Fuengirola BioParc

The very last trip in Spain was to Fuengirola. As my brother suggested the zoo there and we just love zoos then we had to go there before I left. So however hangover we weren’t we promised ourselves to go there. Furngirola Bioparc itself is zoo with more natural environment from the tropical forests.

After spending most of the time in the zoo we still had a lot of time over so we just went to the beach were we found people going for a swim and just sunbathing. It was windy so for us it was definitely too cold to even take our coats off. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We still had quite a lot of time over before our ride back home so we just walked to the harbor and watched the sunset.

It was a perfect last trip and although our ride back was quite scary and I was falling asleep then the zoo was definitely worth the visit! Whenever you travel there, definitely go and visit it!

Almería

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So one of my last trips here was to Almería. It is on the east side of Granada. I went there with my German friend. Almería is basically empty of tourists in winter and in the summer it is main province for the beaches.

So the first thing to do in Almería is to go to the beach! Although the beach in the city is rocky but at least you can enjoy the sound of water and swim. As it is February and we didn’t have swimming suit with us, we just sat there and listened to the waves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlmería is a really small city and doesn’t have many tourist things to see. So one thing to see is Mirador de San Cristobal. Quite a lot of stairs to get up there and every place is full of trash and pieces of glass. I would say that it is better to visit the whole are by car as also better beaches are a bit out of city. But from the mirador you can see the city, the castle, the mountains and the sea.

Next step was to see Alcazaba – the Moorish castle. It is free of charge and right now they had reconstruction. The views from there were also amazing! And there were few cats. One of them was friendly enough to not run away, or it was just too sleepy to care. But if I would compare Alcazaba to Alhambra then it was like a shadow of it. But it is the second largest fortress in Andalucia.

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So the last thing to see is the cathedral. It was randomly closed when we got there but it looked quite big from outside. If you have more time then also check out the old train station. It is sad that they don’t use it anymore.

In overall, I would say that as mostly people go there by cars and just for the beaches then it is quite understandable why the city doesn’t pay so much attention on trash. If you’re not the beach person then those few places are definitely worth a visit! And if you go by car then also go check out Taberna, where a lot of films have been made. We didn’t get a chance to go there but bear in mind that you can go and check it out!

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A long time ago in Madrid

Before my long holiday trip to El POLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaso, Texas I stopped in Madrid for a day. I did the smartest thing to go there a day earlier than my flight and also the stupidest thing to forgot my passport in Granada which is like over 4 hour driving away. Luckily I got it to Madrid the same night so I was quite lucky.

I stayed in one American girls flat through Airbnb which is a new experience for me. She was really nice and we had quite a good talk. I actually just chose this place because of the pictures I saw online. It looked like a little princess home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI would say that Madrid is more of a few days trip. Because I was really tired and walked a lot in a day but there was still a lot of things I would have wanted to see.

I started my day with a long walk in a huge park called Parque de El Retiro. There I visited Palacio de Cristal which is an old glass palace and has fossils hanging from the top. Quite close to it is Palacio de Velázquez with the free admission museum. This time there was exhibition of some Lithuanian artist whose name I can’t remember.

Going along the road I passed Monumento Alfonso XII. Finally out of the huge park where I was like at least few hours I got to Puerta de Alcalá with its magic of having cars driving around it. As I remember that there are embassies in Madrid then I decided to visit home(Estonia) for a second and also get to America a bit earlier. The embassies are not anything interesting outside because I couldn’t even find a door to the Estonian one and to get into American one you need a really good reason for it.

So I walked all the way back to the heart of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe city center trying to find some food on the way. After walking on Gran Vía I discovered it is more focused on stores and fancier restaurants. So when I started going to my next destination I went to little pastaleria called Bon Appetit! and had a very tasty lasagna for my lunch.

Because some places had a ticket price and didn’t want to spend my money so much then I skipped the Monastery and headed to the Royal palace. On the way I passed the Royal Theater and in front of the palace also Monumento a Felipe IV. Next to the palace is The Sabitini Gardens (Jardines de Sabatini) with all its glory and mighty statues.

As the Palacio Real de Madrid itself was closed for the whole week randomly then I only got to see a little bit from the side in Plaza de la Armería. On the other side of the plaza is  Catedral de la Almudena which I somehow really liked because inside it had a colorful ceiling. I got out of there for the sunset and got a picture through the fence.

Also Jardines del Campo del Moro which is behind the palace was closed and I wasn’t sure if it was closed or just one entrance was blocked then I walked all around it. I was so tired and it took me forever to walk around it. And of course it was all closed. As it was getting late and I wanted to have shower before heading to the airport I headed to the place I stayed through Puerta del Sol to see the big Christmas tree in lights and also Estatua del Oso y el Madroño (The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree). It also had a lot of mascots around the the big square and street artists with crazy balance on staying on one hand.

I would say that Madrid is a place to visit but you have to consider that is is quite huge. It takes time to walk from one place to another and definitely need few days to see everything. I definitely want to go back and also visit some museums and the place next time. And I would also recommend Airbnb. I had a good experience with that.

