All posts filed under: Highlights

barcelona

Barcelona – The other side

Barcelona off the beaten tracks…The famous Sagrada Familia, the Rambla, the Plaça Catalunya… all of these popular sights immediately come to mind when thinking of Barcelona… But Catalonia’s capital has so much more to offer! With that in mind, I payed a visit to the Catalan student city off the beaten tracks and far away from the most popular sights.

The only way is up – Barcelonas neighbourhood to be

The young and hip district Gràcia is located in the north of the city centre, far away from the crowds of tourists that Barcelona has to deal with. This part of town is nothing like the somewhat hectic historic centre. Walking through the streets of Gràcia, you immediately feel the changed atmosphere. No flawless architecture, no brightly polished streets but variety, liveliness and above all authenticity.

barcelona

Especially in the evening, the district’s squares like the Plaça de la Virreina and the nearby Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia are full of life. „Good food, good mood“ is our motto for the evening. The Patatas Bravas are hot, our Cervezas are cold… The perfect ending to our first day in Barcelona!

 

 

 

And those who are looking for a special, non-ordinary, place to stay, should definitely check out „Mare de Déu de Montserrat“.

barcelona hostel

Mare de Déu de Montserrat – one of a kind!

barcelonabarcelona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The youth hostel that was built in a Moorish architectural style offers an extraordinary view of Barcelona because of its location on top of a hill. Although I have to admit that reaching the hosel (by foot) leaves you a little bit out of breath, the view makes it worth every step!

barcelona architecture

Impressive architecture!

In vintage-heaven

barcelona

Barcelona’s vintage heaven!

 

Sure, the famous Rambla (and Barcelona in general) are a true shopping paradise. The most popular fashion chains can be found on every corner. But isn’t that a bit boring in the long run? Vintage and second hand stores on the other hand are full of history and personality! Who would have thought that only a couple of minutes away from the Rambla on the Carrer dels Tallers, a completely different shopping world is waiting for me?

 

 

barcelona vintage

Traveling through time – in style!

 

More than excited I rummage through every corner of every store for the next couple of hours. From beautiful 50ies dresses to old denim jackets and shirts with the craziest patterns and colours (long live the 70ies!)- there’s nothing you can’t find here! The Carrer dels Tallers? Heaven on earth.

 

 

 

 

Exploring Barcelona off the beaten tracks

barcelona hospital

The impressive Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

barcelona Without a doubt, Gaudís grand masterpiece has to be seen once in a life time. But also off the Sagrada Familia there are dozens of things to discover. For example the impressive Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau that was built in the famous Catalan modernism style. Although the former hospital has long been replaced by a new building, the historic site still has its doors open for visitors. Part of the old building is nowadays used by the medicine faculty of the University of Barcelona – definitely not a bad spot to study!

Sunday in Barcelona: from the labyrinth…

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content! 

Anyone who devoured the book „Perfume: The Story of a Murderer“ and loved the film adaption as much as I did, definitely has to visit „Parc del Laberint d’Horta“. After all, Barcelonas oldest park is one of the movie’s most beautiful locations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The heart of the beautiful park? Its mysterious labyrinth…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…to the beach!

barcelona beach picknick

And because its Sunday, the day of rest, I treat myself to a relaxing afternoon at the beach. While I bury my toes in the sand and watch the seagulls circle above my head, I’m already planning my next trip to the Catalan capital I fell in love with…

 

 

 

 

barcelona beach

Beach day!

Some impressions…

View of Capmany.

Top 10 village beauties

The Costa Brava – even tourist guides now devote to this rugged beauty, the numerous pretty villages and cultural diversity of the region. We now pay some attention to the less classic tourist attractions and collocated ten of the prettiest villages on the Costa Brava. In addition to the most famous pearl – Cadaqués – there are many more that need to be discovered. Ten “village beauties” you should have seen…

Garriguella

Garriguella-Girona-kirche-wine

Garriguella is a dreamy nest, which invites it‘s visitors to linger. The little church based in a green park, the stony walls of the houses, overgrown with flowers and the pale silhouette of the pyrenees fill the place with medieval flair and you wait for a horse buggy, coming across the street. 850 people live in this little treasure chest. Bird‘s nests are sticking to the balconys, the smell of freshmade bread fills the air in front of the bakery and you can enjoy your beer either in the restaurant or in the bar.Anyway the colorful houses exude a welcoming and bright atmosphere – some of them are built in colonial style and remind of endless summerdays in Cuba. A  eyecatcher of the village is the charming antique shop, where you can improve your bargain skills.

