Search

runawaysav

Category

Spain

Barcelona

*In the process of finishing

Wow was Barcelona a whirl wind of fun! I didn’t keep track of what day I did what or who I met what day because I was literally ALWAYS doing something. This is just a summary of my  hands down  favorite week of my travels, everything just came together.

I was no longer tired of traveling. Which ended up sucking because I LOVE Barcelona and just about everyone I met was amazing. The city was amazing, the other travelers I met were amazing, the weather was amazing. A lot of people said ‘What a great way to end your trip!’ Except that one week only made me want to continue traveling!

Day 92: My Aussie roommie reminded me so much of Juno, she was awesome. She was leaving the next morning and had half a liter of Rum left so decided the two of us needed to finish it.

I’m really not much of a club person but figured it my last week in Barcelona so why not?

Still not a club person.

I only stayed for about half an hour before peacing out. Said goodbye to Courtney as she was dancing with a guy she had previously met but I knew the streets so headed back around 3am

Day 93: My internal clock woke me up again as usual around 9:30. I needed to figure out a better pillow situation because I normally sleep propped up and the pillow there was nice but I’m also not up against a wall so I can’t prop it up or put much under it without it just falling off the back end of my bed.

The few people I had met the night before had all left that morning, but I didn’t care because I was on a mission to see my favorite spot in the city, Bunker. It is a little way of a treck, a little over an hour, but I had no other plans for the day. It was however much warmer then I anticipated.

When I got back to the hostel I met Honor, another solo traveler from Australia.

 

Day 94: I met up with Cici! My GAA buddy from Spring back in the states and we explored the gothic quarter together with another one of her friends then got some DELICIOUS Churros!

That night I met a group of guys who had been traveling together for a while by renting cars and had started in… Italy I believe and eaten in Eight…. I believe was the number different countries within 24 hours. ANYWAYS Dan, from Texas was cooking Octopus! SO I had to say Hello and start a conversation.

IMG_7144

Then we went out to a Jazz bar, which was fun but not exactly what our group was searching for so we headed back to the closest club. Two English blokes joined us for the evening and they were a HOOT! The dance floor was pretty much empty so me and one of the guys pretty much just started swing dancing. Definitely the most fun I had out at the clubs in Barcelona.

Day 95: Dan, Canada, and two guys from New Zealand had invited me to join them on their day trip to Girona. I figured what else was I going to do that day? And when is a better time then the present to jump in a car with 4 guys you’ve only know for 12 hours? Barcelona.

Day 96: I can’t quite remember what I did during the day but that evening we went out to see Montjuic fountain show and I showed everyone the top of the Mall then we wandered around the streets and hit up some of the old bars I use to visit on my study abroad.

Day 97: Mark arrived from Zaragoza! Not until later in the evening but I was also able to visit my old host family that day!

Day 98: My last day in Barcelona was a sad one, but I was able to see all I had wanted to be able to see. I was also able to meet up with my

Day 99: Mark and I got up and headed to the airport, we were hoping we’d be in the same terminal so could have a goodbye Mimosa’s but since I was flying back to the states and he was flying within Europe we were in different terminals.

Advertisements

Northern Spain

Better late then never right?

Pamplona

Day 87: I ended up being glad I took the later bus to Pamplona because there was no one at my hostel. There was the front attendant who was nice but didn’t seem too interested in chatting, and 1 other girl who also wasn’t interested in chatting. But that was fine with me because I needed to catch up on my blogging, and sleep. I went to the grocery store, grabbed some groceries, cooked my chicken and cut up the array of veggies I had gotten and had myself a massive salad for dinner. I’m not kidding it was ridiculously large.

Day 88: I took the morning to plan my attack for what to see, but I wasn’t finding too much to do nor were there any free walking tours. I did find a few routes of the paid tours but they also never responded to my emails to see how much they even cost. I decided to follow their route, to see Plaza de Torros (another bull fighting ring) walk down the main street where the bull chasing is, to another cathedral, a famous wall that protected the country from the French decades ago, the town hall, a famous plaza, and a park. It was cloudy out so saw everything but the park in about…. half an hour ha. It probably would have taken a bit longer with a tour guide to explain each site but besides the specific history to Pamplona I’ve seen those sites in dozens of European cities now.

