While what they say is true about the Spanish lifestyle being a more relaxed one, I have done very little relaxing in my time here. Whether it be weekend trips, beach days, nights at the disco, or tapas at our favorite restaurants, my friends and I basically never sit still. Yes, this can get a bit exhausting, but I would not want to do it any other way.
In talking to my host parents, I’ve learned that some students, when visiting Valencia, do very little outside of the home. Personally, I cannot imagine this. With only 8 weeks in this incredible country, I came in determined to make the most of my time. In the beginning, I didn’t know exactly what my plan was for this, but I knew that I had no desire to sit at home and watch TV. Ever. Thanks to my friends similar attitudes, there has rarely been a day that we have not been doing something.
All of us are very much about exploring the country, not just our city, so we have taken several incredible trips to do just that.
A few weeks ago, we took an amazing weekend trip to Barcelona, only a 3 hour train ride from Valencia. Getting the best of both worlds, we explored the city during the day, and went to the best disco’s at night. While Barcelona was beautiful, personally I prefer my home in Valencia.
After Barcelona, we took a day trip to Montanejos, a hot springs about an hour away. I have no words to describe this place. It was easily the most beautiful place I had ever seen. The water was so clear, I could see my feet perfectly when standing in shoulder deep water. Not only were the hot springs themselves gorgeous, but we also got to see where all of the water comes from. We had an amazing tour guide for this trip, who took us to all of the best, non-touristy locations. Of course we knew that this was his job, and he does it every day, but it really didn’t feel like that. Rather, it felt more like a friend showing us around a new city.
Our next trip was to the city of Peñíscola. Also a day trip, this was just as incredible as Montanejos. For any Game of Thrones fans out there like myself, this is where all scenes from Meereen were filmed. And yes, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t freaking out the entire day knowing that Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) had been where I currently was. Game of Thrones aside, this little town was like a small part of Greece in Spain. With amazing cliffside views, and narrow streets lined with white houses, it was the perfect place to spend the day.
Next up, this weekend is the island of Ibiza. I could not be more excited. We’re camping on the beach, and I have a feeling this weekend is going to blow every other out of the water. Sticking with our “never sit still” motto, next weekend we are visiting Brussels and Amsterdam.
I am so happy with how I’ve spent my time in Spain, even if I am completely exhausted 90% of the time. Somehow, with very little sleep, I manage, and rarely feel too tired. As my host father says, “Valencia gives you strength.”
Until next time,