One of the most beautiful towns – Cadaqués

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Cadaqués is amazing!! One of my favourite towns ever. To reach the city it is necessary to go over the mountains. The views from up there are amazing. It was one of the most beautiful car drives ever! Since Javi did all the planning I didn’t even check before going there why Cadaqués is so special – so I did not know what to expect but it turned out to be one of my favourite towns, located on the coast “Costa Brava”.

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The white houses with blue doors and windows reminded me a lot of Peñíscola and Altea (and probably many other villages in Spain that have that same kind of style). Each and every time I am in towns like that the flowers called “Bougainvillea” are soooooo beautiful!! So big, so pink ❤

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We walked around the little streets and along the coast. It was really hot today and it was pretty exhausting being in the sun for a long time. We had lunch there at a Tapas Restaurant and then went to Empuriabrava, a very interesting village because it is the “largest residential marina in Europe, with some 24 km of navigable waterways”. (see next post)

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http://www.visitcadaques.org/?lang=uk&sec=

 

Girona – Cataluña

GIRONA

When: July 2018

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Now this was a really spontaneous trip. Just a few days ago Javi said to me: “What do you think about going to Girona for 3 days?”, “sounds great!” I responded, and one day later he already booked the apartment and planned the whole trip. So here we are now – in Girona!

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We are staying in an apartment (Airbnb) with 2 bedrooms for 4 people. The apartment was really nice, clean and modern. The host was really friendly and the location great – just a few minutes walking distance to the city centre.

 

First we went to the famous bridge built by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same as Eiffeltower!). I love how everything here is so colourful. The houses are all orange, red, yellow etc. The reflection of the colours in the river are so beautiful.

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Today we arrived pretty late so we only walked around the city center of Girona and then went to the city wall which is amazing too. Girona is a really nice city. The next two days we will go to see some villages in that area. Our plan is to see Besalú, Cadaqués, Empuriabrava, the volcanoes and Aiguablava. All that in 2 days! We will see how that goes 🙂

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I am really surprised by how green it is here. I am used to the brown and dry landscapes of Valencia. Girona is in the north of Spain, close to France, and the landscape is really beautiful here, honestly did not expect that!

 

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Don’t mind de hearts on the map – it’s because my favourite places in Valencia are saved on Google Maps and I don’t know how to make them disappear haha.

https://www.zazzle.es/lienzo_las_casas_de_girona-192485193834452523?rf=238281018556963561

 

Portugal

∴ LISBON∴ PORTO

When: April 2018

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I have been wanting to go to Lisbon for a very long time. The pictures always looked so amazing and in April I finally went to Portugal during the Easter holidays. Marina and I wanted to spend the holidays together since we don’t see each other that often, because I live in Spain and she lives in Austria. First she thought about coming here to Valencia to visit me but in the end we decided to go somewhere else and explore a new place we both haven’t seen yet. So we decided to go to Portugal! We booked our flights to Lisbon and the return flight from Porto.

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I flew with the portuguese Airline TAP to Lisbon and it was the scariest flight I ever experienced. Since the wind in Valencia was REALLY STRONG (no exaggeration…) I already felt a little scared although usually I don’t mind going by plane at all. It was a really small plane with only 4 seats per row. After taking off the plane soon started shaking a lot and moving around and people screaming…and I thought: “that was it” haha. I honestly always wanted to know how I would react in situations like that (I know.. maybe weird but true) because I always thought that I would just keep calm and that it would not affect me that much. From the outside I actually kept calm, I did not scream, but from the inside it felt like an explosion. I got so sick I thought I would have to throw up and my heart was racing like it never has before. It was a horrible situation, probably my first panic attack in my life. Anyways,… the pilot handled the situation well and we arrived safely in Lisbon. Never was I happier to be on the ground again.

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Marina and I met on the airport and we went to the city together. We stayed at the Passport Lisbon Hostel (Link: http://www.passporthostel.com/en-EN/lisbon-rooms/). We stayed in a double room which was great. Every room is very funny and creative. The only thing I did not like but it seemed to me that it is a general problem in Lisbon is all the mold on the walls.

