Life Update: Valencia, sunburn and Starting Third Year

So I’ve been absent recently and haven’t really written any blog posts. Sorry about that, I’ve just been super busy getting settled into another year of uni to be honest and I’m so tired all the time!

Anyway I thought I’d do another little life update because I’ve been up to quite a bit recently.

So, instead of going back to Glasgow for freshers week this year me and some of my friends decided that we’d go away for the week instead. We figured that if we go cheap we’ll probably only spend about as much as we would’ve spent in the clubs at home anyway. We decided on Valencia (because it was cheap) and headed out there on the 11th of this month. This is how blue the sky was.

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we stayed in an apartment with a private terrace with sun loungers on it. It was roasting all the time (over 30 degrees most days) so we spent a fair bit of time there!

On the first day we went looking for a restaurant to have dinner at, but we went at an awkward time and for that reason we could only find one place. I’m a big lover of prawns but in the UK they usually do all the dirty work for you so when a big plate of fully shelled prawns arrived I was a little intimidated. I had to rip the head off (at which point a load of brown goop fell out onto the plate) and then wipe the poo track out… to be honest by the time I’d done all that the idea of the prawn wasn’t so appetising anymore!

We went to a beach club one of the days as well and the sun was super hot and we just lay on sun loungers drinking cocktails and occasionally dipping in the pool to cool down (aka it was absolute bliss).

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This was a berry mojito, ,very nice.

We headed to Marina Beach on our last day and I was …very burned from the day before

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so I stayed in the shade but it was a beautiful day nonetheless and I enjoyed sitting reading my book and cracking open a few cans of shandy from our cheap cooling bag that ripped as soon as we lifted it up to leave the hotel 🙂

Most of the food we ate was amazing. Caprese salad was a favourite with the group and also the classic Patatas Bravas. I’m getting hungry now writing this (but when am I not hungry)!

Now I’m back in Glasgow my workload has increased a lot. I have novels to read and essays to write and a 2 hour lecture at 9am on a Monday morning… who’s idea was that?

Anyway I’ll hopefully get past to posting about weekly now, I won’t be able to do two posts a week anymore as I’m back at uni and in third year so it all counts now!

Until next time,

J x

The Ultimate Vacation Book Tag

I was recently tagged by thatwildsoul to do the Ultimate Vacation Book Tag (also the original creator of the tag is brookiecowles.com) so go have a look at both of their blogs! It’s taken me a few days to get around to it as… well… excuses aside (I’ve just been sleeping a lot much to all of your surprise I’m sure) here you have it!

Rules

*Answer the questions below
*Tag 5 friends
*Link back to brookiecowles.com (the creator of the tag) in your post

QUESTIONS:

It’s the dead of winter and you are escaping to a tropical location. Hours in the sun with a book are on your “to-do” list. What book do you bring with you?

I’m not entirely sure how well all of my answers will relate to holidaying because I usually just pick up any old book I’ve been wanting to read. With that being said if I were going away somewhere exotic over the Christmas period I think I’d want to completely disconnect from the drizzly weather and absolute madness of the UK at Christmas time. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is set in Nigeria (very far from the UK) and is a super interesting and educational read. I read this book for one of my university courses and it was one of my absolute favourites to write about. It provides a unique, new perspective on the white colonisation of Africa (probably because it’s not written by a white person). I think Things Fall Apart is one of those books that everyone should read at some point in their life, and what better time than when you’re away in the sunshine and have the time to give it your full attention!

things fall apart chinua achebe

You see the first signs of spring and your heart beats faster with the thought of warmer days. You are escaping for a nice cruise to herald in the warm weather. What book do you bring to accompany you on the decks of the ship?

This one way easy for me to choose. When I think of springtime reading I think of lighthearted, fun, easy readers. The pinnacle of which being Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding! I’m sure absolutely everyone knows the basic premise of the Bridget Jones books. They’re essentially a modern day, hilarious retelling of Pride and Prejudice (hence Mr Darcy). As a fan of the original by Jane Austen and also being a citizen of the modern world there is absolutely nothing for me to not love about Bridget Jones! If you love a bit of light reading and are looking for a good laugh, get on Bridget Jones’s Diaries right now!

