When I arrived in Mallorca, I was able to understand why my friends had recommended the place to me and I was able to discover so much more than the beaches. Castle Bellver is one of the few circular castles in existence and overlooks the port city of Mallorca.
Sites to see:
-The Old Town
-Cathedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca (La Seu)
On the Tower Bridge in
London, the London bridge that actually falls – not the London Bridge – is next
to the fabled London Tower. I was able to get a free tour by Yeomen Warders of
Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and see the Crown Jewels that are on display –
a must see if in London. Across the river a circular-shaped building is City
Hall and beside that is the Shard – fourth tallest building in Europe.
It was a surreal
experience to see many landmarks that had been in movies. And to be in the
place where iconic events unfolded. In addition, I was able to understand the
culture more than other places I had traveled because I was fluent in the
London is a place that is
on my list to travel to again.
Things to see:
-St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the best sunsets
I have encountered is on the coast of Italy in a city called Naples. The sunset
over the islands in the Mediterranean. To the left of those islands was the
Volcano Vesuvius and lost in the night was the town of Pompeii.
I was able to climb Vesuvius and explore Pompeii, but I was unable to go to the Ruins of Ercolano. However, I was able to have pizza in the home of pizza. I missed the train to Ercolano by one minute and had to wait forty minutes until the next one – in Spain I was used to a train every six minutes.
The trip was a great
experience after exploring different cities and places within the city. I was
even able to meet some friends in Naples. I look forward to my next visit to
Places to visit:
-Piazza del Plebiscito
After a steep climb –
in leather business shoes – I made it to the peak of Uetliburg. This journey
took two hours for me to complete, in the winter, from Wollishofen. At the peak
of the mountain, I was able to overlook Zurich Lake, Altstadt (old town of
Zurich), and the snowcapped Alps. On both sides of the lake, vast amounts of
buildings stretch into the distance.
This trip was one of the first to test my preparation
or lack thereof. I was prepared for the rain, but I was not prepared to walk
over 17 miles or climb a mountain. However, that is one of the fun challenges
of packing light.
I look forward to my next trip to Zurich, in the
summer, with less rain. And maybe next time I will use the train to Uetliburg.
Places to visit in Zurich:
One of my favorite spots in Stockholm, Sweden – located in Södermalm – is the Skinnarviksbergef rock ledge. After an easy climb, up a rock face, you are met with a beautiful view of the skyline of Stockholm. This is one of the best places to enjoy the sunset with the locals.
Each night I was in
Stockholm I went to this spot to enjoy the sunset. However, when I was in
Stockholm the sunrise was at 3:33AM. This was the first time that I had been so
far north that there was no definite night. The least amount of light that I
experienced in the night was similar to a night with a full moon except
Places to visit in Stockholm:
-The Royal Palace
After a brisk walk across Berlin, sitting on the edge of the Spree River is the East Side Gallery. Or part of the Berlin Wall that stands today as a reminder of the past. Some of the images painted on the wall are an emotional sight and fitting tribute that conveys the history of the wall through a transcending manner. There is a brick line across the city where East and West Berlin were once divided. However, the city has progressed and there seems to be no division in the city landscape.
Some of the nicest people that I met, while traveling,
resided in Berlin. Whether it was speaking to an Italian man, in a pizzeria, from
Sicily that embraced me like a long-lost brother or with a man that owned an
American themed restaurant. Each person shared their experiences and cultures
with me that have had a beneficial impact. Plus, it did not hurt to finally eat
American food after several months without.
The energetic atmosphere of Berlin is unlike any other
city that I have had the chance to visit and I look forward to my next time in
Places to visit:
-East Side Gallery
Another journey taken
was out west to Salamanca, Spain. The old city is considered a UNESCO World
Heritage site. The city boasts wonderful cathedrals, Plaza Mayor, and one of
the oldest universities in the world. Red graffiti scattered throughout the
walls of the city and university are the names of doctors that graduate from
the university. The new graduates had to pay for their own graduation parties
that the whole town could come to and would use the blood of the bull to write
their names – this old tradition is no longer practiced.
Since most of the
buildings use sandstone as material you may see lines worn into the stone. In
the past, Spaniards would use the stone to sharpen tools. In addition, the Casa
de las Conchas or ‘House of Shells’ has an ornate outside appearance. The man
that built the house expressed his love to his wife by putting her family crest
on the outside of their home. Today, the home is a public library.
If you travel to Spain
do not miss the opportunity to come to this wonderful place.
Places to visit:
-Casa de las Conchas
-Roman Bridge of
-Monastery of San
My first trip was to Segovia, Spain less than three
hours from Madrid. When we arrived at the outskirts of the city, I was amazed
at how well the natural barriers defended the city. Segovia is perched upon a
hill with steep cliffs and a river.
As we rode into the city, we saw the sunrise over the Alcázar of Segovia – melting the frost on the blades of grass. The Alcázar of Segovia is the castle that is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s design of the iconic Cinderella Castle. The base five-euro entrance fee is worth it to see the armory, knights, interior courtyard, and the views atop of the cliffs. For an addition three-euro fee, you can climb to the top of the castle – I would highly recommend climbing to the top and seeing the whole city against the snow capped mountains.
The city still has a supply of water that comes from
the mountains via the Roman Aqueduct. In addition, do not miss the chance to
explore the old part of the city and eat some tapas.
Places to visit in Segovia:
-Alcázar of Segovia
-Aqueduct of Segovia
-Cathedral of Segovia
-Casa de Los Picos