We’re already a couple of days into 2017 when I publish this, so first of all: A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! I hope you’ve had a great start of the year. I know this post comes a bit late, but I have an excuse for that. Tomorrow, the 6th of January, in Spain we celebrate “el día de los reyes magos” or Three Kings’ day. You can read more about the tradition here. But in short, the arrival of the three kings to Bethlehem is celebrated, and for kids (and adults) this means that they will receive gifts from the wise men if they have been good for the past year. This days also causes the holiday season to be a bit longer, so there’s my excuse for not posting earlier!
Let’s start my December diary now.
The last month of the year is usually full of traditions for me, so also this year I bought myself an advent calendar and we decorated our little tree in the first week of December. But the real holiday feeling started when I visted Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona and found all these massive baubles decorated with figures and fake snow. This city really is a great place for visiting during the Christmas season. So, if you don’t have any plans for December 2017 yet, you know where to go ;)
Since I’m unfortunately still unemployed (hopefully this year things will change!) I still have enough time on my hands to go for walks along the beach and take pretty shots like this one. Although sometimes I miss the green landscapes of The Netherlands, I have to admit that the beach of Badalona slowly starts to become my happy place. On weekdays it is very peaceful there, and the sun is almost always out to accompany you. I think it’s a great place to avoid the Barceloneta beach’ crowd. It is also a great beach for running (another thing I hope to do more this year ;)).
I know that I’ve dedicated a whole post to the Christmas market in Barcelona already, but that day simply can’t miss in my December diary. The Fira de Santa Llúcia is a super cosy, and a bit old-fashioned market where you can buy all types of decorations, the typical Catalan Caga Tíos and Caganers, and even real Christmas trees. At the moment we still have a fake one, and it is something I really have to get used to (poor me). But who knows, maybe one year it will change! This Christmas market is another reason that proves why Barcelona is lovely to visit before the holidays.
One of the highlights of the months was probably going to Palo Alto Market. Palo Alto is a place, close to Selva de Mar metro station, where every first weekend of the month a kind of fair is organised where you can find food trucks, art, designers, and more. Obviously, we went for the food and every stand that we tried (unfortunately we couldn’t try all of them), offered delicious food! We tried different things, from Argentinian meat, to nachos, to chicken baos, and nothing disappointed us. And for dessert we had an ensaïmada (a typical pastry from Mallorca) with nutella on top of it. Do I need to say more? It is a lovely way to spend your afternoon while enjoying food from different cultures, having a drink and listening to live music.
And then, on the 24th of December, it was finally time to fly home together with Jordi. This picture shows our churros breakfast just before the flight. Our flight was a bit delayed, but we still got to The Netherlands in time for all the festivities. These festivities included lots of food, wine, family and friends. It was a very busy week, but I loved every minute of it! The week got extra busy because somewhere between Christmas and New Year it’s also my birthday, so the eating and drinking basically didn’t stop.
To get a bit of fresh air during those days, we made a short city trip to Utrecht. I had never visited that city before, but I was very positively surprised. The canals gave it a very Amsterdam-y feeling and the facades were all very Dutch. I loved it! The only “problem” was that about half of the Dutch population wanted to get some fresh air and everybody decided to go to Utrecht, so it got a little crowded sometimes. But still, it was a lovely day and I found it really nice to be a tourist in my own country and to show my boyfriend how pretty The Netherlands is.
The week at home flew by way too fast and on the 30th we had our flight back planned. So, the moment of saying good bye came again… Fellow expats, do you ever not cry when you have to leave your parents again? I don’t think I will ever learn.
But anyhow, we had a great New Year’s Eve in Spain and I am very ready for what 2017 has to bring. Here’s to lots of love, health and happiness (and a job wouldn’t be bad)!