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Your European holiday is about to get a little bit faster, as some new high speed train service is arriving on the continent. Now budget travel isn’t just an option aboard a low cost carrier, as the train might be able to zip you over to where you want to be.
Tickets are now on sale for the TGV train between Paris and Barcelona, and the speedy service should start up on December 15. Travelers can now visit Girona—that's just outside Barcelona in Spain—in just under six hours after departing Paris. Those looking to complete the whole journey between Paris and Barcelona can now do so in around six and a half hours. Connections are even available for those departing from London, as one can get from the UK to Spain in just over ten hours.
Chocolate Travel / Spain Travel / Barcelona Travel / Shopping Travel / Airport News / Airports / BCN / Dessert Travel / Duty-Free / → All Tags
Next time you're flying into or out of Barcelona, you'll want to reach for a few sweet sticks of Swiss Toblerone chocolate. No, really; you'll actually be subconsciously sold on the stuff, as an entire section of Barcelona El Prat Airport's duty-free shop has been converted into a golden altar to the awesomeness of Toblerone, all to promote the newly designed packaging featuring a Gaudi-influenced Barcelona design.
For as long as we can remember, Toblerone has been king of duty-free. Whereas airports on tiny Caribbean islands may push their handmade crafts and massive airports of Asian metropoli stock themselves to the gills with designer perfumes, there's one thing they'll both have in common: the availability of Toblerone.
Architecture Travel / Design Travel / Open House Worldwide / OHNY / Chicago Travel / Barcelona Travel / Greece Travel / Tel Aviv Travel / Israel Travel / Spain Travel / Melbourne Travel / Australia Travel / London Travel / Events / → All Tags
If you didn't make it to this past weekend's Open House New York festival and are salivating over your friends' (or our own) cool shots of some hidden gems, don't fret. All is not lost. NYC is not the only city to swing open its doors and invite the public into spaces that usually never see the light of day, or at least the flash of cameras.
Open House Worldwide is a project that started in London in 1992 by Open-City to profile the effect that excellent design, planning and regeneration of the contemporary city can have on the quality of people's lives. Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the program has expanded toyou've guessed it21 cities across the globe.
Here's what Open House events are coming up next:
Summer Travel / Maldives Travel / Queensland Travel / Palm Springs Travel / PSP / California Travel / Australia Travel / Canary Islands Travel / Spain Travel / Winter Travel / → All Tags
The majority of the US is gearing up to dive head first into fall as the temps start drop, dew blankets the morning grass, and turtlenecks and scarves come out of drawers. While some of us might be looking forward to pumpkin-spice flavored anything and the certain grand feast of Thanksgiving, there are destinations that don't even shudder at the turning of the calendar from September to October...and November and December.
If you just can't let go off your flip-flop tan-lines, here are some hot-spots that bask in the sun and heat all year round:
Airline News / Iberia / Livery / Spain Travel / IAG / New Airplanes / → All Tags
For Iberia, the past few years have been pretty tumultuous. After years of bleeding money, then a merger with British Airways in 2010 and some more rollercoaster years of performance, it's about time for the Spanish flag carrier to come out with new branding and hopefully herald the dawn of a new era for themselves.
Since there's no easier way to rebrand an entire airline than to haul out the buckets of airplane paint, Iberia is planning to refresh their look starting early next year. While the designs are not complete, we do have an idea of what the airplanes will look like when they roll out of the hangar.
Things got a little messy this last week in the Spanish town of Buñol. The locals are used to it, however, as this was the celebration called La Tomatina, a fruit-hurling party that takes place on the last Wednesday of August. La Tomatina has gone on now for the past 68 years, attracting tourists from all corners of the globe, and only one thing has changed: there's now a fee to join the revelry.
There's no question that Spain is struggling a bit financially; even festival's host city is in debt over 4 million euros. Thus, organizers of the event looking to make a few extra coins. The cheapest way to experience the festival will not necessarily break the bank. The fee is 10 Euros just to be in the midst of the tomato-throwing but, if you do want to drop some cash, you can do it in style on the back of a tomato truck carrying 130 tons of the red fruit for 750 Euros.
Airport News / Airports / Spain Travel / Money / → All Tags
We know the recent lottery craze has come and gone, but the next time you are busy wasting away an afternoon spending your imaginary millions—we’ve got an idea for you. There’s an airport up for sale over in Spain, and if you’ve got the cash then it’s yours for the taking.
Of course we would love to score our own airplane, but why not take it to the next level with the whole darn airport? Ciudad Real Central Airport—about a couple hours south of Madrid by car—was built a few years ago for around a billion bucks, but now it can be yours for just around $133 million. The airport was previously known as Don Quijote Airport and South Madrid Airport, but of course with the right amount of cash you can name it anything you want.
The summer season is sailing right along, so if you’re still on the fence about where to go we’ve got an idea for you—Spain. Specifically Madrid, as this week’s video distraction comes to us from the tourism folks from that fine city.
We dare you to spend a couple of minutes watching the embedded video above, and to not start at least looking at flights and thinking about how to swing a late summer or early fall getaway.
Videos / Barcelona Travel / BCN / Spain Travel / Time-Lapse / → All Tags
As the sun goes to sleep in Barcelona, the city comes alive with energy and a vibrancy unique to very few cities around the world. The Spanish city has a life of its own at all hours of the day, but it's truly after a siesta that the beach vibe heats up, literally. Here's a video that makes our point so well; we swear we could watch it on repeat and see something new each time.
The time-lapse video by Pau García Laita shows dusk turning to night in Barcelona, with daylight slowly saying good-bye to Gaudí buildings in exchange for dramatic lighting that showcases every detail. Watch as the Sagrada Família illuminates to become a beacon along the city's skyline. The iconic, beach-side W Hotel even has a cameo as a watchful eye on the Mediterranean.
If your summer travel plans include some sangria and tapas in the sun-burned country of Spain, perhaps a traditional bullfight is also on the must-do list. While we won't get into the moral arguments of the age-old festival, if Spanish parliament gets it's way, the barbaric shows may be protected as a "national pursuit."
Current pending legislation from national political leaders seeks to include the custom of bullfighting as part of the fabric of what makes Spain...well, Spain. Not only would this protect any current animal shows all around the country by offering subsidies to farmers that breed bulls, but it would also overturn the prohibition of the act in the Canary Islands and Catalonia.
If it seems like we are spreading the news of some flashy new business class seat every few weeks, you are probably right. It's all the fault of the airlines, as a huge number have taken the recent years to update their cabin offerings to lure passengers away from competitors. Now, the torch is passed to Iberia with their announcement of new lie-flat seats in the long-haul swanky cabins.
The Spanish flag carrier's aim is to sit their elite flyers down in a more comfy seat for folks winging their way to/from Spain on their widebody Airbus jets, starting this month with the A330s and eventually moving onto the A340s later in the year. And the love isn't limited to business class; economy class is getting an overhaul as well, just not lie-flat hotness.
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
This FGF post is brought to you by some delicious food that cannot be found in a grocery store, instead we highlight the food found in a local restaurant on Mallorca, the small resort island in the Balearic Islands of Spain.