European Excursion Endings & Bali Beginnings

Hello, hello.

It's been a while since I've posted last. During the remaining weeks of my trip in Europe I had the opportunity to visit two friends who I studied abroad with in Germany. I visited Claudia in Barcelona and Lucia in London! I'm really happy that I had the chance to see them, because once your semester abroad is over, you never know when you'll see some of the people you made friendships with again!

After London, I flew to Paris and spent an evening there. Originally I booked my flight from Paris to Bali, so I stopped there for an evening before the 12-hour trek to Indonesia.

Here are a few highlights from the end of my european excursion and a few photos from my first sunset in Bali with Thayer.  

Barcelona

My Basque family was so kind to give me a ride the nearby city of Pamplona so I could take the train to Barcelona. Claudia met me at the train station and we spent the next three days together. Sadly, she had to work part of the time I was there, but we still had a great time and saw a lot of the city.

A few of my favorite parts from my trip to Barcelona were visiting many of the common tourist destinations such as; The Gothic Quarter, Parc De Güell, La Rambla, La Sagrada Familia and Parc de la Ciutadella. Another mentionable highlight were the delicious churros with chocolate I ate for breakfast every day. SO GOOD. Claudia made sure to show me the best local spots for tapas and sangria too, of course. 

 Details from Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona 

 Details from Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona 

Bye, bye Basque Country.

Roughly a week after my return from Barcelona, I said goodbye to my extended family in the Basque Country. The last few days were busy with picnics, more Etchart relatives visiting and spending time with another side of the lovely family I have there too. My time in the Basque Country was special and near to my heart. It was exactly what I had imagined it would be. I look forward to returning again someday to my little home away from home in the Pyrenees Mountains. 

London

I took a Ryanair flight from Biarritz to London on March 1. The evening I arrived in London I met Lucia at our hostel. The hostel had a pub underneath of it, so check in took place at the bar. A little bit of a different welcome than I've experienced at other hostels! It was really nice to catch up with Lucia after two years apart.

The next few days of our trip consisted of again visiting classic touristy spots such as; Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Tate Modern Museum, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Tower of London, and the London Bridge. We also made sure to check out local cafes and neighborhoods. We visited Notting Hill, where I couldn't help but think of Julia Roberts delivering her infamous closing line to Hugh Grant. ;) We also attended the musical, Kinky Boots with discounted tickets and we loved the show. We snapped photos of the classic red phone booths and explored the vintage markets on Brick Lane and Camden Town. It was a wonderful trip. We said our goodbyes and I left for Paris.

Paris

I would have spent more time in Paris, but it didn't work out with scheduling. I've been fortunate to visit the city before with my brother Evan. Also, didn't feel very comfortable exploring there alone. However, last time I was there I didn't visit the Eiffel Tower at night. Luckily, I met a girl from Connecticut at my hostel who invited me to visit the Eiffel Tower at night. As corny as it sounds, it really was as beautiful at night in person as it is in the movies.

So long, Europe. Hello, Bali! 

Thayer picked me up at the airport in Denpasar and we weaved through traffic on our motor scooter to the place we rented for the month. The traffic in Bali is insane and luckily he can zoom through it quite easily. We spent our first night eating dinner with friend's of Thayer's who were also traveling. It was fun to visit with them and hear about their travels too.

One of my favorite things about Bali is how cheap everything is. It's very common to spend anywhere in between $2-7 U.S. dollars on a very nice, well-made meal! The next day, we explored the region around our place and watched the sunset on a stormy evening. (I've included a few photos from that evening below.) 

Since we've been in Bali, I've loved the warm weather and being a beach bum. Anyone who really knows me, knows that I hate the cold, so this is my kind of atmosphere! We typically spend our mornings doing work for our clients back home at our favorite breakfast spot, then adventuring or relaxing at the beach. I'm still feeling so grateful to travel and have these experiences!

Thayer and I have just a few weeks left in Bali and then we will travel to New Zealand! Recently, Thayer and I went on a mini trip to a mountainous region of Bali called Ubud. We were greeted by six kittens at the cute Airbnb we stayed at and swung on a top secret swing. I'll give more details in my next post. ;) 

Until next time.  

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