Vilajuïga

Charming house in Vilajuiga

Vilajuïga is mostly known for its culinary treasures, but it‘s also a charming, little village in the middle of the gentle hills of the Pyrenees.The good wine as well as Vilajuïgas tasty spring water made the place famous, but although there are always a few visitors here, it‘s surrounded by a pleasant silence. Palmtrees and blooming rhododendrons line the streets and the mixture of old stone houses and colorful facades create an interesting oriental atmosphere. Small and cozy cafés are scattered along the roadside. It‘s the perfect place to escape from everyday life without relinguishing a bit of urban character. There is a school, a pharmacy and various shops, including a fish store, and neither Figueres nor the picturesque coast or the French border are more than a stone’s throw away.

Sant Climent

The Rambla of Sant Climent.

Sant Climent is probably the only spot, which has an own Rambla despite of its small population of 560 inhabitants. You‘re going to be surprised, when you walk towards the charming heart of the village and suddenly come across the spacious square, which is surrounded by green trees. People sit on the shady banks, the windows of the stone houses are decorated with blooming flowers and there‘s a little park with a playground behind the monumental church.When you wander trough the narrow, old streets, you can heart the ghosts of the past whisper. Sant Climent warmly welcomes its visitors – there are several spas, cozy bars and restaurants and a pharmacy. The butcher and the bakery also lure you with fresh bread and all sorts of regional specialties. The next town and the beautiful coastline are only a few minutes away.

Mollet de Perelada

Mollet de Perelada is a charming little place.

Mollet de Perelada is an eyecatcher – even if the place is really tiny, you can already see it‘s spire from far away, when you find yourself surrounded by green vineyards and fig trees on the road.A sleepy silence covers the place with it‘s 180 inhabitants and you instantly want to linger in the narrow streets. The walls are overgrown, stony lions look down from the streetcorners, bird‘s nests stick to the balkonys, the houses are decorated with colorful flower boxes and the blooming rosebushes in the idyllic park exude a rural charme. You don‘t have to share this romantic atmosphere with anybody, but it‘s a huge benefit that such a place is within a stone‘s throw of the bigger cities and the beautiful Costa Brava.

Rabós d’Empordà

Die wunderschöne Kirche von Rabós.

The way into the little village Rabós, which has only 200 inhabitants, already forces you to look out of the window – the road winds past vineyards, olive trees and cactus bushes and the place sticks to the slopes of the Pyrenees like a bird‘s nest. The mountains watch over the idyllic spot like a mother over her children. The entrance is already impressive – plants climb up the stony facades, lemon trees bloom on the streets and the old barns create a medival atmosphere, which reminds of past times. It is the perfect place for nature lovers who want to escape the chaos of the big city, without being to far away from civilization. Visitors can be accommodated in the lovable guesthouses, the restaurant allures with its cozy atmosphere and neither the next town nor the spectacular coastline are more than a stone‘s throw away. Another eye-catcher of Rabós is the small river which crosses the valley.

Pau

The heart of Pau.

Pau provokes romantic feelings – it nuzzles up against the green hills of the pyrenees and can‘t get rid of it‘s nostalgic character, which is composed by the ravishingly beautiful church and the old frame houses. Palmtrees and oleanders line the streets, geraniums bloom between the bricks, the buildings are decorated with flower baskets. It‘s a peaceful place, where you can enjoy the silence in charming little cafés and restaurants. Even though Pau is quite small with it‘s 570 inhabitants, nothing is missing – there‘s a doctor, a pharmacy, a school and several corner shops. And if you want a bit of hustle and bustle, it‘s only a short hop to Figueres and the sunny coast.

Palau Saverdera

Monumental building in Palau.

Small but mighty – Palau Saverdera, a charming spot surrounded by green highland and guarded by the beautiful pyrenees, is almost as interesting as some of the bigger coastal towns of the Costa Brava.You can gaze at an old olive squeezer and the balcony of Empordá, a memorial for the victims of the civil war, at the entrance of the village, besides Palau is the proud owner of a museum. Anyway the centerpiece of the mountain village is the Spring of Dalt: a drinking water fountain, whichs spends crystal clear water to inhabitants and visitors. But there are not only cultural treasures waiting to be discovered, the view of the mountain idyll and the ocean, which is only 15 minutes away,  is just as well spectacular. The walls of the old stone houses are overgrown by blooming roses, people sit on their wrought – iron balconys and enjoy the scenery, regional delicacys are served in the shady gardens of the restaurants. Only the monumental church and the orotund town hall are contrary to the simple classiness of the old houses and narrow streets. Nothing forces you to leave this place – apart of a school, a bank, a hairdresser and a hotel are also several corner shops, a butchery and a pharmacy in Palau – Saverdera.

