Tag Archives: travel

June 2

Every time I go to Madrid, a little part of me wishes it could stay there, enjoying the sun and the food and the company of one of the most endearing group of people I know. I simply love that town and the friends I have there, and I can’t wait to come back soon.

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I just watched Kung Fury and once I finished, I bought two t-shirts and invited the director to guest star in my podcast. I kind of lost interest in recording new episodes but if he agrees, I would happily resurrect it. Let’s see what he says. In the meantime, watch the film if you haven’t done it already, it’s funny, it’s brilliantly made, and it’s probably much more interesting than most movies produced by Hollywood these days.

Speaking of funny, Kat has been craking me up with an impersonation of Mr. T that is neither accurate or well crafted but that still gets me every single time. I went to bed last night with a sore jaw, thinking I have never met someone who could made me laugh so hard so often. I guess I’m lucky.

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May 28

Good news and bad news.

The bad news is that I was inform today that my project was not among the winner of the scholarship I applied to a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bummer because I truly believe it would have been an amazing project to take on but fuck it, that’s just the way things are. Better luck next time.

The good news is that Kat and I are traveling to Madrid for the weekend and the weather forecast looks like this:

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I REALLY CAN’T WAIT.

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May 26

So we spent the weekend in Paris and I couldn’t be happier about it. We arrived to Orly airport around 9pm, took a bus to the city centre, then a RER train to St. Michel-Notre Dame station and finally walked a couple of blocks to get to the place where we were staying: a small student apartment we found on Airbnb. The building was quite run down but the flat itself was cozy, clean, and had a very comfortable bed, which was pretty much all we needed.

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We dropped our bags and went to check out the little light show at the Eiffel Tower. As you would expect, it was packed with tourist and full of locals trying to sell you overpriced bottles of champagne and cheap souvenirs. Once the light show was done, we walked back to Notre Dame, all along the canals, marveling at the hordes of french hipsters drinking, raving and inhaling helium from colorful balloons on both sides of the river. It was amusing.

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On Saturday morning, we went for breakfast at La Caféothèque, a very nice coffeeshop I read about online. Good coffee, good cakes and friendly staff. We walked around Le Marais and then met up with my friend Laetitia and a friend of hers who was in town visiting, and the four of us went for a drink in a bar close to the canals.

At 5:30pm, I parted ways with them and headed to the Stade de France for the AC/DC show. Once I was inside, I decided to go all the way to the top of the stadium, just to see what it looked like. It was mind-blowing. I had never been in such a massive venue and it looked impressive, even half empty. As the opening acts played, the place got more and more crowded until it was fully packed, just before AC/DC hit the stage at 9pm.

Now, I really could write dozens of pages telling you all about this show, how much it meant for me and how excited I was, but I wouldn’t be capable to bore you with those details. Instead, I will just tell you this: if you ever have the chance to catch AC/DC on tour, please do, I promise you won’t regret it. If you have seen them live before, then you know perfectly what I’m talking about. They were fantastic and, even though Malcom is no longer in the band and that diminishes the experiences to a certain extent, the truth is that this has been one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended to. Just being in this massive stadium, surrounded by 80,000 crazy metalheads wearing red, blinking devil horns, all singing and dancing like one big family was certainly something I will never forget.

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I found myself looking at the crowd around me quite a few times, just amazed by the beauty of it all. By the end of the show, a dude next to me, with whom I rocked out throughout the show, was just standing in awe, tears of joy running down his face. Him and his dad had attended the show together and were both very excited. They sang every word, they played air guitar, they threw their fists up in the air… it was awesome. There was a sense of brotherhood that is difficult to describe but that anyone who has experienced it before can easily understand. As he was standing there, all misty-eyed, I gave him a metal hug, thanked him for being such a great concert neighbor (and for taking a picture of me with the stage in the background) and wished him farewell.

The next day, Kat and I jumped on a boat for a tour Seine river cruise and then spent the rest of the day strolling around the city and eating as much as we could. We flew home around 9pm and by midnight we were back in Copenhagen, exhausted but pleased with our trip.

I’m now counting the days to see AC/DC again at Roskilde, I really can’t wait…

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May 12

I have been meaning to write here for a few days now but I simply couldn’t find a way around, I was either too busy working or too busy watching TV at home with Kat. Most of the times, I was too busy watching TV at home with Kat. We signed up for Netflix last month (in addition to our existing HBO subscription) and we have been having a great time in our couch, going through episodes of Bosch, The Fall, Games of Thrones, Broadchurch, and a few documentaries thrown in for good measure. We do love seating there every night to watch TV, it’s one of the things we do best.

