At the end of last month Eurostat published a report related to the Unemployment Rate in Europe. This reports shows how Germany, Malta and Czechia had the lowest rates, whole Greece and Spain still have the highest. Still it’s remarkable how it has decrease both in Spain and Ireland.
A couple of days ago after finishing work, when we left the office, the sun was shinning and its light iluminating this building in front of the street. It was definitely a nice afternoon light in Neue Schönhauser Straße
Beautiful sky in the basel airport
Today the French are voting in their presidential elections and the possibility of having a far right president, who has campaigned against Europe and NATO brings dark clouds to the European horizon. I’m hoping the french people will reject those proposals. Allez le bleus!
Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit the big sur park, a quite beautiful region on California’s Central Coast. This region is quite beautiful as you can see in this picture.
It had been awhile but today I had the opportunity to stroll again through nice streets of San Francisco. I really like this city and I’m happy I had the opportunity to visit SFO one time more.
Yesterday when I was working, I recieved a news notification related to a London Attack, where five people were killed and many other were injured after an attacker drove a car along a pavement near to the Parliament. I always enjoyed visiting London and Westmister near to the Thames river is beautiful. As I say when it happened in Berlin: I will keep visiting this amazing city and no terrorist is going to change that.
This morning when I was landing in Berlin I was staring at the window and I realised sometimes I forget how many lakes and water sources there are around Berlin. I shot this picture to remind myself about it.
Sometimes you look and the window and the view is so nice that it doesn’t look like a normal window but rather as a picture that was presented to you instead. That was the case today.
The last couple of days have been particularly cold in Basel, but a nice gift that you get with those type of days is the Snow. Yesterday I saw this beatiful snowy tree next to the snow on top those leaves.
Finally 2016 is ending. As John Oliver mentioned in the last episode of his last week tonight show, 2016 has been a pretty shitty year. There were so many musical and movie legends passing away (David Bowie, Alan RIckman, Prince, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Carrie FIsher, Debbie Reynolds and George Michael) and Europe experienced terror in many cities including Nice, Istanbul, Brussels and Berlin.
On the other hand the populists and far right anti-immigrant movements gained a lot of traction in Europe and America. The popular vote brought many unexpected outcomes including the Brexit victory despite the Scottish and Northern Irish opposition, the Colombian plebiscite rejection to the peace agreement reached in Cuba and finally the astonishing Trump victory on the electoral college, even though he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots.
The only silver lining of this year was the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Let’s hope this doesn’t change in 2017 (cough trump), since that will make it a horrible year as well.
I really love the German Christmas Markets and there is a story behind it: When I was a child, the christmas time was one the happiest season of the year. We used to have a nice big family gathering, with a lot of presents from everyone to everyone, tasty and diverse food and in people in general having a really good time. A nice tradition that we had when we were kids, was to visit our German grand aunt and taste the different Christmas Cookies she used to bake. Those cookies had multiple shapes, colors and flavors and she was very proud of each one of them. I didn’t know what it was back then, but the taste of Lebkuchen is still strongly wired in my brain to those happy childhood years. As I grew up, those memories persisted in my mind, but bit by bit, Christmas became less important.
Many years later when I moved to Europe, I when O had the opportunity to visit a German Christmas Market for the first time, I fell in love at first sight!. Strolling around the different stalls, looking at the people having a good time, drinking a glass of glüwine in the cold winter, tasting some of the traditional sweets and just be there made me so happy, that christmas felt again as joyful as I remembered when I was a kid. I loved and still love these places and when this time of the year comes, I can’t wait to visit those markets …
No terrorist piece of shit is going to change that. #berlin
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Japanischer Weihnachtsmarkt that took place in Arena Berlin. Japanese food is my favorite one and I was lucky enough to find some tasty Takoyaki at this event. Yummy!
This morning I was talking to my father in law and he mentioned he wanted to check out the Synagogue in Basel. I had no idea there was such a building in the city, but I checked online and discovered there is a neo-Byzantine domed structure indeed, originally constructed in 1868 and enlarged in 1892. Above there is a picture of this Synagogue.
This weekend I did a small city break to the Bulgarian capital. On my last day before coming back to Berlin I experienced my first snowing of 2016 and it was quite a big one as you can see on this picture of the Sveta Nedelya cathedral.
We enjoyed the sunny sunday morning by making a quick visit to Freiburg. Last time I visited the city they were restoring this building and the result was great.
Everytime I bike through Karl-Marx-Allee and I cross this traffic light, I always smile, because I think this is a beautiful act of vandalismArt.
