Well i think the title of this article sums up what i want to say!
Ok so you’ve touched down in another country, you’re studying at an amazing university in a city but hey that’s ONE city! I think in order to really get a feel for the people, history, culture of the country that you’re now living in it’s necessary to travel and explore around it! When you have the money, time and don’t need to study obviously!
Salamanca is great don’t get me wrong, but it’s kind of small compared to Glasgow, it’s more the size of Dundee therefore I get a bit restless when I don’t have any plans or studying to do! But the great thing about it is that it’s only 2 hours from Portugal and 2 hours from Madrid! Since the cold weather hasn’t hit until about now i had still had an extra two months of Summer weather to take full advantage of!
I went on Erasmus trips to surrounding Spanish towns – filled with churches, crumbling beautiful buildings cobbled streets and greenery. Great to go for picnics and chill in the sun with new friends.
I also visited Lisbon, Sintra and Belem on an Erasmus trip to Portugal and loved it! We visited the historical castles of Sintra, explored the colourful streets of Lisbon and tasted the one of a kind pastries in Belem! However one negative side of European life is that museums ARE NOT FREE which sucks because the majority of museums in Scotland are and i’m accustomed to strolling in and soaking up the knowledge for free. BUT it’s worth paying for some of these exhibits and museums, especially the visits into the castles of Sintra. Plus this is what your Erasmus grant is for using your money for museums rather than partying!
The colourful streets of Sintra
I also visited Madrid one weekend in October when my dad came for my birthday. It was so good staying in a fancy hotel and someone paying for all my expensive travel habits (thanks dad) We travelled around on the Big Bus Tour of all the landmarks in the city which is a great way to see all the important and famous things that you want to see. The highlights of Madrid for me (apart from the 28 degree weather in October) was the Palacio de Real Madrid with every room decorated luxuriously and beautifully in a different colour and El Retiro Park – kind of like Central Park in NYC but Madrid style with a massive boating lake, turtle ponds and glass greenhouses, it’s amazing to spend a Sunday there lazing around reading your book or rollerblading! Oh and how could i forget the rooftop bars and sunsets in Madrid which are one of a kind!
Sunsets in Madrid
Sunday Markets in Madrid
My last recent adventure was a weekend in Seville! Perhaps my favourite place i have visited in Spain so far! Before i delve into that i want to let all you future european study abroad students know about the beauty of BLAHBLAHCAR, if you don’t already know about this, this transport service is LIFE CHANGING. You make a profile online and type in where you want to go to and when. A list of people going to those places pops up who have space in their car to take you, then you select a person look at their profile and click that you want to be taken in their car with them. It sounds a bit frightening but it’s 100% safe, cheaper and faster. For example I wanted to go to Seville which would have been €35 and taken 7 hours by bus. However with blahblahcar i took 4 and half hours and was €25. I ended up getting a lift with a couple and their dog, both teachers who were competing in a triathlon in Seville. They were really nice and put on the Brave soundtrack for me because I was Scottish and bought me a muffin at the gas station, so all in all a great journey and they brought me back up! You can go long distances and short and you save money, time and meet new people! It’s a european sensation and I don’t know why it’s not a thing back home!
I left my heart in Seville, i absolutely fell head over heels in love with it! While I was there I went on a free walking tour of the city, visited the Alcazar (where they were filming Game of Thrones!!!!!!) went to a flamenco show, wandered the idyllic streets of Barrio Santa Cruz and much much more. What i noticed was that the South of Spain is so much different to the North, obviously it’s much more hotter, 33 degrees last weekend folks, but the architecture has more of an Moroccan style, the buildings are white compared to sandstone in the North and the accent is much more slurred, i had no idea what some people were saying! All in all I absolutely adored Seville and the weirdest thing was that I bumped into another fellow Glasgow University student, such a small world!
But now, i’m having a little break from travelling and getting my head down and studying and feeling grateful that I’ve managed to do all of this in such a small space of time with amazing new friends!
(you guys are probably all booking your flights to Spain now haha)
If you have any questions about any of my previous articles or want me to write an article focused on one thing specifically please let me know and drop me an email – 2127795M@student.gla.ac.uk
Plaza d’Espana Seville