A Sunday in Nürnberg

After a pretty long break of not getting myself to write even a single post, I got a few trips to catch up on. So let’s get started with this first Sunday trip from about a month ago.

Having never been to the old town of Nürnberg before, I decided to visit this city for a day and meet up with another interested traveler I met the week before during Karlsruhe’s International O-Phase. Having had no expectation at all, I was pretty amazed by the city’s large and beautiful old town as well as the great view you get from the castle hill located in the city center.

Afterwards, we took some more time to visit Nürnberg’s historic toy museum, which was mostly dedicated to all the toys that had been produced in the Nürnberg region during the last centuries. Oh, and also some pretty creepy dolls…

Farewell Hike

Buckle up for another hiking trip, people!

This tour brought us all the way over to France, up to the peak of Mont Donon, the highest peak in the northern Vosges. Since it was a friend’s last month in Karlsruhe and he has never been to France before, of course, we couldn’t let him go without taking him there once.

While the hike itself was fairly short , it gave us plenty of time to take some breaks and have some extensive lunch on the way.

Up on the peak we were awaited by  the Temple du Donon, a reconstructed stone temple located at the highest point of the mountain from which you get a astonishing view over the surrounding countryside. And as a little bonus, some well-preserved Gallo-Roman remains can be found up there as well.

First day of sun

It’s march and finally the sun decides to show up, just in time for our next adventure. The latest day trip took us to a small town in the black forest called Bad Herrenalb, located about 30 km south of Karlsruhe.

From there, we started our short day trip, following a route with the promising name

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With the weather on our side and everyone in a great mood, we took our time and finished the round tour just in time before dusk.

Southern Germany…and more

Back from Barcelona, we brought a friend of ours along to show some of the great parts of Germany, and also a little bit more. First stop was my parent’s place, a small village in palatinate where I got to show them one of our typical frame houses.

Strasbourg

Yeah, while we’re around there, why no have a little peek at Strasbourg, a really beautiful, historic city located pretty close to the French-German border. Highlight of the city, apart from all those water-channels and the lovely old-town in general, is the Cathédrale Notre Dame. Not THE Notre Dame of course (Yeah, they got one in Strasbourg as well), but still a really impressive building, that’s definitely worth a stop. And while you’re around there anyway, you should consider paying a visit to the local store of Amorino Gelato, an ice cream parlor that specialized in making gorgeous flower-shaped ice cream.

Food, Food, Food!

Talking about food, there’s definitely two other feasts, that deserve to be mentioned. One was our visit to the Korean place Gogi Matcha in Heidelberg, which offered what I felt like to be authentic and delicious Korean dishes. Yummy!

And since you can’t go out for dinner every day, we decided to have common International Dinner the day after, which consisted of  Mexican Chilaquiles, Vietnamese Fried Rice and German Kartoffelsalat.

Frankfurt

Last but not least – a short trip one of Germany’s biggest cities: Frankfurt am Main.

From the breathtaking banking district to the magnificent old-town, this city has a variety of diverse places to visit, some of which I didn’t know about before. Especially the  bar and club quarter in Alt-Sachsenhausen definitely calls for a revisit! But in the end, we settled for a small karaoke place, which was a whole lot of fun as well.

Dos dias en Barcelona II

Park Güell

The second day dawns, and we’re already up, climbing the many stairs up to Park Güell, the grand masterpiece of Barcelona’s ever-present architect Antoni Gaudí. The reason for this early-morning adventure has something to do with the fact that entry to the park is free for anyone arriving before 8 AM. So thanks to this great suggestion by a friend of ours, we showed up just in time to see the sun (kind of) rise over Barcelona and get a great look at the park before most of the other visitors arrived.

The German Pavilion

Next on the list was a building constructed for 1929’s international exhibition in Barcelona, which, due to the never before seen nature of its architecture, had been re-erected after the event and can still be visited today.

Some of us were overjoyed and excited to marvel at the revolutionary and innovative architectural style of this building…

… some of us, well, maybe not so much….

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Palau Nacional

Really close-by to the pavilion, you find the National Palace, which hosts the National Art museum of Catalonia and, by the way, also gives you an excellent view over the whole city. And even if you don’t feel up to climb all those stone steps up to the top, don’t worry. There is an abundance of escalators around, so you will make it up there, no matter what!

CosmoCaixa

This one definitely a honorable mention, because it was the most unexpected one of all of Barcelona’s attractions. The CosmoCaixa is an ‘interactive science museum’, which let’s to experience all kinds of physical and chemical interrelations all by yourself and is thereby suited for visitors of almost any age group. While it will only cost you 4 €, this place will keep you fascinated for a whole afternoon and even after that, you won’t have seen all they have to offer. Heart of the museum definitely is the big tropical terrarium which lots of big and small water creatures which you can observe from almost any angle.

 

Dos dias en Barcelona

Buckle up, guys, it’s time for yet another Europe-trip!

Due to some pretty cheap Ryan-air flights, we decided to pay a spontaneous visit to Barcelona, meet up with two Mexican friends and generally spend two awesome days over there. Vámonos!

Girona Airport

Okay, since this seems to be a common misconception, let me start off by telling you a little bit about this place. Girona airport is not, as sometimes indicated, anywhere close to Barcelona. Instead, it takes you about an hour by bus between there and the actual inner city.

But enough with the nagging! If you keep that in mind, you can actually get pretty cheap flights to and from this airport, so that even the 16 € (25 € for both ways) won’t bother you that much. Check here for some more information on this.

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Settling in

Our AirBnb-place was located near the city center in a quarter named El Raval. In contrast to the rest of the city, this area is characterized by its very narrow streets that hardly allow any traffic and its many tiny stores and restaurants, that offer fairly cheap food and groceries. For any low budget trip to Barcelona, this is definitely a good choice!

Parc de la Ciutadella…

Located within the inner city, this idyllic park gives you a break from all those hectic vibes around the mega-city that is Barcelona. Highlight of the park is, without doubt, the impressive water fountain Cascada, that was partly designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudi (Like so many other buildings in Barcelona).

..and all those other postcard places

Of course, there are some attractions that you simply can’t get around when visiting Barcelona, such as the Arc de Triomf, the Casa Batlló (Yet another beautiful building by Gaudi) and the Sagrada Familia (The most famous church of Barcelona, also partly created by… Yeah you guessed it!  The great Señor Gaudi). The later two of which were, even outside of the high season, really crowded which made us decide not to enter but instead just get a good look from outside.

Roaming around

But even without a designated location to go to, Barcelona has a lot to offer when you just wander around. And of course the beach is another definite must-go, so make sure not to miss it!

Back home

Hey guys and welcome to my new blog. By the time I’m posting this, I just got back from Sweden and I’m still settling back in  here in Germany. Since I really got into writing up there, I want to continue doing so with my second blog, which you will have the pleasure to read. So let’s keep the fire burning!

After all those foreign places, it was high time to visit something familiar. So what better place to go then the palatinate forest with its magnificent landscape and magical forests right on my doorstep?

So we picked a route up to the Kalmit, which is a small mountain close to Neustadt an der Weinstraße.

Although the weather turned out to be quite shi**y, the tour itself was really awesome and we made it back to the parking spot just in time for the sundown. Good times!