Espolla

The heart of the village.

The sleepy village Espolla seems to be a place of an old fairytale book – surrounded by wide cornfields, olivetrees and vineyards, you feel like entering a castle, as soon as you walk trough the narrow streets, passing stonehouses and a fountain. A pleasant silence welcomes you when you reach the monumental church – you feel instantly snug and happy. Blooming flowers decorate the walls, the tiny park invites you to take a break, crickets chirps in the trees and if you wish for some company, you can spend the evening in the café or bar. Vinelovers can also discover some treats in the  village – based vinery. Altough Espolla is a tiny with it‘s 400 inhabitants, nothing is missing – there‘s a corner shop, several restaurants and guest houses and neither the next bigger city nor the beautiful coast are far away.

Capmany

View of Capmany.

Capmany hustles to convice the visitors of it‘s beauty before they even get there – the street curls past green vineyards and olivetrees and the mountains look down on it like mightful kings.When you finally get there, you can enjoy a spectacular view over the roofs of the scattered stonehouses on the pale silhouette of the pyrenees. If you‘re still not certain, that this place is more than charming, betake yourself into the nested, narrow streets, where roses bloom at the wayside and cocks crow at the barnyards. There‘s also a little bridge, which is built over the river. It‘s a mix of rural romantic and medieval flair, which is significant for Capmany. With it‘s 620 inhabitants and the establishment of the Olivenda Grup, every person, who loves silence and good wine becomes happy here.

Begur

lamp

Perhaps the most popular town’s landmark are defense towers which are up to twelve metre. They were originally built in the Middle Ages. Obviously, the centre of Begur has been spruced up for tourism through the years. But it didn’t decrease the historical character of the village. While nowadays the more exclusive tourism is dominating the economic, locals form the past primarily lived by the sale of corals. Later it was cork.  After the cork industry collapsed many locals were forced to displace their lives to South America. By coming into economic wealth they decided to come back to Spain. The so called „Indianos“ influenced the contemporary architecture in Begur by building mansions in a colonial caribbean style. “Casas de Indianos“ are already decorating the cityscape. Once in Begur you should make the effort and climb up the castle hill. The fantastic view up to the point of the coast recovers all damages. The most obvious advantage of Begur is its perfect position. Surrounded by numerous hills – Massís de Begur – and a long coastal path it is a comfortable location above the Cap de Begur and Cap sa Sal.

Girona Temps de flors 2015

A city in full bloom

Once a year the city Girona is covered with a blanket of sweet scented flowers. The exhibition Temps de Flors is held in the historic centre of Girona in the lovely springtime when everything is flourishing and turning to green. Flowers are in full bloom and the charming city glows in the sunlight. Many attractive highlights are awaiting the visitors. During the festival in May, the city offers creative flower arrangements, culinary highlights, concerts, opera productions , competitions and theater performances. The festival celebrates 60th anniversary. Like in the years before it is dedicated again to the beauty of flowers.


What started out as a private event has now grown and become a colourful city festival. Floral artworks with a seductive fragrance enthuse the flower loving ones and indulge the senses. It is the unique combination of art, architecture and nature, what makes this festival so special.

Girona-Blumenschau-5

For those who wish to take it a little easier, Girona offers some quiet places apart from the artistic displays. The city is ike a picture of artists, where various flower series meet historical heritage and impressive architecture. The private city palaces and patios are opened for the public during the festival.

Supported by professionals, the residents of Girona partcipate in the decoration of the streets and alleys. Fascinated by the relaxed and familiar atmosphere, locals and vistors celebrate togehter. The restaurants treat the participants with culinary delights such as exotic dishes refined with flowers and blossoms. The openness and hospitality makes the event to a unique, unforgettable experience that attracts more and more visitors year after year. The best moments of 2015 – exclusively for you!

Girona-Blumenschau-16

Girona-Blumenschau-2Girona-Blumenschau-3

Girona – Following the senses

After getting in touch with the airport of Girona while arriving three weeks ago from now, the marvellous downtown should be today’s destination. The way there immediately presented a beautiful panorama of colorful houses to us, lined up in a harmonic row, which seemed to frame the historic center. Along the Onyar extends a wall of warmly coloured facades with a widely flowing river at its feet.