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We spent 3 days in Lisbon and walked around a lot. We went to see the LX Factory which is a little far from the city center but you could also take the bus. There are many handmade souvenirs, clothes and jewellery, book stores, bars etc. It’s definitely a nice place. We also went to see the Tram No. 28 because it’s the most famous but we did not go on a ride, we just took several pictures of it. If you go to the Santa Justa it is not necessary to take the lift. You can walk up on the other side, passing the restaurant “Bellalisa”. If you want to go all the way up you would have to buy a ticket and take the stairs from there, but if you stay at the platform there is a nice view and in my opinion it’s not worth it paying extra money just to go up a few meters more.

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On the third day we went to Porto. The plan was going by train but when we arrived to the train station they told us that there is no train because of a strike. It was a little complicated but in the end we found a very cheap bus going to Porto. We spent two days in Porto.

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While we were very lucky with the weather in Lisbon, the weather in Porto was not that nice. It was cold and rainy. Porto is also a nice city, especially when you walk through those little streets next to the river. The bridge is truly amazing and on the other side you can go for a walk along the river. We found a really cool breakfast place called “Zenith” but it was sooo full. Luckily we were the first ones because we were there before it even opened. But if you arrive just 10 minutes later you will already have to wait to get a table. It was crazy!! But their food is really amazing (see pictures below).

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All in all I liked Lisbon more even though many people told me that they preferred Porto. Lisbon is a little hippy, many tiles on the walls and a lot of street art, many handmade things etc. The trams and the bridge remind a little of San Francisco (the bridge is a mix of SF’s two bridges “Golden Gate Bridge” and “Bay Bridge”). The typical dessert “Pastel de Nata” is also really yummy and you should definitely try it.

I really liked Lisbon a lot and would definitely visit it a second time too 🙂

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Spain

∴ MONTANEJOS

When: June 2018

 

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The summer has finally arrived! In Valencia we live right next to the beach but to see something different we went to Montanejos. It’s a 1 hour and 15 minutes car drive from Valencia to get there. It’s formed by the river “Río Mijares” and close to the town there is a place called “Fuente de Los Baños” where you can go swimming. The scenery there is beautiful. The water is shallow, clear and turquoise.

The rocks around the river are steep and high. The water was pretty cold… too cold for me to go swimming. There is parking closeby. We went there during week and it was great but if you go on a weekend you have to expect many many people.

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We didn’t do much other than sunbathing and swimming (yup, I got sunburnt as well). It’s a really nice and natural place.

The best thing to do after a nice day at the beach or lake or river etc. is to drink a good Horchata. This is my favourite summer drink every. It’s made out of nuts called “Chufa” that grow in Alboraya (Valencia). First time I tried it I didn’t even like it so much and now I just love it 🙂

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Spain

ALBARRACÍN

When: June 2018

 

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We have been wanting to go to Albarracín for a while now and fiiiinally did it! The reason why it took us so long to go there is because the weather in Albarracín is completely different than the weather in Valencia. In winter it gets really cold there and even minus degrees (I know, I am from Austria and people always tell me that I should be used to the cold – but I am NOT! In fact, I don’t like cold weather at all, that’s why I live in Spain now haha)

Now in June we finally went there. We left the hot and sunny Valencia and then arrived to a cold and windy Albarracín. It is a 2 hours drive away from Valencia. We walked up to the castle walls and had an amazing view over the old town of Albarracín. It looks like a town stuck in medieval time but it’s incredibly beautiful.

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Everything there has the same colour and is made out of stones and wood. Even bigger companies/banks blend in perfectly by adapting their logos to a brown colour. We enjoyed a lot walking around there.

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After lunch we wanted to explore a little more but right after we stepped outside it started pouring – but… A LOT! We waited for a while under a little roof because usually in Valencia when it starts to rain that much, it stops quickly afterwards. So we waited and waited and nothing. It was getting really cold, my shoes and socks were already soaked and then we just decided to run to our cars. So we ran and got completely soaked, it was crazy. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it. We then drove back to Valencia, 2 hours in a car with completely wet clothes and hair so we turned on the heating just to get a little dry. And 2 hours later we arrived back to our hot and sunny Valencia 🙂

Here are some more pictures of Albarracín:

btw. the first time I heard about this place was on a spanish TV show called “Volando voy”. http://www.albarracin.es/