Photos by Juan Carlos Pimentel
What a surprise, yesterday a friend of me asked me if I want to buy a ticket for the match FC Barcelona vs. Benfica Lissabon to go there with some other Erasmus Students. He couldn’t go there so he wanted to sell me his ticket. This was really nice because I got the ticket a lot cheaper that way. After I bought the ticket from him I met with some other people in the city center to eat some tapas, after that we went to the stadium. I’ve never been there before. It was amazing. The match started at 20:45 o’clock. The first minutes were not so interesting but then it started to be a really exciting match. Benfica was fighting to win, the fans of Barcelona were shouting for Messi. It was amazing to be there. Then the blast of the whistle for the half time and it was still 0:0 Benfica missed so many chances to score. For Barça it was not so important, the let their best players rest because the way to the next round was already for sure.
The second half time started and after three other missed chances of Benfica and two of Barcelona, the shouting of the Barça fans were answered and Vilanova sent Messi to join the match instead of Rafinha. Ten minutes later the next change took place and the last one around ten minutes before the end of the match. But the last 5 minutes Barça was only playing with ten players because one of the worst things every Barça supporter can imagine happened. Only a few minutes after their last possible switch Messi got the ball and ran into the guest’s keeper.You could see him stumbling a bit but everything seemed fine. But after his shot on the goal which was saved by the keeper Messi fell down on the ground in pain. The medicals came to carry him on a stretcher and by a small car off the field. We were surrounded by Barça fans and we could see how shocked they’ve been starting to pray. No one knew what was wrong with him only that it was something with his knee. The Superstar of Barça injured in the last match of the round only around five minutes before the final whistle, when it was not necessary to send him to the match. The whole procedure took only two minutes but after it everybody next to us was so nervous.
After we arrived home I was checking the internet and the press officers of Barça told that it seems to be only a bruise but that they want to make more checkups to be sure. I also read that Messi is close to beating the record of our famous German football player Gerd Müller who scored 30 years ago 85 goals in official matches in one calendar year. Messi already scored 84 goals this year and if he’s in the condition to play there are a few games left to beat the record. I recognize the big coincidence, Messi wanted to score his 85. Goal and was injured in the 85th minute trying to make it. We will see how it’s going on. But I’m really happy that I could be at the stadium yesterday to see those emotions and the exciting match.
Very early in the morning I got a phone call from my parents, that they found a really cheap last minute flight and that they are coming to visit me the next day and that they are bringing my little sister with them because she had one day off from school. Immediately a big problem appeared in my mind – my mom loves museums but my sister hates that and I knew my mom wanted to visit one. At work I asked my bosses if they know where to go to fulfill my mom’s wish of going to a museum where even my sister has fun. And serious they knew a place: Cosmo Caixa a well recommended scientific museum. I checked it at the internet and it’s really cheap because it’s run by the social foundation “la Caixa”.
The next day after their arrival we went to visit the museum. My sister was grumbling the whole way to the museum.
In the foyer we were welcomed by a Albert Einstein. A figure of him was sitting at the information desk.
In the middle of the big stairway down to the 5th basement there was a big tree from the Amazonas area hanging in the air. Arriving at the lowest levelwe saw a glassed moving staircase up to another floor so that you can see how it works. My sister was still grumbling so we went on hoping that there is something interesting for her. In the first hall we found science to touch. Even my sister was excited about the different possibilities to take part in experiments. We could produce a sandstorm, see how it builds dunes and even produce a tornado and touch the rotating air column. There were so many things to see, to touch and to hear.
Then we saw the jungle. Through a big, a really big, wall of glass we could see recreation of over 1 square kilometer of flooded Amazonas rainforest with its animals. From this floor we could see fishes, turtles and so on. The forest is split almost invisible into different parts;
I think to make sure that incompatible species don’t come in contact. From a higher level we could see the rainforest as well and see other animals. Than the rain started, it was so amazing; we were standing there completely dry watching the tropical rain.
In the outside area we found the biggest experiment: two satellite dishes with a distance of something around 80 meters showing how sound is transferred. My sister loved it; she was standing close to the one dish and talked into it and I was able to hear it standing close to the other dish. It was a really nice day and everyone was happy.
