sexta-feira, 28 de outubro de 2016

Cultural Immersion: Barcelona (Spain)

 The country (Spain)
Flag of Spain - Read more

Spain, a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. 


Capital of Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain, Barcelona is a multicultural meeting place. It’s also a Mediterranean port and commercial centre, is famed for the individuality, cultural interest and physical beauty. (Read more)

▪ Tourist spots

▪ Sagrada Família
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. (360° view)

Architectural styles: Art Nouveau, Modernisme, Noucentisme, Spanish Gothic architecture (Read More) 

▪ Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc Castle is an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640, built on top of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It currently serves as a Barcelona municipal facility. (Read More)

Check ou the Oficial Website
▪ Palau Nacional / Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
The Palau Nacional was the main site of the 1929 International Exhibition on the hill of Montjuïcin Barcelona. Since 1934 it has been home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia. (Read More)

▪ Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is a renowned building located in the center of Barcelona and is one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. (Read More)

▪ Cuisine

▪ Crema Catalana
It's a dish similar to crème brûlée, although the sugar is a recent innovation. Traditionally known as crema de Sant Josep, it was originally served on Saint Joseph's Day although nowadays it is consumed at all times of the year. (Check out the recipe)

▪ Escalivada / Escalibada
Escalivada is a traditional dish from Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Aragón of smoky grilled vegetables. It typically consists of roasted eggplant and bell peppers with olive oil, and sometimes oniontomato, minced garlic, and salt
(Read More) 

▪ Sangria
Sangria is an alcoholic beverage of Spanish and Portuguese origin. A punch, the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. (Read More) 

(Check out the recipe)

▪ Leche de Pantera
This is a very popular cocktail not just in Barcelona, but Spain as a whole. Made popular during the 1970s, its general form consists of a mixture of milk and liquor. However, it can be elaborated to include condensed milk and also ginger and other variants of the drink can even include an egg yolk and cinnamon. (Check out more traditional drinks)

 More Catalan dishes here.

▪ Habits

Indigenous people of Barcelona are very gallant and very serious. They are open for communication and have a wonderful sense of humor. The locals are very friendly to visitors and will gladly help them in most difficult situations. 

Barcelona from above
Spaniards have never been very punctual. This national trait is not a secret to anyone and so it is a typical reason for numerous jokes. Residents of Barcelona are accustomed to have a very late lunch, so local cafes start filling with visitors only after the noon. Dinners here are also fairly late, so many restaurants are open until midnight. (Read More)

▪ Bullfight
A very famous and  important part of the Spain culture, the bullfight known as “La corrida” have been present  in civilisations as far back the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Barcelona has staged its final bullfight after Catalonia became the first region to ban the traditional spectacle. (Read more)

▪ Cost of living

Barcelona can be a spensive place to live. Prices can vary a lot depending  on where you look. If you’re careful enough with your spensives and don’t plan to party too hard , wich is rather expensive, the city can be a good choice. (Read more


▪ Climate
Whit mild and relatively rainy winters and hot and sunny summers, Barcelona is a Mediterranean city. Because of the location on the east coast of Spain, the city has  a warm temperature and subtropical climate. (Read more)


▪ Folk Music
Folk music in Spain has a long and diverse history with influences from many cultural streams , when  the Roman culture was dominant, it brought with it the music and ideas of Acient Greece, the  reciting of epic poetry and folk music played an integral role. The tradictional music and dance can vary from region to region. (Read more)

▪ Famous Personalities

Gerard Piqué
One of the most famous soccer players.

José Carreras - One of 
Barcelona’s best-known  opera singers.

Pablo PicassoOne of the most
famous artists of the modernism.

▪ Extra

Cultural Immersion: Athens (Greece)

 The country (Greece)

Flag of Greece - Read more
Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it's often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.


