Friday, 19 August 2016

Spain 2016

Hello peeps!

Finally got the time to sit my ass down and write the rest of the Europe trip with my family.
Malaysia has been great! Time has been whizzing by so quickly since I've got back.
Probably also due to the fact that I haven't stayed home for a single day since I've come back.
Even when there's no outing there's still errands and gym lol.

So! Previous post was about Paris, Southampton and London.
Our last leg of the trip was Barcelona, Spain. 
We stayed here for four days and three nights (if not mistaken HHAHA)

Paella is a must have while in Spain!
Along with tapas and seafood!

Spain's food is quite good. At least it's creative and has its own flair!
So far, Italy, French and Hungarian cuisines were not bad too.
Greek cuisine is very healthy.

Well I guess the worst cuisines in the world are UK and US 
because they are really plain, flat and boring.
Something I cannot stand when it comes to food!!

Barcelona was good for leisurely strolls down the La Rambla shopping street. 
The architecture is also very medieval and gothic, heavily influenced by Antoni Gaudi
who created Casa Batllo (the building behind the first pic in this post!) and the La Sagrada Familia church which is still being built today since 1882. Lol. 

What I loved most was shopping! As in, shopping for international brands at affordable prices.
ZARA!!! Since Zara originated from Spain and belongs to Inditex, you can find ZARA clothes for 10 euros each and shoes for 15 euros. That's like RM45 and RM67! In Malaysia it's usually like RM150 and RM200.

Other brands under Spanish retail group Inditex such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, Oysho and Massimo Dutti is also much cheaper. More like Forever 21 prices. And most of the stuff was on sale, too! Tezenis is sells a lot of cheap underwear (Italian, but affordable in Spain) They also have a lot of shops selling swimsuits as there's a beach down the road called Barceloneta Beach. I think it's actually quite unknown especially if you're visiting on a tour. We didn't know until a taxi driver mentioned it! Lol clueless!

If you want to buy designer stuff, Paris is great. I feel like Paris is still a very iconic city for art and culture but the experience is diminished by the surge of pocket thieves roaming tourist hotspots such as Champs Elysees. The locals can also be very arrogant and rude if you don't speak their language. Spanish people, it's more like they get impatient sometimes but they make more effort to communicate with you.

Hungarian people were the best! They were the friendliest people ever, despite their staunch expressions. Greek people were also very friendly. I guess for Paris, Italy, Spain, they have too many tourists to the point they feel a bit annoyed (??) Nevetheless, I always feel grateful for the opportunity to travel :)

This is quite a well known church. Tarragona Cathedral.

Also, I have to say their fast food chains are more healthy and catered towards local people.
 I tried salads from McDonald and Burger King and they were really good! With fresh, crisp salad and everything! The Burger King one was especially good with fried chicken. It ruins the purpose of a salad because of the extra calories but it was so good I comforted myself "at least I have some greens"/

This was my face the first day we landed in Spain. Lol.
We took Vueling Airlines. 

Next day! Fresh and ready to explore.
Took the time to curl my hair too!

Also, because it was so dry, my curls held up really well lol.
It didn't hold up so well when I was in UK, and worse still when I'm back in Malaysia.
But in Malaysia my hair is less dry.

This was at a cafe near our apartment/hotel.
We went there at least three times.
Because, well, my daddy likes routines a lot.
He loves going back to the same place. He likes familiarity.
Actually, if given a choice, he would've gone for chinese food.
A good plate of hokkien mee and it's settled. LOL.
He kept mentioning Tang's Kitchen back in Southampton 
because the food was really similar to chinese restaurants back in Malaysia.

I had a simple Greek salad.

La Sagrada Familia is a must visit!

Forever under construction and currently it's 70% complete.
Expected to be completed in ... 2032. Lol. 1882 to 2032.
That's like 150 years of construction. 

They have bunches of fruit on each pointed arch, which I though was really cute!

I fell in love with wearing this shade of red in Spain lol!
The outfit here is from Zara which I bought a couple of days before. 

Casa Batllo!

Also, Spain's weather was perfect for gelato.
Pistachio flavour is my absolute favourite!

