Travel

The Best Ice Cream Stores in Barcelona

When the summer days get too hot to handle, there is one thing sure to be the perfect treat:

Ice Cream!

In a city known for its gastronomy, there are an abundance of amazing shops offering the perfect dessert for every type of sweet tooth. Whether you like cones or cups, chocolate or fruity flavors, be sure to check out some of our favorite places along the way.

And who knows, maybe go back for seconds… or thirds?

 

Here are Barcelona's best ice cream stores:

Bodevici

Pure, honest, organic ice cream! This shop whips up bold, authentic flavors with a slightly thicker texture than normal. This is because of the lack of artificial and sugary additives that are found in other ice creams. The company behind this treat is super ecologically friendly, and is part of a network of sustainable businesses throughout Cataluña that encourages healthy mind, body and spirit.

Carrer de Torrijos, 21

 

Gelaaati di Marco

This Italian gelateria is filled with innovative and rousing flavors like avocado, chili chocolate and pear. Located in the gothic quarter, this little slice of heaven is well known for being a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. You can also sit in the bar and have a coffee. Marco lets you taste as many flavors as you want, however choosing one is sure to be the hardest part of your visit. 

 Carrer de la Llibreteria, 7

 

Amorino

With 3 shops across Barcelona, there is no excuse not to try Amorino! There are Amorinos across the globe in China and NYC, too. As much of an art as it is a dessert, this gelato shop creates beautiful cones in the shape of roses. Be sure to have your camera ready for pictures. The intimate presentation is one thing, but let’s not forget about the taste. Each cone is full of rich, creamy goodness. Just be sure to eat it before it melts!

 La Rambla, 125

 

DelaCrem

This authentic ice cream shop produces some of the friendliest ice cream around, suitable for celiacs, vegans and those looking to snack on a low fat dessert. The store’s owner, Massimo Pignata prepares each flavor, assuring it is creamy and natural the way it was meant to be. These ice creams are top class, each step of the production process carefully and diligently carried out, from the selection of ingredients to the final freezing. Located in the comfortable and relaxing street of Enrique Granados, feel free to stroll by and enjoy this treat or their wonderful selection of brownies and cakes.

Carrer d'Enric Granados, 15

 

Tip: book your accommodation in Barcelona in advance as hotels can full up quickly! Read our extensive Barcelona Accommodation Guide if you're looking for somewhere to stay while in Barcelona!

 

Travel tip shared by Erin Ball
ApartmentBarcelona.com

Photos courtesy of Amorino, TheCutureTri, Bodevici, Gelaaati di Marco

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Insider’s Guide to the Top 10 Islands in The Caribbean

Tourists from all parts of the world head to the Caribbean as it has some of the most pristine vacation spots in the world.

The problem for the discerning traveler remains as to how to choose where to go, simply because each and every territory and island nation is stunningly beautiful in its own right. Silvery sand beaches, crystal clear waters and secluded shallow coves make these unspoilt island destinations some of the best in the world.

With a chain of a staggering 7 000 plus islands, it's natural that only a few of them will be able to meet your demands and fulfil all of your fantasies. This is why some of the popular and also some lesser-known islands are detailed here --which may not offer a totally crowd-free Caribbean getaway, but will definitely take you to a piece of paradise.

You can spend your time island hopping, or lounging on remote beaches and explore the hidden bays with your family and loved ones in some of the most inspiring island destinations in the world, known as the Caribbean.

 

Barbados

Apart from the justified famous beaches, the island of Barbados has it all to cater to the need of every type of taste and budget. Not surprisingly, tourism is the main backbone of the economy here, contributing to roughly 50%of the country's foreign exchange reserves. As a prime tourist hot spot that caters to visitors all year round, what Barbados lacks in size, it easily makes up for in its charm.

The locals are renowned for their friendliness, and are considered to be the best  asset of this tiny island nation of roughly 166 square miles. Barbados, in terms of sightseeing is a tourist mecca, and as far as the nightlife is concerned, it is unmissable to say the least.

 

Saba

The largely unspoilt island of Saba is unlike any other destination in the Caribbean. Known as the “Queen of the Caribbean”, the small island has surprisingly been left untouched by the modern world around it. Unlike it's more famous counterparts, the nightlife in Saba is limited to small restaurants and bars, while accommodation is varied. Even though just a handful of hotels and cottages are available, they are enough to cater to all the demands of the visitor.

Till today, life in Saba is easy going and laid back, where the friendliness of the people reflect the honour and pride they feel for the visitors and their island. So if you are looking for a vacation with a different twist, look no further than Saba.

 

British Virgin Islands

They say that no matter which part of the British Virgin Islands you happen to be, you will be overwhelmed not only by the friendly locals, but the outdoor activities and stunning beaches that will far exceed your expectations. Each of the four main islands and the 50 or more smaller isles have their own unique character.

