One's destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller

Posts tagged “European Travel

Greek Cats?

There were cats EVERYWHERE in the streets of both Santorini and Naxos. I took a picture of the first cat I saw, and then I realized that there were a million cats, and before I knew it there were more pictures of cats than there were of people on vacation (i.e. me and Molly). And what’s really strange is…I don’t really like cats.

Greek cat sleeping in a broken chair

 

Greek cat sleeping on a ledge

 

Greek cat on a roof. (aware he is being photographed)

 

Greek cat on a window sill

 

Greek cat using his mind control powers to make me photograph him

 

Greek cat in front of a flower pot

 

Greek cat watching me eat greek yogurt

 

two Greek cats mid-conversation

 

very slender and sneaky Greek cat

The end.  This was probably my most profound/interesting blog post ever.

 

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Best of Budapest

It’s about time…here are my photos from Budapest. I think this was my favorite place of the three cities I visited. I loved the people, the food, the beautiful scenery, and the overall energy. Did you know that Budapest is actually two places: Buda and Pest…separated by the Danube? I only learned that fun fact a few weeks before my visit and I thought I’d share that with you.

These pictures are poorly captioned, but you can’t be entirely surprised, as my blog has been on the steady decline for the last 4 months. This has more to do with the fact that WordPress has been giving me trouble with uploading and less to do with sheer laziness. Anyway, please enjoy and if you want to know about something specific, leave me a comment and I’ll give you information.  Besos!

Inside

The Danube

On the bridge

A view of Pest from Buda

Little market selling lace and paprika

Castle Area in Buda

I think I liked this statue because it felt reminscent of the James Madison statue at JMU 🙂

Pretty assortment of stone.

The bridge at night

Thanks for your understand!


Pretty, Pretty Praha (Part One)

I recently took a week-long adventure to Eastern Europe. The first stop on the tour…Prague! Or as the locals call it, Praha. I thought it was extremely beautiful, but was slightly turned-off by how unfriendly most people were that I came in contact with.

I took an outrageous number of pictures in this city specifically, so here is part one of my time in Prague:

Mmmm bread. 🙂

Old Town Square

We sampled Czech Beer!

Goulash! I love Goulash.

Megan and Alex at Bohemia Bagel. No, its not Czech food. But I've missed bagels. SO. MUCH.

There were a surprising amount of creepy puppets in Prague.

Easter Eggs in the Easter Market

My travel partner, Megan and I

Jewish Quarter

More to come in the near future…


The High Price of Cheapness.

There are two types of people in this world: the bargain shoppers and the other people.

Let’s say you need to buy a new black dress for a special occasion. Could either:

a) Go to Express and buy a cute, pricey dress. Your shopping trip would take roughly 1.5 hours.

b) Go to the local Ross Dress For Less, TJ MAXX, and Gabriel Brother’s (insert your favorite discount store here), sort through upwards of 100 dresses, some with an accidental tear or stain, some that are so outrageous that you can’t imagine someone approved that design, and a very small minority that you would actually wear. After roughly 5 hours of shopping, it’s possible (but not certain) that you have found just wanted you wanted. And it was cheap.

So which requires more effort? Clearly, the bargain shopper has spent significantly more time in this single pursuit. Which is the better option? It’s tough to say…but as a girl currently draining her bank account for her travel addiction it’s cheap all the way. And for me, the way I attack bargain shopping for a new dress is also how I attack my travel plans. “How can I get to _____ for the least amount of money?”

I’ve recently been calculating my last few months of travel plans while in Europe, and the website Skyscanner (incredibly user-friendly if you’ve never experienced its glory) has become my best friend.  In my pursuit of my Easter break trip to Eastern Europe (Prague, Vienna, Budapest), I was getting frustrated at the outrageous cost of flights.  I started to look at this dilemma as a puzzle. Maybe I could flip the trip around and arrive in Budapest first? Maybe I could fly to Poland? Maybe I could go a day earlier or a day later? Eventually I whipped out my trusty map of Europe and discovered that: Slovakia + RyanAir + An overnight in the airport + A train to Prague =cheap.  Mission accomplished.

