Posts for Guest Posts Category

A Culture-Fest In Barcelona

Guest Posts - Ross French - February 10, 2012

Guest Post

So, how can you max-out on culture when you visit Barcelona? Stay in a hotel right downtown or one of the apartments in Barcelona to get closer to some of the awesome sites.

Here are just a few suggestions:

Barcelona is awash with museums, both public and private, and the Picasso Mus…

Barcelona is one of those cities you can visit again and again. Its fantastic location, within reach of some of Spainís most beautiful coastline, together with its history, architecture and huge cultural programme is what makes it one of Europeís most popular city destinations.

So, how can you max-out on culture when you visit Barcelona? Here are just a few suggestions:

1. The Picasso Museum

Barcelona is awash with museum, both public and private, and the Picasso Museum is a must-see on any touristís itinerary. Picasso trained in Barcelona, and so the museum displays a comprehensive selection of the work he created whilst studying in the city. It is an important collection that shows his technical skills and his growth as an artist. In addition, there is a collection of over 40 ceramic pieces, which were donated to the museum by Jacqueline Picasso in the 1980s. Housed in magnificent medieval palaces, and with classical music concerts as well as the art collection, the Picasso Museum is not to be missed.

2. The Architecture

Costing you nothing but tired feet at the end of the day, you can view the history of Barcelona through its buildings. From its Roman Walls, visit the Gothic quarter, where the Cathedral, public and private buildings all take you back in time to the cityís Medieval period. See Modernisme buildings that are also World Heritage Sites and modern buildings such as those built for the 1992 Olympic Games, and youíll have walked through thousands of years of Barcelonian history in just one day.

3. Festivals

Like any major city, Barcelona hosts a number of festivals each year. One of the most popular and best-known is the Barcelona Grec Summer Festival, which encompasses a wide range of productions and performers. In addition, festivals such as the Ciutat Vella Flamenco Festival and the Barcelona Guitar Festival give visitors a true taste of Spanish art and culture.You may leave these festivals so motivated from fantastic art, awesome guitar and dancing that you purchase guitar lessons or Spanish lessons.

Thereís a whole lot of other cultural activities and events to keep you busy on your visit to this amazing city and you’ll want to come back for more whether you stay in a hostel or Barcelona apartments.

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Wow, Florence is Crazy Historical

Guest Posts - Ross French - November 10, 2011


By: Zoe Sedlak

florenceI’ve always felt that understanding a city’s past is important to understanding a city’s present, especially if that city boasts such a crazy impressive history as Florence, Italy does.  True, you may be walking around the city in 2011 and not 1312, but when a city is called the “birthplace of the Renaissance”, the place that literally reinvented money during the 1400s, history might be a good place to start.  We may not have had one of the Florence apartments next to Michelangelo, but we can visit some of his stomping grounds and feel the history around us.  So now, allow me to take you on a virtual tour through Florence, with the city’s historical contributions as landmarks.

The Duomo
The Duomo, as well as being a beautiful gothic cathedral, is also a Florentine symbol.  Anyone who’s played Assassin’s Creed understands the dramatic significance of The Duomo as the place of the infamous Giuliano de’ Medici’s murder, but the cathedral’s creator, Fillipo Brunelleschi, has made important contributions of his own as well.  He revolutionized our idea of architecture, and became a teacher for those who did such things as make the map that Columbus – as in the Columbus – used on his first voyage.  This place weaves a tangled net of historical importance.

florenceThe Palazzo Medici-Riccardi
This is another symbol in Florence, one of the Medici family’s contributions to the Renaissance and how we know the world to be today.  The Medicis, who came to hold a lot of the power in Florence, started the Bank of Medici, an important cog in Florence’s machine.  The family also encouraged Florence’s rich art and literary culture, which produced a powerhouse of artists.  I mean, Dante, Macchiavelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo.  These guys were big, and they all came out of Florence during the time of the Medici rule.  The Palazzo itself, although it passed through many hands over the years, remains standing today, to remind us of what the Medicis meant to Florence’s success.

Basilica of Santa Croce
We’ve all heard of Galileo.  His discoveries basically shaped how we see the world today.  He was one of the original badasses of history who got in trouble because he refused to compromise his badass ideals.  The fact that he was convicted of heresy – later recanted – and still in florencedeath, despite his rocky history with the government, received a nice golden tomb in this cathedral tells you how important he really was.  He’s the reason we know the earth moves around the sun, he’s the reason we have telescopes, he’s the reason modern science is the way it is today.  This tomb is an important site not just for the history of Florence, but for the history of the world.

So I ran out of space. There are too many important historical symbols in Florence to fit in this article.  These landmarks have been instrumental in shaping how we understand our own lives today, and seeing so many of them packed into one single city is kind of mind-blowing.  The art we consume, the technology we enjoy, even the money we trade, it all has historical ties to this Italian city if we look back far enough.  The Renaissance was way back, and we may live in a time that’s inclined to always be looking forward, but I think visiting Florence and visiting these sites, seeing these apartments in Florence that may have once housed such influential minds is important to understanding our own lives, no matter where we come from.

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Are There Reasons Not To Travel?

