Back again in Berlin

May 16, 2024 | Berlin | Picture | Europe

A few days ago, I once again had the pleasure of visiting Berlin, a city that holds a special place in my heart, as I've mentioned a couple of times on this blog. This particular trip was made even more memorable by reuniting with some former Spanish colleagues from my Google days in Dublin. Together, we spent a few days exploring this very interesting German capital, solidifying why Berlin remains one of my favorite European cities. Though I'm happy with my current life, a part of me will always miss this fascinating place.

One of the highlights of my trip, besides having great conversations and reminiscing about old anecdotes, was finally doing a couple of activities I'd always wanted to experience but never had the chance to before. First on the list was climbing the stairs to the top of the Berliner Dom. This morning's cardio workout rewarded us with some beautiful panoramic views of the city, which you can see in this picture: the TV tower and the Berliner Rathaus in the background, bathed in the sunny sky we were lucky to have.

Again this city full of living history with endless exploration possibilities and such a diverse culture, will always hold a special place in my heart. Auf Wiedersehen, Berlin!

Augusta Raurica

Feb 11, 2024 | Picture | Europe | Switzerland | History

Augusta Raurica is an ancient Roman archaeological site located near the modern town of Kaiseraugst, Switzerland. It was once a thriving Roman settlement and served as the capital of the Roman province of Rhaetia. Augusta Raurica was founded in the 1st century BCE and reached its peak during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE.

The proximity to Basel, along with convenient transportation options, makes this place an excellent destination for a day-trip excursion, especially when the weather is nice. Last weekend we visited again this place and enjoyed the did a walkround the site. It's interesting because it contains a number of well-preserved ruins, including the theater, the temple, and the forum. It's recommended if you are visiting Basel.

EU Average rating of satisfaction

Jan 22, 2024 | Map | Europe | Statistics

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, regularly publishes data on various social and economic indicators, including satisfaction surveys. According to one of their latest publications, in 2022, the average overall life satisfaction rating in the European Union (EU) was 7.1 out of 10. Across the 27 EU countries, 18 had ratings above or equal to the EU average. Austria had the highest rating at 7.9, followed by Finland, Poland, and Romania, each at 7.7.

It's puzzling how Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, has a lower life satisfaction (6.5) rating than the EU average. The article does not explain why this is the case.x

Digital Skills in Europe

Nov 27, 2023 | Map | Europe | It

The Eurostats website published an interesting article that emphasizes the increasing importance of digital skills in response to technological advancements. It discusses how the EU aims for at least 80% of adults to have the minimum basic digital skills by 2030.

It also describes how even if around 90% of EU citizens are using the internet weekly, only 54% in average had basic or above basic digital skills in 2021. Finland and the Netherlands led with 79%, followed by Ireland (70%) and Denmark (69%), highlighting disparities in digital proficiency across EU countries.

As more and more of our traditional activities move even further online, investing the digital skills education since early age would seem to be wise decision. I hope the EU goverments will prioritise it.

Rosy dawn at the Mitterebrücke

Nov 22, 2023 | Picture | Basel | Europe

On the past Saturday, I started the day very early since I had to catch a train to Freiburg. As I was cycling towards Badischer Banhoff station and approaching the Mitterebrücke bridge over the Rhine River, I noticed that the sky was really beautiful with its pink multicolor hues. I had to stop suddenly to capture the photo you see above. When I was about to take out my phone, I turned to the right, and there was another cyclist who had done exactly the same thing. With a smile, she said, "We have to take a photo of this, right?" and smiling back, I said, "Yes, indeed, it's a must!"

Ukranian Refugees in Europe in 2023

May 20, 2023 | Ukraine | Map | Europe

Since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the refugee crisis generated by tis war has been a major humanitarian challenge. Eurostats keep track on the data of people granted temporary protection across the Union. The latest data published by the agency shows that Germany has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than any other European Union country except Poland.

As of March 2023, there are over 1 million Ukrainian refugees in Germany. The majority of refugees are women and children, as Ukrainian men are banned from leaving the country based on the mobilization law in place.