Natural splendours like Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Tortola all offer their own special dose of local magic, despite where you decide to drop anchor. For families, thrill seekers, adventure lovers and the cultural minded, the British Virgin Islands beckon visitors like no other.

 

Guadeloupe

This French overseas territory is part of an island group in the Caribbean sea, with a shape like a butterfly. Guadeloupe is actually a formation of two islands separated by the River Salee. While Grande Terre on the eastern side has resorts and beaches, the western island Basse Terre is vividly different. With waterfalls, a rain forest and a dormant volcano, it is also the capital city of Guadeloupe.

Moving around the islands has been made rather easy, mainly because of the excellent network of roads available. It's easy to move around in a car, accessing the many hiking and nature trails that are there to allow visitors to discover the true insights of the Caribbean.

 

Aruba

The eternally sunny isle of Aruba is said to be the best Caribbean island for many reasons. First of all this 19.6 mile piece of land is just 15 miles from the Venezuela coast. Secondly the resorts, hotels and vacation rentals here are in a class of their own. Having the most sunny days of any island in the Caribbean, Aruba is also home to the famous Eagle Beach, considered to be one of the ten best in the world.

In addition to providing the best beach vacation, Aruba is the top wreck diving destination of the Caribbean. If that is not enough, the cuisine on offer here is a blend of 90 different nationalities. Aruba is also home to the Arikok National Park, which again happens to be the largest in the Caribbean.

 

Antigua

Antigua, meaning ‘ancient’, in Spanish, was a former British colony situated in  the eastern Caribbean. The island boasts some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches that can't be found anywhere else in the world. The colorful capital St. John is a premier cruise ship destination, with museums, shopping and historical buildings being the top draw.

In Antigua they say that life's a beach, with one set aside for everyday of the year. In spite of the ever present English flair, Antigua is quintessentially Caribbean, filled with colorful villages where bright eyed natives are always there to great you with a wide smile.

 

Grenada

Also called the spice isle, the hilly island of Grenada has numerous nutmeg plantations from where it got its other name. The amalgamation of untouched beauty, friendly people and the simple way of life, makes a Grenada vacation a pure and authentic experience.

In a place largely undiscovered by the tourists, this enchanting island boasts of beautiful landscapes and long stretches of white sandy beaches where visitors hunt for sunken treasures amidst colorful corals. So if you want an unforgettable journey, head to Grenada, Petite Martinique and Carriacou.

 

Nevis

Located in the northern region of the West Indies, Nevis lies adjacent to St. Kitts, a quick 10 minute water taxi drive away. Despite its scenic beauty, the Government, till today, has preferred to keep this tiny piece of paradise off the radar of mass tourism. The locals love their island and prefer to keep it that way, in spite of the opening of a few good hotels which have now just about put Nevis on the tourist map.

The sublime beauty of Nevis is encircled in a mere 36 square miles of area, with the conical volcano of Nevis Peak visible from all parts of the island. The mile long nature forest trail aptly showcases how the residents value their flora.

 

Bequia

Considered by some as the most perfect island in the Caribbean, this hilly and verdant place is home to one of the best protected harbors, and is the most beautiful in the whole of Windies. The capital Port Elizabeth is a village like collection of colorful wooden buildings. The Belmont Walkway is a pretty road along the waterside, running past a host of restaurants and bars.

The Princess Margaret beach, a secluded but glorious 500m stretch of golden sands surrounded by almond and cedar trees and just a single bar. Excursions by boat to a nearby deserted island offer opportunities for top class snorkeling and full day picnics.

 

Grand Cayman

This largest of the Cayman Islands,  the Grand Cayman has everything a traveler may yearn for. Situated roughly 90 miles off the Cuban coast, the island is the most visited and popular of the whole area. Georgetown, the capital, is an important cruise ship destination, attracting visitors especially for the excellent scuba diving spots on offer.

This British overseas territory has long since been seen as a safe banking haven, apart from the stunning natural beauty which is present in every possible area of the island. The underground caverns system known as Crystal Caves is an intriguing piece of geography on the lesser developed northern coast.

 

The Bahamas

The Bahamas are located northeast of Florida in the North Atlantic Ocean, but are still considered as being part of the Caribbean. This mostly uninhabited collection of nearly 700 coral reef islands are referred to in Spanish as “shallow water”. Though the Bahamas constitute of hundreds of islands, tourists are only attracted to a handful.

The capital, Nassau, is home to the world famous Atlantis resort, while the Grand Bahama is well known for its amazing underground water cave system. The year round 80 degree temperature is just perfect for island hopping and enjoying sips of local rum on the beach. For the discerning visitor, there are art galleries, museums, casinos and much more.