We chose one of the many small bridges and only a few steps and a few streets later, we found ourselves in the midst of one of those busy shopping streets of Girona.

Girona-gasse-Innenstadt-Costa-Brava

It were the mysterious narrow streets, winding alleys with its small boutiques and restaurants, as well as the spacious courts which gathered our full attention. Like a labyrinth the city offers countless different ways towards the first sight we were up to visit: The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona is one of the most famous churches in town.

Girona-Kathedrale-von-oben-totale

We just had to look skywards to know which of those endless streets would carry us there. A wide, bright shining front, with countless statues accompanied by all those impressive embellishments lay in front of us. All in all, it was an artful blend of different architectural styles.

Girona-Taube-Costa-Brava

Standing in front of this huge and gorgeous sight, we could barely understand why the construction of this magnificent monument took over 400 years and combines several epochs in itself. A 90-step staircase took us to the beautifully designed facade with all ist details.

We continued our way through the picturesque old town of Girona, while this first impression should not be the last one for today: We were passing the majestic garden of the Cathedral, then visiting the “Basilica Parish de Sant Feliu” as another remarkable church of the city, strolling through the streets of the district Call, one of the most extensive and best preserved former Jewish quarters in Europe.

Girona-Gasse-Couple

There were high-pitched stairs, extending in every imaginable directions, surrounded by fully planted walls, combined with heavy doors, which were suggesting a remarkable garden. Stunned by the beauty and authenticity of this area, which seemed like a small village to us, we walked up and down and easily found our way back to the “Rambla de la Libertad”, which definitely makes its name fully justified as one of the main shopping streets of the old town. From here, the probably best known crossing of the city – a bridge, designed and completed by the famous Mr. Eiffel before conceiving his masterpiece in Paris – flattened the path to the other side.

At the end of the day we cheerfully explored a new place, having another memory card filled with stunning images as well as another memorable experience during our precious time at the Spanish Costa Brava.

Girona-Tijana-Kamera-4

Now we unterstand very well why this specific city was chosen to become one of the mysterious locations for the filming of Patrick Süskind’s well-known novel and why it inspired the central character Grenouille while producing of the specific fragrance…

Girona-Hausfassade

 

 

One of Gaudís houses at Passeig de Graçia.

48 hours Barcelona

Barcelona is one of those cities, where you rather stay than leave. It‘s not a surprise, that  again and again travelers strand in this bustling metropolis – you‘ll hardly find another European city, sticking its toes into the warm Mediterranean Sea while at the same time carrying a cultural crown on the head. The authentic, stunning architecture of the Gothic Quarter, the vibrant, trendy subculture, the traces of Picasso and Gaudí, making the heart of any art fan beat faster – Barcelona is a seductress, mastering her trade with perfection. So how about 48 hours date to get a little foretaste? If you don‘t believe in love at first sight, you probably going to be convinced of the opposite.

View of the city.

Day 1 – flaneurs and night owls

A classic date usually starts with a coffee and a first glance – in this case, it‘s the view of the ocean panorama, unfolding behind the rolling seafront of the city. There‘s no better place to have breakfast and do some people watching. Side by side hide the Cafés in the shade of the palm trees, tourists from the nearby hotels mingle with tanned locals, longboarders and fitness junkies. You feel yourself drawn into Barcelona‘s pulsating atmosphere immediately- it seems to be an endless summer.

After this first impression, it‘s time for a little stroll along the promenade. Barcelona‘s famous harbour is only a stone‘s throw away and the view is fantastic. At least as impressive as the yachts and sailboats is the facade of the Maremagnum Shopping Mall, where you find yourself reflected in front of the ocean. As tempting as it might be, the shopping will have to wait – you normally don‘t get a diamond ring at the first date.

The facade of the Maremagnum shopping centre.

Afterwards, it gets a bit more turbulent- on Barcelona’s most famous road section La Rambla. You may hate it or love it – but you can‘t leave the city without risking a look. Surrounded by restaurants and souvenir shops, it marks the border between the district Raval and the Gothic Quarter. It‘s like a colorful open-air-circus with all the wandering travelers, mime artists and caricaturists. If you fed up by the hustle and bustle, you can loose yourself in the narrow streets of the Barrio Gothic or the Raval.

