That Time I Went To Riglos–Or, The Hike From Hell…

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to take a little excursion to Huesca–Aragón’s northernmost province–with a group of Erasmus students based in Zaragoza!!…We had two main destinations: the first was the 11-century castle known as Loarre (which I’ll elaborate on in a future post!!); the second was a little pueblico known as Riglos…

Riglos Map Continue reading “That Time I Went To Riglos–Or, The Hike From Hell…”

I’ve Got That Liebster Love: My First Blogging Award!!…

Words cannot express how honored I feel right now!!…I am now a first-time nominee for the Liebster Award, thanks to the lovely, ginger Fräulein, Julia @ The Redhead Story (ich danke dir dafür)!!…

liebster-award

But what exactly IS the Liebster Award???…Allow me to explain!!…

In German, Liebster means “dear” or “loved”–and that’s precisely the essence of the award: Travel bloggers from around the world express their enthusiasm/appreciation for other writers and their sites by nominating them for this Internet-only prize, informing others about them in the process!!…

How does it work???…

If you are one of the honorees–and you wish to accept your nomination–you must:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you…
  • Answer his/her 10 questions…
  • Create a set of 10 new questions…
  • Pass the award on to 10 other people…
  • Notify your nominees…

Not too strenuous, now is it?!?!…

O.K., so enough yammering about rules–here are my answers, Julia!!…

1) What is your overall life goal?…

Well, before I go home to be with the Lord, I want to be able to say that I ticked off as many things as I could on my “to do” list while I was on this Earth: Live for at least 2 years in London or N.Y.C., have the most beautiful daughters a person could ask for, go to a huge music festival, learn at least 2 more languages, and–of course–travel the world!!…

2) If you have a really bad day, what’s the one thing that can brighten it up?…

I always feel better by reading Scripture, chilling while the lights are down and some good folk music is in my ears, and numbing my mind with “trash” T.V. (think Maury or Inside Edition!!)…

3) When did you catch the travel bug?…

I think you can probably blame Steve Irwin for that…No, seriously–The Crocodile Hunter totally inspired me and my wanderlusting ways!!…

When I was a little girl, the illustrious Mr. Irwin always captivated me–not only because the man handled toxic snakes like they were inchworms, mind you, but also because he literally traveled the world, going to all these exotic locales (The Amazon, Malaysia, Borneo, and so forth), doing what he loved!!…Because of him, I wanted to go out and have a little adventure of my own!!…

Besides, to THIS DAY I want to travel Australia and visit The Australia Zoo!!…

4) What’s the one thing you cannot travel without?…

I love blogging and uploading pics, so I definitely have to have a computer–and therefore, Wi-Fi is a non-negotiable wherever I happen to be!!…

5) What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a trip?…

O.K.–this one’s a doozy!!..Last May (the 8th, to be exact) I was in Madrid, preparing to fly out of Barajas and return to the States after studying abroad…I had arrived super-early (9 a.m.), so I was just going to chill for a few hours before my flight left at 13:50 (1:50 p.m.)–or so I THOUGHT: When I went up to the big screen that displays the departures at around 11:20–you know, to see which terminal and gate I needed to be at–I noticed that there was not one flight to New York @13:50…Freaking out, I immediately went to the Iberian Airlines baggage counter and asked them what was up, and the lady replied to me 3 things: ) Sólo hay un vuelo a las 12:20 (There’s only a flight at 12:20); 2) El embarque para este vuelo ya está cerrado (The boarding for this flight’s closed already); 3) No tienes billete (You don’t have a ticket)…None of this made sense to me, considering I had bought this ticket FIVE MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME…

So, I immediately booked it to the Iberian customer service counter…As you can imagine, I was freaking out: I had no cell, no spare 1,3-500 Euro to buy flights to get back to N.C., and I certainly didn’t have enough to buy a ticket back to Salamanca and try to regroup…Thankfully, the nice young lady called American Airlines (who Iberia is linked up with), and it was confirmed that, yes, I had a bought-and-paid-for flight with them, and that they screwed up majorly…With that in account, they offered to change my flight for free–which I accepted, of course–and therefore, I ended up on the 4:50 flight to JFK…

Yeah–that was stressful, but thank the Lord that things worked out!!…

6) Do you have a memorable (cultural) experience?…

I don’t know if I can pinpoint a specific moment, but the experience that I can’t WAIT to participate once I’m back in España is ir de tapas (hit up tapas bars)!!…

There’s just something about going to a bar and tossing back a few pinchos and chatting with your friends that’s just inherently español, :-)…

7) Have you been somewhere that turned out to be completely different to what you imagined?

