As first semester is finishing up, travel plans for next semester are falling into place, and it looks like I have plenty more amazing travels ahead!
- My mom and Valerie will be here in mid-February (after finals), and we plan to take a few daytrips to cities near Madrid, like Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, etc. The only nearby cities I’ve seen so far are Segovia and Aranjuez, so it will be awesome seeing more of the area.
- Connie and I are going to Valencia in mid-March for Las Fallas, the city’s major festival. I have yet to see Valencia (which I hear is really nice), and it will be super cool to be there for Las Fallas.
- For the first half of spring break, Connie and I are taking a trip to Andalucía. We’ll start out in Sevilla, one of the best places to visit during Semana Santa, or Holy Week, because of all of its processions and celebrations. Then we’ll go to Málaga, which also features Semana Santa celebrations and is on the beach, woot, followed by Nerja, a beachtown I visited in 2006 that I remember really liking, and Frigiliana, a gorgeous small town in the hills filled with whitewashed stucco houses that I fell in love with in 2006. I’m very excited because Andalucía, to me, is the “real” Spain (perhaps because it was the Spain I was introduced to in 2006), I love its culture, Semana Santa will be really interesting, it will be nice to be along the beach, and we found some good deals on transportation/hostels.
- After Andalucía, we’ll come back to Madrid for a few days and then take off for Italy! We’ll fly into Bologna and from there see Florence and Venice. Easter and the day after Easter are big days there, so we’ll get to see that. I loooved Italy when I went in November, so I’m psyched to go back.
- The following week, Ariel, Connie, and I are going to Amsterdam (as well as The Hague, probably). Very cool.
- I haven’t made plans or talked to anyone yet, but I’m hoping to take a daytrip to Sevilla for Feria, the city’s giant fair. It’s one of the things Sevilla is most known for, so I’d love to see it.
- We’re currently trying to arrange a trip to Mallorca for my birthday weekend. The flight would be inexpensive (less than 30 euros roundtrip), and it would definitely be fantastic to spend my 21st birthday there, because it looks gorgeous. So even though I miss out in that 21 isn’t a big milestone in Spain, how many people can say they spent their 21st birthday in Mallorca?
- There are flights to the Canary Islands for about 16 euros roundtrip, so I’m hoping to squeeze that in some time.
- Possibly a Prague/Budapest/Vienna trip in June before finals. That trip is in the early planning stages, but it’s a definite possibility. I’d very much like to see some of eastern Europe while I’m here (okay, some people consider that central or east-central Europe, but close enough).
- No plans at all yet, but I know I need to go to Barcelona before I leave, and it’s pretty easy to get to from Madrid.
So, yep, very exciting! I’ve found that I really, really enjoy planning trips (researching the cheapest options, finding the best hostels, fitting it all together like a puzzle), so it’s been a pleasant distraction from the stress of finals (ahh, finals!).