After this tour, it’s time for a lunch break – you should never be hungry on a date. Right at the end of the Rambla, you stumble upon a huge hall, where the voices of the traders and the smell of fresh food is already seeping through the gates.La Boqueria, Barcelonas market hall, dates back to the 11th century and leaves the after-taste of culinary diversity and the Spanish culture. Gossiping and haggeling residents push through the stalls. The huge selection of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish makes the decision hard – it‘s best to take a little of everything and sit down on the shady square behind the hall to enjoy a delicious picnic.

Good vibes in Barcelonas streets.

By now, the ice should be broken and romance is requiered. Located just outside the town on a hill, the Parc Güell not only attracts with the wonderful view over the city. Antonio Gaudí created it 1900 – 1914 on behalf of the industrialist Eusebi Güell, who envisioned a English garden with 60 different villas. After completing the third house, the financial resources were used up – perhaps to the benefit of the park. Surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation are Gaudí’s dazzling artworks scattered along the path . You can gaze at the skyline from the platform. It‘s the perfect place to chill out for a bit.

After the descent of the hill, it‘s already time for a first (or maybe also a second or a third) cocktail in one of the many bars on the way back into the city. As you know, the way to the heart is through the stomach, and it‘s time for a dinner, giving the first day the icing of the cake. You can eat everywhere in Barcelona – but the awards of the Michelin Guides are the most trusted. For those looking for a fancy spot, the hotel restaurants Enoteca, Àbac and Moments offer delicious meals. A bit more casual, but still full of atmosphere is the restaurant Lasarte. Bargain hunters are going to be happy in on of the countless cheap tapas bars in Raval.

Musicians in one of the streets of Raval.

The first encounter with Barcelona could now come to an end, but it‘s more likely that you already crave for more – and the city becomes even more alive just after dark. The clubs and discos now open their gates for night owls and crazy dancers. No matter what day it is, there‘s always something to celebrate. Everyone‘s tastes are diffrent and there‘s plenty to chose from. Chaotic nights at Razzmatrazz with more fun and less memories, dancing with the mixed crowd at the legendary Apolo Club or swinging your hips to Hip Hop grooves  at Otto Zutz. As the name suggests, suit- and highheelswearers can be found at Bling Bling and Shôko. No matter where you end up, there‘s always enough time for a nightcap at the beach. The first night together is ticked off.

Day Two – hangover and storybook romance

It is likely, that the second day after a long night does not begin quite as lively as the first one.  Nevertheless, to get on your feet, catch a metro to Passein de Graçia – a huge All-you-can-eat hangover buffet with cold and warm food awaits you at La Vaca Paca. Don‘t worry, you can leave your sunglasses on, that makes it easier to watch the passing crowd. Barcelona is not only a world- but also a shopping metropolis and Passeig de Graçia is the right place to fill up your bags. The warm up phase is finished now and the city will ensure, that you don‘t return with empty hands. If you‘re tired of strolling, you can gaze at Gaudís colorful houses just a few meters up the street.

One of Gaudís houses at Passeig de Graçia.

If you long for a bit more peace and atmosphere after this shopping marathon, it‘s now time for a journey through the subcultural heart of the city. The Raval has long been considered as a ambiguous neighborhood, populated by prostitution and crime – now its about to become the new scene-district of Barcelona.Cultural diversity is the key word and everything from kebab shops to authentic Asians can be found. Charming cafés and cozy bars have joined this colorful mixture and the Hipsters and Bohemians of the city empty the first pitchers of Sangria on the terraces. Get lost in the tiny, narrow alleys and watch out for the great tapas bars, hiding in the shadows of the houses.

No matter, whether you feel hangoverish or not, there‘s one more sight to be discovered. La Sagrada Familia may not be a beauty, but it‘s a sign of the variety and versatility of the city. Yes, exactly – its yonder monumental church, always hiding behind scaffolding. In 1882, the architect Francisco de Paula started the project, a year later Gaudí took over the ongoing construction. To this day, countless hands have left their traces in the architecture of the church, recognizable by its unusual appearance.

Street artist in the city.

After this second, eventful day parting moods will come up. It‘s probably unnecessary, but Barcelona has one last ace up his sleeve to finally wrap you around the finger. Even from a distance shine the lights of Montjuïc Mountain into the darkness – you simply have to follow them until you come to the grand palace, where the fountain of Montjuïc spews the water high into the air.  When the darkness has fallen over the park, you can witness a stunning spectacle consisting of countless, colorful lights and huge columns of water. Just grab a bottle of wine and a picnic basket and enjoy the view of the sparkling city. A farewell forever is thus impossible.

A sailing boat at the Port of Barcelona.

¡Viva Barcelona!

