The beauty of Barcelona’s tiles

Posted on November 12, 2014

For us, the secret to discovering Barcelona’s artistic & architectural beauty isn’t about looking up – it’s about looking down. The ornate floor tiles are everywhere: sidewalks, inside simple cafes and of course the magnificently decorated Gaudi buildings.

We’ve been so inspired by these designs, so we decided to take a trek out to Can Tinturé, the first tile museum in Spain, which was in the small village of Esplugues. The museum itself was small and only included pieces from the 14th – 19th century, but certainly piqued our interest.

With a little more digging & with camera in hand, we learned the more modern tiles emerged in the 1850s. These were made from a cement compound that didn’t need oven baking, which was a lot less expensive and allowed for mass production. When installed, the tiles gave the illusion of being carpet and oftentimes did not match the residents’ furniture.

In the heyday of Modernism, Barcelona tiles were in great demand: geometric classical patterns, Celtic-style chains, stylish curves and flora & fauna explosions. Prevalent colors were brown, burgundy, green, black and, particularly pink. Nowadays, it seems new tiles are popping up in fashion boutiques, organic supermarkets and hipster establishments all around town.

All month we’ve been collecting photos across Barcelona and have become incredibly inspired. No doubt all this scouting will serve as reference for our own designs.

¡Mira mamá! ¡Somos estudiantes!

Posted on November 9, 2014

 

Uno de las primeras cosas hicimos cuando aterrizamas de nuevo en Barcelona fue inscribirnos en la escuela español. ¿Porque no mezclar un poquito de español a nuestro formación actual de aleman y ingles?

Thomas fue un principiante, pero durante las cuatro semanas pasadas puede pedir una comida en español ahora y comprar para pescado, verduras y frutas cada día a nuestro mercado favorite, San Antoni. La escuela experiencia ha estado frustrante porque no necesariamente estamos de acuerdo con su estilo de enseñanza (eso está demasiado academico y no suficiente centrado a hablando o mundo real aplicaciones de la idioma) pero a pesar de eso, Thomas ha prosperado.

Estudié español en colegio y tengo un poquito comprensión de la gramática y el vocabulario, pero he ponido nunca en hablando practicar recientemente. Así, decidí a combinar clases diarias con un intercambio. Un intercambio es una person con quien puedo hablar sobre una base regular – alguien que quiere practicar su ingles mientras puedo practicar mi español. Está trabajando muy bien a mí obtener diaria practicar que necesito – y especialmente porque la escuela tiene demasiado foco en grammatica (aburrido y no está practical).

Nuestro proxima viaje está Palma de Mallorca para una mes. Hay tan alemanes como españoles allí, así estamos esperando vamos a estar bien preparados para navegar la vida cotidiana mallorquín con nuestra mezcla de alemán, español e inglés.

Magnificent Mallorca

Posted on October 13, 2014

Autumn had started on mainland Spain, so we decided to chase summer and hop on over to Mallorca. We stayed in the capital city, Palma, with its charming old town, gigantic castles and Arab architecture.

Each day, we drove out to a different part of the island to check out the diversity of beaches. Sóller and Port de Sóller are beautiful villages in the northern mountains of Mallorca. We enjoyed exploring the Saturday market, watching the historic train pass through town and playing on the beach.

Photos here capture our time at these remarkable beaches dotted along the hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coast: Es Trenç, Cala Llombards, Cala Formentor, Playa de Muro, Port d’Andratx and Portal Vells. We’re still a little in shock at how gorgeous this place is… We might just have to come back…

Costa Brava beauties

Posted on October 12, 2014

The drive from Barcelona down to Jávea was a beautiful one, hugging the Spanish coast and overlooking the Mediterranean at times. We arrived at Carlos & Sandra’s stunning home overlooking Mount Montgo, excited for our visit with their lovely family.

Our five days with them were so special. We got to know the sweetly affectionate Sofia & Poppy – both of whom taught us some Valenciana, which they are picking up so quickly in school. Each day, the 6 of us set out to explore a different part of the region – the old town of Dénia, the charming campos of Jávea, the waterfront at Moraira and a big hike through the olive fields & mountains of Tarbena. Lunch was always the big meal of the day, and we developed a healthy obsession with conejo, paella, arroz al horno and of course, Spanish wine.

The week went by too quickly, but we’re hopeful we get to see more of these four in the coming month as we prepare to spend even more time in Spain. Thanks to Carlos, Sandra, Sofia & Poppy – we love you guys!

Brooklyn to Berlin to….Barcelona!

Posted on September 26, 2014

We’ve moved south! After over 3 months in Germany, we’ve headed south to Spain and our first stop is Barcelona. This beautiful city is captivating with its medieval architecture, cobblestone walkways and stunning beachside location. We’ve been walking everywhere, exploring the Gaudi buildings, sauntering along the Mediterranean and getting lost in the Gothic quarter. The food is fantastic and the weather has been warm (maybe we’ll try to chase summer a bit longer?!). More to come from our time in this beautiful country…our road trip down the coast to Valencia is next!

Beautiful Bavaria – a day at the Tegernsee

Posted on September 23, 2014

A week in Bavaria wouldn’t be complete without a road trip out to the Tegernsee. This cozy, idyllic, beautiful lake is situated only an hour outside Munich, and together with Frank, we made a day of sightseeing the countryside. Walking along the water, gorging ourselves with wholesome German food and then hiking it off in the mountains surrounding the lake made for one of our favorite days in Southern Germany.

Oktoberfest

Posted on September 21, 2014

It was the first weekend of Oktoberfest, so we suited up in Bavarian garb, headed over to Wiesn and joined the throngs of people in the revelry. Melissa wore my mother’s traditional hat & jacket (they’re 60 years old and still in beautiful condition) and Frank’s Lederhosen were a big hit in the Bräurosl tent.

Over 7 million liters of beer are consumed during the festival, and we were happy to contribute to that with a few big Maß of our own. Traditional Bavarian foods like Hendl, Schweinebraten, Brezen, Knödel, Kartoffelsalat and Weisswurst are everywhere, so we had no choice but to eat our way through the festival as well.

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