New Options for Experiential Travelers

Photo tour with Joan Figueras

When we are asked about ContemporaryNomad.com, we often refer to it as a blog devoted to “experiential travel.” We travel to experience new things whether that is diving with thresher sharks, eating exotic foods or discovering the world’s art and architecture. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some kind of menu offering up a virtual smorgasbord of new experiences?

So when I was introduced to the Spanish service Trip4Real, I was intrigued. Trip4Real is to experiences what AirBnB is to accommodation. It’s a virtual marketplace where individuals can offer up their own services to travelers visiting Spain. Experiences range from Continue…

La Sagrada Família and the Architecture of Gaudí

Gaudí is to Barcelona what hot fudge is to ice cream sundaes. While by no means the only visionary architect associated with this city, he remains the ultimate symbol of Catalonian genius. His pièce de résistance is the spectacular La Sagrada Família, which upon its completion in 2026, will be the world’s largest and most structurally daring church. There’s nothing like it in the world; it’s totally unique. Just as unique as the architect himself.

But beyond his sacred temple, Gaudí left a trail of architectural treasures sprinkled across Barcelona and further afield in Catalonia. People travel from far and wide to seek out his masterpieces which blend a range of Neo-Gothic, Moorish, Mudéjar, Asian, Egyptian and fellow Modernista influences into a wild mixture Continue…

Cranes Fill the Skies of Brandenburg

Cranes fill the skies of Brandenburg

The first week of October marks the beginning of one of Europe’s great spectacles as the skies of eastern Germany and western Poland fill will thousands of Eurasian cranes (Grus grus) flying from Scandinavia to North Africa. The epicenter of this natural event is Gartz, a small village on the border of Germany and Poland, which celebrates this natural wonder with its annual Crane Week (Kranichwoche in German.)

For a mere 3 Euros, local representatives of the Unteres Odertal National Park lead excursions into the surrounding countryside in search of flocks of cranes. They even provide the wildlife viewing scopes to get a good look at the cranes, which boast a 7-foot wingspan Continue…

Never Too Many Cooks in bcnKITCHEN

bcnkitchen-8 The secret to Spanish cooking is good Rais

Ever since Thomas did his cooking class in Cambodia, I’ve been looking for my own similar Food-Venture. Luckily, our stop in Barcelona included a day at bcnKITCHEN, a unique facility which offers everything from cooking classes to show-cooking to corporate bonding sessions.

When I think about it, Catalonia Tourism was probably strategically using our day at bcnKITCHEN as a type of corporate bonding session to allow our group of traveling bloggers to connect while exploring Catalan cuisine. It was a brilliant move, a recipe for success.

And the secret to this recipe, like much of Spanish cuisine, was good rice… I mean Rais Continue…

La Mercè

La Mercè in Barcelona

Today marks the end of La Mercè, Barcelona’s most famous festival. The celebrations honor the Mare de Déu de la Mercè, the Virgin of Grace, who is said to have delivered the city from a plague of locusts in 1687. Festivities include parades of papier maché “giants,” booming gun salutes (not for those who overly value their ear drums), acrobatic human tower building, fireworks, and more. It’s tons of fun as well as a photographic delight. And there wasn’t a locust in sight, so the Virgin of Grace still seems to be keeping up her end of the bargain. 🙂

La Mercè in Barcelona

Experience Catalonia

Torre Agbar, Barcelona
Starting today, Catalonia Tourism has invited ContemporaryNomad.com on a whirlwind blog tour of Catalonia and its spectacular capital, Barcelona. With milder fall temperatures and the annual La Mercè Festival featuring a parade of giant papier maché puppets, the timing couldn’t be better. The itinerary includes a long list of exciting activities highlighting the best of what Catalonia has to offer visitors.

Catalonia is perhaps most famous for its art, architecture, and innovative spirit, all embodied by Barcelona’s wildly cutting-edge Torre Agbar shown in the lead picture above.  But there’s much more. Catalonia is about food, nature, quaint villages, adventure, coastal scenery, and a uniquely creative Catalan vibe.

Follow along live during the tour via Google+, Facebook or Twitter and check back for posts featuring one of Spain’s coolest regions.

#catalunyaexperience

We’re Evolving!!!

Social Networks

Google+ Facebook Twitter Youtube

Regular visitors to our site will be noticing some subtle changes over coming months to the way we will be presenting and archiving content at ContemporaryNomad.com. These changes reflect the evolving nature of travel blogging as an art form… and as a business.

What??? Oh, no!!!

Never fear, there will be plenty of travel, adventure, art, tips, architecture, wildlife, opinion – Thomas is screaming, “Food, food, don’t forget the food!” – AND, of course, food. But change is in the air!

Look for new social media components including our unifying #cndestinations hashtag, increased Google+ activity to complement our Facebook presence, and more. And while we are taking an evolutionary step forward into more social blogging, we fully intend to retain the soul and the standards of seasoned, old-world travel experts.

Mammoth Street Murals of Seville

Giant Street Art in Seville

Spain is excellent hunting ground for those on a quest to find the world’s best urban art. Spanish street art can easily match anything back in Berlin. While exploring the area behind the bus station, we discovered these magnificent murals. To get a sense of the scale look for Thomas in each photo Continue…

Seville Splendor

Seville tilework

Beyond the delicious tapas, Seville is also a feast for the eyes. And it’s not just futuristic architecture, the remarkable city is full of distinctly Andalusian detail. The dizzyingly elaborate tile work and ornately carved roofs of the city’s Alcázar bring the rich Islamic past to life. That past extends to the crenelated and carved splendor of the Torre del Ora, the Giralda and the impressive remnants of the once grand city walls.

And not to be outdone by cities such as neighboring Cordoba, Seville has its fair share of Continue…

Happy Birthday Thomas

Happy Birthday Thomas

We take a break from our previously scheduled post to wish Thomas a very !!!Happy Birthday!!! Here’s to another year full of exotic destinations and thrilling adventures… if your rickety old bones can handle it, that is. 😉