Saturday, March 26, 2011

T for Toulouse!

                Final pit stop on the week-long Spain extravaganza was Toulouse. A great French city that I wish I would have visited when I wasn’t exhausted from sightseeing and traveling.

                We arrived on Saturday and spent some time walking around and seeing a few important things. We had a hotel far away from the center, so we wanted to go there last. We saw a couple things, had some dinner, and headed on back pretty early. Our hotel was at what is probably the furthest point from the center of Toulose. Not going to lie, I was a bit scared because next to our hotel was one of those old motorhome type things with broken windows and no wheels. Also, there was maybe one other room that was full. It was called Hotel Chez Tony and was actually really nice. I made the mistake of asking the reception man, who became our friend, if he was "Mr. Tony" and he kindly replied, "Tony die long time ago". Needless to say, I felt a little bad. It made for a good laught though later on. That night is when Klara and I began writing our “Les Vacanes d’hiver” rap. Maybe I can become famous like that 13-year old who sings “Friday” or whatever that annoying song is.

 We saw the capital building, Congress, Sports center, and the Japanese Gardens which were my favorite. It was so pretty there and very relaxing. There was a cute, red bridge that connected one side of the park to this “island” type house. I even met the Zen master! We walked along the river and found the university, and pretty churches. One was Les Jacobins. The Jacobins were a big religious group in French history that would build these amazing churches. Not going to lie, it wasn’t Sagrada Familia but it was definitely pretty. One thing I really liked about Les Jacobins in Toulouse was that it was all so old. There wasn’t much remodeling done to it so you could see the oldness in the bricks and the paint. It was pretty cool!

I love this bridge.
Je suis "zen".

Outside of Les Jacobins.
                We crossed Pont Neuf and found a patch of green grass to have our lunch in on Sunday. The weather could not have been more perfect. The sun was shining, a nice breeze, and right next to the river. La vie est belle! After an hour long lunch/sunbathing session, we continued on. We discovered an old hospital that was famous for helping people during what we think was the Black Plague. It was backed up right along the river at a point with lots of waterfalls. It was neat! We then ran into an art museum, and, since it was the first Sunday of the month, it was free! We decided we had nothing better to do so we went for it. It was all modern art. I don’t quite understand some parts of modern art, so it was different to say the least. I enjoyed it, but I am glad it was free!


                We walked through another park that was huge! It had little cafes inside and lots of gardens and statues. People were everywhere profiting from the sunshine! It was crazy busy but still very pretty. After passing the Opera house, we discovered another museum that was also free! We went into it and I wish we had gone earlier. It was really cool and had lots of Roman sculptures and paintings. It was a museum with a bit of everything.

                After sightseeing and being worn completely out, we went to the train station and caught our train home to sweet Limoges. Thinking we were all going to pass out from exhaustion, we all attempted but failed miserably. Poor Klara had some homework and my insistent self wanted to learn Czech. We ended up passing the last two hours on the train with my horrible pronunciation and sad attempts at words and trying (again) to teach me how to French braid. As we got closer to Limoges, Jacques was going to pick us up and we decided to play a joke on him. Okay, not “we”, just Klara and I. Kelli wasn’t too big of a fan of this idea. We had called Jacques on Saturday in Toulouse just to see how much he “missed” us (yeah right!) and we told him that we hadn’t eaten in three days and we had no money and just tried to make him feel bad for us! Klara and I decided also to tell him that our hotel didn’t have water (which it did) and to tell him that it was at the “end of the world” (which it really was!). We took some of my eyeshadow that was a black color and put it on our faces to make us look dirty and we messed up our hair to look like we hadn’t showered. It was a good idea in theory but we didn’t execute it very well!

                When we arrived at 11:00 that night, Jacques claims he picked up “sewer rats”! I guess we pulled it off somewhat, but then again, Jacques is a man who probably thought we looked normal! We did get a free kebab out of the deal for dinner so Klara and I aren’t complaining. Our purpose was to drive home the idea to him that we don’t have to have money to have a good trip. We can find free ways to entertain ourselves and we can also eat cheap. It doesn’t take millions to have a good time. Klara and I decided to let him feel bad for us (since the man has no feelings!) for a few days, but then we kind of, okay we did, forget to ever tell him we were lying. I still don’t know if he knows….

