Page 3 of Awilliams Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia April 9th 2010

Friday, April 9 We slept in and then the young people went out to the beach after breakfast. We lazed around in our bathing suits, taking in the sun, and then decided to have some sangria at a cafe nearby. This is when the phrase "Amigos de Vacanzia!" was coined. Never mind that the word for "vacation" in Spanish is "vacationes", Julien started saying "Amigos de Vacazia!" to refer to us, and so it stuck! And for the rest of our time together, this was the phrase that we would often be shouting to refer to each other, but also in random proclamations of sangria-induced joviality. And so, as Amigos de Vacanzia! we sunbathed some more and then decided to borrow the bikes that the adults (read: old people) had rented to go to the ... read more

Europe » Spain » Region of Murcia » Murcia April 8th 2010

Thursday, April 8 We hit the road early again, hoping to reach Murcia by late afternoon. All in all we would be driving almost 950 miles from Besancon, France to Murcia, Spain. By late morning we crossed the Spanish border--yipee! Immediately the landscape seemed different. There were rolling hills covered in coarse vegetation, there were yellow flowers dotting the grass patches, there were mountains in the distance (the Pyrenees) and of course: there were orange trees! Orange trees and olive trees as far as the eye could see! We stopped at a cafe along the road for breakfast. I had a pastry, coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice that was out of this world. The coffee, however, was terrible (Spanish coffee is said to be very low in quality, but then again I was with ... read more

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Perpignan April 7th 2010

Wednesday, April 7 We all rose around 6am chez Christine and packed the car to leave. I met Joachim's two sons: Julien and Jonathon, who are both very handsome and around my age. Here are the cast of this great adventure: Adults (aka old people) Christine Joachim (Christine's friend) Fanny (Joachim's girlfriend) Isabelle (Christine's friend) Josette (Christine's friend) Lola (Pierre-Jean's Spanish host mom) Amigos de Vacanzia! (aka young people) Me Cyntia Rejane (Isabelle's daughter) Julien (Joachim's son) Jonathon (Joachim's son) Paco (Lola's 13 year old son) Pierre-Jean (Christine's son) Without much delay, we all hit the road in our three car... read more

Europe » France » Franche-ComtĂ© » Besançon April 6th 2010

Time passed. Around 5am, things started coming alive and then around 6am, Cyntia and I went through security and boarded the plane. We were in Paris before 9am! Then we took the RER to the TGV and returned to Besancon. At Christine's house I met PJ for the first time, and he drove us back to the CROUS. Cyntia and I had about 5 hours between the time we arrived at the CROUS to the time PJ came to take us to St. Lupicin to meet up with everyone to go to Spain. I repacked my bag, choosing to take my larger backpack for the next trip, and posted pictures on Facebook. It was nice to have a few hours to relax because it had been a whirlwind getting back and our vacation was only ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Valeggio sul Mincio April 5th 2010

Monday, April 5 After three lovely days in Venice, it was time to head back to Milan, where we would be catching our plane to Paris the next day. We spent a leisurely morning in Venice, and walked around some more, taking one last cappuccino. I was sad to leave such a beautiful city. We took the noon train to Milan. From the Stazione Centrale, we walked into the heart of the town. Milan has a very different feel compared to Venice. It's big, fast paced, there's actually cars on the road, and it's more modern. It's another world actually. In Milan we walked past churches and stopped in a nice park. The sun came out and we reposed for a while. Then we visited the Duomo which was awesome! It's the big famous cathedral ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 4th 2010

Sunday, April 4, Easter We rose and took the water bus to San Marco, the famous square in Venice. We waited in line for a long time to get into the Basilica di San Marco--after all it was Easter! We couldn't enter the basilica proper because of the Easter mass, but we were able to enter the museum and climb the tower. From the museum, it was possible to look over in the basilica from the balcony, and wow! The whole interior is done is golden mosaic! it was completely breathtaking. The strong smell of incense, mixed with the angelic singing of the choir below and the overwhelming luminosity of the space was incredible. Cyntia gets antsy when she is anywhere for too long, so she went ahead, and I stayed for a while just ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 3rd 2010

Saturday, April 3 We had a leisurely morning, and went strolling around some more. I noticed that there were tables in the streets and wondered if there was going to be some kind of party. We eventually decided to visit Murano--an island famous for its glass-blown creations. So we went back towards the train station and bought a 48 hr. water bus pass for 28 euro. In Venice, the public transportation system is the water bus for three reasons: 1) the streets are too narrow and convoluted for buses, 2) the best way to get anywhere is by water!, and 3) it's more fun this way. The water bus system is like any other bus system; there are stops and certain lines that you take to get from here to there. They run all night, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 2nd 2010

Friday, April 2 Our flight landed in Milan around 8:00am. We then found a shuttle company that would take us into downtown Milan where we could catch a train to Venice. After a ride of about 40 minutes, we were at Milan's Stazione Centrale. We waited in line to buy our ticket, but unfortunately, we had just missed one train, and the next one was full. So we had to take the 12:30 train. With some time to kill, we decided to grab a bite the eat. There didn't seem to be much around, so we decided to go the the Milanese McDonalds--my first Mickie D's experience in Europe. An interesting note: McDonald's in Milan have bouncers! There was this big guy in a suit, and his only job was the straighten the chairs and ... read more

Europe » France » Paris April 1st 2010

Thursday, April 1 Though I was supposed to have two classes, I skipped both of them because I still had several things to do before our 6:00pm train to Paris. With only one small backpack each, Cyntia and I took the TGV to Paris and decided to go strolling around before we went to Hotel Charles de Gaul (aka the airport where we would be spending the night). We took the metro to the Louvre stop and walked around the court and the pyramids. Everything was illuminated in such a beautiful way, and the night was calm and quiet with several stars poking out overhead. In one of the halls a tenor sax was playing. We continued strolling and crossed Pont Neuf, looking out over the Seine all the way to the Eiffel Tower. We ... read more

Europe April 1st 2010

E.A.T. ? You might be wondering what this puzzling, food-thought-inspiring anagram means. Though I will be elaborating on delicious dishes and placating plates of foreign food, that is by no means ALL that I have to tell you about. E.A.T., or "Epic April Trip", is the story of the last 3 weeks of my life, spent between northern Italy, Spain, and Portugal. During my spring break respite from French university life, I went on a quest to visit some of the most beautiful places on Earth, and some incredible times were had with friends both old and new. This story will be broken in four entries, as my experience of trip was of four very distinct parts. So why not begin now with Part I? Ok, if you insist! *note: if you are on "Italian time" ... read more

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