Page 7 of SlavicNerd Travel Blog Posts

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

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid September 10th 2009

After more or less settling in Andorra it was time for a little trip outside the country to Madrid, my old stomping grounds! Invited by the Spanish Fulbright commission, we had in store for us a number of talks geared for all the TA and research grantees throughout the country. Obviously we'd also be meeting said grantees and spending a fair amount of time with them. At 3pm on Monday afternoon we walked down the street where our bus to Lleida, one of the larger cities in Catalunya (Spain), picked us up. From Lleida, a bit less than 2 hours away, we then caught the Ave, Spain's high speed train line to Madrid. Sometime between 9 and 10 that evening we were settling into one of the Madrid's University dorms. Dinner was only provided until 10:30, ... read more
Catedral Real
Catedral Real

Europe » Andorra » Soldeu September 7th 2009

After our first morning of sleeping in, Alex, Kelsey, and I did a bit of shopping, first stopping at the Casa de Formatge. This store is, as you may have guessed, entirely devoted to cheese and has ample free samples. There is also a restaurant on the 2nd floor that offers everything from raclette to fondue to just plain cheese tables. You can even buy a hardcore raclette device that really is just a heat source and cheese mount so you can actually just smother your food with melted cheese from one giant hunk - no fuss with paddles. I look forward to the day I have a mental breakdown and calm myself via shoving pounds of cheese from this place down my throat. Our next stop at the food section of the Pyrenées department store ... read more
Some of the group

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 4th 2009

The next day in Andorra brought an even earlier appointment with which to start the day - 7am blood tests. At 6:30 we met in the lobby to make the trek to the hospital. Now Fulbright had already demanded from us the paperwork from a full physical including blood work and tb test, but of course Andorra wanted it AGAIN. No matter that two PPDs within a few months of one another can result in TB symptoms. Hogwash! We were all out of there by 7:45, with only one British girl having an issue with nausea before finally getting over it and completing the short visit. Afterwards those of us with the 9am appointment with Jordí went for coffee and fresh croissants before heading further into town to meet him, as well as Risha, at the ... read more
El Gran Llibre de la Cuina Catalana
Teacher's Lounge
Central Courtyard

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 2nd 2009

Day two started bright and early as we had to be at the government buildings quite at 9am to meet our liaison, Jordí to start all the paperwork. We had also learned that there were in fact 3 students from Oxford joining us for the first few months and met Rakhi, who was also staying in our Aparthotel. Jordí was great - somewhere in his 30s, nicely dressed with a little European scarf and nice shoes and with excellent English. The whole immigration process is somewhat tedious, and without our Residence Card we can't really do much in the country. For the next few days we would be running around to various government buildings and even the hospital for blood tests - the residence card wouldn't be ours for another week or so. Lame. The bank ... read more
How artistic!
Casa de la Vall

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 2nd 2009

Well as you all may have guessed I've made it to the mountains valleys of Andorra. Chris and my last morning together, as you may have guessed, was rather traumatic, but once I shifted my mind to the exciting few days ahead I calmed down and was fine once I got to the bus station. I had maybe 40 minutes to kill at station, but by 10:15 I was ready to board and seated right in the front row with the best view of the journey in to the Pyrenees. A few minutes later I noticed who I was fairly certain was another of the Fulbrighters standing outside the bus, but he got on without looking at who was around so I figured I'd just wait til we got to Andorra to meet and just relax ... read more
View from our window
And from the other window...
In front of the Parliament

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 31st 2009

Day two in Barcelona, our last full day together, started around 10 when we woke up after a hot, uncomfortable night’s sleep on a shitty mattress. The plan was to hit up Corte Inglés for a) shampoo and soap, since I had left my stuff at Inés’ mistakenly, and b) get an outlet converter since Chris had left mine in Valencia. Well I had conveniently forgotten it was Sunday, when all the shops are closed all day long. Perfect. Our dreams of a cheap lunch from the supermarket were also crushed. Alas, instead we decided to soak up some Barcelona culture at the local McDonalds where we knew we could at least get free WiFi with ordering something. I got a cup of coffee and a donut for 1 euro, which gave us 30 minutes. We ... read more
Palau de la Musica
Not sure...

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona August 30th 2009

THe next morning we were up bright and early for our train to Barcelona, the final stop on our trip together. Inés and Javi drove us to the station at Xàtiva some 40 minutes away, since apparently the trains to Barcelona only came through there, and not Alcoi. The train ride itself was painless, though I was irritated to find out that despite our Preferente ticket status, we were not sitting in the lap of luxury nor were we getting food. Apparently that was only on EuroMed trains, and this one was Tarco. Whatever. Arriving in Barcelona it was surprisingly cool, but thanks to lots of stairs in the metro and 300 lbs of baggage, I was dripping wet. A Metro attendant was kind enough to comp our tickets since for some reason the machines didn't ... read more
Placa de Espanya

Tot: 0.3s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 18; qc: 130; dbt: 0.0682s; 130; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 6.7mb