North America, Europe · 40 Days · 59 Moments · August 2018

Taking the long way to Spain

8 October 2018

Next Journi for Spain adventures...

12 September 2018

On our last leg... the bus to Granada. One thing Europe definitely does better than Ecuador: buses.

11 September 2018

Leaving made me want to cry. My favorite city of the trip for sure. Also there was this really cool cloud wall on the way to Málaga that followed the border with the sea. I was completely mesmerized.

10 September 2018

Sugar rush! The best shortbread ever, fresh made fudge, and a hot chocolate float with gelato made by a lady who literally went to Italy to go to gelato school.
Oh man I could’ve spent days in the Royal Museum! Three hours did not do it justice. But we did see the OG Dolly the sheep, part of the atom collider at CERN, the rest of the Lewis chessmen, an atom smasher, and a whale skull. And we ate scones. So all in all an afternoon well spent!
The windiest hill I’ve ever been on, but the views more than made up for it. The locals call this the hill of bad ideas... Some examples: They built an observatory. And then realized you can’t see the stars with city lights all around... Edinburgh was known as the Athens of Western Europe and so they wanted a Parthenon. Unfortunately they weren’t known for their financial skills and ran out of money half way through... So now they have half a Parthenon.
Moments from the walking tour around the city... body snatching was a very lucrative profession in the 16th and 17th centuries (remember that whole Edinburgh being the hotspot for surgeons thing... yeah they had to get practice bodies somehow) so rich people would pay for iron cages over the graves of their loved ones. The grave with the sticks was the grave of the night guard’s dog who was so loved in the city he was given the right to vote. Yep a dog could vote before women.

9 September 2018

Bonus food pictures. Lentil pie and Scottish breakfast. A very happy Kitty.
In my opinion Victoria street (the inspiration for Daigon alley) was the prettiest of the entire trip! We wandered into many Harry Potter shops, but this one topped them all with plenty of cool photo ops 😁. Also pictured (cue suspenseful music): the grave of Thomas Riddle...
Satisfying our future doctor souls at the Surgeons museum! Obviously no pictures from inside cause body parts and HIPPA, but just picture four stories of preserved organs and bones depicting various medical mysteries from the past century and three very excited pre-med kids. Edinburgh was one of the first cities to consider surgery as a valid profession in the 1500’s and the University of Edinburgh was one of the first medical schools in Europe. My favorite organ was the heart with a stab wound. Needless to say it was a fatal blow. Zoom in on the picture of the pills and you’ll notice they’re not filled with drugs, but rather tiny rolled up pieces of paper. The mural was made up of the packets from anti-depressant medications and filled with people’s hopes for the future.
It’s like walking through the set of a movie. Almost too pretty to believe all of it is centuries old.
Inside the world of illusions at Camera Oscura. Their camera oscura (basically a periscope, but way cooler cause it uses mirror physics) is older than Coca Cola!
Didn’t go inside the castle but from the outside it looked epic!

8 September 2018

I went chasing a sunset and found Hogwarts... or at least what inspired JK Rowling! And discovered that the Scottish have named all the walls but definitely don’t know how to spell chile! 😂
Best beer I had the whole trip! I’m glad Kayla let me try her haggis so I could make sure and not order that...
Welcome to Edinburgh. Now haul your suitcase up 100+ stairs! But actually this city was amazing and our hostel right below the castle made it even better. The pod beds were so fun and I legit spent 20 minutes playing with the colored lights inside the pod!
Leaving London far too soon and now on the train to Edinburgh.

7 September 2018

So much yummy food at borough market!!! Pro tip: take all the bread samples but run away from the cheese... Shout out to the guy at the paella stand who kept handing me free samples of Thai curry and paella to get the funky cheese taste out of my mouth. Also thanks England for making sure we didn’t get run over by cars 🚗.
View from the top of the Shard, the tallest building in London (and maybe Western Europe???). I could’ve spent all afternoon up there and watching the sunset from the Shard is definitely now on my bucket list.
Ice cream to power us up the 323 stairs to the top of “The Monument”.
We had lunch at Buckingham Palace!!!
Buckingham Palace is only open a few weeks a year and we were there! No pictures from inside the state rooms, but take my word for it... it was breathtaking. And so cool to walk in the footsteps of so much history.

