Holy moly where to even begin…I guess I can start with I AM BACK IN LEEDS!
The past three weeks were literally indescribable, which is going to make writing this blog post a difficult task. Life as a modern nomad was better than anything I could have asked for, AND I only ruined/lost one pair of shorts, one pair of boots, my gloves, and my iPhone. Horrah!
The timeline for this trip was as follows: One night in London for an Avett Brothers concert, a weekend in Dublin for St. Patty’s day, four nights in Cork, five nights in Mallorca, 6 nights in Seville for Holy Week, and 5 nights in Budapest to wrap it all up. (Side note that I am really proud of: the only suitcase I used for the entire three week trip was a carry on that never weighed more than 9kg. Accomplishing that feat may be my greatest achievement to date). Instead of giving you EVERY detail of EVERY aspect of EVERY place, I am going to just type out my three favorite parts of each location. My mom had me do this when we first Skyped once I had returned and I thought it was a pretty swell idea!
-London, England: Well since I was only there for one night, my options are limited. Fortunately the Avetts were there so they can just take up all of the favorites for London. Oh! I almost forgot that I met/got the autograph of Grace Potter the opener for the Avetts! That was pretty cool, but the Avetts still get two of the three allotted London favorites.
-Dublin, Ireland: First favorite was for sure seeing my friends from Vanderbilt that I had not seen in months! Reunions are great. Second favorite was the pair of shorts seen in the picture below (obviously my friend in the picture loved them too). Most necessary purchase thus far since being abroad. Third favorite was just being in Dublin for St. Patty’s day. What an incredible vibe!
-Cork, Ireland: This is a slightly vague first favorite, but Cork is the first (and only) place that I have ever traveled outside of the states and thought, “man I could totally live here,” so the entire time there was really special for me. Second favorite(s) were the day trips that we took. We went to Blarney, Cohb, and Kinsale, so I really felt like I saw a decent amount of the southern coastline. Third favorite was the shower in the hostel we stayed at. You know those really great faucets that only work for like 4 seconds at a time, and to keep the water going to have to press it 30 times per minute? That was our shower. All kidding aside though, I actually did secretly love it because it saved me from wasting a lot of water, and it made the showers in Mallorca seem like a dream.
-Mallorca, Spain: First favorite was the weather. Holy guacamole it was amazing. Neither my arms nor my legs had seen sunlight in months, so wearing shorts and tank tops in hot weather was liberating. Second favorite was the food (the good and the bad). I had true Spanish food at a tapas bar called Patxi’s (or something like that). Every single piece of food that was on any plate near the vicinity of my friends and I was inhaled that evening, including the dessert, as seen below:
Before, and after.
Though every eating experience in Mallorca was not so magical. One restaurant we ate at advertised a three course meal for 10 Euro. Two of my friends got it, and when dessert time rolled around the waitress came out and told them that each girl got an orange for dessert. What made it even better was when the waitress said, “Oranges are the dessert of Spain!” to convince us that this was totally normal and not a rip off at all… but it all worked out because even though we made a few enemies at that restaurant, we got a hilarious memory. Third favorite was a hike that I took with one of my friends. We hiked for about 4 hours to a small town called Deia, and the views that we saw on that hike were to die for. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
-Seville, Spain: First favorite was everything that had to do with Holy Week. Since all of the pictures/videos I got from the festivities were on my iPhone (R.I.P), just Google Holy Week Seville to see what it is like. It is truly a cultural experience. Second favorite was the hostel we stayed at. It was always jam packed with people, which made it so much fun!!! We stayed in a 10 bed mixed room, and although I could not live in a situation like that my entire life, it was perfect for a fun week in Spain. Third favorite was the night that I got my iPhone stolen. Although I did get my phone stolen…and I did end up accusing about seven men in the bar of stealing my phone…and I did get at least two of those most-likely-innocent men kicked out of the bar (again, so sorry about that), it was a GREAT time!
-Budapest, Hungary: First favorite was the fact that my friends and I thought that the Castle District was just a giant hill covered in castles. It ends up that it’s really just a residential area, and in fact, there is only one castle in Budapest, and it doesn’t even look like a castle. Whoops. Second favorite was the Rudas bath we went to. Though Szechenyi is their largest and most famous bath, Rudas was definitely my favorite. We went on a Tuesday, and unbeknownst to us, bathing suits are optional on Tuesdays since they are women-only days. We were in for a HUGE surprise when we walk into the baths and 80% of the women were entirely in the nude. After the first incredibly awkward 10 minutes of you-shouldn’t-stare-but-you-can’t-help-but-stare, we relaxed and ended up loving the experience. It also helped that the average age in the room was about 55 years old, so we all felt like Victoria’s Secret models for the first time in our lives. My last but not least Budapest favorite was going to one of their ruin pubs. It was loaded with people, and everyone was just relaxed and having a great time. I could have stayed there all night, and this is coming from a girl who gets claustrophobic in a club after about 8 seconds.
Even though I have listed off so many favorites, I left out the most important one: becoming so close with the girls I traveled with. All of the incredible places I visited would have been nothing without the people I went with, and the fact that they dealt with me for three weeks is something I will forever be grateful for. I can promise them that I will never ever ever ever forget those three weeks.
So there you have it! My super abbreviated three weeks of traveling. I’m throwing in a few more of my favorite pictures at the end of this post along with the cheesiest (yet equally awesome) quote I have posted yet.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles” – Tim Cahill (the author, not the Australian football player)
Until next time,
Grace Potter autograph!
Quote from the Guinness Factory in Dublin
Kissing the Blarney Stone!
Lake near Blarney Castle
Port de Soller (Mallorca)
Me in front of the Palma Cathedral
Port de Soller (again)
My boots made it all the was to Budapest before coming apart. So thankful for that!
Pictures from the House of Terror museum in Budapest. Such an incredible exhibit.
The one castle in Budapest! And it doesn’t even look like a castle…