travel

Life is happening

Sunny, summer days are here in London town

Sunny, summer days are here in London town

Well, it certainly has been one of the longest stretches of time in between posts on here in a while. That’s no good. But I want to say it’s mostly for positive reasons. Yes, mostly, I haven’t been home. Or I’ve been moving to a new home. Or I’ve been traveling (almost too much) or had a fully booked in weekend doing sport, going to events, sitting at the pub and generally burning my body cause I forgot sun block again. I assure you I have been writing a lot with a pen and paper even though this space has gone quiet. It has really helped me work through some things and at the least progress my thoughts in a positive direction. So I hope to continue that this summer. But here I am on a Friday night because “I’m focusing on my career right now.” Me and Pic got the house to ourselves and Glastonbury is on BBC. I’ve actually got nothing better to do than write a blog, cook dinner and boogie and I couldn’t be more pleased.

See. I've been writing.

See. I’ve been writing.

I was in Paris for a few days for Roland Garros. I felt so lucky to be taking another tennis grand slam off my list of things to do in life. Quite a lot of people don’t even get a chance to do one thing on their bucket list and I keep getting able to do all I set out to achieve. Not sure why, but I’ll take it. DSC07498So any ways, before the Open started I was really really really hoping that I would just get a chance to see Rafa play. It was a 50/50 chance without the weather being shit.  But man, I lucked out on weather and would you believe, I also got to see Rafael Nadal play at the French. It was so awesome. He was so so good and totally crushed his opponent. It was over in just an hour and a half. That was legendary, but the evening match with Gael Monfils was more memorable. Monfils, the hometown guy, really had the crowd going. I loved the atmosphere and I nearly started yelling “ALLEZ GAEL” myself. I like Monfils a lot anyways and he was playing brilliantly. I didn’t do too much else in Paris besides be annoyed by the hostel being completely filled with Americans fresh off the boat. They were nice, but they also did my head in. They were mostly 20-23 year olds on their first trip to Europe. It’s been a long while since I stayed in a hostel in a European capital that I kind of forgot that whole scene. The lessons learned on that was 1. If I go back to Paris, stay at a B&B and avoid people. 2. Don’t go back to Paris: go to small cities in Europe from now on. These are important for the future sanity of myself.

I think I did some other stuff between then but I’ve just returned from Scotland on Monday morning. It was 10 days of much needed fun and mostly doing nothing at all. Fyne Fest was awesome as per usual with great beers and great food and music.

Fyne Fest

Fyne Fest

The weather and the midges held out for the weekend. Luckily for me they held out for the next week as well while I camped. I didn’t need midge spray but once for about 3 minutes. I am beginning to think these midges don’t actually exist. And imagine if British people had to cope with mosquitoes. Like those full on mosquitoes you get when you’re up in the hills or forest land. The British would wither and die. The sooner they realize their bugs, birds, animals are all tiny compared to other countries the quicker they can stop their complaining. Actually they’d probably complain about how small stuff was and they’d want things to be regular size like the rest of the world.

I feel like I've been sleeping mostly in a sleeping bag the last two months, which is partially true.

I feel like I’ve been sleeping mostly in a sleeping bag the last two months, which is partially true.

My time in Inveraray and Islay was awesome. The best bit were campfires on the beach with a bottle of whisky. Next year I am hoping I can bring some friends along to the beach to share in the experience. I was happy to do it alone this year just to scope it and not have to commit to doing anything else, but I’d like to do a bit more next Scottish holiday. Any one up for it?

River in the Highlands.

River in the Highlands.

Beach life.

Beach life.

So I’ve gotten back from Scotland feeling pretty refreshed, but now a week of really stressful work has happened and I’m right back to where I was pre-holiday frazzled and banging my head against the desk. Ah such is life. I have no other travel plans the rest of the summer and I’m happy about that. It will be nice to stick around London for a change and enjoy times with my friends until school starts back up in August. Then once again I’ll be hiding in my room doing homework for 4 months. Can’t wait.

