Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh the Places We Go! Shopgirl Hannah in Spain: Part 2 (Border Hopping)

Part II of our Shopgirl Hannah's great travel adventure... Hannah travels!!

Cantabria and Regional Travels

My parents came to visit me for the holidays and we went to Andalucía (the southern region of Spain). We visited Sevilla, where I had studied abroad, and Granada.

Bull Ring in Sevilla

Cathedral in Sevilla

Earlier in the year I went on an amazing hike through one of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever seen in my life. It was outside of Santoña, a town about an hour west of where I am on the coast. 

Steps running down the mountains to the water

Islands! The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are both part of Spain and I was lucky enough to visit both of them this year.

Frisbee tournament in Tenerife, Canary Islands

The water in Mallorca, Balearic Islands

One of my favorite trips in Cantabria was to a town called San Vicente de la Barquera. It is a historical town and a major stop on the Camino de Santiago. My friend and I were initially planning on camping out on the beach until we were kindly taken in by the elderly couple who runs the albergue for those doing the Camino de Santiago.

Goat on the wall of the ruins of a hospital for pilgrims traveling along the Camino

View from the top of the hill by the church

Sunset in San Vicente

“Spring Break”: Cataluña and Galicia are on opposite ends of the country but we decided to visit them all in one trip anyway. Cataluña, home to the city of Barcelona, is located in the northwest part of Spain near France. Galicia is in the Northeast above Portugal. In Cataluña we couch surfed and visited small towns along the coast.

Dali's House in Portlligat, where he lived with his wife Gala from 1930-1982

Cadaques - the beautiful little town near Dali's house

In front of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
This is the ending point for all travelers on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route spread through Spain, France, and other parts of Europe.

The Western Coast of Galicia

Border Hopping

Christmas market in Freiburg, Germany. We drank lots of Glühwein to stay warm. And a German bratwurst with sauerkraut beats any and all weekend food carts in Iowa City

In February, my roommate and I took a weekend trip to Paris. It was cold and rainy but still enchanting. We also went on a mad vintage shopping spree on our last day there, running around town like two gals who’d never seen clothes like this in our life. We almost missed our flight. Worth it.

Artist plaza aglow in Montmartre

Shopgirl Wisdom

Don’t ever try to compromise your style to appear less foreign. Embrace what you’ve got goin’ on and enjoy standing out. I made this mistake when I studied abroad and this year as well. For some reason when you “move to Europe” you feel like you need to change everything about your wardrobe, but when you get here you realize you liked your own look better.

It’s not always fun and most definitely not always easy to move to a new place, but it’s better than mistaking comfort for happiness.

“If we live everything, life will be faithful to us.” (Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom)


‘Spanish’ Shopgirl Hannah

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