Photography by Balázs Tóth
Last weekend a friend from Germany was visiting me. Because of the good weather we decided to go to the Tibidabo Mountain, because I heard that it is amazing. For the half way up the hill we took the recommended tram called Tramvia Blau. It is a really small, cute historical looking, blue tram. The tram is the survivor of the old Barcelona from 1901. I read that it runs 1276 meters up to the Funicular.
At the middle of the hill we had to we left the Tramvia Blau at Plaça Dr. Andreu, where you have a nice view over the city. From there we took the” Funincular del Tibidabo”, a funny cable car through the woods to the top. At first we were planning to visit the Tibidabo amusement park. This park was built in 1889 and a lot of the attractions are still from this time. This gives the park its peculiar charm. But we thought that it is a little bit expensive to spend 25,20 € for each only to spend a few hours at the amusement park. Because of this reason we decided to see the church “Temple del Sagrat Cor” instead. This church was built in 1806. We went up with the elevator and could see the city from a height of around 575 meters above the sea level. It was great.
After the really nice trip we decided to make a break on our way down the hill. There is this one bar-restaurant named Mirablau with a stunning view over the city.
We got a table at the open window side and we could see most of Barcelona from there. It was really amazing to see the sunset over the city. We saw Sagrada Familia and even the sea and after the sunset the city started to light up. The food was ok, I ordered a Tapa of croquetes and my friend “ensaladilla Rusa”. After 11 pm we were really surprised when restaurant started becoming a kind of a club downstairs.
It was a really amazing day.
One of the best things in the world is definitely chocolate. I think every woman can understand that. When I was buying a huge amount of chocolate at the supermarket a man was laughing and told me that, if I love chocolate that much, I have to visit the chocolate museum. A chocolate museum? When I came home, the first thing I did was switching on the computer and searched for the museum. And serious, there is a great chocolate museum in Barcelona, called Museu de la Xocolata.
It took only one minte that day to for my roommate to decide to join me. We took a guided tour because it was really cheap. Our guide was nice and explained the whole process from the cocoa tree seed to the point when cocoa becomes chocolate. The origins of chocolate are in the Maya-Aztec world and chocolate was entering Europe later.
We saw so many machines related to working with chocolate. When we entered the Barcelona Room we were overwhelmed by the great chocolate figures and started to understand, that they form a part of the confectionery tradition of Catalonia.
After our tour we went to the Shop-Café to have a drink, a cup of hot chocolate, what else? We tried a few different home-made pastries and I bought Spanish chocolate specialties as presents for my family in Germany. I really hope that they will last until I get back to Germany and I am not going to eat them. But even if I am eating them, I can go again to the museum and buy new one. At least I have a reason to visit the museum again.
I remember my first Spanish classes: the teacher said that the concept of the time in Spain and Latin America is some special thing. Basically, there is very different value of time for Spanish (for not all Spanish people of course). You just have to wait. Maybe for ages. And the process of getting Spanish visa had proved it clearly. Having the “fortune” of Russian passport I needed a visa to come to Spain. So…
Welcome to Spanish embassy in Stockholm! Later I realized that I’m lucky that was student in Sweden because this status makes all visa procedure much easier. However, it took time, money and certain degree of tolerance. But don’t worry; I won’t bother you with long description of application process just two things could be mentioned: embassy of Spain was really empty (probably siesta isn’t a myth hoho) and constant procrastination of embassy workers (whenever I called them I had to wait the answers on my simplest questions at least hour).
And short note for all future Russian interns in Spain: IN ADVANCED! Learn this expression and never forget it before you go to Spain haha
Vamos a explorar colorido España!
Yesterday I arrived at Barcelona and I’m really looking like a tourist: Carrying a camera around, holding different maps in my hands and so on. I’m going to stay here eight weeks and my plan is; fitting in as a local! The only question is; How? I watched the locals and now I know.
At first there is this thing with the fan and it’s so easy to get one. There are so many people outside in the streets selling them.