It’s getting late now. Nearly 10 (!!) and I am about to fall asleep typing this up. Piccadilly is circling, wanting me to get to bed too.I have not been sleeping well for weeks and I am looking forward to not having an alarm tomorrow morning. I’m pretty sure this tiredness stems from my complete lack of exercise for the last month since the Rat Race 20 mile assault course we did. Oh and there’s been the drinking. By the way, the race was good. We finished in mostly one piece. All this laziness changes tomorrow morning cause I’m going for a long run after breakfast. Time to get the creaky cogs of this body spinning again.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Stay out of trouble and take care. Cheers.

Heaven: water, sun, sand, fire, writing implementation, paper, and some alcohol.

Heaven: water, sun, sand, fire, writing implementation, paper, and some alcohol.

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Sunday Funday

I woke up this morning at 6:30 to the sound of something tap tap tapping in the kitchen. I thought it may be a mouse partially trapped in the mouse trap banging around. I was not going to get up to have a look cause then I’d be acknowledging it and would be forced to do something about it. But it turns out it was just my housemate making some food. At 6:30 in the morning. On a Sunday. She apologized for possibly waking me and then went back to her room and left the food out. A question: WHY THE HELL ARE YOU MAKING FOOD AT 6:30 ON A SUNDAY MORNING FOR NO REASON!? It’s now 9:30 and still the food hasn’t been eaten. Cheers.

I figured I was up and would get started on my homework. I looked at my syllabus to confirm I had an assignment due today and actually I have nothing due today. Win win win! This has allowed for me to do a quick update to all of you people on what’s been going on.

I guess a lot is happening and I’m overwhelmed.

Since I last wrote I’ve been to Porto, Brighton and Birmingham. They were all really good times in totally different ways. Porto was a lovely city break. I can’t say enough of how nice the city was. The architecture, the drink, the people. And set on the banks of a very beautiful river. I spoke to a lot of people about the trip and almost all of them had never been to Portugal. But it’s on everyone’s list. If you do get a chance, go! Just book it and go. It’s cheap once you get there. Very cheap.

DSC07202

A few days later I went down to Brighton for a concert with Bobbles. It turned into an unexpected night of epic dance. We had pretty much the whole balcony of the venue to dance. Everyone on the balcony was so sucked into the performance of Dan Croll that no matter how ridiculous our dances got, no one turned around to see. And fueled by a few beers and ciders, some of the moves were ones never seen before and likely never to be seen again. My problem now is every time I hear a Dan Croll song, I’m possessed to dance like a complete fool. I like it.

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I was up in Brum for a conference for a couple days this week. It was really good and gave me a lot to think about. Hopefully one day I can actually put to use some of the things I learned. It was quite focused on urban design and a bit about trees. Right up my alley. I’ve always been a sucker for urban design and probably always will.

Besides all that, I’m trying to train for the 20 mile assault course (not going well), looking for a new place to move (going ok-ish) and finish my class (also going ok-ish). Oh and go to Ireland in 2 weeks. Busy busy.

Today I will be working ahead on course work today. There are visitors (friend Tim and gf Emily) afoot from the USA so I want to be prepared for any outings we may need to go on. It will be nice to see them. It’s a great opportunity to make Eric jealous he’s not out drinking with us.

Any ways, I will get going. Lots of videos to watch for class. And hopefully I will get out for a run today.  Hope all is well with you kids. Keep in touch. I leave you with a shot of Conker outside le pub.

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What’s my name?

Ok first off the list is this:

This joint is 20 years old!! DAMN. I remember watching it as a kid. Loved it even though as an 11 year old girl living in Indiana who likely had no idea what this was all about. I knew that I did not want to FUCK with people like this. But their music was amazing. I’m listening to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle in its entirety right now. To be clear, I watched Snoop’s documentary Reincarnated today and last night about the making of his latest album. Wow. It was something. Let’s just say if you had a drinking game based around every time someone took a hit off a joint, you’d be dead within 7 minutes of the movie starting. It’s really something.