                All in all, my Spain experience was very fun! I am extremely happy that I got to visit Spain and that I spent it with who I did. What I learned from this trip was to plan out how to get to your hotels from the train stations before you leave, know what it is you want to see and sort of have a plan, and realize that everything on the map does not have to be seen. A vacation should be something to be enjoyed and not stressing if you spent twenty minutes at one shop instead of walking towards a destination. Also, keep in mind that after a week of traveling and walking everywhere, you are going to be tired and may not want to visit one more city “just because” the train stops there or just because you can. While you should see what you can, it is also important, in my opinion, to enjoy the city and see what the culture of that city is like. It isn’t all about tourism and monuments.

Needless to say, after nine days of being away, Limoges and my miserable twin-sized bed felt just right. I was so glad to be home and even use my push-on-every-thirty-seconds-shower!

Adventures in Barcelona

                Barcelona was the city in Spain that I loved! After San Sebastian, it was a big, lively, fun city that I would glad go visit again!

                By this point in our trip, it was Wednesday through Friday. Keep in mind, still three girls spending 24/7 together and tired. I think Barcelona showed us (or at least mine) the grumpiness. We stayed at this nice hostel that was a big apartment with many rooms. We had one room with a cute balcony that looked right over Gran Via, which is apparently a hopping street in Barcelona. We were about a twenty minute walk from La Rambla and it was a great location! The only problem was our stupid door that no one could open, close, or keep locked because it was so temperamental. When I got up to go to the bathroom at night, (which we all know is like five times) I guarantee I woke up half the hostel. Oh well. It had a full kitchen so one night we bought microwave pizzas and salads, and another night we made a form of chicken stir-fry and salad. It was fun!

The living room/dining room of our hostel.

                After we got settled into our hotel, we wanted to being our adventures in Barcelona! We walked Gran Via which eventually turns into La Rambla and some other popular streets of Barcelona. We found La Pedrera or Casa Mila which became our reference point for the rest of the stay. Antoni Gaudi built a TON of things in Barcelona. He did many houses, parks, building, and the most beautiful church I have ever seen. More on him later. Gran Via was lined with designer shops. I was so excited to go into one, that I kind of ended up going into about 10. DG, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and many others. It was fun to “pretend” what we would buy if we wanted to throw out 500 euros for a scarf. After boring Kelly, we continued on and found some pretty fountains and La Rambla. This street is like the Champs Elysees in Paris or any other main street in a city. It was PACKED with people. Shops were set up on each side and you couldn’t miss the street performers. We found this awesome fresh market that, even though it was closing, was wonderful to walk through. There were fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, candies, breads, chocolates, everything. It was beautiful: all organized, colorful, and since it was closing, 2 for 1 euro!  I bought a mix of fruit that was the absolute best. It was so fresh and flavorful! I could have spent hours in that place, as well as the rest of Barcelona since it was so packed.

One of the many fruit stands.

I could never work here because of my OCD. I would have to keep it perfectl like this.

This is a candy/nut stand.

One street performer. There was later one who was in a box with a black cape thing on who never did anything. I was curious so I put in ten centimes and when he jumped out at me and yelled "BOO" I about died.

Our reference point, which we began to call the "dancing house" but is really Casa Mila.

                Thursday was the day to accomplish all of our sights to see! We started the day early and learned quickly that Barcelona does not know how to make a map. In fact, I think it was the WORST map I have ever used in my whole life. We would take a street, looking for a huge monument, and the next thing we knew, we would be on a different street, without turning, that would not be on the map. It was a disaster. We probably wasted a lot of time walking around trying to find each thing. That’s why, in my opinion, use the metro, get to where you want to go, and then walk later. Especially when there is a lot we all want to see, and no one knows the city well. Klara was 100% against taking a metro and I wasn’t about to split up, so walk our little hearts out we did, getting lost all along the way. J We saw lots of little churches and statues in the center of streets and even found a darling shop called “Barceloning” that had everything Barcelona and the cutest gifts! After passing some time there (and out of the rain that followed us our whole trip) we headed towards La Sagrada Familia: the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing I saw in Spain. Gaudi was the original designer of it, and today, it remains only 50% complete! We spent three hours walking through the church, the museum, and the taking in the beauty of it. It was negative twenty degrees in all of the whole place but that was the only complaint I had! There is stained glass inside that represents the virtues Gaudi had and believed are important. It became a basilica just last year, and the Pope was there to do it. It was a very interesting place and a must-see if you go to Barcelona!

