From London to Ibiza
Ever since I began my study abroad journey, I hoped to travel. That being said, I had no idea just how amazing my traveling experience would be! I found out early in the semester that I would be allotted 3 weeks during the month of April (Easter Holiday) in which I would be able to travel wherever I wanted. So I set to work planning. For the first week and a half of my Easter Holiday, I decided to visit London, Barcelona, and Ibiza.
Week 1 of my vacation began when I flew to London, England and met up with my Aunt, Uncle and 3 younger cousins who happened to be vacationing in London at that time. It worked out perfectly that I would be able to travel with them while on my break! For our London adventure, you could say that we were the “typical tourists.” We spent our days on double decker busses seeing everything there possibly is to see in the city. We ventured to the Big Ben, watched the ceremonial Changing of the Guards, visited Westminster Abbey, toured the Tower of London, and spent our meals at traditional English Pubs stuffing our faces with Fish and Chips. After we had exhausted the tourist attractions in London, we ventured to Wimbledon for a day and got a full tour of Tennis through the ages as well as the Center Court for the Wimbledon matches. Since the 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London, we also took a day trip to the Olympic park and got a tour of the facilities and learned a lot about the Olympics and the tradition. It really was a wonderful trip and I was so excited to see some family after being abroad for 3 months already.
But the fun did not stop there! My family went back to the US and I was off to Barcelona, Spain to meet up with my good friend Mary Kate who is also an IFSA-Butler student in Belfast with me. I flew straight from London to Barcelona and met up with her. We wandered the streets of Barcelona for a day until we met up with our other friend from Belfast (another IFSA student) Sean. The three of us had an entire day to kill on Las Ramblas street in Barcelona because we had already checked out of our “hostal” and were waiting to catch the overnight ferry to Ibiza, Spain. Ibiza is an island off of Spain and well known for it’s younger crowd but also has some of the most scenic views I have ever seen! We enjoyed the traditional Spanish meal of rice, vegetables, chicken, and seafood called Paella while in Barcelona. It was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had! It was finally time to get on the ferry and the three of us had a full 8 hours to go until Ibiza.
When we made it to Ibiza, we walked toward our “apartmento” and had breakfast at a cute little cafe where we had the best fresh squeezed orange juice any of us had ever tasted. Once we got to our apartmento (Mar y Playa – which means Ocean and Pool) we met up with one of my friends from Butler University and the four of us went to the grocery store to stock our kitchenette. Our hotel/apartmento was amazing! It was right on the beach (which aren’t very sandy in Ibiza but rocky and beautiful) and had a pool overlooking the beach. We had a great balcony which was the perfect setting for many photo shoots and card games. The rest of the weekend (which was Easter weekend) was spent by eating Tapas (appetizers) near the beach and wandering the island and experiencing the Spanish culture. Since Kelcie is studying abroad for the semester in Alicante, Spain, she is practically fluent in Spanish and was able to help us translate everything on menus and street signs so we never got lost or had trouble. The weather wasn’t extremely hot but that was alright because we enjoyed wandering the island and meeting people at our hotel pool. We met people from Dubai, Australia, and Holland which was very exciting and it was fun to hear about their lives and what they do for fun. On Easter Sunday, the 4 of us had a day-long excursion back to Barcelona on the ferry and it was a very different experience than the night ferry trip. We felt like we were on a cruise and had a blast eating popcorn and watching the movies in Spanish.
It was finally time for us to get back to Belfast but all in all, the trip was one I can barely even describe in words and it really was an experience of a lifetime!