But any ways, besides my 24 hour obsession with Snoop Dogg, it’s been a very big week here. I got my new work visa, which is a pretty big fucking dea. My employer has actually found me worthy of staying over here to work. So that’s pretty excellent. Now it’s onward and upward. Lot’s more to do here I think.

So now that I’m going to be here for the forceable future, I feel like I’ve got a fresh start. A new chapter to begin. I have been in the land of uncertainty for way too long. Not really able to make long term plans or travel or well anything. I had no idea where I’d be in 6 months. So yeah, this is good. And now I’ve got 3 trips planned before the end of the year. One is to the continent. I need to make a point of going to this large land mass on the other side of the Channel. And further, I am vowing to do one thing on the bucket list every year. This year it’s go to a real deal Christkindlemarkt in Germany. We were forced to watch a plethora of videos on this event in German class throughout my younger years. Like below:

And for God’s sake, I’m going to one of these markets and get absolutely wankered on mulled wine whilst eating bratwurst and various German pastries and probably singing O Tannenbaum at the top of my lungs.  It’s going to be epic.  Any one want to join me? I’m getting too excited watching the above video, thinking about mulled wine. I must control myself and realize it’s still months away. And anyways, I shouldn’t be thinking about mulled wine, I am teetotaling. One more week to go…

Any ways, that’s the latest update for you. Life is good. Looking forward to the rest of the year!  Hope you’re feeling the same.

 

 

Categories: Rando, travel | 5 Comments

Bank holiday

I do like a bank holiday. And even more than that, I like having them off from work, paid. Not too many years ago I’d work them because my boss told me. And there was no extra pay. And now that I think about it, no paid time off ever. Or health insurance.  Or retirement pay. Or really any benefit to me besides paying me for the 50 hours a week I worked.

My current job seems extremely civilized in these respects. So I think I’ll stay around. Cause having a Monday off, it allows me to do stuff like this at 9:30 in the morning:

It's an America sunglass kind of day.

It’s an America sunglass dancing kind of day.

And there’s little doubt that such shenanigans will continue for the rest of the day. And I’m not even drinking. That’s the scary bit. I’ve been sober now for 10 days. I feel like I’ve been sober 10 days too. My body is starting to feel normal. And I’ve probably lost a pound of weight owing to the lack of carbs I’ve not imbibed from beer over the last week and a half.

I’ve had a good weekend so far. With it chucking down with rain on Saturday, I stayed inside and watched football with intermittent spurts of Gavin and Stacey. Yesterday though I pulled myself out of my house to check out Epping Forest. It’s really really worth a visit and I highly recommend it. I literally walked aimlessly for about 5 hours and loved every bit of it. It was nice not having a clue where I was and to be out in a proper forest once again. I just don’t get into forest anymore, which hurts my brain and soul more than you’d think.

Epping

Epping

My only complaint is that I couldn’t get too far away from the rest of humanity. I was constantly surrounded by the sounds of cars whizzing by on nearby roads and a thousand billion planes flying over head. I miss that kind of deafening kind of quiet you get out in the middle of Central Oregon, hiking in the Ochocos. Or the sound of waves crashing on the beach in the Redwoods.

My mind has been wandering to the wild parts of the American West a lot recently. If I could, I’d take a week off work and go for an adventure in Oregon and California right this moment. With all the necessary trimmings of course: tent, sleeping bag, a few 6ers of local beer, a cooler full of food, firewood in the trunk, plenty of sunflower seeds and some really good company. Something similar to this scene:

Yeah, that'll do.

Yeah, that’ll do.

It’s the thing I miss most doing in the US by a country mile. Not that I even went camping all that much to be honest. Only a couple times a year. But it was enough. Now I feel a bit lost without it.

