2019 18/05

An Extract from “Slow Travels in Unsung Spain”

The Devil's Bridge, Martorell, Catalonia

Puente del Diablo (The Devil’s Bridge), Martorell, Catalonia

“A compelling and eclectic narrative full of the unexpected”, is how Nick Inman from Rough Guides describes Barcelona journalist Brett Hetherington’s new book, “Slow Travels in Unsung Spain“.

Reading the book, I myself felt like a bird sitting on his shoulder, seeing all that he sees in wonderfully vivid detail. Because the following paragraphs are also funny as well as entertaining and informative, I chose them from near the end of the book where Brett tells us about what he finds after leaving Barcelona Sants station on RENFE’s Line 4… Read the rest of this article…

2019 21/03

Getting Out of Your Fitness Comfort Zone in Barcelona

Running up the steps in Montjuïc

As an exercise fanatic I was thrilled to find out about the Spartan obstacle race that comes to Barcelona every year. Loving a new challenge, I made Spartan my excuse to get “out of my fitness comfort zone” in 2019. As a trainer it is important to shake it up as every discipline has its benefits and something to take away.

On sign up I assessed my fitness routine. Like most people I am better at certain types of physical activities than others and I stay with what I know, what I tend to be good at. The type of fitness needed for an obstacle duration course is not my forte so I got to thinking about my training routine and how I could add or change it to get myself all round fit.

My fitness route normally consisted of…Monday yoga, Tuesday trapeze, Wednesdays Pilates, Thursday rest. Friday Pilates, Saturday weights, Sunday rest. I realise that to get myself up to speed I would have to ramp up and change my routine adding at least 2 HIT training and a cardio training to my week…BUT WHEN was my first reaction! And cardio, yuck, was my second.

Read the rest of this article…

2019 15/02

The Rise of Digital Nomads in Barcelona

Barcelona sunrise

The modern business environment has evolved in leaps and bounds thanks to the fast internet and portable devices. Besides this, the millennial generation which is slowly dominating the work environment, prefer jobs with flexible working hours, that also does not require them being in the office from Monday to Friday.

In a recent study, over 30% of the population are freelancers and leverage on technology for work. These freelancers are also known as digital nomads and forecasts show that the number will continue to increase exponentially, and by 2035, there will be more than 1 billion digital nomads. And what better place to enjoy this work-life freedom than in sunny Barcelona.

In 2015, Spain, and especially the city of Barcelona, had the third highest number of digital nomads using over 300 co-working spaces throughout the city. Today, Barcelona is the fastest growing digital nomad community in the world, who can work anywhere, from coffee shops, hotels, and public libraries, to name a few. Read the rest of this article…

2018 11/03

The Catalan Language: Do You Really Need It?

Català

Déu n’hi do, com parla català!

To learn or not to learn Catalan? If you are an expat in Catalonia, you might be in this common dilemma as you constantly hear different opinions about the topic.

In this article I’ll share with you the difficulties, the benefits and insight into Catalan culture and society that has come from knowing it, the reception I’ve received from local people and more.

I moved to Catalonia 3½ years ago and decided to study Catalan after finishing my course in the Spanish language. Obviously, as an expat I also had the same questions and doubts: should I learn the Catalan language, do I really need it, is it practical, will I get into society? In my Spanish school, I heard from many international students that Catalan people are very closed and even if you learn the language, that’s not the way to get into the society and make local friends. Well, that depends. Read the rest of this article…

2017 25/08

Barcelona Immigration Statistics

This post has been updated from the original to reflect the latest (pretty) charts available.

Profile of foreign residents (chart)

Profile of foreign residents

I’m fascinated by data. Well not so much data, as the informative ways it can be displayed. One of my favourite coffee table books is called Information is Beautiful (link at the end).

There’s a page on the Ajuntament de Barcelona website called Studies on Immigration that contains some great information about Barcelona immigration statistics. I spent far too long poring over these demographics when I should have been working. I thought you might find some of them interesting too!

Below are some snapshots from the Població Estrangera a Barcelona (Foreign Population in Barcelona) PDF about some of the demographics in Barcelona. Unless you happen to be a bird of prey click on any of the thumbnails to scroll through larger versions. Read the rest of this article…

2017 24/07

Las Cloacas de Interior (Spain – The State’s Secret Cesspit)

Las Cloacas de InteriorLas Cloacas de Interior is a damning exposé of the sinister machinations within Spain’s Home Office and the upper echelons of the national police force to discredit the then Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, and others, in the ‘dirty war’ against the pro-independence parties of Catalonia.

The scandal was first brought to light by Público journalists, Carlos Enrique Bayo and Patricia López, after they anonymously received a recording of a meeting between Spain’s Interior Minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz and the head of the Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia, Daniel de Alfonso. Read the rest of this article…

2017 10/05

Flotarium: Release Your Inner Floater

Flotarium in Barcelona

Have you ever been to the Dead Sea? No, me neither. So this is as close as you’re going to get without actually going there. Al least floating-wise.

The Flotarium just up from Diagonal near Passeig de Gràcia is the place to go to relax and let any tension from the day dissipate. Read the rest of this article…

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