North America, Europe · 25 Days · 23 Moments · February 2017

Kayla's journi to Madrid, Spain and Germany

24 March 2017

I still think the best part of traveling is coming home ❤. Thank you parents for making this trip possible, and satisfying my craving for authentic Mexican food. I will never forget this trip and I will always appreciate home. Love you guys.

24 March 2017

Goodbye Catalunya. You've been good to me.

23 March 2017

Biked around Barcelona to try and take in as much as I could on my last day here. I ended at the world famous Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction after over 100 years 😳. The inside is absolutely beautiful though, and I can see why Gaudi is so revered as an artist. Tomorrow morning Ariel (Xenia's dad) will drive me to the airport and I'll be home by evening!

22 March 2017

Explored Barcelona on foot today- and barely scratched the surface. There is so much to see here! I loved the museums- BHM and the Museo d' Historia de Cataluña helped me understand the culture and history a lot better. I also stumbled upon a wonderful local tapas bar- the locals let me try a bunch of their food. Including pulpo and squid. It was actually really good! Xenia's parents have been such wonderful hosts too :)

20 March 2017

Day 7: Finished! My favorite part of the Camino. Because I booked it yesterday I got to take my time and stop at every beautiful beach. I even walked along the beach a little ways off the Camino, barefoot. The final marker reads 0.00 km. I went a little further and looked over the whole Atlantic Ocean- it was so blue and clear, even though the skies were a little grey. Tomorrow I head to Barcelona :)

19 March 2017

Day 6: 40km. Yep, I walked a marathon today. But once I saw the water it was so worth it. You can see my progress in the last 10 km or so- I am so happy to be on theWest Coast again!

18 March 2017

Day 5: Off to Fisterra! Did 32 kilometers and had the trail ALMOST all to myself. This part of the trail is way prettier, and I have the promise of the beach at the end!

17 March 2017

Day 4: Made it to Santiago! 100km in 4 days of walking. I received my compestella, and now I'm going to explore the town :) Apparently even the Spanish make/ sell Pussyhats Decided to reward myself with a "tarta de compestela", which is super yummy. I also decided to reward myself with another 3 days on the Camino, trekking over to the coast! I should be in Finisterre by Monday afternoon.

16 March 2017

Day 3: decided that instead of doing 14km the next two days, I would just do 25 today and about 28 tomorrow. If there aren't enough miles to do in a day, I end up getting to my destination by lunch and wondering what to do with myself. So I'll arrive in Santiago a day early, which is fine. Today there was more agriculture, some pretty places and streams, and lots of clever markings people left on the signs. I found a better walking stick today, so I left my other, and another I found, for other pilgrims to use.

15 March 2017

Day 2: Hiked up a mountain today! A very small mountain, but the Spring flowers were everywhere and it was very beautiful and relaxing. After 30 kilometers (~18 miles), I ended up in another large city called Melide.

14 March 2017

Day 1 of the Camino de Santiago: getting out of Lugo was a bit confusing, but after that the signs made everything really easy. I did 19.7 kilometers (about 12 miles) with the other Pilgrims who left Lugo. Most of the Camino is on a road going by a lot of agriculture. Although it doesn't seem too impressive, it is very peaceful :)

13 March 2017

After leaving Germany, I got to go to church and chill with Holly before Phoebe and I attended a Real Madrid game. I wish the US loved fútbol as much as Europe (& Costa Rica, and pretty much every other country does). We saw Ronaldo score on a header right in front of us, AND and amazing save by Keylo, the goal keeper. BTW their coach is "The Great Zidane" 😳 (you might remember his infamous final game where he literally head butted another player...) This morning I took a 6 hour trip to Lugo, where I am currently staying in one of the albergues of the Camino. You can see the famous scallop shell sign of the Camino :). I start tomorrow toward San Roman da Retorta. I also included a picture of the signs on the metro telling you to mind the gap, because I think the little stick man looks like he's dancing, not falling into a gap.

