Posted by: stephbihr | March 4, 2010

Sorry for such a brief blog earlier– now a long one =]

So now that I have returned to Spain from Paris and that it is finally the end of the week, I finally have some time to update! =]
***I just want to briefly mention that classes are going very well, and that Spain is wonderful– still! I’m sad that I only have about two and a half months left. =[
Ok- now that I’ve been here for around three months… I’ve done quite a bit of traveling…–mostly around Spain and France. I’ve found some really cool places that I would absolutely recommend people go visit if they’re ever in the area! There’s quite a list (in order that I’ve visited, not order of favorites!):
1. Madrid (not my favorite city in the world, but there are lots of things to see and do )
2. Toledo
3. Alicante
4. San Sebastian
5. Biarritz (Basque country in France)
6. Paris

Wooo– lots of trips so far. 1- 4 are in beautiful España, 5 & 6… in France.
-Madrid was lots of fun, but I didn’t find it particularly spectacular simply because it was a big city… and it reminds me of Chicago… and big cities just kind of start to look the same after awhile. BUT there is a TON of stuff to do and things to see: fútbol games, Palaces, Museums, etc. Oh, and of course a great place to hang out for a night ; ]… Highly recommend Madrid.

-Toledo was nearly the complete opposite of Madrid. Well, depending on where you go in Toledo, as it is separated into two parts– the old town and the new town. The new part is very much a modern city… didn’t spend too much time there. The old town was by far the coolest. It’s like a city on a hill… the walk ways and roads and buildings are nearly entirely made of stones. It’s fantastically historical looking. Also, important note– Toledo is 1. the place where the infamous painter El Griego resided and is now buried and is 2. famous for sword making– so you can buy incredible remakes of famous swords =] a very cool place! (pic is of Toledo!—>)

-Alicante– the south of Spain, further south than Valencia, right on the Mediterranean Sea… beautiful… modern city, bustling night life… really cool people. I had a fantastic experience in Alicante. There weren’t too many things to see because it was a rather modern city, but four really awesome sites to see: 1. the beach (of course) 2. churches 3. Parks/gardens 4. El Castille de Santa Barbara (castle)– incredible!!!

-San Sebastian is also amazingly beautiful… located in the neighboring province to Vizcaya (the province in which Bilbao is the capital). It is located right off the Cantabric Sea. This is a place I cannot describe with words… but I will mention that if one were to buy a summer home… this would be a perfect place. =]

-Biarritz was very cool as well, and very close to San Sebastian! Amazing little city.. or town… well, it’s a city, but feels more like a town. The people are certainly interesting– many speak French, Spanish, and Euskera (the basque language), and some also even speak English. One thing I definitely recommend is the Planéte Musée du Chocolat (a chocolate factory)– so fantastic!

-and of course, after my latest trip, Paris- certainly a must see. I did so much, saw so many things– very cool city. A few things to see: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Luxemburg Gardens, the Basilica, Notre Dame… ugh. So much more! OH a definite important side note– as a student, you get to ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower for 10 E!!! and at night the tower is lit with many, many lights, and then starting at sundown, the tower has twinkling lights on the hour, every hour, until 1 am… again– incredible.

***Having a fabulous time! Currently planning on traveling to Ireland and Scotland in a couple weeks! Really exciteddd!!!


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