International Travel

Sweater Weather in the Mediterranean

Politics in Spain…  Nobody really knows what’s happening.  The kids I live with are home from school on random days because of the protests that are going on. People are still banging pans and making noise in the streets. I wish I knew more on the topic. I just kind of want it to be over because it’s madness. The public transportation continues to be a mystery when a strike takes place. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont (and other Catalan officials) remain in Brussels, where they fled to avoid arrest for breaking Spanish laws. There will be an election held on the 21st of December.  That’s also the day I fly back to the United States for Christmas.  Wish me luck.

I spent this past weekend in Valencia, 3.5 hours south of Barcelona.  I took the cheapest trains though, so it was more like a 5 hour trip one way.  Valencia is a lot smaller than Barcelona at 800,000 people (still huge in my small town eyes).  I stayed in a hostel located in near the city center, also located right next to Turia Gardens, an ENORMOUS park that runs through Valencia.  I have never seen so many joggers in my life.  The park was lined with joggers, cyclists, and walkers. On Saturday I rented a bike with my friend, Kristian and we biked all through the park and biked to the beach.  It was incredible.  Some of it reminded me a bit of Southern California, and other bits reminded me of Colorado. The architecture of this city was stunning.  Some of the buildings were super old and well maintained, while others were modern. I didn’t make it into the famous Science and Art Museum/Aquarium, but just looking at it all from the outside was breathtaking. It felt like I was on another planet. If I ever make it back to Valencia, I would dedicate a whole day to just wander about the museums and aquarium.  The hostel I was at had a great community feel so meeting others was super easy.  That Saturday night I used the communal kitchen to make dinner and ended up meeting others within the hostel.  We later all went out to explore the Valencia nightlife.  It was an expensive night, but totally worth it.  I even bought a doner kebab wrap at 4:45am.  No regrets.  The following day it was time to head back to Barcelona.  I got on the first train and should’ve used that time to sleep, but instead looked out the window the whole time. I had to get off half way to change trains.  The second train was a huge letdown after the first train.  It was SO crowded.  I had to take the first open seat I saw.  So of course, I’m sitting in the 4 seats that face each other… for two and a half hours. Regardless, it was such a great weekend.  It even relieved some of my Spanish travel stress.

Monday night I met up with a friend I had met at my hostel in Manchester!  The native Australian, Nic, decided to check out Barcelona for a couple of days.  Nic and I met up for dinner and a few beers.  It was a quiet Monday night in the city, but each place we went we found the bartenders to be quite friendly with a welcoming atmosphere. Though I also had feared that I wouldn’t be able to find the night bus to take me back home, since I’ve had the worst luck with finding this bus stop.  However, Nic helped me find it and at 12:45am I hopped on the N81 bus and successfully made it back home!

This week the weather in Barcelona dropped A TON. It’s actually pretty cold here (not Wisconsin cold though). The days are around 55-60 degrees fahrenheit and at night it drops down to about 45 or so. It’s that time to add another blanket to the bed. I only brought a light leather jacket with me, 3 sweaters and 1 sweatshirt.  I wish I would’ve brought more fall clothes. So, I guess it’s time to go shopping?  

I can’t believe it’s already almost halfway through November.  The days keep flying by!

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