BAU-Interior point of view

My University here in Barcelona, BAU, was built on the place of an old factory, in fact the whole neighbourhood is kind of industrial area, with loads of factories, workshops and filling stations. I like the result the designers ended up with, it’s colourful and somehow brings the art side of the building, as BAU is a design school. So, I decided to share some photos with you.

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Chapter 2 – BAU

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Finally my first day in Uni came. As I already mentioned I am a UK Interior Design student, gone on Erasmus for a year in Barcelona. I am a student of Coventry University and for the next few months I will be sharing my ideas, experience and ‘lovely’ personality with students and staff of BAU, Barcelona- Centro Universitario de Diseño.

To be completely honest my first few weeks in BAU were really stressful, not only because everything was so new to me, but because most of my classes were in Catalan, which I didn’t really understand. But it was exciting.

I had the opportunity to chose from variety of classes, focused not only in Interior Design, but in design as a whole. I attended classes like Design History, Graphic Design Projects, Typography, Interior Design Projects, Construction and Installation, Product Design, Design Workshops, Textiles and Materials. Yes, the first 2 weeks were tough. Although I really wanted to take all of the classes I had to drop a few of them, because simply the amount of work is tremendous and even if I wanted I would never be able to pass all of them. The ones I ended up doing are I believe the most beneficial for me. When I came to Barcelona I wanted to find inspiration and ideas for my final project next year and I can honestly say that with the classes I ended up doing, I already have things in mind and looking forward to  turn them in ideas and may be later realise them as projects.

So.., exciting news so far, in my future posts I will try to give updates on my projects, share some of my work and hopefully get some feedback.

Island Adventures Part III

My second week in Mallorca I finally got to visit the capital Palma. I expected it to be smaller but it actually looked like a busy big city.

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The next few days I spent in Alcudia, it’s the main city where all the tourists go. The beach is massive, compared to the ones in the smaller towns and the sand looks and feels more like flour than actual sand.

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Island Adventures Part II

My Island adventures continues and after spending a few rainy days at home I am back on the road ready to visit my next location. The town is called Valldemossa. It is famous for one landmark: the Royal Charterhouse of Valldemossa, built at the beginning of the 14th century, when the mystic and philosopher Ramon Llull lived in this area of Majorca. The monastery of Valldemossa is popular for its famous guests-poet Rubén Darío, composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover, composer Joseph Horovitz with his wife, etc.

It is a magical town, bringing you back in time, quite crowded with tourists but with some tiny cute streets with interesting souvenir shops and loads of flower gardens. The views are again Amazing!

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Next stop was a place called El Mirador de la Victoria. Simply Stunning. The weather was cloudy, but that kind of contributed to the dramatic atmosphere. The road to get there was put it mildly ‘scary’, but again it was all worth it.

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To be continued…

Island Adventures Part I

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Five days after I arrived in Spain, I took off to the Balearic islands, to visit my aunt, that lives there. I’ve been planning that trip for ages but somehow there was always something coming up on my way and I couldn’t go to the lovely island of Mallorca, I like to call-little piece of paradise. I spent there 15 amazing days, really relaxed and prepared myself for the studying year that I a about to start. I also wanted to use the time to practise a bit my Spanish. To be honest, I didn’t really practice my language skills, but I visited some amazing, beautiful places, that I will definitely remember and hope visit again.

The first few days I spent in a small town called Inca, somewhere in the middle of the island.

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The weather was bad, bud the town looked so fresh and green after the rain. I love it.

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Those pictures are from a place called Sa Caloba. The view was breathtaking. We had lunch in a roadside restaurant and headed to a small town called Soller. It’s a touristic destination, not too busy and really cute, with a tiny beach but again really beautiful views.

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A good thing about the island is that it’s really small and if you have a car, every city, mountain, beach or touristic attraction is within minutes. The way back home took us no more than 20 minutes.

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To be continued…

Renting a room in Barcelona-Where, Who, How, Which and What?

As promised in my last post I am going to share my own experience and give you some tips when looking for a room in Barcelona.

In my last post I mentioned that it was pretty hard for me to find a nice accommodation in Barcelona. I wasn’t looking for something super nice, but for something small, clean and taken care of and I guess that’s what most of the students would look for.

Some websites I found useful when looking online for a room:

http://www.segundamano.es

http://www.loquo.com

http://www.idealista.com

They are meant to be for local people so they tend to be cheaper and are mainly offered by other students like you. There are also a lot of letting agencies that can help you with your search.

Good areas when looking for a room are:

Eixample; Plaza Cataluña; Barri Gotic; born; Plaza España; Gracia, Les Corts; Sants, etc.

Those are the main quarters in Barcelona’s city centre, but it really depends  where exactly your University is, how far from it you’d like to live and of course the prise of the rent. Also have in mind that Barcelona has a really good and regular public transport so almost every part of the city is within minutes to get to by metro, buses or tram. Another good option are the public bikes that you can get from almost everywhere.

Some questions and things to keep in mind before signing any contract:

Who is renting out the room?

For how long can you rent the room?

Which expenses are included?

Is there Internet?

Is it an interior room or exterior?*

How many roommates are sharing the flat?

Smoking or non-smoking?

How much for a deposit?

When was the apartment last refurbished?

Is there heating or air conditioning?

How safe is the neighbourhood?

Where and which is the closest Supermarket?

*For those who don’t know most of Barcelona’s buildings are square shaped with a small open public area in the middle of that ‘square’, making them look a lot like chimneys. Exterior rooms are the ones that are situated in the front of the buildings, looking at the street, the interior ones are the ones looking at that small area, I mentioned. Before I moved to Barcelona I thought that the interior rooms are better, because they don’t have as much noise coming from the streets. Later I realised that inspire of being quieter, most of the time they have really tiny windows, letting just a bit or almost no natural light or air coming into the room (especially if the flat is situated in one of the lower floors of the building). So keep that in mind.

So this is just the main things to know before renting a room or flat in Barcelona. I am sure if you’re patient you’ll find the perfect place for you. One thing I would advice you is try to visit the place you would want to rent before paying any money for it.

Finally, Barcelona is a great city to live in so don’t waste too much of your time and nerves if you can’t find a good place to live or if you don’t get along with your flatmates, because I promise you, you will be spending a lot more time wondering around and exploring Barcelona than staying in that flat of yours.

I hope this was useful!

Un beso,

Alex 🙂

Chapter 1-First Steps

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Hi,

I’m Alex and I am a UK Interior Design student. This year I had the amazing opportunity to go on Erasmus in my all time favourite Barcelona. I’ve always been in love with Spain and especially Barcelona, not only because of the great weather, lovely people, rich culture and heavenly good food, but because of my Love – FCBarcelona (Yes, I am a huge football fan).

So after filling some papers, spending a really nice summer holiday back home with my family and friends, I packed my stuff and here am I, starting a new chapter of my life (as trivial as it may sound).

I arrived on the 10th of September together with my mum. We stayed in a guest house right in the city centre, excellent location and we started looking for my future accommodation straight away. Whoever tells you it’s easy to find accommodation in Barcelona is lying, it’s NOT! Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty apartments and houses, but most of them are meant for tourists and some of the ones left are not in that good condition. Also if you’re coming alone as I am you’ll be looking for the right people to live with. So, my advice to everyone that wants to come live in Barcelona is be patient and really take your time. In another blog post I’ll share a bit more about my experience with looking for accommodation, some advice, tips and things to keep in mind.

So after aproximately 2 weeks I finally found the perfect flat for me and I am ready to start with the Uni. Good times!