I did happen upon an adorable Christmas market where I was able to practice my spanish with the locals and get some cute gifts for the family.

Day 89: My morning was pretty routine, took the morning to relax a bit, had some free breakfast, packed up my things and headed off to the bus station.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza didn’t start off looking to exciting. I was once again the only one checked into my room, there was one other woman’s things but no sight of her.
I went to the Market before it closed but didn’t feel like cooking and it was too small of a market to have any pre-made food so dinner consisted of chips and an apple.

Luckily later in the evening two more roommates showed up, a local Spaniard from Barcelona who I spoke a little with before switching to English then an English mate, Mark. We all spent the evening chatting and made plans to catch up with Mark the next day after checking out his new School. He had just gotten a job in Zaragoza with a language school.

Day 90: I had made a post on couchsurfers.com that I would be in town and if anyone would be willing to show me around. Again as in Madrid I had several older guys send me messages but none seemed like anyone I could really hit it off with but I figured I’d give one guy a shot. However, he didn’t have much to show me in Zaragoza nor seemed too interested in my life. So I once again spent the morning asking all the questions, and while he did have some amazing travel stories (he went to Mongolia, bought some horses with a couple other guys, and spent 6 weeks trekking through the mountains!!!) SO after we parted ways I decided to stay clear of couch surfing for the rest of my trip.

I ran into Mark back at the hostel after checking out his school and he lOVED IT. It only made me even more excited to get my TEFL certification as well and hopefully find an awesome job like him. Although I do know he really lucked out, most gigs aren’t as good as his set up, his seemed about perfect. His new co-workers invited him out for dinner so I was left to find something on my own again.

We got a new roommate, a girl from Greece working in Barcelona at a technical firm just in town for the night so wanted to go exploring, perfect! We headed out to the Christmas Market and got ourselves some hot wine, watched the kid slide down I giant fake snow covered hill and an adorable mini wooden ferris wheel. We wandered around the popular bar areas and grabbed a couple drinks. There was a group of people celebrating a guys 60th birthday and the women were all dressed in bright pink and leopard print haha.

Day 91: Mark and I grabbed breakfast then headed off to go check out a potential new apartment. Both of our Spanish levels are at about a low intermediate so we could understand the basics of what the landlord was telling us but once we had to pull out a note pad to draw haha
After that we went to go explore the neighborhood. There was a massive grocery store near by and we ended up having WAY too much in a grocery store. There were meat legs every where and the fruit all looked SO good and they had about every kind of Lindor truffle chocolates you could image so we both got a bag full of those.
Mark had to move hostels but then he came back over to mine to enjoy some wine and pasta for dinner. After chatting for a while we figured out that after I left Granada the guys I had been hanging out with ended up going to the hostel Mark had been at! Small world.

Day 92: My morning was once again routine, packing, breakfast, and off to the bus station. However, my bus ride to Barcelona was anything but routine.

Friends who travel together…

Have way more fucking fun! Plus stay together longer.

I met up with my Chocolates (Rose and Rosaura) as well the AitorsX2 ALL from Global Aztec Alliance at SDSU. And well work, I met the Chocolates working together at the Study Abroad Office at SDSU then I dragged them to GAA (It’s all a long story).

Day 82: I arrived in Bilbao about 15 minutes late and apparently Rose thought she lost me. Out of everyone I have/ will meet up with those in Bilbao are definitely the one’s I’m closest to. Rose is studying in Bilbao for the semester while her bf Aitor #2 lives there (So does Aitor #1 but #2 is the bf, again long story). But there she was waiting for me when I got off the bus and we made our way back to her apartment.

It was also Aitor #2’s Birthday so Rosaura and I were coming in a day early to add an extra surprise to his surprise birthday that night. Rose and I went to the store so I could make dinner for Rosaura and I before going out that evening because Rose was taking Aitor out for his Birthday dinner to give everyone time to arrive to her apartment.

I already knew one of Roses’s Roommates, Raleigh, we had met back in San Diego before they left for Spain. I soon met Sebastian, their other roommate and another exchange student but from Germany. Raleigh had gone to pick up Rosaura from the train station (she was coming in from Vigo) so I showered and started dinner for the evening (Pasta as always).