 

All of the Caribbean islands are bursting at the seams with activity, though some may be more active than others. This massive archipelago of the Caribbean Sea consists of 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories. The islands described here have their own advantage over others, mostly based on their accessibility, activities on offer and cost of accommodation.

 

Travel tip shared by Jo
www.wanderwithjo.com

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7 Interesting Facts about California

In May, I will celebrate 10 years of living in California.  For those of you who haven't been to California, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. There are also several facts about California that you probably don't know about.

From the unique sights and sounds of San Francisco to swimming and hiking in Tahoe to the beaches of southern California to the beauty of Yosemite, there is never a shortage of things to see and do in California.

Moving to California was a bit of a culture shock for me.  I am originally from South Carolina so I can relate to people who aren't familiar with California and are visiting for the first time.  However, California has its own unique reputation but not everyone fits the California stereotype.

 

If you are looking to visit, here are some interesting facts about California.

California is a unique and interesting destination. From watching it appear in so many TV shows and movies, most people have a preconceived idea about what to expect. Though, you'll be surprised to read the below facts about California and learn that it is actually very different to what you thought.

1.  California has an extremely diverse population

California has the least amount of caucasian/white residents in the continental US (only Hawaii has fewer non hispanic whites).  Expect a LOT of diversity, languages, and cultures when you visit!

 

2.  California is not quite as liberal as you'd think

California is a liberal state - but not as liberal as you think.  While many people know that, it's not quite as liberal as people think.  By geographic area, California is far more red (conservative) than blue (liberal).  Big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are very liberal.  However, San Diego, central California, and northern California are conservative.  Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the coast of California are the only big blue areas in the state.

 

3.  Californians don't all look like they do on TV

Not all Californians talk like surfers or look like Hollywood actors and actresses.  There are people from all walks of life here in California.  Nearly half the population can speak at least some Spanish.

 

4.  San Francisco is very cold in the summer

Many people visit the city during the summer and shiver.  The average high temperature in the summer is in the mid to high 60s but the fog can make it bitterly cold.  As Mark Twain noted, the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.  Where many debate whether he really made that statement, it's accurate.  September and October are the warmest and most beautiful times of year to visit San Francisco.

 

5.  Sacramento and the central valley are very hot in the summer

Temperatures regularly exceed 100 in the summer and the average highs are in the mid 90s in July and August.  This just proves that California is not just beaches and 70 degree temperatures.

 

6.  It does rain in California - but not a lot

Winters can be very wet so be prepared for lots of snow and ice.  However, from May through September most areas of California won't receive an inch of rain in total for those 5 months combined.  Many areas will not see a single day or rain for months.

 

7.  Sacramento has one of the largest Russian populations per capital in the United States 

San Francisco and Los Angeles also have large Russian populations.  California also has the 2nd largest Asian population in the US and the largest percentage of hispanics.  In other words, the state is very diverse.  See #1.

 

With so many great places to visit in California, there are no shortage of visitors each and every year.  Mountains, beaches, lakes, trails, and beautiful people and places are in abundance. 

So when you visit California, now you know a little bit more about the people, cultures, weather, where to stay, and the best time of year to visit. 

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5 Activities To Get You Through Your Next Transatlantic Flight

Flights that last 8, 10 or 15 hours are exhausting, and if you're not prepared for them boredom can creep up on you very easily. I don’t know about you but there is a limit to how many movies or tv shows I can watch back-to-back.

Also, laughing animatedly with my travel buddy or even diving deep into an engaging conversation with the passenger sandwiched next to me is not very appealing when everyone within a four-seat radius can hear what we’re saying. And, for most people, there are only so many book chapters that can be read in one sitting.

So what can you do to avoid pulling out your hair on those seemingly never-ending flights?

 

Try one of these suggestions:

1. Practice a new language

Research and practice key words and phrases in the language of the country you will be visiting. You can do it the old-fashioned way with a pocket dictionary and notepad. Or, you can learn the basics like “hello”, “where is the bathroom”, “how much does this cost”, and “I’d like to order [insert your favorite meals here] via an audio tutorial or with an app – if you have inflight Wi-Fi.

No idea which translation app to use? DuoLingo seems to be a popular option.

 

2. Fine-tune your itinerary

While it’s always good to leave room for spontaneity, I’ve found that some of my best vacations were the ones where I had a clear blueprint of what I wanted to see and do in the destination. Structured activity plans, with room for adjustment, are priceless gems.

Guidebooks, bookmarked blog posts, destination websites and TripAdvisor comments are good starting points. They’ll give you multiple ideas for ways to get the most out of your trip.

 

3. Complete a few puzzles or play a board game

Thankfully, we now have many types of puzzles and board games to choose from. There are sliding puzzles, word-search puzzles, anagrams, numerical puzzles and logic puzzles.

