May. It’s nothing but blue skies and sunny clouds here in Europe and I couldn’t be happier. At the same time, I can’t believe I’m actually wrapping up my stay here in this lovely continent, and I’ve been running around like crazy trying to pack in everything I haven’t seen yet since I moved to Madrid.
May was hectic as I traveled during the first three weekends of the month, but I finally took some time to catch my breath at home in the end. Here’s what May looked like through my eyes:
I touched on Costa Brava a tiny bit in my April roundup because I was there for TBEX, but I truly can’t believe a place like this exists in Spain. I only visited Lloret de Mar, but the crystal clear water and gorgeous seaside views was enough to make me want to come back for more!
I was more excited about visiting Budapest than any other European city this year. I’d read so many crazy awesome things about the city and it’s fun nightlife and thermal baths that I knew I had to see it all to believe it.
Budapest was a crazy ride. I had a great time in this historical, yet trendy city, and I can’t wait to finally sit down and pull together my thoughts on it.
The one major attraction I just couldn’t miss in Budapest was the Szechenyi thermal bath. It’s the most popular bathhouse in Budapest, and the pictures can show you why. The bathhouse itself is so beautifully designed with fountains and pillars; it was worth it to go there just to see it.
Testing out the “medicinal” waters was fun, but also weirded me out at the same time. Too many people in a hot pool of water just didn’t sit well with me while I was sitting there among them. Does that make sense? It’s an experience that has to happen when in Budapest, though!
I’ll admit that I raised my eyebrows a bit while walking around Barcelona for the first time. I’m not exactly a Madrileña (Madrid local) but I am full of pride when it comes to my current home. When I meet new people and tell them I live in Madrid, I often times here a response like, “Madrid is cool, but I LOVE Barcelona”.
I loved Barcelona, too. I really did. The iconic historical monuments like the Sagrada Família and Casa Batlló had me staring in jaw-dropping awe.
I still felt like I needed to compare Madrid and Barcelona to find a clear winner. It was nearly impossible, especially because I’m a little biased toward my home. But Barcelona is definitely calling my name, and I’d love to live there if I ever return to Spain.
Manzanares El Real
I went hiking on a sunny Monday in the mountains of Manzanares El Real called La Pedriza. At first glance, I thought it would be impossible to hike up the mountain; it looked like a huge pile of rocks.
In between those rocks were little trails and after a few hours I was standing on the top, looking down over the Community of Madrid with Madrid’s four skyscrapers waving at me from a distance.
The descent was tough; I slipped and fell A LOT down the steep sandy path. Note to self: buy hiking shoes! I also ran out of water and was suffering from a bad cough, so I wasn’t exactly in the highest of spirits on my way down the mountain. Receiving a free bottle of water from a generous waiter in a closed restaurant was a happy way to cap off the day.
I can’t believe how close Toledo is to Madrid, and I’ve been putting off my visit for so long!
This medieval-looking city with its narrow streets and swords hanging everywhere was so fun to explore. I walked up and down the cobblestone streets just marveling at the architecture around me.
My travel plans are constantly changing. This is mostly because I always put off purchasing plane tickets until they get too expensive! So the plans I tentatively scheduled for myself at the end of April have changed a bit:
Mallorca: I didn’t get here this month like I had planned and I’m still mad at myself about it. Unfortunately, it just might not work out in the plans before I leave Spain. All the more reason to return, right?
Paris & Porto: I want to see you so badly but I just can’t figure out the correct times! I’m crossing my fingers that an affordable flight magically pops up somehow!
Pisa & Florence: I’m not going to lie, Pisa isn’t really on my list of places to go, but the price of the flight was right and it’s close to Florence! I don’t plan on spending much time in Pisa, just checking out the Leaning Tower and then I’ll head off to Florence. If you know why I should stay longer, leave me a note in the comments!
Malta: Pulling the trigger on a cheap one-way ticket to Malta was such a good feeling! I’d wanted to go for my birthday but wasn’t going to be able to spend enough time there over a weekend. Now I can’t wait to explore the islands I’ve drooled over in photos!
I’m keeping July open for lots of Spain travel, because I simply can’t get enough of this country.
Nine months later, I still pinch myself that I actually live here. It will be really sad to transition from saying, “I live in Madrid”, to, “I used to live in Madrid”. Just thinking about it makes my heart drop into my stomach!