I want to apologize to everyone who has been checking my blog to finally be able to read about the end of my trip! Things got very crazy during my last few weeks and then the day after I returned, I moved back into UC and have been doing RA training every since. I am finally going to finish blogging about the last two weeks of my trip. I will be sure to go back change all of the dates to correctly reflect when they SHOULD have been written. The good news is, now that im home, I can update more pictures! Sorry for the delay!
On wednesday I got to spend the day at the summer house with my other uncle, aunt, and two younger cousins. The summer house is on a huge plot of land that borders the Baltic and the landscapes are breathtaking. We took the boat out into the Baltic and my little cousin Mattais drove the boat the whole way. We then stopped on an island to anchor the boat and have a home packed lunch. We sat for about an hour eating and enjoying the food before we went back to the house. Once we got back I spent time with my younger cousins. Mattais understands a lot of English for his age but Louvisa a lot younger and speaks only Swedish. My Swedish is nonexistent but we still all had a great time together. It takes very little communication to have fun jumping on a trampoline and climbing in a tree house. For dinner we ate wild boar that my uncle had shot a few weeks prior with a delicious mushroom sauce. While I was skeptical about the boar, it was delicious!
The whole time that I was in Sweden I was very spoiled with attention and GREAT food. During my second day in Sweden, my grandma and I went back to the city (Stockholm) by boat. We walked around and then went to a delicious lunch at a Sushi restaurant once it started raining. In the evening, my uncle Wille spoiled me some more. I went to dinner with him, his girlfriend Camilla, and my cousin Eric and then went to see the Dark Night Rises in theaters. Luckily for me, the movie was in English.
After two flights and a long day, I finally arrived in Sweden. My grandma and her husband Peter picked me up at the airport and then welcomed me into their home with an amazing dinner of shrimp and scallops. I was exhausted to I went to bed very early and woke up very late the next morning. I started my first full day in Sweden with lunch with my two cousins, Sofie and Eric. I hadn’t seen either of them since I was twelve so it was really nice to be able to finally talk with them. After that my grandma and I spent the day shopping and walking around the city. That evening I went to a soccer match. It was the first time that I had ever been to a soccer game in a stadium and it was a ton of fun! Everyone was loud and crazy which made for a great atmosphere, even though the score ended up being 0-0.
So my last week in Spain has been the saddest part of my trip so far; I am so excited to finally go to Sweden but also sad at the thought of leaving the great friends I have made and the beautiful city I have been living in. On tuesday nine other students and I decided to go on a snoring trip to the nearby island of Tabarca. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go or not since my last experience on a boat in the Mediterranean wasn’t so great, but I did decide to go and it was an awesome decision. The boat ride to Tabarca usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, but we went on a crazy fast boat that got us there in about twenty minutes. The boat went so fast over the waves that we weren’t even allowed to sit down for fear of bruising our tailbones, we had to squat over our seats the entire ride. While squatting over my seat wasn’t the most awesome thing I have ever done, the ride itself was one of the craziest and most fun things I did while it Spain. Once we finally got to the island we snorkeled and swam in the crystal clearwater for about two hours and then went back to Alicante.
The rest of the week I spent most of my time at the beach, enjoying the sand and blue water as much as I could. On my last night, ten of us that had gotten really close all went out to a nice dinner at the port. Saying goodbye was the worst part of the trip :(
I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in Porto, Portugal with seven of my close girlfriends from my Spanish Study abroad program. We were only there for a little over two days but it was my favorite weekend of my entire trip. The first day we got there, we spent some time simply walking around the city. I have been blessed to have gone a lot of places in my life and this was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The city is built up mostly on cliffs that surround a beautiful river. We spent most of the day visiting old churches and then took a tour of a wine cellar. The tour of the cellar concluded with a wine tasting. The wine tasting was a cool experience, but I was not a fan of two types of wine that we tried.
The next day in Porto we took a boat tour on the river. This was a very fun way to see a lot of the city from a new perspective. We the boat took us all the way to where the river met the Atlantic ocean which was a breathtaking view.
The best news about this trip is that I had a much better hostal experience. We stayed in a brand new hostal where all eight of us girls got to stay in an eight person sweet with our own bathroom. The room was beautiful and we all loved being together!
This past weekend, seven friends and I went to Portugal. On Thursday we took a train to Madrid and spent the night there before an early flight on friday. We simply wanted to have a quiet evening of sight seeing and enjoying great food; we had no idea that there was a huge government protest planned for the exact same night in the plaza next to our hotel. We got to our hostel around seven in the evening and left to go and see a few famous buildings and grab a bite to eat. We walked through the Plaza del Sol which is where the protests were being held. At this time there were a good amount of people protesting but they were simply walking in circles holding up signs. We pretty much just ignored it and went to a very nice restaurant where I enjoyed the best meal that I have had in Spain. On our way back to the hostel, the streets were so full with people that we could barley walk. As we neared the Plaza del Sol the streets became completely blocked and there were police EVERYWHERE. People were shouting and running and we had no idea what was going on, but by this point we decided that we did not want to be anywhere near the plaza. We took a long detour around all of it and finally made it back to our hostel. Once I am home in two weeks I will be sure to upload pictures of all of the chaos!