And my board game lovers, a quick search on Amazon will yield results showing more than 1 700 ways to playfully pass your time during a flight. Also, I just heard about the launch of a new math-based puzzle called Numbrcise that is laid out like a crossword but it doesn’t use words or phrases as clues. It’s 100% number driven. If you’re a math buff, their brain-teasers could keep you occupied for hours.

 

4. Organize your phone's photo gallery

Organize the photo gallery on your smartphone to get it ready for your sure-to-happen Instagram and Facebook trip snaps. Oh, and on the return flight I recommend editing and curating images for sharing with friends and family, or with your online community. My photo editing software of choice is Snapseed.  It works for both iOS and Android phones. 

 

5. Try airplane yoga

Until recently, I never even knew that such a thing as a Cat-cow pose at 30,000 feet existed. But apparently it does! There are several online articles about the subject and a variety of YouTube videos that show you what to do. For example stroll around. When the seat belt sign goes off, take a stroll around the cabin to shake and move your legs every few hours.

When all else fails, get some sleep!

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India – A country with over 22 languages!

India has 22 official languages, namely Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

There are also hundreds of other less prominent languages like Tulu, Bhojpuri and Ladakhi that are the main spoken language of some places.

Hindi

Hindi, natively spoken by 41% of the population, is the primary tongue of the people from the "Hindi Belt"(including the capital, Delhi) in Northern India. Many more people speak it as a second language. In addition, it is the main working language of the Central Government, and often serves as a common language among Indians with different native languages. If you can afford only one phrasebook, pick up the Hindi one as it will allow you to get by in most of India. The main exceptions are Tamil Nadu and the Northeast. Avoid speaking Hindi in these places, as the language is often met with varying degrees of hostility from the locals.

However, if possible, you are better off picking up as many words of the local language of the place you are going to - people are proud of their culture and language and will appreciate it if an outsider makes an attempt to communicate in it. Learn a few basics before you go with a Learn to Speak Hindi book.

Generally speaking, most official signs are trilingual in the local language (if not Hindi), Hindi and English, with the exception of Tamil Nadu where they are bilingual in Tamil and English.

 

English

English is widely spoken in major cities and around most tourist places, as well as in most government offices, and acts as the lingua franca among educated Indians. English has been spoken by Indians long enough that it has begun evolving its own rhythm, vocabulary, and inflection, much like French in Africa. Indeed, much has recently been made of subcontinental writers such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, and Salman Rushdie. The English you are likely to hear in India will be heavily influenced by British English, although spoken with the lilting stress and intonation of the speaker's other native language. Indians can usually tell regional English accents apart.

One of the most delightful quirks of Indian English is the language's adherence to Pre-1950s British English which to speakers in North America and Britain will sound oddly formal. Another source of fascination and intrigue for travelers is the ubiquitous use of English for cute quips in random places. One relatively common traffic sign reads, "Speed thrills, but kills". On the back of trucks everywhere you'll find "use dipper at night" or "Sound Horn".

 

Indians are adopting more and more native words into their English. A lot of these are already well known to speakers elsewhere. Chai (tea), Guru (learned teacher/master), cummerbund (literally waist-tie), Nirvana (extinction of the separative ego) and avatar (God in human form) are words that have left their original subcontinental home. However, Indians are using English loan words in their native languages at an even more rapid pace. As India modernizes blazingly fast, it has taken from English words for modern objects that simply did not exist a few decades ago. However, more importantly, bilingual Indians in informal conversation will often switch unpredictably between English and their native language when speaking to similar polyglots, thus effectively communicating in a hybridized language that relies on the listener's ability to speak both languages. A bilingual speaker in Delhi, might for example, say "mera fever bahut bad hai" (my fever is very bad) which mixes English with Hindi 50-50 in spite of the fact that perfectly good words exist for both 'fever' and 'bad' in Hindi. This hybrid is sometimes referred to as 'Hinglish.' It seems that English and Hindi are indeed converging among the bilingual sections of society. While English, as a distinct language, is here to stay for now, it appears that it will eventually over hundreds of years be absorbed into the vast cultural fabric of the subcontinent.

 

English speaking Indians may also seem commanding to a westerner. You may hear "come here," "sit here," "drink this," "bring me that" which may sound direct and demanding to the point of being rude to northern Europeans and Americans, but is in no way meant to be impolite.

Non-verbal communication is also important. Much has been made of the confusing Indian head nod for yes and no, but the only important thing to understand is that Indians have different nods for yes, ok and no.