The evening went by pretty quick. Raleigh returned with Rosaura, lots of hugging, we ate dinner, we got dressed, other friends started to arrive, Aitor #1 arrived! (he studied abroad at SDSU Spring 2015 and was part of GAA) then we turned off all the lights from Rose’s warning text that they were downstairs. Their Spanish friends were horrible at staying quiet and kept giggling to each other so as soon as Rose opened the door Aitor goes “It’s a party isn’t it?” But we still yelled surprise anyways when he took off the blind fold and the party commenced.

We played ‘rage cage’ and drank the famous Basque drink, Kalimotxo, which is just wine and coca cola mixed together ha. Spaniards are on a completely different party time… so we didn’t leave the apartment until about 1:30am, at which point I only remember snippets from the night until it was time to come home at 6am once the metro started working again.

Day 83: We slept in till 2pm. I can’t remember the last time I slept that late. I also can’t remember the last time I was out until 7am. Aitor #2 went to the store to get some pancake mix and we all slowly started to get up. Aitor #2 ended up making the omelets, Rose making the pancakes, Aitor #1 cleaning up the living room while Rosaura and I slowly got ready. We didn’t end up leaving the house until 4pm.

It was a gorgeous day out! We walked from the apartment along the river to the Guggenheim and saw the famous Flower Puppy as well as giant spider.

We kept wandering along the river and eventually headed into more of the city center. We saw all the christmas lights, extended Rosaura’s bus ticket (she had originally booked to leave the next morning but Rose and I said no way). Then we set off to find dinner. But it was too early for most restaurants to be open (7:30) as most didn’t open until 8:30 because Spaniards eat dinner between 9:30-10:30. We finally found a place that was open and I had a delicious hamburger. Burgers can be a major hit and miss sometimes and I hadn’t had one in at least a month.

We said goodbye to Aitor #1 and the rest of us headed back to Roses.

Day 84: Rose, Rosaura and I headed off to San Sebastian for a girls day. The first bus we planned to catch was full so we headed to a cafe where we grabbed some tea and delicious pinchos. It was once again a gorgeous and sunny day, completely out of the ordinary for northern Spain being early December. We hopped off the bus and wandered down the canal to the ocean.

IMG_6919

There was a pier that everyone was taking pictures on as the waves came crashing down on the rocks then would run away trying to avoid getting wet. One woman wasn’t paying attention as we all ran away she got absolutely soaked, we all laughed and hoped she at least got a good picture!

Next we headed off to find lunch and I had a delicious stake with red peppers and croquetas. And of course some red wine. After lunch we decided we needed ice cream so stopped in a gelato shop. The ice cream/gelato in Italy was definitely way better. The sun was starting to go down so we made our way to the main hill in San Sebastian that had a giant Jesus monument on top.

The sunset was once again gorgeous and we spent way too long trying to get good pictures. By the time we made it to the top we realized our bus was about to leave for Bilbao and the next one wouldn’t be for another 3.5 hours so we hustled back across San Sebastian.

IMG_6955IMG_7036

 

The restaurant we had tried to go to the night before was open by the time we got back to headed over. There was also a futbol(soccer) game going on, it was crazy to see the streets packed with people! And when I say packed I mean PAKCED. The food was delicious! I got chicken with sweet pineapple chunks (just thinking of it makes me miss it).

Day 85: Rosaura left early that morning, she woke me up to say goodbye by laying on top of me. But I didn’t care cause Rose and I needed to get up anyways to go meet Aitor to head to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. It’s basically a church high up on a cliff formation right off the water. (Rose has the photos) It was a little of a hike down to the shore from the car park then up to the top of the church and it was REALLY windy. Especially once we reached the top we couldn’t see cause our hair was just swirling all around us haha

IMG_7054

Aitor had to get back for class so on our way back to Rose’s apartment we stopped for some shopping. I really wanted a new big warm scarf and was running low on conditioner and some make up. I also just wanted to buy everything in all the stores because it had been SO long since I went shopping!

