During my spring break, I traveled to three different places. First, a few friends and I traveled to Lisbon, Portugal for four days. When we first arrived in the city of Lisbon we were very confused by the set up. It took us a while to adjust to the steep hills that almost resembled San Francisco. While we were there the weather was beautiful and three out of the four days we traveled an a half hour outside of Lisbon to a small beach town called CasCais.We had to take a metro then a train there, but it was definitely worth it. There were shops and restaurants everywhere with two beaches that weren’t very crowded at all. After four days in Lisbon we had to take an eight hour bus ride to Sevilla. Although it was very long, when we finally got there I was happy to be back in Spain. We lost an entire day to traveling, so the one full day we had there we walked around, and ended up spending most of the day in a park. The next day, we took a train to Marbella and stayed there for the last four days of our spring break. Marbella is a very beautiful place, but I don’t think the hotel likes Americans very much because they were extremely rude and not accomadating whatsoever. My spring break consisted of a lot of traveling, but once we arrived at our destinations all my friends and I did was lay by the pool or the beach, so it ended up being a very relaxing time. Spring break was so much fun, but I was very happy to get back to Barcelona by the end of it all.
When in Barcelona. February 23, 2009
Finally, I spent the weekend in Barcelona. While I love going to so many different places, it was nice to relax and not travel for a weekend. The most exciting part about my weekend is that my family came to visit me! My parents, brother and sister stayed in a hotel a few blocks down from my apartment. They stayed from Thursday to Sunday and I had the best time with them. Thursday night we went out to dinner for my dad´s birthday at a restaurant called Carpe Diem. The next day I took them inside the Sagrada Familia. I enjoyed doing that because I pass it every single day, and have never been inside of it. The next day we went to Park Guell, which was beautiful. The weather was nice and we walked around for a few hours. It was nice to have my family in Barcelona, but a little stressful because I still don´t know my way around the city that well, and they expected me to know a lot more than I actually did. Besides my family visiting, my best friend Michelle also stayed in my aparmtnet. She is curently abroad in Rome, and it was really nice to show her the life that I live her, and for her to compare it to hers. While I really enjoyed my weekend with my family and best friend, I´m relieved its over.
When in Paris. February 16, 2009
Spending the weekend in Paris was by far one of my favorite trips so far. My friends and I left on a Thursday night and arrived relatively late. We ate dinner around our hotel and then went to sleep in order to have energy for the next day. When we woke up on Friday morning, the weather was cold and rainy, but we didn´t let this stop us from sight seeing. After we ate delicious omlets for breakfast, we headed over to The Louvre. It housed some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I was blown away by the paintings and sculptures, and the architecture of The Louvre itself, which contained very intracately designed ceilings. My favorite part of The Louvre was seeing the Mona Lisa, which is a painting that I have learned about for many years. To actually see her in person was a profound moment for me. After this we climbed the Arc De Triomphe which was beautiful as well. Later that night we went out to dinner at a place called Bound to celebrate my friends 21st birthday. The food was delicious and it was a lot of fun. On Saturday, we started the day by visiting the Jewish Quarters, which is the only Jewish community in Paris. It was a nice area with great kosher delis and vintage stores. After this we visited the Notre Dame, Scared Hearts, and ended with going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We didn´t plan it on purpose, but we actually visited the Eifeel Tower on Valentine´s Day which is something that I will never forget. Paris was one of the most exciting and beautiful cities I have ever been to, and hopefully will be able to return at some point in my life.
When in Amsterdam. February 9, 2009
This past weekend I traveled to the city of Amsterdam. We stayed there from Thursday night to Sunday morning, which was definitely enough time. During the day on Friday and Saturday we explored the city. We roamed around different coffee shops, ate a lot of food and went to some museums. One that sticks out in my mind is the Van Gogh museum. The artwork was beautiful and ancient which definitely caught my attention. Friday night we ventured to the Red Light District, which is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Although Amsterdam shouldn’t be directly associated with the Red Light District, it definitely somewhat represents what kind of city Amsterdam is and what it stands for. I really enjoyed this city because there was always so much going on. Young people were always crowded in the streets and there was just a lot of positive energy. The weather was very cold, which was a bit of a damper, but hopefully I’ll make my way back when it is warmer out. I found the food to be very good, and a nice break from the food in Barcelona. Friday and Saturday morning I ate a great omelet from a restaurant called Barney´s, which will definitely remain as one of my favorite places to go in Amsterdam. I was very surprised by the attitude that the locals had towards Americans. I was not expecting it at all, but I got the feeling that they do not like us very much. Every time we sat down in a restaurant, we were the last to be served for example. Overall, there was a very negative aura every time we asked for something in a restaurant or coffee shop. These instances were unfortunate and unexpected, but my friends and I did not let this ruin our trip. By the time Sunday came around, I was ready to head back to Barcelona. I didn’t want to part with the spirit of Amsterdam, but I have the feeling I will definitely be back again.
When in Switzerland. February 2, 2009
Throughout my stay in Barcelona, I will be traveling to a different place almost every weekend. Last weekend was my first trip and I went to Interlaken, Switzerland. My friends and I took a flight from Barcelona to Geneva, and then took two trains to Interlaken. It was a long and full day of traveling but it was definitely worth it. We met a boy named Mario on the train ride from Geneva, who said he would show us the way to our hostel, which was only a 15 minute walk from the station. The hostel was called Balmers and it reminded me very much of sleep-away camp. It was crowded with boys and girls all staying the weekend in Interlaken. Every night we were there we went downstairs to a bar that was in the hostel, which is supposedly one of the most popular spots in Interlaken. The next day was saturday and we were supposed to go skydiving, but the skies were too foggy, so we just walked around the town and tried to absorb the culture as much as we could. That night we went night sledding, which was truly amazing. They took about 70 of us in a gondala above the clouds, and taught us how to sled the entire way down a huge mountain. The highlight of my trip was definitely sunday morning. Finally, the skies cleared and my friends and I got to go skydiving. I jumped 14,000 feet out of a helicopter, and it was one of the most amazing and scariest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. After skydiving we had to rush to the airport to catch our flight, which ended up being delayed for four hours due to snow. It was a short weekend with a lot of traveling, but it was one that I most definitely will never forget.