These pictures do not do it justice.

Details, tall, beautiful. Unlike anything I've ever seen.

                After that we headed to the Arc de Triumph of Barcelona. Kind of disappointing, but still cool it see. We found a park and other cool building just around there, so it wasn’t a total waste. We found Port Vell which had lots of boats and a neat walking path along the sea. It was rainy but we still walked along and enjoyed the view. The water had buoys in it that were like little people. It was cute! Next we found a statue of Columbus that we thought we could climb to get a cool view of Barcelona, but not without a price we didn’t care to pay. After passing a wax museum (creepy looking at night, but I want to go to one!) and finding another church, we headed home to find a nice surprise! A parade, happening up and down Gran Via and loud as can be! Naturally we had to join in on the phone! It apparently was for some Saint or something that is important. Candy was thrown everywhere, streets were packed, and it was 100x better than the Sapulpa Christmas parade. Sorry, peeps, but it was. I did learn that no one in Barcelona cares to wave at people. My mom always waves at the randoms during a parade and I always laugh, but there I was, in the middle of Barcelona, waving at strangers who just looked at me weird. Oh well!

                Friday morning we ventured to Park Guell, a famous park inspired by Gaudi that had amazing views of Barcelona, street bands, and mosaics all over. It was a fabulous experience. We found the FCBarcelona stadium, but decided to skip it since we had already seen Real Madrid. Turns out, Klara’s dad said that FCBarcelona is actually better than Real Madrid and we should have gone in! Oh well, one soccer stadium was enough for me! We then walked around and found some more things by Gaudi, a monastery (with bad signs from Barcelona telling us how to get there!) and the Royal Palace where we saw people taking their wedding pictures. I guess I am going to have to fly to France for mine since everywhere I go people are taking wedding pictures.

One of the thousands of mosiacs. Beautiful.

Sitting in my cubby!

                That night, we walked La Ramblas once more, and headed to the Olympic Stadium and to see the Magic Fountains. Barcelona hosted the Olympics in 1992 and most of the buildings are still there. We went at night, which probably wasn’t ideal, but it was still cool! We saw the main stadium which now I am assuming is a concert hall since ads for Justin Beiber’s visit were everywhere. It is right behind an old art national art museum which is followed by the Magic Fountains. Best experience of my entire Barcelona trip: the magic fountain show! It is so cool. They play different songs and turn the water different colors, heights, shapes and stuff with the tune. It is awesome! After watching that, we headed to the beach! We wrote in the sand and collected some sea shells. It was a successful night!

Fountain show. Youtube it. It is awesome!

This man REALLY had to go ;)

Reverting back to the old days, huh?

                We left on Saturday for Toulouse so our time in Barcelona was up! I liked the city a lot, and would have liked to spend some more time on the beach during the day! If you are going to go to Barcelona, bring your own map and plan on where you want to go before you go! Also, they do have gelato so bring 2 euro for that J


Sunday, March 20, 2011


Well, followers..Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been busy and a little lazy! Okay, a lot lazy. Oh well, here is more of Spain!
   Don’t get me wrong; I liked Madrid, but it was definitely the least favorite city we visited in Spain.  We left San Sebastian bright and early and began our four hour train ride to Madrid. After arriving, we searched forever for our hotel. The directions said it was on San Leonard Street and we could only find San Bernardo Street. We even asked the tourism office (again, our favorite place!) and they didn’t even know. We were freaked that we were going to be staying in some sketch place. Alas, we found it. The “university residence” of Hostel Arti II. I won’t recommend it to any future travelers. First, the man did not understand that we had a reservation and kept saying “no space. No space”. Then, when he finally understood, we got a two bed bedroom when we had three people. It wouldn’t have been a problem except 1) we already paid for three beds, 2) they were twin beds and 3) there wasn’t space for a person on the floor. After spending time figuring out how to say “We have a problem” in Spanish, we just went down there and said “Two for sleep, we are three”. It was interesting. We then were transferred to a nice room (hmmmm yeah…) with two bunk beds and an aisle about the width of my hips. The door, however, was about three times the size of my hips. I am pretty sure our room (I would hardly call it that) used to be a janitor’s closet that was changed into a room.

                Since it was late in the afternoon, we decided to go see a few things close to our place. We first had to find an internet café to see if everything was okay with Klara’s bank and to tell my mom I was alive and well. Klara was very disappointed and upset that her wallet was stolen (obviously) so she was trying everything in her power to change our trip to save money. It ended up being more of a hassle but more on that later. Since we bought our tickets in France with SNCF, it was impossible to change our tickets in Spain (or so we were told) but we “found” and SNCF station in Madrid. First, it said it was in this building right by our hotel (awesome!) and it wasn’t. The woman there told us it was at the airport. A thirty minute metro ride later, we arrived at the airport of Madrid. We found an info desk where a funny woman said “I am metro” (which later became the running joke) and told us to go visit the visitor center. When we got there, there was another funny woman who said “No. SNCF is not Spain. We only are Renfe.” So after an hour and a half of searching for SNCF in Madrid we were told that it was possible to change them in Barcelona and decided to forget about it for the night. Kelli and I didn’t really see the importance or purpose of changing our trains and trip because the money wasn’t that big of a difference and there was only a possibility of getting our money back. Klara understood it though so we vowed to try again in Barcelona. In my opinion, we were already on stop 2 of 3 for our trip, we had it all planned so we may as well have continued. Kelli was in agreement but we still said we would try again. Remember this for my entry in Barecelona.

Plaza d'Espagne.

Back to the sightseeing: We stayed directly across from Plaza d’Espagna. It was this nice square with a fountain, statues, and even two statues of Don Quichotte. Kelli was fascinated by that and she spent minutes trying to explain to me why he was so important to her. It was cool, but I still don’t see the wonderful importance of him. Oh well. When we visited the Tourism Office we got all these maps and I discovered there was a Hard Rock Café. I knew immediately that I had to go to get my mom a shirt. The address was 2 Place Caballos. We took the metro to a place close by and saw some of the modern parts of Madrid. We came across the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu..yes, soccer fans, the REAL MADRID stadium! We took some pictures and continued on, noticing that the addresses we were by were 187, 185, 183 and later, 163, 161. After walking for at least thirty minutes, I realized we were never going to make it there by foot. I was hungry and tired at this point and wanted to take a cab. No one cared much for that idea, but I said I wasn’t going to walk two hours to buy a shirt. Thankfully, after seeing the biggest, most inviting mall ever, they agreed to come with me in the cab. We saw the biggest Spanish flag I have ever seen (okay, and maybe the only one, too) and a cool statue. Turns out, Hard Rock Café was the furthest point from anyway any hidden on a street corner. We went inside and got our shirts and decided to have a nice warm dinner. I had ranch for the first time in three months and our drinks had lots of ice and free refills. You learn to appreciate the small things in life when you don’t have them J Just kidding, but it was a really good meal and my shirt/shot glass collection is quickly growing!

Exhibit A of my growing souvenirs.

Monday we were set for a full day of getting the best of Madrid. We first visited the Temple de Debod, an old Egyptian temple devoted to gods Amus and Isis which the Egyptian government gave to Spain in 1968. It was cool and gave a nice view of Madrid. Of course the museum was closed on Monday so we couldn’t go in. Next we walked and played through the Jardines de Sabatini. They were very pretty! Lots of trees and shrubs that were cut neatly to make designs, more statues, and, who guessed it, fountains! We continued our streak of spelling the places with our bodies and attempted “Madrid”. Not as easy with only three people, but we succeeded. We continued on to the Royal Palace of Madrid where the line to visit was at least 300 people long, the cost was high, and the building was gorgeous. We opted to just walk around it and peek in through the gates. The line would have taken all day. Across the street from it was the Opera House with a garden in front of it that invited us ever so nicely to visit.

In front of Plaza Mayor with Kelli and Klara.

We wanted to visit the actual Tourism Office to book a flamenco show. Enter Plaza Mayor: a huge plaza with shops in every hole and people all over. Street entertainers were in abundance: men with no heads, “statues”, a horrible fat, ugly, Spiderman who did the dumbest things, and some weird sparkly dog/camel. The things people come up with! On to our next destination, we ate gelato in Puerta del Sol, saw more smaller plazas with statues, some churches, The Palace, and the Cibelles Fountains. It was this time that the funny tourist man said “How many fountains do you want to see?” that also became quite the joke of our trip. After discovering there was no show about the fountains (it’s in Barcelona) we headed home for dinner.

One of the fountains.

Tuesday our first stop was the Real Madrid Stadium. Eat your heart out soccer fans! I toured it all, and even kissed Cristano Ronaldo! Okay, not a “real” kiss but still! This stadium was way cool! You start off with a view from one of the highest points of the stadium to get a full view. Very neat! Then, you continue on through the museum. I’ll just say this: The Real Madrid club is not shy about their greatness, history, or any of the accomplishments. I mean, they have a right to be, but I have never seen it so blatantly stated. Every other sentence was “Take a good look at these 9 trophies: It is the only time they will ever be in the same room” or “The best club ever in history”. The museum was really interesting though. It talked about the accomplishments of the club, both in soccer and basketball, the history and the changes of the uniform and crest, the awards, the best players in the history, trophies, pictures, philanthropy things, and lots more. It took us forever to go through it! After the museum part we got to go around the field and visit the “box” seats which were practically recliners. We got to go on the field (somewhat) and sit in the most comfortable bleachers for the players ever; again, like recliners! Then we toured the Visitor locker room (we couldn’t do the Real Madrid one because of “privacy”) and it had a huge shower, hot tub, and all sorts of goodies. We saw the press room and got to sit on the stage being “interviewed”. The store finished off our tour where they have even more Real Madrid things than OU. Hello, Real Madrid luggage. Get on that Sooners! Just kidding, please don’t.

After three hours in the stadium, we went to the Plaza de Toros where they have bullfights. I was excited to visit it, but of course the entrance hours were 1:30-3:30 and it was 4:30. We had a late lunch and decided on what else to see. Madrid has a “Tour d’Espange” which I thought would be really cool! I imagined an Eiffel Tower type thing, but not in that much glory. Well, not any glory is what we got. It was a huge disappointment and, in my opinion, was a satellite tower. Why it was on the map of “things to see” still confuses me. After that letdown, we headed back towards Puerta del Sol to see our flamenco dance, but cut through the Jardines del Buen Retiro. They. Were. Beautiful. A huge semi-circular moment thing that looked across a manmade “lake” was the perfect spot to soak in the park and the sights. We then we to the flamenco show. I pictured just a man and a woman, with all this emotion and big, flow-y dresses, all passionate and cool. Not what I got, but I didn’t walk away disappointed. It was at a theatre and so we got more of a show. It was still wonderful! The dancers’ legs more SO fast and their upper bodies stay completely still. It was a little over an hour of pure entertainment and amazement at how they do some of the stuff. There were flow-y dresses, fans, and the noise clapper things, great dances, and a very good performance!

Beautiful park.

Overall, Madrid was a very fun city, but, like I said, not my favorite place. It was very commercialized. There was a Starbucks about every corner (surprisingly, I refrained and drank normal coffee from Jamaica Café instead J) a TGI Fridays, McDonald’s and Burger King next to the Starbucks, and just not a pretty city. I mean, it was pretty, but it wasn’t as beautiful as I imagined. Maybe it was that it was a bustly, busy, go, go, go city that I wasn’t fond of. I’m not sure, but I found San Sebastian and Barcelona better. I would visit Madrid again, but for now I have my fill!

I also learned from Madrid that maps are harder to read than you think. Somehow, I (of all people) got stuck navigating and guess who doesn’t know north/south/east/west in Oklahoma, let alone Spain?! Yep, Moi! There’s some French for ya! We survived but sometimes I am sure we took the world’s longest ways. Also, three girls can be as opinionated or as un-opinionated as we want to be, same with decisive and indecisive. No one wanted to say what they wanted to eat for lunch, what to do next, or to walk or take the metro.  I was even making decisions (big surprise, huh?!) but I didn’t want to decide everything! I know it was the fatigue, stress of being in a new place and such that made it irritate me, but it would get so frustrating! I didn’t want to be rude and decide everything, but with two almost mutes it was necessary.

Thanks to Klara, who comes from the Czech Republic, I am not only learning French, but Czech as well! Okay, “learning” may be a bit of a strong word, but I am trying and definitely helping Klara get some abs by laughing so much. I can say “I am American”, “hello”, “I love you” “Goodbye”, “He/She is Czech/French/American”, “They are Czech/French/American”, “roller skates”, “thirsty” and some words I probably shouldn’t type J. I later learned to count to five and the different sounds the accents make, but that was Toulouse and I don’t have much practice with those. Don’t ask me to say it because I want to perfect all my skills before presenting them to the world.

As you can see, Madrid was quite the learning experience!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

San Sebastian=Paradise!

Well, followers...I am back from Spain: 700 pictures later, exhausted, laundry out the wazoo, and safe and sound!

Since I visited four different cities and took hundreds of pictures (I guess my mommy taught me well) I am doing a blog entry for each city! I will post some of my favorite pictures along in the blog, but the others will be in a slideshow at the bottom!

San Sebastian was perfect, but having to be at the trian station at 6:11...not so much! It was freaking early and I had been up the night before watching my old guilty pleasure: The O.C. We had a picnic in Bordeaux for breakfast because we had an hour wait for the next train. Then, we finally made to Spain! We walked outside the train station to a beautiful new city! Full of life, sunlight, and places just dying to be seen by us!

We had to cross a bridge from the train station to get to the center and we were constantly surrounded by water.
It was Friday afternoon when we arrived so we decided to find the Office of Tourism (our favorite place in every city) and checked into our hotel. We passed the beautiful Cathedral of El Buen Pastor, shops shops and shops, a pit stop at the beach, and, wait for it...GELATO!!! For those of you who don't know, gelato is my favorite thing in the whole wide world apart from the Jonas Brothers and BWW. I first had it in Italy when I visited Europe for the first time and was instantly addicted. It's basically ice cream, but a thousand times better. More flavors, creamier, and just wonderful. I should have kept track of how many I ate while in Spain, but I will say it was one day, and sometimes two :)

Enough about wonderful gelato..we made a pit stop at the beach, found our hotel and got ready to sight see! Our first night was pretty laid back. We walked halfway up Mount Urgull and found lots of exciting things: a big Dieu (God), a lizard, flowers, and wonderful sights of San Sebastian!

Dieu was always watching over us. He sat atop Mount Urgull and looked over San Sebastian.
Simply beautiful.
The Victoria Eugenia Theatre.

Cathedral of El Buen Pastor
The beach was right below us! It was beautiful. 

At the top of Mount Urgull, we met some kids from Nevada, Ohio, and Kentucky who were all studying abroad and passing some time in San Sebastian. It was nice to see students taking advantage of the opportunities the world has, and I am blessed to be a part of it. We visited the History museum where pictures were our best friend because it was all in Spanish! We saw surfer's beach, sat on top of Mount Urgull and talked, relaxed, keeping cautious to not fall off the edge. Friday night we grabbed dinner and decided to head to the beach. I was determined to swim in it, but after seeing how cold it really was, I changed my mind. Plus, the evenings got kind of chilly anyway! We bought a bottle of this cider that was really cheap and really, really gross. Klara and I weren't about to waste our 3 euro, so we eventually finished it and I got the great idea to put a message in a bottle! I know it sounds silly, but I think it would be really cool to see if someone finds it and writes back. I wrote to a stranger what we were doing, how we liked San Sebastian, and threw my bottle into the ocean Saturday morning. I will patiently wait for a response and probably forget about my bottle in the next two months.