IMG_7057

When we got back we had a girls night, two bottles of wine, comfy pj’s, and good chick flick. Although we only ended up getting about 30 minutes into the movie before we paused it so we could talk, then never finished it haha

Day 86: Rose and I decided to have a lazy day. She needed to study and I needed to catch up on my blog. However, neither of us got much done ha. We also needed to head into the city center to get groceries because it was a bank holiday so majority of the surrounding markets were closed.

We decided to make California Burritos for dinner! But by the time we got back it was lunch time so we made lunch, frozen pizza and fresh fruit salad, we even had whipped cream! That’s what I’ve missed most about backpacking I think is my lack of cooking options. I can’t eat everything I might buy for more unique dishes in the short time I have.

The burritos were some of the best food I’ve had since I started traveling, it tasted especially good since we also made guacamole!

We had also purchased face masks to do for girls night the previous night but never got around to it. Rose had to wake up early for class so I asked Aitor to do it with me, which he gladly agreed to. Then we convinced Raleigh to do it so at that point Rose had to join in.

Day 87: Rose was suppose to leave for class early that morning, but decided it would be better if she could get some more sleep then study in the afternoon. She went back to sleep and I said goodbye to the boys one by one as they each headed off to class. I was suppose to leave at 12 for my bus but decided to catch the later one. That way  I was able to finish packing, make lunch, and finish checking off the last of my few items on my todo list.

It felt so routine to head out the door and down the street with my stuff but it was also different this time since I was leaving friends. One perk of traveling is you get to see more friends than if you stayed in one city (especially when you have friends from all corners of the globe) but it also means saying a lot of goodbyes and see you laters.

Madrid: New and Old Faces

I was only in Madrid for 4 nights but I did so much and met up with so many different people.

Day 78: I had been debating walking to my hosts house from the bus station but the bus got in a little later than anticipated and when looking at a map we were 15 minutes further from where I thought we’d get in. So I put my little spanish to use to ask which metro line I needed to get to my coffee shop. I wandered around the station for a little cause no one could tell me exactly where I needed to go just the general direction. When I finally figured it out it was quite easy. As I was walking out of the metro I literally walked right into Charlotte, a backpacker from Quebec I had met in Sevilla. She didn’t have any plans so said she’d join me for a coffee while I waited for my host. When I say host I mean Couch surfing host. At that point in my travels I had met SO many people who had tried couch surfing at least a few times and some had decided it wasn’t there thing but no one had had a bad experience. So I figured I’d give it a shot in Madrid.

Charlotte and I waited for about 45 minutes, talked about what we had been doing since we last saw each other and her prior couch surfing experiences. Met my host finally arrived, Juan, and we headed down the street to his apartment. He was in his mid 30’s, very polite, and had a spare bedroom for me. I wasn’t able to stay for too long however because I had plans to meet up with Daniel, a guy I had met in Porto, Portugal 2 years ago while I was studying abroad in Barcelona. He had been studying in Porto and I had taken a solo trip there one weekend and connected with his group of friends. I should be meeting up with two other people I met during that trip in Barcelona as well!

IMG_6614

We met a Plaza del Sol under the giant Christmas tree. It was nice to see all the Christmas lights lit up in Madrid, they had them all up in Granada but none of them were lit. Daniel was a fabulous tour guide! Apparently he had done this for other friends visiting the city so he actually knew some of the history!

Day 79: I spent the morning catching up on some blogging and then met up with Matt from couch surfing. I had set up a “Public Trip” to Madrid with what days I’d be in the city asking if someone could host me/ if they couldn’t just wanted to meet for drinks. I got at least 10 offers. All seemed nice, but they were all men and some were in their mid 30’s but had no references or many photos so I chose people who had multiple photos and references. Anyways, after I had already accepted to stay with Juan and another surfer Matt messaged me and he’s 25 so we decided to meet up for drink that evening. We wandered around the city talking and he told me his life story, growing up in Chile, Argentina, Madrid and Barcelona. He had just returned to Madrid from two years in Chile, where he’s originally from.