  • If they are shaking their head back and forth, they mean yes.
  • If they are nodding their head in a tilting motion from right to left, they mean okay indicating acceptance. The movement is in a figure eight, and looks identical to the western nod for "Sort of".
  • If they shake their head from left to right twisting it about the vertical axis, they mean no.
  • There are differences in the way these signs are used in northern and southern India. The back to forth is yes and a vigorous left-right shift is no in North, though latter may be construed for yes in southern states like Tamilnadu. Look for verbal cues that accompany these sounds in south (like 'aaan' for yes ) in south to get the correct meaning.
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Top Things To Do in Chicago: A Weekend Guide

Chicago is a huge city and a fairly popular one in North America; and though last year alone I transited through the city 14 times I had never actually set foot outside of the airport. So needless to say, I was quite curious and excited to grab a camera and have my cousin host me while I played tourist in a city the size of Toronto.

I absolutely loved it!  Chicago has all of the architectural wonders, nightlife, and food scene of New York City but it is matched with the history, class and feel of London – plus there are a lot of parks, piers, colors, and squares so you never feel as congested as you may in Manhattan.

There are 7 things I would definitely recommend doing if you are in the Windy City for a brief period of time.  There are many more but as I grew up in a household of artists I try not to see every museum each time I go away, so the reason those are left off isn’t because I am culturally daft, but more so because I like to admire a different form of art – that which is visible outside.

 

So if you have two days in Chicago I recommend these 7 things:

1. Have Pizza

More specifically, have pizza at Giordano’s, this popular and famous deep dish style pizzeria serves you more of a pie than it does a traditional pizza. You will wait about 35 mins (while this may seem long it is completely worth the wait, and when you see the size of this thing and how much cheese exists in it you realize cooking time is key) and when you finally taste it your mouth erupts into fireworks at what is quite possibly the best mix of crust, cheese, sauce, sausage, onion and pepper ever.  It really is great, I think the proper term is stuffed pizza, but basically its a platter of awesome. The pies themselves are quite heavy (both weight and content wise) so my cousin and I took the second half of our pizza to go, and here is how I know it is a good pizza – it tastes just as good for breakfast the next morning. If you are in the windy city – allocate at least an hour of your day and check them out: www.giordanos.com

 

2. Picnic

Walk over to the Planetarium (again this is a situation where if you want to go in – by all means do so) and sit outside eating a sandwich while you are mesmerized by the magic that is the Chicago skyline. It is very comforting and soothing just to sit there (the gorgeous weather we had definitely helped) and star out on the various eras of architecture – just beautiful & having freshly baked cookies also helps with the whole experience

 

3. Sit Under the Cloud Gate with a Camera

This sculpture, which is part of Millennium park, was built in 2004 with an original proposed cost of $9 million yet somehow ended up with a price tag of (wait for it) $32 million which obviously  was not well received originally by the tax payers of Chicago. It’s beauty has since smoothed things over with Chicagoans? Chicagoites? Chicagans? (one of the above). It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together with a highly polished exterior (covered always in finger prints) that has no visible seams. Really beautiful – and if anyone has ever seen the movie “The Sphere” it has a similar effect of leaving you staring in wonder as you marvel at it’s construction and seamless beauty.

 

4. Walk Around Navy Pier

like most seaside cities Chicago has that cheesy tourist spot with trinkets, rides and games galore. However there’s is done with a little bit of class, yes there is a Ferris wheel, boat ride, and the overly large sized McDonald’s but like the rest of the city it isn’t densely littered with stands or buildings and it’s sparsity gives you a feeling of being a child again walking through a playground. It is colorful, fun, and by the water – simple but really all I need in life

(ps for an added bonus go inside the food stand to Gorton’s Popcorn and order the Chicago mix – your taste buds will thank you for this delicious mix of caramel and cheese that you would otherwise think is impossible to blend together)

 

5. Take an Architectural Cruise through the City

it really is a city full of architectural wonder – there are buildings from various designers that all compliment each other, and even the Trump tower was built to play homage to the three buildings in it’s surroundings. An archictural cruise will take you on a boat that allows you to see the city from the river and navigating under many of its 38 bridges. The guides are very fun and informative and it  is great to learn the history of buildings, architects, designers and the city itself while you take close looks at buildings you admire from the great vantage point by the Planetarium

 

6. Have a Drink at the Signature Room

Nothing feels more rewarding than having a cocktail on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building after a full day of sightseeing, the views are incredible and you can a panoramic display of beauty that is Chicago. Note if you are a female, the very best view comes from the ladies’ washroom which is unobstructed and kept spotlessly clean.

 

7.  Visit Buckingham Fountain

a.k. the fountain in the opening credit of "Married with Children", and while the show was never one I enjoyed the fountain is beautiful and creates a beautiful centerpiece to the skyline behind.

 

While I am sure there are a million more things to see in Chicago, and I will go back to slowly start making that list shorter and see the family more frequently these are the ones I would recommend for travelers who, like me, save money with ridiculous stop overs and have a few hours to spend in Chicago.

