My lovely friend and hostess in Edinburgh, Sara, was invited to a ceilidh by one of her friends on Saturday evening. I had never heard of a ceilidh before and neither of us really knew what this might entail, but it seemed like a quintessentially Scottish experience that we couldn’t miss. So not quite knowing what to expect, we picked up some booze (BYOB dance events in churches are such a great idea) and walked into what ended up being one of my Edinburgh trip highlights. Continue reading
From Madrid, then south to Andalucía, and back up to Barcelona, it has been a sunny and wonderful whirlwind in España. After a bit of an unfortunate start to the trip, my ten days in Spain were like a dream.
It almost seemed surreal to be traveling through cities that became familiar during my time in Spain last year. Having been to all the cities before, the pace was more relaxed as I didn’t arrive with a checklist of things I wanted to see (but I did have a bucketlist of Spanish food that I needed back in my life!). More than anything, this trip was about the people. It was such a blast to travel with the friends I met last year in Huelva (and some cool new amigos), and to all be in one place again. (Muchísimas gracias to all my travel buddies and wonderful hostesses…you are all fantastic.)
I believe I have just made my most expensive travel mistake, so far…hopefully ever. At 6am this morning I landed bleary eyed but full of beans in London and hopped on a coach to transfer between airports and fly on to Madrid. While I dozed on the bus, inwardly I was congratulating myself for packing light for a change (only one carry on! only two pairs of shoes!) and for feeling so comfortable navigating through my solo travels. Silly me. Continue reading…
There’s just something about Montreal that captures my heart time and again. Maybe it’s the je ne sais quoi of the city, and the joie de vivre (count on me for clichés!). I love visiting my parents’ old haunts, the view from the mountain, the street parties and the discothèques, the cosmopolitan vibe, the established Mtl classics and finding new favourites.This weekend we were in Montreal to help move my Vancouverite cousin in at McGill (I’m so excited for her — have fun C!), and though there were some nerves about the big move we had a lot of fun in the city.Montreal seemed to be bursting with colour — the sun joined us all weekend, and the arts scene was hoppin’! More Montreal…
It’s probably the most impulsive (my parents might say silly) thing I’ve done this year, and seems a little cliché (young girl lives in Europe for the first time, comes home with a tattoo/piercing/handsome foreigner?)– but I think I kind of like it. In any case, it can always come out.Aside from getting our noses pierced, we filled our days exploring Warsaw. Kaitlin was an amazing guide– taking me to places not mentioned in any guidebooks and filling me in on the city’s long, and sometimes tragic, history. We saw art (this being my favourite exhibit), and neon signs, and peacocks.We went rowing, played boules at a French wine bar, drank vodka with herrings, ate at an old Milk Bar, and sat by the river for long chats. We went on the hunt for ancient royal weavings (and found them!), listened to beautiful Chopin piano in the park, and hipster-watched. We learned about the uprising, explored Stare Miasto, the reconstructed old town, and then Praga, the rough, eclectic, up-and-coming side of Warsaw on the other side of the Vistula.I am so glad that I got to see where Kaitlin has been living for the past semester, meet her Polish “grandparents”, and have such a great guide with me! We did all that exploring, but mostly it was great to catch up and just hang out together. And then, just before I rushed off to the train, we got our noses pierced together. Maybe next time we’ll just stick with friendship bracelets?!
Dziękuję, Kaitlin! xox
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