Hungry in the early evening? Wait a little bit, only tourists are going out early. The locals don’t go to eat until around 10 p.m. In Spain is all about late nights. At the weekend they are going to the bars after eating. That means - around midnight. And I was really surprised to see everybody outside so late – young, old – kids, teenager, grandparents - everyone. If you are going to stay up late, you have to sleep. Take a nap and make Siesta from 2 to 5 p.m. as everybody else- at least if you are not at work.
Tapas – these cute small portions – I love them. You don’t have to decide one big meal; you can decide many small or change the Bar between them. Every time we are going out for some tapas we order a few different tapas and share so that
So carry a fan, stay up late, take a nap, eat small and you'll be a local!
Until now I haven´t been there and everybody told me I have to see it. My internship is going to end in a few days so I decided to visit finally La Sagrada Familia. After I´ve been there I know, everyone was right, this church is a place you have to see. It is one of the projects of Gaudi and really amazing. Until this day I have only seen this building in the chocolate museum.
I was standing outside and enjoyed the great view, but then I went inside and it was breathtaking. I decided not to take the guided tour and walk around by myself. I can´t say anything else then it´s amazing and everyone has to see it with his own eyes even if you will have a hurting neck after a long visit. Why? Because you will spend a really long time staring at the ceiling. I have never seen a church or basilica like that. Once I was visiting the cologne cathedral and I thought that was amazing, but it´s nothing compared to what I saw that day visiting La Sagrada Familia. I think I am going to visit Güels Park as well this weekend before I leave because there are more buildings built by this amazing man.
In my last blog text I talk about cultural differences and how my internship started here in Seville. In this blog text I tell you about my trip to Carnival of Cádiz what is one of the best-known carnivals in Spain and about my trip to Madrid to see El Clásico football match.
Carnival of Cádiz
Cádiz is small city in southwestern Spain. It is actually one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in all southwestern Europe. I decided to go visit in this famous carnival, because I heard a lot about it and it is something we don’t have at Finland. The carnival last more than two weeks in each year and during that there is a lot of visitors from all around Spain, so whole city is having fiesta in this time.
When I arrived to Cádiz I noticed big welcome sign at gates of city and a lot of people. There was actually so much people that it was hard to even turn around in mass of people. There was a lot of different kind of costumes. It tells something how popular this event is, when I had to wait over 30 minutes in line at costume shop to get my costume in Seville. My choose of costume was a Arabic Sheik costume.
I don’t know was this costume success or not, because nobody get the idea of my costume. Instead that people called me Druid, Monk, Priest and even Jesus (maybe because my hair). The Carnival itself was a great experience; something different I’m used to. I really enjoyed it.
Carnival of Cadiz
Trip to Madrid
Weekend was coming and I didn’t had any plans. I noticed that there was Real Madrid against Barcelona football match in Madrid at weekend. I’m not biggest football fan since in Finland ice hockey is the thing, but chance to see maybe two best teams in whole world playing against; I knew I could not miss it. I was lucky enough to get tickets so I started to find way to get in Madrid. Seville is very south part of Spain when Madrid is middle, so the distance is about 600km. Trains are very expensive in Spain so I decided to go with bus because it was only 40€.
I was already making my booking for hostel when my Greek friend send message in Facebook and offered place to sleep. I met this guy during my DIMA intensive course in Poland, so it was also nice to meet old friends.
Trip to Madrid last 6 hours and after that my friend kept short city tour. We visited many amazing bar/restaurants in Madrid and prices were low. My friend lived at Getafe what is about 20km from Madrid, but in Madrid they have maybe best public transportation network so it was not problem to get there even at night.
Saturday I finally went to watch football and I can say it was an amazing experience. There was about 80 000 people in stadium and noise was insane. Real Madrid fans were singing mockery songs about Lionel Messi and they went crazy when their Cristiano Ronaldo came to play at second half of game. Real Madrid won match 2-1 with last minute goal. Even I’m more Barcelona fan; I still enjoyed match and atmosphere at stadium.
City center of Madrid
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Real Madrid - Barcelona
In my next blog post I will tell about my trip to beautiful Granada.