Athens is a historic city and also the capital of Greece. Many of some classic  historical civilizations and artistic ideas was created in Athens. The city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Western Civilization. The city is located five miles from the  Bay of Phaleron close of  the Aegean Sea where Piraeus, the port of Athens is situated in a mountain-girt arid divided North-south by a line of hills. (Read more)

▪ Tourist spots

▪ Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. (Read More)

▪ Parthenon
The Parthenon is a former temple, on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. (Read More)

 Read the article: "Fun Facts About the Parthenon and the Acropolis"

▪ Plaka
In the shadow of the Acropolis and its ancient temples, hillside Plaka has a village feel, with narrow cobblestone streets lined with tiny shops selling jewelry, clothes and local ceramics. Sidewalk cafes and family-run tavernas stay open until late, and Cine Paris shows classic movies al fresco. Nearby, the whitewashed homes of the Anafiotika neighborhood give the small enclave a Greek-island vibe. (Read More) 

▪ National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. (Read more)
Check out other Athens top sights on Google maps 

▪ Cuisine

▪ Revani
Revani is a very popular dessert which is nutty and grainy with some lemony flavor. This moist cake is sweetened by simple syrup flavored with orange zest. This is not an overly sweet desserts and it is indeed a delightful addition to any dining table.
Check out Revani recipe

▪ Souvlaki
Souvlaki is a very popular Greek food available in street side restaurants. The dish is well cooked with seasoned meat and then flavored with tzatziki sauce. (Read more)

▪ Galaktoboureko 
One of the most famous Greek desserts, galaktoboureko is a delightful milk and egg custard wrapped in thin sheets of phyllo dough and baked to a golden brown. It's a traditional Greek sweet, soaked in a light lemony syrup after baking. A true special occasion dish. (Read More) 

▪ Saganaki (Fried Cheese)
‘Saganaki’ refers to various Greek appetizers, which are prepared in a small, two handled heavy bottomed frying pan, itself called a saganaki or sagani. The most common traditional Greek recipes cooked in that kind of pan include mussels saganaki and shrimp saganaki, with the most popular being this simple and delicious fried cheese appetizer. (Read More) 

 Check out other treditional dishes here and here.

▪ Ouzo
Ouzo is a strong drink, very simillar to vodca is one of the most famous drinks in the entire country, this anise flavoured drink is very common in the city. Normally people drink Ouzo accompained by mazed or mezes, mezes  are small plates of food and also simple snacks like olive and cheese.... (Read more)

▪ Tsipouro
Simillar to Ouzo, Tsipouro is a strong distilled spirit containing 40-48% of alcohol. Tsipouro is also a genuine  Greek product, the destillationprocess lasts for approximately three hours, during wich the product is tasted for itsalcohol content, and controlled by increasing or decreasing the heat. (Read more)

▪ Elliniko Cafe
One of the most popular non alcoholic drink in the entire country is Elliniko Cafe, people drink elliniko in any accasion that calls for a break and a coffee.  The coffee is a  coarsely ground power, brewed with  the water , creating a small froth on top, and its not served with milk. (Read more)

▪ Frappe

Frappe is a iced coffee ando also  one of the most popular Greek drinks,  probably because of the low price. Frappe is normally consumed  especially in the warmer months. Frappe is very popular among young people who can’t consume alcohol drinks. (Check out the recipe)

▪ Habits

The local residents are distinguished by such character traits as sentiment and nervousness at the same time. In critical or responsive situations they can show tolerance and resolve any conflict with ease. There are different culture and communication in Athens.

Read more about Ohi Day
People have never been very punctual, so they can be late even for an important business meeting.

Every year on October 28 an unusual holiday is celebrated in Athens. The holiday’s name is Day of Ohi. On this day Greece said "no" to occupation of Italy. So this holiday has been celebrated since the Second World War. 

▪ Cost of Living
Economic problems  in the entire country  have resulted in a decrease in the cost of living, but Greeks are still struggling with lower salaries and unemployment. Jobs in Greece are difficult to find, especially for experts. 
The cost of living in Greece is much cheaper than other major European cities, rents in Athens can cost almost a half of in London.  (Read more)

 More information about the cost of living in Athens here.