10 March 2017

Went for a day visit to Heidelberg, Germany. It has one of the oldest/ largest castles in the country (The Schloss). I could see it from the 'Philosopher's trail', which split off into the woods and several paths which eventually led to several structures build/ used by the Nazis, including the amphitheater I posted here. It was strange to visit, you're never sure how to feel visiting something so disturbing. To cheer myself up/ continue try curing my nature withdrawals I went to the Zoo Heidelberg, which was really wonderful. A lot of the animals were cooped up in their indoor exhibits because it was still quite cold for them outside. It was cool though, and the zoo is very proactive about conservation and education👍🏽. Got to have a simple dinner with Daniel before he was off to work at the Air Force. Such a stud. Tomorrow I'll be relaxing/ traveling back to Spain 🇪🇸

9 March 2017

Took an actual break today- and finally walked through some nature. Tonight I'm just relaxing at Daniel's place so that I can adventure tomorrow. Schopp is actually quite pretty :)

8 March 2017

So blown away by the generosity of my hosts here. We explored the Marksburg castle in Koblenz, which dates back to the 12thcentury. It's impressive how innovative they were without electricity. Then I tried curry-wurst, which I hope they have in the states. We drove a couple hours (in rush hour traffic, just like home) to Cologne, where we explored the second-largest Cathedral (Called a Dom, btw). It holds the shrine of the Magi, which holds the bones of the Three Wise Men. We couldn't leave without having a beer, which put me to sleep for the drive home. Tomorrow I'm off to visit Daniel a couple hours south!
Say "Hallo" to my German family! Mr. and Mrs. Hugarowitsch and Lissi's brother Felix (not pictured, he was not feeling well) completely took me in. They made me a typical German dinner with pork and potatoes ❤, and a typical breakfast with three homemade jams and Felix's homemade honey (I mean, what??). Not only that, Lissi's dad took the day off of work so he could take us to Koblenz and Cologne (Koln), pics to come. You'll notice Mr. Hugarowitsch is a lot like dad in his photography style and his enjoyment of the Bee Gees. Also Mrs. Hugarowitsch is a tailor and she made the ceramic chicken.

7 March 2017

First day in Germany- exploring Frankfurt. There are several old buildings here such as the cathedral, many things dating back to the 1200's or earlier. In Frankfurt there are pre-world-war houses next to the modern wall-street area.

6 March 2017

The last couple days have been wonderful! Went to church on Sunday with Phoebe and Holly. I couldn't understand most of it, but it was cool seeing how God works in every country. Afterwards we went shopping in Gran Via, Madrid's main shopping strip. We hung out with Luis and got churros. He looks crazy, but I think he's the coolest person I've met here. Luis is from northern Spain Phoebe and I also tried some Olives and claras (beer with lemon ❤) from Mercado San Miguel near her apartment. Yesterday I went to Toledo and toured around the tiny, beautiful city which is a mix of Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim influence. There have been many wars and exchanges of power here over the centuries. My favorite part was the Museo de Santa Cruz, where they had a Miguel Cervantes exhibition (pictured is an early copy of Don Quixote, which he apparently finished on his death bed). Finally Holly and Phoebe and I went to a beautiful rooftop bar last night. I love them. Now off to Germany :)

4 March 2017

Yesterday I saw Plaza Cibeles which has several fountains, museums, and La Palacio de Cibeles (shown with the "Refugees Welcome" sign). At night I experienced how late Spaniards stay out (well, we actually went to bed at 2am, which is early apparently). Phoebe's friend was playing at a small bar and we saw a few bands play. This morning we slept in (until 10, also early for Spain) and had a picnic at Parque del Retiro with typical Bocadillos de jamón. They love ham here.

2 March 2017

Today, Phoebe and I had some hipster coffee,then I joined a free walking tour on the fly. Most of the group were young travelers staying in the nearby hostals. We visited Catedral de la Almudena, a beautiful Catholic Church which was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. I also visited the Crypts below the cathedral, which is the very last pictures. I ended up in part of the service they hold down there. Pictures is also the oldest restaurant in the world, confirmed by Guinness world records. I also had my first real Spanish meal 🥘 with my new friends: paella (rice with spices and seafood), some fried fish I forget what it's called, and a donut pudding. Met up with Phoebe and Holly for tapas, with jamón, croquetas and more :)
Look who I found! Roommates once again ❤
Got a little taste of London during my 7.5 hour layover. Definitely want to come back for a real trip! Westminster Abbey was closed to visitors because it is Ash Wednesday. I guess my backpack gave me away? Parliament Square was so cool though- not pictured are statues of Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill among others. You can see Abraham Lincoln behind Mahatma Gandhi. I also made a friend who goes to school in the same town that my friend Lissi lives in (in Germany)! I ate "traditional pork pie" with Picililli sauce (ew), my new friend had fish and chips. About to board my flight to Madrid now :)

28 February 2017

Waiting for my flight at LAX- about 20 more hours until I'm in Madrid :) (Unfortunately the store across from the airport is all about the current president)