Category Archives: 10 things I have learned…

What did I learn? Pre-Christmas Edition.

What did I learn?
What did I learn?

It is a relaxing weekend and you can already feel the Christmas atmosphere everywhere. It is raining outside and everyone who can enjoys staying in the warmth of home, with candlelight and the smell of Christmas cookies… Ok, you see, I am in the right mood! 😉

Thinking about what I have learned lately, a great Twitter workshop I visited during the IAB Forum in Milan comes into my mind. Among many other things, I have learned the following:

  • Twitter became “The largest couch in the World”. As per a research among Twitter users, 60% have the feeling to watch a TV Show with other people in the room. I found that interesting, as also the TV now has to handle a completely new behavior: a direct feedback and mood that can be read in real-time during the TV Show. I must admit that I am also one of thesepeople that looks at the Tweets in order to see how people are talking about the show I am watching, and I find it quite amusing as people are often very ironic and funny in their comments. Are you tweeting too while you sit on your couch and watch TV?

    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
    Twitter: the largest couch in the world
  • Talking about the interaction between TV and social media: My idea was that the TV advertising is suffering a loss of importance, giving more space to social media advertising. Well, that is wrong: more and more people do not change TV station anymore during the advertising as they use the time to look at their Smartphone, maybe writing some tweets on the TV show they are watching or chatting with friends… while they unconsciously hear the advertising and are automatically influenced. I absolutely recognize myself in that and I am impressed!
  • A great quote that perfectly explains how one should act to be successful with social media: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be” Wayne Gretzky

  • I have learned to bake Christmas cookies! I tried for the first time and I think the marine look with the seahorses looks great! (and of course they are delicious too! 🙂 )

Pinkvel Cookies

  • But not only: I have also learned to bake a traditional Engadin Nutcake!! This is a typical case of how tastes can bring you back to far away places and experiences. So I tell you a secret: most of my Christmas presents will have to do with my newly discovered fun for baking! 😉
  • Do you also think that it is impossible to live healthy and make some sport while traveling? Of course some hotels have a fitness room, but not everyone has the time and the discipline to use it (I do not! 🙂 ). The news is that you automatically have your sports done while traveling. Have you ever thought about how much you walk even only to take a flight? Here are the airports with the longest ways to the gates:

– Peking (PEK): 3.20 km, which is 46 minutes walk!!
– Atlanta (ATL), 2,09 km, which is 27 minutes walk
– Frankfurt (FRA), 1,88 km
– Hong Kong (HGK), 1,58 km
– London Heathrow (LHR), 1.22 km
– New York, 1.13 km

Well, imagine this with your heavy luggage and when being late (and I am constantly late).

  • If you’re thinking about living abroad, here is a chart with the cost-of-living index, which I think can also be considered when planning a trip to these cities:

That’s all for now. Enjoy the Pre-Christmas time and try not to be too stressed with the presents, put some love in it and it will work out perfectly! 😉

– Pinkvel –


10 things I learned during the Travel Fair in Barcelona

I am a bit late with my posts on the things I have learned, as I was traveling so much in the last three weeks, but here I am – back again!

I have learned so much during the travel fair I have visited, but I fear that going too much into detail would be too boring.

Travel Fair
So here are some fast facts:

1) Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are the new interesting markets for the luxury travel industry, as there are more and more people traveling with a great budget. This was really new to me. So interesting!

2) Turkey is an interesting market as well. This is not such a news for me, but it was good to see so many interested Turkish travel agencies trying to find some new, luxurious destinations for their clients

3) The Knickerbocker Luxury Hotel will open its doors on NYC Times Square in 2015 and it must be amazing! Stay tuned for it!

The Leading Hotels of the World Stand
The Leading Hotels of the World Stand

4) Barcelona has over 200 hotels and meeting facilities

5) Spain ranks third globally in hotel rooms

6) There are 46 airports and 2 heliports in Spain

7) Five Spanish companies can be found among the top 30 most important hotel groups in the world

Great Flamenco performance during the fair
Great Tango performance from Argentina during the fair

All the other things I have learned in and about Barcelona are listed in my Barcelona post, here are some examples (check it out for more information on these topics! 🙂 ):

8) The best discovery in Barcelona was the most delicious Tapas Bar Cervezeria Catalunya

9) Don’t forget your slippers if you sleep at NH Calderon

10) Do always ask for window seats, but especially if flying to Barcelona

I would like to conclude this post with a travel tip:

Always do the online check-in if the airline offers this service. Flights can always be overbooked, that’s part of the airlines strategy, and if you are unlucky and arrive a bit too late (and this “too late” is very flexible, depending on the cases) your place could be given to another person.
This cannot happen to you if you have already checked-in before.