▪ Climate

During the Summer,  Athens is the hottest capital in Europe,  the weather remains mild even in November, except in mountainous area. The rainy periods begin to occur in October. (Read more)


▪ Music
The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds. These compositions have existed for millennia: they originated in the Byzantine period and Greek antiquity; there is a continuous development which appears in the language, the rhythm, the structure and the melody. Music is a significant aspect of Hellenic culture, both within Greece and in the diaspora. (Read More)

Cultural Immersion: Sydney (Australia)

 The country (Australia)

Australia flag - Read more
Australia is a country, and continent, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal, but its capital, Canberra, is inland and nicknamed the "Bush Capital."


▪ Tourist spots

Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre. It is one of the 20th century's most famous and distinctive buildings and it was formally opened on 20 October 1973.
Though its name suggests a single venue, the building comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres – hosting well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people.

Opera House - Read more
Interior of the Concert Hall - Check ou the OFICIAL WEBSITE
▪ The Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.

Harbour Bridge - Read more
Do you like adventures? Try to climb the Harbour Bridge, check out this website >> 

▪ Tower Eye
Sydney Tower is Sydney's tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. The name Sydney Tower has become common in daily usage, however the tower has been known as the Sydney Tower Eye, AMP Tower, Westfield Centrepoint Tower, Centrepoint Tower or just Centrepoint. The Sydney Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

Sydney Tower - Read more

SKYWALK - Read more
▪ Toronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. It was officially opened on 7 October 1916. Taronga Zoo is managed by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales, under the trading name Taronga Conservation Society, along with its sister zoo, the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. 
Read more


▪ Cuisine

Vegemite (/ˈvɛdʒᵻmaɪt/ vej-ə-myt) is a thick black Australian food spread made from leftover brewers' yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives developed by Cyril Percy Callister in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1922 and currently owned by Mondelez International. A spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits as well as a filling for pastries.

Read more
Kangaroo meat
Kangaroo meat is widely available in Australia, although it is not among the most commonly eaten meats. In old fashioned colonial recipes, it was treated much like ox tail, and braised until tender forming a rich gravy. It is available today in various cuts and sausages. Also eaten (in specialist restaurants) is emu meat and crocodile meat. As these meats need specialist preparation they are not found in mainstream restaurants or at home, however products are now available in supermarkets made of kangaroo and emu meat.

Read more
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and, optionally, whipped cream. The name is pronounced /pævˈloʊvə/, unlike the name of the dancer, which was /ˈpɑːvləvə/.

Read more

Billy tea
Billy tea is the drink prepared by the ill-fated swagman in the popular Australian folksong "Waltzing Matilda". Boiling water for tea over a camp fire and adding a gum leaf for flavouring remains an iconic traditional Australian method for preparing tea, which was a staple drink of the Australian colonial period.

Read more

▪ Habits

One of the good traditions of local people is barbecue, which is attended by people of all ages. Many even called barbecue ‘the national sport,’ so common and beloved this event is.

Read more

Local merchants can be truly called the most honest ones in the world. They absolutely frankly tell buyers about all pros and cons of their goods, and will reduce the price to a minimum.

▪ Music
Australian folk music is a term which may be applied to traditional music from the large variety of immigrant cultures and those of the original Australian inhabitants.

Celtic, English, German and Scandinavian folk traditions predominated in the first wave of European immigrant music. The Australian tradition is, in this sense, related to the traditions of other countries with similar ethnic, historical and political origins, such as New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

▪ Climate

 You can plan a trip at any time of the year, as there is a mild weather in Sydney 12 months of the year. Even in winter the temperature rarely drops below 18°C. However, weather changes quite quickly in Sydney, so while going for a long walk, it's best to take an umbrella. On evenings it may become really cool, so you take some warm clothes with you. Fans of a beach holiday are recommended to go on vacation from November to April. (Source)

Read more 


The city has an excellent public transport system. Tourists who plan to move around the city actively are advised to buy a travel card; it works on all kinds of public transport, including ferry. Travel cards can be designed for a day or a week; the cost is USD 20 and 60, respectively. 

Read more >> oficial Sydney website.

▪ Best things to see and do in Sydney