Leif Gruner, 45 years, married, 2 boys of 10 and 5 years. Grew up in Northern Germany, and has lived in Hamburg, St. Moritz and Tokyo before moving to Barcelona 2 years ago, on March 2021. He is a charter yacht broker with Edmiston & Company, offering unique holiday experiences on board some of the biggest and most luxurious yachts available. Edmiston & Company is a world leader in charter, sales, new build, and management of private yachts for their worldwide UHNWI clientele.
Why did you choose Barcelona?
Wanting to transition from my previous career at sea to a land-based job, Barcelona was a perfect choice as it combines an all-year yachting hub and great quality of life.
What aspects of the city would you highlight as being positive?
Barcelona has many outdoor activities; the weather just draws you out of the house! The people are lovely and very welcoming, the food scene is amazing, too much culture to put in a few words here, the healthcare system is affordable and well equipped.
What aspects of the city must be improved? How?
Every time I talk to somebody about Barcelona one of the first questions is: «How do you deal with all the crime? Pickpocketing, break ins!». Increase the police force and enforce the law harder. Too many visitors take bad experiences home with them and will not paint a beautiful picture of Barcelona abroad!
What do you expect from Barcelona in the coming years?
Barcelona is on the right track to attract international talent, events (think of the America’s Cup) and students but might want to curb the number of tourists. Overcrowded cities don’t mix well with quality tourism and quality of life for the locals.
Which city do you feel as «your city»? What do you miss the most?
I think Barcelona is already pretty much up there, you’ve got the sea and the mountains just next to each other with many activities and cultural options to choose from. Good education is provided by a big number of well-funded schools (private and public) & universities and Barcelona offers better public transport than many other major cities. I don’t miss much and rather try to focus on all the positives instead of getting wound up with some minor negatives.
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