Well I’m not quite sure of how or when I’ll write about this trip but maybe it will be a series of small parts of the trip, not really related to the cities or countries,.. let’s see.
The trip happened between the 15th of December and the 17th of January (yes still not over …) It started in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Milan, Pisa, Venice, Rome, Vatican City, Athens, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and London (among other neighboring towns, villages and other)
I traveled with my mother and my 68 year old aunt, oh yes, there is where everything starts to go wrong because # one does not simply travel like a backpacker with the 68 year old aunt. Yes I booked hostels, yes, the planes were EasyJet and Ryan Air. Picture it!
Well I must first of all tell that everything I did before leaving home was to book hostels and flights, and also book wrong flights and to wrong dates, oh well…
I did not know anything about the cities where we would stay or what to do there. On the flight from X to Y, I read my guide.
About this guide …. from what I understand several authors wrote one or more chapters, it is a good summary, but to my trip it was not so useful as I want it to be, because no way I would stay in mega expensive hotels or eat in fancy restaurants. Hello! Poor student in Europe … And concerning the part about the attractions it was not really deep. Drawbacks: 1) As my friend, Antonio, would say: “This book has the density of lead ” and 2) It is too expensive to be so poorly written and so poorly edited. Ah yes, I would like to add an asterisk saying that some authors write really funny things, but I do not know if that was they meant to do… Oopsy!
So, during the flight I read the part about the following city and I would draw an itinerary outlining where we had to go. When we would arrived at the airport it was time to try to figure out how to get to the Hostel and that was the process of order … or chaos.
As an introduction I put here the checklist we did when at moment ( or in the next morning) we arrived in each city.
– Waking up around 7am or 8am (when I was immune to the alarm clock). And continuing with the extensive routine of mornings.
– Discover where is the “red bus” (type in google City Sightseeing “insert city name”)
– Spend 2 hours or more circulating in it to see “what is there in the city”. Choose one or two places, then hop off and wait to catch the next red bus (which stops at17H!! Well, to be fair, Europe is a strange place, where depending on the city, EVERYTHING closes at 17h, 18h.)
– We would have lunch at 14h, when I was in a pretty bad humor … Has anyone ever realized how mean I get when Im hungry?
– As the red bus had stopped we would trust my GPS on the phone, spending £ 2 to use the internet connection in another country, and try to get home or somewhere recognizable in the city.
– In some places we would buy those passes for tourists to use all transportation for 2 or 3 days. ( That didn’t work quite well in Rome, though and a post will be dedicated to it, wait for it …)
– We would have dinner and go back to the hostel
-Proceed to almost-daily routine of packing.
Now next is a list of tourist spots we visited in almost all of the cities:
– Is there a temple? (Greece, Rome)
– Is there a great medieval cathedral?
-Any church or modern/Gothic architecture?
-Any little church hidden in the middle of nowhere?
-Is there any archaeological museum or something?
-Is there a famous statue somewhere hard to reach? (Aka table where Fernando Pessoa enjoyed spending time, etc.)
And my favorites:
– Is there a cemetery? You can visit it at night?
– Can you visit the gothic cathedral at night?
-Somewhere haunted that I can visit in the evening?
-Any tour that talks about Serial Killers and take me to the places above?
This is what I remember for now… but hopefully later I will cover some other things that are in the series: ” it only happens to Mayara!”, But let’s see if I can have some free time here at Keele, or if it will be after I’m back =)