I am not an expert of NY, for sure you would get better recommendations from people that live there. However I have visited NY three times and each time I have had the opportunity to discover new places. Also, each time that I have visited the city it has been for a reunion with people that I hadn’t seen for a while. It is why this city is very special for me and I would like to share some of my favorite places in NY. Some are very well known by everyone, others may surprise you.

The first time I visited New York was in 2008 when my partner was living in Texas and we met in NY. Also, it was my first time in the States, so for many reasons that trip was an extraordinary experience. In that trip, it was when I discovered most of these places. Now I would visit them whenever I have the chance.

1.- Dakota Building and Strawberry Field. Perfect place to enter to the Central Park. A place full of history and always peaceful and great atmosphere.

2.-  Times Square. Completely opposite feeling. Rivers of people, shiny signs and big lights.

3.- Grand Central Station. Emblematic landmark of the city. When you are there you feel like inside a movie.

4.- Chinatown and Little Italy. Very different of the rest of the city and strongly recommended to go for the amazing restaurants there. You will find the best dumplings in Joe’s Shangai.

It was in NY where I met with two of my best friends after moving to San Francisco. In 2013 I was living in the west coast and that summer was a great chance to organize a vacation in NY with my friends. We met in NY, because more or less it is in a half way of San Francisco and my hometown San Joan Despí. It was in this trip where I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and I walked in the High line for the first time.

5.- Brooklyn Bridge. When you are walking across it you realize that is bigger than you thought.

6.- SoHo. Amazing atmosphere. Great place to walk and walk. During the summer you can finish your walk in Washington Park. Perfect place to do a picnic.

7.- Chelsea Market. Mandatory if you are a good foodie.

8.- The High Line. Peaceful and great views. Perfect place to rest after filling your belly with lobster in Chelsea Market.

The winter of 2015 was the third and last time I visited this city. This time I was meeting with another good friend. That was a fast trip, only 4 days that we spent talking, eating cheese cake and drinking tea. This friend of mine lives in the city, however I showed him one of the most amazing and sweet places there:

9.- Dylan’s Candy Bar. Best candy store ever! Shop your souvenirs here, I am sure that your friends and family will appreciate.

10.- FAO. Unfortunately this is not longer opened. Sad news for fans of toys and games. This recommendation is a reminder and some kind of “death notice”.

In the latest trips I have been using a way to mark the places I want to visit. As you may know Google maps offers the option of creating “your map”. Here you can find the one I made to visit Osaka with all the places that we visited. The best part of it is that you can download the offline version.


We woke up early, at 8 am we were ready to discover the city! Our step first stop was the Umeda Building. Be aware that the top Garden opens at 10am. We were there earlier so we walked around and we had breakfast in the cafeteria. Going up to the top of the building you will see great views of Osaka. In my opinion it’s a little bit pricy and I still wondering why they call them”Gardens”, I didn’t see any plant or flower. In any case, the Umeda Building is an a mandatory stop if you are visiting Osaka :)


After that visit we went to Umeda Station. Close to the station you can find the financial district and next to there is one of the most charming neighborhoods. There we found the quiet Osaka, it seems that the time stops there and the crazy and busy city is far away. At night, you can see dressed up people going to the clubs and fancy restaurants. IMG_4360

After lunch we went to the Osaka station and from there we took the loop line to go to the Osaka Castle.

This castle is very beautiful. It is true that it was our first castle, and always the first one is more special than the others.IMG_4378 Around the Castle there is a big garden, perfect to walk. We were pretty tired, so we only went to the main one. However I strongly recommend to go there and spend some time walking around the park.

Also, we didn’t enter to this Castle. First, because we wanted save money. I mean, Japan is not a cheap country and we wanted to ration our money and spend it on counted attractions. The ones that we really wanted to visit. We made the decision to visit the Himeji Castle, so we had to wait until the that day. Japan is full of castles and temples to visit. All of them are good and very interesting and recommendable. However I advise you to do a research about the most interesting things and the sights that you really want to visit. Not only because each castle or temple costs around 300-600 yens, and well our budget is not enough to cover all of them.

