Maja came to visit for her spring break!! It’s really interesting to experience the differences in how people travel. It’s one thing to be alone or in an organized group, but when you are with one other person, you both have to adopt your styles and compromise on what experiences you value, how fast you want to move, how much you want to spend etc. The unintentionally theme of our trip was FOOD. We both love food, and are interested in exploring new delicious finds – although what we look for in a place to eat differs and I think that we learned a bit from each other. Where as I look for food that looks authentic and am off put by chains or cafes that try too hard to look pretty, she demands quality in her food and would rather not eat than waste her appetite on a place with badly photoshopped pictures. (And there were definitely a lot. Imagine a grainy cut out piece of chicken photoshopped into a completely different quality picture of a salad) . Since our trip I have tried to channel this demand for quality, even if it required more patience and a little more rumbling in my tummy. We spent a few days in Uppsala where I introduced Maja to the nations through an after party for the International Students Gasque, showed her some of the sights, and spent plenty of time in the many cafes that look out onto the River Thymes.
Then we went off to Stockholm where I once again went searching for the Royal Prince to no avail, and spent plenty of time in coffee shops celebrating Fat Tuesday with a traditional Swedish Selma bun. In true Swedish fashion, we rented bikes for the day and rode around the different islands taking in the experience of the city.
And off to Spain for some missed sunshine after the cloudy Swedish weather!
From when we first arrived in Barcelona, I could feel a different atmosphere to the city. Much more full of life and external displays of emotions, which differs from the typical Swedish composure. Although it was only a few degrees warmer than in Uppsala, we had beautifully sunny days the entire time and enjoyed the rays on our bare shoulders, while people nearby were still wearing their winter parkas. I did not do very much planning and (unfairly) left most of that to Maja, so I was amazed by all of the sights.
We stayed in Hipstel Hostel. A friend of mine stayed there a week prior and warned us that she didn’t like it, but by then it was too late for us to switch our booking. The facilities are nice since it is pretty new, but I would not recommend staying there as the set up is kind of awkward and we had a bad experience with the bar crawl service that they employ. Our room was meant to fit 8 people but instead we only had 4 (actually 3 including us one of the nights) which was really wonderful. However, to get to the only bathroom we had to walk past the main entrance, reception desk, and kitchen area. This made it uncomfortable getting ready in the morning or taking a shower. Also, the bar crawl that we signed up for seemed like a rip off. Needless to say, we were unhappy and got a full refund in the morning, but it made the rest of our stay in the hostel uncomfortable as the brawl crawl leader was there every night.
We went to an amazing tapas restaurant around the corner from our hostile,I didn’t take pictures of my food, not on principle but because I was too hungry and forgot. But here’s some of the food did I did capture.