Me--Eiffel Tower

…(Photo credit to the beautiful Ms. Micaela James!!)…

Paris…Yeah, I know that seems weird, but for years I was a semi-serious Francophobe for the longest time–I thought the French language/culture was EXTREMELY overrated (I still kinda do)…

But last summer, while I was studying abroad in London, there was a long weekend towards the end of my stay there, and almost everyone was leaving the city to travel somewhere abroad…About 10 other people were planning on taking the Chunnel to the City of Lights…

I wasn’t going to go, but my Mom insisted and bought me that two-way train ticket…I didn’t think I would like it at all, and the place was a little smelly and dirty (don’t get me started on The Metro), but, surprisingly, I enjoyed myself quite a bit: The people were (shocker) all really polite, walking beside the Seine (esp. during the evening) was enchanting, and for a girl who LOVES museums, The Louvre was the shizz!!…

While I wouldn’t say I like the city better than London, I wouldn’t be against going back, either!!…

8) Is there something you do (routine etc.) when away from home that you wouldn’t do otherwise?…

Buy souvenirs–after all, you need some knicknacks to help you remember stuff (esp. as you get older and senility hits)!!…

9) Which comforts of home do you miss most when on the road?…

Funny–I don’t really miss too many things from the States, apart from the occasional hugs from loved ones…

But, I can tell you that there have been plenty of times where I miss a certain foodstuff/chain that you don’t really find abroad: Chick-Fi-La lemonade/sweet tea, Hardee’s Thickburgers, Cook-Out (look it up, non-N.C. people) milkshakes, IHOP Pancakes, Taco Bell, cranberry sauce, Velveeta-baked macaroni and cheese, Jolly Ranchers–you name it!!…

But, hey–at least there’s pinchos where I’m going, :-)!!…

10) If you could do anything to make this world a bit better, what would it be?…

Keep shining the light and love others as He did, :-)…

On that end note, here is my lists of nominees/questions!!…

Honorees:

Preguntas:

  1. What places are you dying to see within the next five years?…
  2. If you could live in another country/city that you haven’t before, where would it be?…
  3. When did you first catch the wonderful illness that is wanderlust?…
  4. What’s the one thing you cannot travel without?…
  5. What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling?…
  6. What are your preferred lodgings: hotel, hostel, or vacation rental?…
  7. Have you been somewhere that turned out to be completely different to what you imagined?…
  8. What’s the best airline you’ve ever flown with so far, and why?…
  9. What was the best night out you ever had while traveling?…
  10. What quote best surmises your attitude towards travel?…

Thanks again to you, Julia!!…And ladies, I hope to see your responses, :-)!!…

I’m Social (Follow Me!!):

Bloglovin’

Facebook

Tumblr

10 Aragonese Towns I Wouldn’t Mind Visiting…

While my future city, Zaragoza, is indeed Aragón’s capital city and home to over half of the Aragonese population, that does not mean that there is no excitement to be found outside of its walls!!…

Indeed, Aragón is full of many picturesque, smaller towns and villages that have their own magic to offer–like these!!… Continue reading “10 Aragonese Towns I Wouldn’t Mind Visiting…”

Choirland (Why Didn’t I Come Up With That???)…

Hey, ya’ll–if you’re curious as to what exactly we sounded like singing in Oireland, here’s a video snippet of our impromptu performance at Kylemore Abbey:

Also, here’s an article from my university’s website where you can read all about it:

http://news.wfu.edu/2014/03/31/choirland/

[Le Sigh] Just take me back already…

By the way, in the video, the girl waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the left-hand corner is me, :-)…

Touring Oireland: Day 6 (+Reflection)…

…Welp, I’m back in the ‘Boro, again!!…My last day in Oireland was, pretty interesting to say the least…

I had some free time in the hours before 11:45, so I walked with Dr. Radomski and Dr. Inkman–our vocal coach and accompanist, respectively–to Trinity College in order to see the Book of Kells–a brightly-illustrated manuscript of the 4 Gospels in Latin, completed circa 800 by Columban monks at their monastery in Kells…

014

KellsFol032vChristEnthroned

…Christ enthroned, surrounded by 4 angels (I’m thinking Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel)… Continue reading “Touring Oireland: Day 6 (+Reflection)…”

Touring Oireland: Days 4 & 5…

…Hello, everybodyyyyyyyyyy!!…Because the Wi-Fi at my hotel totally spazzed out on me yesterday, I’m going to try to roll my first 2 full days in the Irish capital into one post–Here we go!!…

Yesterday, our main attraction was the Guinness Storehouse–a former fermentation house that now serves as a museum devoted to the history and evolution of (you guessed it) Guinness…Like most every visitor to this Mecca for Stout Lovers, I ended up with my own pint of the black stuff at the end of the tour, and boy, let me tell you…I hated it…I don’t know–I’m not really that much of a beer person to begin with, but the taste of the alcohol was too strong for my taste (I’m a cider kind of girl)…But, hey–at least I managed to down over half of it…

003 005 006 007 008 010 011

012 013 015 021

Continue reading “Touring Oireland: Days 4 & 5…”