Most of us associate with a trip to the capital of Catalonia a fulltime schedule of activities: Starting with the picturesque Parque Güell, then visiting the Sagrada Familia as the most popular church of the city, ending up in the FC Barcelona Football Museum – this city really seems to offer many activities and sights for everyone. So we made our way into the city, but honestly, our daily schedule seemed a bit different on this sunny morning. Just a few metro stops away from the central station, we directly became one with the tumult of a constantly pulsating metropolis.

We were totally magnetised, looking forward to crowded streets, priceless drink prices, wildly gesticulating people and disoriented tourists.

barcelona-trip-plaza-fassade

Right in the middle, instead of just taking – this was probably the motto of our current trip. At 10 am, which is more or less an atypical time for people that are totally focussed on their upcoming holidays, the motto was just rarely realizable.

A Café Sólo should wake up our dizzy minds this morning – priceless, but totally necesarry. There we were, badly trying to avoid the typical tourism manner, willig to experience the unconditional and uncensored flow of the city.

barcelona-trip-fenster-august-2014

Afterwards, this was admittetly a bit naive – at least a map would have saved a detour at one or the other point – but who cares, we were here, in a good mood, hungry for new impressions and a new metropolis. Tourist, or not – our cameras round our necks as well as our tan, which still reminded of German summer, definitely revealed our origin – the Plaça Catalunya should become our first destination.

barcelona-august-2014-trip-calle

A place full of people with all itstour Buses in rank and file was framed by countless Spanish chain stores. Our noses just seemed to stick to the shop windows of Zara and Mango, closely followed by our faszination for Gucci, Cartier and Chanel – here, a hand bag costs as much as a fulltime study credit…
After this short shopping madness and a “if we only have so much money“, the small alleys and mysterious places gathered our total attention.

barcelona-trip-gotisches-viertel

barcelona-gaudi-haus-trip

After a good lunch in the afternoon – seafood and aioli included – we paved our way through the Gothic District of the city. Narrow lanes, bordered by lofty facades with 2 sqm balconies, small shops full of antiques and trinkets recorded a picturesque image of the “Old Barcelona”.

barcelona-trip-food

barcelona-trip-fruits

Here it was – our personal impression of the city, far away from the crowded attractions with their long queues in the summer time, we were allowed to experience Barcelona in our individual way.
An ice cream in one hand and a leather strap to the other, accompanied by many new impressions, we started our way home.

barcelona-overview-street-trip

 

 

Blumenschau in Girona

Temps de Flor: Girona 2014

Vom 24. Juni bis zum 7. Juli 1995 erregte Christo gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Jeanne-Claude mit der Verhüllung des Berliner Reichstags weltweit große Aufmerksamkeit. Spektakulär waren auch die Verhüllung der berühmten Brücke Pont-Neuf im Herzen von Paris 1985, der Vorhang durch ein ganzes Felstal 1972 in Colorado und Tausende von gelben sowie blauen Schirmen, die 1991 alle am gleichen Tag geöffnet wurden. Und 1999 ließ Christo im Oberhausener Gasometer 13 000 smartiebunte Fässer zu „The Wall“ aufstapeln.

Temps-de-flors-girona-puente
Ganz so spektakulär geht es in Girona nicht zur Sache. Trotzdem war ich ein wenig an die Philosophie des weltberühmten Künstlers erinnert. Denn auch in Girona wird jedes Jahr um Pfingsten verhüllt, installiert und der Frühling mit einem bunten Blütenfest gefeiert.
temps-de-flors
Genau wie bei Christo geht es den Anwohnern und Künstlern in Girona nicht um das Verstecken sondern um das Hervorheben.
Christo erwartet von seiner Kunst eine „aufregende Ablenkung von den trivialen Sorgen des Alltags“ und einen neuen Blick auf die Dinge, die uns umgeben. Seine Projekte, die nur für kurze Zeit bestehen, sind alle fröhlich und erzeugen eine gute Stimmung.
Dieses Motto gilt auch eine Woche lang jedes Jahr von Neuem im Mai in Girona: In den Gassen schweben weißer Bänder, florale Teppiche durchbrechen klassische Architektur und ein Park hängt voller Wäschestücke aus Moos. Weiße Stoffbahnen umhüllen Stufen und Wege, zur Kathedrale führt ein Blütenteppich. Bunte Ballons brechen strenge Steinarchitektur auf. Nicht jede Installation hat künstlerischen Anspruch, manches ist Kitsch, aber insgesamt wirkt das gesamte Stadtbild sehr fröhlich und überraschend anders als im Alltag sonst.
Temps-de-flors-girona-2014-reflejo

Nach einer Woche bleibt nichts davon als die Erinnerung – die Eindrücke in den Seelen, im Gedächtnis der Besucher. Genau wie Christo.