The local name for this building is actually "House of Bones" when translated into English!
There's very little straight lines on this building built by Antoni Gaudi. A dude named Josep Batllo owned the house, hence it is called Casa Batllo or House of Batllo. And Josep Batllo was a rich dude who owned textile factories and wanted his home to stood out, so he hired Gaudi. And stood out, it did.

Actually I just read all this info on Google and typed it down here.
HAHAHAH. Of course I can't remember everything!

Idk where is this random place but we were heading to Placa Catalunya for the fountain night show.

We had dinner at a well known Tapas restaurant in La Ramblas.

Oops! Blur pic.

Russian salad which Dad is sick of because he was force fed with it everyday and every meal during his Russia business trip. HAHAHA. 

Fried calamari!

And mussels!
Their seafood is pretty fresh and the sea is basically a 15 minute drive from the restaurant.

I forgot the restaurant name lol.

The fountain light show!

Feels like we're in Disneyland lolol.

Well, it started pouring rain so I hid in a corner and took this picture.

And the next day, there we go.
Same cafe again! Still salad, but a slightly different one. Slightly.

Bought this top from Zara while I was there lol.
So cute this top! Like an open tulip.

Daddy looks wrinkle free thanks to my TR70, no? HEHE

We went to visit La Bocqueria Market after breakfast. 

The market was really big and had all sorts of fresh produce!
Seafood, nuts, fruits, grains, meat. Even rabbit meat and ostrich eggs!

The skirt is also purchased from Zara while I was there HAHAHA

Today was a good hair day. THANK THE LORD.
Good hair makes a world of difference!

My aunt who wanted to try some fresh oysters!

Continue with more shopping!

Here is my poor daddy with our shopping bags.

He put his water bottle in front to act like he was ahemmm homeless.

Sale sale sale!

After shopping comes my favourite place!
THE BEACH!!! I don't care where or what.
As long as there's sand and sea and sun I'm happy.

Islands always take my breathe away in the way cities aren't able to.

It was sooo crowded!

The weather was scorching but the water was quite cold.
For me. Europeans don't seem to mind chilling sea water.
I'm too used to Southeast Asia's warm waters!

Was a beauty day though! Bikini was purchased at Spain as well hahaha from Tezenis.
My bikinis were being shipped from UK.

I want to visit the Bahamas! And Boracay. And Maldives.
And maybe Hawaii. And go back to Thailand because I can't seem to get sick of Krabi and Phuket. :3

Or!! Redang! Port Dickson! Tioman! Malaysia has a lot of beautiful beaches too!
I defnitely want to go to Redang!

Second last day's dinner :3

Last day's impromptu breakfast at Starbucks

Last day's lunch!

I had caesar salad

Baked fish in tomato sauce and cheese

Bye Spain! Bye Europe! Bye UK!

I did have loads of fun with my family on this trip because there were so many of us 
(7 including boyfie, brother and his girlfriend) and I got to celebrate my graduation with my family too.

I do think studying abroad is a lifetime experience and I'm grateful to have been able to seize this opportunity thanks to my dad. My dad has always made sure my every needs were covered, and more. :3 And he will always be a role model to me, building a business from zero and not even finishing high school. I guess that's how tough the olden days were with war and all, and my generation actually have it so much easier. 

And most of what I've learnt from studying abroad was not from the course, but from simply living abroad. Being independent, being away from family or my housekeeper. Learning to cook, scrubbing toilets, memorizing walk paths and navigating public transports. 

Would I do this again? Yes, of course I would. But I know myself very well and that is I like being close to home. I like being with family and friends. Loved ones matter a lot to me. I like that I can hug Cabbie all day long now. I like that at night I can watch TV with my dad. I like that I can buy whatever I want and not worry, "do I have space to parcel back?". I like Malaysia's hot ass weather. I like being able to call friends and meet them up.

But. I also liked that I had tried living alone in a different country and pushing out of my comfort zone. I liked being able to travel to other countries. I liked being able to experience different cultures. 

I have to say though, while I was in UK I always felt "displaced". HAHAHA. The feeling like you don't belong and need to go back, to be precise. I'm someone who really goes by how they feel, and I'm sure if I felt like living abroad I would have done it. But I don't :3 

So! That's about it for this post :)

Hope to update again soon! Bye peeps! Thanks for reading.

xx, Bubu

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