This week‘s Photo Challenge is about capturing a monument.
It was quite a task for me to answer this challenge as I have a few photos of memorable monuments to choose from. After much consideration, I decided to put up this photo of Euro monument.
After the 6 hours bus ride from Madrid, Lisa and I arrived in – some people say – the most stylish city in the world, Barcelona.
When we first arrived, after not creating any booking in any hostels (because we thought the super long weekend was over) and not finding any girl hosts in Couch Surfing, we had to walk all over the city (again) to find a decent lodging.
We first arrived at what we thought the famous La Rambla.
Soon, after not finding anyone but immigrants and one or two tourists, we decided the place was not La Rambla.
After asking around to numerous people, walking for about two hours (with our backpacks and luggages), checking out number of hostels, we finally found a decent lodging, called the Principal Surf BCN, in just off the street of La Rambla.
I would never forget the day I arrived in Madrid.
It was a Sunday, October 10, 2010, a Columbus Day weekend.
I arrived on the super long weekend, when the Spanish people started their holiday on Thursday and did not go back to work until the following Wednesday.
The long weekend was ridiculously long.
I found that it was not that easy to get to Lisbon when you’re on a budget and on a tight schedule. Sure there were (more than) 24 hour-long buses that will go directly to Lisbon.
But I mean, who would want to sit on a bus for 24 hours? Not me, definitely.
I think there were also budget airlines to go directly to Lisbon, or a non-budget airlines that sell cheap last-minute tickets.
But Lisa and I decided to take Ryan Air. The cheapest budget airlines I have ever found!
It was such a big deal to come to Munich in late September/early October.
Heck, the word big is an understatement, it is HUGE.
Although for me, it wasn’t that huge of a deal, because, I simply don’t drink.
Beer, or any other alcohol, but mostly beer.
(Seriously, why would people drink alcohol again? bad taste, weird afterward feelings, drinking simply doesn’t make any sense)
So, the HUGE deal of being in Munich in the month of October was none other than Oktoberfest.
Blame me for bringing up my Canadian experience (almost) everytime,
(it is, in fact, one of those life changing experiences in my life)
but when I was in Canada, (almost) everyone knew Germany for its Oktoberfest.
Thus, I cannot be blamed for wanting to see what Oktoberfest looks like.
My trip to Prague started off a bit confusing.
The thing was, I got Schengen visa for my Europe trip, but I was not sure how far can I go as far as the Europe continent goes.
Considering that Prague is in Czech Republic and Czech Republic is in the Eastern Europe, which was not included in the Schengen Agreement, I thought I couldn’t go to Prague.
(Yes. The Schengen visa cannot take you EVERYWHERE in the countries within the European Union agreement. They actually have a different agreement, called the Schengen Agreement. Pretty confusing, indeed)
But obviously, we could not resist Prague.
Who the heck doesn’t know about the Bohemian legend?
(well, it’s not a legend, but since Europe has an extremely ancient history, it all feels like legend, until you face the real historical sites)
And who could defy the need of seeing Prague‘s famous architectural buildings?
So, I got Peter (Lisa’s boyfriend) to call some immigration office to check about my visa and whether or not I could travel to Prague.
And I could. So we did go to Prague!
And Prague is even better than what we’ve heard.
It is, indeed, a beautiful city.
My train reached Berlin in the afternoon.
It wasn’t raining when I got to the city. It was also not raining when I arrived in the apartment where Lisa and I crashed in.
Yes. Berlin was the first city, which I began the couch surfing experience.
(I hosted some people before, but never did I try surfing in someone’s-or rather, stranger’s- couch)
Only in Berlin I did not stay in someone’s couch. (Lisa and) I was actually lucky enough to stayed in Morla (Lisa’s best friend) ‘s old room, which means we actually got a real bed (even though we still used our own sleeping bags when we slept). Morla was spending half-year in Zaragoza, Spain, for Erasmus, and Morla’s roommate was still away for the summer holiday.
This posting is a continuation of my previous Small Trip postings in Europe back in Fall 2010.
I had wanted to come to Hamburg for a along time because it seems like all the great bands need to play in the city, before they can claim their greatness. Plus, it is the city where hamburger got its name from, why wouldn’t I want to visit it?
But of course, the real reason was because my hostsister, Lisa, talked about Hamburg countless of time.