Last weekend a colleague of my girlfriend was in town and I was happy to walk with her around the city. During the evening I remembered it was the last day of the Berlin Festival of Lights. During this event the main landmarks of the city are used as canvas for very interesting light displays. Some of the most beautiful ones were at the Humboldt university where I shot the pictures above.
The sky in Berlin is not only amazing in Spring but it can be in Autumn as well. Yesterday a former colleague was visiting the office and when we went up to the terrace I had the chance to see this amazing sky.
I didn’t update this blog in the last week because we went with my GF to Tenerife and I decided to leave this computer back home to unplug for a while. We had a really amazing time in the biggest canary Island: The weather was warm but not scorching hot, the landscapes are really nice and quite different across the island, the seafood was so fresh and delicious and finally the people were extremely friendly. It was just great.
So of the highlights of the trip were (besides the stunning Teide you see in the picture above):
1- The nice town of La Otorava:
2- The picturesque town of San Andres where we stayed, and the nearby "Playa de las Teresitas":
3- Walking around in Santa Cruz:
4- The old town of Garachico and its natural rock swimming pools:
A couple of days ago we visited Lindau, a major town and an island on the eastern side of Lake Constance. We stayed at a hotel in the Island that’s connected with the mainland by a road-traffic bridge. The current harbour of this island was built in 1856 and the iconic Lion sculpture and lighthouse mark the entrance of this port. An interesting fact is that this lighthouse is the only one in Bavaria!
Eurostat published some very interesting stats regarding the mobile internet connectivity of the EU citizens in the Information society section of the Eurostat regional yearbook publication. The map above shows the countries with the largest and smallest percentage of users browsing the internet through mobile devices in cities. It was not surprising to see the nordic countries at the top of the list, but I wasn’t aware Italy was at the bottom.
Here is a barchart with the countries sorted by percentage:
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria and I learned about the interesting history behind this castle. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, as a refuge from his constitutional monarchy duties, in order to revive his romantic dreams of the medieval king figures. The guide described how the king was deemed insane, he was arrested and died mysteriously. We were discussing yesterday with my GF that insane or not but he brought good fortunes to this region of Germany for sure!.
My old LAMP hosting is about to expire and I’m using that account only to host a travel blog of my career break two years ago called breaksian. This weekend I migrated the contents to a node platform and I took the opportunity to review and publish a post about a week I spend in Ko Lanta, Thailand. Quite an special place.
In the last days I had the fortune to visit Iceland for the first time and I loved the country. The people are very friendly and the landscapes are just stunning. The capital Reykjavik has also very cool atmosphere and it can quite picturesque as you can observe in the picture above taken at the lake Tjörnin with the city hall in the background at the left corner.
Also look at the Geyser blowing off steam every couple of minutes.
And finally the Þingvellir National Park has some beautiful landscapes.
If you have never seen a picture with a soldier like the one in the statue above then you don’t know who is the soldier depicted in this piece, then you don’t know who is Comrad Schumann. This soldier from the East is one of the first and most famous defectors to West Germany when the border was being built and it was just a line of barbed wire. This is statue is located in a building near Bernauer Straße
A couple of days ago I was walking by the Berliner Dom and I realised I haven’t seen the progress of the Humboldt Forum construction in a while. The project is scheduled to finish in 2019 and as I you cans see in this picture it’s definitively moving along.
I have walked by the Chapel of Reconciliation in Bernauer St. many times, but yesterday I noticed for the first time the sculpture you see above. It’s called Reconciliation and it was created originally by Josefina de Vasconcellos, an english artist of Brazilian ancestry and placed at the University of Bradford. According to wikipedia there are copies of this original work in the ruins of the Coventry Cathedral, the Hiroshima Peace Park and this one here in the Berlin Wall Memorial.
Time really flies by! One year ago I took this picture in Berlin.
The german border in the eastern part with Poland is located in the town of Görlitz that before 1945 it was a single town. This border post shows the end of the country
Last weekend we did a long weekend trip with my girlfriend to the Ticino region of Switzerland, staying in Locarno. I wasn’t aware but the Locarno Film Festival was starting this week and part of this event was a preview showing of a movie on Sunday night open to the public.
The organizers decided to honor Bud Spencer, one of the classic italian actors from the 70’s in the action-comedy genre who passed away earlier this year. They featured <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Call_Me_Trinity", one of the best examples of the “Spaguetti Westerns” target="_blank">Lo chiamavano Trinità. I really enjoyed this movie!. It brought really nice memories since the movies featuring the duo Bud Spencer / Terence Hill were one of my grandpa’s favorites.