Any ways, I have to keep thinking about how much I love London and that I really, truly am happy and grateful for the opportunity to be here.  That sacrificing those experiences is worth being here. It is. Right? Yeah, I think it is. I hope it is.

With a bit of luck, I’ll be back doing those things before I know it….

Any ways, my friends, I’m going to sit in the garden and do some more dancing and perhaps a bit of reading now. I’ve got 70 pages left of 20,000 leagues under the sea. It’d be nice to finish Mr. Verne’s book before starting Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. HP has interrupted me finishing 20,000 Leagues for the last 2 months. If you’re off today, enjoy the day. If you’re off next Monday, hope you’re doing something neat. And if you’re not off at all, sorry about your luck.  Bye kids.

 

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A photo trip to Scotland

Folks, I have been soaking up the sun which has shining ever so brightly over this island the last few weeks. It is because of this I have neglected posting photos from the rest of my trip to Scotland. After leaving FyneFest, I stayed in a town just about 10 mile south on Loch Fyne called Inveraray. It’s such a relaxing place to me. I spent 2 days walking around there. And I also managed to complete the most complex public transport feat ever to be attempted by myself.  It involved a bus, a ferry and another bus. And it cost me more than half the price of my train travel to/from London. It took 3 hours travel both ways. All to spend 2 hours in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. But it was worth it. The sun was out and it was so lovely to be out on a ferry.

 

The Isle of Jura is still missing from the new google maps.

The Isle of Jura is still missing from the new google maps. C’mon google.

So that was neat. I’m going to overload your brain and subject you to a 13 photo strong post. With some comments. But not much. You don’t really care about the captions anyways, do you?

Inside my favorite Scottish pub, at The George Hotel, Inverarary.

Inside my favorite Scottish pub, at The George Hotel, Inverarary.

Inveraray as seen from the dock.

Inveraray as seen from the dock.

Dun na Caiche, it's above Inveraray

Dun na Caiche, it’s above Inveraray

Loch Fyne and Dun na Cuaiche at the top of that hill.

Loch Fyne and Dun na Cuaiche at the top of that hill.

 

Inveraray Castle and Gardens

Inveraray Castle and Gardens

Inveraray Castle and a Sequoia

Inveraray Castle and a Sequoia

 

I'm on a boat motha_______!

I’m on a boat motha_______!

Lighthouse on the way to the Isle of Mull

Lighthouse on the way to the Isle of Mull

 

Tobermory on Isle of Mull. Picturesque!

Tobermory on Isle of Mull. Picturesque!

Tobermory Distillary

Tobermory Distillary

Thrift on the shores of Mull.

Thrift on the shores of Mull.

 

Beautiful scenery of Scotland. Who doesn't love a clear cut?

Beautiful scenery of Scotland. Who doesn’t love a clear cut?

Giddy, waiting for my bus to Glasgow. Trip's over folks!

Giddy, waiting for my bus to Glasgow. Trip’s over folks!

 

It was a great time in Scotland. I wish it were there longer. I hope next trip it will be with some cool person. Any one who wants to be that cool person, inquire below.

 

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FyneFest 2013

There is no beer fest I looked forward more to in my 31 years than FyneFest 2013. It was my first time going and I’m pretty certain won’t be my last. Fyne Fest takes place in Argyll up in Western Scotland. Here’s a helpful map to help you get your head around where I went:

View Larger Map

From London I took the Caledonian Sleeper from Euston to Glasgow. It was lucky for me to have made it as I decided to go out for a few pints with my co-workers after working an extra long day. I had to rush back home to grab my things, shower and get back into the city, just making the last train into the city for the night. Well planned by me. But I did make it and I was lucky to get a sleeper berth to myself. Booya.

Cozy sleeper berth

Cozy sleeper berth

The sleeper train is well worth taking. I slept like shit, but it was the best way to go really. The bed is warm and comfortable. If you can book in with someone you know, even better. And book early as it can be very cheap! One of my tickets was £19.

