden

Travel to Gothenburg, Sweeden: The charms of the city (2/3)

We continued discovering the city of Gothenburg and what the night might offer In our last article, we ended up eating “Choklad”. From there I made my way toward the Göteborg Museum of Art located in Götaplatsen. The plaza is impossible to miss, as it is located at the end of one of the main streets in Göteborg, Kung sports avenyn (The King’s Gate Avenue). There is a huge statue of Poseidon standing in the middle of a fountain holding what looks like a fish in one hand and a shell in the other. Inside the museum you will find high ceilinged galleries filled with famous Nordic artists. There is also an impressive collection of contemporary and outsider art. I was really impressed by their outsider art exhibit, as well as a photography exhibit that was on when I went to visit.

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Sweden

Travel to Gothenburg, Sweeden: The charms of the city (1/3)

Our first contact with the city of Gothenburg For a long time now, I´ve been wanting to include musical suggestions that I like to think go along with our articles. Maybe it is my own taste, you can feel free to ignore my ideas completely. However, if you happen to be reading this and choose to look up the album, I would like to recommend the sound track for this and the following articles on Sweden is an album by Jens Lekman entitled “When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog.” This was the album that was on repeat as I wandered the streets of Göteborg, Sweden.

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Ireland

Travel to Cork : Blarney Castle – The Stone of Eloquence

Whoever kisses the Blarney Stone wins the gift of eloquence All my life I had heard about the Blarney Stone which, if you kiss it, will give you the “gift of gab.” In other words, you will be very eloquent. I had always imagined that the stone would be some sort of rock on the top of a hill, similar to King Arthur´s story of the sword and the stone. It turns out, however, that the Blarney Stone is part of Blarney Castle in a small town just outside of Cork. When I went, I took the bus from Cork departing from the Parnell Place Bus Station in the city of Cork to the Village of Blarney. This bus departs every half hour, more or less, and when I went the bus was filled with other tourists, eager to see the famous castle.

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Malaga

Unique cafés in Málaga (Spain) : Café con Libros

Café con Libros is much better than a simple café The truth is, there are so many different places to have coffee in any city anywhere in the world that you could get dizzy trying to figure out your favorite place. But, at the same time, its easy to tell someone the name of your preferred coffeehouse. Why is that? Isn´t the coffee from the place around the corner really similar to the coffee from Starbucks or the place next to where you work? Maybe they use the perfect combination of coffee and milk to create the most perfect latte of your life? The answer, of course, is no. What makes a coffee house the best, what makes it your favorite spot is the ambiance, the customer service and basically everything that makes you want to stay there resting for a minute from the frenetic pace that we have come to associate with our daily life.

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Madrid

The Rastro in Madrid : A classic on Sundays

It is a market that might seem overwhelming, but it you allow yourself to go and listen to the music of the voices, you will enjoy the morning On a sunny autumn Sunday Rusko decided to explore El Rastro in Madrid. Rusko took the metro to La Latina and followed the literal wave of people to the hill full of booths and people. El Rastro is an open air market that began in the year 1740 as a space to sell second hand clothing in the lower classes. At the time it was located near the slaughterhouse (near Puerta de Toledo) and this is how the market got its name because the “rastro” is another way to say the place where animals are killed by meat mongers because of the mark or “rastro” that they leave behind.

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Connecticut

Unique places in Hartford, CT : The Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Harriet Beecher Stowe – “Her words changed the world” Rusko visited the Harriet Beecher Stowe house in Hartford, Connecticut. Harriet Beecher Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom´s Cabin, the most popular book in the 1800´s second only to The Holy Bible. Harriet Beecher Stowe was the daughter of a Calvinist minister and was a fervent abolishionist, counting among her friends Sojourner Truth. The house is located on the famous Nook Farm, which was a little corner of Hartford in the bend of a small river which has since been rerouted underground. Her neighbor was actually Mark Twain!

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Asturias

Unique Small Towns in Asturias : Cudillero

Cudillero. Walk through Cudillero, you can really see the fishing tradition We got back in the car and continued our route stopping again in the fishing village of Cudillero. This town was even fuller of tourists. In fact, as we entered the main street you could see a huge sign that said “Cudillero in the past, in the present, and in the cinema.” It seems that the town was used in various movies. I can understand why this is the case.

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Asturias

Unique Small Towns in Asturias : Luarca

Luarca is the white town of the green coast After leaving Avilés, we continued across the coast and we stopped in two beautiful towns on the coast: Luarca and Cudillero. The first stop was Luarca. We had planned to park the car in the town, but it wound up being impossible because there wasn´t even one parking spot. In the end, we parked the car for a few minutes in the port so that we could contemplate the views of the sea and the town. Like Lastres, the town of Luarca is parcially located on a big hill. From the port you can see the sea on one side and a group of houses that were all different colors and sizes sitting on the hill.

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Asturias

Unique Charming Towns in Asturias : Lastres

Walking through Lastres, the town from Doctor Mateo, with some beautiful sights to see Our first route across the Asturian coasts arrives in the Council of Colunga. Here, in the village of Lastres, the Spanish television series, “Doctor Mateo” is filmed (It is similar to the American series “Northern Exposure”. Our visit to Lastres coincided with the town´s yearly celebrations, so with it being the summer and because now it is in fashion; the number of tourists was high. Despite that, Lastres was, possibly, one of the villages which we liked most.

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Asturias

Travel to Aviles (Asturias) : A route around the city

Aviles, with the Niemeyer Center lends its industrial side to the arts After we had a relaxing breakfast, we took one last look at the great hotel where we had slept, and promised ourselves we would return sometime soon. Then it was off to Avilés, a town that was not in our route, but the waiter had recommended the night before which was on the way to Cudillero, where we would sleep that night.

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Asturias

Travel to Gijón : A route around the city

Gijón is a perfect balance of tradition and modernity From Villaviciosa we continued towards Gijón. Along with Oviedo, Avilés, Langreo and Mieres, Gijón forms part of what they call the “Asturian eight” named for the geometric shape that you would see by connecting the cities with an imaginary line. The city of Gijón was capital of the Muslim domains in the transcantabric region in the middle ages until the year 713, but it was successful again in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it began to trade with the American colonies. In modern times, Gijón is most known for coal and transportation along with the production of cider.

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Asturias

Where to eat in Villaviciosa (Asturias) : Cider-Restaurant La Ballera

A place that we definitely reccommend for home cooked food in Villaviciosa When we arrived at the restaurant we knew the place was authentic. Outside several old men sat chatting and generally observing the lazy August afternoon. Inside the two waiters that were working in the dining room could barely keep up with the clientele. At the bar, groups of retirees were drinking hard cider, poured in the traditional style from high in the air into the glass. This process is necessary for the cider to have its authentic flavor and when it is not possible, bars will use little mechanisms that are attached to the bottle in order to serve the cider at its best.

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Restaurants in New York

Where to have tapas in New York City : Boqueria NYC Flatiron

The Boqueria NYC Flatiron is a way to have tapas in Manhattan We found Boquería NYC, Flatiron while looking for a good place to eat in the area. Literally, I put into the search engine “Restaurant, Lunch, Flatiron, NYC” and up popped a long list of restaurants at various prices. Of course, the first thing that I noticed was a place called “Boquería.” At first I thought that it would specialize in Boquerones, but it turned out to be an authentic Spanish restaurant and the sandwiches were reasonably priced, so we decided to give it a try.

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