Category Archives: Traveling

Goodvibes from Ibiza

Ibiza Island, Spain

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April 10th– April 12th

Friday, April 10th

This was our last weekend traveling out of Barcelona. Everyone on the trip was starting to feel the same way about leaving for another weekend. It is tiring. Traveling is slowly becoming less and less exciting. It is our last weekend traveling out of Barcelona. The airplanes, the buses, checking into a hotel, it all wears you out after a while. This weekend was different. There were not a lot sightseeing or tours. It was all about relaxing by the water with your friends.

Ibiza is known to be crazy island. A few months ago my friends and I booked a trip through Goodvibes that included free access to new clubs, transportation, and hotel accommodations. It was all worth it. Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.34.39 PM

The flight was only 45 minutes long. Not only was it short, it was very calm. Once we landed, we took a short taxi to the hotel to find a massive line of study abroad students waiting to check in. The hotel staff was very inefficient. It took us two hours to check in.

Everyone on this trip was study abroad students from around Europe. I recognized a lot of kids from my classes. We traveled with a large group of friends. That made the trip even better.

The first day there was a party by the pool. Unfortunately, it was too cold for any to jump in the water. It was nice to socialize with other students and listen to the DJ that was provided.

When it came to go out, everyone was excited. It was one of my good friend’s 21st birthday. She had a blast. Goodvibes provided us with buses to the club. When I stepped inside, I was in awe. It was the coolest club I had ever been to. The club was only for student abroad students on the trip. This was nice to have everyone your age in one place.

In the center of the club was round dance floor caving into the ground. Everyone was in a huge circle dancing on the steps. The DJ was amazing. He played all American music that we recognized. There was even a live saxophone player. Above the dance floor was a round stage where people would dance. Everyone was having the best time. At 5am, the buses came around to pick everyone back up.

 

Saturday, April 11th

The boats that Goodvibes provided were leaving at 12:30pm. Today, a five hour long boat party was planned for the students. All of our friends got on the same huge boat. For the first 15 minutes, it was awful. The boat was rocking back and forth. The water was very rough. Nobody was feeling very well. People began getting sick over the side of the boat. It was not a pretty sight. 11117839_10205967918459898_1342731993_n

Once we were farther out in the ocean, the rocking stopped. Luckily, the DJ put everyone in a better mood.

The boat ride ended at 5pm.  That night, the package took us to another club called Pacha. Ibiza is known for this club. It was the opening night and anyone was welcome. It was the biggest club I have ever seen. There were so many different areas, we didn’t get to see them all. The club was filled with people.

 

Sunday, April 12th

Check out was at 11am. The line was long so we went for breakfast instead of eating. Ibiza didn’t have any restaurants that served American breakfast food so we settled for pizza.

There were only two flight going to Barcelona that day. One was at 8am and the other at 6pm. In other words, everyone on our 6pm flight were study abroad students. Nobody wanted to wake up that early.

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Ibiza was a crazy island. It was one of the best weekends I had. It was nice to have no worries for the weekend.

If you are going to Ibiza, I would recommended booking it through Goodvibes. For the price we paid, a lot was included. It was all worth it.

A Week in Italia

Spending eleven days away from Barcelona was tough. Barcelona has become my home and being away for that long felt wrong. However, I knew spending a little over a week with my best friends touring Italy wouldn’t be so bad.

Our first stop was Cinque Terre, Italy. Stepping out of the train station, I knew this would be a great place to spend three days. My favorite place to be is laying on a beach. Cinque Terre was a perfect fit for me. It is simply a small beach town. IMG_4783

After dropping off our bags our cute hostel, we went to a restaurant overlooking the ocean. We ordered pasta and cocktails to get the trip started. The rest of the day was spent laying on the beach till the sun went down.

The next morning, we took an ambitious hike to the next town. Cinque Terre is comprised of five small villages. We only made traveled to one. It wasn’t easy. Along the way, we met two friends who were struggling just as hard. An hour and half later, we all made to Vernazza. The town was crowded with tourists and gelato. We ate more pasta and shopped at the souvenir stores. As the sun went down, my friends and I watched the waves hit the rocks.

Sunday morning and it was time to leave Cinque Terre. Honestly, I was sad to leave this beautiful beach town. The warm weather and sandy streets made it difficult to leave.