As you may have figured out I have a thing for sunsets. So I asked him if there was a good place to see it and he said he knew just the place, Circulo de Bellas Artes. Although he had never actually been there himself. Sadly it cost 4 euros to get to the roof but boy was it worth it.We had a panoramic view of the whole city. And I don’t mind seeing the sunset in the city in Europe because there are little sky scrapers if any, the roof tops are red so enhance the sunset, and the buildings are usually a cream color so the whole city looks pink. After finishing our drinks we headed out to find some tapas since they eat dinner so late (around 9:30) and I had already made plans to eat with my host. Most places don’t open until around 8 but it was only 7 so we ended up at a touristy place but by that point I was starving so it was okay. I said goodbye to Matt and headed back to meet my host for dinner.

IMG_6648

We enjoyed some more great conversations and had a small traditional Spanish dinner  of bread with tomatoes, cheese, and meats.

Day 80: I headed out early for me, 8:30am, to meet up with Vivian, she studied abroad at SDSU and we met through GAA. She took me to the most famous Churros restaurant in Madrid, Chocolatería San Gines. They really were the best churros I’ve ever had!

Churros

Afterwards we headed to Plaza de Toros to learn more about the history of Bull Fighting. It was a very interesting tour and very informational, it talked about the different matadors, the rules of the fight, how many matadors go into a ring etc. I don’t know if they were just exaggerating this but they talked of how the bulls were treated like Kings before they entered the areana because they had to be in the utmost physical condition. The one thing they didn’t talk about is how it came to be, who and mainly why they started it.

IMG_6677

We headed back to the main plaza so I could head back and grab lunch before meeting up with Fernando. When I went back to the Plaza to wait for Fernando I ran into Alex from Granada! I really was running into more people in Madrid than before. I also met Fernando in San Diego but through the Study Abroad office. Alex joined us on the walk to the restaurant for tapas and he headed into H&M to get some warmer winter clothes. Fernando and I spent a while at the tapas restaurant cathcing up and talking about life. Then we headed to Templo de Debod to watch the sunset. It was once again a gorgeous view! I headed back to Juan’s house as I was set to move to a different hosts house, Javier.

IMG_6709

IMG_6717

I said goodbye to Juan and set off to meet Javier. He lived a little out side of Madrid which was fine because the next day we would go check out Toledo! When we got to his house I met his cat, who’s name I cannot pronounce because it was German but he weight about 22 pounds! He was a Norwegian Forrest Cat… or something like that. We ordered take out cause Javier had had a long day and talked some more over dinner. His pull out couch was more comfy then a couple hostel beds I’ve had haha

Day 81: Javier likes to sleep in, which is totally fine for me because then I had time to sleep in as well and shower before he headed off to Toledo.

Javier is nice but we have different tastes of music and interests in general, and while Toledo was gorgeous it would have been better with friends.

IMG_6734.JPG

Javier had stopped making an effort to find something in common to talk about which was fine with me because he went out for a date that night and I got the apartment to myself!

I did enjoy my first two experiences couch surfing and meeting up with someone from the site but I’m not sure it’s for me. If I need a place to stay for a night maybe, because I can get to know the host and we can share our travel and life stories but if we don’t click then we haven’t run out of conversation for the next couple days. For multiple nights if you don’t click with your host… it’s not awkward I’d just feel more comfortable at a hostel.

Day 82: I finished packing up my belongings, said goodbye to Javier, and headed off to the bus station. On my way to the main station a gorgeous Spaniard started conversation with me and I REALLY wish my Spanish was better because he didn’t know any English. He admired my traveling and told me he wanted to do that with his friends via euro rail. We only chatted for about 5 minutes until we went our separate ways and I was off to Bilbao!

Another Lover

My new love is not a guy, it’s the city of Granada.

Day 71: I arrived right at sunset and for some reason decided to walk 50 minutes to my hostel instead of taking a 15 minute bus (seriously no clue what I was thinking). When I arrived I had one roommate, Em from some where near New York. I had been in contact with Greg and James from Sevilla so after showering I invited Em to join and we went to meet up with the boys. Greg was traveling with a British friend Ben and they had picked up another Brit, Hugo… Somewhere. I was starting to come down with a bad cough and dry throat so kept to tea while they all had some beers. We then spent an hour wandering the streets looking for a bar  with really good Italian pasta tapas. Only to find it was closed ha So we wandered to another one of their favorite bars.

The bar was PACKED and ran by an older English couple. If you go to Granada make sure to look up Poe’s. You got a beer for 2 euros plus a delicious tapa! James, Em and I stayed pretty late so were able to chat with the bar tender who said his wife marinades all the tapas the day before which is why they are so good.

I also tried absinthe for the first time. It was the most intense shot I have ever taken. It doesn’t taste bad it just has such a nigh content of alcohol. It also didn’t get us drunk after one shot like they say in the movies ha.

Absinthe

Day 72: Em headed out that morning to Sevilla and I got up to go hiking with Arthur from Córdoba. He had met a woman, Elizabeth from Germany, and she joined us for the hike. It was such a cool hike! I’m so glad he invited me because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone. We had to take a 30 minute bus to a small village where the trail started. We got to cross some really cool rope bridges then most of the trail was elevated along the river. Arthur and Elizabeth had to get back for their train that afternoon but I would have loved to spend the whole day up there exploring.


We didn’t get back till pretty late and I was starting to feel a little sick so decided to call it a night in. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on some healthy foods for the next week. My sinuses felt like someone inflated a ballon in there it was horrible. Luckily I had the whole dorm room to myself so could take as long of a steamy hot shower as I wanted!

Day 73: Woke up with a slight fever, completely stuffed nose, and cough so decided to call it a day in. And glad I did! I spent the day taking hot steam showers, napping, drinking tea, and relaxing. It was really nice that I had the room to myself because I also did laundry so needed pretty much the whole room to hang it up haha.

Day 74: I woke up and headed off to the Alhambra. Granada weather is perfect during the day, it was a few days away from December and mid day it’d get up to 17-20 degrees. Nights however were freezing. But there was rarely a cloud in the sky it was exactly my type of weather.

The Alhambra was gorgeous, although I should have done more research before going because I didn’t feel like paying for a three hour tour. The old arabic designs in the palaces was amazing, the amount of detail they put in was mind blowing.

The gardens were also gorgeous and I took my sweet time exploring all the different buildings and taking pictures. I was headed back to the city center for a cave tour when I found a park bench in the sun and ended up falling asleep so missed it. Later I found out they hadn’t even been offering it that day so I didn’t miss much.

I finally got two new hostel mates, two girls from Germany but they were eager to head to the clubs and pretty sure they didn’t return until about 5am haah. I met up with the boys again that night but Greg and Ben didn’t stay long because Greg was leaving for Barcelona the next morning so James and I went to their favorite Italian places and they were right the pasta tapas were delicious.

Day 75: The next morning I woke up to go explore another park near the Alhambra. However I couldn’t find the entrance but did find a small path leading up behind the park through an olive orchard. I also found a great view of the other side of the city and a cute old building with columns covered in yellow leaves.

IMG_6627

That afternoon I went on the cave tour it was by far one of the hottest days yet in Granada, it reached almost 25. The caves are homes to those who do not wish to be apart of the system, cannot afford it, or merely enjoy living out there and their families have done it for generations. I also met another traveler, Alex, who had just hiked the Camino de Santiago and was now exploring the south of Spain.

That night I met up with all the Brits since Greg left, and they had recruited another! James, Ben, Hugo, and now Tom. We checked out a few new tapas bars which were really good! 2 euros for a beer and tapa, and they were really good and filling. Tom was working at the boys hostel so he had to head back so the rest of us once again headed to our favorite bar where the boys preceded to have beer and through out the night 3 shots of absinthe. We stayed until they closed at 3am and I went back to my hostel but apparently the boys kept on going until about 5am.

Day 76: I said goodbye to my German roommates who I really hadn’t seen to too much of because one of us was either out or sleeping. I made lunch and set off to meet James to explore the Jewish quarter and caves some more and to eventually see the sunset from the top of the caves.

It was really nice to just be able to hang out in Granada and have more chill friends there to experience it with. We took our time climbing down from the caves and I got some great shots of the Alhambra as the city lights turned on and the sun went down (my featured photo).

We parted ways and I said goodbye to another friend.

Day 77: I had the room to myself again so took the morning to shower, pack, finished off my food, and then actually took the bus to the station instead of walking the 50 minutes.