I got into Glasgow around 7 and caught the 926 bus to Cairndow. I called the brewery when I got there and someone nicely came to pick me up! It was only 2 miles to Fyne Fest, but I had no idea on how far it was. It was so nice of Fyne Ales to arrange transport for campers, especially single and mostly lost ladies like myself.

I got there around 11 and the festival didn’t officially open until 4. So I set up my tent, went to the brewery tap which had been remodeled since my first visit. It’s really nice and welcoming. My first pint was Jarl, which is one of my favorite Fyne Ales. After a short nap, the festival officially opened.

Welcome to Heaven/FyneFest

Welcome to Heaven/FyneFest

I had my first festival pint which was Oakham Citra, which I think I’ve had before but couldn’t remember much about. It was good and I paired it with salmon kedgeree. The kedgeree was my favorite dish of the weekend and I should have had it again, but I was too busy trying all the rest of the food.

Delicious kedgeree

Delicious kedgeree

With a full stomach I started ticking off the beers on the list. I got 20 beer tokens (1 token = 1/2 pint) and figured that would just about last me into Saturday evening. 10 pints is a lot, but with so many delicious beers I knew I would be drinking plenty. The night ticked on and I made a few friends and started chatting about this and that beer, the glorious city of London (which Scottish people don’t seem to see that glory), and basically everything else under the sun. Before I knew it it was night and it was absolutely bucketing down with rain and very windy. I was struggling to stay awake after a long week so I retired early to my bed. I am happy to report that my tent was indeed waterproof and thank god for that!

Ye little tent

Ye little tent

As you can see I have a pole sticking up in my tent awkwardly. That’s because the pole in my never-used-before-tent broke when I was trying to set it up. I was very pleased about this. I even got a guy to tape it back together but it snapped again. Luckily it was just for the rain fly, so I was ok. It was super awkward to keep putting the pole up when I got in and out but not the end of the world.

So Saturday was the main day of awesome. I got to the beer tent when it opened up at 11 AM. My first beer was Fyne Ales Bell Rock n’ Hop which started me down a long and treacherous path of IPAs and high percentage alcohol for the day. I was planning to walk that day to the Walkers Bar up the glen. I struck up a conversation with a nice guy in the beer tent who was also heading that way so we decided to walk together. I packed a Superiour IPA (7.1%) in my flask for the 3 mile walk like any sensible person would do. The rain was intermittent on the walk but overall really pleasant.

Local we met on the way to the Walker's Bar

Local we met on the way to the Walker’s Bar

Path up the glen

Path up the glen

Walker's Bar across the river

Walker’s Bar from across the river

In the hut

In the hut

 

This was the best part of the festival for me. The walk was a welcome reprieve from the beer fest. The glen was beautiful. Inside the fishing hut was 4 kegs of Fyne Ale and some lovely burgers. We got to chatting with Jamie from Fyne Ales and one of the brewers from de Molen for a while as we sank a couple pints. I had a Raad & Daad from de Molen the night before which was the most vinegary beer ever to pass my lips. Yikes. But after speaking with the brewer from de Molen we gave the Amarillo a try on his suggestion back at the beer tent, which completely redeemed them. It was one of my favorites of the fest.

Once back at the brewery we went on a brewery tour where I was surprised at how small the brewing set up was at Fyne Ales. From what I remember from my alcoholic haze they have a 7 or 9 barrel system. The amount they produce from this is amazing. They must have been brewing like mad before Fyne Fest to produce all the beers they had on at the festival. They did have quite a lot of fermenters to be fair.

Kettle

 Brew kettle

We headed back to the beer tent from there and got onto that Amarillo I spoke of earlier. Then I went for the Lemoncello IPA (9%) from Siren Craft Brew. It was some bit after that when things began slipping away from me. Luckily my little internal sober conscious took over, dragged me out of the beer tent, made me eat loads of food and boshed a 1.5l water in like 10 minutes. I sat down for a while to gather myself and suddenly I was back! Back ready to dance! I drank a bit more but mostly I was focused on dancing. This went on until midnight when I excused myself from the dance floor and went back to my tent.

I woke up Sunday  at 7 a bit worse for wear. Walking back to my tent from the loo I thought I may toss my cookies. Drinking a bit more water and heading back to bed seemed to help me quite a bit. Finally I got up at 10 and made a double cup of tea. This tea certainly saved my life. Thanks to my co-worker for lending me his little stove.

The most important cup of tea in my life.

The most important cup of tea in my life.

I did lay around a little bit more as I wasn’t scheduled to leave until 3. And in my drunken stumblings the night before I pre-ordered some seafood paella for Sunday. Well done drunk Colleen.

Paella getting served up by Loch Fyne Oysters

Paella getting served up by Loch Fyne Oysters

I can’t say enough about the food I ate all weekend. It was just as good as the beer. All of it was by local guys with local ingredients. I really enjoyed everything I had.

After getting my paella I got a beer and ate. It took a lot of courage to get a lot of beer. I will admit that I tried to go up at 11:30 to get a beer and had to step away and go for a walk. I just couldn’t face it just yet. But I did get two more beers the last being the Sublime Stout. It was pretty sublime and I would have enjoyed it more on a different day.

Putting on a brave face.

Putting on a brave face.

Not long after, I took down my tent and headed out for Inveraray for the rest of my Scottish adventure.

Really, it was such a phenomenal festival. The brewery really looked after everyone there so well. I have very little to criticize about the festival. Everyone was in a great mood. Lots of happy kids running around. Well, a lot of happy adults running around as well. Next year it would be great to bring some friends along, but if I go alone again I know I’ll have a great time too!

A pretty good place to be in the world.

A pretty good place to be in the world.

I’ll write up a bit about the rest of my trip later and share some photos.  Until then enjoy the rest of the weekend! Peace.

Categories: Beer, holiday, travel, Uncategorized, Walking | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Feeling pretty Fyne

My liver. Scotland, what have you done to my liver? I am finally home this evening after a long, public transport frenzy of a trip to Scotland for Fyne Fest. It was so good and I will never forget the weekend and memories made.

I’ll be sure to do a full update this weekend when I have some time. But I will show you a few sneak peak photos. See, it all started lovely. This was me on Friday morning.

Cheerful and ready for beer!

Cheerful and ready for beer on Loch Fyne

Then I added a bit of this:

Woo sun!

Woo drinking in the sun!

And some of this Saturday night:

 

Woo dancing!

Woo dancing!

And it lead to this on Sunday noontime:

Keep on trucking.

Keep on trucking.

Please let the record show that I kept going on Sunday, converting the remainder of my beer tokens for beer. Like a boss. Luckily it was only 2. No way was I going to give up so close to the finish line.

It was really fun and I am definitely going again next year. I hope I can convince some people to join me. If not, I imagine I’ll still enjoy myself.

I’m off to bed to try and regain some sort of normalcy in my life. Look for an update come Saturday! Cheers friends.

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I need a hols

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being in this general area in 92 days……

Inveraray

No vacation since September makes Colleen a dull, irritable girl. I’m going to the Loch Fyne area of Scotland in June for a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of London town. Should be lovely. Will take loads of photos as well. I’ve already been here (as you can see), but it’ll be solo this time. It’ll be quiet, reflective and probably a bit tipsy as I’ll be able to go back to one of the best pubs I’ve been to in my life. Hurrah! Whisky, yes!

Until then, I’ll be posing as a tourist at various phone booths around London. Sometimes with boys.

