Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: barcelona

Short travel reflection: Revisiting Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona

I’m currently in the middle of a week-long trip in Portugal and Spain (Madrid at the moment), visiting a friend who is studying in Madrid and joined by some other friends coming all the way from Canada and the USA. I’ve previously visited the three main destinations of our trip – Lisbon and Barcelona in 2011, and Madrid (and Lisbon again) in 2013. Lisbon was definitely my favourite out of the three, but revisiting all three of these major cities one after another will give me a whole new perspective, especially after so many years already.

Alfama district, Lisbon, Portugal in March, 2016 – Looking down onto an alley leading up to São Jorge Castle.

We left Lisbon this morning and arrived in Madrid, and in three days we’ll be in Barcelona. In Lisbon, we got to see some of the places that I missed during the previous two trips, including the Alfama district and the areas around Sintra. For Barcelona, one of my greatest regrets was not entering the Sagrada Familia when I was there five years ago, and now I finally have a chance to make it happen. So, while I don’t get to visit new cities during this trip (except for Córdoba as a day trip in two days), I do get to have the new experience of travelling with buddies with whom I’ve never travelled before, and going back to the places that I’ve missed in the cities previously explored. I do hope to write about these experiences when I return to Glasgow – that is, if I don’t get swamped with work. Oh well, let’s not think about work at the moment – let the travels continue!

Advertisements

From high places

Rainy season has arrived! I was told that Belgium gets very rainy right around the beginning of winter, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. Alas, it rained last weekend, so my plan to head to Maastricht had to be halted…indefinitely.

Still, I have another three weeks left in Belgium. I hadn’t done as much travelling this time as I would have liked, mainly because PhD life is catching on. Usually I feel so tired during weekends that I’d rather catch two extra hours of sleep instead of getting up early to catch a train. It doesn’t help that the skies are grey most of the time; all motivation is lost when the sun is hiding from me.

Yet, I am enjoying this life of being a busy student, being lost in research and just resting at home during weekends like normal people do. I suppose I can’t expect to travel every single weekend for the remainder of my PhD, especially not towards third year. I still have no idea how I did Berlin, London, and Liege, and Lille all in one month before. Even I found it a bit crazy.

So, what will I blog about? You ask. Well, if you’ve been following at all, you’ve probably noticed that I like taking pictures of cities from high places when possible, such as hills, towers, or top of cathedrals. I’ve assembled a collection of “pictures from above” from my various travel destinations, including some from years before, just to see how they compare. Of course you’ve seen some of these in previous posts, mais peu importe.

I’ve wanted to write a blog on this topic for a long time, and here’s my chance. In alphabetical order, let’s fly!

Barcelona (read about it)

On my last day in Barcelona, I visited Montjuïc hill alone, after the early departure of my companion LS. If there is one romantic place in Barcelona, it was Montjuïc. It was a shame he never got to see the view of Barcelona from atop the hill; he would have loved it.

Continue reading

One year – then, now, and favourites

It’s been one year since I arrived in France.

It’s been one year since I started this blog.

It’s been one year since I stepped into this exciting stage in my life.

It’s really been one year. Wow.

I want to make this a comprehensive and representative post of the past year, in Bordeaux, in Louvain-la-Neuve, and really, just Europe in general (minus the one month back in Canada).

What changed since I first stepped foot into Bordeaux? What didn’t change? Let’s try chart form.

As another school year has just begun (yup, second year thesis student now!) I thought I’d take a memory trip back and list some “favourites” of the year in photos. This will definitely be a fun entry to write and also to look back on in the future!

Favourite place in Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse at night, by the Miroir d’Eau

Without a doubt, it is the Miroir d’Eau, or Water Mirror by the riverside. I like to take strolls at night after dinner and somehow I often end up here to chill or just watch the reflection of Place de la Bourse in the water while waiting for the mist to come out every 15 minutes. When it is not too cold, I love to take off my shoes and dip my feet into the water, sometimes having water fights with my buddies who come along. It’s one of those places that makes you feel like you’re truly in France, carefree and relaxed.

Continue reading

Spain part 1 – The best of Barcelona

Why, hola September! You are already here, I wasn’t expecting to see you for awhile. I guess I’d better write about my trip to Barcelona last month (was it really last month already?) before you move along too quickly!

The trip to Barcelona was much anticipated for several reasons. 1) I’ve heard mixed reviews for most popular travel destinations in Europe (Paris and Rome, for example) but I have not heard a single negative review about Barcelona. 2) LS-san, whose real name shall remain concealed, was my travel buddy for the week. This kid KNOWS how to travel, and what’s more, I haven’t seen him in almost a year! What better place to reunite than in beautiful Spain? 3) Spain = seafood and paella. I think that speaks for itself.

First impression of Barcelona upon exiting the airport – damn, it’s hot! Well, I suppose that was to be expected. Thank goodness I brought shorts, although they were originally intended to act as pyjamas.

Travelling to Barcelona would also prove to be an interesting little adventure for LS and I because neither of us researched deeply into what we would be doing there during our 5-day stay. Well, LS did know that he wanted to see Gaudi’s stuff, but I literally did not know where I needed to go from the airport, so thankfully LS managed to find his way to the airport to meet me, as he arrived a day earlier than I did. Usually when I visit a new city, I either plan out my routes extensively (familiarize with metro system, find out about points of attraction, etc.) or blindly follow the guide my friends who live in the city. That method has never failed before, but I think both LS and I forgot that neither of us lives in Barcelona and therefore no one would really know what was going on. Uh oh.

That didn’t cause a panic attack or anything. In fact, it was all the more fun because LS was a spontaneous traveller anyway, and we both loved getting lost and found in new, exotic places. So with a map in our hands, we plunged into the unknown.

Oh, I didn’t bring Mr.Nikon with me due to Barcelona’s notorious reputation of cameras being stolen and whatnot. Also Easyjet’s one-baggage quality wouldn’t have allowed me to bring my camera bag. Oh well, good ol’ Mr.Canon got the job done.

On the first day, we were looking for the way back to the hostel from the airport, if I remember correctly, and we may have been lost at some point. I saw this gigantic mural while wandering aimlessly through the streets of Barcelona. Quite magnificent, I must say.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: