What to do on a rainy weekend in Oslo? I feel a slight inclination to fall into an early autumn depression – but let’s find something more positive to do :)) Though the rain doesn’t promise to stop, and this weekend seems like a copy of the previous one. We live now in a quiet area, just outside of the city. Between fields, forests and fjords. Which is all lovely but… But I don’t have all those rain clothes needed to go walking in such weather.
So I sit inside, sip coffee and go through my photos from our short vacation in Italy. Where we went in June to visit the friends’ wedding on the Amalfi coast. It was the most beautiful wedding ever. So if you want to have something special for a wedding, I give you this advice for free :)) Amalfi coast.
The wedding was in a little fisher village Erchie, and we stayed in a neighbor village Cetara (pronounced Che-tara, oh how I love the sound of it! :)) It was just a couple km away, and looked like a short walk. Little did we now about the only road on Amalfi coast, on the cliff, with cars, scooters, buses and pedestrians all together on one narrow street… But that would make another story 🙂
Palamos is a small and colorful town on the Costa Brava, the northern coast of Catalonia. It is a bit more classy and less touristic than other towns. It is not easy to access it from Barcelona, there is no train, only buses along the curvy roads – so the tourist masses choose another destinations, while Palamos enjoys some peace 🙂
While I am still enjoying Norwegian summer in Oslo, I wanted to share some colorful images from Catalonia. Partly, due to the lack of up-to-date photos 🙂 I forgot for a while about photowalks – though I relived my Instagram. I stopped using it last summer and was pretty happy without it. But now I felt like opening it again. Maybe, because the life in Oslo is much quiter than in Barcelona, and I miss the daily dose of being bombarded by impressions :))
Or maybe, because sitting down and writing a thoughtful post feels like more work than sharing a photo with almost no text to it. I like to use Instagram as my visual journal, though not daily and without getting too obsessed this time (@marina.exploring is my name there, if you feel like visiting). And since I’ve started teaching again (I teach the language course of Norwegian in my old school), I have so much of self-expression during the day, that there is no need left to express myself in pictures and words. I do it every day, in pictures, words and exaggerated body language :))
So, let me take you to this colorful and peaceful paradise on the Mediterranean coast!
Why I love living in Barcelona. Because on any given evening I can walk out of the house with camera in hand, stroll aimlessly and feel inspired. And feel exploring. And feel love.
Last week I went out for a stroll to a neighborhood, not far from mine, called Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu looks like a little pueblo, a village of its own. And it is has the truth in it, because it used to be a separate village before being integrated in the city of Barcelona. Sant Andreu is full of narrow streets shaded by orange trees, cobblestone walks and sweet little houses. But this text is not going to be about it. Neither the photos (well, some are but not exclusively).
Walking in those narrow streets, I breathed in and realized that the air I breathe in – is love. The love for a place. Barcelona at that moment reminded me of three places I love so much: Kiev, Malaga and Rovinj.
The last weekend saw us flying to Seville for the bachelorette party of my dear friend. Most of them came from Oslo, some flew in from Amsterdam and Brusseles, and the two of us came as the last ones from Barcelona. While we were sitting on a late night plane, the crowd was already partying and bonding with another bachelor party from England. My friend said that they were cute and funny, but their minds got blown when asking “So where are you guys coming from?” She says, they were lost in the second phrase already.
“So, they are from Belarus and we are from Ukraine, she is from Venezuela, and he is Columbian. But we live in Norway. And he lives in Amsterdam. While she lives in Belgium. But the wedding is gonna be in Italy because the groom is Italian”. Are you still with me? :)) And then they asked the bachelor party: “What about you?” – “Well, we all are from UK, the bride is British, and the wedding will be in Britain”.
We arrived later from Barcelona. Otherwise we could also add to the mess: “We are Ukrainians, one lived in Netherlands, one lived in Norway, but now we are living in Barcelona”. And this is when I realized that this my normal life and this is my tribe. The international crowd who lived here and there, and then they moved – and possibly they still don’t settle. Maybe, you will find them in new places soon. And this is totally normal in my world.
But I wanted to write this post sharing my love for Seville, actually. This is why I started it. I didn’t take photos this time – and I even didn’t intend it in the heat of the weekend. But I went through my old images of Seville and found some pretty things.
This weekend we took a short drive out of this busy city – to the lovely little town of Sitges. Without knowing we got into Carrera – a meeting of old cars. And old not like from 50s, but from the beginning of the century (that is, of the last century :)). This is what I like about this country. There will be always a festivity that you can unexpectedly run into. That feature I still want to write about. This is so Barcelona, and so Catalonia, with all its neighborhood festivals, farmer celebrations, carnivals and other events. Which makes me wonder when these people find time to work :))
Coming back to Barcelona, in the twilight hour, is like coming back to love. At entering the city I see the Olympic ring, the hotel Vela (officially Hotel W, but the locals call it Vela, which means the sail, for its prominent form), the fun-colored Torre Agbar and the Columbus column just before we duck into the tunnel under the city centre. When we come out of it, there are the two skyscraper towers – the famous sign of the Port Olympic. And all those landmarks are appearing like on the skyline pictures of Barcelona. Only Sagrada Familia missing.
Winter is the season when I feel the acute need to hunt for the light and color. Today my memory brought back to me one nice winter experience that I want to share here.
Two years ago we were doing a road trip through the Southern France and stayed one day and one night in the town of Aix-en-Provence. I wish we had stayed there longer because this one is an especially pretty town, though every town on our itineary was pretty. We had come to Aix-en-Provence after four French towns, and, to be honest, we were more tired than impressed. This is when we felt that traveling is not just all excitement as most of us use to believe. Sometimes you feel more hunger for your own home kitchen and your couch than for another restaurant and hotel :))
I guess, I was more hit by the beauty of Aix-en-Provence later – looking at my photos of it, than in the moment of walking those streets. Maybe you know that this town was a favorite place of many artists, Paul Cezanne being one of them. I am a great lover of impressionists and I can see why many of them were inspired by Provence. And after studying the photos of Aix-en-Provence I can imagine where their inspiration sprang from. Join me if you want to feel like that artist! 🙂
In those times when I used to live more on the social media (now I don’t, and phew, what a relief :)) – I liked to post photos from my trips, even if they were the old ones. Especially on the dark autumn and winter days when I couldn’t find any inspiration in Oslo – I would go for my old pics. And the people who met me seldom would say: “You travel so much. Always photos from the trips”. But these are the old ones, people (and I wouldn’t usually hide that fact).
Today I want to share the photos from our last year’s trip to Catalonia. When we visited a small town of Besalú, hidden between hills and mountains. So that someone can say – on meeting me randomly – “But gosh, you travel so much!” 🙂