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Sitges, Spain

Stayed with Kit and Neville in their apartment in Sitges

permalink written by  Tim on August 7, 2006 from Sitges, Spain
from the travel blog: Sitges, Spain
tagged Spain

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In Plaza

Barcelona, Spain

Ok...what can I say. World travel isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Take the lame picture of me, for instance. In a full week's of travel, I had 1 full hour to explore (yes, this is true.) And, of course, by myself. So I made the best of it - and in the middle of the street I saw these cool statues - so I took a picture of ME! :-)

permalink written by  Mrmrsnemo on April 29, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
from the travel blog: All Alone in Spain
tagged Spain and Business

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First Few days in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Here's an update on my trip from day one:
The flight over here was great. Houston to London was long, and when I found my seat on the plane I was seated next to some old nagging German women. Apparently their chairs weren't comfortable enough so the demanded better seats. This was great for me because I now had a whole row of seats to myself. And to top it off I was a preselected seat to take a survey of British Airways. Along with the survey I received complimentary wines of my choice. I managed to fall asleep for part of the flight, however when I woke up finally there was a creepy Filipino man in the chair next to mine. The layover in London was gruesome and painstakingly long. I I made several friends on the flight to Barcelona though. This couple from Florida and these two girls from College Station. When I landed I took the first train to Montmelo.

So far everything in Barcelona is great. I'm staying in this mansion run by four friends. Pablo who is from Spain, Thijs and Paul who are from Holland and Greg who is from Manchester. The place is really cool. It is sort of like a hostel and mainly fellow couchsurfers are staying here at the moment. Some of the guests and I went to la playa naturalista. It's pretty much the nude beach of Barcelona where all of the tourist that spill off of the cruise lines avoid or don't know about. La playa is really a huge beach party. After that we wandered around Las Ramblas which is the main street here in Barcelona. We missed the train that night because the last train runs at 12a and the first train doesn't start until 5a. It was a long night so I stayed on the beach with my friends Niels and Tina who were catching their bus back home in Denmark at 3. They were really nice and they said I can stay with them if I go to Denmark, so I think I'll take them up on that offer.

Yesterday I walked around Las Ramblas and found some cool little alleyways to explore. I found a small tapas restaurant that is kind of off the beaten path and had a good Catalan meal and read my book. About 2 hours later I was standing near the Christopher Columbus statue and someone bumped into me. My first reaction was to check my pockets and sure enough € 20 was missing from pocket. I sprinted after him and he grabbed another man's bag on the way. I chased him down through the metro and hopped the gates after him. He dropped the man's bag on the platform and then jumped across the tracks right before the train came and he got away. I returned the man's bag to him and as it turns out he is a wealthy architect and resort owner in Mexico. He owns a 5 star hotel in Nueva Vallarta and after posing in some pictures for him he handed me a business card and said I am welcome to stay in his hotel anytime I am in Mexico. That night the neighbors invited us over for a dinner party and paella.

Today François and I explored the west side of Barcelona on foot and walked around the gardens on the outskirts on the residential areas. We saw the olympic statdium and a really cool Greek theater. After a meal at a tapas we took the metro to see Camp Nou. Camp Nou is the massive soccer stadium that is home to the pretigous FC Barcelona.

In the next couple days I am going to try and catch a train to Portugal or the south of France. Depending on which is cheaper. I apologize for updating everyone as often as I should. I will try to update more frequently in the future. I would upload some pictures for you but it's currently 2:30a and I don't feel like doing it. No worries though, I promise to show you some pictures soon.


permalink written by  pathaley on June 24, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
tagged Spain, Barcelona, Paella, Catalunya and Catalan

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Update: Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

I absolutely love this city and would love to live here one day. One of my favorite parts about Barcelona is it's artistic graffiti scene. I came across this wall a few days ago with François.

I was going through my camera today and came across my mate Pete. He was a cool guy and we parted ways several days ago. Hopefully we should be in Amsterdam the same week though.