Temps de Flors ist ein temporäres Erlebnis von Form und Farbe im öffentlichen Raum. Verfremdetes Stadtbild voller Optimismus und Bewegung. Wer sich aufmerksam durch den Trubel treiben lässt, entdeckt ganz besondere Blickwinkel und abstrakte neue Bilder. Einige haben wir mit der Kamera eingefangen. Denn bei Temps de Flor ist Fotografieren erlaubt. Christo hingegen besitzt für seine Installationen das alleinige Copyright für Bild und Ton.

instalacion-temps-de-flors-girona-2014

girona-temps-de-flor-2014-

http://www.gironatempsdeflors.net

One of Dalís Portraits of Gala

Might and Diveneness – Dalís muse Gala

Deified muse and creature of poetry, object of sexual appetite and artistic producing. It’s quite easy to follow Dalís track along the Costa Brava, but who was actually the woman by his side, appearing in numberless paintings of the artist and bearing the mystical name Gala? In the centre of the small village Púbol is a castle located, which appears quite simple except of Dalís long – legged elephants, which glance over the stony walls like intent guardians. In contrary to the Dalí museum in Figueres or the artist’s house in Portlligat, which allure crowds of tourists during the summermonths, this dreamy spot is surrounded by a pleasant silence.

In 1968 bought Dalí the castle for his adored wife Gala. It was a place of privacy for her and it was difficult to break trough the cocoon of might, that Gala had created during her life.  Even Dalí had to ask her for permission every time he visited her in the following years. Who was this woman with the shady face of an eagle and the dark eyes, whose lips looked like they were hardly ever decorated with a smile? Gala, who was actually named Jelena, was born in 1894 in Russia – her family was deeply religious and she soon adopted this character trait. The peaky girl spent her adolescence in a sanatorium, where she first met the poet Paul Éluard – he was going to be her first husband and father of her child, which Gala was never interested in.

Many of Galas Portrait can be found in the museum in Figueres.

The girl already adored art in this early years and even though she never actual did art by herself, it later became her purpose in life. It was Pauls attraction, who impressed her with his poetic talent and for whom the exotic girl became a limitless source of inspiration, which aroused Galas wish to live a life only for art and love. The perfect symbiosis of an artist and his muse, which already became apparent in her first marriage, was characteristic of Galas relationships – in 1921, she carried on with Max Ernst, a complicated love triangle followed and her marriage started to break to pieces. It looked like the 27 – year old, who was often described as an uncommunicative and cranky person, was slowly outgrowing her role as wife and mother – she wanted to escape the comfortable nest.

Another famous Portrait of Gala.

In 1929, she finally met the unknown Dalí in Cadaqués – the bizarre character of the artist, who immediately fell in love with Galas rough beauty, became her escapism. A few days later, Paul started back for home without his wife. Gala was already caught up in a new romance and nevermore came back to him. What was it, that made Gala chose this new life? Had Dalí she finally turned into the untouchable goddess, she always wanted to become? She was not only the artist‘s precious muse, but also his astute manager, who helped him to become more and more famous. Even if Gala is often described as a cold person, she seemed to have a soft core – when Dalí fell ill, his wife was nursing him for a long time, until she died. Till this day, no one really knows, where she is buried – supposedly Dalí brought her to Púbol.

How to get there:
Casa – Museo Castillo Gala Dalí
Plaza Gala Dalí, E – 17120 Púbol – la Pera

Opening hours:
Juni – September: 10.00 Uhr – 20.00 Uhr
September – November: 10.00 Uhr – 18.00 Uhr
November – Dezember: 10.00 Uhr – 17.00 Uhr
Januar – März: geschlossen
Außerhalb der Sommermonate Montags geschlossen!

Price:
Ticket regulär: 8 Euro
Ticket ermäßigt: 6 Euro

A man waiting in front of his shop in Raval.

Eight hours walk trough Barcelonas Raval…

Mission: One day and one night in Barcelona, 8 hours of time, sniffing out one district until I know every hidden spot.It‘s ten in the morning, I‘m sitting in a small bar, a cup of coffee and a sandwich in front of me, trying to swallow the hangover from last night – I just couldn‘t resist the alluring nightlife of Barcelona. It was worth it and I cannot waste my day – I‘ve got nine hours left before I‘m going to catch my train back home and my curiosity screams louder than my buzzing head. Also, I feel quite twitchy, because the city once again trapped me and even tough I really love the quietness of the little villages, I sometimes need this bustling atmosphere – I‘m normally living in the middle of Berlin.