Compared with the population of each EU member, the highest numbers of total registered refugees per thousand people in March 2023 were observed in Czechia (30.9%), Estonia (27.8%), Poland (25.9%), Lithuania (24.2%) and Bulgaria (22.5%).

You can find more information about this data on the Eurostat website.

Inflation in Europe 2021 - 2023

Apr 13, 2023 | Chart | Europe | Economy

The inflation in Europe has been on the rise since the start of 2021, driven by a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and supply chain disruptions. In October 2022, inflation in the Eurozone reached an all-time high of 10.6%. It has since declined slightly, but it is still well above the European Central Bank's target of 2%.

The chart above generated with data provided by Eurostat, shows this trend, including the October peak and the downwards trend.

Heatwave in Europe

Jul 19, 2022 | Picture | Spain | Europe | Weather

These days I had the opportunity to visit the city of Cubelles, a catalan tourist town near Barcelona. I was very lucky to find an apartment very close to the beach and I have spent almost every day enjoying the sea, constantly refreshing myself.

But every time I watch the news I realize that I was lucky to spend my days there during the heat wave that is hitting Europe. There are roaring fires in many places in southern Europe, and on the other hand places where the summer is not particularly strong like the UK are experiencing record temperatures.

No comments. The Climate Change problem is already here :/

Back in Berlin

Jun 1, 2022 | Picture | Berlin | Europe

A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit Berlin again and I spent some very pleasant days in the company of my dear friend C. In those days I remembered why the German capital is one of my favorite cities in Europe, and although I am satisfied with my life at the moment, I will always miss that very interesting place!

One of the things I was always curious about before leaving Berlin was what had happenned with the famous Humboldt Forum. I remember the first time I visited that space in 2015: At that time it was atemporary construction, created by the Humboldt foundation, that served as an exhibition space and viewing platform for the Berlin Palace - Humboldt Forum reconstruction project.

Well 7 years later, this project is finished and the palace is back to his former glory (at least the exterior facade) and it has some interesting expositions inside. Above you can find a picture on how it looks like nowadays. bis (hoffentlich) bald, Berlin

Freiburg from the top of Schlossbergbahn

Feb 28, 2022 | Picture | Germany | Europe

View of the Freiburg im Breisgau city center, including the cathedral from the top Schlossbergbahn last weekend.

Ukrainian flag in the Basler Rathaus

Feb 25, 2022 | Picture | Ukraine | Europe

Last night when I passed near the rathaus in Basel I found that a Ukrainian flag had been placed on the flagpole of this emblematic landmark. There was also a group of young people gathered in the square with peace signs and notices imploring an end to the unprovoked invasion of this European country. Sending my love and best wishes to all my ukranian friends.

Russia invades ukraine

Feb 23, 2022 | Map | Ukraine | Europe

An invasion is defined as 'an instance of invading a country or region with an armed force.' Ukraine has been an indendent country since the signing of the Belovezh Accords in 1991, that dissolved the Soviet Union. The news about the that the Russian president has recognised the independence of two Russian-controlled territories in east Ukraine, that call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and the subsequent incurssion of his military forces on this region of Ukraine, fits the definition of an invasion.

Diplomacy is always the preferred option to avoid a military conflict, but I feel bad for my Ukranian friends, because it seems that the conflict is already there :/, and the world should act accordingly.

European countries starting to relax covid rules

Feb 20, 2022 | Chart | Europe | Covid-19

Last Friday I learned that the day before the federal council of Switzerland had reached an agreement to relax the covid measures, so that the use of masks is limited to public transport and health institutions only. This morning I was reading that also in other European countries, these measures are being adopted also in other countries like the UK, Norway, France, Germany and Austria.

It is true that vaccination rates have reached important levels in most of these countries, that covid cases have decreased significantly and that fortunately omicron-related cases have been milder than previous variants; but in any case it feels a bit surreal to enter stores and restaurants without having to wear that mask that has been part of the essential accessories during these long months of pandemic.

Fingers crossed that the situation continues to evolve so positively!.

Beautiful sunset in Ouchy

Feb 8, 2022 | Picture | Vaud | Swtizerland | Europe

Sometimes you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to capture an interesting photo. This is what happened last weekend in Ouchy, Lausanne: We were relaxing by the fountain in the main square and as the sun was setting, illuminating the bridge and the water, people were passing by, including this cyclist who was captured in the image.

