Thursday, October 22, 2009

tips on Barcelona

this comes with no story, just some recommendations:

  • · If you have time to see only one Gaudi then you should go to Casa Batllo, address: Passeig de Gràcia 43, L'Eixample - Description: "Passeig de Gràcia" (L3), Parque Guell is also worth a try
  • · The Palau de la Musica Catalana, a nationalistic Palais de la Musique, carved flowers everywhere and excellent sound distribution , an homage to operas (maybe the Opera is there?) Description: Urquinaona (L1)
  • · Dinner at the port, you'll see a wooden bridge and then a mall, in front of the mall, by the sea is the most exquisite restaurant called "Elx" they have a great dish called Fideua, that's a dish traditional of Alicante and the whole Valencia region, all fish and sea food at this place is great anyways (address: Maremagnum, Local 9. Moll d'Espanya 5, if you want to reserve but I don't think you'll need to 93 225 81 17)
  • · wander at night and go into any bar at Barri Gòtic , it's full of tiny bistros all with different colors and hidden behind big doors and curtains (yes curtains), you get there from Las Ramblas (that's where all the buskers and kiosks are) passing through Plaza Real (you get to see a typical Spanish main square)
  • · Shopping, up Avenida Diagonal till Plaça de Catalunya, which basically going up the Ramblas, if you go the big Corte Ingles store (don't buy there) you'll love the square it's chic with lights at night. Up there is FNAC the absolute place for music and books.
  • · artistic cinema at Gracia the Boho district
  • · whatever you do, don't watch flamenco in Barcelona


Monday, October 12, 2009

Cracking the egg

“With their tinted windows up, the cars of the rich go like dark eggs down the roads of Delhi. Every now and then, an egg will crack open - a woman's hand, dazzling with gold bangles, stretches out of an open window, flings an empty mineral water bottle onto the road - and then the window goes up, and the egg is resealed.” Balram the driver, a.k.a the White Tiger.

Many of us live in Cairo in eggs, car windows rolled up, AC on, music muting the sounds coming from outside. It's a polluted city? Didn't even notice. No one inhaled the fumes nor got eye allergies, why should they care?

and those outside the egg suffer from its fumes...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Volunteer vacations

Photo above: Médcins Sans Frontieres Ad, as published in my fav Lonely Planet magazinde.

My friend Veronica went to Togo and made an orphanage work, the girl can move mountains. You can read all about it at her blog and you can contribute too, Vero is spending every penny in the best way possible, none of the Aid money squandering.

I am fascinated by stories of grassroot projects that have worked, and I have stories to tell about initiatives that have failed because people went with all the good intentions but also with their own limited frame of reference, don't get me started . Aid is a most controversial topics, I could ramble on forever, so to spare you I encourage you to read The White Man's Burden instead.

Let me know if you want to volunteer somewhere and I'll try to link you to a decent NGO there if I know one (think there are a couple of helpful links on the right too).