BLOGS FROM BARCELONA

I always wondered what it would be like if I’d move abroad. So one day in 2015 I moved to a city that might be the best city in the world: Barcelona. During that time I did a lot of things, like writing blogs about the Spanish culture & customs, but also about hidden gems in Barcelona.
Here you can find these blogs. Enjoy!

10899199_913168438701733_1723085203_nLet me guide you

Seen the Sagrada Familia, the Ramblas and Parc Güell? Maybe it’s time then to get to know the other side of Barcelona. And I can be your tour guide.
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imag2769.jpgWandering in Barcelona? Look up

Whenever I tell people about the hidden gems of Barcelona, I always tell them to look up. Especially now, in the winter, when the trees are leafless. This is the time to go ‘façade-hunting’.
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2015-09-09_1441833754All about food

In Spain, a lot is about food, if not everything. So when you meet up with people, there’s always food involved. Inevitably, there is a moment that the food will be eaten until the last piece. No one ever takes that last bit silently, hoping that no one will notice.
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Wandering over the MontjuïcIMAG2793

There are moments that make me realise even more Barcelona must be the most beautiful city in the world. I just came back from a small holiday in Berlin. And the German capital is great and is very pretty at times… but then I came home. The bus took me from the airport to Plaça Espanya and I found myself gazing at the fountain on the middle of the square, thinking: this is the reason why the word magnificent exists.
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imag3056_1.jpgMore tombstone tourism

“Tombstone tourism is not that weird”, one of the readers of one of my previous blog posts stated on Facebook. Another said I should check out the cemetery of Poblenou. So I decided to give tombstone tourism another chance.
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Dry spell in Catalonia

It was only a few weeks ago when something wet came out of the sky. Tourists told me it was rain. Vaguely I remembered I used to know that kind of weather. Back in the Netherlands… Ah, yes, rain. It hadn’t been raining in Barcelona for months. And when it did, it poured. Allegedly. I didn’t see it, I was on holiday in Tenerife then.
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Back in time in BergaIMAG2989

Berga. A small city in the mountains of Catalonia. A city where the true Catalonian feeling is stronger felt than in the other places in the region that I’ve been to.
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Three kings in a paradeimag2708.jpg

“Christmas isn’t a big thing here.” My Spanish friend said it almost innocently. C-christmas? Not a big thing? Last year I was shocked to find out that the world doesn’t stop turning completely in Spain during Christmas.
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Tombstone tourismMontjuic2

I never knew it was a thing: tombstone tourism. But apparently it is. Tombstone tourists (according to Wikipedia they’re also called taphophiles, cemetery enthusiasts, cemetery tourists, grave hunters or gravers) make it a habit to go to cemeteries.
Let’s be honest: it’s weird. Right?
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Spain and the art of insistingFound in a gallery near the cathedral. Photo: Annoesjka Brohm

What happens if you offer something to a Spanish person? When, for instance, you’d like to pay for drinks. Most likely you’ll end up having a conversation that might strike you as a bit odd.
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12299189_1171164499579929_8681428624290689108_n.jpgToday’s laugh

Found on a door in Gracia.
Translation:
Dear Sir/Madam,
if you let your dog urinate here do not be surprised if I follow you home to pee in your doorway.

Unnoticed beautywpid-psx_20151119_230457.jpg

When walking a route every day, one might stop seeing the beauty of that route. I know I did.
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Underneath your feetIMAG2022

Thousands and thousands of tourist have no idea what’s hiding underneath the streets of Barcelona. Some locals don’t even know. And, to be honest, I’m still finding out. What I do know is that Barcelona has many hidden treasures and some of them are very well hidden.
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hagelslagSpanish taste

I knew that at some point I would start craving for Dutch food. Not that Dutch food is any good. There is a reason why there are no restaurants serving typical Dutch food: the Dutch kitchen is not that good.
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blending-inBlending in

No matter how international Barcelona is, no matter how much I try to blend in, people will always recognise me as something-other-than-Spanish. It’s the light complexion, my blond hair and the blue eyes that give me away.
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Photo: Annoesjka BrohmSpanish season change

Barcelona is cooling off from a hot summer now that autumn has started. I believe September in Barcelona is an ‘in between month’: It’s not summer anymore, holiday has ended, but the terraces and cafés are still packed as if it’s July or August.
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wpid-wp-1443539259563.jpegTenerife getaway

Living in Spain doesn’t mean you don’t need to go on holidays. Even though people are coming to Barcelona to have a holiday, the Barcelonese (and even an import-Barcelonese like me) need to have a getaway as well. So we went to Tenerife. And we found where Jesus was hiding all along. Who knew?

IMG_1793Getting lost in Barcelona

I believe getting lost is the best way to get to know a city. Years ago, when I was a student in Amsterdam, I wandered around for hours (with the map of Amsterdam in my bag, as Google Maps didn’t exist back then, let alone smartphones).
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Bottles of beer on the wall - photo: Annoesjka BrohmDrinking with the Dutch

“Would you like to have a drink?”
Make sure you react immediately when a Dutch person asks you this question. Never beat around the bush: if you want to have a drink, this is the only moment you can say “yes please”. Otherwise you just won’t get a drink. Even though the Dutch will get himself/herself one.
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Barceloneta beach (photo: Annoesjka Brohm)Act like a local

I always thought true Barcelonese wouldn’t go to their own beach. I believed they’d go to places like Sitges, Castelldefels, Gavà Mar… But no. Not all. This weekend I found myself acting like a true local on the beach of Barceloneta.
Together with hundreds of tourists, that is.

chocolate-chip-cookies-1325839Closed cookie cans

Last weekend it was exactly a week after my arrival in Barcelona. So my friends and I had a bit of a celebration, even though the boxes weren’t all unpacked yet at that moment (they are now). I thought it’d be time to tell my Spanish friends about one of the weirdest characteristics of the Dutch I know.
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Parc del Laberint d'Horta, BarcelonaConsistent inconsistent

I just had to do it: Google “Spanish inconsistencies”, to see if it’s something others have written about it. Apparently, it’s not a thing. That’s surprising, as I seem to stuble upon them frequently and often find them funny (which, I admit, might be quite Dutch of me).

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“Spain is like this party,” a Scottish guy told me last weekend. He had been living in Barcelona for 2 years now, but he still managed to be astonished by the Spanish ways.
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feet upMañana mañana?

The magical number is 3, it appears. 3 months to be exact. If I would’ve decided to live in Barcelona for only 3 months, I would have had no problems with NIE, insurance etc. But noooo, 3 months isn’t enough for me. So now, if I’m not careful, I’ll be fully uninsured in November.
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Logotipo_del_Gobierno_de_España.svgThis is still the EU, right…?

A few weeks ago I found out that I need a NIE-number, a Número de Identidad de Extranjero. I looked at an advertisement for a job opening and it said that you had to have it in order to work in Spain.
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