Markplatz last weekend

Feb 1, 2022 | Picture | Basel | Swtizerland | Europe

Last weekend when I was walking home after getting a PCR test (which is part of the routine in this pandemic era), I passed by markplatz where I have walked thousands of times, but from the angle where I was, looking at the clear sky, with the Rathaus in the background, I said to myself: wow it really looks beautiful!

Covid-19 vaccination uptake in Europe

Nov 14, 2021 | Map | Europe | Covid-19

Yesterday I met a couple of colleagues from the university here in Basel and we discussed various topics. One of my colleagues is an epidemiologist and the topic of increasing hospitalization rates due to covid-19 was part of our conversations. One of the causes of this phenomenon is that vaccination rates in Europe are still low. According to the ECDC the cumulative complete vaccination rate in Europe is 64.9%, with Portugal being the country with the highest rate (81.3%).

Countries like Germany and the Netherlands, which are breaking daily records with the number of cases, have relatively low vaccination rates (67.1% and 64.8% respectively). We cannot let our guard down and more work must be done to prevent the continent from becoming again, the epicentre of this never-ending pandemic.

Life expectancy in Europe

Sep 30, 2020 | Map | Europe | Demographics

A friend of mine who works at the European Union, shared an interesting articule about the Life Expectancy in the different EU regions.

The last data available from 2018, shows that Swtizerland (83.8), Spain (83.5) and Italy (83.4) had the highest life expectancy, as you can see on the map above.

COVID-19: Cases increasing across Europe

Sep 20, 2020 | Chart | Europe | Covid-19

According to the EDCD website, in many countries across the EU/EEA and the UK, an increase of COVID-19 cases is being observed following the lifting of lockdowns and the relaxation of preventive measures such as physical distancing.

This new "wave" has been reported regarding countries such as Spain and France where the timeseries graph of confirmed cases shows a clear sigmoid curve. I personally understand the "COVID-19 Fatigue", but the virus is still there, and it's not possible to forget about it.

GDP and COVID-19 in Europe

Aug 03, 2020 | Chart | Economy | Europe | Covid-19

A couple of days Eurostat released a preliminary report of the GDP growth rate in the EU and Euro zones. It's not not surprising but the COVID-19 situation and the required mitigation measures have taken a toll in the economy in Europe. The report discussed how "Seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 12.1% in the euro area and by 11.9% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter," The graph above shows this dramatic trend.

Peaceful sunrise

Apr 13, 2020 | Picture | Europe | Covid-19

I have been walking up quite early these days. A couple of days ago I was lucky to get this beautiful and peaceful sunrise.

COVID-19 Cases in Europe

Mar 14, 2020 | Europe | Map | Health | Covid-19

According to the WHO, Europe has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as the deadly coronavirus runs through Italy and nearby countries including Germany, Switzerland and France. It's the same situation in Spain where the total number of cases increased dramatically during the last 2 days, leading the goverment to set in place drastic measures for force slowing down the transmission of the virus.

Unemployment rate in the European countries affected by the 2008 crisis

Feb 24, 2020 | Chart | Unemployment | Europe

The 2008 Crisis, with the collapse of Iceland’s banking system, spread primarily to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain in 2009. 10 years later most of this countries have bounced back, but still unemployment is high in countries like Greece and Spain, compared to points before the crisis started.

Windmill in Świnoujście

Jul 15, 2019 | Picture | Europe | Poland

A couple of days ago we were visiting the old windmill in Swinoujscie and when we were heading back to the car I looked and saw this amazing view of the mill silhouette and the people walking by, while feeling the fresh breeze of summer in our faces. Nice memory.

Employment rate in Europe

Jun 09, 2019 | Chart | Employment | Europe

In 2018, the employment rate in the European Union was 73.2%, compared to 72.2% in 2017, as reported by Eurostat. Those results shows a continuous growth in the region as can be observed in the chart above. Fortunately the dip recorded after the financial crisis of 2008 is not present anymore.

