Kelly Verstat


Kelly Verstat

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville May 2nd 2018

Today is our final full day of our Spanish adventure. We spent the day in Seville, hitting all of the places we were unable to yesterday. We started our day at the Cathedral and all of the surrounding sites, including "La Giralda," or the bell tower. The Cathedral itself is the largest Gothic cathedral in all of Europe. It is home to numerous smaller chapels on various sides of the Cathedral. The main altar is quite the spectacle, as it looks like it is covered in solid gold plates and has theologic figures from floor to ceiling. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is housed within the Cathedral. We probably would have done better with audio guides through the museum, as it was not very English speaking friendly, but we made do. All of the placards and ... read more
High Altar
Seville Cathedral - 1

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville May 1st 2018

Today is Spain's National Labor Day, so the city was packed! We started our day trying to go to the Royal Alcazar Palace, to only find a line that was ridiculously long and not moving (in 20 minutes, they allowed in less than 50 people). We stood in it for a while, and decided to book a tour later in the day. In the meantime, we went to the Museo de Flamenco (The Flamenco Museum). This museum was an interactive museum with a lot of videos, costumes, artwork, etc. Cody and I learn best by having written information in front of us with the option to listen to audio/video, but with only having videos of different dancers showing the variations of flamenco, this museum was not for us. We liked walking around and watching some stuff, ... read more
Museo de Flamenco - Best picture we could find?
Mural Alcazar - C&K
Royal Alcazar - 1

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Ronda April 30th 2018

Last night we impulsively messaged a couple wineries to see if we could schedule a visit, and we were pleasantly surprised to see this morning a response from one saying we could do a tour and tasting today! Our tour was at 2:15 pm, so we started our morning with a trip to another white village, Setenil de las Bodegas, a town in which numerous businesses/houses/etc are literally built into rock formations. We walked around the town and were able to find a place for brunch at a cafe built into the rocks. With the owner not speaking English and the menu being entirely in Spanish, we successfully ordered our meal in Spanish! This was quite the accomplishment, because there were a lot of words on the menu we did not know the definition of in ... read more
Setenil de las Bodegas - C
Setenil de las Bodegas - K
Setenil de las Bodegas 2

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Ronda April 29th 2018

Every time we have the slight opportunity to sleep in, we somehow manage to miss our alarms! Today we slept until about 9:30 am, and went to grab breakfast in Granada. We enjoyed some empanadas and a croque-monsier (traditional French sandwich) before going to try to find some churros y chocolate. Churros & chocolate is a traditional Granada dish that is deep fried churros with hot chocolate on the side to dip the churros in. For breakfast, we definitely weren't quite in the mood, but it was worth trying and pretty good! Typically people enjoy this after a long night of partying at the clubs, but both of us would prefer something else as post drinking/partying food. Cody would want something more savory fried (i.e. burgers and fast food), I'd want ice cream or some other ... read more
Churros and Chocolate!
Ronda Countryside
Ronda Countryside 2

Europe » Spain » Andalusia April 28th 2018

Our big excursion for today was The Alhambra, Granada's main claim to fame (besides the free tapas!). We trekked the 20 minute uphill slanted brick stair climb to the Alhambra for our 8:30 am tour this morning. Whoever said vacation was "easy" has not had to endure the hills of Lisbon or Granada - the hills in the early morning do a better job waking you up and getting the blood flowing than any cup of coffee. The Alhambra is an old Moorish palace, built originally in the late 9th century and renovated in the 13th century in Granada. Alhambra means "The Red One," referencing the red brick used to build the palace. We were in a 29 person English guided tour with our tour guide Juan, and we were the only American's in the tour. ... read more
Granada Panoramic
Granada View - C&K
Granada View

Europe » Spain » Andalusia April 27th 2018

Today we learned the hard way being on Spanish time + early flights = not a great combination. After a late dinner last night, we had to turn around and get up at 4:30 am (as people were still out on the streets partying!), to catch our flight to Granada. We had a 7:20 am flight to Granada, which landed around 9:00 am. Barcelona is in northeast Spain, while Granada is in south east Spain at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Barcelona airport was a little tricky to check our bags, as it is all self check-in with a lot of people who don't know what they're doing / how to check their own things in, but, we made it! We both napped on the way to Granada, and then navigated our ... read more
Sierra Nevada - White Villages
Sierra Nevada - White Villages 2
Sierra Nevada - Cody

Europe » Spain » Catalonia April 26th 2018

We decided to take another day trip today to the mountain Monastery of Monserrat. We (of course) went and got our daily croissants at our new favorite breakfast place Patisseria Hoffman, Kelly getting a ham and cheese croissant again, Cody getting a chocolate apricot marmalade croissant as well as the ham and cheese croissant. We trekked the 40 minutes to the Barcelona train station (not nearly as close as we would have liked!), and were on our way to Monserrat by 10:30 am. The train ride is about an hour, and then we took a cable car up to the top of the mountain. The monastery dates back to the ninth century, with the abbey being built in the 11th century. Monserrat is the home to one of the oldest boys choirs worldwide, Escolania, which dates ... read more
Cable Car to the Mountain
Studying the Montserrat Map
Montserrat Basilica

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona April 25th 2018

Today we had another late start of a morning waking up around 9:30 am. We took another one of Rita's suggestions for breakfast, and went to Patisseria Hoffman. Not having our internet synced up, it was a bit of a challenge to find on the narrow, windy streets within El Born, but the extra walking just meant we could consume some extra calories, right? Cody had a strawberry cheesecake croissant and a cinnamon roll croissant, I had a had a ham and cheese croissant. Everything was delicious! Cody claims it's the best croissant he's ever eaten, so if you like croissants I guess you should book a trip to Barcelona ASAP with that endorsement. We will probably be eating there again tomorrow. :) We next went walking in downtown Barcelona to the coast. The weather was ... read more
Cody on Coast
Kelly on Coast
Making Cereal

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona April 24th 2018

We had an early start to our day with a 9:00 am flight out of Lisbon. We managed to hustle down our street to the front of the Museo de Fado between calling an Uber and them arriving, as we do not have cell service beyond our WiFi areas. Luckily, this was a trek down the street with our luggage versus the trek up a few days ago. We enjoyed breakfast in the airport, Cody embarking on a McDonalds meal. It hit the spot for him and gave him the taste of home he was looking for. On the plane, we finished our first complete crossword of the trip, as they are extremely hard puzzles, we both napped til arriving in Barcelona. We landed in Barcelona around 12:00 with the time change, and navigated our way ... read more
Batllo Roof
Batllo Courtyard
Batllo Interior Lighting

Europe » Portugal » Sintra April 23rd 2018

Today we decided to take a trip to the storybook-esque town of Sintra, Portugal. We made it up the windy roads of Lisbon this morning to the train station, and found our way. The train from Lisbon to Sintra is about 45 minutes, and round trip for both of us cost about 10 Euro. Sintra has a variety of palaces, chateaus, and gardens. They also have a bus system that takes you from place to place throughout the city, because while these monuments are all in "Sintra," the walks in between can take well over an hour to get from one point to the next, and the roads are quite steep. The bus system, however, was not the most...prompt. While it saved us steps and sweat, we had a lot of standing/sitting time waiting for the ... read more
"Cody Smile!" - The Aftermath...
Chapel at Monserrate

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