Just a regular woman out to see the world and experience as much of it as possible.

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa May 18th 2023

Portugal has been on my must visit list since I was a child reading Robinson Crusoe. I was obsessed with being a pirate and this country has plenty of seafaring history to draw me in and that might be what set me up for major culture shock when I arrived. My hotel is located within the “Bombay” area as my taxi driver stated, which makes sense (now) given the colonial legacy of the Portuguese in Southeast Asia. I can much easier find Indian food than traditional Portuguese food, though I did the best I could as far as finding local foods. Portugal is different and perhaps that is purely because of my expectations for coming to this place - afterall, how do you visit a seafaring nation? I joined a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and took the ... read more
Typical thoroughfare

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville May 16th 2023

Seville, yet another beautiful city on my trip through Spain. A quick train ride from Cordoba, Seville has the narrow streets, requisite cathedral, and bustling tourist service industry of the other areas, though has its own flavor as well. Flamenco appears to be what most people know of this area, well besides the biggest cathedral in the world and the fact that royalty can stay here at times in the Alcazar. I am about churches out, so even if I could get tickets (they are sold out), I'm not sure I could have gone inside and another tour through Catholic iconography, even though I've been very happy with my visits in the past. The streets are narrow and the everyday ornamentation is the area makes it fun to walk around. The orange trees are interwoven throughout ... read more
Serendipitous art work is the best
The seducer of Seville, Don Juan

Europe » Spain » Andalusia May 14th 2023

After another sleepless night in Granada, I caught the train to Cordoba, where in staying for less than 24 hours. I've already squeezed quite a bit into my stay here at my hotel is centrally located and I hopped on one of the tourist busses to do a tour of the city's sites which you can see in the pictures. Cordoba is known for leather products, olive plantations, and its incredible mix of Roman, Visigoth, Vandals, Muslim, Spanish (and more) history. The Mezquita is the only Mosque-Cathedral of its kind and speaks to that varied history. I checked out out this morning and it is a unique combination of obviously Muslim and Catholic design. This city feels different than the previous two, though the Castilian accent still takes something to get used to. Spanish in Mexico ... read more
The Roman Bridge

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada May 13th 2023

Granada - the city of pomegranates. Pomegranates (aka Granada) are a symbol fertility, birth, and eternal life and it was adopted as the name of this city buy Catholic monarchs after their final victory over the Moors. I've enjoyed my time here in this city which started with a quick flight from Barcelona where I think I saw the Sierra Nevada mountain range and miles of olive trees which was an interesting contrast to Barcelona which was very much built around squares and the port activity of the city. Granada has several things for the visitor and I was fortunate enough to find a good hotel right in the middle of the city, though I didn't realize at the time that my room is right next to an all-night club. So while I'm within walking distance ... read more
on the way to the Cathedral

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona May 11th 2023

While other cities have art interwoven throughout them, Barcelona is truly in a class of its own with artistic elements to be found throughout nearly every street you find. This morning started with a lovely local breakfast of mushrooms, avocado, eggs, and chorizo. It was likely the best omelette I have ever had. Then on to getting a small tattoo souvenir before visiting Gaudi’s Park Guell. Originally designed as a housing complex, the park has become a municipal garden and tourist Mecca. The viaducts throughout are visually interesting and you’ll see in my pictures the lovely lizard at the entrance! You could spend a couple hours at the park - definitely get your tickets beforehand. Heading back, I ran into a large farmer‘s market that appeared to only consist of various honeys, teas, and herbs. After ... read more
Sagrada Familia Souvenir tattoo
Park Guell entrance

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona May 10th 2023

I love Barcelona! I had a smooth trip from El Dorado, Arkansas all the way to the doorstep of my hotel at my hotel near La Rambla, a tree-lined pedestrian friendly street that is well-known in the city. Vendors are set up along the way and you can walk along just enjoying the ambiance of the city. This morning I made my way over to La Sagrada Familia, an incredibly beautiful basilica designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. 135 years after it started, it is still under construction and should be completed before the end of the decade. Through the various photos I’ve shared you can see the various scenes from the Bible as as well as the natural elements incorporated throughout. After spending a few hours at the basilica I spent most of the day walking ... read more

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Osaka December 19th 2022

Today we utilized our trusty JR Rail Passes and went to Osaka, the second largest city in Japan. Osaka is the site of the Osaka Castle, a beautifully rebuilt castle filled with a lovely museum and a great view of the city. afterwards we enjoyed some regional food before coming back to Kyoto to find the WW2 memorial, a temple, and an interesting shopping area. It’s been a long day - the sites here are largely spread out so while it might take a bit to get where you are going , it’s worth it. Tomorrow back to Tokyo and then back to the US.... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto December 18th 2022

Today we tightened up our laces and got some good walking in to a breakthrough bamboo forest and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Both were in different directions, but we found them via public trains and busses. You'll see one of my pictures is if a pictorial in the toilet. Japan does toilets right! Seats are heated, but not in a way where you are feeling the ghost of the previous occupant, does go to the floor with no huge cracks, there's an option in most to turn on a running water noise so no one can hear what you're up to, and overall it's the best toilet experience in the planet. Ridiculous that I'm writing this? Yes. Am I sincere? Also yes. Japan is wonderful and I am so glad I came in December during the off ... read more
Write your  wish
My wish
The bamboo forest

Asia » Japan » Kyoto December 17th 2022

Such a fun day! Today we first participated in a tea ceremony where we were dressed in kimonos and had traditional matcha tea. Even though I am very much not the typical size (both height and width) of a woman here they were extremely accommodating and made it a truly memorable experience. We walked through Nishiki Market, a market for all sorts of local foods and the place where I was able to eat my must have, octopus stuffed with a quail egg. It was so good! Lunch was filled with squid, more octopus and dumplings. Then! You all will love this- we enjoyed coffee while petting cats in the Fluffy cafe and then played with otters at a different site. I understand that we must consider the ethical implications of these sorts of visits, but ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Arashiyama December 16th 2022

Today we utilized our Japan Rail Passes and boarded a train to Kyoto, luckily catching sight of Mt. Fuji on the way. Today we visited the Kyoto Tower and saw the entirety of the city while roasting alive. Seriously, everyone here is so tiny they ramp up the heat to meet the chill of December. One thing that's really surprised me is just how much time you can spend in the rail station- there's so many shops and places to eat, you really could spend days in them. The architecture you see in the photos today are from the Kyoto station- just an incredible site to appreciate in and of itself. It's been a busy day so it's lovely to turn in to a nice hotel room and relax. ... read more
I love bookstores!
Bookstore cont.
Throughout the city

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