Puppies and kittens were an added bonus (or a nuisance if you didn’t enjoy guarding your plate from jumping kitties– it was kind of like a cute video game) to our two night stay up at Camp Grab in Montenegro.To finish off our week with Adriatic Kayak Tours (check them out, we had a super time!), we drove from Dubrovnik up to the rafting camp by the Tara river. It was a great place to just relax by the river, or the fire, and enjoy the scenery. We went white water rafting (my first time!) through the beautiful canyon, swam in a waterfall in Bosnia (the border between the two countries lies somewhere in that river), and with a “YOLO” mindset (I promise to never say that again!) jumped into the cold cold water to float down in our (fat)wetsuits. It was great.The next day we spent driving through snow banks in Durmitor National Park. Impressive scenery all around, and makes the country’s name (Crna Gora = Black Mountain) seem obvious.After frolicking through the mountains, we made a quick stop at the Ostrog Monastery ,built almost vertically into the mountain rock (and walked the many many steps up to the monastery). Then it was back into our trusty van for a scenic drive through Bosnia back to Dubrovnik…ending our trip with some Croatian pivo and a beautiful sunset by the old town. (Thanks Mum and Dad!) x
I arrived in Dubrovnik a day after leaving Huelva (via a London detective agency — thanks, Adam!), and although I already missed my Spanish pueblo, somehow everything in Spain seemed like it was ages ago. (Pero hay partes de mi corazón que estarán siempre en Huelva, claro!)
After saying so many goodbyes in Spain, it was nice to switch to saying hello to my twin brother and parents who were waiting for me in Dubrovnik.We spent the evening in the beautiful old town before heading off to the island of Lopud the next morning. The past four days have been spent kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking and cherry picking around the islands (with the super Adriatic Kayak Tours company). It has been a blast, and the scenery was totally worth the workout my weak arms got on the water.I could definitely get used to floating in my kayak on the Adriatic (not to mention the amazing sunset dinners that follow)…now off to Montenegro! Besos and kisses! x(Thanks to my twin for the kayaking pictures!)
And so, just like that, eight months flew by. I’m having a hard time avoiding clichés to describe how much I loved this past year (“time flies/it was the experience of a lifetime/unforgettable!”); the little adventure I wanted abroad surpassed all my expectations.The last week or so was filled with despedidas, farewells and parties with my students, colleagues and friends. Every time we went somewhere we were aware that it was our last time (at least for now!). (Sidenote! one of the great things about living in Huelva is that it is actually financially feasible to eat lovely tapas on lovely terraces with lovely drinks everyday for a week…) Days at the beach, cocktails at sunset, dancing til sunrise; it was crazy, sleep deprived, and a perfect series of fiestas to say goodbye (for now!).Huelva quickly became a second home, and it was sad to leave. My wonderful amigos woke up early with me to have one last café con leche together and see me off (I almost made it onto the bus without any tears!). Like anything, the people make all the difference, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have met the friends I did.Sigh. So this year saw me grow up a whole lot (I think!), and I’m leaving Huelva a little wiser, a little more confident in my adventurer abilities, with so many great friends, memories, muchísimas ganas to come back to España, a perma-smile and a happy heart.
And so, eight months flew by, and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Muchas gracias to all my guiri friends and la buena gente española in Huelva for the chulo-est time, to all my friends and family back home for the love and support I could always count on across the ocean, everyone I traveled with along the way, and to you for following along. Now, I’m taking a scenic route back to Canada…the European fun isn’t quite over!
Hasta la próxima! Un beso!
Our wishes came true and the sun shone down on us for our last two days in Malta.We ate traditional Maltese rabbit dishes by the bay in Saint-Julian, and had a couple ridiculous nights in Paceville, followed by ridiculously cheap after-bar food (which was so delicious, and is non-existent in Huelva!), and spent our last two days by the water; first on the sand at Golden Bay, and to end our trip, a day by the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino.The Blue Lagoon was my favourite part. We hiked away from the main beach where the boats docked and over some rocky terrain (not made for our sandals) to find a secluded little cove. We swam through caves and re-applied sunscreen about every 15 minutes. The water was cold and crystal clear– the colours looked photoshopped. One if our more adventurous friends cliff jumped… The rest of us cheered him on. All in all, it was a great getaway to the Cisk drinking, left-side of the road driving, culturally ambiguous (Maltese? British? Italian? All good!) island of Malta. The joys of travel!
Taking a little vacation from this working vacation in Malta this week! It was a little too windy (sadly and surprisingly!) for any beach time today, so we took the time to explore some of the islands sights; the ancient and silent town of Mdina, the capital city of Valleta, and the Blue Grotto.We’re off to explore the (in)famous Paceville…Hoping for sunshine and island breezes tomorrow! Happy Wednesday to all of you!
I read On the Road in high school, but I don’t think I really got into it, and I had picked it up mostly because my favourite English teacher always raved about it and didn’t we all “dig the beat generation?!”. So when I saw a cheap paperback copy of it at home before I left for Spain I figured it was a perfect read for a my year abroad. And this quote…man. I love it. I know Kerouac wasn’t writing about Spain, but that’s what it will always make me think of — seems like one of the most fitting quotes for Andalucia, anyway.
“It was always mañana . For the next week that was all I heard– mañana , a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.”
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
One of the great things about traveling with my old friend Kaitlin through Amsterdam (aside from the fact that I love her, obviously), is that she understands hangry (hungry + angry, totally a real thing and I’m not pleasant to be around if I’m in such a state). So we happily snacked on nuts and fruit as we wandered around the city and saved our pennies for a few quality meals, a cheese tasting and several Dutch drinks… Here are a few places that we were big fans of — I’m no Amsterdam expert, but if you’re in town I think it is worth checking these ones out! Continue reading
I arrived in Cádiz tired from the work week and thinking maybe all this Carnaval business was a little overhyped…
Yes, it is basically just a huge street party and yes, the streets are soaked by everyone’s pee (disgusting, I know. But one of Carnaval’s unique charms?), but it is so much more than just a street party (am I making sense?). Everyone is in costume. There is music everywhere; choirs being driven through the streets on wagons, and chirigotas (ensembles of singers) performing at every street corner, plaza, and on church steps. Everybody comes out to play. And I mean everybody: children, grandparents, families, students, belligerent young people– people from Cádiz, from all over Spain, and from all over the world. The sheer amount of people is impressive, but what struck me the most was just the joy in the streets. Everyone is out to have a good time and you’re bound to make new friends by the end of the night.