Year 2015

As the new years starts or has already started for some then it is time to make summary post about my 2015. It was a year of really good things and I am happy to have it 9 hours longer than usual because of being in America.

I don’t never make new years resolutions, if only then just that I would enjoy new year more and have more fun! And as it kind of is our own doing then I think I can keep that for the new year.

As usual, January is for exams and for relaxing.

February, the month I was crazy, starting my ESN time and also joined AIESEC. Also we got a visit from our American friends.

March – the month that changed my whole year. I started to live half-Erasmus life and were very active in ESN. Also I beat my fear speaking or singing karaoke in public.

April, the fool. Most of the time I spent it with my boys. I basically had second home in the dormitory.

May was amazing! I had some cool trips – Tallinn,Helsinki and one to Saaremaa. And the biggest thing was my own organized ESN Farewell party, which is the biggest party of the semester.

June – Sad month as all new friends started leaving Tartu. But in the meanwhile we had Midsummer parties.

July was for Beerfest, Hanseatic Days and also traveling to Vienna and Bratislava.

I’ll skip August as I didn’t do much because all my friends went back home and I was just preparing for my own Erasmus in Granada, Spain. So in September started new era in my life. Most of if was just exploring the new city but also started traveling to near places – like Malaga.

October was full of traveling – Jaén, Ronda, Córdoba. Also more of the city exploring.

In November I discovered the sunsets of Granada. The most beautiful thing there. Also traveled to Alcala la real and Montefrio.

The last month – December. I started it with a long trip to Huleva, Cadiz and Sevilla. Then as every year I had birthday, even though it was different this year. After birthday I was ready for the really long travel, which was first to Madrid and then to El Paso, Texas, USA! And the end of the year I have been here, relaxing and enjoying the holidays.

So I wish everyone a better New Year and I hope it will be a blast!

Holidays

Because of my traveling I get to see a lot of different places during holiday season. I am so glad to have this opportunity to travel so much right now and experience holidays all around the world. Especially to be in America for this time. It has always been my dream to see Christmas here and even though it is semi-american in El Paso then I just love those lights however over-exaggerated they are.

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Christmas tree in Cádiz

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Christmas tree in Granada on Plaza Bib-Rambla

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Christmas tree in Madrid on Plaza del Sol

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Holiday lights in the neighborhood in El Paso

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Christmas tree at home in El Paso

Not 21 forever

I’ve been 22 already for a week. Usually I haveIMG_5211-2 a party in my sauna-house with my friends but this year it was different. Obviously because I was in Spain. Because of the weather it didn’t even feel like it is December and time for my birthday.

So this year I had just tapas with my flatmates and few new friends and then we headed home to eat birthday cake. It was really lovely and calm. In the morning (what morning?! it was like 3pm)  I went to eat churros with chocolate. Really lazy and calm birthday, but I kind of liked it because it was good to have something different for once.

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Photoshoot with flatmates

My Spanish flatmate bought a new camera and so we went to the park to make some cool photos with it. We are all just learning the camera, so they are nothing professional. Just had a bit fun in the park. Also the dog went crazy, he just jumped to the river and regretted it in a second because the water was really cold and he ended up really dirty.

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Trip to West-Andalusia: Day 3

In this hostel I couldn’t sleep so well OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbecause it was hot in the room. And one of the girls closed the windows before going to sleep. But I still like the decoration and high-tech stuff there. And the beds were really good actually.

I also got the map from the reception again but this time it was really confusing map. At one point I even got lost and it was really hard to navigate. I started my day from the Cathedral as it was right next to my hostel. Even in 11 o’clock the streets were quite full of people. I didn’t go inside the cathedral but it was huge! And the line to get in was really really long.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost of the day I was in the parks because they were just so amazing and the whole corner of the city was just full of parks. The most amazing thing about Sevilla is Plaza de España which is located in Parque María Luisa. It has a huge pavilion building around the plaza and it took me around 15 minutes to walk it through. In the bottom are little corners dedicated to every province of Spain with a pictures and colorful tiles. Also you can get a boat and do a round on the little water area around the plaza.

In the park I was probably around 2 hours. It was just huge and beautiful and I can’t even imagine how much more beautiful it would be in spring. It also had a little island just for birds. I don’t know how they stay around the area but it is quite cool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the way to find something to eat I passed the University and I wouldn’t mind studying and going to school this building every day. It is beautiful. The place I ate was called Gorki and it is definitely more Spanish kind of place – the food had too much oil. And they had 3 waiters but it seemed that they can’t manage the whole room by themselves.

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After nice meal I went to see the city from Torre del Oro. It was quite high but the view was still nice. Because I was back in the city center then I planned to go to see Real Alcázar de Sevilla, but they closed the doors right in front of us. So I went to Alameda de Hércules which is a garden square or mall. I would call it also a park. There was a lot of sellers and also exhibitions with photos.