It’s sort of exhilarating…finding good deals…but it requires a great deal of effort and is much more time sensitive in regard in travel than it would be for the purchase of a black dress. I have found cheap flights, and once I started booking, the flights doubled in price. It’s insanely frustrating. My latest mission is to get my friend a flight to Greece to meet me and back to the U.S. for under a thousand dollars. I’ll leave no stone unturned…planes, trains, cars, boats, teletransport… So far I’ve  spent approximately 1 hour researching to no avail. I’ll either do it, or my brain (and hard drive) will explode in the process. Let’s all hope for the former.


Ireland is My DreamLover.

I went to Ireland and it was the most magical place. The people were so nice, the scenery green and breathtaking and the food was perfect for the weather (lamb stew…yum!).

Kelly and I took a very free-spirited approach to this adventure, which made it so much more fun.  Our preparations included booking one night in a bed and breakfast and checking out a Rick Steves’ book from the library. Seriously, that was it. Who better to ask what to do than the Irish? So we did just that…asked people we met…”Where should we go tomorrow?”  and the answers dictated our travels. We flew in to Cork, and journeyed to Cobh, Tralee, Dingle, and Galway.

Things that surprised me about Ireland:

  • I didn’t expect people to be so nice! Everywhere we went, people went out of their way to talk to us, help us, or buy us a pint. I could definitely get used to that!
  • While I know that Ireland is synonymous with Guiness/drinking in general, I didn’t anticipate seeing so many drunks. And beyond that,  it was shocking to me how people seem to view public drunkenness. In the U.S.A, I would assert that being incoherently drunk in public is not exactly socially acceptable unless it’s your 21st birthday. It appears to be a commonplace occurrence in Ireland and no one really feels compelled to say anything if a drunken man you don’t know decides to sit down next to at dinner and shut his eyes (not that that happened to us or anything…).
  • Also on the subject of drinking, I tried my first Guiness with black currant juice and it was delicious!

Something that I’m learning after each trip I take and each day I live in Spain is that it’s very difficult to re-count an experience in as glorious a fashion as it happened in real life. Not to discredit the value of writing, but sometimes the beauty of time spent with people or in a place (beautiful or otherwise) is best kept in your heart and in your brain because it may not be described as wonderfully with words.  Ireland is on the top of my list of places visited, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why. The company (Kelly), the new friends (many…Irish and otherwise), or the familiarity of an English speaking country could have all played a role in my love affair with Ireland, but more than anything it was a feeling of contentedness. When I got back to Spain, it seemed pale incomparison and part of me is hoping for another chance to go back for a more extended period of time.  WWOOF? Working at a B&B? Kelly and I started plotting…but who knows.

More photos to come.

Besos! xo


Poorly Photoshopped Depictions of Why December Will Be the BEST MONTH EVER.

I’ve decided to start a new segment of my blog called…wait for it….”poorly Photoshopped depictions.” Whenever something really exciting is coming up, I will poorly depict said event using Photoshop.  Pretty self explanatory, eh?

I could probably type a very long post about all of the wonderful things that will be happening to me but, instead of bragging, I will insert these photos and call it a day.

***Disclaimer: I can actually use Photoshop much, much better than this. I can make pretty, professional things when I try hard. School of Media Arts and Design, I will not shame you.

My dear friend, Sean, who currently is living in Switzerland and I will be in Amsterdam this weekend for "puente." Puente is what the Spaniards call a long weekend. I CAN'T WAIT!

Look out Spain, my family is coming for Christmas! And we are going to various places together! (I really wanted to be Santa. Plus, he's the one holding the Spanish flag, so I figured it was appropriate).

Yes, folks, one of my best friends EVER, Kelly, will be journeying to Spain to see me. THEN we will be going to Ireland together. 🙂

***Disclaimer #2: Kelly doesn’t actually wear glasses.

I am one lucky duck! And you, my blog reader, will get to read ALLLLLL about it when I return home from each subsequent trip.

Besos!!