When I saw this today, it made me really sad. My parents are going to Germany in 2 weeks for Oktoberfest and sadly I am not going with. Maybe one day in the not so near future I will be able to go, but till then, I am just going to look up fun places to go.
I have personally been to the St. James Brewery in Dublin, and I have to say for myself the Gravity Bar is amazing. Definitely worth it. When I think of it, I am immediately taken back to the creamy, frothy taste that you can only get from an original Guinness in Ireland. ”Every girl should have her little black drink” :)
As for the other bars mentioned in the article, I want to try all of them.
If you are in Barcelona, you have to try this mouth watering tortillería. Its glamour omelettes that are delicious, chic, and worth the visit. Its at C/ GRANADA DEL PENEDÈS, 25, 08006 Barcelona, Spain, not far from the Gracia FCG stop. “Flash Flash was born in the 70’s, with the glamour of Barcelona’s Gauche Divine movement. Original and -at that time- very modern, its black and white decor is amazing and very atractive. Informal atmosphere frequented by high class people of all ages. The speciality of the house is omelette in all its forms.” It’s partially owned by Leopoldo Pomes, a fashion photographer. The woman posing as the model in the pop-art decorations around the outside and inside is actually his wife. There is also a cute little bar called the Underground not that far off, if you want to stop in for a drink/dancing.
Ever since my sister and her new husband have gotten back from their cruise, I have been dying to find a way to spend a week at sea. When I saw this article, it made the traveling gypsy come out in me. These aren’t just your average cruises. They have a unique twist and unfortunatley they have a unique cost as well.
Hopefully some day in the not so far future, I will not just be looking up amazing trips like these, but actually be a passenger to the Sea of Cortez or French Polynesia. Till then… this is as good as it gets.
Barcelona is known for its ridiculous amounts of graffiti decorating the streets. Throughout the semester, I have made it my duty to take pictures of the ones that I found most interesting, weird, and good. I will let you decide for yourself if it should be considered art or not. Keep in mind though that this is a VERY small portion of the graffiti in Barcelona, and there is no way that I could have ever gotten pictures of it all. I hope you like it.
I’m not going to lie… when I first got here, I didn’t understand it. The graffiti to me was violating everything beautiful about the city. But the longer I am here, the more I realize that it is more about the message it sends than the vandalization. These drawings are the voice of Barcelona. Even people with the highest regards for architecture, don’t see graffiti as a negative concept. Instead it is seen as art. Or at least here in Spain it is. It is going to be sad when return home to the barren streets that have no voice and no color on their walls. In the end, art is relative and each person can make their own conclusions to how they perceive it.
Finally, after all these long years of waiting to be 21, Brittany finally made it!! Happy B-Day to Brittany!!!
Her “BDay Cake”
Sushi for dinner!!
Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people in the world! I love you and I hope you had an amazing day! P.S. To everyone back home, we will be having a belated bday party for brittany if you want to come!!
This last weekend was a blast! I went to Lisbon, Portugal. The city was beautiful, but everything really fun that we did wasn’t even in the city. The first day, Brittany and I got there at 9:00 am! Really early! haha We all decided to go to the beach so we picked this place called Sesimbra or “simba town” is what we kept calling it because we couldn’t remember the name! Little did we know that it was actually over an hour away from Lisbon. We had to walk to the river, get on a ferry, take a bus, and then walk to the beach! It was fun though. Definitely worth the view!
Day two we went on the X-Day Trip which is a local tour that lasts 7 hours and they take you to all the cool places in Lisbon! It was worth it. Our van driver was named Ricardo and we rode around in this bright yellow van all day long.
First he took us to this little town about 15 min away call Sintra. It was adorable. Brittany and I tried their famous “cherry liquor” called Ginjinha. It came in a chocolate cup, and was amazing! After that we went to this mansion that had this amazing park that looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. I can’t even describe how cool this place was. There were all these little castles throughout the park and whenever you old go to the top of them, the view was amazing. You could see all of Portugal and more! The house looked like a palace and there was this giant well that led to these crazy caves you could walk all around in! This picture is looking up from the bottom of the well just before you walk into the cave! Yes… we walked down those creepy stairs.