If you're also there for a short time and want to pack in as much as possible, I'd recommend geting a Chicago cityPASS or joining a Hop on Hop off bus tour - they cover the main highlights of the city.

It really is a beautiful city and I cant wait to see more of it on my next layover!

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Things You Must Do When Visiting Menorca, Spain

You have the Balearic Islands, and then you have Menorca. Do not mistaken this beautiful treasure as a party island or 'just' a beach destination.

Menorca is filled with hidden treasures, beautiful historical monuments, old buildings and archeological sites. The culture in Menorca is remarkable and in order to really embrace your time spent on the island, there's 10 things you must do before departure.

 

Top things to do on Menorca:

1. Enjoy a full menu meal at a local restaurant

This is not your typical menu dish, but a never ending meal of appetizers, main courses, soups, desserts, liquor and coffee. Be sure to show up for your Spanish meals with a full appetite because there’s no way you’re going to have room for seconds.

 

2. Buy a pair of Pretty Ballerinas or Castell Menorca sandals

While Menorca may be a small island, there’s certainly no shortage of high quality shoes in the area. Menorca sandals are typical everyday sandals to wear around town and Pretty Ballerinas are produced globally at a steep price (even Kate Middleton chooses Pretty Ballerinas to wear out and about). Since the factory is in Menorca you can get stellar deals on some seriously high quality shoes.

 

3. Drink Cava and Pomada until the sun goes down

There’s nothing like drinking bubbly wine and freshly squeezed lemon and gin while relaxing on the island of Menorca. You’ll find these delicious drinks at just about any restaurant around town.

 

4. Learn the local dialects

There is quite some history around the people in Menorca speaking a slang of their own, and some of which has been adapted from the English language. It’s quite a neat thing to pick up on, especially when you speak Spanish yourself.

 

5. Spend a full day on the beautiful beaches

Can we name a few? Sure! Cala Galdana, Marcarella, Macarelleta, Turqueta, Mitjana, Mitjaneta, Trebaluger, Fustam y Escorxada, and the list goes on!

 

6. Explore a handful of archeological sites

There are over 1,500 archeological sites across the island, some that can be spotted from a mile away, others buried beneath the rubble. Depending on how deep you want to start exploring, there’s many beautiful archeological sites to be found!

 

7. Walk the old town of Ciutadella

The town of Ciutadella is not the capital any longer, but it’s still very much known as the historical capital due to the beautifully designed architecture, the Cathedral Ciudadela, the incredible archways around town and the historical city centre, Palacio Salort.

 

8. Get a history lesson on the myths of the island

There are numerous myths floating around the island about the stashes of gold stolen by Turkish pirates or the potential cannibals who roamed the island in ancient times or even wild stories related to the 2,300 year old vessels uncovered near the shore.

 

9. Roam the 6 km port of Mahón

Take your pick between tons of delicious restaurants like La Josefina for some lunch and coffee and then take a stroll along the water’s edge.

 

10. Super keen? Travel the entire coast by foot or kayak!

It is possible and in fact it is a rather popular thing to do. Most people take about one week to complete the 186 km coastal trail called the Cami de Cavalls.

 

Have you explored Menorca before? What other hot topics would you add to the list?

 

Travel tip shared by Jenna for Travel Dudes.

The #MustSeeMenorca trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Spain and Menorca Tourism Boards. Travel Dudes maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.

Great Motorhome Movies to Inspire your Next Aventure

We all know that owning a motorhome means you can go almost anywhere and be able to stay in different locations surrounded by home comforts. It’s convenient and can somewhat reduce the stress of organising a family trip, especially if you look after your motorhome and have it serviced regularly.

Motorhomes have been a great part of family fun for years, so much so that they’ve become a focal point in some popular films.

These are some of our favourites:

Meet The Fockers (2004)

Who can forget this comedy classic with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro? With two families about to become in-laws, they decide to spend some time together. Jack Byrnes (De Niro) chooses to meet everyone in his brand new motorhome, or RV if you’re American! Cue a whole host of dramas and hilarious events that occur along the way.

 
We’re The Millers (2013)

In one of the latest films to include a motorhome, David (Jason Sudeikis) packs his fake family into a motorhome to cross the border into Mexico to pay off his debts to a thug after being robbed and losing his stash. To escape any suspicion, his fake family are supposed to act as a smokescreen and portray an image of a happy family off for a holiday. Safe to say it doesn’t all go exactly to plan!
 
 

About Schmidt (2002)

Jack Nicholson faces a crossroads in his life when losing his wife just after purchasing their first motorhome. He decides to take a journey in it to visit his estranged daughter and convince her not to marry her fiancé as he feels she can do much better. An entertaining film that showcases the best use for a motorhome; reconnecting with family.
 
