Last weekend my friend came to visit me in Rome and it was so fun! We did everything that's a must in Rome for example the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain. My friend loved everything I showed them and felt as though they got the full Rome experience in less than 48 hours. My friend also loved that I showed them some things you might only see and know about if you live there, because they are totally underrated. Since I already talked about my Rome weekends, I wanted to combined this week with my weekend talk about Barcelona! Barcelona was nothing like I excepted it to be. It is such a big and modern city when I honestly was excepting a smaller place that was less westernized with more tradition and culture, but I did not feel this way at all. That being said, my friends and I planned this weekend based off of people who studied abroad in Barcelona’s to do list. If you knew someone who studied abroad in Barcelona, I suggest taking advice from them because of course they will tell you about the main tourist spots to see, but since they lived here for four months, they will really be able to give you some insight on places to go that might not be as popular but are defiantly underrated and amazing. Also, on these trips we have been staying in hostels and in the lobby in most hostels the people working here will help you navigate the city and most hostels have organized events for you to do. For example our hostel had transportation there and back to a soccer game which was so convenient and helpful since were not familiar with the city. Most hostels also do this and it's a great way to also become familiar with something you may have not known about the city before! Anyways, On Thursday, we went to this cute little restaurant near to our hostel and got "tapas" which is appetizers and this is what Barcelona is known for. Whenever I go to the places we are traveling for the weekend, I like to do exactly what the people of the culture do to feel as though I'm emerging myself into their culture even if it's for the weekend. It makes the experience so much more exciting! On Friday, we went to the famous Park Guell where we walked around and saw the beautiful styled art done by Gaudi. This spot was not only beautiful and picturesque, but it overlooked the whole city which was cool to see. That night, we went to the clubs because Barcelona is known for their clubs as well. This was a fun experience to see what the people here do at night but also made me appreciate Rome so much. When choosing to study abroad, I was so torn between studying in Barcelona or Rome and although I loved this weekend, I still feel as though Rome is the only place in the world that is not completely modernized and is filled with amazing culture and after coming here, I am 150% positive that I made the right choice. Barcelona has a unique culture of its own but there is just nothing like Rome. Anyways, on Saturday we went to a famous brunch place that everyone we talked to suggested. It was called Brunch and Cake. Brunch is a cultural aspect of Barcelona and we wanted to be a part of it! We waited in line for two hours but the food was amazing and it was so fun and totally worth it. The best about about this brunch was that my friends and I were sitting next to the girl who played Orphan and was in the hunger games and had no idea, until her friend walked in and was the girl from soul surfer and it clicked in our head that she was famous. I honestly was so happy that before that I didn't know she was famous and it didn't click in my head because before this, we were talking to her so normally and she was so cool. She probably really appreciated we were not all over her for being famous and treated her like a normal person. That being said, I felt so cool that we were doing what famous people were doing and this is not the first time we've had this experience. in Positano, we met the pretty little liars, and in every country we've been in we have spotted famous people over and over again. After this, we went to see the Sagrada Familia which is a famous church in Barcelona. It was so beautiful in person! After this we went to a famous market here named Mercado de La Boqueria and it was my favorite thing we did here. This was not your typical farmers stand market, there was meats, cheeses, restaurants, fresh candy and chocolate, fresh fruit juice stands, Macaroon ice-cream stands, and more! The atmosphere was so fun the only thing I could compare it to is that if you ever have been to Chelsea market in New York. After this, we went to a traditional Spanish dinner and ordered their traditional dish Paella with their tradition drink Sangria on the side. This dinner was so fun and a great cultural experience to share with all of my friends here. The meal was delicious and something that I'll always remember. To finish our Barcelona experience, we went to a soccer game and watched the best team in the world play. Going to a soccer game is something I've always wanted to do abroad because the vibes and the atmosphere it nothing like any American sport or game. The fans were absolutely crazy and loyal just like I thought they would be and it was a great and suspenseful game as well! I honestly know nothing about soccer and I was still excited and had so much fun. Barcelona was a cool, hip, and young city and I would suggest it to anyone who goes abroad. Next week I'll be going to Amsterdam and will be writing about my experiences there! Ciao for now!
Hey everyone! Last weekend I went to Greece and it was absolutely amazing!
There was so many things that surprised me about Greece. First, I had no idea that to get to the Island of Santorini, you had to first take a flight to Athens, and then a take flight to get there. This trip involved a lot of planning but I am so happy we did it on our own because I am getting so comfortable booking flights and planning trips which I used to not be feel comfortable doing at all before I came abroad. After we landed in Santorini, all ten of us took a taxi to the villa we were staying in for the next two days. While we were in the cab, I was totally shocked because as I looked out the window, it was not the Greece I always imagined. For miles and miles Greece was full of mountains on the water with absolutely nothing on them except for dirt. There were no houses as far as the eye could see! I never pictured Greece to be so desolate. After a couple miles of this, we turned a corner in the taxi and the beautiful picturesque blue and white houses that I always imagined Greece to look like were in front of my eyes. When we went to check into our villa, all of us just stopped and stared to take in the beautiful views we have all been seeing in pictures our entire lives. After this, we set off to explore. Something else that really surprised me about Santorini was that I did not realize that there were no beaches at the bottom of the island. My friends and I walked all the way down the entire mountain side only to discover the only way to get in the water would be to take a boat to go swimming this way. After that, we booked a cruise for the next day in order to swim. We were exhausted from walking down the hill so we decided to do the cliché donkey ride up the mountain. Me and my three other friends did this at the same time and it was actually the funniest and scariest moment of my life. These donkeys were racing each other to see who could get to the top of the hill faster and they were actually sprinting. The reason why it was so funny was because I always pictured this donkey ride up a hill in Greece to be calm and relaxing but this was a full on race. After this, my friends and I decided to get the fish pedicure where the fish nibble at your feet to get off the dead skin. This was the strangest feeling of my whole life. I paid for a thirty-minute session but instantly regretted this decision when I put my feet into the water. The only way I could describe how it felt was that my feet were vibrating. After a while, I actually got used to the feeling but I couldn’t look down at my feet because when I thought about it too hard I was getting freaked out. After the thirty-minute session, my feet were so soft I couldn’t believe it! After this, my friends and I watched the sunset which was so beautiful with all the white houses in the fore-ground. Santorini is not a crazy place at all, it is a very relaxing spot where people eat, swim in the pools, and take in the amazing views the entire day. Every one on the island was standing on the hill to watch the sunset, it was almost like it was the nights event! We then proceeded to eat dinner which was by far the best food I have had while I have been abroad. It was chicken Shish kebab with rice and it was beyond amazing.
The next day, my friends and I went on a boat cruise to explore the island from the sea. Our first stop was a volcano that had a hot spring next to it. A couple of us jumped in and it was so warm and cool to see. They said the minerals in the water were very good for your skin. Next, we had lunch on the boat and sailed around until sunset in which we stopped to watch. Watching this sunset on the water was really a highlight of the trip because we were so lucky to be able to see this world famous sunset on top of the island one night, and then see this sunset again the next night on the open sea. Greece was such an amazing and relaxing trip with great views and great food! Santorini was a very touristy island but it did not get in the way of our memories made there.
Next week my friend is coming to visit Rome and I am going to be their personal tour guide so I will be writing about that!
Ciao for now!