Sigh. The Euro 2012 Championships has ended. Don’t get me wrong, that was a happy sigh with Spain winning and all. Not every fan is fortunate to have 4 blissful years of straight wins with no tears shed (which I was pretty darn close to doing so both when I found out Villa was out on injury and when the US got knocked out of the ’10 World Cup.) The end of the Euro finals closes 3 weeks of beautiful football which, aside from being marvelous entertainment, was also simply a wonderful distraction (as is evident from the lack of my blog posts, woops.) I love this time of year because the football fans come out in full force – I’m so lucky to be in a city that has so many different places to watch the games. Even back home in LA it was a little bit harder to find good spots to watch some of the last World Cup games. I wish the country as a whole appreciated the sport more, but I hope that’ll change in time. Until then, I may just have to relocate to where the action’s at.
Tag Archives: Spain
Currently I’m sitting on a train while passing through beautiful French countryside at sunset. I was very sad to leave San Sebastian today, and easily could have stayed there through the weekend. I kind of wish I had and skipped some other cities on my list, but I know a whole new set of adventures is waiting for me, starting in beautiful Paris.
San Sebastian is such a wonderful town, and it really is for everyone. You have the young surfer kids who all rock Billabong and can’t hold their alcohol, and the families vacationing from France and Spain. There’s the older people who are super cute walking their dogs, and of course the backpacker types like myself. And my personal favorite: the hot rowers! Yum. Everyone is so friendly there that you don’t ever feel lonely, and I had such a great time meeting people at the bars at night from all over. The locals are very warm and welcoming of foreigners, and one struck up a conversation with me when I was on the beach and told me a little bit more about the town and it’s history. Yesterday, I didn’t have enough money to pay for my lunch, and they wouldn’t take my card (so mortifying!) but instead of getting annoyed at me the waitress was so nice and let me go to the bank to get money without giving me any attitude. And when I returned, she apologized to me and wished me well on my trip. So, so nice. I really adore that town. And I’m going to miss my hostel mates! I’ve really grown used to having the Aussies around – they’re such a sweet group of guys and I had so much fun with them. It was raining last night for a little bit and one of the guys pulled out a roulette drinking game and we all had a blast. They’re going to ibiza this wknd and not going to lie I’m totally tempted to catch a flight out there next week even though its out of the way! Omg that would be so fun. My roomie and I also hung out a lot together during the day and it was great wandering around the city together. He was even patient enough to help me work on my photography skills. I got some great tips – thanks, Cliff! Hope I continue to meet great people like these guys.
So now here I am, wondering how the rest of the trip is going to go because from here on out I won’t know the local language. It was such a great asset to be able to speak Spanish this last week, and even though I could have gotten away without knowing it (even though the hostel owner doesn’t even speak English!) I think people appreciated that I spoke as much as possible even when it wasn’t perfect. Man, I really need to live in a spanish speaking country again and work on that! I had to catch a connecting train to Paris just over the french border earlier, and when I got out to buy my ticket the woman at the ticket stand only spoke French to me. Even after It was obvious that I couldn’t understand her, she still kept repeating herself in French and only became more obviously annoyed at me. It was actually pretty funny that I just started laughing thinking about how I’m 5 mins outside of Spain and already not understanding anything, and I think my laughter pissed her off more. Haa, oops.
Oh yea, forgot to mention that I had a Priya moment and almost boarded a train to Madrid instead of Paris – of course that’s something only I would do. Good thing I figured it out before it was too late, phew!
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San Sebastian, I love you! With your quaint streets and lazy cafes, delicious pintxos and cute surfers abounding everywhere. I woke up at the crack of dawn Tues morning so I could catch the early train in from Barca – I’m so glad I did! After snoozing for four hours and watching Rio, I stepped off the train into this adorable town. I checked into the hostel/guesthouse I’m staying at which is in someone’s apartment (super cute and comfortable too!) and made friends with my roomie who’s also a New Yorker. He’s a photo editor and soon we decided to take our Canons out together around the city and also hit up the beach. We had some delicious pintxos (the Basque equivalent to tapas) and then found a spot at the surf beach. A quick dip in the Bay of Biscay and I was soon napping on the beach among all the other Spanish tourists. San Sebastian is such a chill, safe town, and after coming from Barcelona it’s been great to slow down and really just relax. Eat, snooze on the beach, take photos, repeat. Last night we went out with another hostel mate (oh, forgot to mention that my Aussie roommates are also staying at this hostel!) and met another fun girl traveling solo as well. We ate more pintxos at this amazing spot, quite possibly the best in town, and then had some drinks and laughs together until we stumbled home. Another great day!
