I’ve been flying and travelling to quite a few places recently, in and outside of the UK (mainly outside – yay). Okay, where do I start? In November 2015 I visited Barcelona with my partner – it was amazing, so much jaw-dropping architecture too. Fast forward to February 2016 it was another trip to Madrid, then May was Milan, June was (cringe) Magaluf for a girls holiday and up till now, September was a family trip to the South of Spain.
Barcelona 2015 – Sunny, warm, but then suddenly chilly!
This was surprisingly the first time I had ever travelled to mainland Spain, I had only been on family trips to the Canary Islands – as Mum & Dad felt it was a little more touristy than the mainland.
We packed so much into this trip, baring in mind we were only there for 3 or 4 days – there were arguments, tired feet and laughs . The first place I wanted to visit was the Sagrada Familia -as I love churches/cathedrals and their impressive architecture, it definitely did not disappoint! I’m not religious at all, but there’s something about churches that makes everything on the outside feel like it stops in time and all that matters is what’s going on inside the peaceful church.
I didn’t realise that in Barcelona the locals did not speak Spanish, they spoke Catalan, this was so confusing to me as it sounded like a mix between Spanish and French. We also visited the Gothic Quarter in the heart of the city, Park Guell featuring some of Antony Gaudi’s work, Barcelona Zoo, Parc de la Cuitadella, Placa de Espana, Arc de Triomf and more!
Madrid 2016 – Freezing!
February is my birthday month, and decided to take a trip to mainland Spain again with my partner – this time we were heading to the capital! I must say, I was a little disappointed as to how rude and un-friendly some of the locals were, maybe it was because it was so cold? I’m not too sure. I did quite a lot of research before we travelled to Madrid and it seemed like there was so much to do, however on our last day we were starting to get a little bored, as we had pretty much visited everywhere, but we made the most of it.
I would say my favourite place in Madrid, had to be San Gines Chocolateria, famous for its churros – they were delicious, with melted pure hot chocolate sauce to dip. Plaza Mayor, Buen Retiro Park and the Royal Palace of Madrid were all very impressive with it’s architecture. The Temple of Debod was a strange place to come across, a reconstructed ancient Egyptian temple, it was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid – we saw the temple near sunset which was very pretty – there were some great high views too.
On my birthday we decided to go to a local, traditional restaurant, where we had paella (obviously), and a sneaky shot or two of vodka! The food was amazing, the atmosphere vibrant and the staff were lovely too – I would really recommend visiting Taberna Alhambra on Calle Victoria.
Milan 2016 – Unexpected
So our adventure to Milan was a little different, it was a quick, last minute decision to visit somewhere for a couple of days. I had always wanted to go to Milan, but maybe I should have looked into it more – we still had a lovely time!
We were so lucky with the weather during the May season, I think from what I can remember, it reached around 26-27 degrees, which I did not pack for and really regret it! The area we stayed in we though was quite close to the center, how wrong were we – it was about a 30 minute walk from the apartment to the Duomo.
When we arrived we had to try and navigate our way on the old style buses or trams as I would describe them – the driver did not speak any English and we did not speak any Italian – disaster. Luckily he asked if anyone on the tram could speak English, and a lovely lady helped us get on and to our stop. Let’s just say we did not use the trams again – public transport was very confusing, therefore we tried to avoid it as much as possible. We did however manage to work out that the underground was not as complicated and obviously so much better than walking!
One of the first places we wanted to see was of course the Duomo di Milano, the city’s cathedral – and was it impressive! There was an underground section which was a little spooky and there was a ceremony going on in a circle shaped room – it really looked like a seance was going on! Once we had explored the large cathedral we were able to go up to the rooftops – I think it’s one of the most memorable things I had ever done so far – the views were insane.
Along with visiting a few other places including the grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and Sforza Castle, we made a trip to somewhere people may think is a little strange, weird etc. We discovered the Cimitero Monumentale di Milano – translating into cemetery of Milan. This really wasn’t your average cemetery and church, it was a large scale, grand, peaceful and beautiful church with massive grounds. It was interesting to see such grand monuments of family members and also mausoleums, which I have never seen in person before. Many famous and well respected Italians have been buried here including famous poet Alessandro Manzoni. The cemetery was founded in 1866 – looking on the outside and at some of the areas it looked alot older.