Bridget Jones's Diary Helen Fielding

Summer has arrived! You spend your weekends camping in the mountains. Fresh air, trees, animals, and campfires keep you company on your outing. What book do you bring to read next to the sound of the flowing creek?

For me, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is quite a fitting book for this type of situation. Spending a lot of time out in the wilderness, and especially camping, I’d imagine reading Frankenstein might even give me the creeps at times! I love Gothic novels and this is one of my favourites. As a large portion of this book is set in Switzerland and with frequent descriptions of landscapes and scenery I think this would be a great read when spending time outdoors in the summer weather.

Frankenstein Mary Shelley

Fall is approaching. Nothing makes your happier than crunchy leaves turning red and orange and purple. You bring a book to the local park to read on a bench under the whispering trees. What book do you read?

I absolutely love the autumn. It’s probably the most beautiful season to me but also has a slightly melancholic air which I love. It’s a welcome break from the bright, persistent high energy of summer for me. That’s why I’ve chosen quite a serious book for this answer. My pick is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. As with the majority of Plath’s work The Bell Jar chronicles Plath’s struggle with depression through the character of Esther Greenwood. I personally think it’s more fitting for a crisp autumn evening than bright summers day and, as a modern classic, it’s a definite must read for me (and anyone studying literature I would imagine).

The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

Christmas is in the air. Lights, and carolers, and shopping. You want to curl up next to the fireplace with a good book that reminds you of comfort. What do you curl up with?

From my experience I’ve found books that revolve around Christmas generally quite disappointing. So for this question I’d prefer to pick up a book that just happens to be set at Christmas time but the plot isn’t preoccupied with it. I think I’d probably pick Carol (The Price of Salt) by Patricia Highsmith. I read it about a year ago now and was recommending it to anyone who’d listen so now it’s your turn! It’s really a great book, as I’ve come to expect from Patricia Highsmith. It begins with Therese Belivet working a pretty tiresome job in a toy shop over the Christmas period. One day she ends up striking up conversation with a particular customer (I wonder if you can guess her name) and the rest is history!

Carol Patricia Highsmith The Price of Salt

Winter lasts sooooo long.You need something to remind you that the sun will come out again. What book to you read to take you away on the vacation you wish you were going on?

Yes, winter does last WAY too long. When I think of the vacation I wish I was going on one book immediately springs to mind. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. In On the Road, Sal (the narrator) documents his hedonistic travels around the states with his impulsive (bit of a loose cannon) friend Dean Moriarty. As somebody who really wants to visit many of the different states in the USA this book was a very interesting read. Not to mention the interesting historical significance of the book as one of the most recognisable pieces of literature from the Beat Generation.

Jack Kerouac On The Road

I hope you enjoyed reading my picks! Now it’s time to tag a few people to do this tag if they’d like to:

 

Until next time,

J x

 

 

The Travel Tag

Hello!

I was recently tagged by Mew (her blog is really cool go have a look, https://love-mew.com/) to do the travel tag. It seems like a fun tag and because I love travelling and am going on holiday in a few days I thought now would be the perfect time to write it! Hope you enjoy!

1. What is your favourite place that you have visited?

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

I went to Prague in August 2014 with some of my friends. This was my first proper holiday (not just down to Glasgow for the weekend) with my friends and it was absolutely amazing. Prague had the perfect mix of restaurants, nightlife, beer gardens and beautiful architecture. It was the perfect place for us to go on holiday at that particular time as well, we’d all just turned 18 so we could drink legally! It was also really cheap out there, you got so much for your money!There were so many cool attractions in Prague like paddle boating on the river…

Prague

Exploring the local attractions…

Prague

and, of course, checking out the famous ice bar!