Ireland Unemployment Rate

Apr 18, 2019 | Ireland | Europe | Chart

I have been tracking the unemployment in Ireland using data from the central office of statistics in Ireland website for some time and the changes are remarkable compared to the peak of unemployment in 2012. Currently the figure stands in 5.4% for the month of March 2019.

Countries with a large population of Irish Heritage

Mar 18, 2019 | Map | Europe | Ireland

The map above shows the countries with a large population of people that claim Irish Heritage, based on the mapa available in Wikipedia . Assuming the data is correct, the highest population of Irish descendants is located in the U.S. (~33 Million). There are also considerable number of people with Irish ancestry in the UK, Australia and Canada. To all of you ... belated Happy St. Patrick's day.

Brexit and GBP

Feb 28, 2019 | Chart | Europe | Great britain

The official FX Data from the bank of england site, shows the changes related to the whole Brexit process. Yesterday it was reported that MPs have voted overwhelmingly to hold Theresa May to her commitment to give them a vote on delaying Brexit if her withdrawal agreement fails to win a majority within the next two weeks.. It's interesting how everytime Brexit seems to be further away ... the better the British currency performs.

Alcohol consumption expenditure in Europe

Jan 07, 2019 | Map | Europe | Alcohol

Eurostats published recently a report about the alcohol consumption in Europe. The report that in In 2017, households in the European Union (EU) spent 1.6% of their total consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages. As you can observe on the map above the baltic states have the highest percentage of expenditure related to their GDP.

Amazing Autumn Colors

Oct 14, 2018 | Picture | Europe | switzerland

Yesterday I noticed the Autumn colors are already here. It's beautiful as you can see in the picture above, but with the crazy weather this year and the temperature going up and down I hardly noticed this season is already here.

Air travel statistics in Europe

Aug 19, 2018 | Europe | Travel | Chart

Eurostats offers an interesting dataset about air travel in the continent, including the number of passengers per country. As you observe in the previous chart, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, had the highest number of air travelers through their airports in 2017.

Łańcut Castle

Feb 09, 2018 | Picture | Poland | Europe

This picture was taken in Łańcut, a Polish city in the southeast of the country. The Łańcut Castle in the picture was completed in 1641. The idea was to build a fortified residence to repel an attack from the Swedes.

Unemployment Rate in the Euro Area

Dec 04, 2017 | Map | Europe | Economics

At the end of last month Eurostats published a report with the updated unemployment rate figures across the Euro Area. The overall unemployment was 8.8% and even if the highest rates are still observed in Greece (20.6% Aug. 2017) and Spain (16.7%), they have the decreased compared to the previous year.

The lowest rates on the other hand were observed in October 2017: Czechia (2.7%), Malta (3.5%) and Germany (3.6%).

Chronic Diabetes in the EU

Nov 13, 2017 | Map | Europe | Health

Eurostat has an interesting page were they describe how around 30 million people suffer from diabetes in the European Union. It's surprising how France is the country with the highest population of persons suffering the disease.

Largest producers of Ice cream in Europe

Aug 06, 2017 | Maps | Europe | Summer

Currently there is a heat wave named Lucifer that's brining scorching hot temperatures to sourthern and central europe. Maybe that's the reason why Eurostat published some days ago statistics about the largest producers of Ice cream in the continent. It's not surprising that the "Gelato" country is on top of the list, but I was surprised to learn Germany was the second one in the rankings.

Unemployment in Europe in April 17

Jun 05, 2017 | Chart | Europe | Economics

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.

Annual Inflation Rate in Europe

May 23, 2017 | Economics | Europe | Map

A couple of days ago Eurostats published a report describing the annual inflation rate in the EU area and some other non-EU european countries. As you can observe in the map above the baltic countries had the highest inflation rates (Estonia: 3.6%, Lithuania: 3.5% and Latvia: 3.3%), While Romania (0.6%), Ireland (0.7%) and Slovakia (0.8%) had the lowest ones.

Beautiful sky in BSL

Apr 30, 2017 | Picture | Basel | europe

Beautiful sky in the basel airport

Nice spring sky in Berlin

Apr 05, 2017 | Picture | Berlin | Europe

In Berlin you get very frequently the chance to see nice sky worth to take a picture as it was the case today at the office.