Second, in my opinion “less is more”. I mean, I like to remember the places I have visited and I think that if you visit a lot of things sometimes it is difficult to remember every detail. If you are visiting 3 or 4 temples/castles a day for 15 days it’s almost impossible to remember the small and unique details that make different each sight. For that reason we choose carefully our visits.


Finally, to finish our day we went to Namba and Dontobori. It reminded me to Times Sq. in NYC. Rivers of people, restaurants and shops with big shiny signs and lights. It is one of those places where you can become crazy and is so extreme. Some people love it and others hate it. I like it only for 5 minutes, so we walk around to take some pictures and run away looking for some peace!



Hello Japan

We landed at Osaka after a very long journey. I am not sure about how many hours we were travelling, but it’s was long! We left Edinburgh around 8:30am on 25th and we landed on 26th at 10am, do the math, so many hours! Finally we were in Japan.

When you land to another country you don’t suffer a big cultural shock. Sometimes you need to leave the airport to realize that you really are in a different region. An airport is an airport, all are basically the same. Japan is not this case. Stepping into the airport is a shock already. Signs are in Japanese obviously, for me impossible to read and understand. I used to travel and for me it’s not difficult to remember new names. Yet, this time it had been difficult. Another issue is the color of the signs, very soft and light. And the draws, ooh boy, the airport was the trailer of many fluffy, floozy…  I don’t know how to say it… Judge yourself. IMG_4395

We had our backpack ready to start this new adventure. Our apartment it was close to Umeda, so we took the metro to get there. As you probably know the public transportation in Japan is very good, specially trains. Who doesn’t know the bullet train Shinkansen?? (If you are planning to visit Japan you should check out JR Pass right now!)

There is an special combination ticket that takes you from the airport to Osaka, even to Kyoto if you stay there. It was easy to get the ticket, the guy from the office offered it to us directly. In general, people don’t speak a very good English, but if you have the names of the places where you go and you are not afraid to do some mimic, you will be fine. People is very nice and helpful. They will do whatever the can to help you.

As I was saying, we took the metro and after almost 1,5 hour later we arrived to the apartment. Actually, I should say the “the box apartment”. It was clean and had a good communication, but it was a very, very small. I lived in San Francisco for 3 years and I have seen small places, this was very tiny!! I would say than smaller than our RV last year in Alaska. For us it was not a big deal, we should had to be there only for a few nights, but after being in different places I can say that there are a lot of places like this and I am very surprise that people could live in a such small box. I am wondering what is the price of it…

The plan was going to the center of Osaka, to visit a little bit. However we were too tired and we decided to eat a snack and take a nap. After that we went to discover the area. The neighborhood was quiet and nice, very peaceful. Nothing like the busy Osaka that was waiting for us…

After the walk we went to dinner. In any other way we ate Ramen!! I found this amazing restaurant in Foursquare. This hole in the wall was a grate experience, starting from line that we did until the moment when our belly was full and ready to explode. If you are visiting the area you should come here, and if you are not in the area, you should come as well!! Note: it opens from 6pm to 12am and Sundays morning.



The jet lag was affecting us and the full belly was a perfect combination to go direct to the bed. So, we finished our day early, feeling that Japan would be a wonderful experience to fill our backpacks of good memories.

If you are planning to visit Alaska, for sure you know about Denali National park. This park is the home for the highest mountain in North America, Mount Mckinley (Denali in a native language), and probably for that reason it is the most popular park in Alaska. It is true that the fauna in the park is amazing, and also the views, but the trails are not the best. However I want to talk about another park: The Denali Estate park. The name is almost the same and that might be confusing. Also they are very close, but they are two different parks, and it is good to know the different between them.

Well, after our first night sleeping in the RV, our first top was in Denali State Park. This park is on Hwy 3 North. We didn’t know about it before arriving here, but this park is on the road to Denali National Park. Now, we know that it is perfect for starting the trip, and get into to the Alaska experience.The first place that I recommend is at mile 135 (Denali View point South), it is a very good place to see the Alaska Range and on a clear day, there are a good views of the Mount McKinley. This was our first stop and it was amazing. You can sleep there for $10 (there is a restroom and fireplace). We only stopped to take some pictures. The weather was warm, and the sky clear and it was a good place to take a rest after driving.


