Contiki in España!

Hola!

I hope everyone has been having a fantastic week =D Let me know how your week is going in the comments and if you are doing anything exciting!

A little over a month ago I landed back in Australia from an amazing trip to Spain. I was in Spain for 1 month, and in that month I went on a 14 day contiki tour called ‘SPANISH SPREE’! This tour took us around the most well known places in Spain – Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza etc.
If you are contemplating on going on a contiki tour, DO IT! It is an amazing experience, and you really do learn a lot about yourself. I went to Spain on my own, and it was my first time going anywhere on my own. I was nervous at first because I was flying to the other side of the world by my self, but once I stepped foot onto the plane all my nerves disappeared and excitement hit me full force!

I flew with Emirates, and flying with this company was great! I have been on other airlines like Qantas and Singapore airlines. But as much as I liked flying with Singapore, my favourite has to be Emirates. The employees are extremely helpful, and the food is better than the others and there is A LOT of it as well 😀 #Ilovemyfood!

All my dads side of the family live in Spain, so when I got there my uncle and auntie picked me up along with my little cousin. It was great seeing them all because it had been 7 years since I had seen them. I spent the first day and night in Madrid with them and the Contiki started the next day in Madrid.

When I checked into the hotel where I was staying for a couple of nights with the Contiki group, I started to become nervous and anxious because it started to sink in again that I was going to be amongst 50 people that I never met in my life! But as soon as we had our first meeting with the group and the tour manager, all those feelings settled down and I was so happy and excited. I was lucky to have two beautiful roommates who I became really good friends with. There were a couple of girls that I had spoken to on the Contiki forum before the tour and they were from the area that I live and one of the girls attends the same uni as I do.. MASSIVE COINCIDENCE! 😛

The tour started in Madrid where we spent two nights. Whilst in Madrid we visited the ‘Royal Palace’and the ‘Valley of the Fallen’.Royal Palace in Madrid

The Valley of the Fallen in Madrid

Next up was Bilbao!

We stopped in Segovia for a few hours on our way to Bilbao. Segovia is a very small town and contains a lot of history. Here we saw the Aqueduct of Segovia and the Cathedral. As we approached Bilbao, the busiest city of the Basque country, it was very different to Madrid. Madrid was dry and extremely hot, whereas Bilbao was very green and wet. Bilbao is famous for their cider, so for dinner we went to a restaurant and poured ourselves cider from these massive barrels in the wall. It was good fun 😛

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From Bilbao we headed to Pamplona. On our way to Pamplona we had a day stop in San Sebastian. Unfortunately, it was very overcast the day we were in San Sebastian, so we decided to walk around the stores and take pictures of the beach. Instead of swimming and laying at the beach, some of us decided to enjoy the facilities of a spa called ‘La Perla’ – meaning ‘The Pearl’ in English. So apart from the shitty weather we had a really great time 🙂 After a long bus ride, we arrived in Pamplona, the home of the Running of the Bulls. We didn’t get to see the bull run which was a bummer, it happened a couple of days after we were there. But we did get to walk along the street of where the run happens, pretty cool. I didn’t think so, but there is a lot of partying in Pamplona! Lot’s of fun 🙂

From Pamplona we headed to the beautiful city – Barcelona! But first we stopped for a few hours in Zaragoza which is a little town with a famous catholic church. Inside the church is absolutely amazing, you must visit. As for Barcelona I have one word for it.. BUSY! This city is soooo busy but absolutely amazing. So much beautiful architecture by the famous Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudí. We visited ‘La Sagrada Familia’, the 1992 Olympic Games Complex, and in our free time, a few of us visited Gaudí’s ‘Park Güell’ which is a park famous for the mosaic architecture, including a HUGE mosaic serpent and Gaudí’s home (which is also made of mosaic)! During the day some of us toured the city of Barcelona on bikes. For one of the dinners in Barcelona, we were able to choose to go to a Flamenco dinner which consisted of a three course meal and a show of traditional Flamenco dancers.

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Ok guys, brace yourselves. After Barcelona we jumped onto a plane and flew too……….IBIZA!! THE PARTY ISLAND!! 😀 😀
We stayed in Ibiza for two nights. There is not much to say but party 😛 The island itself is not that great because it is very let down but the beaches, clubs, and pool parties are fantastic. The first day the group chilled by the pool and that night most of us went to watch Avicii at Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel. This was a pool party and went off!! The next night some of us headed to Pacha nightclub and danced the night away 😀

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Onto Granada in the South.

Granada is amazing 🙂 It has a lot of North African heritage. It was extremely hot in the south. In Granada one of my roommates and I decided to spend the day shopping in ‘Corte Ingles’, which is a big shopping mall, and here we stocked up on makeup – M.A.C, Dior, Bobby Brown, etc! In the evening the contiki group got on the bus to get a tour of the Alhambra which is the home of the sultans, such a magnificent place. For dinner our tour guide took some of us to an Arab restaurant, where me and another girl from the tour belly danced with the belly dancer from the restaurant, it was really fun! The food in this restaurant was fantastic, filled with many different Arab flavours! After dinner we all went to a “shitty club” as our tour guide called it haha before we hit a really cool club. In the “shitty club” I actually saw one of my uni classmates, such a coincidence, I didn’t even know that she was going to Spain!

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On our way to Sevilla we went to Gibraltar, that is owned by the British. We had a guided tour of the Gribratar Rock and we went into some caves and got up close to some monkeys that came all the way from Morocco! We were warned that these monkeys were professional pick-pocketers, so we had to keep our windows on the bus closed and our belongings real close to us. From the edge of Gibraltar we had an amazing view in which we could see the African continent!

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When we arrived in Sevilla, we had a tour of the Alcazar that is still used by the royal family, we also got to walk around the Plaza d’España, the world’s 3rd largest cathedral and we had a guided tour of a bullring. We spent a night in Sevilla and then headed to Cordoba, where we had the experience of seeing the Mosque of the Caliphs and we also went to the Arab baths were we had the opportunity to use the relaxing facilities of these amazing baths. It was so nice and quiet, and included was a 15 minute relaxing massage; just what you need after a whole 2 weeks of waking up really early, walking around many different cities, and pulling you luggage along up and down stairs. PHEW, talk about a cray cray workout!

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So after spending the night in Cordoba, we hit the road again all the way to the capital – MADRID! But first we stopped in Toledo where we are able to watch people making swords and also watch them make gold plated jewellery. In Madrid, we had a lovely last dinner all together in the Plaza Mayor. After dinner and taking our last photos, we headed to one of the famous nightclubs in Madrid called ‘Capital’ and we danced the night away!

After the Contiki my grandparents came to pick me up and took me back to where they live which is in ‘La Provincia de Leon’ which is about 4 hours away from Madrid. I stayed with family over there for two weeks and had a lovely time 🙂

Overall, I had an amazing time overseas and I suggest that everyone go on the Spanish Spree Contiki tour. Spain is such a beautiful country filled with so much history! I hope you guys enjoyed reading my blog and it has helped you decide on where to go for your next holiday. And if you are contemplating on going away on your own, just do it! #noregrets 😀

Don’t forget to check out my recent makeup tutorial and IMATS Tag videos on my Youtube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/BellaFloresa

Love you guys xo

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