The train to Florence was long. Once arriving, I would be crashing with my friend’s cousin’s hardwood floor for the next three nights. IMG_4885

On Tuesday morning, this made the day trip to Venice difficult. I was exhausted. We took an early morning, fast train to Venice and caught a ferry to Burano. Unfortunately, we got on the wrong ferry. It took us 2 hours to arrive in Burano. It was worth it. The blue skies and colorful houses made for incredible pictures. After, we took another ferry and wondered the streets of Venice. We made great use of the short time we had. Later that day, we took a train back to Florence.11150443_10205935637452893_7661687077666655396_n

Another early morning train ride and off to Rome! We checked into our hostel. The weather in Rome was very warm. I was not expecting this and packed jeans for the day. The first thing we did was meet our friend from school. She is studying abroad in Rome and was excited to show us the city. We visited the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. Unfortunately, we found out the Trevi Fountain would be under construction for the next two years. This was disappointing.

Thursday, we only had time to see the Vatican before leaving once again. The line to enter the church took us over an hour. That night, we met at the train station for the Bus2Alps Tour. This was a weekend long tour that we had signed up for a few weeks earlier. The bus picked up all the kids at the train station and took us to Sorrento, Italy. 

In the morning, the tour had us wake up early. Everyone hopped on a ferry that took us to smaller boat. The boat took us around the entire island of Capri. It was a beautiful day. First, we took even smaller boats inside the Blue Grotto. At the end, the boat dropped us off on Capri Island. Here, we traveled to the top to eat lunch and try Limoncello. Capri is known to grow the best, fresh lemons. It was delicious.

My favorite part of the island was the chairlift. It was a single chair for one person that took you to the tallest part of capri. It was very relaxing to be by yourself. The views of the ocean were incredible.

The next two days were not as exciting. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible. It thunder-stormed the entire time. We spent the next two days huddled in pizza shops and trying to stay dry.

When Monday came around, we were ready to get back to the nice weather in Barcelona. The trip was long but beautiful.

If you only have a short time in Italy, here are a few recommendations

My favorite places:

  • Cinque Terre
  • Burano
  • Capri

My favorite things:

  • Hiking
  • Blue Grotto
  • Chairlift

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Valencia: Boom, Clap?

Valencia, Spain

March 6th- March 8th

Valencia is a city I will never quite understand. Let me explain.

Day 1

Last minute, I decided to sign up for a free trip offered by my abroad program to Valencia. It is the third largest city in Spain and just a little south of Barcelona. My roommates had family visiting and I had a weekend free to myself.

Seven other girls would be joining me on this trip. Three girls from New Jersey, two from Kansas, two from Pennsylvania, and myself. Right away, we all bonded.

After checking into the beautiful hotel and finding out I had a room all to myself, we were off to explore. This is when Valencia started to confuse me. Every day in the month of March a festival is put on by the city called Falles. The streets were flooded not with cars, but with people. Young girls were dressed in traditional gowns and firecrackers were going off all around the city. Apparently, everyone in Valencia gets out of school and off work early to watch a firework show at 2pm. The firework show doesn’t have any light, just noise. Every time we missed the actual show, but definitely heard it. I just didn’t see the attraction in watching smoke.

11015225_10205703259643593_1122186328126100186_nMy program provided us with a four hour tour of the city at 3:30pm. The tour guide took us to the city’s main cathedral, museums, the narrowest apartment in Spain, the beach, and my favorite, the City of Arts and Sciences. The City of Arts and Sciences includes an IMAX theatre, a museum, an opera house, a plaza for concerts, and other modern buildings. It is a beautiful area surrounded by water and a park.

Day 2

In the morning, the girls from Pennsylvania met me for a delicious breakfast on the ninth floor of our hotel. We began to plan our day. It was suppose to be 75 degrees all day. We knew we had to do something outside on this gorgeous day.

Down the street there was shop to rent bikes. 15 euros later and we were off! Our first destination was through the plaza and to the main park. On the way, we came across fascinating bridges. Each bridge was designed at a different time with a different theme in mind. The one we crossed was the garden of flowers. The entire bridge was covered in pink, red, and white flowers.10419022_10205703276204007_7329640186958368715_n-1

Eventually, we arrived at the City of Arts and Sciences again to visit the aquarium. This aquarium is the largest in Europe. It was certainly the best I’ve ever been too. The aquarium was split into eight different sections depending on the type of environments of the animals. To name a few, there were flamingos, penguins, seals, dolphins, and their famous beluga whales.

