Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: paella

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.

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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.

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