Hello! It’s been a while…

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Almost two months have passed since my last entry. I just didn’t find it in myself to sit and write… I was busy finishing my master thesis… and well, let’s be honest, also busy with important summer responsibilities such as sun-bathing and swimming! 😉

Jokes on the side, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t much in a blogging mode. And to be true, neither was I on a growing mode… of course, I have been caring for the plants in the balcony, and I will tell you it has not been easy, summer here is quite hot so I have spent quite the time carrying water in reused bottles from the kitchen tap to the balcony!! But what I haven’t done is planting new things… and I have to admit I even have three or four empty pots lying around!

I wasn’t very surprised because, it happens to me some years that with the start of summer I kind of become more laid back and kind of chill out of the things I usually do, and then I come back from my holidays with a lot of energy and big plans of the thousand things I want to do that year!

So here I am with my growing-blogging-crafting energy back at the top! Already with many ideas in my head… and thinking about what could I grow this autumn… suggestions anyone? 🙂

Jara

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Short trip to Madrid

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A few days ago I had to go to Madrid for a job interview.

Madrid is about 700 Km from Girona, but since a couple years ago we have a high velocity train that can get you there in four hours. Even so, to be there around 11am, and safely get to the interview in time I had to catch a really early train. And so I decided to go the day before, this way I would be more relaxed and rested for the interview, and I also got to do some visiting.

Although technically I had already been in Madrid two times, I can assure you it was like I had never been there. The first time I went it was in a high school trip when I was sixteen, during which I was so distracted with my friends I almost don’t remember anything of the city. And the second, about a month ago, when I went there for work, but this time I did not even get to see anything because I they kept me busy all the time.

This is the first time I have done tourism on my own… I was a bit excited about it, as I think is always good to try new things. And a two day trip was perfect to have a small peak on travelling alone. And what I have found out from this small taste is that visiting alone is not precisely my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun, and for sure that next time I have to travel alone for work or stuff like that I’ll do the same thing and try to do some tourism on my own. But I have seen I like better travelling accompanied. I was all the time sending pictures though whatsapp to my boyfriend and my brother and sister. And I think it is because I like sharing the experiences, giving opinions on everything I see… I guess I am the sharing type… 🙂

So here you have a few pictures from my day rambling around Madrid… Sorry about the quality, they were taken with the phone. 🙂

This first picture was taken on the gardens next to the Royal Palace.

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La catedral de la Almudena.

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I loved the signs for the street’s names…

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This market, called Mercado de San Miguel, wasn’t a common market, the stalls instead of raw vegetables and groceries, sold tapas, beers and cups of wine that people had standing up or seated on some stools scattered around..

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The ambiance inside was amazing…

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I asked to be taken a picture on the Plaza Real… obviously a perk of visiting alone is I don’t have my personal photographer (a.k.a. my boyfriend Sergi) with me 😉2014-06-08 15.30.00 2014-06-08 15.31.06

Of course I walked by Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s most famous spot.

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The receptionist on my hotel had recommended me to get into the El Corte Inglés (a mall chain that is very famous in Spain) in Gran Via and get up to the ninth floor where there are various bars from which you get this amazing views of Madrid city center.

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One of the things I liked the most was the several pedestrian streets there are in the centre, very pleasant to walk by and filled with tourists and locals alike.

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La plaza de Santa Ana.

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The second day, after the interview I had three hours left to wait for my train and since the train station was very close to the Parque del Retiro I even got to see the park. The funny thing is that I was already carrying my suitcase (small one of course), and dressed up in my interview clothes so I guess must have been looking quite crazy strolling along the park like that. 😀

 

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This last pic is inside the Atocha train station, where to my surprise there was this kind of “jungle” with like a thousand turtles!!

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All in all a great trip, and a nice experience! I am now crossing my fingers while waiting to know about the interview… but if I don’t get the job, we’ll at least the trip will have been worth it 😉

Have you ever travelled alone? Did you like it? I would love to know you thoughts about it…

Jara

Girona Temps de flors

During the last week and week-end, my favorite city event took place in Girona, the city where I live: the Temps de flors. Literally it translates as “Flower’s time” or “the time of the flowers” but the translation just sound weird to me, it does not make justice how nice this expression sounds in Catalan.

