Hala Madrid!

Hello to all of  you reading this post!!!! 

It’s been almost a year since I first stepped foot in Spain. My journey to get here was a good one, I started the New Year (2018) on a plane from Berlin, Germany to Madrid, Spain. I have to say that it was very interesting. At the airport in Berlin it was actually the first time that I saw so many women working as security in an airport, I don’t know if all the men requested the day off due to New Year’s celebrations or why there were so many women but it was a first for me at least. As usual everyone was nice, I haven’t really had any bad encounters while traveling, yes of course I have been in “dangerous” or “sketchy” situations especially as a solo traveler, but that will be a story for another post. On my arrival to Madrid I was very hungry, and my room in the hostel was not ready so I decided to walk around and find something to eat. I have to say that at this point I hadn’t slept for almost 24 hours, and hadn’t taken a shower. I found a cafe around the corner that was very busy, so I went in and had breakfast. I was surprised that there were a lot of thing open since it was January 1st. After having brunch I went back to the hostel, took a long nap, woke up, got ready and went out. The first time seeing or the beauty of Madrid was at night and I don’t know if it was because I was listening to the song “Perfect,” by Ed Sheeran but I fell in love with Madrid. It took my breath away, most of you who know me know that I love walking and the hostel I was staying in was centrally located so I walked everywhere in Madrid, literally everywhere except to the train station because I was running late.

During this trip I was decided to go run every morning to “Parque el Retiro,” I thought to myself how could would it be to say I went running there? I loved the idea. I stayed in Madrid a total of five nights, I only went running three mornings but I enjoyed every single one of them, each day was different. The first time I went there I didn’t get to walk around the whole place because I had more things planned for the rest of the day and didn’t want to get tired, the second day I even went to an art exhibition, the third day I decided to run around the whole park and let me tell you this: It was hard, I didn’t realize how huge this park was!!!  I also went to the “Palacio de Cristal,” which is  a palace that has crystal walls. So beautiful!!! I tried to go to a bakery every day after my run, I also fell in love with the bakeries there, I love food and missed a good bakery with a lot of variety. If you go to Spain don’t forget to eat at a bakery!

I can say that I went to most of all of the touristy places in Madrid, I even went to a mall. I walked so much! I was super happy, I walked during the day and at night and I have to say I loved it. Madrid looks special and beautiful at night, during the day it was also magical. I also have to mention that there were so many people everywhere, at points it was a little bit hectic, but I was able to manage. Madrid was wonderful, I did not expect that at the train station you had to go through security because in Germany and Italy, even Switzerland you didn’t so imagine me being super late, getting to the train station, not finding which gate I needed to go to, then finding it and realizing I still had to go through security, put my bags through the scanner, then realizing they actually have some doors that lead to your train and that they actually close them, however, I was barely on time, and they saw me running and did not leave 🙂 and people were so nice that they helped me get with my luggage (I had to remember all of you that I don’t travel light, I always have a big luggage and a carry on always heavy). The train was very nice, I loved everything about the train ride and the views.

P.S.: For one of the best sunsets or sunrises got to “Jardines del Templo de Debod,” such a romantic and stunning place, this temple was actually donated by the Egyptian government to Spain, this temple was originally located in Aswan, Egypt, however, due to the fact that it was flooded during nine months out of the year and other facts it was decided that the temple needed to find a new home.

 

Like I was mention here, if you have any questions about anything let me know. I am always happy to help with whatever I can.

Atenea.

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Berlin! Welcome 2018!!!!

Hello all!!!!

Bye bye 2017!!!!! you were great to me, I learned so much, met so many people, ate tons of delicious food, had so much fun, danced like crazy, made mistakes and learned from them, was surrounded by loved ones, and traveled a lot!

I wanted to do this a little different than previous times… I wanted to talk about my trip to Berlin 2017/2018. I had so much fun!!! couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year and start a new one than with this crew… I am a little nostalgic because I wish i could spend New Years with my sisters, however, I will be somewhere around the globe. Have not decided on the destination yet but hopefully it would be the same of even funner than the previous one.

This was my first time ever going to Berlin and I have to say I fell in love with this city… It is actually a city where I can see myself living in. The architecture is gorgeous. Might not be the most colorful city (most people wear black lol) but omg I loved it! We walked around almost everywhere, we ate so much delicious food, which as most of you who know me know that eating is one of my favorite things to do in this world especially when I’m on vacation. I cannot express how much I loved and enjoyed this trip.

