Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Decline of Dinamo Tbilisi

Renovated Dinamo Stadium on 2018
Last weekend I went to see Erovnuli liga match between Dinamo Tbilisi and Saburtalo. It was a local derby of the teams topping the Georgian league. There was less than one thousand people attending on a stadium with capacity close to 55k people. I saw a match three years ago, then attendance was several thousands and also the fanatic supporter group was bigger. In the Soviet Union Dinamo stadium had average attendance of 45k. Therefore you can say that the popularity of Dinamo Tbilisi has drastically decreased. In the times of Soviet Union Dinamo Tbilisi was a big European clud and won UEFA Cup winner's cup. Seems that the collapse of Soviet Union has had very bad impact to Dinamo Tbilisi and Georgian football. One positive thing compared to last time was that the stadium had been improved. For example the seats had been renewed, two big screens had been added, the grass looked good etc.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Georgian Easter

Easter cake "paska"
This year I had a chance to celebrate Easter in Georgia. Georgians are mostly orthodox therefore the Easter is the most important celebration of the year. Georgian easter tradition is to paint boiled eggs red on red Friday. On Sunday you battle with the eggs against your neighbours and family members. In the egg battle you and your opponent choose an egg and hit the sharper ends against each other. The holder of the egg which breaks loses and gives the broken egg to the winner. The winner can battle again with the egg that did not break. The Easter meal is eaten on Sunday and the Georgian Easter table includes cake called "paska" which is funny to the Finns as it means shit in Finnish. Funnily Finnish have Easter dessert called "mämmi" which looks like shit.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ice Hockey Playoff match

Yellow crowd
I had a chance to see a playoff match between Kalpa and Tappara. The last time I saw Ice hockey match in Kuopio, I paid attention to the supporters. This time the fan section was not only formed of young females. There was also men. This match had high stakes so it was sold out and the attendance was 4704. I noticed that the supporters did not have chants like in the match of Barcelona. Finnish crowd did not sing much but they supported by clapping rhythmically through the game. Overall entertaining match with good atmosphere and the most importantly 4-3 victory to Kalpa.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Adeu Barcelona

Winter landstcape from Kuopio
I have returned back to Finland from Barcelona after two years and one month. The cold weather of Finland did not feel as cold as I expected after comparatively warm winter of Barcelona. This was my third return from Spain back to Finland, previously I had lived in Alcalá de Henares and Madrid. At the moment I am in transition phase so I have not yet found a permanent place to stay. Another chapter is starting.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What is the most worn flag in Barcelona?

The jacket
Recent political movement towards independence of Catalonia has increased the number of visible Catalonian flags on the balconies. Also some people are showing support to Spain by having a Spanish flag on their balcony. But these flags are not worn by the people on the streets on ordinary days. You can see many people wearing a jacket with a Norwegian flag on the middle of the chest. Jackets with Norwegian flag are especially popular among the teenagers. The jackets seem equally popular among girls and boys. When I walk 20 minutes to the local shopping mall, at least five people will pass by with a Norwegian flag jacket. The jackets are with text of Napapijri or Geographical Norway. The brand is originally Italian. Another sign of the popularity is that the copies of these jackets are sold next to the copies of Barcelona jerseys by the street vendors.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Copa del rey - Derby of Barcelona

Camp Nou
I went to see a Spanish cup match Barcelona against Espanyol in Camp Nou on Thursday evening. Espanyol had won the first match 1 - 0 and the match being a local derby there was some extra tension. Still it was possible to get the tickets one day before the match for 42 euros which were not even the cheapest ones available. Matches of Barcelona tend to attract a lot of tourists so I was not expecting much from the atmosphere in the stadium.

The stadium was almost full and right away I was positively surprised by the atmosphere. The crowd sang along the official hymn of Barcelona when the players entered the field. Also during the match chants started by the small section of fanatic Barcelona supporters were joined by the people all over the stadium. One chant was naturally for Messi and his name got sang few times during the match. At one point someone pulled out a Spanish flag in the crowd which caused right away friction and small brawl, that got some people removed from the stands. I have to say that the seats were narrow. It was not possible with normal shoulder width to lean back and relax. Every other has to lean forward in order to fit.

The match was Debut of Philippe Coutinho in Barcelona. The crowd welcomed him by extra cheering when he touched the ball. Barcelona won the match 2 - 0 comfortably. The referee got criticized during the match with various whistle concerts. To sum up the match was a good experience.

My previous football match report I wrote about Spanish third division match.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Montserrat

View from Sant Jeroni

Montserrat Monastery
End of December I went to Montserrat which is about one hour train ride from the plaza España of Barcelona. Once I got out from the train, I took cable car to the Montserrat mountain. Montserrat offers different routes to hike on the mountain or just casual stroll around the monastery area. I decided to hike to the point called Sant Jeroni which was estimated to take about 2 hours one way. Sant Jerroni offered a great view but due the windy weather I could not fully enjoy the view on the top. After returning from the hike I had a look on the monastery area where most of the tourists stayed. If you decide to hike you can nicely spend a full day in Montserrat. Though in my opinion you can also spend full day not so nicely if you decide queue hours in order to touch the virgin "La Moreneta".

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top Posts 2017

In seville

I spent another year in Barcelona. Here are the top articles from 2017.

1. I wrote three articles about working in BPO/SSC and abroad. I wrote my thoughts what makes people stay abroad for the long term
2. Keeping my spending low has made changing location easier for me
3. Invonceniencies of siesta
4. Expenses of renting a flat in Barcelona
5. Introducing parks worth visiting in Barcelona

Top posts from previous years 201620152014201320122011 and 2010.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Meeting friends in Barcelona


Passeig de Gracia
By living in a popular tourist destination like Barcelona I have had chance to meet many friends as they have decided to come for holidays to Barcelona. In that sense staying in Barcelona has been great place to catch up with old friends. For example yesterday I met with my Spaniah friend Chencho who I have known since 2009. It is hard to imagine many other cities where you have as good chances to meet friends from all around Europe as in Barcelona.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More parks of Barcelona

One year ago I introduced five parks which are not the most touristic ones in Barcelona. Here five more parks that you might want to see and visit in Barcelona.

Parc de Diagonal Mar
Parc de Diagonal Mar is near the sea and big shopping mall. You can see artistic metal structures in the park. Nice park to take a walk around. Around the park you can see recently built buildings and an old light house.

El parc del Turó del Putxet
El parc del Turó del Putxet is another park in Barcelona on a hill. You can choose a route to the top by stairs or road. From the top you have a city landscape view.

Mercat Nou
There is a nicely made pedestrian road near the metro stop Mercat Nou going on the metro line. This is not marked as a park but trees and no traffic in sight gives a chance for a pleasent walk or jog.

Parc de la Pegaso
This park is built on the area of an old truck factory. For example the entrance is preserved. You can find nice green area to take a walk, playground for children and area to play sports like football or basketball.

Parc de la Trinitat
Parc de la trinitat has a big area of green grass which is nice for picnic. You can also find area to do barbecue and two tennis courts which are available for free. Especially in the barbecue area you can see often groups celebrating birthdays.