Sunday, December 15, 2013

{Backpacking Through Europe: Cinque Terre}

ahhh Cinque Terre. One of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen! A chain of 5 small towns along Italy's coast, full of color homes and rolling hills; a land with tasty pesto and amazing wine. Cinque Terre was absolutely stunning. 

In order to get to Cinque Terre we had to fly from Barcelona to Milan and take a train from Milan to Cinque Terre. Our train ride in, we stopped in Monterosso- this was where our hotel was located. However, everything we previously read online said to get off in La Spezia and take a train in to Cinque Terre. Since we hadn't been here before we decided to follow those directions. We took trains back and fourth all day long {oops} but we finally got to our destination! 

We made it to our hotel. We decided to "splurge" on a real hotel at this point in the trip because we were halfway through backpacking and needed a "nice" place to stay. We had a REAL bathroom with REAL towels! We never realized how much of a luxury a bathroom towel was until we started backpacking!

This is the view from our hotel window.

We cleaned up and Joe, Dale, and I went to a nice dinner. Katie was not feeling well this day and decided to stay in and get some rest. 

Best pesto pasta EVER!

Day 2 in CT we decided to walk around for a bit and then take a ferry ride from town to town! The ferry was only 15 euros per person and it took us to each city.

First Stop: Vernazza. We stopped in a few spots and then decided we were ready to eat!

On the lunch menu: Pesto pizza and wine! 
 Net stop: manarola 

Third Stop: Riomaggorie. We walked around and ate gelato! 

Day 3 In CT: We went on a long hike! I am so glad we did this today! It was such a gorgeous day! We went from Monterosso to Vernazza to Coniglia. We stopped to eat in Corniglia.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

{Backpacking Through Europe: Barcelona}

Ahhh of my favorite cities in the whole wide world. When ever we tell people that we traveled Europe they always ask, "what was your favorite city?" BARCELONA! 

We were so relieved when we finally arrived in Barcelona! The previous night we took an overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. Literally the worst night ever. We arrived at the Barcelona train station around 10:00 a.m. thinking everyone was going to be up and stores would be open but boy were we wrong. The people of Barcelona love to stay out late and then sleep in late! 

We decided to take a cab to our hostel because we had no idea where we were going and I'm glad we did. We got to our hostel and were so thankful they had Caffe Americano {regular coffee}. We cleaned up a bit and decided to roam the streets. 

Finally, at noon, the BEST tapas bar opened up. If you ever visit Barcelona, i HIGHLY recommend visiting this tapas joint--La Tasqueta de Blai. Only 1 euro per tapa and amazing sangria!!

We took a double decker bus tour. This was a great way to see the city since the city is so large!

Our hostel cooked free dinner! Who can pass up a free meal when you're backpacking? There was a man from India staying at our hostel and taught the chef how to make indian food. it was SO tasty! He cooked us curry chicken and lentils! YUM!

Day 2 we visited La Segrada Familia. This needs to be on everyone's bucket list! One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen! This church has been under construction for over 100 years! Thankfully we bought our tickets in advance because the line was wrapped around the entire church. We were able to go right inside as soon as we got there and did a tour of the church with the head sets. 

Pictures can't do it justice.

This puts the church in to perspective. You can see how big it really is!
This was taken from a big hill in Park Gueli. 

From park gueli we ventured to La Boqueria Market! As soon as we walked in they had fresh squeezed juices. I was in heaven! 
Resisted the temptation to dive right in all of that candy! 

We got a bottle box of sangria and went down to the beach to enjoy the evening! It was nice to chill and sit by the water! 

This is another MUST DO in Barcelona-- Bosque Palermo!! You have to get their paella!! Barcelona is known for their Paella and this is THE BEST!! 

No idea was this thing is but I ate it!

....Next we're off to ITALY!!