I've also been getting quite a few questions and emails about the mansion I'm living in. It's a huge villa located a short train ride from the city center in a suburb of Barcelona called Montmeló.

Here's the back yard of the place. The hairy Englishman you see in the picture is my mate, Greg. He is one of the owners of the house and is a cool guy. He's one of those people who has a thousand stories to share.
  • *edit: I have a feeling that Greg and I are going to be friends for years to come. I know we'll be parting soon, but I'll come across him again one day.**

  • Today has been a lot of fun. I met these two Canadian girls a couple days ago and we've been hanging out all day. We went for a swim in the pool and then took a walk around Park Güell.

    It's a famous park in Spain, but I don't want to bore you so I'll spare the details. We took the metro to the beach and chilled there and just watched people for a couple hours. We came home around 8:30p because all of Paul's and Thijs's old school mates came to visit for a few nights and Greg, the house chef, cooked us a paella feast to celebrate. This weekend will be an interesting one. Not only are there a bunch of crazy dutch guys running around, but Greg's mates from Manchester will be arriving soon too. And to top it all off, Sunday is the final match of the UEFA Euro; Spain vs. Germany. Luckily both England and Holland have already been eliminated or it would be a blood bath in the house. The last few games when Spain progressed through the quarter and semi finals Barcelona has turned completely chaotic. Whenever a goal is scored the entire city erupts with fireworks and cheers of joy. I'm looking forward to seeing the game from the city center.

    Here are my Canadian friends. Melissa (left) and Tammy (right). When we got back from the beach all of the Dutch guys were passed out all over the house so they decided to stir one of them from his slumber. He was very surprised to say the least.


    permalink written by  pathaley on June 27, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
    tagged Spain, Europe, Barcelona and GoodTimes

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    Last Days in Barcelona & First Days in Queidersbach

    Barcelona, Spain

    My last few days in Barcelona were great. I was really sad to leave. I spent the last day by myself long boarding around the city. I decided to take this picture too.

    Also I put a couple videos I filmed on YouTube. You can see them both by visiting the following links.
    Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEk4I7q6seg
    Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkqHi0f6k8w

    By the way, I love this picture. The yellow stuff on the ground are flower petals that fell from the trees. The trees were in full bloom and the entire city was covered in these yellow flower petals.

    When I got back that night we had a video in honor of me. It was fun and here are a couple memorable photos. On the left you'll see an egg dripping from my face, it's pretty self explanatory. Then on the right you see Paul, myself, Carly, and Paulina.

    Also I took a couple videos of Las Ramblas literally about five minutes after Spain beat Germany.
    Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx-rk1EwffM
    Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f5MsmTU4pk&NR=1

    Unfortunately my time in this city has come to an end. I woke up early Tuesday morning and caught the train to Barcelona Sants to catch the bus to the city of Reus, where my flight was. At the bus terminal a goofy short man started speaking to me in Spanish.

    Now this was a challenge because I speak a very broken Spanish. Meaning I can somewhat understand and somewhat communicate with him. I usually just pick out key nouns and verbs and piece them together into one sentence and hope for the best. And to speak the language is another thing. For example when you go to a restaurant you say, "I would like a water and the paella." When I speak it though it sounds like this, "I want water and paella." But I always seem to be excited when speaking Spanish so it comes out as, "I WANT WATER AND PAELLA!........please." All in Spanish of course.

    Anyways the man told me that I had missed the bus to Reus. I was freaking out because the next bus wasn't until 4:00p, several hours after my flight. Then he offered to take me in his taxi to Reus... By then I knew something was up so I told him to go away. He was trying to trick me into a nice €70 ride. Well low and behold when the bus finally showed up I was able to relax and all the anxiety of travel disappeared.
    I awoke to the sudden stopping of the bus and I was in hell... The Reus airport. It was very small and seemed nice. When I stepped through the front door I was greeted by a frenzy of Scottish, Irish, and German tourists. It was sooo incredibly loud and there were too many accents for one room. I stood in a long line to check my bags. Well as it turns out my bag was 2 kgs over the limit so I crammed some stuff into my carry on and then had to file back into the end of the line and made my way back to the front. I guess I didn't realize how much a kilo was because I was still over by one when they weighed my bag again. I tried to take some more stuff but they said I had to pay for it because they didn't have enough time... It was already 12:15 by this point and my flight departed at 12:30. So I had to go to another desk and pay €15 and then file back into line again. Well I made it to the terminal and the plane hadn't even arrived yet. I noticed the sign on the wall for Ryanair. The banner read Ryanair: The on time airline. It was 12:20 ten minutes until departure when the plane arrived. I thought the banner was ironic but somehow we were in the air at 12:31. And not only were we on time, but I think they made everyone with small children and babies sit in the back of the plane! That was the best part about it. However it was like all the crying children were eerily in sync with one another.

    Well when I landed my cousin Lara picked me up at the airport and now I'm sitting on her couch writing this blog. Lara and Kevin have a cool little apartment in Queidersbach, Germany. Let me tell you, this is wine country. The hour long ride from the airport was very scenic and had rolling hills as far as the eye can see that were covered with vineyards. I'm really looking forward to my time here. Sometime soon is Chicken Fest. I can't remember the German name for the festival but you basically walk around, drink beer, and eat fried chicken. That's all I have for now from Germany.


    permalink written by  pathaley on July 2, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
    tagged Spain, Travel, Germany, Flowers, Europe, Barcelona, LongBoarding and Euro

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    Lugo Spain, doing a farm stay. More later.

    Lugo, Spain

    Just an update so everyone knows we're alive and well. We're in Lugo Spain now doing a farm stay. We'll update a bit later once we get internet worked out here. Wanted to say hi to everyone and we have lots to tell.

    Big love to everyone,

    permalink written by  Slade's Elucidation on July 12, 2008 from Lugo, Spain
    from the travel blog: Slade's Elucidation
    tagged Spain and Lugo

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    Costa del Sol

    Malaga, Spain

    Costa del Sol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. It stretches along over 150 kilometers of Malaga. The blue waters and golden sand best highlight the beauty of this place.

    The beaches of Costa Del Sol is known for its hot summers and mil winters which altogether make them a perfect place to enjoy. Popular activities in the area include scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing, fishing, sailing, and even boating. Shade and sun beds also exist, as well as other shower facilities. The beaches are very well-maintained. The waters are crystal clear, and the sand is very clean. Costa del Sol has been awarded the European Blue Flag for its cleanliness. Costa del Sol also boasts of its Chiringuito bars which offer cold drinks, char-grilled sardines, and fresh fish.

    Costa del Sol is a must-visit vacation spot for anyone looking for a relaxing time.

    permalink written by  On Foot on March 11, 2007 from Malaga, Spain
    from the travel blog: On Foot
    tagged Beach, Spain, CostaDelSol, Malaga, EuropeanBlueFlag, Cleanliness, Chiringuito, Sardines and BlueWater

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    La Barrosa Beach

    Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain

    La Barrosa beach is one of the best beaches in Spain. It is situated 6 kilometers from the town of Chiclana. The beach is a vast tourist destination that is perfect for relaxation. Its best features are its crystal blue water and fine white sand. It is the perfect haven for those who love white sand.

    The beach is divided into two parts, namely: the urbanized promenade and the untouched stretch. The promenade consists of various bars and restaurants that offer great food and drinks. The beach is also very orderly and very clean. Behind the main beach is the Novo Sancti Petri which is a tourist spot packed with many bars, restaurants, and shops. Like the promenade, it also offers great dining experiences, including delicious seafood. The place is heavily packed in July and August.