Basically it is a flower exposition that takes place all around the old part of the city, streets, patios and squares get covered by original and imaginative flower arrangements. It is held annually, approximately at the beginning of May, and every year is becoming more and more popular.

As I already showed you on my previous post about Girona, the old part of the city is amazing, and combined with the flower exposition… it is really something worth seeing! Besides, many of the patios in the old part are usually closed because they belong to the building owners, and the exposition is also a chance to visit some of them.

I love visiting the exhibition and I always take like a hundred pictures of everything. Here you have some 🙂

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A world of flowers!

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haha isn’t this one funny? 🙂

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and this patio was just magical…

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Aren’t you willing to come next year? If you do, be sure to tell me so I can give you some advice 😉

Jara

PS: Maybe you’d like to check out my my walk in the sun through Girona

Trip to Sweden – Västerås and Stockholm

This past week I have been at a student conference in Västerås, a medium sized city in the south of Sweden…

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The event was hosted at Mälardalen University which I loved. All the buildings were beautiful, with great natural lighting and modern furniture. And everywhere were tables, sofas and benches to sit around and chat or work.

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On Thursday afternoon, me and my colleagues from Girona University, managed to finish early the conference activities and made a quick trip to Stockholm which was an hour away by train. I had already been there in 2012 with Sergi, but I was glad to repeat the visit, it is such a nice city!

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The trip has been amazing, and as always, travelling is been such a way to disconnect from everything. Also, Swedish people, however serious and quiet, are such a welcoming people! Everyone we talked to was extremely nice with us!

On another subject, I have encountered some surprises on the balcony at my arrival. Some of them are good but some of them are bad… I’ll snap a few pictures tomorrow and share these news with you here 😉

Jara

You might also want to read about my, also beautiful city, Girona

A walk in the sun through Girona

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Today we went for lunch at my parent’s. They live at the opposite end of town on top of a small hill. Since it was very sunny we decided to go walking across the city and take the chance to take some pictures on our way…

Our city, Girona, is quite small, about 100.000 inhabitants. It is crossed by 4 rivers, here in the pictures you see one of them, the Onyar.

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I love the atmosphere in the center on Sunday mornings…

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The most beautiful part of the city is the old town, today we have passed a part of it but there is so much more than I show in the pictures… Another day I’ll make a post about the old part and share more pictures with you. In the meantime you can check my Pinterest, I have a board called Girona where I pin pictures from the city I find around the web.

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Lunch with my parents today was a bit special because we ate “la Mona de Pascua”, a kind of cake made entirely with chocolate that is typical to gift to children for Easter. Although we are not children any more my parents still bought one for me, my brother and sister this year… and one about the movie Planes no less!! 🙂   In theory the day to do that I think it’s next Sunday, but well, we are not very traditional and each year we do it the day of Easter holidays that suits us better, so we did it today. It was so cute… and of course, so yummy!!

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Hope you liked the pictures, and if you ever come to visit Girona do not hesitate to tell me, I’ll give you good advice 😉

Jara

Credits: Autor and photography Jara Forcadell

Ski getaway

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This past weekend Sergi and I went on a ski getaway with a couple of friends. We went to Andorra, a small country located in the Pyrenees, between Spain and France. 

Sergi had only skied once and he was a bit reluctant to go because he had to learn from scratch. But thanks to a wonderful teacher (that’s me, of course) he was getting down blue slopes on the first afternoon! For those who are thinking what am I talking about, ski slopes are catalogued according to difficulty as green, blue, red and black where green are the easiest and black the most difficult.

The first day we had quite mild weather, and even some sunny intervals, but on Sunday it didn’t stop snowing for a second! It was beautiful and impressive at the same time, the snow was falling so thickly it was hard to see what was ahead of you and also it was very very cold. We had to stop skiing at midday because we were all four soaked to the bones!

I have to say we are very lucky because we live only three and a half hours drive away from Andorra, and even if we had wanted we have other ski stations closer, at only two hours drive from home.

Have you ever been skiing? Would you like to go?

Jara