Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorite Cities of 2011

I thought I would write descriptions but then I decided that a bunch of stupid haikus would be the easy thing to do here.. some of them probably wont make sense (you just had to be there, etc) but whatever, shut up, this is my blog.

 Chicago, Illinois

Take 80-90
Avoid rush hour traffic
cheap deep-dish pizza

Sagunto, Valencia, Spain

Walking to Sagunt
Under highway, over bridge
The Mercadona

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Gaudi's big dildo
Gypsy's Beatles puppet show
delicious coffee

Barcelona- man I love this city- the epitome of bohemian- easily the most unique and interesting place I've been to so far. Gaudì's work is astonishing- I remember talking to a Japanese guy while descending the narrow, winding staircase in La Sagrada Familia- "How does this place even exist?" he asked me. 
Las Ramblas, the main tourist drag in BCN is a bizarre and wonderful place full of gypsies, artists, and of course, pick-pockets- an adventure indeed. Also, Barcelona is home to my favorite futbolista, David Villa.

Madrid, Spain

Atocha Renfe
go missing, Plaza del Sol
fake ice-skating rink

Madrid is the capitol of Spain. Duh!
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of Madrid the first time I went because, well, we were only there for about a day and a half and I was pretty sick. The Prado on it's own is incredible, but nothing can beat an afternoon in the Reina Sofia. Madrid turned out to be so alive and so inspiring. It's huge, and probably the best place I've ever been for people-watching. 

Morella, Valencia, Spain

Siesta in Park
Strange cathedrals, aged temples
Castle at the peak

I went to Morella with a smaller group from the school in Sagunto. We spent one day in the small town at the top of a mountain. The day was so sunny but a little chilly. I just remember it being so calm and quiet up there- I can't really describe it, but there was a sort of reverence that echoed through the streets. Morella is an old city in Valencia where the locals are still considered Valenciano. 

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

relentless sunlight
gelato-filled bread
comical card games

I went to Sicily sick. I was miserable the night we got there, walking to our guest house... but I'm so glad I didn't let that cold stop me. Palermo was something special- calm, rare- we didn't see many tourists there (only ran into one american couple), and we made a few local friends. The night we arrived these turkish men at the guest house gave us dates and almonds, and later some old guys bought us gelato in town. I know we're not supposed to talk to strangers... but I think that when traveling that is most definitely a requirement. I mean, be smart, of course, but so many people are afraid of even talking to other people they encounter. 

Granada, Andalicía, Spain

saunter through the streets
tired walls bleed graffiti
woman begs for change

 (stole this from Jason- All my photos from Granada are on an external hard drive in Berrien...)
I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with the spanish tour that came from Andrews to Granada. I only spent one night there and one day- the next night I took the overnight train back to Valencia so that I could make it to work. Granada is home to the Alhambra- which deserves a post all on it's own. Andalucia is gorgeous and I can't wait to go back again someday and spend more time there. 
I spent a lot of time on my own in Granada because I wasn't really a part of the school's tour group even though I followed them around a lot. I just remember walking through the city at 6am on a Sunday to get my ticket into the Alhambra, and seeing all the people just leaving the clubs haha... 

Toledo, Castilla La Mancha, spain

lounging riverside
chew the fat, wait for nothing
running with joggers
Look how happy I am with my favorite people! 
We spent the first part of our trip to Castilla back in April in Toledo. Toledo was amazing and beautiful but I hate to admit that my favorite part was finding that little brown leather purse I'm holding. Of all my souvenirs and everything this one is the best. I use it ALL of the time and I love telling people that I paid 11 euros for it in Toledo. One of my favorite days was spent in Toledo- Grace and I just went and sat by the river for hours instead of wandering around the old capitol. 

Valencia, Spain

black coffee, gold tea
double towers defend me
one-thousand funerals
Where do I even start? Fallas. La Indiana. MTV Winter series concert. So many great days took place in Valencia. I love this photo because this street is just so familiar to me. As much as I love Paris and Barcelona, Valencia is just special to me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment