Weeks 11 & 12: Spring Break in España

For spring break, our university generously gave us two weeks off.  (Shout out: Robert Sorbonne). For our two weeks off we decided to travel to Spain- what better way to forget all the French we have learned throughout the semester??  Here is a summary of our trip including the links to the hostels I enjoyed and some restaurant!
Barcelona April 12-15
Upon arriving to Barcelona and after checking into our hostel – which was lovely- the next logical thing to do was to seek out tapas.  Since I had been to Barcelona before, I recognized the area that we were staying in and remembered a fun tapas bar around the corner.   The next day we took a free walking your around the Gothic and old quarters of the city and learned some history about the region.   After our tour, we had lunch at a wonderful cafe called Cara Bella where we split a tapas plate (tomato bread, tortilla espanola, olives, cheese and ham.. Oh my!) annnnnnddd a large pitcher of cava sangria. It was amazing. We spent the rest of the day wandering around Barceloneta and lounging on the beach.  The following day we went to the Bocqueria – huge covered market- a foodies dream- had some fresh fruit and juice and then picked up some salami, cheese and bread for our day at Parc Guell.    Later that night we treated ourselves to a dinner of paella at Las Caracoles in the Gothic quarter.
Magaluf, Mallorca April 15-17
Preface: Some how when we were planning our Spain trip, we thought that this would be a good idea.
Magaluf is basically a British settlement on the Spanish island of Mallorca.  There was no Spanish food, only cheap pubs and a ton of places to get an English breakfast.  The first day we were there we were very confused and sort of hated it.  (It was also off season so that didn’t help).  The second day we discovered the “fun” area but it was super trashy and still empty.   I can imagine it would be more fun when there are actually people there.
Instead, we went on a boat tour and spent the day at the beach getting some much needed vitamin d.   We also found a Tex-Mex place for dinner which was a wonderful thing compared to all of the other choices we had. Our last day in Magaluf we decided to go to the Spanish town of Palma and it was super gorgeous!   There’s a big fort, castle and church and we explored and it was really nice.  (Should have stayed there).   In Magaluf, we stayed at a apartment style hotel where we were the only non Nordic people… I felt like a troll.
Barcelona April 17-19
After Magaluf we returned to Barcelona just to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  We went to Sagrada Familia (the Gaudi church) and went to see his other buildings.  We got some Wok to Walk for lunch since the Bocqueria was closed for Good Friday.  Then we went to the Picasso museum and walked around Ciutadella park for a while.  Then we headed down to Barcelonetta again and rented bikes! The rest of our night consisted of eating paella, drinking sangria and attempting to go to Opium- but we got there at 12:30 and it was empty and there was no way we could just wait.. Plus we were super underdressed.  The next day we went back to the Bocqueria for lunch and then went to catch the train to our next destination.
Valencia April 19-22
We arrived in Valencia via train later in the evening, so after checking into our hostel we headed out for dinner.  We went to a wonderful Moroccan place that the hostel owner recommended in the super hip area of Valencia called Russufa.  The food was absolutely amazing and a total bargain too! The next day was Easter so a lot of things were closed which was not ideal.  We did all the museums and monuments and since it was a beautiful day, we just walked around and explored.  The next day we went closer to the water and explored the big arts and sciences museum that Valencia had.  (Things were still closed on Monday).  For our last meal in Valencia we went back to the Moroccan place because it was just so so delicious!
Madrid April 22-24
We arrived in Madrid early in the morning so after checking into our hostel, we went on a free walking tour of the city.  Madrid is waaaay bigger than I had expected so the 2 hour tour barely covered any ground but it was good to learn some history and see some main attractions.  After the tour we met up with some AU friends and explored the Tribunal area.  Then we met up with another friend and he took us to the market and we had snack and then we went to a cool hookah bar/ restaurant for dinner in the Gay neighborhood of Madrid.  The next day we did more touristy things like going to the Reina Sofia museum and to the Prado.  We also went to the Parc Del Retiro to row boat on a pond thing and just walk around the park.   It was a lovely time!   Then he took us up to the top of the belle arts building where we had cafe con leche and admired the wonderful view of the city!  That night we went to a paella restaurant and it was absolutely amazing and since it wasn’t very crowded we got to talk to the chef and everything!
San Sebastián April 24-25
After our five hour train ride from Madrid, we arrived in San Sebastián, checked into our hostel and walked around the city.  We walked through the old part of town and along the water.  We climbed up to the fort that overlooks San Sebastián and the surrounding water for an amazing view.   We basically spent the first day wandering San Sebastián and had seafood for dinner.   Then it started pouring and we were exhausted so we called it an early night.  The next day we walked around some more and had our last cafe con leche and tapas for lunch and then caught our bus to the Bilbao airport to head back to Paris!

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