Guest Posts - Ross French - October 6, 2011

By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

Despite the wonders of travelling, Margyle’s lastest post put a rather obvious fact out on the table: Travelling can be uncomfortable sometimes.
Let’s look at the main things that prevent us from travelling, then everyone can assess if these are really that critical or not:

Family responsibilities: Many people who have children don’t want to make them move all the time. Or you may have a partner you are so in love with, that you just cannot be separated from them… (which usually means leaving it for later until you see yourself sharing a flat or settling down and getting married). Also, our parents might prevent us from travelling, if their physical or mental health is weak. We must assess our current situation in order to be able to enjoy our travels, otherwise, a bad conscience can spoil our travelling experience.

Money: It’s no secret, money is needed to travel and if you’re a nomad, earning money is not always that easy. Being a professional blogger is an option, but not for everyone, what do you think?

Fear: Current world situations might make us feel scared. This insecurity sensation transmitted by the media and world governments: global crisis and terrorism may prevent us from traveling to certain destinations. But, who knows if the information we receive is the full truth or not. A good way to face this insecurity might be by taking some action instead of remaining immobile, perhaps getting a plane ticket and any of the apartments in Rome and exploring to realize this world is not as bad as they say it is.

I’ve thought a lot of times about renting one of the Rome apartments. Although, I have come across some of these handicaps to travel, I’ve reached the conclusion that most of it is in our heads. Our attitude towards a situation is important and one of the only things we can control. Learning to gain consciousness of who we are, what we want and where we are going helps clear the fog.

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Travelling Is Sweet… But So Is My Bed

Guest Posts - Ross French - September 24, 2011


By: Margyle

Have you ever loved what you are doing but can’t wait for it to end?

I love travelling. It is probably my favourite hobby and from it I have learned more about the world and myself than I dare say I have in almost any other pursuit in my short life. I plan out all the details, save the money and look forward to it so much it’s scary, and before I even depart I start thinking about later adventures. With so much to see out there, I have to act soon and often if I hope to see and do as much as the world has to offer.

margyle_campingWhich is why it probably comes as a surprise to many that it exhausts me rather quickly. Sometimes I have to stay somewhere nice at the airport for a night before coming home or I might die. To me, it’s worth the money to stay places like the The Courtyard by Marriott at Gatwick Airport or the Bewley’s Hotel Manchester Airport on my way home from Europe. Yes, after all the time, expense and attention put towards this venture, I would want nothing more than to go home. It’s messed up, I know.

Take my latest adventure, for example. Paris, Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Edinburgh, Highlands, London. Six months of planning and a few thousand dollars later, I found myself in Scotland – 2 weeks into my Euro-trip – and I felt something snap inside me. I wanted to go home… but I still had a week to go. I don’t know if it was the length of time (25 days) or the weather (mid 30’s and humid to low teens and wet) or the irksome nature of my travel companions coupled with maintaining a positive and adventuresome attitude (I was pretty testy to some) for said duration, but I just wanted it to end.

margyle_beerIn all likelihood, it was the pace. We had a rather fixed itinerary and were trying to cram many things into a relatively short period of time. I saw a butt load of things while living in Australia and Japan, but in between the adventures I got to go home and chill out – sleep in, have some alone time, eat regular food and not always being a tourist. Hogga and I have discussed this before: go go go drives us nuts and you will be dealing with a very cranky Margyle if that is the agenda… and if you think I’m bad, try dealing with a grumpy pants Hogga. Note: She does not like to be poked.

I had a great time on the trip but I think in the future, either a shorter trip is in store or the same duration but at a more relaxed pace. The only problem you run across, which is undoubtedly everyone’s major issue, is cost. Getting to and from your destination is pricey and everyone tries to make the most of their time, particularly if crossing an ocean is involved. There just comes a time where less is more and doing nothing is better than something.

But man oh man I can’t wait for next time!

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I Can’t Travel, I Have A Game

Guest Posts - Ross French - September 22, 2011


By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!

The topic of how being in a relationship can keep you from doing things such as travelling is a very debated one. But there are other types of commitments that can keep you from doing such things. Have you ever played a team sport?
For the majority of my life I played basketball and I can remember a few instances where this came in the way of going on a trip, for example staying in apartments in Venice with a couple of old friends from school or my cousin’s wedding.
If you play a team sport with a high level of commitment, then you will understand your relationship with the team can come as close as the one you have to a partner. Has anyone seen the movie Love and Basketball? – If so, I would have been the chick going to prom with Spalding. (In case you haven’t seen the movie and don’t understand the reference: Spalding is a basketball brand, so my date would have been the ball).

Anytime during the basketball season (September until May) if I want to go somewhere and my answer would be, “I can’t I have a game…”  It sucks that you can’t go on what could possibly be a really fun trip with friends, but the look on your friends‘ faces, especially the ones that never have or played any intense sports, you can tell it is difficult for them to relate.
Presently, having a real job and only playing for fun is a much less serious, but my love for the game is still there. Most recent example: Tomorrow there is a free (!!!) concert, a singer that I really like and I can’t go because I have a game.

Now friends will and trips with me in the off-season. I want to be perfectly clear:  I do not mean to paint my experience in negative way, because of my basketball I may have not been able to stay in Venice apartments a couple of years ago, but the sport has taken me to a lot of great places and I have met many great people with whom I made great memories. My bottom line is that you will always get into situations where you have to choose between one thing or the other, what is important, is that you don’t have any regrets.

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