On the way back to hostel I got lost because I wanted to see some otherOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA churches on the way and the map was just too confusing. Also by this time all the streets were just full of people. So I just got stuck behind them all the time.

The funny thing about Sevilla is how people use horses as transport. I get if it was in the park or off the big streets but they are everywhere. It is funny to see on the street – car, car, horse, horse, car, horse.

In general, on the third day I was quite tired. I wanted to sleep all day but somehow I just kept going. My last ride, Sevilla – Granada, was the first one ever to be ready to pick us up before the actual time. It is not common in Spain. Seville is really pretty but huge and definitely too overcrowded for me.

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Trip to West-Andalusia: Day 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had a really good sleep in the hostel and spend my time there until the last moment. I took time to make spots on the map I got, so I don’t have to use my phone for directions and be without it when I get to the next place. I wanted to have churros for breakfast but the place they suggested was closed by 12, so I just bought some pastries from random store. But they were so good!! I ate them in Plaza España and then started my tourist day right there.

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Cádiz is quite small and surrounded by the sea. I just fell in love with it in the first minute, I think. After the plaza, I walked on the city wall next to the ocean and just enjoyed the sound of the waves and warm sun touching my face. At some point I was even without my coat and just sweating because it was so warm! Like summer all over again.

Because of the holiday and siesta time, most public spaces were quite crowded but not too much. People were out with families, having drink, kids playing with other kids and just enjoying the lovely Sunday. When I got back to the Cathedral I started walking across the ocean again and also just enjoying myself being there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I got to Puertas de Tierra, then I dicovered that it is not popular to go there at all. I was the only one walking on the walls and watching the views there. This wall also kind of seperates the newer part of the city. Because on the other side of the wall it is more just places to live. I ended my tourist round at the beach, writing postcards and enjoying the sunset. Also on the last moment I went to see Castillo de San Sebastián. Only a little road took there.

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I have to say that this is the city everyone should definitely visit during their lifetime. It is in my favourites cities list – with all the warmth, ocean and really nice welcoming people.

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After half an hour charging my phone, I got another BlaBlaCar to get to Sevilla for the night and the next day. It was around 9pm when I was walking to my hostel and people were just partying on the streets. It definitely looked like it is a holiday in Spain! My hostel was quite next to Cathedral which was really convenient. And it was quite high-tech. No key-cards and automatic lights in the room. Instead of the key-card you give your fingerprint and you can access your room with that. Quite good if you want to go out at night and should get too wasted or be quite prone to lose things.

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Overall, the day was super good and totally worth the travel I had the day before. There is also video coming one day about my trip, my it is taking too much time to edit it and I am just learning the program to edit it.

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Trip to West-Andalusia: Day 1

Because of the long weekend we get thanks to Spanish holidays (Constitution day 6.12 & Immaculate Conception 8.12), OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI decided to see some more far away cities. So my trip was to Cádiz, Huelva and Sevilla. So let’s start from the first day.

I woke up really early because I planned to get to Cadiz or Huelva by BlaBlaCar (getting ride with people who have a free seat in the car, similar to Lyft, Uber or Hopp in Estonia). But the ride I tried to book didn’t answer so I had to look up alternatives. And I ended up going to Huelva first for few hours. It was 2 Spanish ladies with a pug. I slept half of the way.

Huelva is quite small and really quiet. Because of siesta, most of the stores were closed but there wasn’t any people even on the streets eating or just enjoying themselves. I found this city a bit boring. But at least it was really warm and I could walk around without my coat.

For the night I had to get to Cadiz, and there was only one ride going. BUT 10 minutes after it was supposed to happen she canceled. So I spent half an hour finding new ride. Which meant I had first get to Sevilla and then from there to Cadiz. The guy who took me to Seville drove with 160 km/h most of the way (the limit is 120). Also I hadn’t eaten all day basically, so I was fighting with the feeling of throwing up all the way to Sevilla.

But I needed to get fast to Seville, so I didn’t want to say anything. I spent half an hour in the bus station  just watching people because my phone was near for dying and I needed it to get to my hostel.

Ride to San Fernando (little city in front of Cadiz) was quite nice, except little accident where one guy almost drove into us and the driver was swearing in Spanish. He was a nice guy who was definitely into heavy metal music according to his style. On the way there my phone died. I didn’t know how to get to Cadiz and it was around 21.

I asked people in the bus stop, they said the bus takes there on the other side of the rode and when one bus came they screamed that I should ask the driver. The bus driver  was really nice and said if I don’t know whereto get off then at least go the last stop because it is just few minute walk away from the right stop. But the thing was that I didn’t know where my hostel was. I remembered a little bit the position on the map, so I started going with my logic. I turned to random streets and when I was almost on the way to random hotel to ask directions, I spotted my hostel sign – CadizInn.

The hostel was small but really nice. The staff who worked were all really happy all the time. In the end of the day I felt that the whole day full of drama to get there was just so worth it! I was exhausted but really happy!