Page 7 of SlavicNerd Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Monaco » Monte Carlo November 8th 2009

Having allocated a decent amount of time to Nice itself, we decided on the third day to head to the tiny Principality of Monaco or "Principatu de Múnegu" in its native dialect of Ligurian, a western Romance language. At 33,000 people Monaco is the world's most densely populated sovereign country and the second smallest country after the Vatican. It would take maybe an hour to traverse the entire 2 km². It has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297 - the most famous member of the royal family was undoubtedly Grace Kelly who married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. The bus ride from Nice was a mere 1€ and hugged the incredible Mediterranean coastline for the entirely of the maybe 45 minute trip. Border control was non-existent, and suddenly we were in ... read more
Looking up toward the Palace
Heading up
Changing of the guard

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice November 8th 2009

The morning of our second full day on the Mediterranean we were once again greeted with a grey haze, but soon beautiful blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and sunshine came through and made for a glorious day. Comme d'habitude, we first set out for our morning café crème and croissant, this time at a different little bakery in the old town. These were just almond croissants, but the warm and creamy almond paste inside left us quite happy. Taking advantage of the sun, we decided we'd head up past the old town to the Tour Bellanda, a mid 19th century tower that supposedly was to offer spectacular views of the cityscape. First, however, we stumbled upon the city's cemetary, an absolutely incredible maze of old tombs and small mausoleums. With the backdrop of the old town ... read more
More delicious marzipan-y treats
Sainte-Reparate Cathedral
Walking up toward the cemetery looking down

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice November 7th 2009

Once arrived in Nice and thoroughly wanting to die from traveling so long, we headed to our hotel 'The Little Palace' just a few blocks from the ocean. I shared a room with Alex and Kelsey while Mike joined his two friends that came in from Paris in the room adjacent. It was a very nice place with one double and one single bed. Starving, we ventured out into town and found a place to share two pots of mussels and fries along with some beers. Pretty tasty, but not overly satisfying, hence a necessary croque brie second course at another place. This small mountain of cheese CERTAINLY left me satisfied. Walking around through what seemed to be the restauranty/touristy area, we eventually called it an early night as we were exhausted from travelling all day. ... read more
Chez Chekov and Matisse
Rusca Palais

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Toulouse November 7th 2009

A bit after 3am on Saturday the 31st, Halloween morning, we 3 American Palau residents got out of bed and gathered our belongings for the day's journey first to Toulouse, 3 hours away by bus, and then to Nice, another 6 or so hours via train. At a quarter to 5 we met our 4th traveling companion at the bus station and promptly boarded our Novatel shuttle. After a little less than 3 hours of half-sleeping and bobbling our heads every which way in darkness, we arrived in Toulouse. We hadn't anticipated being able to make the 8:17am train and instead opted for the noon-ish one, but realistically we could have made the earlier one given the demonic/rapid pace the driver took. That being said, we now had some 4 hours of kill in the city ... read more
Saint Sernice Basilica
Flea Market
Musical Instruments

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » La Seu d'Urgell October 23rd 2009

Last weekend marked the annual celebration of the Feast of Saint Ermengol in the Catalonian town of La Seu d'Urgell. It is supposedly documented as the oldest festival in all of Spain! La Seu d'Urgell, despite only having some 13,000 inhabitants, holds many festivals throughout the year and attracts people from throughout Catalonia as well as Andorra. It is also important in that the Bishop of La Seu is one of the Andorran co-princes. Said bishop actually died a few weeks ago, so now there's a new one, but that really isn't relevant. La Seu also was the site of the kayaking and canoeing activities for the Barcelona '92 olympics. Its Parc Olimpic del Segre still functions today. Other than that the city's appeal lies in its quaint little streets and its 13th century Romanesque Cathedral. ... read more

Europe » Andorra » La Vella October 16th 2009

My apologies for the lack of update in recent weeks, its just that I haven had anything overly exciting to report, nor have I traveled anywhere fun. Nonetheless Ill attempt to highlight some of the things that have been going on in my Andorran life for the past few weeks. Life in the Palau continues to go very well, and weve all very much adjusted to living here in the Ciutat de Valls. I really look forward to seeing the change in seasons via our wondrous view - theyve forecasted snow for Thursday! Our location really is ideal for getting all the buses, going to the butcher or baker, etc. The other day Alex and I decided to explore what was up behind our apartment building, and what do you know there was basically a trail ... read more
Housemates plus Andrew
Path along the top
Looking toward Santa Coloma

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 30th 2009

Well after 3 weeks of living in the prison known as Aparthotel Conseller I am finally free from such pleasantries as water being turned off without notice, paying for an internet that worked 1/300th of the time, and breathing in fumes from the construction that never seemed to cease. After some mild trauma with respects to securing a 4th person for our 4 bedroom apartment, Mike, Alex, and I convinced one of the Oxford students to take the 4th spot until she leaves around Christmas. After that...who knows...but for now it works out well money-wise and we are happy as clams. The place itself is located in the main Andorran city, Andorra la Vella, more specifically in the Ciutat de Valls, a neighborhood somewhat elevated and hence named "City of Valleys" literally. Since all four of ... read more
Other side
More kitchen

Europe » Andorra September 20th 2009

Here's just a quick update from today! Last night we decided it had been far too long since we had feasted, so while on a shopping excursion a quick pop into the Casa de Formatge was a no-brainer. I settled on a nice hunk of Morbier, Kelsey on a Basque Bleu, and Alex on Gouda “Light” (which tasted anything but light). I later picked up a half-wheel of Roblechon at Pyreneés. Meanwhile the Brits were taking care of the alcohol and selected a number of reds, plus this awful-looking liqueur that is, according to the bottle, “Tipic d’Andorra”. We had joked about trying it for some time and it was finally the time. Throw in a few tortillas (I remind you these are omelets, not flat corn or flour breads), some gin, port, jamón serrano, skewers ... read more
Casa de Formatge
Our Spread
More of Ordino

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 18th 2009

I sure wish I had my camera coming down the "mountain" from school today. After this morning's rainstorms the mountains were all covered in an eerie mist - I'll have to start bringing my camera out with me more often to catch such events. Anyway...I'm alive and well in the Pyrenees, though without too many exciting things to recount. Nonetheless I'll try to enchant you with the details of my day to day life. Since we all know what I actually want to talk about, let's cut to the chase and have a look at what I've been eating. Though adjusting to our new schedules and teaching-loads has put a slight hold on our frequent feasts, we still are eating quite well. Perhaps the most interesting night's meal was inspired by a cute little package of ... read more
Lovely cheese spread

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid September 11th 2009

Day two began with another round of talks, this time about security abroad and things of that sort. Breakfast was significantly better thanks to what seemed to be freshly baked chocolate croissants. Molt bé. Once done with the official business, we again headed out to be tourists. First stop was food, though, since we had been obsessed with finding a Döner Kebab since arriving in Iberia. Taking Jordí's advice we found a nice little place on Calle de la Cruz near Sol. Yum. Not having much of an itinerary we then continued to wanter about the city, first passing through the Plaza de Cibeles, where the gorgeous Post Office, Bank, and Cervantes Institute are located. A stroll down Gran Vía then took us for a bit of shopping down Fuencarral. Despite all the cheap shoes I ... read more
Doner Kebab

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