[TRAVEL DIARIES]: BARCELONA

[TRAVEL DIARIES]: BARCELONA

I’m back with a new design, new motivation and new stories to tell. While I was away, I’ve seen many things, Bali, Australia, New Zealand etc. and I hope I’ll find the time to tell you more about my adventures, the story about my broken back and why there was no time for writing anymore. But first I want to tell you about my city trip to Barcelona and some locations that made my trip unique.

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HOME, SWEET HOME

HOME, SWEET HOME

Recently a lot of people have asked me what I have planned for the next two months. I start telling them that I’m going to spend some days here and some days there and while telling this I suddenly realize that there is not much time left that I’ll be actually spending at home before university starts again. I’m home now for exactly one month and after Erasmus it was a little confusing to get back to my so-called normal life again but I think that everyone needs a period of adjustment after a stay abroad. Anyway, it is not true that I’m actually home as in my real home, it is just the fact that I’m not in Spain anymore that makes me believe that I’m home. But the truth is that I am touring around again with a little suitcase with too less clothing in it. And the first time in my life I feel that this is kind of wrong.

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[ERASMUS] Brace yourselves: We are coming home!

[ERASMUS] Brace yourselves: We are coming home!

Attention: The following article shouldn’t be taken too seriously, we are really looking forward to coming home! This is just my ironic way of dealing with goodbyes, please enjoy ;)

It is nearly July and we have to face the fact that ERASMUS is coming to an end. At this stage of our exchange, we are busily working on our bucket-lists with things we definitely want to do (once more) before coming home. In other words: we are constantly denying the fact that we’ll have to leave everything behind soon, our new home as well as our new family. Only the sad fact of saying goodbye to everyone reminds us that the saying “All good things come to an end” is actually true. So, while we Erasmus-students still try to make the best out of our last days here, you people at home, especially family and best friends, are awaiting impatiently our return. But you should be warned, after we’ve come home, you might want to get rid of us really quickly because we’ll be different to what you’ve expected. If you wonder why, here are 5 reasons why you’ll probably hate us after our life abroad.

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[Travel-Guide]: Keep calm and start the journey

[Travel-Guide]: Keep calm and start the journey

Wir haben schon wieder Mitte Juni, die wunderbare Zeit im Jahr, in der schon jeder mit seinen Gedanken irgendwie im Paradies Ferien schwebt. Es werden noch mit Fleiß die letzten Prüfungen geschrieben oder die letzten Arbeitstage gezählt bis es endlich wieder heißt: Ab in den Urlaub! Gerade der sehr trübselige Wetterbericht, der momentan Anlass für das ein oder andere Meme im Netz gibt, lässt die Vorfreude auf die ersehnten Urlaubstage noch größer werden. Alles schön und gut, wäre da nicht die meist sehr nervenaufreibende Phase der Planung des ganzen Unterfangens. Wohin soll es gehen? Wie kommen wir dahin? Abenteuer- oder doch lieber Relax-Urlaub?

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[TRAVEL DIARIES]: ANDALUCÍA

[TRAVEL DIARIES]: ANDALUCÍA

I have to apologize: First of all, I am really bad at updating my website regularly. I am so busy with getting my life together that I am not even able to keep up with my series. This is going to be a really long post and I am already really sorry about that. But the post is definitely worth reading it, if you’re interested in knowing a little bit more about Andalucía. And if you’re tired of reading, at least take a look at the photos, they will definitely let you dream of holidays… and now, let’s getting started:

CÓRDOBA

Since we all had 2 weeks off because of the famous Semana Santa and Easter, we decided to  escape the rainy days in Salamanca and headed off towards the south: Andalucía. With a rented Seat Altea we drove 5h until we arrived at our first stop, Córdoba. The journey wasn’t that bad, we had good music and what is even more important, we had the luck to stop at a German supermarket where they sold Frankfurter sausages, our trip could not have started any better for me. As we spent only one night in Córdoba, we decided to just visit the most important sights like the Mezquita de Córdoba, famous for its arcaded hall with 856 columns, and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos with its ridiculously beautiful garden and hundreds of orange trees. Seriously, I don’t know if it’s only me, but I couldn’t believe that a Moorish palace can look that amazing. I was so happy that I had to grin like a Cheshire cat all the time. In general, Córdoba is a gorgeous city with lots of restaurants, bars (also at the riverside with an amazing view over the Roman bridge) and narrow streets  with tiny local shops. Because of all this we had a really good time while strolling through these little streets. My highlight there was definitely this local candy shop where they sell the traditional turrón, a confection, normally made of sweet honey, sugar and egg white with delicious toasted almonds. Apparently food makes me really happy, I am not sure if that is a good thing or not, considering the upcoming summer, but who cares. ;)