Phoney phone booth pose

Phoney phone booth pose

 

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Be Courageous

Oh buddy! What a find! I was attempting to look up something else on the internet this evening when a link to Road Trip Nation popped up in my address bar. I must have book market it years and years ago as I haven’t looked at it in ages. But nothing could have been more timely as I was thinking along the lines of Road Trip nation my whole cycle ride home. Really about the path I’ve been on in life and how others have chosen to make (or not make) their way. But this show Road Trip Nation is really fantastic. I watched it during college and post college late night in my bed back in Indiana on WTTW. From the show came one of my most favorite quotes of all time from an interview with Devorah Major, Poet Lauraete of San Francisco at the time (Click here if you want to hear it). I remember when I heard it  the hairs on the back of my head went up, as Oprah would say. The show inspired me to go on road trips and to explore and experience as much as I can. I think I’m doing ok still in regards to traveling, though things have slowed down a bit since moving to London. Any ways, back to the point of this post. I clicked on the bookmarked link to Road Trip nation and was happy to discover it’s still going and still producing great videos. This was the latest one:

How lovely is that? Dude is in the Lourve now. He very succinctly said what I was thinking about tonight. Although not so much the living in your Fiat with your dog part.

So I leave you with that. I’ve got some more studying to do tonight before my head hits the pillow. EDUCATION never ends. Peace.

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Photos of Andalucia Part 4

Hi. This will be my last post of pictures from Spain. These are from Seville and El Torcal de Antequera. Driving from Granada to Seville, I stopped off at El Torcal for a bit of nature. My hostel host guy in Malaga told me to check it out if I liked rocks and stuff. And I certainly do like rocks and stuff. The place didn’t disappoint as you soon will see. On my way there the fog was heavy and I thought I might not get to see as much as I could. Shortly after arriving at the visitors center, the fog broke up and I was treated to some pretty spectacular views. At some points you could even see all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, which was probably at least 50-60 miles away. Plus I got there early so I was the only one out hiking on the long “difficult” trail. It was grand.

After that I continued my journey to Seville where I struggled to figure out where the hell to park my car and where the hell my hostel was. It ended up taking a couple of hours to sort these things out, but in the end I successfully did both. Seville, the capital of Andalucia was much more urban than Granada and Malaga. It kind of eased my return to London. I was also staying in a room with another Londoner and we ended up hanging out for the two days I was there. It was nice to be able to talk to someone in English about everything that I was seeing. Any ways, on to the pics!

El Torcal. The rock formations reminded me a bit of Joshua Tree although the surroundings were much more verdant.

 

Check out that weathering!

 

The signs at the beginning of the hike said if you were really lucky, you’d see some goats. Since I was the first on the trail that day, I saw 3 different groups of goats which was pretty spectacular. I love goats.

 

This is inside the Royal Alcazar in Seville. The building is still a Royal residence in Spain and a UNESCO heritage site.

 

Part of the grounds at Royal Alcazar. The gardens were huge and divided into several design aesthetics. I liked them all of course. Also, this is the point when it started raining on my trip.

 

View from the Giralda, the bell tower of Seville Cathedral. The cathedral is huge (biggest cathedral in the world), but not as ornately decorated as others I’ve been to. But the view from the bell tower, which used to be a minaret, made it well worth the visit.

 

My travel mate Luke a bit blurry and frustrated at trying to find our way back to the hostel after a night out. Our map completely fell apart and every street looked the same. This was a problem the whole time I was in Seville.

 

The cured pig legs hanging over the bar. Complete with drip catching cups. Yummmm.

 

My favorite meal of the trip. Iberian meat plate and bruschetta. So simple but so wonderfully done. Topped off with a couple glasses of rioja. All at the best bar I went to on the trip with some good conversation. No better way to spend the last night in Spain.

 

I had a few hours before I had to return the car to the airport. So I parked at this beach on Costa del Sol. I had a bit of a snooze and watched the storm roll in. Andalucia experienced some really severe flooding as I left and the few days afterwards. I timed that just right!

So that’s it for pictures of Spain. If you want to see more, you’ll just have to come see me. Cheers.

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