Category: Europe

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Lost in Valencia

I moved out of the Purple Nest Hostel yesterday and am now crashing at Naty's apartment. One of her roommates is out of town so she has a spare bedroom, which she graciously offered to me for the sake of reducing my lodging expenses. She herself is a veteran backpacker, and she understands that every ...

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A Series of Misfortunate Events

I think everyone has an internal "panic button," which when pressed sets us into a frenzy.  It helps us vent our angst when faced with tough situations, but on the whole, it just causes a lot of needless anxiety and stress.  After learning that my debit card was lost, I felt myself reaching for that panic ...

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Train to Valencia

A day train through Spain is alone worth the trip to Europe.  A mosaic of brown, green, red, and yellow lands sweeps past.  Trees (olive?) stand in neat rows.  The gray and brown outlines of mountains loom in the distance.  A lone house stands in the center of a vast field.  Suddenly a town appears, ...

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Piece of Cake

My first attempt to get a train reservation to Valencia earlier today failed because I had forgotten to take my Eurorail Pass and passport with me.  Unlike in France, in Spain the railway system requires reservations, and if you have a Eurorail Pass, you have to show it.  So I returned to the hostel emptyhanded and tried to figure out my travel ...

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The Bullfight

Sweat flowed freely down my bare torso.  I felt a bit strange being the only person not wearing a shirt, but the desire to stay cool won over the embarrassment.  The sun hung low in the west, blazing right in my face.  This is what they meant by sol seats.  Directly in the sun.  I had seen ...

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My Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!  Even as I get older I look forward to my birthday.  As a kid I celebrated with a party and cake, now I simply enjoy spending time with friends, reflecting on all the good things in my life, and, of course, eating cake.  Unfortunately, the Italians left yesterday for Malaga after our ...

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A Feast for the Senses

The Al-Hambra Palace in Granada is a feast for the senses.  We hear the water fountains and tree frogs.  We smell the flowers in the luxurious gardens.  We taste the cold water from the drinking fountains.  We touch the wooden panels inscribed with Arabic calligraphy as the cool breezes caress our faces and bare arms.  ...

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The Italian Job

The girls and I awoke early to head to Al-Hambra.  If we had any chance of getting into the hugely popular, Moorish palace, we needed to get there early and get in line.  However, the four Italians - Luca, Maria-Grazia, Agnese, and Marisa - we met at the hostel yesterday were still asleep.  We had ...

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When the Moon’s in the Sky…

I jotted down a quick note for Steph and Kathryn this morning and left it taped on their door.  I would miss hanging out with them. We had already exchanged contact information though, so we would be in touch. The drive to Granada was a lot of fun.  The girls sang along to old Italian ...

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A Fortunate Meeting

After moving my luggage to yet another room this morning, I took off into the city to see the Temple Debod.  It's an ancient Egyptian temple that the government of Egypt gifted to Spain in recognition of her help restoring some temples in Egypt.  It's not much to look at, especially since I've been to ...