EU Balance Trade

Apr 01, 2017 | Chart | Map | Europe

Eurostats offers a balance of trade dataset showing the trade surplus and deficit of each one of the European Union members. Germany is still the country with the highest surplus, compared to France and the UK that have the highest deficits:

Population in Europe Experiencing Depression

Mar 26, 2017 | Maps | Charts | Europe

Eurostats has an interesting dataset showing the percentage of the population experiencing depression in Europe. The map above shows that Hungary, Portugal and Sweden and the countries with a higher percentage of population experiencing depressive symptoms.

A breakdown by Sex shows that Portugal is the contry with the highest percentage of female population experiencing depression.


Mar 23, 2017 | Picture | London | Europe

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.

Water around Berlin

Mar 22, 2017 | Picture | Berlin | Europe

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.

Pay Gap in Europe

Mar 10, 2017 | Charts | Europe | Equality

A couple of days ago, on march th 8th, it was the international women's day. I was chatting with some family member about this day should exist at all (there were arguing that the day should be everyday). I was checking the pay gap between Man in Women in the European countries and I think there is still a reason to celebrate this day.

Basel Fasnacht 2017 Lanterns

Mar 8, 2017 | Picture | Basel | Europe

One of the most interesting parts of the Basel Fasnacht is the big latterns that participate on the parade on Monday morning. On tuesday they were exposed in Munsterplatz and this year there were a lot political motives related to politics and the far right trends. One of the most descriptive ones was this one.

Percentage of Europeans that do excersise

Mar 5, 2017 | Maps | Europe | Health

Eurostats has an interesting dataset with the time spent excersising per country in Europe. It's not surprising that on the top of the list of the countries that excersises 2.5h or more are the Scandinavian countries: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are on the top of the list. Way to go Scandinavia!

Window Picture

Feb 20, 2017 | Picture | Europe | Switzerland

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.

Unemployment Rate in Europe

Jan 9, 2017 | Chart | Map | Europe | Economics

Eurostat updated its unemployment rates figures Iceland has one the lowest unemployment rate in Europe (followed by the Czechia and Germany), while Greece still have the highest, followed by Spain.

Personal Money Transfers in the EU

Dec 11, 2016 | Europe | Economy | Chart

Interesting dataset from Eurostats regarding personal transfer inflow / outflow across the European Union. On one hand France has biggest negative balance and on the other side Poland has the biggest positive one.

Synagogue in Basel

Dec 8, 2016 | Basel | Europe | Picture

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.

First snow of 2016 in Sofia

Nov 29, 2016 | Bulgaria | Europe | Picture

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.

Insane Irish GDP Growth

Nov 21, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Chart

This morning I was checking the GDP growth data in the European nations and I found out that last year it was particularly high in Malta, Czechia, Iceland and Sweden ... but in Ireland it was insane!. An interesting article from The Irish Times, explains how despite this number being statistically correct it's due to huge multinational companies moving assets to their Irish branches, for tax reasons.

Sunny Sunday in Freiburg

Nov 20, 2016 | Freiburg | Europe | Picture

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.

A week in Tenerife

Sep 25, 2016 | Picture | europe | spain

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:

Only lighthouse in Bavaria

Sep 16, 2016 | Picture | europe | germany

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!

Mobile internet users in Europe

Sep 15, 2016 | Map | Europe | Germany

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:

Ludwig and his Neuschwanstein Castle

Sep 14, 2016 | Picture | Europe | Germany

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!.

Most visited European Cities

Sep 13, 2016 | Map | europe | tourism

Eurostats have a very interesting article and dataset about tourism in the different European cities. The chart above, shows the most visited European cities in terms of millions of nights spent by tourists, next to the percentage of those related to the local population.

Amazing iceland

Aug 30, 2016 | Europe | Iceland | Picture

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.

Conrad Schumann Statue

Aug 20, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

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

Humboldt Forum Progress

Aug 19, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

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.