    Like Costa del Sol, La Barrosa beach is one of the most visited beaches in Spain.

    permalink written by  On Foot on March 12, 2007 from Chiclana de la Frontera, Spain
    from the travel blog: On Foot
    tagged Beach, Spain, CostaDelSol, LaBarrosa, Chiclana and NovoSanctiPetri

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    Lost At Sea

    Civitavecchia, Italy

    A thirty hour journey was ahead: first, a train journey from Naples to Civitavecchia, from where I could take a direct ferry to Spain. (I decided not to go to Rome, expensive for backpackers and somewhere I have already been to and will hopefully get the opportunity to go to again. I also decided not to stop at either Sicily, Sardinia or Corsica, as these are difficult to see without a car and I felt that I had done enough island hopping and wanted to see as much of Spain as possible.) The train was not too bad, and I managed to have a short conversation of broken Italian-English with a family who got on at Rome seemed fascinated by my trip. I arrived into Civitavecchia in the warm late afternoon and sat down looking out onto the calm water.

    The ferry, I soon realised, was going to be a different beast to those I had been using for the first seven weeks of my trip. It was bigger, comprising 11 decks (which, I later noted, was two more decks than hell had circles and the tortures here were even more imaginative), and there were at least five times as many passengers as on any of my previous crossings. These could be roughly seperated into two categories: the 18-30s and the 65 and overs. The latter group occupied the lower decks: the more sedate bars, the casino, the fancy restaurants, etc. The former group mostly occupied the upper deck, a half-in-half-outside expanse complete with bar, seating and empty pool, should you wish to lie by it and pretend you could go swimming. If you wanted to spend time in the sun, this was your only option, and you had to endure the crowds, the sweaty sunbathers, the drunk Italians and Spaniards and the heavy Euro-trance that kept hitting a scratch on the CD and replaying a beat over and over in some kind of epileptic, hypnotic purgatory of sound.

    I managed to sleep surprisingly well on the lower decks, surrounded by the elderly and those few younger travellers who were not part of the Italian/Spanish trans-European pub crawl. Indeed, when I woke up, I was shocked to see that it was past midday and I had spectacularly missed breakfast. So, in order to make the most of the sun, I headed upstairs. Yes, I chose to endure the aforementioned hell, but only because I wanted to make the most of a day I would be spending entirely on a ferry, and the only way to do this would be to spend as much time in the sun as possible. Fortunately I managed to find a corner away from the crowds and spent the day relatively quietly.

    The day passed quickly, and by early evening we could see the Spanish coast. The sun was just threatening to creep behind the mountains when we disembarked in Barcelona.

    permalink written by  BenWH on May 18, 2009 from Civitavecchia, Italy
    from the travel blog: Gap Year Odyssey
    tagged Spain and Italy

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    Barcelona, Spain

    As the herds of elderly and young alike were driven away on their various tour buses, only a handful of us remained standing by the ferry. I had asked a guard and found out what bus to take, but some of the other travellers either hadn´t been travelling for as long or simply thought they could work it out for themselves, and stood there helplessly. They formed a group, led by nobody in particular, and walked to-and-fro to investigate their surroundings like the confused survivers of a natural disaster. I was tempted to intervene, but there were enough of them to manage on their own, and instead I reflected on the difference that over seven weeks of being constantly on the move had made to my ability to adapt to a new environment and get to where I needed to.

    I saw a little of Barcelona that evening, but was mostly too tired from my time in the sun, and went to the hostel, found some food, and met the other travellers there. It was an interesting crowd, including two Estonians, now Londoners, who I would spend the evenings and mornings with over the next couple of days. One of the Estonians, it turned out, worked in a McDonald´s in London I had been to a number of times, and to which, after hearing some of his stories of kitchen hygeine, I shall not be returning to again.