Touring Oireland: Day 3…

…Oh, what a glorious day it was here in Oireland–the sun was out and everything!!…It just made my little outing that more lovely, :-)…

You see, today we had another excursion–this time, we went to the Connemara region of County Galway…One of the things that Connemara is famous for is its beautiful, jade-colored marble, which is often used in jewelry and figurines–something that definitely makes for good presents [hint, hint, Mommy and Aunties, :-)]…

002

…Different shades of marble found throughout Ireland…

After seeing the precious stone, we headed towards Kylemore Abbey…The Abbey’s grounds consist of a main castle, 13, 000 acres of landscape (including walled, Victorian gardens), and a small, Neo-Gothic chapel… Continue reading “Touring Oireland: Day 3…”

Touring Oireland: Day 2…

…So, we had our first concert today!!…It was in Galway Cathedral (real name: Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven & St. Nicholas), which is the most recently-built cathedral I’ve been in, as of yet…Consecrated in 1965, it’s the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of Galway, and was built on the site of the old city prison…That’s about all I could find out about it, really…

003 005

006 010 011 012

048 050

…Shrine to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

After the show, we essentially had the rest of the day to ourselves to explore Galway… Continue reading “Touring Oireland: Day 2…”

Touring Oireland: Day 1…

…Thank the Lord that I made it to Ireland safely and in one piece–and what an interesting first full day in The Emerald Isle it was…

The main highlight of my day was my visit to The Cliffs of Moher…For those of you who don’t know, The Cliffs of Moher are an expanse of peaks located in the Burren region of County Clare, the highest of which is 702 ft…From this vantage point, one can enjoy spectacular views of Galway Bay, the mountains of Kerry, and the Aran Islands…

022

021

024

025

…O’Brien’s Tower, an observation tower on the highest peak…

026

027

040

036

…Me getting my Caspar David Friedrich on…

037

Truly one of Oireland’s natural wonders, :-)…

Has anyone else enjoyed The Cliffs of Moher???…

I’m Off To Oireland!!…

…Assuming that my flights aren’t delayed by the “massive” ice storm tonight, I’ll make it to the Emerald Isle at approximately 8:40 Irish time on Saturday, setting off on my epic choir tour!!…

To be honest, I don’t really know what to expect with this trip…I mean, Oireland is home to a lot of awesome things–lush pastoral landscapes, Celtic art and symbols, leprechauns, and Michael Fassbender!!…

michael_fassbender_07

I mean, off course I’m excited to be going–after all, this will be my 4th foreign country!!…Still, I can’t help but hope that I won’t be the girl sitting awkwardly in the hotel, without a buddy to explore things with–wait, what am I saying???…I’m [fairly] certain it’ll be awesome–after all, this trip is combining 2 of my favorite things: singing and traveling!!…

And now to share my Oireland Bucket List!:

  • Drink a free Guinness at the Storehouse.
  • Eat an Irish breakfast.
  • Make music with a boisterous folk band in a pub.
  • Try Irish coffee.
  • Find a 4-leaf clover.
  • Find a leprechaun.
  • Understand at least 70% of what people say to me.

That’s all I can think of right now–but it’s a pretty decent list, don’t you think???…

Has anyone else been to The Republic of Ireland???…Any advice to a newcomer???…

Dans Paris (Inside Paris): Day 2…

Friday was Day #2 of my Paris adventure–and boy did I see a lot!!!!…

Well, first we went to Sacré-Coeur, a basilica located on top of the butte Montmarte, the highest hill in the city…Completed in 1914, the idea of it was originally conceived in October 1872 by Joseph Hippolyte Guibert, the Archbishop of Paris, who’s said to have had a sort of divine epiphany after climbing the butte Montmarte, where God basically told him to construct a church there that honored the Catholic Church, newly resurged after the failed Commune of Paris…Once again, no photos were allowed inside–but hey, Internet, right???…

006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014

Bazilica-Sacre-Coeur-interior11 KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Continue reading “Dans Paris (Inside Paris): Day 2…”

Dans Paris (Inside Paris): Day 1…

Last Thursday, at around noon, I stepped off the Eurostar Chunnel train, having finally arrived at that one place I never thought I’d visiti: Paris, France…

And so my extended 4-day weekend began…We dropped off our stuff at our hostel, which was the St. Christopher’s Inn (which is a chain of hostels found in a lot of major cities throughout Europe) located by the canal on the Rue Crimeé…I’ve only stayed at a hostel once before in my life, but I have to say, it was pretty legit–it had free breakfast, a bar (as well as a nightclub), locker services, and tours of the city, Versailles, and Giverny…I really liked the interior of the reception/bar, with the walls plastered with posters of iconic musicians, actors, and movies…

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Continue reading “Dans Paris (Inside Paris): Day 1…”