Europe Crude Marriage Rate

Aug 17, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Population

The Eurostas office has an Interesting dataset containing the crude marriage rate data for the last decades across EU. It's quite remarkable how even if Portugal has one of the lowest rates in EU, it used to be one of highest in the 70's.

Reconciliation Sculpture

Aug 10, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

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.

A year ago in Berlin

Aug 9, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

Time really flies by! One year ago I took this picture in Berlin.

German border in Görlitz

Aug 7, 2016 | Europe | Germany | Picture

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

Population Change in Europe

Aug 5, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Population

Eurostats have an interesting dataset showing the population change across Europe including both the natural change and the net migration contribution. The graph above shows how the rapid decline trend is slowly reversing, but how migration is the main component of this change.

Unemployment Rate in Ireland

Aug 4, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Chart

According to the central statistics office of ireland, the adjusted unemployment rate in the country during the last 2 months has been 7.8%. The trend is definitively going down. I blogged about it in January and it was more than 8% back then.

Nice picture in the Lustgarten

Jul 26, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

I have been living in Berlin for more than a year now and last weekend on a sleepless night I setup the site 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.

Mariastein Abbey

Jul 17, 2016 | Europe | Switzerland | Picture

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."

UEFA European Championship 2016 Winners

Jul 11, 2016 | Europe | Map

Yesterday Portugal was able to win for the first time a Championship title in an international competition, with an amazing goal from Eder in the extra time. Well done Portugal.

Unemployment In Europe

Jul 5, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Economics

The charts above contain unemployment data extracted from the Eurostat data sources. Even if the trend is going down it still quite high in countries such as Spain and Greece.

Iceland Population

Jul 3, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Iceland

Iceland Population. It's amazing how such a small country was able to go so far in the Eurocup. Well done Iceland!

Alcohol inflation in Europe

Jul 2, 2016 | Europe | Heatmap | Economy

Inflation data from Eurostats. Alcohol is a big item in many of the "vodka belt" countries:


Jun 29, 2016 | Europe | Istanbul | Picture

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.

Sunday at the Tempelhofer Feld

Jun 28, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

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

Wikipedia brexit trends

Jun 27, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Uk

In the aftermath of the UK referendum on the European Union, the news media were discussing how there was a "regret" feeling and how the biritish people were trying to understand what they have voted for. If you look at the wikipedia trends about the UK Brexit and Irish Passport articles it seems to confirm this point.

Brexit breakdown results per region

Jun 26, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Uk

The chart above contains a breakdown per region of the brexit vote results. In a nutshell England and Wales voted to leave (with the exception of london) and Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain.

Scotland voted to stay in the European Union

Jun 24, 2016 | Europe | Scotland | Picture | Uk

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?

UEFA European Championship Winners

Jun 22, 2016 | Europe | Map | Heatmap

The UEFA European Championship is being played now in France and I was asking myself this morning what are the teams that have won this cup and how many times. The answer is Germany and Spain with 3 titles each. I didn't know but the winner of the first tournament of this type was the Soviet Union in 1960. You can check this map here

Brexit Polls

Jun 21, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Uk

According to this wikipedia article that tracks all the polls related to the British referendum on the European Union membership (Brexit), it's going to be a close call even if the remain vote has been gaining ground in the last days.

In the last episode of last week tonight, John Oliver summarised quite nicely why [leaving the European Union]( would such a bad deal for the United Kingdom. Crossing the fingers.

The Most Bike Friendly Cities

Jun 13, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Transportation

Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the most bike friendliest cities in the World based on the Copenhagenize Index

Playing with light in Birgu

Jun 12, 2016 | Europe | Malta | Picture

Backlight is not necessary bad. Sometimes you get really nice silhouette pictures like this one I was able to shot in Birgu, Malta.

Fascinating Malta

Jun 11, 2016 | Europe | Malta | Picture

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!.

Berliner Himmel

Jun 10, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

The Berlin sky is so photogenic during springtime!

Europe Death Statistics

Jun 8, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Health

Eurostat has a dataset with statistics on causes of death in the European Union (EU). The highest rate happened in the baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania and Heart disease is the leading cause of death across Europe.

Bowie at the Wall of Fame Mural in Basel

May 29, 2016 | Europe | Basel | Picture

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.