Tapas, Tapas, and more Tapas

Sevilla

Day 65: My flight didn’t get in until 8pm but I didn’t care I was back in Spain! It is by far my favorite country. My Spanish was/ still is EXTREMELY rusty, I had been trying to practice a little bit each day before arriving but it wasn’t much help. I got to my hostel around 9 absolutely starving, met some people in the kitchen where the wifi only worked, and checked into my room.  Luckily my two roommates were on their way out for 1 euro tapas! They hadn’t met the 4th roommate but the two I went to dinner with were from Argentina and the other China, but the second has been living/working in Germany for the past three years. When we got to the restaurant what we didn’t realize is they weren’t regular tapas they were bocadillos tapas, but delicious none the less.

When we got back to the hostel we headed to the roof for free Sangria. Two of the hostel employs were from the Netherlands working there for a month. One guy I had met in the kitchen from California, Greg,  was also there and we made plans to check out the free walking tour in the morning. Only to later find out he was the mysterious 4th person in our room.

Day 66: I took my time getting ready in the morning, and luckily it’s warm in Sevilla because the hostel lost their hair dryer (someone kept it for over 24 hours). Greg and I headed off to wander the city since we missed the free walking tour but quickly stumbled upon it. It was such a beautiful day. It was actually hot as well, standing in the sun for too long we would even start sweating! I had really been missing the sun in over cast Italy. We started talking to another guy from our hostel who was also on the tour from South Korea and we set off to grab some tapas after the tour. The tour ended in Plaza Espana which is absolutely gorgeous. Our tour guide gave us some of her favorite places but sadly they were tourist traps so I don’t know what she was talking about. We ended up going some where else that wasn’t ridiculously priced.

madrid

I headed off that afternoon to meet up with Laura, we had met Freshman year of university and hadn’t talked much since but she was studying in Sevilla so we grabbed a quick coffee.  She was also able to direct me to the good shopping areas because both of my jeans now had massive holes in the crotch ha.

Back at the hostel Greg had met James, a guy from Britain taking his sweet time to travel Spain. We went out for dinner/ tapas and the hostel was doing free beer that night but there weren’t too many people so we just chatted with the two staff members from the Netherlands for a while.

Day 67: We had a lot of tapas, Cerveza and Sangria that day. Greg, James and I set off to wander the city some more and went back to Plaza Espana which is absolutely gorgeous, then we walked around the park. James had been to a decent tapas place by the river (we had mostly been to tourists places so far) and he was right. After Tapas and a beer we walked across town to Hercules Plaza which Laura had recommended for a good night life but we checked it out in the afternoon. Tapas and cerveza was so much cheaper! We got a liter of Sangria to share, and it was definitely more of a local area.

12311250_10208053170668231_6124970513697512697_n

Back at the hostel one of James friends Charlotte from Quebec joined us and we all made pasta for dinner before going to a free Flamenco show! Everyone had been trying to sell us 18-25 euros tickets so we were glad James had stumbled upon this. The drinks were a little over priced and we drank a couple pitchers of Sangria but the show was worth it and we ended up getting front row seats!

Day 68: Give your map to a stranger and they just might give you something in return. In this case the girl was studying in Córdoba (my next destination) so was able to give me a lot of great local places to check out! The boys had already headed off to Granada where I would meet up with them in a couple days and I was waiting in the hostel lounge until it was time to head out for my bus when I saw her struggling with a very small map so offered her mine. Her recommendations would definitely come in hand.

Cordoba

I arrived late in the evening, the streets were bustling and all the families were out on the Saturday night. I didn’t have a problem getting to my hostel, got settled in, chatted to my Spanish roommates for a bit then headed off to explore the city and find a grocery store. I decided to walk back along the main streets since I didn’t have a city map yet and ended up exploring for about an hour along the main shopping areas, but no super market. I didn’t realize how late it was and by the time I finally started asking people they would direct me towards one but said it might be closed. They were right. Luckily I found a small convince store that had pasta and sauce so I would survive.

In the kitchen I met Adam who at 18 was pretty much doing everything I have ever wanted to do in Spain. He’s taking a gap year before going to Stanford next fall. He spent his 1st month hiking El Camino de Santiago, second month currently backpacking, and will spend his last month as an au pair in Barcelona where we’ll meet up again. I had considered doing all 3 and had chosen backpacking but had never considered to combine them! After Spain he’s heading to Asian where he’ll finish the rest of his gap year. He also made WAY too many veggies for his pasta so ended up sharing and we made plans to go to the walking tour in the morning.