On New Year’s we went to a rooftop party…I have mixed feelings about, it was one of the most organized house parties I have ever attended, the music was mostly pop music the kind that you listen on the radio, everyone except for a few were wearing black ( I wore a yellow dress), people were friendly, I had fun… I kind of was like Cinderella in the sense that I had an early plane to catch to Madrid, Spain at seven in the morning so I had to leave the party early, run to the hotel and then go to the airport. I was able to get to the airport on time, and boy! I should say that Berlin was still alive during the early hours of January 1st, 2018. People there know how to party!

I leave you here some photos and videos that I took during the trip, as you could all see they are on the funny side 😛 I added some of the best/funny videos of this amazing trip!!! 🙂

 

 

 

How to eat a kebab one-on-one!

 

 

Last dinner of 2017, Thai food 🙂

 

 

 

View from rooftop New Year’s party, we were able to appreciate the fireworks from here!!

 

 

 

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CATS AROUND THE WORLD

Hello everyone!!!!

Here are some pictures that I was able to captured from some beautiful cats around the world. Hope you all enjoy them.

 

P.S.: If you click on the photos you can see where they were taken.

Atenea.

Kassel, Germany

Hello people!!!

Okay, so today’s journey was about making it to Kassel, Germany from Brussels, Belgium. I took the train and had to stop various times to make connections, I want to say the total traveling time was about 4-5 hours, but then again I’m not sure because I lost track of time. During the last transfer, I got in a train that was packed, it felt like being inside a clown car, I had to be standing up the whole time (1-2 hours) time went by so slow! Thank god for Netflix and being able to watch TV shows offline.

By the time I got to Kassel I was so tired! My sister was there waiting for me with typical German pastries. We took two different buses to get to her apartment, and to my surprise she didn’t live on the first floor and there was no elevator. I want to mention that since I was going to be traveling a total of a month and a half I had a big luggage (heavy) and a carry on. So going up the stairs was torture. Once we arrived to the apartment my sister’s friend had some pasta already made so I ate some, took a shower, and a well deserved nap. Once I woke up, we got ready and went out to get some dinner (Kabobs) which were delicious, but I was still tired and ready to go back to sleep. Oh and let me mention that it was Germany during winter, so you could only imagine how cold it was!

The next day, my sister had to wake up early to go to work, so she gave me directions on how to take the tram and where to meet her. I woke up a little late, so I was late, but was able to make it to the meeting point. We walked around the downtown area, went to the Christmas markets, ate some delicious food! Walked around the shopping area. It started to rain, so we headed inside the mall. We walked around and discovered an ice cream place that sells vegan ice cream which was yummy! I really liked it.

We headed back home, and got some sleep since the next day was going to be a long day because my other sister and her boyfriend were arriving, and also later that day another friend was arriving so we had a full day planned ahead.

Let me mention this: Germany is not as expensive as Switzerland, the prices are reasonable so you can still travel around Germany on a budget.

December 29th, 2017 was a good day because 23 years ago that day my little sister was born and we spent it together! My older sister and I headed to the supermarket to buy something for her birthday and I took advantage of the opportunity and bought lots of chocolates to take back with me to the US.

So on this day, we headed to Hercules, which is one of the few touristic places to go see in Kassel. We took the bus there and it was about an hour long ride. If you have ever been to Germany you know how grey the days can be, especially during winter. Winter is cold, rainy and windy. On this day it was like that too, but we were able to manage to make it to Hercules. From there you can actually see the whole city, it looks so beautiful! If you ever stop in Kassel you have to definitely stop here.

We took another bus, we headed towards the center of the town, and as soon as we got out it started to snow. I was already cold and hungry, so I was pretty much freezing. When we got to the sushi restaurant we wanted to go to to celebrate my sisters birthday, we had to wait for like 30 minutes because it was full. I have to say the wait was worth it because everything was so good and we were able to eat a lot since it was a buffet. After leaving the restaurant and being super full, we managed to make it back to the apartment. The plan was to go out to a Latin club to go dancing, however, I was too tired and ended up staying in sleeping while everyone else went out dancing. The next morning we all had tickets to go to Berlin so I needed my beauty sleep.

 

 

 

Ask any questions or leave any comments.

Atenea.

Brussels Day

Hello everyone!

On this day, I woke up in Brussels, Belgium. This was my first time in Belgium, I do have to mention something that I hope doesn’t offend anyone. For a second I thought I was in a Middle East country because I saw so many Muslims around, I would have to say that at least 6 out of 10 people that I saw were Muslims which I think it’s great that there is so much cultural diversity! It was actually very nice to be able to see and experience cultural diversity.

Going back to what we did on this day, we woke up early and took the tram to “Mini Europe,” this is actually something cool to see because you can see all of Europe in one place without having to spend a lot of money traveling. I enjoyed it, however, I did get a little bored because it wasn’t something I was really excited about. Plus it was raining and also the wind was picking up and getting strong. We spent about 2 hours here (long hours). When we were done here, we took another tram and headed back to the downtown part which I have to say it’s just beautiful and magical at the same time. We went to the “square,” I don’t know if it was because of the Christmas decorations but it was just wow! I mean I have no words to describe it, it was spectacular! So beautiful, I wish I would have spent more time around here instead of mini Europe. Plus at the square they had a light show every 30 minutes and wow! It was amazing! Very well organized and done! It was amazing! A must see during Christmas time! Wow!

We walked around the Christmas markets too, went to the little guy in the fountain, you know the Manneken Pis. This places is crowded by tourists! Right around there you can find many famous waffle places and chocolate stores. One tip that I do want to give you is to keep your personal items close to you, we did see and heard some people getting robbed even though the whole place was filled with army, there were still thieves getting to do their “job,” without getting caught. So just be careful.

Oh and before I forget we also walked around the downtown area near the Nostre-dame church, which was also beautiful!

After a long day, we headed back to our hostel. I got hungry, and wanted to go find something to eat around but my sister told me not to go out because of the neighborhood. So I ended up buying a lasagna from the hostel (very cheap and big), however, it was too salty for my liking.

When it was time to go to sleep we kept on being bothered by people coming in and out of the room, and I have to stay these people were not guests, they were friends of the actual paying guests. I just thought this was very rude, because here we are actually paying to stay at this hostel and they were just staying for free. I have to mention something before you start judging me, there were a total of 5 people and only 2 of the paid for the beds, not only that, but they also smelled bad, left the bathroom toilet dirty, and were also taking showers and making a lot of noise. We did complain to the front desk and they didn’t do anything about it. It was a really bad experience, and I would not recommend this hostel to anyone because I feel like the hostel staff should have done something about it and they didn’t.

The next morning we took an Uber to the train station, I took a train to Kassel, Germany to visit my older sister.

Once again, feel free to ask me any questions.

Atenea.

Cologne and Brussels

Hello everyone!

I ended my last post with the delicious food from Hiltl in Zurich, after that I finished packing and headed to the busy station to take a FlixBus to Cologne, Germany. The bus ride was about 9-10 hours long, however, the bus ride was comfortable, and there was WiFi aboard.

The reason why I was heading to Cologne was because my sisters and I decided to meet there to spend Christmas together. I was the first one to arrived at the bus/train station. I have to say that the station is very nice, and perfectly located. The Cathedral is located right outside the station, this is a beautiful cathedral, a must see!

Here in Cologne we rented an apartment through Airbnb which was centrally located so we walked everywhere, also to and from the station with our luggage. We arrived on December 23rd, and I have to say there were a lot of stores and Christmas markets open. It is such a pretty place, my favorite places of course were the Christmas markets because of all of the decoration but also the food. If you know me personally you know that I love to eat, I do try to eat healthy and excessive but I love food and also to try different things. Because of the time of the year we found gluewine everywhere (warm wine), we ate potatoes with a creamy sauce, fried potatoes cakes (like hash browns), mushrooms with creamy sauce, I even found vegetarian hot dog. I don’t eat pork so it was very hard to find Würstchen without pork so I had to resource to a vegetarian one which was also delicious.

We walked all around, since we were tired we headed home early, but we did stop at a supermarket on the way. We bought groceries for our Christmas dinner since we knew that everything would probable close early on Christmas Eve we didn’t want to take any chances.

On the next day, we walked some more, the Christmas markets were close, it was almost like a ghost town around except that there were some shops that were open. We walked by the river, and around the city. I obviously bought some gelato, and also French fries to eat so I could be ok until dinner time. It was a nice feeling to walk around on Christmas Eve because the streets were not crowded and it also felt kind of peaceful.

For Christmas Eve dinner we made a quinoa salad, pasta, and had some cookies for dessert. I was so stuffed since I had eaten the fries and gelato before dinner. After dinner we opened presents, relax a little bit before going out. We couldn’t find any clubs that we liked, however, there were a lot of bars that had good music and reasonable prices for the drinks. There were a lot of German people dancing to Latin music which was very fun to watch and it made me realize how music travels everywhere! everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun! We then headed to a small bar near the Airbnb we were staying in, this was more of a local bar and a different atmosphere, but everyone was so nice. The owner of the bar did not let any drunk man approach us. At this bar I was able to learn that here people drink beer mixed with sprite or coke, I had never seen this before. It is a cultural thing, later after this trip I learned that during war the had to preserve the beer and make it last, that is why they started to mix it with soda and now a lot of Germans continue drinking it this way because they like the way it tastes. After the bar we headed to the Airbnb.

