Our experience living in Granada, Spain

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you already know that writing isn’t my greatest strength.  As a result, I put together this little video that summarizes our experience of living in Granada better than anything I could ever write.

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What is a certified Spanish translation and how to get it

Our stack of application documents

Since we applied for the Spanish Non-Lucrative visa, the rules have changed and the Spanish Consulates now require “certified” translations of most supporting application documents.  I’ve received a lot of questions over the years about what it means to have your  documents officially translated so I thought it would be interesting to hear from an expert.

Continue reading to find out more about the different types of visas available, hints to make the application process smoother, what to look for in a good translator, as well as costs and logistics of interacting with one.

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The Astonishing Algarve, Portugal

Wannabe surfers

Before moving to Spain, I mentioned to my wife that I wanted to make a point to visit Portugal and Morocco.

Well, we still haven’t made it to Morocco, but we were able to make it to our neighbor to the west a handful of times including Lisbon, Porto, and most recently The Astonishing Algarve coastline.


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Keen Kerala

The doormen in India are some of the most dapper and friendliest around.

“Any thoughts on what you’re planning to do for your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary?  It’s kind of a big deal.”

“How about we take them on a trip somewhere they’ve never been?”


Finding a new place in India where your Indian in-laws haven’t been can be kind of a challenge.  Even more so when they’ve spent the better part of their retirement making a point to visit new corners of the country.

There was one area that had been on their list for a while (and ours too, frankly) that we just had to make happen:  green and lush Kerala.

Chinese fishing nets in Kochi


Where the boys get blessed by an elephant and the blond curly-haired dude gets volunteered to participate in a traditional warrior exhibition.

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Santa Pola, holy mola!

Mortadelo y Filamón
Relaxing by reading Spain’s most famous comic: Mortadelo and Filamón.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Video summary of a trip to our friends’ house in the modest fishing and beach village of Santa Pola.  Highlights include a day trip to Tabarca, an island once a refuge for pirates.  And meal after meal of arroz a banda, rice cooked in fish stock, a delicacy in Alicante province.  It’s definitely a cousin dish to Valencian paella but with fewer goodies and rice that seems a bit less sticky.



Golden Triangle of India

Taj MahalWhen I was little, I remember going out of my way to walk past travel agencies.  I used to love looking at the promotional travel posters plastered around their entrances.  They always featured the most clichéd image of each country:  The Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, and the Pyramids were sure bets.

I also remember the pearly white, whimsical profile of the Taj Mahal.  I’d try to imagine the kind of exotic place that would build such a structure and in such a shape.

Little did I know at the time that I’d end up marrying someone from that part of the world, spending time in her home state and even revisiting some of her fondest childhood memories by participating in the local kite festival.

Well, we couldn’t bring our boys to India for the first time and not do the travel-poster tour.  Between the food, the turbaned staff, and its famous monuments, the Golden Triangle most likely represents your stereotypical images of India.


Watch the video for a few highlights.

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Ich bin ein Berliner

Despite my decidedly German last name, this is the extent of the language I know.  Fortunately for me, there are many other languages being spoke in Berlin these days and everyone seems to be kept on the same page with English.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, being based in Europe is awesome.  Continue reading “Ich bin ein Berliner”

Photogenic Segovia

Spain has so many cool towns.  Some are strikingly beautiful but reside in the middle of flat, unremarkable landscapes.  Sevilla and Cordoba come to mind that fit this mold.  Other towns like Granada and Ronda benefit by their naturally beautiful surroundings that add romance to their otherwise nondescript downtowns.

Segovia has a bit of both going for it.  Vistas of snow-capped peaks in the distance and a hilly topography accentuate the prime features that make up its dramatic skyline.  One that includes an 8th century city wall, a Gothic cathedral, and a whimsical fortress that was said to inspire Cinderella’s castle.  Oh, and on the other side of town is a nearly 2000 year-old Roman water carrying device.

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