Monthly Archives: October 2015

Paris: Day Two

After a much needed long nights sleep, best friend and I were determined to make up for our first day in Paris with a fabulous second one. We had breakfast at the hostel, (we stayed at the Trendy Hostel which has breakfast included, a big plus. It’s a bit out of the way, but right next to the metro and a nice relaxing place to be at the en of the day) and then set out to visit the Opera, home of the Paris Opera, and also the real life inspiration for one of my favorite books, The a Phantom of the Opera, which was alter made into several movies, stage plays, and then the widely popular musical. I can’t truly describe the beauty of the any of the astounding architecture of Paris, but the opera house with its golden, winged, statues, and intricate carvings, archways, and columns is really sight to behold and I hope someday I et the chance to sit inside this gorgeous building and see an opera.

After a quick money exchange we made our way to Norte Dame where we attended Monday afternoon mass which was, although in French, a language I really know hardly any of, still incredibly moving. I am a believer and getting to go to a service in one of the most beautiful and historic churches in the world was something beyond words. To see the beauty of both the outside and inside of Notre Dame, and the way that people were able to express their devotion and love of God through their talents of architecture, sculpture, painting, and glass work was so moving. I will admit, however, that it is a little bit bizarre to be attending church with hundreds of tourists standing on the edges taking pictures of it like it’s some kind of performance. But j am glad that the church is a working cathedral and not just a tourist trap like so many other grand churches around the world.

After mass we went in search for food but made a quick stop a the Shakespeare and Company book store because it’s impossible for two book lovers not to find themselves drawn in by the piles and piles of books held within that shop. I could have spent all day looking at books and would have surely spent more money than I could afford on books had I not remembered that I basically have no more room for anything in my bags.

Our search for substinance led us to what is my favorite place in Paris, if not the world that I’ve explored this far, Montmartre. Montmartre is actually the name of the hill that this district lies at the foot of, but as an artist myself and a lover of art and literature, Montmartre is a dream come true. Unfortunately due to the influx of tourists to the area (sorry Paris) the artists can no longer afford to live in Montmartre for the most part which is a huge pity because that’s what makes it so wonderful. It was the home of such artists as Pablo Picasso and Monet, and was frequented by writers such as Hemingway and Langston Hughs.

We found a bakery, bought a delicious lunch of sandwiches, croissants, and diet coke, and found out way up a hill to a tree covered courtyard and a (albeit very wet) bench to eat on. This bench was right outside the building where Monet and Picasso both lived and worked in their early days in Paris. If I had to pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with Paris it was right there. Right in front of the former lodgings of artistic greatness, under trees with orange and yellow leaves falling at our feet, eating the best croissant I have ever had, I fell in love with Paris.

After resting for a while we started our climb to the cathedral Montmartre, and the best view of the city from anywhere in my opinion. We got to the top, took a deep breathe and just stood there in awe of the beauty of our view. That lasted approximately two minutes before we realized that Best Friend’s phone had been stolen when she accidentally put in her back pocket after checking directions. There were a few moments of panic and frustration, and then we realized that A) her phone was covered for theft so she could get a new one next week, and B) there was nothing we could do about it right then so we continued on our way more or less unaffected by the unfortunate theft.

After that it had started to rain even harder and my shoes were soaked through, so we decided to go back to the hostel and relax for a bit before meeting our friends again for dinner that night.

Around 6:30 it had stopped raining so we made our way back into the city for dinner and we met our friends at a small crepe shop and I had the best tomato, lettuce, and feta crepe, and then an hour later an even better nutella and banana crepe. It was a good food day over all.

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paris: Day One

Arriving in Paris I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t as in awe as I probably would have been due to lack of sleep, heavy backpacks, and a little bit of nausea. We got off the plane, made our way to the bus that we rode nearly two hours to the train station, and then we purchased ticket to Versailles and took a nice long train ride to the beautiful palace of Versailles. We got there, bought our tickets, and then realized that there was a three hour cue just to get INTO the palace, and promptly decided that there were not enough hours in the day to do that. We found two woman about our age, handed them our tickets and found our way back to the train station to head to the centre of Paris.

