The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On The Plain…

I don’t know if this is true. It was sunny the entire time I was there!

Barcelona is a pretty cool city. It and I didn’t get off on the right foot (I was assaulted by some pickpockets about 30 seconds after getting there), but day 2 onwards was lovely. I did a 2 day hop on, hop off bus tour, which I highly recommend for anyone ever going to Barcelona. It was a great deal . The bus ran 3 lines, took about 5 hours if you were to stay on it non stop, and the tickets were valid for 48 hours. You get a really great feel for the city, and are free to get on and off as you please. Some pic from on the bus tour:

That’s mainly how I spent day 2 and 3 exploring the city. On my last full day, on the advice of the fabulous Sara, I took a day trip to Montserrat. It was incredible! There’s a monestary built into the side of these spectacular mountains. I took a cable car up to the monestary, went to a neat little art gallery they have up there, and then hiked around the area for a few hours:

So, completely ignoring Day 1 of Barcelona, it was a very nice trip.

Up next: Paris!

Ireland, Part One

Finally! An Ireland blog!

Sorry for the lack of updates. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! Between non-stop touring, and a lack of Internet, blogging has not made it onto the agenda. Things have calmed down the past couple nights, so, here I am! In Prague, by the way. It’s rainy and cold, but still insanely beautiful.

Jumping ahead of myself though! Back to last week: I had an amazing time in Ireland.  We flew from Edinburgh to Belfast where we spent the next few days. Granted, we didn’t actually spend that much time in Belfast. Day one was a bit of a write off. Bumming around Orla’s apartment and some shopping. The following day, however, we rented a car. I was pretty terrified about this, since I was the one driving. Everything was opposite, roundabouts, miles, strange versions of automatic vehicles, no shoulders, rain- It was quite the experience! No, no, I’m making it sound much worse than it was. I think I did alright. On one or two turns I pulled into the wrong lane, but Orla quickly said something, and the roads were never busy.  Since we’d already been in the UK for two weeks, I’d been making a point to carefully watch which ways cars were driving. But by this time I was actually starting to confuse what I knew with what I’d gotten used to! It was a very odd feeling.

The car:

Anyway! The first day with the car we drove inland to the Marble Arch Caves. It was a good two hours, but I got to see a lot of the countryside, which was nice. And the caves were so neat! There was supposed to be a bit on a boat, but there had been so much rain that the water levels in the caves were too high, so we didn’t get to do that. It was still pretty cool though!

On the second day we drove a coastal road up to the North, which was incredible. We visited Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and Giant’s Causeway, and thankfully the weather held out for both.  We were both getting quite nervous coming up to the rope bridge because it was very windy. But, the bridge was sturdy and not as long as we had expected (yes, yes, TWSS).

We were both very excited after making it across!

On the island the bridge crossed to:

Giant’s Causeway was amazing! It’s a rock formation on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It was so beautiful, and I’d never seen anything like it:

Continued in Part Two…

London, Part 2

It has been a busy couple of days here in London! I’m pretty exhausted and I probably won’t be too detailed in this post. But, I have pictures!

Saturday, August 14th

We started the day out by walk to Trafalger Square, visiting an info centre there, and grabbing some breakfast:

We then took the tube up to Nothing Hill to visit the Portobello Market:

We then took the tube to Earl’s Court to visit one of the city’s few remaining Police Public Call Box’s (Because we’re enormous Doctor Who nerds. Don’t judge!):

After that we got on the tube again and went to Picadilly Circle and wandered around. We then strolled over to Buckingham Palace:

After that we wandered around some shops, got some dinner, and walked along the Thames at night:

Sunday, August 15th

This morning we walked to the Globe Theatre and took a tour:

After that we walked to the London Bridge to go through the London Bridge Experience and Tombs. It was terrifying! I didn’t get any pictures since they weren’t allowed.

We then walked down to Tower Bridge:

Followed by Tower of London:

And finally a 2.5 hour cruise down the River Thames. I took too many pictures and can not decide what to post! I did get a picture of the 500 year old pub where we had dinner:

We have another busy day tomorrow, so I really need to get to sleep. I’m so tired! But feeling great.

Hope everyone is doing well!

~Spencer

London Calling!

Greetings from Londontown! After a long and somewhat painful journey, I finally made it! Exhausted, cranky, and sore, but, still, here in one piece!

The trip did not start off well, unfortunately. My bags were too heavy and I was charged quite a lot to check them. Thankfully the guy working at the counter was very nice and lied about the weight to save my about $45. That made me feel a bit better, until my debit was declined when I went to pay for the baggage charges. Not what I want to hear when I’m about to board a trans Atlantic flight!

Can I also just mention how much I absolutely hate Toronto Pearson Airport? It’s ridiculous. I kept getting turned away at security lines because my gate wasn’t in that section. Fine, but there’s no signs telling you that you need to enter from certain ports for certain gates! And then, of course, I misread my gate as C23, instead of C32, and start to panic because C23 doesn’t appear to exist! Good news though, I used my debit to purchase a bottle of water and it worked. So, I was relieved about that.

I also forgot how much I hate trans Atlantic flights. Long, and cramped, and noisy, and just, ugh. Not fun. I had a window seat though! Not that you can see anything at night over the Atlantic, but, it meant I didn’t have to get up to let the people next to me up. Which made me happy enough.

My view this morning. I wasn’t able to sleep much, but the clouds were lovely to watch this morning. And then of course they start playing Two and a Half Men on the cabin televisions. That annoyed me more than it should have. But, I know a lot of you understand ;).

I had some more stress once getting to London, including getting on the wrong train (the ticket checker on board was very nice though! He didn’t fine me, and told me what to look out for next time.), and having my Visa not work at the hotel. I’m hoping it’s just their machines. I’ll try it out somewhere tomorrow. The last thing I need is to be here with a Visa card that doesn’t work!

I’m feeling much better now, I’m happy to report. I got the hotel, napped, showered, and wandered around for a bit. I just picked up some dinner, and am anxiously awaiting Orla’s arrival. If she ever makes it! Her flight was delayed, so I hope she isn’t stuck too long.

Anyway, I took a few pictures today on the Waterloo Bridge:

Today is pretty overcast and cool, but, since I can’t stand the heat and humidity at home, I’m loving it! I can’t wait to explore the city again. I can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I was last here. I’ve missed it! Tomorrow Orla and I are going to Portobello Market and possibly starting a hop on, hop off tour. It’s funny, for all the time I’ve spent in London, I’ve never done most of the touristy things. I’m excited! So long as my Visa works…

I think that’s about everything from this end! Hope all is well with everyone!

Cheers, Spencer