 

Paul (2011)

Comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up as two sci-fi enthusiasts who are on their way to San Diego’s Comic-Con in their rented motorhome. However, an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) who has been living in a military base in America has had enough of Earth and hops on the first handy vehicle to escape – no guesses as to which vehicle that is! What follows is a crazy plan to help Paul return to his spaceship.
 
 

Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

This one's not a film, but has to be included! While it may not be the most legal or recommended use of a motorhome, you can’t ignore the phenomenon that was Breaking Bad. An ex-high school teacher and a dropout student team together to make a fortune from making illicit substances. A TV show that gripped the nation with each episode, the motorhome was the home for their activities to avoid getting caught. While it’s certainly an entertaining programme, we ask that you don’t try this at home!

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Top Functional & Stylish Daypacks

Functional or stylish? We’ve all had to make that decision before regarding what type of daypack we should get for our next big trip.

While deep down we know we should go for functional, the strong desire to still look good while traipsing through the airport duty free section often over-rides. What ultimately happens is sore shoulders from bad straps and frustration when you can’t find anything in your bag and have to unpack everything just to find your passport!

Luckily, those days are over with a huge range of both functional and stylish daypacks on the market. These daypacks can be used for all sorts of activities, from carry-ons to bags used for your daily commute. You can now look stylish while perfectly carry everything that you need while on the go.

It can be tricky to find a decent daypack though, so we’ve done the hard work for you and asked around to find the top functional & stylish daypacks currently on the market.

 

Top Functional & Stylish Daypacks

Listed in order of price (from lowest to highest).

1. The North Face Vault

This one is for the slightly sportier folk. It is one of North Face’s slightly less rugged options. Featuring a FlexVent, suspension system with compression-moulded shoulder straps and a ventilated back pad. It also has a 15” laptop sleeve in the main compartment and comes in a variety of colours and patterns.
Buy on Amazon for $55

 

2. Jansport Hatchet Backpack

This daypack comes in a variety of colours and patterns, from floral designs to two-tone colours. It fits up to 15” laptops and has a spacious interior with various compartments. The padded straps make it comfortable to carry for long periods of time.
Buy on Amazon for $60

 

3. Eastpak Austin Backpack

This daykpack can easily be used for both the office and exploring the great outdoors. It has a padded back and shoulders, making it really comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It has a drawstring close and buckle-strap for aesthetic purposes. The main compartment is roomy with a padded laptop sleeve and two side pockets. It comes in a variety of colours, including a few fun floral designs.
Buy on Amazon for $77

 

4. Chrome Mazer Vigil

Chrome bags are built for the road - from city streets to forests and mountains. The Chrome Mazer Vigil is a water-resistant urban expedition pack. It features a padded laptop sleeve fitting a 15" Macbook Pro, if you should feel like working in the woods or to bring it to your (coworking) office. You will also find hidden reflective attachment loops for any extra gear that you carry around. The adjustable ergo straps with EVA back panel make sure that you're comfortable when walking around. We liked the zip at the top, which makes it very easy to access the inside of the bag.
Buy on Amazon for $180

 

5. Sydney Paige Guidi

This stylish daypack has three external zip pockets and a spacious main compartment with large laptop fleece-lined padded sleeve. The main section has a drawstring and magnetic closure, and the back and shoulder straps are padded. What’s even more awesome about this daypack is that for every bag bought, a matching backpack will be filled with school supplies and donated to a child in need!
Buy on Amazon for $90

 

6. Herschel Supply Co. Little America Mid-Volume Backpack

This Herschel pack has a fleece lined laptop sleeve pocket, as well as ventilated mesh back padding, keeping you cool while on the go. The front magnetic buckles give it an old-fashioned rucksack feel, and this one also comes in various colours and designs (including the popular floral design). There aren’t as many compartments as some other bags, with only the main section and one outside pocket.
Buy on Amazon for $100

 

7. Sandqvist Harald Backpack

This Swedish daypack was designed to work well for both Nordic escapes and city galivanting – while still looking stylish. The interior laptop pocket will fit a 13” laptop and there is a big exterior pocket that will hold a decent amount of goodies to save you rummaging in the main compartment. It comes in petrol blue, blue, and black.
Buy on Amazon for $219

 

8. Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

This backpack features a funky square look and comes in a range of bright colours – don’t worry, they also have the generic black and grey if that’s more your vibe. There is a laptop sleeve in the main compartment, along with a document sleeve. On the outside there’s a small external pocket where you can store your other goodies.
Buy on Amazon for $115

 

9. Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack

If you’re all about living the minimalist life then this daypack is for you. They come in either black, navy, or white. While it looks super basic from the outside, it’s not lacking any features. It is built from 500D Cordura and lined with water-resistant YKK zippers. Overall it can carry 18 litres, and can fit a 15” laptop in its internal sleeve.
Buy on Amazon for $120