Europe Population Structure

May 25, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Population

The european union statistical office has an interesting article related to the impact of demographic ageing within the European Union (EU). One of the data tables shows the breakdown of the population in the ages 0-14 years, 15-64 and more than 65. The previous chart shows this breakdown by country in the 0-14 and +65 brackets. It's interesting how Ireland is the youngest country by far.

Busiest Airports in Europe

May 18, 2016 | Europe | Graph | Travel

Graph with the busiest airports in Europe based on the passenger totals. Data from: Air Passenger Transport Statistics

Wandlitzer See

May 17, 2016 | Europe | Wandlitz | 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.

Berliner Dom

May 16, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

Berlin Salary Report

May 12, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Economy

Yesterday at Jobspotting, the company where I work, we published the very interesting Berlin Salary Report with data and analysis related to the wages in the German capital city. One of the most interesting charts of the report is the treemap above that summarises the salary median based on the years of experience and the area of work.

As you can see on the graph the people working in Management and Software Development, have the highest salaries in the scale, and this is related with the years of experience. Interesting. #BerlinStartupSalaries

Another brick of the former wall

May 10, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture | Wall

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.

Nice Berliner Skies

May 7, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

The weather is improving in Berlin and the skies are very nice again. This picture was taken in the colorful street of Oderbergerstraße

Visiting the hanseatic city of Stralsund

May 5, 2016 | Europe | Stralsund | Picture

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.

Nice light in Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld

May 3, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | 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.

Berlin Wall in Niederkirchnerstraße

Apr 23, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

One of the last vestiges of the Berlin Wall in the Topography of terror in Niederkirchnerstraße

Europe average rating of life satisfaction

Apr 22, 2016 | Europe | Map | Society

Eurostats have a dataset with the average rating of life satisfaction by income quintile, household type and degree of urbanisation. The overall data shows the Scandinavian countries are the most satisfied, while Bulgaria and Serbia are the less satisfied.

Europe Population Density

Apr 14, 2016 | Europe | Map | Population

The European Union Stats office offers a dataset with the population density per country. The map above shows the latest data available from 2014. It's not surprising that Netherlands and Belgium have the highest density in continental Europe.

The spring is back in Berlin

Apr 4, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

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!

Acquisition Of Irish Citizenship Statistics

Apr 2, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Chart | Treemap

The european union stats office publishes interesting statistics related to the acquisition of citizenship in the EU. Yesterday it was the anniversary of my Irish one, so I pulled out some stats related to the green island.

The first chart shows the increase in the number of new citizens from 2011, when the goverment streamlined the process of reviewing the applications, cutting a very important backlog.

The data has some additional information about the origin of the naturalised citizens both from the EU and Non-EU countries:

Living in Europe with an European passport defintively makes life way easier, so thank you very much Ireland.

100th Anniversary Of The Easter Rising In Ireland

Mar 27, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Picture

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.

European Union GDP Treemap

Mar 25, 2016 | Europe | Economy | Treemap

Playing with treemaps. Here is one with the GDP of the countries from the European Union. Germany and the United Kingdom are the biggest ones.

Interesting Picture In Vitra Design Museum

Mar 19, 2016 | Germany | Europe | Picture

Interesting picture taken today in the vitra design museum when sun was starting to come down.

Where The Irish Emigrants Live

Mar 18, 2016 | Ireland | Europe | Map

Last thursday it was Saint Patrick's Day and the Irish pubs were celebrating the occasion in Berlin. I remembered last year I also celebrated it in Dunedin NZ. The Irish TImes published a couple of years ago an article with data about where the Irish emigrants live in the world:

The usual suspects are on top of the list: United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Oberbaumbrücke On A Cloudy Day

Mar 12, 2016 | Berlin | Europe | Picture

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.

