A Travellerspoint blog

~ San Sebastian ~ Spain

Yes its been ages since I updated, Finally have my own computer again

sunny 30 °C
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SAN SEBASTIAN - And a particularly strange night.

I was only in San Sebastian for one night but what a night it was.

I though I would try get an early night to regenerate for France but it turned out quite the opposite.
Firstly I Was woken up every hour by the church bells out side my room, until about 1am. The about 1.30 2 ish a large protest came tooting shouting belling etc down the street I was on.
And finally after getting to sleep at around 4am when still noone else in my room was back from Partying I was woke by a strange shout of someone rummaging around in the corner of the room.
I didnt think much of it so kept sleeping but eventually I woke and got up to go to the toilet noticing someone pulling up his trousers or something. Oh just another stupid partier coming in drunk I thought to myself as I said hi and headed off to the toilet. When I was back he was gone and I noticed a hole in the wall with a light coming through.
Strange I though, I dont remember there being a window to the other room. But that was all I really though about that issue as I crawled back into bed hoping to get a few hours sleep before I had to get up for the 7.30am bus.

Then finally sleep....

But not for long, 5.30am a bunch of Australian girls were swearing from the room next door, saying things like how could someone do this, I don't believe it" etc.

Next I knew they came into my room was looking around and then asking me, did you see who did this.

Huh?

I climbed out of bed and saw that what I though was a window was actually a vent in the wall and was ripped off by an intruder who had broken into the office through the room I was sleeping in. And all the time I was sleeping while he was in my room breaking into the room next to mine.
Oh well part of the fun of travelling.

One of my favorite photographs
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I climbed up one of the great hills in San Sebastian this photo above and the next few are from the top.
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Arty wall, no far from my hostel

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I love to see kids playing football on the streets of Europe.

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And then in the evening I had a stroll and sit along the water front. Amazing Sky.

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Amazing Sky one evening I sat on the wall overlooking the ocean. Incredible.
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Posted by Natassia 12:54 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

~ VALENCIA ~ 21st - 23rd Oct

sunny
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Hi All.
Im sorry its been so long since I last updated. I've decided since Im pretty busy at the moment I'll keep the words to a minimum and let the photos speak for them selves. Please feel free to ask questions or request I expand on something.

  • Valencia*

Valencia was my next stop after Barcelona and it was a real nice chillout place.
When I arrived I went to the beach with two guys from my hostel and that was cool.

The hostel I was at, Home Youth Hostel was a really great hostel. Its not for nothing that they call them selves Home. It had a really homely feel about the place and I felt like I could have stayed longer.

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This photo is of a building that was infront of my hostel.

The First afternoon I was there I went to the beach with a couple of guys from my Hostel. It was nice.

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This photo above is of the bullring and the train station to the right of screen.

And also less than 100 meters away from my hostel was also this amazing building which now houses the Valencia market which was incredible. So many fruits and vegies. Fish, meats etc. Nuts and beans etc. Mainly food products. I bought a big mellon which was yummy.

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Valencia market

Some of the art around Valencia was really nice too. Especially the street art such as this one below. I think they are from an original building that was build 100's of years ago.

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Stamps on the wall

The second day I was in Valencia I was feeling a little tired. So wasnt so motivated. I ended up walking around a fair bit visiting the outdoor markets.

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Me on Valencia Turistic Bus

But the turn around point for me was when I decided to jump on the touristic bus tour.
The bus itself was pretty rough. There was a mess everywhere. The windows were rusty and not clear. You get these little red earphones, each person their own new pair (for hygyne purposes). And so you plug into the system and try find the right language chanel.
The commentary is controlled by the driver and it was quite amusing as it seemed always to be before the monument it was talking about or after so it was like. Oh which building to our left??

But it was fun. The highlight of the tour and I would have completely missed it if I hadnt taken the tour was the "Valencia Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències" (City of Arts and Science) which is basically a huge complex of these different buildings:
* El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía — Opera house and performing arts centre
* L'Hemisfèric — Imax Cinema, Planetarium and Laserium
* L'Umbracle — Walkway / Garden
* El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe — Science museum
* L'Oceanogràfic — Open-air oceanographic park

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Valencia Arts Dome

The Architecture is absolutly amazing, Started in 1996 by Santiago Calatrava a Valencia Architec.

