Beginning of Las Fallas Festival in Valencia

I love the name Valencia; it’s an incredibly lovely, classy and eloquent name.  The name suggests of modern, sleek, and futuristic, but the city has a combination of both.  You’d be impressed by Valencia’s Old Town and at the same time its modern City of Arts and Sciences.

When we arrived at Valencia, I guess it was the start of the month for the Las Fallas Festival.  The Las Fallas Festival is held to commemorate Saint Joseph in Valencia and burns monuments to celebrate.  For a five day event, street parties are held everywhere celebrating the historic, the religious, and the comedic.  Anyway, we didn’t arrive exactly on Las Fallas Festival (it is ending today, the date I started first writing this post, March 19, 2018) but we were already there when they started the beginnings of the festival – meaning the explosions and firecrackers.

It was a terrible experience as a tourist not knowing what’s going on… the firecrackers and explosions that were literally everywhere in Old Town sounded like we were at war rather than a celebration.  If you want, contact me for a video of the sounds that were going on and you would think planes were dropping bombs!

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Spanish Coastal Gems – Tarragona, Peniscola, Sitges

Tarragona, Peniscola, and Sitges.  Three cities that we stopped by on our driving route from Barcelona to Valencia and back.  Three cities within maximum 2.5 hours of each other, yet each of these cities carry unique characteristics about them.

Normally, I would suggest people to take the train from Barcelona directly to Valencia, that is, if you’re going only to Valencia.  Instead, what we did was we rented a car.  The cost is slightly higher for renting a car, but factoring in gas, insurance, and toll fees, and the costs make it less attractive considering the sights you see on a train are supposedly similar to the ones you see while driving.  That said, we ended up renting a car because we wanted to stop by other coastal cities as well. Continue reading Spanish Coastal Gems – Tarragona, Peniscola, Sitges

Getting Fat and Getting Smart in Barcelona

I was back again at one of my favorite cities in the world, Barcelona!  Nom.

This time, much unfortunately and for whatever reason, the weather was much colder than last year’s.  In fact, at one of the days during Mobile World Congress (MWC), it was actually snowing!  Gone were the pinkish and blue skies this time.  Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my time in Barcelona, it’s just a beautiful place to be.

I’ll dive right in since I’ve made some posts about Barcelona already – Barcelona, the City of Gastronomy, Barcelona Architectural Design and More, and Mobile World Congress 2017 – The Next Element.

Continue reading Getting Fat and Getting Smart in Barcelona

Barcelona Architectural Design and More

While my trip to Barcelona was mainly for work related purposes, I had such a phenomenal time that I had split my trip experience there into three different posts.  One of the posts covered was Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile trade show in the world.  The food in Barcelona deserves an entire post itself, hence I’ve given the name Barcelona, the City of Gastronomy to give my respects to cuisine in this city.  In this post, I will focus on the other aspects of Barcelona, and one thing that sticks out in this city is the beautiful and unique architectural designs notable from block to block.

Some cities in the world are not walking cities; one such city that sticks out in my mind is Dubai.  Barcelona has some fantastic cool weather in late February / early March, with beautiful people on the streets and remarkable architecture with many things to see along the way that you would prefer to walk all the time, unless of course you have to go somewhere quite the distance.

I heard that there may be strikes in Barcelona time to time, but lucky for me, there was no such thing when I was there.  Usually if I wasn’t walking, I had the option to take the metro, which was easy to understand and takes you near the places you need to be as a tourist.  If anything, there’s also the option of taking a taxi as well. Continue reading Barcelona Architectural Design and More

Barcelona, the City of Gastronomy

The reputation for Spain and its marvellous food is undoubtedly some of the best and most creative food I’ve ever tasted.  The struggle to find a fitting title that Barcelona deserves gave me hesitation; it deserved its respects.  The City of Food wasn’t even thought of and would have been outright rejected.  The City of Taste was too simple and too surface.  The City of Flavor was a bit better as it brings out the meaning of tasting in depth that is all too important in Barcelona restaurants.

What about Gastronomy?  A simple definition look up indicates that gastronomy is “the art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food” (Merriam-Webster).  Perfect, this exact word was what I was looking for.  The good restaurants in Barcelona contained all the requirements of good food – flavorful, creative, generous and ideal portions, unique combinations of flavors, fresh ingredients, and the ability to ‘wow’ you when it touches your tongue.  Other bonus factors, while not necessary, include atmosphere, service, and presentation of food, and all the good restaurants excel in those criteria as well.  Go to a Barcelona restaurant’s website and you can just tell that they take their food seriously. Continue reading Barcelona, the City of Gastronomy

Mobile World Congress 2017 – The Next Element

I had the extreme privilege to attend Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.  Mobile World Congress (MWC), the largest annual mobile and telecom show, is hosted by the organization GSMA.  This year, there were over 108,000 attendees and 2,200 exhibitors attending the show.

Just before I continue, I have to make a disclaimer – I currently work for GSMA, and that is why I was able to go to MWC.  But this post is in no way affiliated with GSMA or represents the opinions of GSMA, it is just my own personal experiences and opinions (as with all my other posts) going to the event . Continue reading Mobile World Congress 2017 – The Next Element