By the time we got there I was going back and forth between nausea and starvation, dehydration, and just general exhaustion. Our goal was mainly to find food, and then forget all of plans for museums and wandering and take a nap as soon as possible. That being the case, and the fact that it was Sunday, we found nothing open that was even remotely close to our price range, so we settled for something not horribly expensive and just tried not to think about the cost too much. Then we finished our meal, found a metro station, and checked into our hostel as soon as we could, which was the best decision we could have made because two hours later when we left  to meet our friends we were much happier and ready to experience Paris.

Night time in paris is really the most wonderful thing. It isn’t called the City of Lights for nothing. It is actually amazing to me how beautiful twilight in Paris could be. Two of our good friends also happened to be in Paris for a few days, and also happened to be newly engaged which just made seeing them for the first time in months even more fun. we met them under the eiffel tower which I stood in front of and pictures like the tourist I am with no shame. It was actually a lovely movie moment. Best friend and I saw them across the square and we ran to each other and hugged, and exclaimed, and oohed and awed over the ring. Then we took a picture, and went in search of a Parisian cafe to spend more Euro in.

We settled on this lovely little cafe and a table for four outside, luckily under a heater because as gorgeous fall in paris is, it is also awfully cold. We ate onion soup and creme brulee, and had a wonderful time catching up and continually freaking out over the fact that we were together. In Paris.

When we parted that night and went back to our hostel to catch some sleep, I already knew I was going to love Paris, if only for the food.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sitges, Land of Golden Mermaids and Empty Beaches

In between our morning at the Picasso museum and the Gothic Quarter, (Which you can read about HERE) we took a train ride up to Sitges Spain to spend the rainy afternoon on the beaches there.

Sitges is my favorite place that I’ve been so far in Spain. The first time I went we got down to the beach and it was practically empty. There were maybe five people scattered up and down the sand. It was a warm day and the water was pleasant. It was so still you float on the top with no worry of having waves crashed on top of you. It was the perfect beach, a nice change from the drunk college tourist filled beaches of Barcelona. Though they were equally beautiful, there is just something about sitting on a beach with no one but your family and just soaking it all in.

The second time I went was last week with Best Friend. We had gotten to Barcelona and realized that everything was expensive and there wasn’t much to do, so we decided we would go see Picasso, and then hop the next train to Sitges. unfortunately it was rainy that day, but that didn’t deter us in the least. we figured if we can’t swim we can at least go to the beach and see the water. So we get to the main station in Barcelona, Sants and we scoured the train time tables until we finally found one going to Sitges. We got downstairs (I should mention that we used one T-ten for each of us on this trip and it only ran out on our last ride to the airport so buy one, it’s so much cheaper) and we wait for the train and we get on.

The ride was pretty uneventful and about thirty minutes long so we just chatted and looked at the scenery which, as in most places around the city, was mostly farm land. But then, suddenly, we catch a glimpse of the ocean and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I don’t know quite why this stormy ocean landscape took our breath away like it did, but truly it was a sight to see.

We get off the train at Sitges and to be honest I have no idea where we are. When I cam last we came by bus and were let up closer to the center of the city where as the train is more on the seaside end of things. I am glad that that is where we ended up though because being in tis part of town just solidified my love for Sitges.

As you walk through the streets every alleyway is like the gothic quarter just old and beautiful. Most of the shops are little organic cafes or hipster coffee shops, and everything has an air of laid back contentedness. All you need to do to get to the beach is follow the signs and walk downhill and eventually you’ll see a little blue through the buildings and trees ahead of you.

When we got down to the beach there were maybe three people standing on it. The storm had made the water rough and choppy so no one was in it but a few children played along the edge. we turned to our left and there is this giant church on a hill overlooking the ocean so we think, why not? We walk over a set of stairs that lead to a platform that has a sculpture of a mermaid and a great view of the coastline. The waves are so rough that they are actually breaking onto the platform where we are standing, it was gorgeous. We walked up another set of stars and found ourselves face to face with this old seaside church, which turns out to be Church of Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla, better known as “La Punta” (according to wikitravel). In any event it was beautiful and the vie can’t be beat.