I went to the Imax Cinema which was totally amazing. I had never been to an imax before and I wont give away too much because my not know anything about it made it even more exciting but basically the image is not only infront of you but right around the sides of you too. You really feel it. And the technology of that super wide film format is incredible!

After taking a bunch of photos of the complex after the film I was able to jump back on the bus and make my way back to the hostel.
Overall it turned out to be a great day and I really enjoyed myself.

Next Stop.. Madrid..

Posted by Natassia 14:18 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

~ MADRID + Bonus stop ~

overcast

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The two lovely photos above are from the bonus stop we had between Valencia and Madrid. I forget the name of the town but it was very cute pictuesque place and the church we visited was absolutly amazing.

And there is a amazing thing in there. Im not sure excatly what to call it but there is a statue of Jesus in there and apparently it is growing real hair?? Im not sure if its true or a myth but it certainly gave me the eeby jeebies.

Then onto Madrid. Madrid didnt really impress me much. Our hostel was on the main prostitute drag and these girls really didnt seem very friendly and I've even heard sometimes they gang up and mug the odd passer by. So in general Madrid was the only city on my travels that I didnt really feel confortable in.

The up side tho was that I went to a couple of amazing art galleries while I was here and they are very big and famous.

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Me In Madrid

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Velazquez CU

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Grass Wall

Another thing I enjoyed was I got to have a free Flamenco lesson at the hostel. It was soooo difficul but alot of fun. And then the next night the same lady who taught me was back with her band and they did a preformance for us. It was really neat, but to my unexpected horror she pulled me up onto the dance floor at the end of the preformance to join in!!! eeek I was totally un prepared, plus I looked so shabby, I was waring a daggy Tshirt and my flip flop sandles and then had to try and remember anything from the night before which was freaky. I remembered one or two moves and did my best. There was heaps of people
I was very nervous but it was still fun. And got some positive feedback from my mates so that good. Even if I did look silly.

Next Stop San Sebastian..

Posted by Natassia 02:09 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

~ FIGUERES ~ 19th Oct

DALI MUSEUM and Getting Lost...


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DALI MUSEUM and Getting Lost

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Me in Dali Museum

The photo above is of Me in the Dali Musuem. There is a bit of a small story behind this as it was my silliest event on my trip.
It could have all been avoided, if I asked a few questions.

Sp anyway..
The Dali musuem is in a small town about 2 hours outside of Barcelona. I really wanted to see it so I didnt think 2 hours was too much for a nice say trip across the Spanish country.

It ended up taking me 5 hours just trying to get there.

First I had to wait about 35mins for the train and then stupidly I jumped on the wrong train. After some moments in the train I asked someone next to me where this train was going and learnt to my horror it wasn't even going anywhere near where I needed to be.

I should have jumped on the next train leaving from the same platform only 3mins later.

So I thought I better get off before I really end up somewhere strange. It turned out I was almost off my map and also very LOST!

Thank goodness I found someone in this little deserted station, in the middle of no where, who could speak a little English and he wrote on the back of my ticket which train I needed.

So I had a wait of 45mins where I ate my lunch and looked around the derserted trainstation in the middle of what felt like nowhere. Especially coming from the busy Barcelona.

I finally got on the right train after trying to ask a few people who couldnt speak any English anyway.

And then after 2 or so hours I arrived in Figueres.

Some freaky guy on the train asked me for my phone number and then tried to sell me Illegal DVD's but it was ok he didnt bother me too much.

It took me quite a while to actually find the Musuem in this town as i didnt have a map.

Finally I found it and was very very relieved. Had I been half an hour-an hour later the musuem would have been closed.

The moral of the story, A. It's not for nothing that almost all the tourist who venture out to the Dali Musueum do it with a guided tour. All inclusive.

B. Ask, ask, ask people before jumping onto a train which you think may be going in the direction you want cause if you're 3mins too early you will end up 3 hours late. :-)

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This is one of my favourite Dali works

Its so cleaver.

Posted by Natassia 16:58 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

~ BARCELONA ~ 17th - 18th & 20th Oct

Park Guell, FatTire Bike Tour and more...

semi-overcast
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BARCELONA continued..

  • New feature!!

