Sunday, June 27, 2010

New England in the Summer

We're back!  But also :( .  As of Wednesday, we have officially been back in the US, and, yeah, I miss Spain.  Buttttt, we flew into JFK in New York City and for the past few days have been in Salisbury, Connecticut staying with my sis's roommate.  I just love it here, it is so green and lush and beautiful.  And everyone we've met is so so nice.  Plus, it's my first time in New England, and seeing the area has been great.  We drove through three states in 20 minutes to get back to our friends house!  Pretty cool.  Also, please to do not be confused, New York City is not part of New England, I have learned it most certainly is not.  So for now, we're relaxing in CT, up next road trip out West.

PS Now that we're back, I definitely have some of my own photos from Spain/Portugal/Morocco to put up

Thursday, June 17, 2010

San Seb

As it is with traveling, we have been falling in love with each place visited - Lisbon, Madrid, Granada then Sevilla and now San Sebastian.  San Sebastian is cool and sexy and fun.  Somewhere you immediately want to be.

It is on the Northern Coast of Spain in the Basque Country.  It is soooo incredibly beautiful, more like Scotland than what I imagined of Spain.  It is right on the water and boasts some of the best surfing in Europe.

Photo from here.

Basque Country feels different from the rest of Spain, in a way like a different country.  The people are so nice, they love their culture - we happened upon a parade/all day party for the local soccer team, and the whole city was so happy and out on the street, and the region and beaches are the prettiest (in terms of city beaches) I have seen on this trip.  Unfortunately, it has been rainy, which in a way almost enhances the beauty - though does mean no trips to the beach.

San Sebastian tapas, photo from here

The area is home the greatest ratio of bars/restaurants to space in Europe and the best seafood as well.  The pintxos (tapas in Basque) are amazing. The eating is so good, all around best meals we have had, and the city is just so social.  This is definitely a place I can imagine settling in.

Up next Barcelona!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In Love With Seville

Hola Amigos!  We´re back in Spain after the whirlwind of Morocco, and in the capital of Andalucia, Sevilla.  Sevilla: where flamenco was born, Carmen rolled her cigarettes, religion is passionate and everywhere, bullfighting takes place twice a week.  All those stereotypes about Southern Spain, the fiery passion, the best nightlife, Catholic religious fervor set to Moorish architecture, moving Spanish guittar, tapas bars tapas bars tapas bars, they all come together in the ¨narrow, winding, medieval lanes and romantic, hidden plazas soaked in the scent of orange blossom¨ of Sevilla. I love it here!  I could easily pass months and months here, I´m really taking to the Spanish way of life.

As for the rest of the trip, we have 5 nights here (which are almost up), 4 nights in San Sebastian on the North Coast (must visit the Guggenheim in neighboring Bilbao and Hemingway´s Pamplona) and 6 nights in Barcelona (enough said) before back to NYC and and then our Canadian roadtrip which will somehow end in Salt Lake.

photos from here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Morocco for the week? Yes Please

The Medina

After discovering no-frills airline RyanAir offered flights from Seville, Spain to Morocco for only 16 euros, Melissa and I decided we could not pass this up and we jumped on a flight to Fez...UNESCO protected and home to a very old, large, car free Medina that has functioned in much the same way for hundreds of years.  It was incredibly overwhelming, in almost everyway, good and bad.  The Medina is a labyrinth of alleys and small passageways, covered and open...on the main routes souqs dominate with touts attempting to sell you any number of goods with leather work and ceramics a specialty, on the passageways and smaller alleyways there are shops but mostly its homes, which are more like slums.  In many of these areas the hygeniene is not great and the smells can be pungent - the donkeys which are used to haul goods everywhere also contribute to this.
Often gritty exterioirs house amazing insides with courtyards that are so incredibly beautiful.  It was like nothing I have ever seen before.  Basically, its is pretty much what you would expect from a ridiculously old bazaar in Muslim Africa where there are no cars only mopeds and donkeys...overwhelming.  We spent about half our days wandering the Medina, and by the end were relatively comfortable in such a completely foreign setting...the other half we spent lounging by the beautiful pool at our ridiculously nice hotel...have to love expedia.  Feels pretty, pretty amazing to relax in luxury after a number of weeks of roughing it.

Interior of a gritty building in the Medina

Photos from here.