We continued on our way until a campground at mile 137, where a lot of interesting trails began. We hiked the Tarn Point Trail, that trail becomes difficult near where Kesugi Ridge ascends, but the difference is that you can go to the top, and see 360 degree views. The whole trail is amazing, from the beginning there are a very good sights. I need to confess that we didn’t get to the top we were almost there, but we didn’t completely the 360 views. I still feel disappointed with myself, because it was my fault, but well, now I cannot change the past, and there is an explanation for that.

That day, we woke up very early, at 5:30am. Maybe because of the excitement, or probably because of the jet lag we were ready very early in the morning. We had breakfast and we decided to do that trail before going to Denali National Park (DNP). Walking this trail was an improvised thing. Our plan was to drive until the entrance of the DNP, but as we woke up very early we thought that we could use the day to take a hike. Also we had read in the guide book about that trail, and we decided to do it. It looked perfect for us, and it was. This trail is perfect for a one day hike. Why didn’t we finish if it was so perfect? Well, we didn’t made a good estimate.

As I said we were ready to start walking at 7am, the guide says the trail is 4.2-miles, so we thought that we would get back to the RV at lunch time. First, we didn’t carry food, only some granola bars and two bananas. It was a very bad idea. Second, we misunderstand the guide information. It is true the trail is 4.2, but one way, and you need to consider the incline. So, it took us more than our expectation. Also we didn’t find the correct trail  until 1hour later. So, at 1pm we had not catch the top, we were almost there, maybe 10 more minutes, but because I was pretty tired, hungry and worried we decided to come down. In my self-defense, I need to say that the views were amazing, and we thought that the difference with the top it would not be very big.


We would have felt completely satisfied about that hike, but the problem was that when we were coming down, we crossed with a group of people. A woman asked us: Did you see the lake? What?? a lake? Adria and I we looked at each other, and answered with a sad face: No, we didn’t get up to the top.

It was a devastating moment. We knew that we hadn’t finished the trail, but we lived happy in our idea that the views were the same, and now we knew the reality: we had missed the best part.

I felt so bad, the whole day was amazing but we didn’t finish, it was gloomy… Always we will have the bug to finish that trail, but it was a hard lesson.

At the end of the day we promised each other that we will finish every single trail. There could always be a lake at the end…

Packing the baggage is always complex because you need to consider different aspects: the kind of activities that you will do, how many days, and of course the weather. If this is not enough you need to consider your limited baggage’s space.

Our plan was to spend 22 days in Alaska, and to hike every day or at least every two days. So, even knowing that we would need to go to the laundry, 22 days are many days, and we carried 10 changes of clothes. Mainly because we didn’t want to waste too much time on “laundry day”.

Another issue was the weather. In summer, especially in June, Alaska can be very unpredictable. It is the rainy season and each day is a surprise, each day can be different and we need to be ready for any situation: sun, cold, hot and rain.

In addition, we started our vacation from Barcelona, that is not our current home. Some of our things are still there, but most of them are pictures, books, or things that you don’t use regularly. All our clothes are in San Francisco, so packing was a kind of challenge. We were planning to stay in Barcelona for two weeks (warm weather), but later we were planning to fly to Anchorage (cold and rainy). I thought a lot about that, and finally I prioritized my needs in Alaska. The big consequence of this was that my dressing style during my visit in Barcelona was like… How can I say? mmm, unusual. People and family around me didn’t waste the opportunity to say that San Francisco has changed me. I am not sure if it was always a compliment but, really, I don’t care, my problem was to organize my baggage and my image could be sacrificed.

Well, packing was pretty complex, but we did it! We flew to Anchorage with two big backpacks, and two small ones, in my opinion this was a great success.

Finally, after two amazing weeks in Barcelona, the 5th of June we landed in Anchorage, after 26 hours, 3 planes, delays, and many flight attendants… You can figure out how the trip was , I won’t explain the details, only that it was tiring, tiring, and tiring.

We arrived at 11:30 at night, so we had our first surprise: it was daylight! Yes, we knew that in summer there is the midnight sun, but even though it was a huge surprise, and the best way to forget the long trip. We finished the day by taking a very long shower and going to bed very excited for the next day!