Have safe travels and… never stop learning!! 🙂 Pinkvel

What did I learn this week?… (15/11/14)


It is the end of the week again, and the time has come to write down what I have learned…

liebster-award11) The first thing that comes into my mind is that I have learned what the Liebster Award is, as I have been nominated (read my post!)

2) Thanks to the Liebster Award I got to know many great travel bloggers still in their beginnings. Some of them are really worth following! Check for the Liebster Award!

3) Not only my online friends brought a smile to my face. I have learned that friendship is something really special and does not depend on space or time. Actually, I did not learn that only this week, but it came to my mind again this week. You can be best friends also if you are in two different parts of the world. I love all the technology that allows me to be constantly in touch with my friends, and of course I love my friends! 🙂

4) I am very close to my 1000 followers on Twitter!! It was one of these numbers that came into my mind as a goal when I started the blog. This taught me that I am actually on the right way. I am so happy about that, thank you all!! (If you are not following me: hurry up and help me reach #1000!! 😉 ) Here is the LINK!

5) I have learned that it makes no sense packing the clothes you do not use in everyday life. We all (talking about women 🙂 ) have some “special” clothes we do not wear in everyday life, waiting for the occasion to use them, which could be a trip to somewhere special. Well, forget it! If you loved that pullover so much you would find any occasion to wear it. So, avoid carrying too much useless weight!

6) I am expecting many changes to the city of Milan, due to the EXPO 2015, which is very exciting. But of course one of them is the unavoidable increase of the hotel rates. What I actually found out this week is that the prices have already been increased, not only in Milan but also in the rest of Italy. Bologna is the city with the highest increase. My advice: If you know that you will travel to Italy in 2015, try to already book the hotels, in order not to have a higher rate later on.

7) ESA’s Rosetta mission soft-landed its Philae probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it is the first time in history that something so extraordinary has been achieved. And what are the people talking about? About champagne landing on Kim Kardashian’s huge butt!
I sometimes really cannot believe what I read! -> Here

8) Friends, my suitcase is packed, I will be flying to Barcelona to the EIBTM Travel trade fair! I will be soon reporting about the news in the travel business and, why not, also about some nice places to visit while on a business trip to Barcelona.

I am looking forward to your comments & thoughts! Have safe travels wherever you are!

Pinkvel 🙂

10 Things I have Learned…. (9/11/14)

Relaxing Sunday evening...
Relaxing Sunday evening…

It is a very relaxing Sunday afternoon, and I think the time has arrived to sit down and think about all I have learned this week that I would like to share with you.

I have booked some flights this week, so that I have learned (again) some new things regarding the world of the flights and the travel awards.

1) A look to the supermarkets clearly shows that Christmas and the end of the year is slowly but surely approaching. And as every year, and like every traveler and frequent flyer, my thought at the end of the year is: Will I be able to keep my Frequent Flyer Status this year?!
The answer is no 😦 And this is the first thing I learned this week: Some of the long ray flights I did last year are missing to reach the requested Miles. Few long flights give you more miles than many short flights.

2) If you book a package with a Tour Operator which includes a flight, you cannot earn miles with the flight.
As I am not a real Tour Operator type, I did not know it and was happy to give my Miles&More card details to the lady during the check-in. It all sounded as if the miles had been earned… but they never appeared to my account. Now the airline hotline finally confirmed my suspect: no miles for tour operator flights. I don’t see an explanation for this… Do you have one?

3) For those of you that are in need of only a few more miles for this year: Have a look at this year’s Christmas Calendar Apps offered by the airlines. There are sometimes very nice little presents for traveler. As an example, Lufthansa offers the Xmas Shaker App. It is a Calendar that allows you – with a little bit of luck – to earn a gift every day, from 1st December until Christmas.
Possible gifts are Extra-Miles!

4) Lufthansa is actively helping with the weather forecasts, as some of the planes have special instruments for the measurement of the temperature. They collect different data from different heights, which help the scientists predict the weather. Isn’t it quite strange if you think that the predictions you hear on TV arrive from the measurements on the plane you were seated in?

5) I have heard about it but I had never seen them: Gloves that allow you to use your Smartphone! I know, we are all crazy and too Smartphone-addicted. Well, what to say… I admit to be Smartphone-addicted but I don’t think that’s so bad. There are things which are worse! 🙂
I should have had them when I lived in the Swiss Alps and felt the need to communicate while walking around in the evening with -30 degrees!!
They work perfectly (of course I bought them!), and I think they are a great Christmas present too.