    Knowing that effectively I only had two full days in the city, I got up early the next morning with a busy schedule planned out. I started on La Rambla, the bustling street in the centre of town that attracts 250,000 people every day (though only a fifth of these are native Barcelonans). At once, I loved Barcelona. Dozens of street performers, musicians, human sculptures line the street, while flower stalls break up the usual souvenir and newspaper stands. The centre of the street is built for pedestrians only, and in spirit it feels like a medieval city centre rather than one of the biggest tourist destinations in 21st century Spain. Every time I turned around, I hald expected to see dancing bears. (To challenge my first impressions, a few days later I read that a great ´clean-up´ of the street is being proposed to deal with the - apparently - ubiquitous prostitution, violence and drugs. These seemed to escape my notice.) The market, too, was incredible: a cavernous and energetic Catalonian take on food shopping. I just bought a smoothie and looked at the more interesting examples of Spanish cuisine.

    Next, a walk down to the beach. It is some distance from the top end of La Rambla to the nice part of the coast, but the sights are worth walking past: Christopher Columbus stands high above the harbour area; nearby, a strange abstract structure that is mostly just empty space also hangs overhead; and finally, what must be the more financial district of the city, a sort of Spanish Canary Wharf. The beach, when I arrived, was too crowded to enjoy. I sat for a while, then got up and admired some sand castles along the path. My mistake was to stop and photograph one; a stout and until then motionless woman immediately got up and started indicating to a cardboard box containing a few coins. Again, I must reiterate: absolutely nothing is free. I give some change and moved on. My final sightseeing before a quick siesta at the hostel was the Gothic quarter. When she found out that I knew London, the woman behind the desk at the hostel had compared each district in Barcelona with an English counterpart. This was supposedly like Notting Hill. Really? I couldn´t see the similarities, but the area was certainly fascinating, with a bohemian feel and an atmosphere of being alive as well as historical.

    Finally, and later in the afternoon, I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. There is too much here, and the collection is too eclectic, to do after a long day of sightseeing and in a couple of hours, but I sampled the areas that looked interesting. In one exhibition I noticed that, unmistakably. a picture in a series of geometric designs was upside down. The more I contemplated it, the more obvious it became, but I was afraid of pointing this out, not wanting to be the fussy foreign tourist who takes issue with the way the locals display their artworks. I kept silent, but lingered by it painfully long, hoping that somebody would ask me what the problem was to give me an excuse to vent. The opportunity never came.

    During talks in the hostel, I had discovered that Mt. Tibidabo was the best place to see the city from, and being a fan of that great sitcom Friends I naturally had to make the pilgrimage. I had to get two tubes, a bus, and a cable car to get to the top, but once there you can see across the whole bay area and it was worth it to see how the city fits together. However, the top has been ruined by efforts to draw more tourists and an amusement park takes up most of the space. From here, I went to another of the city´s main attractions: Guell Park. There being no metro station bordering the park, I spent around an hour just wandering; gradually the heat started to dehydrate me so I made serious attempts to locate it. It was an interesting and certainly worthwhile stop, but the masses of tourists made it difficult to enjoy. Parks, for me, should be for relaxing, not keeping your hands in your pockets and dodging between crowds. Finally, I made for probably the city´s most famous architectural work: Gaudi´s Sagrada Familia. A strange combination of the Gothic and the Modern, somehow otherworldly like something out of Lord of the Rings, this unfinished cathedral towers over the surrounding buildings. I didn´t go in as the line was long, the weather hot, and the entrance expensive. I think I will wait until it is completed in 2020 and get my money´s worth.

    My remaining time I spent lazy, soaking in my last hours in the city. More than anything else, Barcelona had surpassed my expectations. I had come here merely as a stopping point on my journey home, but somehow it turned into an adventure of itself and will remain one of my favourite European cities for a long time.

    permalink written by  BenWH on May 19, 2009 from Barcelona, Spain
    from the travel blog: Gap Year Odyssey
    tagged Spain

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