Saturday was a dreary day. It was rainy, chilly, and ugly. We weren't going to let that stop us! We walked along the ocean where we found HUGE waves, more churches, took a coffee and spoke French all the day, and shared the joy of Klara's having her very first churros, or "Churritos" as they came to be known. At the top of Mount Urgull, we found an English Cemetary and there was a small path that invited us ever so nicely to cross it.  We began to climb and climb. Did I mention it had been raining all day and that equals mud. One can only guess what happens next...

Yup, I fell. Right knee and both hands as my feet were sliding down. Quite the event. I'm so graceful :)

Thankfully Kelli had some water that I could wash my hands with. It was quite the adventure of climbing the hill. We then walked to the complete other side of San Sebastian to see this art stuff that was on the coast. No one knew it was a 45 minute walk. In the cold, drizzling rain, it seemed like it lasted five hours. We were all bundled up in our jackets trying to stay dry and hoping what we were about to see was worth it. I think I should become a spokesperson for North Face because my North Face rain jacket that I have is my new best friend. It was soaked from all the rain, but I never got wet. It was warm, has a hood, and kept me quite dry.  You should know I wouldn't remember my umbrella but at least I remembered my coat!

After walking the mountains, walking the coasts, we went for dinner at a cafe and then decided we wanted to go out that night. We found a bar on one of the streets around the corner from our hotel and decided to go there. Klara kept mentioning Sangria and I figured what better place to try it than in Spain. Apaprently the bar tender thought so too, and probably realized we were tourists because it was 6 euro! Granted it was a big glass, but that is a lot of euro for one drink! Obviously this bar wasn't the hopping place because we were three of eleven people in there total, so we peaced out.
Klara and I with our 6 euro Sangria's from the sketchy bar.

We went to another bar when disaster happened. Klara went to the bathroom and I ordered us 2 more Sangrias. When she came back and reached for her wallet, it wasn't there. We immediately checked the bathrooms, all over that bar, and the previous bar we visited. Klara was a disaster and none of us knew how in the world it happened. We were all wearing our purses the same way, none of us had been alone, and we were not at all throwing our wallets around. It was terrible. We searched everywhere and then Klara's dad said we should go to the police to get record of it. That took us another hour to find the police station. Thankfully, a nice waitress from our place at dinner saw us. She spoke English and helped us out a lot. During the disaster, all the bars and restaurants we went into were nice, except for the one with the 6 euro Sangria. Even the Police were nice for police. Eventually we made it home. It was quite the long day, but we had done all we could. We had an early train to Madrid so we finally went to sleep.

"Empy Construction".
Gelato. I was in heaven! It was so cheap too!

Honestly, I loved San Sebastian and would jump at any opportunity to go back. Especially when it is warmer to just lay on the beaches or on top of Mount Urgull. We had a nice and cheap hotel with a great location, and there was gelato everywhere! How could I not like it? I kept thinking throughout my entire trip just how lucky I am. I saw so many beautiful sights in all three cities and it makes me sad to think that some people never get an opportunity to see what else the world has to offer. I thought to myself that I am living in landlocked Oklahoma (which I love) when I could live somewhere where I could swim in the ocean while looking at the mountains in the background. I cannot describe how thankful I am that I get to see the world. I have this desire now, more than ever, to travel. I feel there is so much the world has to offer in big and small cities, beachfront or mountains, hills or flat as home, it is just amazing. The Earth, history, art, cultures, lifestyles of different ways of life are fascinating to me. I am sure my Mom will disown me if I go abroad again, but I can't promise that I won't do it :) Not for studying, but for working or vacationing or even backpacking across Europe. I want to see it all!

Sorry for my serious moment. I just really appreciate what opportunity I have in front of me right now and I want to share it with everyone.