Oh, and I was originally planning on catching the overnight train to Paris tonight but after being here for a few hours I knew I had to stay an extra day. Time to stroll around the city and hit the beach, this doesn’t suck.
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Today I definitely didnt have a case of the mondays.
Monday was my last full day in Barcelona and I definitely wanted to make it worth it. John suggested doing the bus tour, and I thought it’d be a great way to be a lazy butt but still be able to feel somewhat accomplished as a tourist. Thanks, John – it was a pretty good tour and I soon became overwhelmed with all the things to do and places to see. Should I take the cable car up to the palace, or roam around some gardens? Check out a museum? Noo, instead I decided to beach it. That’s more like it! I spent my afternoon having a long delicious seafood lunch by the beach, with a friendly waiter who gave me free dessert and this amazing amazing grappa. Then I strolled to the beach and soon fell asleep, woke up and realized I was late for meeting Ramon, a friend of Abi’s who is a local. Ramon was sooo great – he took me on a mini tour around the city, showing me his favorite squares and places. He also got me hooked on the Catallan drink of vermouth with tea and soda. Dangerously good!! He was such a great person to hang out with, and I hope to repay the favor when he visits NYC in the winter. After we parted ways, I wandered into a bar to watch the Barcelona game with a rowdy group. It was a lot of fun and the guys yelled out for free shots every time Barca scored (and they scored FIVE times.) At one point one of the players who scored took his shirt off in a victory moment and one of the guys did the same thing – too bad the physiques didn’t match, but it was still hilarious nonetheless. All in all, I would give today (and Barcelona) an A+, and I feel so blessed to be able to be on this journey.
Next stop, San Sebastian!!!
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I can’t believe I made it here! And I can’t believe I was actually somewhat prepared for this! In the weeks leading up to this trip, I have been so busy with leaving my job (holy crap I can’t believe I quit my job) and prepping my apt for my sublet, that planning for Europe has definitely fallen to the wayside. However, things just clicked so well when I got here. My backpack is awesome – thanks, E for helping me pack and repack that badboy. I feel like I have just the right amount of stuff, and traveling with it is a total breeze. Sure, there have been a few setbacks but nothing major. For example, the first night my lock got stuck and I had to cut it. 1 lock down, 2 to go! The hostel I wanted in Barcelona was booked until Mon, which was a bummer because the location is super ideal. But I’ll be there tomorrow, and the hostel I’m at is siick! Im hoping that whatever happens it wont be too much of a problem, but more importantly that I’ll be able to roll with it.
This is going to be an awesome trip.
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Madrid, I’ve missed you! I was only in Madrid for a day and a half, but so glad that I flew in there. My hostel was nice, and I met some nice kids from UK and Germany (and of course Australia because there are so many here! Talk about knowing how to live it up!) Definitely the highlight of Madrid was visiting with my Spanish family who I haven’t seen in 6 years. Right away I had to dust off my Spanish skills since my family doesn’t know English. Sometimes it was a little difficult, but honestly it was a great crash course in getting back into the groove. I met a guy that was staying with them, and ironically he’s also from UCI. Small world. I caught a siesta at their house after lunch (oh man how I missed those figs from their fig tree!!) and then headed back to the city. After my night out I spent Fri wandering around from plaza to plaza before I caught my train to Barcelona. On the train the guy next to me struck up a convo with me (also didn’t speak English) and so i was once again put on the spot. But it’s been really great speaking the language again, and I’m really going to miss having that when I leave Spain to head into France. I definitely need to live in a Spanish speaking country again ::the plotting begins::
20 Year Old Hostelmate: Well, there’s a bar there but I looked in and everyone is 30+.
Me: ::winces:: Ouch.