Some of the houses are very close to each other.

What am I going to do, with this little time and in a city, which seems to birm with liveliness? The benefit is, that I already know, where I want to spend my day. I‘m not a big sightseeing fan, I‘m anyway to small to catch a glimpse on a building between all the tourists. It‘s the district Raval, located south of the Rambla and looking like the shape of a fist on the map, which is attracting me. A few years ago, rarely any visitor would have come here and Raval appeared to be the contrary of the  dazzling tourist promenades of Barcelona. Prostitution and crime were on daily occurrence, the general conditions of living were disastrous and the educational level was low. It was not till the city started to improve these conditions after the death of Franco, that Ravals dark face became a little more friendly. Bit by bit, a vividly subculture of young people developed and charming, little cafés and bars found their way into the district. Even if there‘s still a rough wind blowing trough some of the streets, Raval is now presented as one of Barcelonas most scenic quarters.

A few years ago, Raval was famous for prostitution and crime.

But that‘s not the main reason, why I‘m so curious about exploring it – I‘m normally living in Berlin Neukölln, which could be the identical twin of Raval. Therefore, I‘m also seeking for a little feeling of home in the outland – which would make it impossible for me, not to return to Barcelona for a longer time.
One hour later, after I managed to escape the crowd walking up and down the Rambla, I finally find myself in the chaotic tangle of narrow streets, which demand full concentration of my groggy head.
It‘s astounding, how quite the place all of a sudden becomes – I feel like slipping into a cocoon and the rest of the world is unable to follow me. But it‘s not only the silence, which is diffrent. Little by little, greengrocerys and cornerstores replace the shops, where the tourists are usually buying their souvenirs.

There are rarely any tourist in Raval.

I neither have a travel guide nor a citymap, that‘s why I decide to wander around aimlessly.    The streets soon become more and more narrow, some of the houses are built so close, that their balconys almost touch each other. Colorful shirts and dresses flutter on clotheslines above my head. The alley in front of me is now almost deserted, I can hear kids screaming and the noise of a hoover. On the contrary of the crowded Rambla, Raval seems to be more honest and I can find marks of the everydaylife of it‘s inhabitants almost on every corner. As I‘m used to it from where I live in Berlin, I soon notice, that there are diffrent areas in this district. The deeper I get into it, the more I betake myself into the cultural melting pot.
The silence merges into a noisy soundscape – I walk into alleys, in which market stalls and greengrocherys line both sides of the path. Women, wearing headscarfs, fill up their shopping bags and tattle with each other, children are playing at the roadside. When the first kebab shop appears, it finally reminds me of home.

The kebab shop reminded me of my home.

A few streets further down, the first graffitis appear – the evidence, that I slowly walk towards the subcultural heart of the Raval. Cafés and bars are scattered all over the place, the terraces are full of young people, wearing sunglasses and drinking carafes of sangria, the smell of incense sticks and creativity seeps out of the shop – doors.The apartments are mostly populated by students, flags and posters stick to the grey walls.
Altought the atmosphere of Raval is very colorful and seems to birm over with agility, it‘s impossible to walk trough this district without catching a glimpse into it‘s ugly face. I cross areas, in which the silence gives way to a ambience of depression – the air is so stifling hot and sticky, that I don‘t even want to breath it, piles of rubbish line the road like termite hills. The plastering comes of the walls, windows are broken or not even existent. The gazes of the few people I meet, are distrustful and grumbly – I put my camera and my note book into my backpack, otherwise I would feel like a sensation – seeker, looking for the most touching evidence of incapacity.

Raval is very rich in contrasts.

This seems to be the place, where the older inhabitants of the Raval went. Or better said: they where banished, from where they were living before, when more and more students moved into the cheap flats and the rental prices started to rise. That‘s the other side of the picture: subculture and scenic spot on the one hand, gentrifictation and uprooting on the other.
After eight hours, I finally break out of the cocoon – the chaotic chrush on the Rambla seems even more artificially to me. I don‘t want to draw a conclusion after this day – the Raval is anyway to multilayered and rich in contrast to describe it with only a few words. But I‘m clear in my mind about one matter: Barcelona has stolen a little piece of my heart and I have to fetch it back.