Marina Bagan our Senior Architectural Technician gives you an insight into her favourite places she has traveled to.
For those who always liked to travel, now that we have spent several months on lockdown without knowing when we will be able to travel again, we spend time every day checking pictures we took in our last trip, or browsing online on places around the world where we imagine ourselves spending the next holiday.
We don’t know if the future of travelling is going to be as it was before this crisis, but we do know that people has become more aware of how lucky we have been of being able to travel everywhere on practically every budget.
With my eager of travelling again and my memories of some of my last trips, I thought I would love to share with you some of my favourite places -very recommended- and also some of the places where I will like to go in the future (hopefully a close future).
This city was just magic. It was quite a crazy trip I took with my best friend when we were just 19 years old, and we decided that as we were already at uni we were ready to travel anywhere. So we picked Istanbul.
Istanbul is a very interesting city. It has part of it in Europe and part of it in Asia, having a channel that connects Mediterranean Sea and black sea. But what was outstanding for me was to actually see influence from the different empires that shaped the city during centuries (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman). You can see the Hippodrome or the Column of Constantine, and at the same time Hagia Sophia or Topkapi, all of them from different empires and overwhelmingly beautiful.
If I had to choose my favourite spots to visit it would be Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. This two places made took my breath away when I visited them. As a tourist (and as an architect) I was completely stunted by the powerful structures present in both projects, that together with the light (or lack of light) made the space incredibly breath taken.
But Istanbul is not all about architecture, even though you could get lost in the city without getting bored about it. It’s also about food. I won’t be talking about kofte and doner. My experience here is that you should walk to the areas that are not so touristic and find a restaurant there. That’s what we did in our case and we found a small restaurant (the owners didn’t speak any english), and we got the most delicious meal of our trip (also with the best prize).
When I travelled to San Francisco I was a bit skeptical at the beginning. It was my first time travelling to America, and I wasn’t sure how the experience was going to be.
Now, I’m really happy I got to go on this trip. I was very surprised by how many things you can do in this city, and how interesting it is. In the city centre you can find excellent restaurants to eat and the people are really friendly. The buildings and the streets around this area (and also in the outskirts) are as you imagine when you think of a typical american city, and includes architectural treasures like the Transamerica Pyramid, California Street or the Conservatory of Flowers. You can also visit the Castro district or china town, and the Golden Bridge, that is probably my favourite spot in San Francisco. It was really foggy the day I visited the bridge, and I remember I could see the bright red colour appearing between the grey clouds, and the closer I was getting the stronger was the feeling of how magnificent the building was. Walking from one side to the other in a summer day, enjoying the view, the red colour of the bridge and the structure of the bridge itself, was one of the best things of the trip.
San Francisco also has the Pier 39, obviously highly recommended for food, and you can walk following the sea until you arrive to Ghirardelli chocolate factory, perfect for dessert.
This city has also lots of possibilities, and my recommendation is to rent a car to be able to do and see everything. The city is really big, and the public transport is not as efficient as we are used to in Europe, so having a car is the best option to get the most of the trip.
I wanted to add Barcelona to the list, because in my opinion Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I believe it has the perfect mix between a cosmopolitan city and a beach city. You can find any cultural event, like concerts, museums, theatres, etc; and at the same time you have all the advantages of having the sea right next to it, like having going for a swim or sunbath, or enjoying sea food just some meters away from the Mediterranean water.
The list of recommended buildings and areas to see is incredibly long, as Barcelona is a city with lot of history and historic and artistic heritage, including some buildings that are World Heritage. I would definitely recommend to visit at least a couple of Gaudi’s projects in this city, like La Sagrada Familia (my favourite building in the city) or El Parc Guell (that has not just astonishing architecture parts but also beautiful gardens).
The city has endless opportunities to be enjoyed. From sailing off shore for a day, to enjoy a live band one night, go for a drink, enjoy pa amb tomaca in a little restaurant, watch a FC Barcelona football match, or go to the Liceo to enjoy theatre.
To all this, I believe can only be added the fact that the people are really nice, the weather is practically always good and the food… Well, the food is fantastic.
This island is famous for being a very romantic spot in Greece. It is highly touristic, but it’s in my list of places I would like to go to because I feel that the beauty of a volcanic island combined with Greek culture and tradition, deserves to be visited and enjoyed.
This city looks like the perfect spot to relax, enjoy going for hikes across the island, having sea food at the shore, and enjoy the sun during the spring and summer. The combination of the colours of the soil of the island (caused by the volcanic components), the green of the vegetation, the blue water and the light colour of the buildings, create a panting that is the perfect background to have constantly in a holiday. I believe this island is the perfect place to spend some days connecting with nature and having a very relaxing time.
The city fascinates me, not just for all the incredible urbanism and architecture that has, but also because I find very interesting the different culture that you can see when you travel. I always think that is important when you travel to also experience the culture and the food of the place where you travel to, and in this city the shock in culture and food I believe it would be incredible.
The entire city and its skyscraper is a place full of things to see. From a sumo wrestling show, to Fuji TV headquarters, the New National Stadium, the Akihabara famous for anime fans, the University of Tokyo, etc.
With a million places to visit in this city, a culture and food to experience, this city opens a broad number of possibilities that makes this cities one of the most exciting places to visit in my list.
There are so many more places to travel in the world. This is just my list of favourite places that I believe can inspire people to choose their next spot. So I invite you to keep travelling, as I will do, to keep making your own list and share with the rest of travellers!