I have been living in Berlin for more than a year now and last weekend on a sleepless night I setup the site pics.inberl.in to check the different pictures I have been taking in the city. When I was browsing through my collection I found this cool photo I took in my first weeks in Berlin at the Lustgarten. I’m proud of the composition.
In the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland, relatively close to Basel there is a Benedictine monastery, called Mariastein. Apparently this place is a must for the catholics, but it’s also a nice to walk around in the fields as you can see on this picture we took yesterday."
View of the TV Tower from the Strausberger Platz. Nice colors in the sky."
Two days ago. Amazing Coldplay concert in the Olympia Stadium in Berlin.
I was reading on the news that at least 36 people were killed in suicide attack at Istanbul airport. It's pretty sad that this amazing city has been hit by different terrorist attacks this year: the March suicide bombing in Beyoğlu district, the January bombing in the Sultanahmet district and now this attack at the airport. I had the chance to visit the city in 2013 and I loved it.
Last weekend I watched the Ireland / France game in the Tempelhofer Feld (pitty we were so close to beat les bleus!). When I was leaving the place I shot this picture with an interesting composition
It's shocking the UK decided to leave the European Union, but on the other hand Scotland voted clearly in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38% - with all 32 council areas backing Remain. Heading towards a new Scottish independence referendum?
As I was mentioning a couple of days ago, the sky in Berlin during springtime is quite amazing!
Backlight is not necessary bad. Sometimes you get really nice silhouette pictures like this one I was able to shot in Birgu, Malta.
The island of Malta is in the middle of the mediterranean sea and it was in the past, a crossroad between Africa and Europe. The history of this place is therefore fascinating!.
The Berlin sky is so photogenic during springtime!
In downtown Basel there is a wall with a mural that shows portraits of rock stars like Janis Joplin, Keith Richert, Mick Jagger and David Bowie, that you can see on this picture.
Yesterday I did I nice bike ride from Berlin to the Wandlitzer lake, located some 30 km north of the capital city. The area is really beautiful as you can see in this picture.
Walking from the Nordbanhoff through Gartenstraße, you arrive to the roundabout in Liesenstraße where there is a hidden but nice remain of the former wall.
The weather is improving in Berlin and the skies are very nice again. This picture was taken in the colorful street of Oderbergerstraße
The Hanseatic League was a confederation setup by different merchant guilds and the market towns where they operated with the purpose of mutual defense and commercial trading. Between 1400–1800 it dominated the trade in the northern coasts of Europe. The German city of Stralsund was one of the most import cities from this confederation.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the city where I took this picture.
Last friday when I went to the airport to catch a flight I was able to capture this nice shot of the Berlin airport with the spring sunlight.
One of the last vestiges of the Berlin Wall in the Topography of terror in Niederkirchnerstraße
Beautiful Sunset in Bornholmer Straße. I love the colors in the Sky. Last year I remember we had many of those spring days with amazing photogenic colors such as this one I was able to see today.
Picture taken in the Görlitzer Park last weekend. It as a sunny and warm Saturday so the people poured to the Cafes and Parks in Berlin!
Last weekend I visited Dublin for the 100th year anniversary of the Easter Rising, when Ireland started the process to become and independent republic. The city was absolutely packed as you can see in this picture taken at college green.
Interesting picture taken today in the vitra design museum when sun was starting to come down.
Today we were walking along the east side gallery and when we pass by the Oberbaumbrücke, I got this picture of this landmark bridge on a cloudy day.
Time passes really fast!. A year ago I was exploring the beautiful city of Queenstown in the south island of New Zealand. Nice memories from my career break.
This weekend I wanted to do a smal city break and I realised visiting Prague by train was relatively easy (it's only 4.5h by a direct train). I went there, met and chatted with a Czech friend and spend the rest of my visit walking around and taking pictures. One the most interesting ones I was able to get contains a street performer making huge soap bubbles. Here the colorful bubble make a nice contrast with the people staring and walking around.
Last week I provided at work a couple of my pictures for the article The Lowdown on Living and Working in Ireland . One of the pictures I selected was one of my favorite ones. A completely empy O’Connell street in a Monday morning:
I love this picture not only for the beatiful colors in the sky and the nice contrast they do with the shadows of some of the Dublin landmarks (The General Post Office and the Spire), but also because of the strange feeling of seeing one of the busiest spots in Dublin completely empty.
Almost the same picture in two different seasons.