Prague Ice Bar

2. If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Perhaps it’s a popular choice but it’s been on my bucket list forever, New York City! A few of my friends have been to New York over the years and I am just SO jealous. I want to eat in all the cool cafes in Manhattan, try real New York pizza, go to the top of the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre building. I want to visit Liberty Island, Broadway, Central Park, Times Square and the Met. The list could go on, I’d like to spend weeks there to properly explore everything and get the full NY experience!

3. Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Don’t get me wrong there are awesome things about both beach holidays and city holidays, but for me at the stage of my life I’m in at the moment there’s no doubt in my mind that my answer is city holidays. There are just way too fascinating, culturally rich cities so close by to go see. So far I’ve been to quite a few interesting cities: Prague, Krakow, Paris, Bruges. There are so many more on my list though such as Budapest, Berlin and Rome to name a few.

Krakow Poland

Krakow, Poland

Eiffel Tower Paris

(as I’m sure you all know)
Paris, France

Brugge Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

4. My top 3 holiday essentials are…

SUN CREAM

The worst mistake you can make is going on holiday without sun cream because if you get burned you will remain burnt and flaky for the rest of your trip (should also probably mention the danger you’d be posing to your health)! No one wants to look back on pictures of them on holiday and only be able to think about how red they look, do they? I’ve been there and I cannot stress enough how important sun protection is when you’re away even for a few days.

CAMERA (or any photo taking device)

I know some people aren’t the biggest fans of getting the camera out whenever they’re doing something interesting or cool, but I absolutely love looking back on photographs and remembering what I was doing and how I was feeling that day. I think you can be immersed in the moment and still take a few snaps to look back on later 🙂

A MAP

Of course you can access this pretty much anywhere now on Google Maps, but it’s really important to be able to get your bearings wherever you are. You don’t want to be wandering aimlessly the whole time you’re there, especially if you’re not there long and want to cram in all the local sights! Another thing a map is good for is finding your way back from all the exciting places you’ll be exploring, there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve been pretty stumped as to which cobbled street the hostel I’m staying in is down!

5. Are you an over packer or an under packer?

Unfortunately I have to admit I’m an over packer. I’m always pushing the weight limit on my hold luggage and usually have to take a pair or two of shoes out. I’d be so nervous if I only packed the essentials because I’d be worried there would come a desperate need for that fifth pair of shorts or that moisturiser I never even use. Better safe than sorry!

6. What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

This one has to be split into two for me. Number one, is exploring new places. I absolutely loved visiting Krakow as it was so rich with history, museums and of course the Jewish Quarter which was incredible to visit. The other would be spending time with whoever I’m with, whether it’s friends or family. Going away on holiday and taking a hiatus from day to day life is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those close to you.

Port De Polenca Majorca

Majorca, Spain

7. Would you rather go on holiday with friends or family?

This is a difficult question to answer because I love doing both, however I am at a time in my life at the moment where I am going on holiday with my friends more than with my family so I’d have to say friends for now. I have so many wonderful memories of holidays with my family from growing up through and would love to go on many more holidays with them in the future!

8. What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

I visited Shenzen, China in 2008 and tried quite a few interesting foods while I was out there, but I can’t specifically remember what any of the dishes were! The first thing that pops into my head other than that is when i tried Lobster when I was in Florida (wasn’t such a fan) and when I tried dumplings in Krakow last summer (definitely was a massive fan).

Polish Dumplings

They may not look massively appetising but I can assure you there were DELICIOUS! Me and my good friend Rebecca polished off the whole lot and a bread basket just to ourselves!

9. Who do you want to do this tag?

Anyone who wants to do it. Hearing about and getting travel suggestions from people is great! I don’t know that many bloggers as of yet so I’ll leave it at that for now but everyone is invited to do this tag by me 🙂

Please comment below if you’ve been to any of these places or would like to, and with any suggestions of places you’ve been and loved! I will also be going to Amsterdam on the 29th and will most likely put up a post about it shortly after I arrive back so stick around to give that a read!

Until next time,

J x