We walked a little further down more little streets until we found ourselves back on the beach. We took pictures, and stood in the waves, and finally we just sat down right in the sand and watched the waves crash upon the shore. It wasn’t super eventful day, but it was a beautiful on and I think Best Friend would agree that when we’re together and seeing new things, it doesn’t really matter if we’re partying all night long, or just sitting on a cold beach. It’s all about the adventures that we get to have together, and about getting to look at each other’s kids some day and say “This one time when me and your mom were in Spain…”

IMG_9624 IMG_9643 IMG_9657 IMG_9658 IMG_9673 IMG_9683

Categories: Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barcelona: The Gothic Quarter, Gaudi, Picasso, and Staying up all Night

 

Barcelona is a party town. And I’m not just saying that, I mean I literally can see no real reason to go back to Barcelona, except to party all night long, which I would totally suggest by the way. But there are a few things that, if you’re awake before noon and not nursing any lingering regrets from the night before, that I would suggest hitting up.

The first place I would totally recommend is the Gothic Quarter. This is one of the areas of the city that remains from the original Barcelona. Every alleyway and street is lined with wrought iron balconies and beautiful cobblestone paths and buildings. There is an old world feeling that is unmistakable Spanish. Every old adventure film held in the streets of Spain look like they were shot here. I also love all the street performers and Catalan flags and banners strung across the streets. The gothic quarter is, in my opinion, the best place to spend your time if you plan to spend anytime in Barcelona during the day.

Right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter is the Picasso museum. The museum has a large collection of Picasso’s works that he created while in Barcelona and the surrounding Spanish towns, as well as all of his renderings of Las Meninas which is just breath taking to see them all there in one room. I am a huge Picasso fan and it as such a treat to get to see his work in person. Plus you get 50% off from being the between the ages of 18 and 25, and you get in free if your a student. Which is my favorite price. I would recommend going here one hundred percent. even if you drag yourself there and then fall back into bed after, drink a Cafe Ole and make yourself do it.

Then of course there is our old friend Gaudi. Gaudi is one of those artists who just kind of took over. Barcelona is full of Gaudi, fake Gaudi, souvenir Gaudi. It’s Gaudi mania. But his architecture is definitely worth seeing. Go find the Gaudi district and take a look at his gorgeous designs, and of course don’t forget to go Sagrada Familia, the world’s most famous unfinished church. We walked up to it and Best Friend says, “Think they’ll ever finish?” To which we decided it wouldn’t be as famous if they did that so … probably not.

Now for my adventures in Barcelona. On our second night we knew we were going to have to be at the airport by 5:00 am at the latest to catch our 6:30 flight, so we decided to just stay up. We figured we could go out dancing, leave around 2am and the go check out and get to the airport. Great plan right? Well here is the thing I always forget about going out, you don’t want to leave, and when you do leave you’re party high only lasts for so long before you’re exhausted.

So we are at the hostel, we meet some people, we get on the bus to the club and so far everything is good. I have an alarm set to tell us it’s time to leave so there’s nothing to worry about. We get to the club and pretty much right away I lose my best friend to some Australian, which is fine with me because I’m hanging out with this Canadian and two girls from the UK. We’re dancing, we’re having a good time, when my phone goes off. ok, no problem, but where the heck is best friend? I shove my way through the crowded dance floor, avoiding flirt Spaniards (If only I had more time) and still can’t find her. So I go back to my new friends, tell them to tell best friend I’m outside if they see her and I bid adu to my Canadian (which I was very annoyed about by the way, and he only made it harder by trying to convince me I could stay and still make it to the airport.) and leave the club to wait outside.

Now the problem with traveling is I can’t communicate with anyone unless I have wifi, which luckily I found, but since Best Friend didn’t have any, I was out of luck. I sat and chatted with a nice Spaniard who spoke NO English, in the best broken Spanish I could, but he stayed with me and was very kind until finally BF comes out of the club.

Somehow in our exhausted and rushed state we managed to navigate two metros, a five minute walk to the hostel, getting all of our stuff, checking out, another metro, finding a bus to the airport, and then get through security, find our gate and get to our seats. I am not lying when I said that by the time we got seated I pretty much passed out and woke up two hours later in Paris. So thank you Barcelona for a hell of a time, I will be again someday with more time on my hands.

