Wednesday, February 29, 2012

happiness came in the mail..

in the form of:

a ticket



click play!

It's hard, hard not to sit on your hands
And bury your head in the sand
Hard not to make other plans
And claim that you've done all you can all along
And life must go on




Can't wait!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Portugese Getaway

Every day I learn something new about myself. The latest is that I am not made for weekend trips. Got to Faro yesterday, which turned out to be as deserted as it gets, but there was sun and so that was good. Up till this morning I found myself checking uni email, emailing people at the med school to sort out things for next week while on the train journey from Faro to Lisbon, and feeling wound up as a clock. Now I feel much calmer, am on my way to forgetting the password to my uni email, and generally getting into the rhythm of things. Sunday afternoon I will probably be vegging out on the beach under the sun glorious sun (which we dont have in Leicester), feeling as relaxed as I could be and probably would have forgotten how many lungs we have by then. Then it would be time to get on the flight, come back home, and 8am on Monday - rush to the hospital, feeling like I have mush for brain and all that.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ronda

I love it when people land on my blog from searching about places I've posted about here. It lends a sense of usefulness to this whole business of yakking on about places that you probably won't have an interest in unless you have been there, or are planning to go there. So unless you are severely bitten by the travel bug, this blog is one big snoozefest. Even I find it boring sometimes. But the google searchers never fail to make me grin a bit, so here I am again, to let you know (as if I haven't a million times already) how pretty the town of Ronda is.


I have so many more pictures of the place to post up here, but Internet is being a bitch and this one photo is all I could get uploaded. That's the view I woke up to every morning.

The place to stay would be El Tajo/Babia Backpackers Hostel. It's a bit expensive at 18 Euros a night for a four bed dorm and bathroom shared by 8, but since it is the only hostel in town, you hardly have a choice if you are backpacking. Lack of choice can be a good thing in this case, because look at that picture above and now try to imagine something a million times better. That's the view. 

Guy who runs the place, Chemi, took us all on a tapas tour or so he said. We followed him out of the hostel at 8pm, crossed the tiny street and ducked into the tapas bar opposite. That was the end of the tour. Slightly anticlimatic 'tour', but the bar does tapas for 75cents a plate and local beer for 1 euro a glass so nobody was complaining. The albondegas (meatballs) were spectacular, and I returned to the place for 2 more meals after that. Me being me, I didn't note the exact address of the place but it is a few doors opposite the hostel which is at 32 calle virgen de los remedios.

More pictures later.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Granada

I loved Granada.


The above picture is taken somewhere in the free parts of the Alhambra, which is the main reason people visit Granada in the first place. You can get there by a very obvious bus, or you can walk if you don't mind uphill slopes. The walk up through the park (sign posted from the old quarter, Alcaizin) is especially beautiful. If you are feeling especially broke or cheap (and you shouldn't be since ticket prices aren't too steep) then there's always the free parts to see.

By the way, don't be a fool like me and spend 3 days in this place. Stay longer and do visit the Palace of the Nazaries at night. According to a kebab seller (the most reliable sources of tourist information in any place, trust me!), the night visit is well worth it. The chicken kebab was pretty kick ass, so I'm inclined to believe his opinion on things.

during a walk down from who knows where. the path looked nice and so down I went.


view from my hostel room balcony. 

Itenere Hostel, best hostel ever. I'm probably going to say that about 2 more hostels after this, but I mean it. I accidentally got myself a private triple room with aforementioned awesome balcony for 15 euros, so maybe I'm a little biased. I did stay in the dorm for one night, and it was amazing as far as dorms go - private shelf for each bed, single beds spaced far apart, ensuite bathroom, warm blankets, super cosy bed and pillows, plus if you are cold, you would appreciate the really good heating.


Even the railway station had to have a nice view. Don't be fooled by the crappy picture, it looked so more beautiful in real life.



Cathedral wall



Alcaizin (old quarter)

walk up through the park to the Alhambra

 view as I had my lunch


repetitive picture in case you tried to skip looking at the one above



This is toastada con tomate. Don't order it. It is simply disgusting. Get toastada con mermelada instead, jam was always really good.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Murcia

You can never overestimate the importance of good food to a place. Leicester isn't exactly known for food, and apart from Indian takeaways, I can't think of a single meal I had in the past 5 months there that I can truthfully say is spectacular. And honestly, there is only so much vindaloo I can have before I get mad bored. This is probably why I enjoyed my time in Spain. I didn't take much food pictures, since I was too busy stuffing my face.

Murcia was where the gluttony on a budget started, when I found this pastry shop with the most delicious looking things for 2 euros or less. I still don't know what exactly it is that I had, but I remember how good it was. Apart from food, the city itself was very dodgy around the bus stop areas where I arrived at night (I got followed), very cheerful and cutesy during the night (I felt like I had walked into Stars Hollow, you'll get what I mean if you watch Gilmore Girls), and the next day, it was slightly gloomy. No tourists go there which meant 2 things: 1. I got stared at a lot 2. food was good and cheap.

I got lazy to book ahead for the hostel and thought of just walking in when I arrived, which would have worked fine, except that no one was at the hostel. After using up almost all my credit on gprs roaming trying to find the phone number online while standing outside in the cold, the owners tell me they can get there in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the over friendly old grandpa who was hanging around got very excited when he found out I was traveling alone, and started to get a wee bit touchy feely and a bit too huggy and kissy when he realised the hostel owners weren't in. Call me picky, but wrinkles and cataracts is where I draw the line. So I made my escape into a candy shop to wait safely away from the reach of persistent septuagenarians. It was worth the trouble, as Le Cathedral hostel was brilliant, clean and gorgeous, if slightly empty and a bit expensive at 17euros a night.

Some gloomy looking pictures.




outside the cathedral