European Tourists In Berlin 2016

Mar 11, 2016 | Berlin | Europe | Map

Some weeks ago I wrote about the percentage of foreigners living in Berlin. The office for Statistics for Brandenburg Berlin offers an interesting dataset related to tourism and the foreigners visiting the city. The last data available is from January 2016 and it shows how the highest number of European tourists come from the UK:

Women International Day And Gender Gap

Mar 10, 2016 | World | Europe | Map

A couple of days ago it was celebrated the International Women's Day. Even if some friends get offended by this day, I believe it's important to highlight how unfortunately there are differences between men and women as reported by the WEC Genger Gap Report:

It's nice to see how this index is really good in Europe, particularly in the Scandinavian countires. Kudos to Iceland.


Asylum Seekers In Europe

Mar 7, 2016 | Europe | Chart | Politics | Social

Asylum is defined as the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee, mainly for fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. The raging conflict in Syria there has been sharp increase in the number of refugees coming to Europe.

The last quarterly data report by Eurostat demonstrates this upwards trend. Germany and Sweden have been the countries who have welcomed the highest number of asylum seekers.

Inflation In Europe

Feb 29, 2016 | Europe | Heatmap_table | Economy

Last Thursday the Eurostats Office published the inflation data for January 2016. Even if those numbers are definitively better than the hyperinflation happening in other regions of the world (cough ... Venezuela), there is always the risk on deflation:

Now it's remarkable how the highest rate in Europe was Norway, a pretty expensive country already. I'm sorry for my Norwegian friends.

Soap Bubble In Prague

Feb 27, 2016 | Europe | Prague | Picture

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.

Empty O connell Street

Feb 25, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Picture

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.

Brexit And The European Union Membership

Feb 23, 2016 | Europe | Uk | Map | Politics

Yesterday at the office we were discussing the issue about the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union. Actually we wrote in our company blog, what this brexit would mean for European workers, some time ago. But with all this brexit discussion, we forget the UK is actually one of the oldest members of the European Union (1973).

You can check this map in detail here

European Passenger Train Percentage

Feb 18, 2016 | Europe | World | Chart

Last december I have a slight problem with my ear and unfortunately I wasn't able to fly for a little while. I was glad there is an amazing train system in Europe, so I had alternative to travel from an to Berlin. Here is a chart with percentage of train transportation percentage by country in Europe, coming from a dataset published by the European Stats office:

I have been lucky enough to use the trains on all those countries.

Foreign EU Citizens In Berlin By District

Feb 4, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Map | Table

I wanted to wrap up this series of post I have been writing about the people living in Berlin, using data provided by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg, with a final post about EU foreign citizens living in the city.

A couple of days ago I was discussing how Poland, Italy and Bulgaria where the EU countries with the highest number of expats living in the Berlin, but the data also contains a very interesting breakdown per district (berzik).

I put the totals in a density map:

I also used the specific countries data to create a matrix heatmap using an the tutorial on how to create a heatmap with jQuery and Tables. See the resulting table below:

There a couple of interesting conclussions from the data: Polish are definitively the highest minority from the EU countries and this can be observed in every district. Mitte is definitively the most popular district for most of the EU citizens and finally Marzahn-Hellersdorf is the least popular overall.

Berlin Picture In Autumn And Winter

Feb 3, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Picture

Almost the same picture taken near to Rosentharlerplatz in two different seasons in Berlin.

Foreign Europeans In Berlin

Feb 1, 2016 | Europe | Berlin | Map | Chart

Following my post yesterday I kept digging in the data published by the Statistical Office of Berlin-Brandenburg. I wanted to discover where most of the "Foreign" Europeans living in Berlin come from. Since the European Union agreement allows the free movement of people across the state members I was expecting that the number 1 slot was going to be taken by a country within the EU borders. Actually it's Turkey the place with most immigrants living in Berlin with almost 100k people:

Now the second and third positions are from countries from the European Union: Poland and Italy. This is followed by one of the newcomers in the union: Bulgaria.

Unemployment In Ireland

Jan 25, 2016 | Europe | Ireland | Chart

The central office of statistics in Ireland website has some interesting data tables that can downloaded, so yesterday I decided to pull out the unemployment data and plot it.

I was curious because when I arrived to the country the economy was doing really good, but I saw the changes during the crisis of 08. I thought it would be interesting to see what happened in the last years. Even if the unemployment level hasn't reached yet the numbers of 2005, I think the trend is definitively positive.