Honestly we really only spent an afternoon and that night in Barcelona because I prefer Sitges and wanted Best Friend to see it before we left Spain, but over all I enjoyed our time in Barcelona, but like I said if you’re not a partier don’t expect a jam filled itinerary. If you are into the party scene make sure you stay at the Urbany Hostel. Trust me, it’s so worth it. Just don’t stay at the club until 2am and then exhaustedly stumble to the airport to make a 6:30 flight. Not worth it. Ok maybe. Yeah who am I kidding, totally do that.

P.S. There is a Mcdonalds that’s open late down by the club strip so if you want cheap greasy food after a long night, that’s the place to be.

IMG_9595 IMG_9596 IMG_9599 12072701_10207930358115973_4283156131583231867_n

Categories: Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sunshine Blog Award

Good morning bloggers! I am back from my Spanish/Parisian adventure and can’t wait to share it with you all, but first I have a post to make. I’m sure some of you have the Sunshine Blog Award posts going around and I was nominated by the lovely Hayley Diaries who shares my love of travel, writing, and being goofy. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my adventures as well as share your own Hayley.

So here are the rules I was given to follow and to pass on to my nominees:

Thank the person who nominated you

Answer the questions from your nominator

Nominate other bloggers and pose the same number of  questions

Notify nominees

Hayley’s questions for me:

Describe yourself in 5 words

Funny, scattered, passionate, crazy, loud

What’s your zodiac sign?

Sagittarius

What’s your favorite time of day and why?

Twilight because I love the beautiful purple/blue glow everything get right as the sun is about to go down.

If you could live in any country which would you choose?

Germany. I fell in love with Frankfurt when I was there and would love to move back.

Who is your favorite super villain ?

See now that’s a toss up between Poison Ivy and the Joker, but I’ll go with Ivy because we girls got to stick together.

What are you Travel “must haves”?

My camera, deodorant, and my journal.

What’s your funniest travel moment?

There are a lot of them but while we were in Paris last week we were walking past the Lourve and this just adorable guy comes out of his building. He had the writer’ hair flop, the one that guys have that lets you know they are too busy being artist to do their hair, glasses, and a nice outfit. Well this guy is just grooving to himself, getting ready to cross the street and best friend and I are just dying at how adorable and goofy he is, when I notice that on of his socks is over his pant cuff. I’m about to mention it to best friend when the guy looks down, sees it, and quickly fixes it. But in order to fix it, because he is so tall, he had to like hop on one leg and keep his balance, it was amazing. So he fixes his sock and quickly looks around to make sure no one saw, snd confident that he was still cool. he crossed the street with a skip in his step. As he passed us we payed it cool, but as soon as he was out of earshot we died laughing and decided he was actually the most perfect man in the world.

What book has made you think the most?

I’m sure there are many, but  just finished “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safron Foer and it was an incredibly moving and thought provoking book.

Cold or hot climate? 

Cold. Cold, cold, cold, cold, cold. I grew up in Colorado where it rarely brakes 85 in the summer and that’s the way I like it. I thought I was going to die in Germany this summer. If you’re cold you can put on a blanket, or more clothing. If you’re hot? Well, you can only get so naked in public and even that doesn’t really help.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while traveling?  

The most important thing I have learned is to not let little things distract from the big picture. So you didn’t get ot go to that one museum, it’ll still be there next year. So you didn’t get the perfect picture or video, who cares, you’ll still have that memory for years to come. And most of all, if something gets stolen, it’s just stuff. Insure your valuable things for theft and everything else, just let it go. (Except your passport. Don’t los that.)

What’s your favorite movie genre?

Romantic Comedies. I’ll watch almost anything but I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy. Also that’s the genre of screenplay I write most so I just have a soft spot for it.

Ok so that’s it! Here are one my favorite posts from me three nominees, go check them out, they are fabulous writers and travelers.

WELL PLAYED BEER, WELL PLAYED -Micah does

The Breakfast Club | London Vauxhall One Summer Screen -Ellis Goes on Holiday

Conquerors Of The Useless – Rock Climbing In Lander, Wyoming -Roam Wild and Free

Here are my questions for you three:

Describe yourself(s) in five words

Favorite meal of the day?

Craziest thing that has happened to you on a trip?

Dream destination you haven’t made it to yet?

Beach or Mountains?

Favorite author?

Do you have a book you’ve read over and over?

Three things that you always have with you?

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?

Most terrifying travel experience? 

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.