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MÁLAGA

After that we headed off to our next stop, Málaga, where we stayed for three nights. At first, Málaga did not blow my socks off. We had a beautiful modern apartment at the center but after our walk to the grocery shop, I had the impression that the city seemed a bit run-down. Anyway, the highlight that evening wasn’t the city itself, but the dinner I cooked for my friends, that’s to say one German girl, two Norwegians and one Australian boy who had birthday that day (if you’re reading this: I know you all helped me out, thanks for that!). Guess what we had for dinner? The most typical Austrian dish ever: Schnitzel. And I overly exaggerated when I bought 16 pieces of meat . Every Austrian, no, everyone knows that a normal person does not simply eat three Schnitzel with Risotto and salad… and strawberries with whipped cream for dessert. After the first shock when we saw the huge load of meat, we were actually really happy that there was something left for a midnight snack after going out. Well, it was already morning but we don’t have to be too strict about that right now.
Another highlight was one of the rooftop bars we went to. At first, it was under discussion whether we should go there or not. We were all tired because of the last party-night and lying on the beach in the blazing sun all day didn’t help at all. But after seeing the amazing sunset we were really glad that our friend was so keen on going up there. It was funny though, because nearly everyone was dressed kind of elegant except us. We stood there looking at the horizon, holding a Sangría with the one hand, holding a towel with the other. We must have looked like the strangest tourist group ever, but I was really happy that we didn’t miss that. Especially after I got out of the shower later, at about 10pm, and all the others were fallen asleep on the couch, herded together like animals.
Earlier that day we decided to have a look at the city itself and it made me change my mind. The city has a lot of beautiful spots and sightseeing stuff like the Teatro Romano or the Alcazaba de Málaga. If you’re a student you should definitely go up there for 60 cents and enjoy the view over the sea and the port of Málaga. The Muelle Uno is a restaurant and shopping area at the port which is a beautiful place to have a meal or just to hang out. From there you’ll have a great city view. At the beach there are also some restaurants but there you have to pay a little bit more.

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 RONDA

We spent one day in the little city Ronda that is about 100 kilometers away from Málaga. Ronda is famous for its bridge Puente Nuevo from where you have an incredible view over the idyllic landscape. While I was standing there, the feeling of being home again overcame me. This has several reasons: 1. the sun was shining but I should have worn more clothes; 2. I could see fields and mountains everywhere, even though they were not that high; 3. the restaurants weren’t that cheap anymore, 24€ for a lunch-menu, reminds me of home. In fact, the city was really beautiful and it is definitely worth seeing it, but there are a lot of tourists and you notice that, especially when everyone you see speaks German, which is actually reason number 4 why I felt like being home.

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MARBELLA

Our penultimate stop was Marbella, or as we like to call it, the city of playboys and rich bit***. And we weren’t even that wrong with that assumption.  I’ve never seen that many yachts (with flatscreen and pool of course), ridiculously expensive cars and women with short dresses that are definitely too tight to be worn outside. Marbella is the place to be when you don’t know what to do with your money. Let’s think about that: Do you have that kind of problem as a student? Nope, I don’t think so. Especially not, if you’re that kind of student who decides to live on noodles the whole week because other food would probably be too expensive for you. So Marbella was definitely not the place to be for us, but we decided that we wanted to see it anyways. And we were pretty excited about that, we had a huge apartment with our own pool and a nice garden and we enjoyed that a lot, at least until we had to pay 12€ for two shots which is, compared to the 2€ that you have to pay (sometimes) in Salamanca, way too much. But at least this kind of experience motivated me again for university, because I realized that I need a really good job someday. Still, one can dream, you’ll never know. ;)

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GIBRALTAR

On our way to our last stop, we crossed the borders and finished up in the middle of British territory, suddenly everyone spoke English and the currency was pounds. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory where you have the possibility to go up to the so-called Upper Rock. With its 426m it provides an incredible view over the sea, you’re even able to see Africa from up there. It is pretty expensive though, especially if you want to visit all the other tourist attractions there like the caves Cueva de San Miguel or the National Park. We decided to just buy the ticket to go up there, we enjoyed the view and saw the famous semi-wild barbary macaques who live there. A really bad decision however, was to go down using the stairs. Don’t do that. It was so exhausting that our legs haven’t stopped hurting for one week.

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CÁDIZ

Last, but not least: Cádiz. It is a pity that we only had one night left in Cádiz. We just had a glimpse at the city before we had to head back to Salamanca. This is why it is difficult for me to say something in particular, but what I saw was a really beautiful city with lots of hidden corners and narrow lanes that invite to stroll along. There you can find typical Spanish restaurants and tapa-bars. We had the luck of sitting in a typical bar while the football game Real Madrid vs. Barcelona was on. Everyone was cheering and shouting like crazy in there. That was definitely a highlight for me. What you shouldn’t miss, is the beautiful cathedral, la Catedral de la Santa Cruz, which is located in the city centre. The city is surrounded by coast, you definitely won’t have any problems to find a beautiful beach there.

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That’s it. Actually, I would be really surprised if anyone of you guys out there read the whole post, if so: I really appreciate that, cheers to you! ;)