The next morning we got ready and headed back to the bus/train station. My little sister, her boyfriend and I headed to Brussels, Belgium. The train ride was about 3 hours long. We didn’t run into any issues, just maybe a cultural shock for me. Inside the train there was a person who kept on switching seats and moving far from her luggage. Which you know I’m used to seeing the signs in the airports that say that if you see a bad by itself to immediately let someone know. I was debating about what to do, I asked my sister and her boyfriend and they told me not to worry about it and to let it be, however, I kept on thinking what if there is a bomb in there? What if somethings happens and I can prevent it? I still thought about for some time until I got the courage to get up and walk across the train to let someone who works there know about the situation. He laughed at what I say and told me that there was no bomb, to not worry about it and that he will walk by it later to check it out. Oh and he also gave me some free snacks. I honestly didn’t know how to take this, I didn’t know if he just didn’t care or if maybe I wasn’t the first person to approach him about an issue like this in the past. He did indeed walk around and approached me and told me that everything was ok, however, he did not open the bag, he just passed by it. I still don’t know how do they know when there is or there isn’t a bomb aboard! I don’t know if what he did was ok or not. Point is there was not an explosion while I was in the train or after I got off. So I am still not sure if I was overreacting or not but I felt it was my duty to inform someone about it because nowadays we ca never be too safe anywhere.

Once we arrive at the train station in Brussels we were debating wether or not to take an Uber to the hostel or just walk. The walk was about 20 minutes long but the majority of the walk would be uphill and to make things worse it was super windy. At the end we decided to save the money and just walk. We stayed at Meininger hostel. The hostel itself was right next to the worst neighborhood in Brussels, which I didn’t know because everything seemed so nice, the hostel was cool, and it was close to the downtown. We got settled in our room, and decided to head out. We walked towards the downtown, ran into another christmas market, I bought a Belgium waffle of course which was delicious, even though it was a plain vanilla waffle. We continued walking and ran into a bigger Christmas market it was so huge there was a map for it because it had different sections. This Christmas marked was spread throughout the city it was very cool and fun! It even had a section from Mongolia in which we found Mongolian food! The meat was very yummy and soft. I honestly have to say that if you don’t mind the cold, then Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium are some of the countries you should visit in Europe during Christmas. You can actually see and feel the Christmas spirit… even taste it! After walking around we went to a restaurant to eat and have some food.

After having dinner we decided to head back to the hostel since we were going to have an early day the next day.

Once again, if you ever have any questions feel free to ask me.

Atenea.

Last day in Switzerland.

Hello Everyone!!!! 

Once again I have fallen behind with my blog; there is so much that I still need to write about. I just need to learn to balance life and writing.

On my last day in Switzerland, I slept in a little bit. Did some laundry, had breakfast and lunch with my sister, took it easy so that I could have more energy for the rest of my trip.

Right before it got dark, we decided to go out and explore Zürich a little bit. We walked around, went to some Christmas markets and then headed to dinner to meet with Theo and eat some delicious vegetarian food. Everyone who knows me knows that I am in love with food, I love to eat and find a wonderful restaurant to go back to. Gladly tonight’s restaurant was the case. We went to Hiltl restaurant, and I have to say this: The food is heaven! I loved the pasta that I ate in Florence, to me that was the best pasta I have ever tried, but Hiltl was wow. It was a buffet and the weight your plate at the end and they tell you the price (not on the cheap side). The food I want to say was inspired in Indian food, they had a lot of curries, rice, fried food, salads, and more. Everything was so delicious, literally I am currently saving money so that when I go back to Zurich I can eat here again. I cannot describe the food, it was just heaven. I was not expecting this. Wow!

After our lovely dinner, we headed back to the apartment, I finished packing and then my sister took me to the Flixbus station to catch my next bus to Cologne, Germany. Cologne was our Christmas destination. Once again, I have to say that Flixbus is super comfortable, like any other bus or flight, you cannot control the kind of people who get on them (rude, obnoxious, and noisy etc.), I will always recommend Flixbus to everyone traveling to Europe.

Once again if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.

Atenea.

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