Brittany inside the cave!
We spent a lot of time there just walking around and exploring, but after Ricardo took us to the farthest point west in Europe. It was gorgeous. There are these huge cliffs that all drop off right at the Atlantic, it smells like salt, there is lush green grass everywhere until it drops off and there are seagulls flying around. I loved it. That is where we had lunch that we had bought at a small farmers market earlier. Ricardo bought us these sausage calzone type things that were AMAZING! Oh, and the strawberries were delicious! I think there may have been the best strawberries I have ever had. Either way this meal made it into my Top 5 list of best meals in Europe. Props to Portugal for the food. This is my at the farthest point!
Ricardo setting up our lunch in the back of the van! Look at the strawberries :) SOO yummy :)
After lunch we headed to stop at the beach for a little while, but it started to rain so then we went to another little town called Cascals where there is this ice cream shop that claims to have the “best gelato in Portugal,” called Santini. I’m not going to lie, I thought that they were just saying that, but it really was amazing gelato. I don’t know about the best because I was only in Portugal for 3 days, but I will take their word for it. I got the chocolate and strawberry :)
After that we went to the Cathedral and the Torre de Belem. They were both beautiful! This tour that we went on was by far one of the best things we did while we were in Lisbon! I loved every minute of it, and if anyone is ever in Lisbon you should definitely go on it. It is called “We Hate Tourism Tours” and is the best tour I think I have been on. It is a great way to see Portugal from a local’s point of view and its really cheap for everything you get to do.
Day three, we went to the Castelo de St. Jorge that is in the old part of Lisbon. It was amazing, all the old houses and the view of Lisbon’s identical but smaller golden gate bridge were wonderful. For lunch we stopped at this little cafe next to the castle, and got the famous grilled chicken, french fries, and white rice. Lets just say that it also made it into my Top 5 best meals in Europe :)
The view from the top of the castle
My amazing chicken :)
Later we went to the Arco da Rua Augusta, which is also beautiful and I had this great square where you can walk right up the water and see all the ships. We got ourselves some cafe con leches (I don’t know what the word for it in Portuguese) and listened to the street performers. After that we didn’t really do a whole lot more that day but wander around the old neighborhood, walk past all the artist stands, and window shop because we had to catch a flight back to Barcelona. It was really sad leaving Lisbon. The entire town looked like something out of a movie and I really had a great time. I hope that one day soon (or more particularly June 14 because that is their yearly festival) and see the city during the summertime!
So this past week my parents came to see me in Barcelona! It was so much fun having them here! I tried to show them all the best parts of Barca and I hope they enjoyed it. It was so nice to see my family again, but the time went by so fast. But then again time here in Spain always feels like it is flying by. I can’t believe that in almost a month I will be at home in my bed in Texas. This trip has been such a blessing and I have learned so much while I have been here. But seeing the family definitely made me homesick!
Day 1: Mom, Dad, and Trav all had jet lag so I let them take a nap in the hotel when they got here. But for dinner I took them to this restaurant called 4 Gats, It used to be an old hangout for Picasso and it was in the movie Vicki and Christina in Barcelona. It is traditional Catalan food, so it was definitely different. But not to shabby! We also went to see the Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic barrio.
Day 2: We had to go to the beach, but it was kinda cold. I got my bottle of sand though to add to my collection. Before we went to the beach I took everyone to this little restaurant called the Champagneria where they have great burgers and champagne. Before the family got here, brittany and I decided to try and take them to all the best places to eat here in Barca (however few there may be) haha. So this little hole in the wall was one of the first places we went to!
That afternoon we went up on Montejuic and went to see the Castle, the Olympic Stadium and the MNAC.
It was a lot of fun but it definitely wore us all out!
That night Rafaella cooked all of us dinner, which I was slightly worried about. But it was really good! It was definitely interesting with all the translation problems since Rafaella speaks no english and my family speaks no spanish. lol I am glad that they got to see where I live here in Barcelona though.
Day 3: We went to Tarragona which is about 1 hour away from Barcelona to see the old Roman Ruins.
Day 4: We stayed in Barcelona and went to the Sagrada Familia and Tilbidabo!
Inside the Sagrada Familia
At the top of Tilbidabo!