 That “night” we could relax, and we were ready to start our Alaskan  Adventure. The next day, we couldn’t pick up the RV until noon, so  we went for a little walk around Anchorage. We bought some things  that we needed for the trip, like batteries for the head lamps, and  after that we realized: we are in Alaska, midnight sun!! Dummies!!  That was the first useful purchase… Well, you know that when you  are very excited usually your mind is quite dense.

 Finally we were able to pick up the RV. It was the first time that we  rented an RV, and we needed some information about how to use it.  The generator, the propane, the grey and black water… I need to  confess that at that moment I was pretty nervous, and I didn’t pay  attention. I only wanted to start the car and run away! After my  experience, I recommend that you not do like me, and pay  attention. It could avoid some weird, or scatological situation, you  don’t want to know…

So, yes, we had our RV, a new friend that would be with us during the whole trip. The RV would be the most valuable thing, it would be our vehicle, our bed, our refuge, in conclusion it would be our home for the next 20 days. We liked immediately, and we felt that we needed to personalize it. For that reason we started to call her Juanita. She looks like these kind of old women that appear younger that really they are. She had some hits, and dents, but she was in very good shape. Each scratch was like a wrinkle on her face, which shows her experiences and the passing of time. In comparison with others she looked small, but enough for the two of us. She was perfect. And finally we were ready to start. Last check to prove that we have all the stuff, engine on, and let’s go! Next stop… next post :)

Chena Hot Spreings

Chena Hot Spreings

Kennecott Mine

Kennecott Mine

Denali National Park

Denali National Park






Home, again. I am at home. It is not bad, don’t misinterpret me, I like my home, but after 22 days traveling around Alaska, and previously in Barcelona, it is kind of boring to come back to civilization. After 22 days living in an RV it is strange walking on the street with a lot of people, having more than 5 minutes to take a shower and unlimited water, or wearing flip flops instead of waterproof boots. And, come on!, it is very sophisticated to eat something that was not inside a can.

During the trip it was difficult to find a moment to stop for writing a post. Actually it is not true, it wasn’t difficult, I had time, but I didn’t want to.

First, because it is not easy to find a place with electricity, and that is completely amazing! Most of the time I was in the middle of nowhere, Into the wild (Have you seen the movie?), and obviously that natural scenery offers you a lot of things, but Wi-Fi is not one of them.

And second, I was living one of the biggest adventures that I have ever lived as a traveler. For that reason, I decided not to be worried about posting my experience every day, or during the trip.

I thought that it would be better to come back to the traditional way and write all my thoughts and ideas in a notebook. Writing on paper is always more personal and intimate, don’t you think?

Now with my pages of notes I can explain my trip  very accurately , and I want to share my experience, and tips, and different perspectives about Alaska. But sorry, I won’t reveal all the secrets or thoughts that I have had during the experience. I want to reserve some feelings for myself. It is true that I believe that if you share an experience it is always better, but sometimes it’s good to save some ideas, and keep them unspoken and abstract. It is not necessary to put them in the correct order, in a way that another person needs to read and understand.


Whatever, I continue to be obsessed with improving my English, and explaining a trip is a perfect way to practice and also it’s the way that I enjoy  the most. So, I will do it. Be prepare to read a lot from Alaska, that will be intensive ;)

As I said before, that trip has been something special. It is true that traveling is always interesting and enriching. Also it’s an opportunity to put aside my routine and go to discover places and live new adventures. You know what I think about traveling…

But this trip was something more than usual. It has been kind of “transition trip”. In May, Adria finished and defended his thesis, finally, and well, after 5 years working on that, it his is quite a change, also in our lives, of course!

Later in May, we started our third year in San Francisco too, and well, there were some questions popping up in our minds. “Do we want to spend more time here? Should we go back to Barcelona? To Europe? What kind of work options do we have? Where do we want to live? Where can we live?…” We need time and perspective to think about all of this.

Alaska has been the perfect place to talk about these existential questions. Besides hiking, driving, or seeing spectacular scenes, we have spent a lot of time talking and thinking without distractions. The only input was the magnificent nature. And that context offered us the opportunity to stop and take a breath and the chance to plan our future. Obviously we didn’t answer any of these questions, at least we had the perfect time to reflect about our past and present and figure out our future.

In any case, that experience was amazing, and a great opportunity to connect with nature, between us and with ourselves. And I want to share it with you, enough to hook you up so that you want to go too!


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