 

10. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

For travelers that travel with a lot of equipment - this backpack was made for you! Not only is this backpack weatherproof and comfortable to wear, but its aesthetic versatility is hard to match. The expandable design offers storage to hold 2 DSLR camera bodies with 3-6 lenses. The padded laptop sleeve can hold laptops up to 16" and there are 3 Flexhold Dividers that can be used to protect drones, lenses and cameras. There are also many exterior and interior pockets to carry all of the other small things that you take with you.
Buy on Amazon for $289

 

Travel tip shared by Bridget Langer for Travel Dudes

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Great Alternative Bars in Raval, Barcelona

This blog looks to introduce you to alternative bars in the neighbourhood of El Raval that the average tourist would never see.

The aim being that you can mix with locals in environments that welcome people from all walks of life. These reccommendations are for open-minded people that are searching for unique experiences when they walk into a bar, here in Barcelona.

 

Here are 5 great alternative bars in Raval, Barcelona

33/45

33/45 is one of the most intruiging bars you can see in Barcelona, situated on Carrer de Joaquín Costa, this neon lit bar is full of quirky furniture and offers visitors a chance to have a new bar experience. Offering reasonably priced drinks, the bar offers itself to expressive people that do not take themselves too seriously.

Opening every evening until around 2 am (except for midnight on Sundays), 33/45 is an ideal option to anyone wanting to keep the party going around El Raval. This sociable and relaxed environment is encaptured with the unique decoration it has to offer. 

Getting there:

This bar is located at Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 4.

Metro: Liceau (L3), an 8 minute walk / San Antoni (L2) a 5 minute walk

 

Madame Jasmine

Madame Jasmine follows as another alternative bar on offer in El Raval. It is seen as a busy and lively bar that is known for its friendly staff, unusual decoration and for being LGBTQ+ friendly. If you go here with an open-mind you will definitely leave with many great experiences to make your time in Barcelona one to remember! 

Opening from 6:30pm until 3:00am you will be able to visit at a time that suits you best. Places like this show why the locals of Barcelona and El Raval love to party!

Getting there:

This bar is located at Rambla del Raval, 22.

Metro: Para-lel (L2 and L3), a 7 minute walk / Drassens (L3), also a 7 minute walk

 

Nevermind

Nevermind is located slightly North of El Raval and is also known for its decoration, as well as its skater-image. Offering itself to skateboard and Street-wear fans alike in a way that stands out from normal bars or pubs in the city. Being located in a close proximity to Plaza Catalunya makes it extremely accessible, which is good to know considering it is open until 2:30 everyday and 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Like to two bars mentioned beforehand, customer experiences speak highly of the staff and the drinks prices alike.

Being situated 5 minutes walking from the Universitat de Barcelona means it attracts many students and young people looking to enjoy themselves on an evening.

Getting there:

This bar is located at Carrer dels Tallers, 68.

Metro: Universitat (L1 and L2), a 3 minute walk / Plaça de Catalunya (L1, L3, L6 and L7), a 7 minute walk

 

Big Bang Bar

The Big Bang Bar is found on Carrer d'En Botella, El Raval. At first glance, this small bar seems to go under the radar and does not immediately jump out to the usual pedestrian. However, you´re not just a usual pedestrian, you are becoming trained in finding these kind of gems in El Raval.

Once you enter the Big Bang, the black and white tiles on the floor combined with the wooden bar take you back in time and gain your full attention. With live music the norm here, this bar converts itself into a very intimate gig that you can enjoy with your partner, friends or family. The dark lighting is pierced with bright lights that really set the ambience as the evening draws in.

An ideal location for a drink at night as it is open from around 9pm until around 2:30 am most evenings, being closed Mondays and Tuesdays. We would urge anyone who enjoys live music with great drinks to visit here.

Getting there:

This bar is located at Carrer d'En Botella, 7.

Metro: Liceu (L3), a 9 minute walk / San Antoni (L2), a 5 minute walk

 

Centric Bar

Lastly, the Centric Bar is the most traditional option of the 5 bars, offering cheap tapas and a very wide range of drinks for you to enjoy in a very sleek and rustic setting. Opening from 8 am (9am Fridays and Saturdays) and closing between 1-2am everyday, this choice enables you to enjoy breakfasts and lunches, as well as tapas and evening meals. 

It is worth noting that the compact design of the bar means that it gets busy quickly here, especially around midday as the lunchtime rush ensues. Despite that, this bar is also reasonably priced and well-staffed to ensure you have a great time.

Getting there:

This bar is located on Carrer de les Ramelleres, 27.

Metro: Universitat (L1 and L2), a 4 minute walk / Plaça de Catalunya (L1, L3, L6 and L7), a 5 minute walk

 

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