Day 69: It was cold outside, about 6-8 Celsius and I headed to the kitchen to wait for Adam. I was just about to leave when he finally came in but told me he wasn’t feeling well so was gonna have to miss the free walking tour.
I love being able to get around in Spanish, I’ve now been to several places where they probably do speak English but I’m able to order completely in Spanish. I also enjoy being able to go to the local restaurants because they definitely don’t know English or have English menus.
I started off talking to a girl from Germany doing an internship in Córdoba but she then headed off on the Spanish speaking tour, I’m not that confident yet ha

There weren’t any other solo travelers except for another guy from the states, Arthur was from San Francisco on a week long vacation during the Thanksgiving holidays. Apparently international flights are extremely cheap that week since everyone wants to fly domestic. Our tour guide was great and very eccentric, a local from Cordoba eager to share about her city. At the end of the tour I asked her if she could point Arthur and I in the direction of the recommended restaurants the girl from Sevilla gave us but all she said was ‘oh I haven’t been there so cannot recommend it BUT there are the places on the map you also get a discount’ it was a little disappointing because I knew right off the bat these would be tourist traps because they gave this map out to everyone and she got excited at some restaurant on the list when she was reading it so obviously it was good.

Anyways we decided to find the way ourselves and glad we did! We went back to one of the famous plazas for tapas and I got to show Arthur about all the popular tapas. Patatas Braves, Croquetas, Spanish Tortilla, Jamon… I had heard the recommendation of ox tail before, apparently it is a local delicacy and I in no way shape or form support bull fighting but the meats already there so I might as well try it. It was stringy yet good but completely different from regular croquetas. Arthur offered to pay for  lunch since he know what it was like to be backpacking on a budget and as a thanks for helping him order food since he didn’t know any spanish haha.  After that Arthur and I parted ways, he was going to take a siesta and I wanted to explore the city some more. It really is a very small city, at least the touristy parts I was able to see majority of in an hour or two, and that was walking through the tour route again. I do love these walkable cities though, you’re able to get an actual feel for the city.

Day 70: I got up early to get into the Mezqita for free and met up with Arthur once again. It was quite amazing walking around with hardly any one else there.

We decided to head across town to try another restaurant the girl from Sevilla had recommended. And boy am I glad we did! A completely local spot right out side the touristy area of Córdoba. We got tea and a local dish, a giant slice of toasted bread with mashed tomato and ham, between both of us it was only 4 euros. Again my Spanish came in handy because they definitely didn’t know english at the restaurant. Arthur headed off to Granada where I had plans to meet him and then I wandered through the city and had my palms read by a gypsy.

12316210_10208053196748883_5681751117374470966_n

After relaxing at my hostel I went back out to get lunch and check out the Alcazar, only to find out it’s closed on Mondays. It was such a nice and warm afternoon in the sun it would have been great to just sit in the gardens. So I sat right outside of the park instead, it honestly felt a good 10 degrees warmer just sitting in the sun I immediately had to take off all my layers! I honestly could have fallen asleep on that bench but what I really wanted was a nice park in the sun to lay down in the grass. But the need for delicious tapas was too much so I set off again to grab lunch.

The family that ran the restaurant I chose was adorable. A mother who put up with my broken Spanish as I asked her questions about the menu, her husband, and a 5 year old daughter that was running around. When I got back to the hostel I went to the roof which was still extremely warm. I took off my jacket and socks and just sat until the sun started to go down.

12075020_10208053196108867_8749266445184270020_n

I finally saw Adam again in the kitchen, he had gotten a stomach bug so had spent the past two days in the hostel. I told him I was going out to try and see the sunset and that he was welcome to join me if he felt up to it, he said he was. We weren’t able to see much of a sunset but once they lit up the bridge and the Mazquita we were able to get some pretty good pictures.

 

_DSC0549

Day 71: I relaxed in the hostel for the morning and packed up my belongings. I ate breakfast and left my bag at the front desk and headed back to the Alcazar. It really was a gorgeous garden and it had some great views of the city as well.

I went back to my hostel, collected my belongings, and headed off to the bus station.

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