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Travel

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I’m back in Barcelona after traveling for 2 weeks through Spain, and have made my way through Madrid, Seville, Málaga, Granada, and San Sebastián. It’s been crazy hot temperatures, especially in the south areas of Andalucia. So, let’s talk Madrid! As a city girl, I love the big city feel that Barcelona has, which is part of what attracted me to it. Well, Madrid has that plus more! Being August, I know that the city was actually more quiet than the rest of the year, as August in Spain is typically when residents and businesses take vacation. Even so, there was a hustle and bustle and sophistication that swept me off my feet. I took a 7am train to ensure two full days and I stayed close to the main train station, Atocha, which is pretty central (more on my accommodations a little later). Since I visited Madrid, Seville, and Málaga for two…

I had such a fun day today eating and wandering with Barcelona blogger Nathalie from Cocoa and Buttons. We had lunch at Flax & Kale, an adorable and trendy organic/vegetarian restaurant here in Barcelona that I’ve been dying to try, and it definitely lived up to the hype! I got the Raw Superbowl, a newer menu item. It’s a salad with leafy greens, two types of hummus, zucchini tagliatelle with a turmeric pesto, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes with basil, red cabbage sauerkraut, and sprouts. It was SO delicious! Nathalie got the Supertagliatelle with spirulina, diced salmon, kale pesto and parmesan. We sat upstairs on the outdoor terrace, but the interior decor is also amazing – including their bathroom! (I’m linking similar off the shoulder tops in this blog post.) After Flax & Kale, we headed to La Boqueria in the Gothic Quarter area. It’s a huge open air market with fresh fruits,…

I headed to beach yesterday with a new friend that I made, and sported this cut-out one piece swimsuit that is perfect for the tropical summer weather (I’m linking similar suits below). We sipped (super inexpensive) rosé and sangria – I am not kidding when I say that the wine is cheaper than water here. Especially because the wine is local, you can get a decent bottle for less than  €1.50. Yes. I bought a BOX of rosé (specifically for ease at the beach) for €.62. That’s less than a euro. Crazy.  Barceloneta beach is a bit more touristy, but I had to experience it once while here. There are a ton of other stunning beaches that locals go to, so I plan to make it to several of those throughout my stay here. Here are some similar options for tropical swimsuits and cut-out one pieces:

Earlier in the week I spent most of the day wandering around El Born, a barrio (neighborhood) near the Gothic Quarter. It’s such a dynamic neighborhood. Parts of it are made up of endless mazes of narrow old gothic stone streets (literally you can wander around them forever – I’ve already walked 6.1 miles today), yet these tiny ancient alleys surprise you, and house trendy shops and restaurants. Then there’s still the hustle and bustle of main streets and open courtyards. The main courtyard area comes alive at night with a ton of cute bars. I actually went to a super cute spot last night, and I’ll be posting about that next!

I still haven’t caught up on the rest of my Europe photos from my trip at the end of May, but I’m officially back in Europe – living in Barcelona for the next 2 months! I’ve started to settle in over the past few days, and being here has just reminded me how much I fell in love with this city when I was here for only 2 short days (more about that in this post). I have so many sights, bars, and restaurants on my list to make it to while I’m here, and I also plan on attending a couple of Language Exchange events each week to continue practicing and improving my conversational Spanish. If you haven’t heard of Language Exchanges, they are social events where people from all over the world meet up to socialize and practice the language they want to learn. I attended two different…

At the end of May, I departed sunny Florida on an 11-day journey to Europe – alone. Well, I wasn’t going to be completely “alone”, but I was traveling solo to Barcelona, where I would meet 38 other strangers and continue traveling together through Nice, Monaco, Cinque Terre, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Rome, and Vatican City. I travel often and was itching to take an adventurous trip to explore more of Europe, but with the schedules and budgets of my friends, there’s not always a partner in crime to come along. So, I began researching tour group companies that focused on planned tours for my age range (18 to 35). I came across Contiki and remembered my friend did a tour to Greece last year with them and raved about it (more on this in a later post). After browsing through some more reviews, I was totally sold. I booked…