When I haven’t been busy staring at the telly, I have been at work, trying to put together a proposal to apply for a grant awarded by a Danish organization to advertising professionals that want to undertake a year-long research project around a topic that can bring new perspectives to the advertising industry in Denmark. My boss suggested me to give it a shot so I decided to go ahead with it. After talking to a few people in the business, and pondering the kind of project I would enjoy doing, I finally settled on a topic I genuinely believe could be interesting to explore, mostly because I don’t know anything about it and also because it could give me the opportunity to travel around and talk to really smart folks.

My deadline is May 26 and so far I have most of the research done and a rough outline laid out, so all I have to do now is start writing. That is usually the trickiest bit, though. I spent a week going through articles, books, videos and academic papers, taking notes and trying to figure out what exactly the focus of my proposal was. It’s such a broad topic that it has been hard to narrow the scope down, but I think I have finally found a way. Maybe. I will start writing tomorrow and hopefully I will have a first draft ready next Monday, if everything goes well. Then it would be just a matter to make a few corrections, proof read and send it out. Wish me luck.

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Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the Venezuelan Embassy letting me know my new passport had arrived. This shouldn’t be an event, but in my case, it really is. You see, early this year I lost my passport so had to apply to a new one, but unlike most countries, mine takes forever to process such paperwork. It’s just the way it is. The estimate processing time was 3 months but surprisingly, it only took them a month to go through my application, make a new passport and send it back to Denmark. That is fantastic news. Why? Because before losing my passport, Kat and I had booked a trip to Paris next week and a trip to Madrid the week after, both of which we thought we were going to need to cancel as soon as we heard how long my new passport was going to take.

But then yesterday, I miraculously received a notification informing me the document was ready, and today I just went to the Embassy and picked it up. Which means I will get to go to Paris with Kat next week and see AC/DC playing at Stade de France. My first AC/DC show! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this, and how much I am looking forward to visit Paris with Kat. I’m happy to go anywhere with Kat, really.

But Paris… va être parfait!

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January 6

After almost 30 hours flying, hanging out in airports waiting for connecting flights and dealing with crying babies, I’m finally back in Copenhagen after spending two weeks back in Venezuela visiting my family. It’s a strange feeling, it always is. On one hand, it’s fantastic to see my parents, my sister, my auntie and my little niece and get to spend time with them, especially after being away for an entire year, but saying goodbye… that’s tough and never gets easy. I really, really hate it.

However, this time around there was a slight difference: instead of going back to Europe, to a rented room in some random house with a random housemate, I came back to Kat. For the first time since I moved abroad, I had the feeling that I was leaving home to go back home and that, my friends, is a wonderful thing. It was good to see Kat waiting at the airport, bringing back presents for her from my family, having dinner together and talking about my trip. It was good to see the home improvements she had kindly done while I was away, getting things ready for my comeback. That feeling, that sense of belonging that comes with these sort of situations, has made this particular part of my trip much better.

While I was back in Venezuela, I decided to focus most of my time on my family, as you would expect. Having our phone line and internet connection down for an entire week definitely helped me stay offline and facilitated a joyful reunion between me and my kindle books (managed to finish “The Dirt” (the Motley Crue autobiography), “The Heroin Diaries”, and even got halfway through “The Back Road”, an exciting thriller by Rachel Abbott which I bought on sale for £1 on Amazon) but, as a consequence, I failed to write the classic end-of-the-year blog post so I might as well do that now, for nostalgia’s sake.

Let’s see:

2014 was a terrific year, probably the best I have had since moving abroad. There are many reasons for it but here are the highlights:

1. I met Kat on the fifth of a series of Tinder dates I had back in April. It was totally unexpected and yes, it all escalated pretty quickly, but meeting her has changed everything for better and I’m very happy we both gave Tinder a shot. I had my reservations and I actually deleted the app at some point, then tried it again out of curiosity and look where we are now…

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2. I got to travel. Last year I went to Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Reykjavik, Bergen, London, Brighton, Møn and got to spend 2 weeks in Venezuela with my family. Not bad for a working class hero.

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3. I saw plenty of concerts. The list is long considering I attended quite a few festivals but The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, St. Vincent, EELS, Iron Maiden, Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Rob Zombie, and NIN are at the top of my list. So are Soundgarden and Black Sabbath, who I got to see together from the photo pit/side of the stage with Ross back in June. Bonus points for meeting Phil Anselmo at Roskilde and Joe Perry in Berlin, too. The only thing I regret is not having stayed in Berlin to catch Aerosmith on tour, I had a backstage pass and a couch in Ross’ room waiting for me and yet I refused to stay because I had to work. What the fuck was I thinking?