6 September 2018

Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre! The chandelier drop was very anticlimactic, but the music was outstanding.
And then blown away again by Westminster Abbey. Thanks to Kayla for taking an illegal picture inside 😆
Mind blown by the houses of Parliament.
Lunch at a “politicians hangout” by Scotland Yard. I learned that beer without gas is not beer I want to drink. But it had a cool name 🤷🏻‍♀️. And Big Ben, or at least the scaffolding surrounding Big Ben.
The horse has been constructed out of parts to represent all parts of the governments... currency, military, law and order, and some more I can’t remember.
Tower of London featuring a giant book of laws and the oldest statue of a horse.

5 September 2018

Incredible ice cream and obligatory fish and chips and tube rides.
They have lots of parts of the Parthenon, but most of them are statues without heads because the heads are still in Greece. So we saw a lot of chiseled men who might be having a great time, or they might be dying... Also pictures are the Lewis chessmen. A chess set carved from walrus tusk with the decaying part of the risk still visible. The set in London is missing 8 pieces, but it’s okay because we saw the missing 8 in Edinburgh! The last picture is the Royal Game of Ur, which was my ancient artifact for my 8th grade dig project! Needless to say this one was much prettier.
First day in London... a lot of traffic and lots of ancient stuff at the British museum. Here’s the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian tombs (see if you can tell what’s wrong with the statue in the fifth picture *hint count the legs). It’s all preserved so well that we had to touch it to see if it was real... then we got yelled at because yes it’s thousands of years old 😆.
Goodbye Lisbon!

4 September 2018

National tile museum... yep a whole museum of ceramic tiles. Make sure you take a close look at the last few pictures. The longer you stare, the funnier they get!
Last meal in Lisbon with more cod, sardines, and green wine.
So many beautiful tiles!!!
Steep hills and beautiful views.
Walking around Lisbon and Alfama. Stopped at the oldest bookstore in Lisbon and it did not look old at all...

3 September 2018

Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira. Definitely could have spent all day here exploring the gardens and every little cave and funny looking statues.
Lunch in a hole in the wall Portuguese restaurant. I ate cod in every possible way... in scrambled eggs, baked, grilled, and here in fritter form.
More of this guy cause the world deserves more of this joy
Still can’t believe that all those tiles were painted by hand!!!
The hike to the top of the mountain was intense but I understand why he picked it! The views were unbeatable... even on a cloudy day. The last couple of pictures are of the kitchen... As you can see by the number of gelatin molds, these people were very high in society!
Best statue ever!!! And the most beautiful ceilings that are even better when you remember they were constructed centuries ago with no modern technology. Each room (one for each of the king and queen’s maids) had a unique design with its own ceiling pattern, wall paper, tiling, and intricate furniture.
Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. Pictures definitely don’t capture the beauty of this palace. It’s construction lasted through many different reigns and so each piece is decorated and constructed according to that king’s style. So there’s moorish architecture, gothic, and a whole bunch I can’t name...

2 September 2018

Padrão dos Descobrimentos... Pretty great facial expressions on the statues and great view of Portugal’s Golden Gate Bridge
Jerónimos Monastery. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

1 September 2018

Portugal is famous for Fado, a melancholy type of song performed at restaurants all over the town. We enjoyed a performance in the heart of Alfama with a great sunset, yummy appetizers, wine, and our guide who translated the songs for us on the spot! I wish I could post videos, but you’ll just have to skype me for those 😉
From the top of the arch!
Walking tour around Lisbon and then lunch with some new friends... USA, Portugal, Albania (by way of Denmark), India (by way of Amsterdam), and Israel!

31 August 2018

7 hours later we’re in Portugal!

30 August 2018

Walking around Manhattan... Trump tower and Central Park. I sat next to some Getty photographers getting ready to shoot NY fashion week but who go to Central Park to take pictures of the birds in their free time.
Chelsea Market. So much to eat, so little stomach space.
Yankees game versus the White Sox. Checked another stadium off the list and saw CC Sabathia pitch and Giancarlo Stanton bat.