Monday, June 1, 2015

A Spanish Sojourn


I love May for many reasons, but the main two are that summer starts to finally appear in Scotland (or at least it should) and the academic year ends for my job as a warden. We always try and get away at the end of the month to celebrate the kick off to summer. This must be the American in me as Memorial Day in the USA is the big event of the month. The first half of the year with being pregnant has definitely been a transition, so we decided to head to one of our favourite countries, Spain, for a break from life in Edinburgh.


My husband has a few obsessive hobbies, and some of them we both enjoy sharing, like travelling for example. From the minute I met Christian he started talking about his favourite band and how he had seen them about 20 times live in his life- AC/DC. Being a fan of music I also enjoyed the band, after all if you are around for 40 years you must be something special. So when the band announced their European tour this past winter we decided to pick a show to travel to together and make a holiday out of it. We both loved Spain, so after he was able to secure tickets to the show in Barcelona we booked our 8 night getaway. More on the show later.....
 
Since we had both been to Barcelona before, we decided to start the trip by renting a car and driving 4 hours south to Valencia. We were welcomed off the plane with warm weather and blue skies. It couldn't have been better! Our first full day we spent exploring the city and all it had to offer. It was really modern for a Spanish city, and we both had a great time exploring the place.
 
We mostly just wandered around the old town and enjoyed eating Spanish food outside.  






The city was full of fig trees in bloom.
 
They are also famous for their "science city" which is an area with modern architecture and outdoor water pools.

 We spent 3 nights in Valencia, and did enjoy time just relaxing on the beach as well. We wanted to make sure to combine resting days with exploring days since I was 23 weeks pregnant.

After 3 days in Valencia, we headed back North, stopping at Fuente de los baños in Montanejos. These were mineral springs that locals and tourists visit for rejuvenation. I must admit after a swim in the pools, I felt amazing! It may have just been the pregnancy hormones and the vitamin d, but I kept feeling like I had so much energy. 



 
We then ended up in Peñíscola which was recommended to us by a local in Valencia. It was a quiet seaside town with an old castle atop a hill at the sea. We only spent one night here, but we both commented how we could have easily spent 2-3. It was so relaxing and picturesque.

The water was about 20degrees, enough for a quick dip.   
 
 
 
We made our way to Barcelona, our final destination before the concert. One of the things I had not been able to do was visit The Park Güell which is famous for it's architecture. After climbing over 1000 steps we reached the top.
 
We spent about 45 minutes exploring early in the morning as I didn't want to walk around in the heat of the day. It was just enough to get a taste of why it's famous.






 
Later that afternoon, our friend Wylie and Christian's brother and sister in law Andy and Isabel joined us for the remainder of the trip. We all enjoyed meeting up and checking out the downtown area of Barcelona.


We wandered around one of the famous food markets off La Rambla


They really seemed to have everything you could ever want to buy- including sheep heads.

 


 
The boys enjoyed litres of sangria. I definitely missed this on the trip due to being preggo, but there is always next time!  
 
Although I did enjoy my fare share of seafood! Monkfish anyone?!
One of the definite highlights of the trip was the concert. It took place a top a hill in the city in the Olympic Stadium. The views from the concert of the city were amazing!

Chris wanted to check out the set up before the show so he snapped some pics of them getting ready with the empty stadium.


We ended up sitting for the concert, which I was really thankful for since it would have been hard for me to stand the entire time. The Spanish crowd was amazing and everyone seemed so exited for AC/DC to be in town. We saw people everywhere wearing shirts supporting the band.



 
How about all of these fans?!
 
The show was fantastic- and for guys in their 60s they really rocked out. Angus Young (the lead guitar player) ran around like an energizer bunny the entire show. I am so glad we both got to experience this event together in one of the coolest venues I had ever been to!
 
On our final day the city was buzzing as Barcelona was playing in the Spanish cup final. There were parades and partying all over the city. The Spanish really know how to celebrate life!  

 
 We also visited the Parc de la Ciutadella on the last day. 
 
They had great fountains and this random giant woolly mammoth.

Following the park we went to the beach for some final R & R. I spent most of my time in the shade as the sun really affects me now that I am pregnant.
 
 But I did peak out for a bit of paddle ball at the beach.
 
The trip was really wonderful and we were both sad to fly home yesterday. This could be the last vacation just the two of us for a while! A lot to come in the next few months, but we are not sure where our travels will take us next.

 Until next time, I'll see you on the internet.