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4. I got to see some of my dearest friends. Ann-Christine visited in February, Kate in April, Rebeca and Sarah visited in May and so did Rafa (whom I later met again in Barcelona and Madrid), hung out with Ricky and Felix in Berlin, then saw all my mates from Madrid when Kat and I went to see the EELS and a again a couple of weeks ago on my way home, saw Kleber and Luisana in Barcelona, spent my birthday with Katrin and Brini in Iceland, Christian visited in August, caught up with my friends in England in September, and just now I spent some time with Ram and some other friends in Barquisimeto. As much as I like my life in Copenhagen, I do miss my friends so getting the chance to see some of them regularly really balance things up for me a bit.

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I probably would find more if I start going through every single blog post but off the top of my head, those four things make up for fantastic year that’s going to be hard to beat. But hey, who knows? Maybe 2015 will make 2014 its bitch. I would definitely like to see that.

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August 5

After going through a decent amount of boxes, bags, clothes and suitcases, Kat and I have finally managed to bring our flat to a pleasingly orderly and clean condition. It looks wonderful. Kat seems to be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of floor space that is visible now but I’m sure she will get used to it. We still have a few minor details to sort out but, in general, I’d say we’ve done a great job at giving our new home a well-deserved makeover.

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Over the weekend, we signed up for HBO Nordic and started watching “Misfits” (it was Kat’s idea and I’m so happy she suggested it, the series is fucking great!), met up with some of her friends for a BBQ and even got the chance to go to the beach. It was really nice. When the weather is good, Copenhagen is certainly a lovely place to be. Before the BBQ, I met Monika in Frederiksberg and went to a record fair that was being held in a bar; I didn’t have very high expectations but it was actually quite nice, with around 10 stalls selling mostly rock/jazz vinyls.

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There were a few records I wanted to buy but in the end I decided to get only two of them: a black-on-black Black Friday limited edition of Queens of the Stone Age “…Like Clockwork”, and an original first pressing of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” that came with a poster and two stickers. I’m trying to convince Kat to let me put that poster somewhere in our flat but, in all fairness, we already have seven of my posters lined up and we haven’t yet figured out where to hang them so I might need to keep the Pink Floyd one rolled up for a while. No big deal, I’m OK with that.

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I just came across this, it’s MIND-BLOWING.

Now, changing subjects. This will be a busy week: dinner tonight with Kat’s parents, blood tests on Thursday morning and meeting Lars for the turntable project later that day, then meeting Anna for breakfast on Friday to discuss a little project we want to work on. I also have to get some photos taken for my UK visa application, need to book an appointment at the British Embassy, need to get some bank statements signed as well as a work letter from the office, need to change my home address and set a meeting with another bank because the one I currently have is rubbish, need to get a new bike and on top of that, I need to keep my promise of eating healthy, exercise and get some proper sleep.

Yeah, good luck with that…

 

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July 28

So, the holidays are over and I feel like I’m more tired than I was when I left. I believe the whole point of going away on holiday is to relax and rest, but for me, vacations are always about walking 8-10 hours a day non-stop, exploring new lands, so I can later brag about how amazing the places I visited were and complain about how tired I am. I can’t help it, it’s just the way it is.

In hindsight, this was a great Summer break; I got to visit Iceland, a fascinating place that offered sights I had never seen before, and got to spend a few days in Bergen, a charming little city on the west coast of Norway, which is amongst the most beautiful places I’ve been to. During 10 days, I spent most of the time on my own, pondering life and trying to make up my mind about what to eat (in most cases, this regularly led to a burger), and in the process, I realized how lucky I am, how happy I feel at the moment with the way things are, and how fucking expensive Norway is. A very enlightening journey, indeed.

I kept a short diary on Facebook, which I will copy and paste here, just for the sake of it:

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As you can see, I kept myself busy during most of my stay. I went around the south coast and the Golden Circle; saw waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, active geysers, melting glaciers, Icelandic horses, thermal pools, museums, sunshine, rain and fog, and still had time to try a great burger joint, a nice restaurant, and party with the locals on my birthday.

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That night was particularly special, by the way. Originally, the idea was to spend my birthday on my own in a remote island and, although the idea excited me, deep down I was a bit afraid of feeling down that day, getting older all by myself. Surprisingly, two girls I know from Copenhagen happened to be there as well and in the end, my birthday turned out to be quite a cheerful celebration. I’m very pleased that’s the way it played out.