Day 5: We went to the Picasso Museo, Parc Citadella, L’Aquarium, Las Ramblas, y the Fira Barcelona Fountain Show. After the Picasso Museo while we were walking on the streets, we saw two old Spanish men get in a slap fight. Apparently one cut the other one off or something. From our perspective it was really amusing to watch and dad almost got hit by one of the guys! haha Oh Barcelona and their road rage.
Us at the Fascade in the Park!
At the fountain show!
The week was really fun and it made me miss everyone back home even more! I can’t wait until I get to see everyone when I get home! I hope everyone had a great Spring Break!
Today my mom, dad, and brother Travis came to Barcelona to spend their Spring Break with me! I am so excited because it is the first time all semester that I have seen people that I know from home (other than Brittany) but she doesn’t count. Sadly its been rainy all day long, so we haven’t gotten to do all that much. It is suppose to be sunny tomorrow though, so maybe we will be able to do some serious sight seeing tomorrow!
Tonight I am taking them to a restaurant called 4 gats, it is in the movie Vicky and Christina in Barcelona. I’ll let ya know how their trip here is Barcelona goes though! I hope everyone is having an amazing Spring Break!
So the first country that I went off to was Belgium to get me some waffles. And they were worth it. But while I was there I found some very surprising things that I really liked. (and I think I gained like 20 lbs per waffle I ate).
Don’t worry, we didn’t only eat waffles the whole time we were there. Belgium was so friendly; I loved the people. Everywhere we went people were nice to us. Which was a nice break from Spain :) lol Although it was cold, that didn’t stop me and brittany from doing everything we possibly could.
The first day we spent walking all over Brussels which was beautiful. And bonus: for lunch we had steak, steak fries, and a salad. Considering I have gone a month and a half without steak, I was really excited.
At the international expo we discovered!
Day two we went to the Atonimum, which was build for the world fair in the 50’s. There was this room inside where kids could stay in this thing over night. They could play games, sleep in these cool pod things, and do all kinds of fun stuff. Needless to say I am very jealous of the little kids that have gotten to spend the night in this.
We got to go up in the Center ball, the top one, and two on the sides.
We also saw the Mannequin Pis statue, went into the Brussels history museum, saw the Cathedral, crashed an international expo that was only in Brussels for that weekend, and went to Belgium’s most famous bar Delirium, which has over 2000 different kinds of beers you can choose from.
So I have noticed that there is a very large amount of people in Europe that have dogs, and better yet, they all look hilarious. People here bring their dogs everywhere. For a stroll, going shopping, going to eat, at the beach, at the park, absolutely everywhere! So in honor of these people and their dogs, I have gone above and beyond in being creepy and taking photos of them. And seeing all these dogs all over the place has made me really miss my pooches back home.
This guy was traveling the metro all by himself.
I love the matching hair poof.
People will just tie their dogs to doors of markets, grocery stores, and shops that don’t allow dogs. So if you ever wanted a free dog in Barcelona, you just have to walk around and find one that you like.
And last but not least, some of my favorite pets, which I miss like crazy:
(and I cant forget abbot tyson! I don’t have a picture of him, but I love him just as much!!)
Life in Barcelona is getting much easier. I haven’t gotten lost in a while, and I have figured out how to get to my school :) I did rip my map though (a little out of frustration and a little on accident). Now Barcelona is in two. But I kinda like it that way. It makes this big city seem a little less overwhelming.
As some of you might not know, Las Ramblas, is one of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions. It is full of street performers, restaurants, thieves (Las Ramblas is the #1 place in the world to get robbed, so watch your bags if you come here), and all kinds of international people. It is a blast, but it is nice to get away from the extremely touristy stuff too. That is why I really like where my apartment is. It is about 15 min. from Placa de Catalunya, where Las Ramblas begins, and it is about 20 min. from both of the UAB campuses. It is just far enough away to get away from the tourists, but close enough where you can go there easily.
The Sant Pau Campus of UAB (I would show you the other campus I also go to, but this one is prettier, so we will just stick with this one). It is only a couple of blocks from the Sagrada Familia, another huge attraction. And even better, I have found a amazing cafe called FIROtaste not far from it, where the have the BEST chocolate crossiants and cafe con leche’s.