After the aquarium, we hopped on our bikes and rode to the beach. We ate more tapas at a restaurant along the sand. It was time to relax and get a tan. It was just warm enough for us to lay out for a few hours. Later, we rode our bikes back to the hotel to take a nap before going out for the night.1907455_10205703539090579_2235836979603708272_n

Around 10pm, we left the hotel to find a restaurant for dinner. Outside, everything madness. People were carrying beers, walking in the street, and lighting off firecrackers. I just don’t understand this city. Kids off all ages were lighting off fireworks where ever they pleased. I was constantly dodging freshly lit, mini explosives and wincing every time I heard a “boom”. Nobody else even flinched.

Day 3

Only waking up for the breakfast and a shower, it was already time to leave this bizarre, beach town. Valencia was incredible. I was so happy I decided to make the journey by myself. Valencia gave me new friends, a different view of Spain, wonderful experiences, and even a tan!

My Valencia recommendations:

  • City of Arts and Sciences
  • Aquarium
  • Beach
  • Bike ride (through the park)
  • Cathedral (wish we would have went inside)

Hopefully, if you ever visit Valencia, you experience the nice weather. Watch out for the fireworks, if you are going in March, and make sure to visit the City of Arts and Sciences at least once! Enjoy Valencia.

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Paris, Je t’aime!

Paris, France: February 20th – February 22nd 

It was a Friday morning and it was the trip I couldn’t wait for. On all the other flights I have taken I’ve slept the entire way, but not this one. I knew my dad would be waiting for me when I landed. I couldn’t wait to practice my French and eat macaroons at a café.

At 9am, my dad was waiting at my gate. Immediately after checking into the hotel, I dragged my dad to the Eiffel Tower.You never forget the first time you see it. It was pouring rain and still beautiful.

IMG_3387Before we went to back to the hotel for the night, we stopped at a restaurant for homemade French fries and ice cream. It was so delicious that we went back the next night. Fries really do taste better in France.

The next morning, my dad and I were ready to explore Paris. My sister, Kayla, and her boyfriend, Sam, weren’t supposed to arrive for a few hours. When we made our way to the lobby, they were there! Their plane landed early. It was a great surprise to see my sister.

IMG_3439They were exhausted from the flight. While they napped, my dad and I went exploring in the pouring rain again. I made him walk me back to the Eiffel Tower and through Champ de Mars. Soon, I got cold and we had to walk back to get hot chocolate.

When everyone woke up, we walked to the Arc de Triomphe. This was also close to our hotel. The Arc was huge, much bigger than Barcelona’s. Next, we walked down Place Charles de Gaulle for shopping and dinner. Everyone was still exhausted from the long flights so, we went to sleep early.

IMG_3683_2Sunday morning was a beautiful morning. The sky was bright blue and didn’t have cloud. For the third time, I hurried to the Eiffel Tower. We ate breakfast and drank our espressos. After a photoshoot in front of the tower, we took a bus tour through the city. This took us to all the major places in Paris.

The Notre Dame in Paris was beautiful. We made sure to tour the inside. I couldn’t believe how old the cathedral was, dating back to 1163. Even though we didn’t get to see the Mona Lisa, my other favorite destination was the Louvre. We didn’t have time to make it inside the museum due to the long lines.

We also saw L’ Hôtel Des Invalides, The Opera House, Grand Palais, Place de la Concorde, Trocadéro, and Place Vendôme. Paris is huge, I noticed. There are so many amazing sites to see. We were lucky to accomplish them all in a day.

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Traveling to Paris in a weekend? Here are my favorite parts that I recommend:

  • Eiffel Tower (at least three times)
  • French Fries (who cares if they aren’t technically French?)
  • Bus Tour (especially if you only have a day)
  • Louvre (buy your tickets ahead of time, if you want to see the Mona Lisa)
  • Macaroons!
  • Notre Dame de Paris (the inside)

“Paris is always a good idea,” Audrey Hepburn couldn’t have said it better herself. Even though it was practically a hurricane of rain for the first two days, we managed to see everything in one beautiful day.