Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rachel Perry Takes Europe by Storm

It has been a crazy, fun-filled 3 weeks and of course I'd like to share just how much fun I've been having, which my now ailing body can attest to, with you all my lovely readers. All 2 of you. Or however few of you exist.

I can't believe it happened, but my best friend and former roommate Rachel Perry made it out of the US for the first time and crossed the big ocean blue to visit me here in Spain. And boy did we make the most of it. Let me give you a quick summation of her 12 day trip so you get an idea just how little rest there is for the wicked.

Day 1 - 7am flight arrival and 7 hour nap (to get over jetlag) for Rachel to Bar hopping and drinking in the street on St. Paddy's Day
Day 2 - Full day tour of Madrid
Day 3 - 7am out the door to go to school for the day
Day 4 - 7am out the door to catch a flight to Rome
Day 5 - Full day tour of Rome + a crazy night of partying in our hostel
Day 6 - Full day tour of Rome + Sadness and disappointment at not getting to the Colosseum before it closed
Day 7 - 7am out the door to catch a flight back to Madrid + naps and back out for a night on the town
Day 8 - Rest, Romantic dinner for two at 'The Secret Garden' cafe, late night last minute trip planning
Day 9 - 5 hour bus ride to Granada, Spain
Day 10 - Full day tour of Granada + Flamenco show and dinner
Day 11 - 2 hour bus ride to Cordoba, Spain + Full day tour of Cordoba
Day 12 - 5 hour bus ride back to Madrid + Last night out
Day 13 - 8am Back to the airport we go to say our goodbyes :(

We shared some great laughs (as we always do), Rachel took enough pictures on her Samsung Galaxy to fill an entire galaxy, I fell in love with Spain again just a little bit, and we didn't waste a single minute. I loved Italy and would advise anyone who thinks you can see Rome in 2 days to understand that you CANNOT. We thought we could do it and... well, we were wrong.
One thing I always tell myself I need to work on is asking for help. I can be really stubborn and when I travel I have a hard time stopping and saying 'you know what let's just ask someone'. I am completely self-aware on this fact, and as much as I hate it it's been really hard to change. That's when it's great to travel with people like Rachel. She was always willing to stop and ask people how to get to the nearest landmark, street, restaurant, or bus stop even though she doesn't speak any Spanish or Italian.
Traveling with her also helped me to like Spain again. Showing someone a place they have never been before always opens your eyes to something you may have been overlooking. When we went to Granada I had this feeling like I was seeing it for the first time too (even though I had already been there before) and during the Flamenco show I found myself thinking how beautiful Spanish culture is.  Of course, then I went back to school the following week and was reminded quickly all the shit I hate about Spanish culture...But what can you do?

Here are some photo highlights of our trip:

Outside St. Peter's Prison Museum. A very...strange..experience

Rachel with her delish Italian pizza
And me with this amazing pasta

Trevi Fountain - Where dreams come true

Met some British Army soldiers in our hostel...Yes that is a hand check

Enjoying views of lovely Granada

Melt in your mouth dessert

Our last day in Cordoba. We had no money left so we sort of snuck into this place...Woops!

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