I have arrived in Scotland and have been having a great time. I'm in Edinburgh for a few months on a university exchange programme. Unsurprisingly, I've been having lots of fun and haven't been studying as much as I should.
My friend Rosy visited me in Edinburgh. We did quite a bit during her short stay here. We visited The Elephant House, which is a cafe where J. K. Rowling began to write Harry Potter. The food was nothing special, but the bathroom was crazy. Tonnes of fans had written on the walls, expressing their love for Harry Potter.
The following day, we went to Calton Hill, which was fantastic! It was great seeing all the monuments and we had a great view of the city. We also roamed around a graveyard. At nighttime, we did an underground vaults tour, which apparently was meant to be quite frightening. However, we were quite disappointed because we weren't scared.
The next day, we went on a Highlands bus tour. We went with a tour company called, The Hairy Coo (http://www.thehairycoo.com). It was awesome! The tour company is tips based, so the tour guide worked really hard to make sure we had a great time. We saw some wonderful things, such as Loch Katrine, some really cute hairy coos, a beautiful forest and the Monty Python Castle.
On Thursday night I got a plane to London and had a lovely weekend sightseeing and catching up with friends.
The first night I had in London, my friend Rosy and I had a light dinner and went to a pub near my hostel. We chatted for hours because we hadn't seen each other for about a month and we had lots to catch up on.
The following day, I met a friend from high school. We went Le Pain Quotidien on Marleybone Road. It is such a great cafe with a simplistic and rustic interior. We order scones, which were amazing! Later on, we browsed all the cute shops on Marleybone Road. My favourite was The Conran, it had awesome furniture, stationery and an assortment of bits and bobs. Afterwards, I went shopping on Oxford Circus, it is one of my favourite places to shop. That night, I went to Camden and hung out with a group of friends.
On Saturday, I went to the Portobello Markets. It had some wonderful antiques. It was incredibly crowded, but I still had a great time. Afterwards, I saw the play 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime'. I had read the book and the play was equally amazing.
Later on, Rosy and I had dinner in Picadilly. We had a choice between Jamie Oliver or a Chinese buffet. We decided to go for the Chinese buffet because it was only 9 pounds - bad mistake! We ate way too much! We then went to Bar Americain. It had the coolest interiors, it reminded me of the Titanic, when Jack has dinner with Rose's family and friends. It was super posh and out of our budget, so we ordered the cheapest glass of wine on the menu and sat in the bar for about two hours sipping our wine very slowly. We then caught up with some friends and went to El Camino, a mexican restaurant.
On Sunday, I went to the markets with my Mum's friend. We went to Shoreditch. It was great and we looked in lots of shops on our way to the markets. My favourite shops was House of Hackney. It had some cute dresses.
On Sunday night I flew back to Edinburgh with Rosy.
My virus became incredibly bad in Seville. I was coughing lots. However, I still had a great time in Seville. It is also a very relaxed place, so I didn't wear myself out.
We stayed at a quaint hostel called, 'The Garden Backpacker'. It had hammocks on the rooftop and free sangria hour. The staff there were super friendly.
Our hostel also provided free walking tours. I find free walking tours great because the guides are super motivated because they are relying on tips. We went on two walking tours, one was a Jewish walking tour and one was just a general Seville walking tour. I thought the Plaza de Espana was the highlight of Seville for me.
After Seville, I went to Edinburgh. It took about two weeks for me to recover from my virus and the doctor wouldn't prescribe me any medication!
Madrid is a city full of amazing buildings. Unfortunately, when I arrived in Madrid I started getting a very bad virus, so I didn't do as much as I had hoped to.
We went to the Prado Museum, which was amazing. There were so many incredible artworks to view, which was pretty overwhelming.
We only had two days in Madrid, so we did the red tour bus. We were able to get a bus pass deal, so our bus ticket was valid for two days. On the first day we just stayed on the bus the whole time and on the second day we hopped off the bus and visited places that caught our eye.
We found an awesome cafe, where we ate the most amazing churros.
Once we finished exploring Madrid, we went to Seville.
Barcelona was without a doubt one of my favourite cities.
We stayed at a hostel called St. Christopher's. It was located in Plaça de Catalunya, which is a great central area. It was easy for us to stroll around and see some Gaudi buildings, do LOTS of shopping and have sangria and tapas on La Rambla.
We met some great people in Barcelona. Also, some friends we made in Berlin joined us in Spain. We all had lots of fun hanging out at our hostel bar, clubbing and going to shot bars.
I definitely miss Barcelona, but I can't wait to revisit it again with my family in January.
After many chaotic days and late nights, Grasse was much needed. We stayed with Rosy’s aunt and uncle in a wonderful villa.
The weather in Grasse was terrific, it was sunny everyday. We spent most of our days lying by the pool and strolling into the quaint town, where we visited lovely patisseries and boutiques. We also had amazing big family lunches and dinners. We ate such delicious food, like quail, foie gras and fig jam, seafood and tarts.
Now that we are well rested, we are off the Barcelona.