During the days that I don’t have class, I have been trying to fit as much stuff into the day as possible.
This is the Parc de Citadella, which I would recommend to anyone that comes here! It is a great get away from the city, although it is very centrally located. There are kids playing futbol, feeding ducks, and wild parrots and seagulls in all of the trees.
Not to far from there, is the Museo de Xocolata (Chocolate Musuem) yummy :) Where your tickets to get in are actual homemade chocolate bars. There are tons and tons of solid chocolate sculptures. Everything from Jesus himself, to Minnie Mouse. The overwhelming smell of chocolate gives you the worst chocolate cravings you will every have in your entire life, but not to worry, they have conveniently placed at the end of the tour, where you can buy all the goodies you want.
Us and our chocolate tickets :)
Me and chocolate Jesus
We also went to Montjuic, which is the Spanish version of a mountain. It is more like a really big hill. Either way it was fun. We rode up a tram from the Barcelona Port to the top of the hill. We walked through the Jardins Mossen Costa and we got to see where the 1992 Olympic games were held.
Wow. Where to begin. It has only been 11 days since I have been gone, but I feel like I have been here for months. On thursday night Brittany and I went to an FC Barcelona game. And let me tell ya those soccer fans are crazy. haha
The view of the game from our seats.
On friday we went on a gothic walking tour and then spent the afternoon walking around and enjoying the city. We got to see the Roman ruins, the Barcelona Cathedral, and much more.
The Barcelona Cathedral!
The Mercat de Santa Caterina
Then we walked around inside the Mercat which had some of the craziest foods I have ever seen inside. It was very amusing. It was full of people trying to buy their daily groceries, tourists, and very full of color.
Inside the Mercat!
On Saturday we took a boat ride around Barcelona’s Port and it’s beaches. It was great to get to see the huge cargo ships and the city from an outside view. Their was this one part on the boat where you could go under the boat and all the windows were looking into the sea. It was very cool, but I didn’t get to see a fish :( lol
Us with our Cafe con Leche’s waiting for the tour to start!
I don’t really have a whole lot of time before my next class, so I will just post pictures :)
So today was finally the day that I got to start classes. Barcelona is a beautiful city, and I am so excited that I am here! I feel as though I have spent so much planning, preparing, and packing for this day. Brittany and I met Rafaella :) who is very nice. She picked us up at our school and then we took a taxi to the apartment, which you can see above! The three of us ate dinner together and we tried to converse in as much broken Spanish as possible. It was fun, and I really hope I like living here. I can’t tell you what we had for dinner yesterday because everything about it was new to me, but it was not bad. And tonight we are having pizza :)
This is our living room
I gave Rafaella her gift (which was an assortment of souvenirs from the Big Texan). She was really excited about the “Don’t Mess With Texas” playing cards I got her. So maybe I will have to teach her how to play some American card games.
The entry way!
It is going to take a while to get used to everything they do around here. I think I have been permanently thirsty this entire time. No one seems to drink more than a tiny glass for every meal. Even the wine and beers are super small. It is the same way with the meal portions. No wonder everyone in Europe is so small…. the don’t eat hardly anything! lol And that is saying a lot coming from me!
Last night we went on a city tour which was amazing! We got to see a bunch of stuff that I really want to go explore like the Montejuic Mountain (which is more of a hill), Las Ramblas (which is a big touristy area that is full of shops, restaurants, and beautiful buildings and scenery), the 1992 Olympic stadiums and arenas, and of course the beach! :) I can’t wait to explore the city on my own!
Today I found out where I will be living while I am in Barcelona :) I will be staying with, Rafaela Cañellas, a 72 year old retiree who lives in the suburbs of Barcelona.
Its a three bedroom apartment, and Brittany and I will be living together. It is nice to know that I will at least have one person that I can lean on while I am there. The apartment is in a nice place on the outside of the city, not far from my university. I can’t wait to see the place for myself!
I am so excited to go! As of today I have exactly 30 days until I leave. None of it feels real. I feel as though I am making all these plans but I am not actually going. I guess that will suddenly change once I am on the 7 hour flight by myself. lol