Brini and Katrin. If you ever decide to spend your birthday in a remote island, make sure these lovely girls are around too.

Brini and Katrin. If you ever decide to spend your birthday in a remote island, make sure these lovely girls are around too.

 As for Bergen, it’s just a cute little town. It has some really pretty houses and the area around the fish market is quite nice, but I have to say, after three days I was a bit bored and felt I had seen most of the stuff I wanted to see.

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I skipped the museums because the weather was so nice I didn’t feel like spending the day inside a building so most of the time I was out, walking around the city or laying on a park. While in Norway, one of my personal paradigms was completely shattered into pieces; you see, I always thought Norwegian girls were gracefully thin but the truth is that they are CURVY, at least in Bergen. If you like voluptuous women with beautiful features, look no further, go to Norway… you will thank me for it.

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Spent the weekend hanging out with Kat, it was so nice to see her again. She went to pick me up at the airport on Saturday morning and we spent most of the day at home, with a short football break in the evening, and yesterday we went out for a walk around town, looking for presents for her Dad, whose birthday is today. We then went to a little park behind the Parliament building, a nice quiet place I had never been to before.

We sat under a tree for an hour or so but I was so exhausted, both by the heat and all the travelling, that I kindly requested to go back home, which we did. Spent the rest of the day cleaning the apartment (I’m moving in this week and we are organizing stuff), watching 24: Live Another Day, eating pizza, drinking red wine and working on a little video project we are both quite excited about…

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July 25

After three days of unusual hot and sunny weather, it’s raining in Bergen so I have been forced to take shelter in a little bakery called Godt Brød, where I have just devoured two really good summer rolls (that’s how they call it here; imagine a cinnamon roll but with a delicious white cream in the middle) and a cortado. The coffee is quite average but the pastries are great and the wifi free so I can’t complain.

Yesterday, after doing a 4-hour boat tour around the fjords (well, a very basic form of fjord, the really big ones are far from Bergen) I realized I had seen pretty much everything I wanted to see in this town so I decided to change my flight for tomorrow morning instead of waiting until Sunday night as I had originally planned. To be honest, after almost two weeks of walking every day for 8-10 hours, I’m just tired and really feel like going back to Copenhagen.

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Also, I know the weather is going to be crap in Bergen in the next couple of days and I’m really missing Kat so when I saw the opportunity to fly a little earlier I just went for it so, that’s it, I’m leaving early tomorrow and should be back home for breakfast. I really can’t wait…

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July 24

I’m alive. And one year older.

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In Bergen now after six wonderful days in Iceland, a truly fascinating country. I haven’t been able to post here but I have been keeping track of my wanderings on Facebook, I will make screen shots and upload them here once I’m back in Copenhagen…

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July 16

Back on a plane again. Wish I could give you some sort of technical info about my flight, like how high we are now, what’s our cruising speed or where exactly the plane is flying over as I type this lines, but WOW air doesn’t offer any flight tracking details on board and the screen that is three rows ahead is just showing some movie starring Ben Stiller so all I can tell you is that I’m on my way to Iceland and that I have two slightly annoying little girls yelling in the seat behind me.

I was very excited about this trip until I got an e-mail this morning from the travel company I was planning to go on a night hike this Friday, informing me that is very likely to get cancelled due to heavy rain. I checked the weather forecast and, apart from today and tomorrow, it seems that all the arctic summer is ready to give us are cloudbursts. I know, weather can change at any time and rain is not really a big deal, but I guess that in my head I just pictured it differently. I have been wanting to go to Iceland for so long that I’d hate if this ends up being one of those holidays in which you’re forced to stay inside because the weather doesn’t give you any other choice. Anyway, we’ll see what happens, maybe I will enjoy the raindrops and the cloudy icelandic landscapes. Who knows?

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Last night, Kat gave me a card I’m only allowed to open on my birthday and she made sure to pick an eye-melting bright pink envelope to keep it safe until then. How nice. I was talking about her this morning with my friend Carlos, who made me company at the airport for a bit, and I was telling him how much I like Kat and the lovely things she comes up with. We haven’t been together for too long but it feels like it’s been a good while, and this kind of simple little details, which many people tend to take for granted, never cease to amaze me and always bring me joy.

While in Madrid, after she has done one of those lovely things I’m telling you about, I asked Kat: “what would I do without you?”

She kindly replied with a smile: “Well, you’d probably be jerking off somewhere.”

Aw. Who said romance is dead?

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