The Map! You can zoom in and out on this map too and move from left to right etc.
ENJOY! Gives a more visual picture to my travels.

Here are a couple more days worth of Barcelona for you to enjoy.

Firstly here are a couple of photos of the fomous tourist street Las Ramblas. It was really interesting I wish I had more time to take photos there and a better camera but here is a couple of examples of the street performers. There were heaps of them.

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Bicilettos

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Las Ramblas Prince

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The Angel of Las Ramblas

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Dali's Bike

I think you need to know Dali's work to appreciate this photo. If you like check out this link to Gaudi on WikiPedia

These next two photos I really like.

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Barcelona Graffiti

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Tourist Season?

This Tourist Season house I found on my way up through Park Guell. But I was walking up the wrong side of Park Guell but Im glad I did cause this was a pretty striking sight. On the sign you can't really see very well it says
"They call it Tourist Season so why can't we shoot them?"

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But once I found the touristy part of Park Guell...
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Park Guell Lizard

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Guell Bench

The Mosaics here are amazing. And this bench stretched right round a huge area about 50-70 meters squared.

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FAT TIRE BIKE TOUR

18th October, Day 12 of my travels.
I did a bike tour round Barcelona today.

The weather was a little iffy looking in the morning but only one or twice did I have to take out my rain coat.

FAT TIRE bike tours is a company run by a group of Americans.
The Tour guide, Ivan, was really cool. Very friendly, informative etc.
A neat free living sort of guy. The real traveling sort. Down to earth.

It was a neat tour we got to hear all sorts of strange information about certain buildings such as the executions etc that occurred in or around the churches etc. This church behind is Saint Agatha, and she was executed, believe it or not by being tied to a post in the centre of this square I am standing in and then having her breasts cut off.
Apparently there's a portrait in the church which is of her holding a platter of a pair of jelly type deserts. You guessed it they are not actually jelly but really symbolizing her breasts.

And other such gruesome stories.

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Church named after my Mum... Although my mum didnt have her breasts cut off, like this Saint Agatha did.

We headed through the park to a fountain that Gaudi designed in University which saved his career, as he was failing in his grades and was on the brink of being expelled. And rode past the Arc Du Triomph of Barcelona. (see photo)

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[/i]Fat Tire Group infront of Bareclona's Arc Du Triomph

And also....

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The mighty tower of Agbar, hehehehe

This is one of the best buildings of my trip. Can you imagine the meeting of the town planners when they proposed to build this building and then how they actually got away with building it?

It looks super pretty at night when its all lit up. Hehehehe.

And of course...

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[i]The Sagrada Familia

This is actually one of the most famous of Gaudi's works. It was the last building he was working on before his death.
And its totally not finished and will not be finished for ages.
I didn't find it as exciting as Cassa Batllo, but it is pretty impressive. I guess.
What I found most interesting is that the back side of it is architected in a completely different style. Have a look at the next photos, And look at the very distinct cubist style to the sculptures.

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Our last stop was a little cafe on the boulevard of the Barcelona Beach. Which is actually man made.

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Man Made Beach of Barcelona

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On the evening after the bike tour I wondered around the streets a little and found this amazing musician in the street. (see photo below)
He was playing something which looked like a round, metal stone but had a beautiful sound.

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Barri Gothic

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The Incredible musician of Barri Gothic

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The Dutch singers in Barcelona

There's a bit of a story behind this photo. I did a tour of the Barcelona Opera House, which is absolutly stunning, amazing, beautiful and very cleaverly designed.
Amazingly I was with a big group of dutchies. They were a musical group and as we were about to move onto the next stage of the tour they broke out in song. It was nice. They secretely recorded it too, which is totally something the dutchies would do. You know going against the rules. :-) It was awesome. This photo is of them singing outside after the tour also.

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This next photo is the details on the side of a building I walked past. There are so many beautiful buildings here in Barcelona and Europa.

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And The tribute to Gaudi. Because Gaudi is so famous here there are many tributes to him and his work, I wish I had my camera with me when I was in Mc Donald's because there was a great advertisement with his mosaic style used. And this photo below is another example.

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Gauidi styled Ice Block Stand

Coming Next...

19th October
DALI MUSEUM AND GETTING LOST..

Posted by Natassia 16:20 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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