6) Thinking about my Smartphone addiction: I read that Bryant Park in Manhattan NY offers free Internet Access. Ok that’s not so spectacular. The nice thing is: if the battery gets low, you can charge it at the portable Solarstation City Charge! It has 6 cables to charge the most common Phones and Tablets. It is attached to a round table which animates the people to sit down and talk to the others while their Phones are charging.
I like the idea of a “real” social moment while sitting at that table and hope this idea will be copied in many other places too.

7) I have learned a lot about small, low weight Notebooks. But don’t worry, I won’t bother you with that. Just know that I will soon buy the one that I have already chosen. Nothing will stop me then from writing even from the strangest places! 🙂

8) For those of you missing some Italian lifestyle and food in Germany: there is a funny “Ape” car in front of the Italian Consulate in Cologne, offering great Espresso, Cappuccino and Italian pastry and finger-food (I am not only Smartphone-addicted, but also Espresso & Cornetto alla Crema addicted :-)).
It was so nice to see all the people from the offices nearby standing there and chat while drinking a good cup of coffee. Such a precious social moment and meeting point between Italian and German culture!

Ape Car in front of Italian Consulate in Cologne

9) You don’t need to go to developing countries to experience real transportation chaos. This can happen also in Germany. Deutsch Bahn (the German railway system) is striking for 4 days in a row now and the entire land is experiencing big troubles which not only affect the travel industry, but also the economy. It was always seen as a guaranteed system, but now please inform yourself before planning a train trip to Germany as the reason for the strike has still not been solved.

10) Pink Floyd has released a new album. I never liked them particularly.
Maybe it is because I am (a bit 😉 ) older now, but I really like their new single “Louder Than Words”. Check it out!

That’s all for now.
I am looking forward to your comments & why not, what you have learned?!

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

10 things I have learned in the past week

Dear Friends,

I have decided to start a new series of posts: „10 things I have learned in the past week“!

One should never stop learning. And indeed, one never does.
It is just that many people forget to stay interested and in search of something to learn – which is a pity.

So here is my advice: take 5 minutes of your life, every couple of days, and think about what you have learned. You will be surprised about how much that is! It keeps you alive, young and interesting!! 🙂

The things I learn will be written down. I hope every week. If not, it will be the things I have learned in “the past weeks”… or days! If you read them, they will automatically become the things you have learned too… which seems quite a funny fact to me. I’m pleased to share my news and thoughts with you.

I am looking forward to your thoughts, comments and of course corrections!

Here are my 10 things I have learned last week:

1. On every Euro bill there is a bridge represented. The bridges have been invented by the designer of the bills and they represent gateways and the connections throughout the European continent. They show the different European ages and architectural styles. The more the bill is worth, the more modern is the architecture of the bridge. It starts with the Classical architecture on the 5 Euro bill and ends with a very modern bridge on the 500 Euro bill.
And here is the link to travel: The Dutch town of Spijkenisse is building the bridges of the Euro bills. They are identical in form and color! It is a great project and they hope to soon become a touristic attraction with that.

2. If a person you like asks you to plan a trip, or a simple evening together and you are not enthusiastic about the idea, be brave and say the right reason why you do not want to do it. Never use excuses in order not to hurt the person who asked you: you will feel bad and the person often feels that there is something wrong. Be straight up, it will be often appreciated!

3. The tragic clash of the “Virgin Galactic” brings Space Travel dreamers back to reality… I am not sure our generation will experience space tourism.

4. It seems that smart people out there are working on the idea of a mixture between a rocket and an airplane. It would start vertically and allow bringing us from one place to the other in a record-speed. The example was Germany to USA in 40 minutes. I would love that!

5. Other smart people are training ducks for a life on the moon.

6. Not only did humanity fill the Earth with waste, it also managed to fill the space with waste!!
It is called “space debris”, “space junk” or “space waste” and it is made of small objects that orbit around the Earth: pieces of rockets, old satellites, fragments from disintegration, erosion, and collisions. It seems that 19’000 pieces larger than 5 cm are tracked and 300’000 pieces smaller than 1 cm! (did you see the movie Gravity?)

7. Yes, I’ve been to the “Outer Space” Exhibition in Bonn. It is still on until the 22nd February 2015. Very Interesting! More info here.

"Outer Space" Exhibition, Bonn
“Outer Space” Exhibition, Bonn

8. Jordan must be such a special and beautiful destination to see.

9. I have learned to use Flipagram and it is really funny.

10. Trendy people now use “What’s Up” mainly to send Audio messages… I am so uncool! 🙂