This first meeting featured the British blogger Kate Turner, author of the blog about Spanish culture Oh hello, Spain, Ana Fernandez, author of movie locations already Elena Astorza, blog author Notes from Somewhere, who told us about his latest experiences from London via Skype. Cities seen with the eyes no longer of a tourist, but rather of a traveler and resident. Madrid with Kate's eyes, Rotterdam with Ana's and London with Elena's.
These inveterate travelers revealed their favorite corners of each of the cities. Thus, Ana recommended that we not miss the cubic houses, the bridge and the new train station in Rotterdam. “I like to show friends who visit me for the second time in Madrid places that are not so typical like the tapas on Ponzano Street, Madrid Río or the Motor Market,” Kate confessed. Ana, for her part, admitted to being in love with the green areas of London.
Ana Fernández's favorite place is Hampstead Heath, a forest in the middle of the city that is very popular on good weather days.
They also revealed to us their most beloved posts, which curiously are also the ones that attract the most readers. Elena's is “100 notes on what I like about London”. Curiously, he wrote it during a summer in Spain as inspiration to return to the city and now it is the entry with the most recorded readings.
Look at cities with different eyes and discover new points of view. “The architecture of Madrid is what impresses me the most,” Kate revealed. Nothing to do with Oxford, the city in which he previously lived. “London hooks you over time,” Elena confessed when asked if it is a city where it is possible to fall in love at first sight, “you have to pick up the pace.”
For tourists visiting Rotterdam Ana recommends a getaway to Gouda, which apart from being a town famous for its cheeses, is the city where Hieronymus Bosch was born.
While Kate assured that Madrid is a very welcoming city, Elena and Ana confess that the character of the inhabitants of London and Rotterdam is different, “London is a giant city and the people are very reserved. However, once you break the barrier you don't have any problems,” says Elena. “Rotterdam is a multicultural city but they are very reserved, you can never be late,” admits Ana.
Africa: Maputo, Johannesburg and Cairo
From Europe to Africa, a giant leap between two continents that have nothing to do with each other. Views of correspondents who, through their blog, reports and news, allow us to get closer to the cultures, people but also the social and political conflicts of three countries that are so close and at the same time far away.
Aurora Moreno, journalist and specialist in Africa tells his experience in his personal blog Finally in Africa, winner of the 2011 Bitácoras award for best social-environmental blog. For its part, we were able to meet via Skype Ricard Gonzalez, newspaper correspondent The country in Cairo and author of the personal blog Ricard Gonzalez, and the journalist and writer Javier Brandoli, former newspaper correspondent The world and founder of the blog Trips to the Past, a blog in which authors such as Javier Reverte or Daniel Landa write.
Aurora began writing about Africa five years ago when she realized the scarcity of information. Javier lived for five years in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. “Things have changed a lot since then, now it is a country to do business that is receiving a lot of immigration.”
The three of them have something in common: passion for their work, a profession in which they agree “forces you to integrate into their culture and customs,” as Javier states.
Their goal: tell stories.
Stories that are not always easy to transmit. Since the Revolution of 2011, Cairo is a city little visited by tourists. Furthermore, in recent months, due to the threat from the Muslim Brotherhood, doing journalism has become a high-risk job. “You cannot take photographs beyond the tourist places,” says Ricard. However, it is still a highly recommended destination. “It is a city with more than 20 million inhabitants where a very important foreign community lives with very varied leisure options,” says the journalist. “In addition, since the revolution, new generations are asking for a cultural change and do not accept behavior such as sexual harassment, an endemic evil,” he explains.
You have a special affection for Johannesburg, although it is a city that is forgotten as a destination,” says Aurora.
What are the keys before traveling to Africa? “Not being afraid to travel, reading African authors and living like them” are the keys for Aurora. “The majority of tourists who visit Egypt go on organized trips, I invite them to explore the country on their own, it is a very safe country,” advises Ricard. Javier agrees with his colleagues and adds that the key to a good trip is “losing your fear, starting to travel but without forgetting certain cultural sensitivities of the countries where you go.”