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Girona, Spain

Almost 7 days to spend in Girona. 

A lovely little city. I feel this is a real Catalonian city, winding streets, great food, amazing architecture. Why can’t Dublin be as beautiful? Ireland is so grey and doesn’t restore old buildings but ruin them and rebuild to look modern and American. Tacky. There is rare beauty in Ireland. Here there is always beauty. 

  

I walked the town walls and baked in the open sun. I loved them. They’re about a metre wide with long narrow windows looking outside of the town. It leads to the impressive cathedral (old towns always have impressive churches and the like). 

   
 

7 days is a bit long to explore Girona if you can’t take the heat. But there is bus and train links to explore the surrounding areas. 

Girona has a great park; La Devesa. It’s fab. It’s odd having parks with little grass but they are loaded with facilities; football pitches, basketball courts, pétanque. Dublin and Ireland can learn so much from this place. 

   

   

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Figueres and Olot, Spain

The birthplace of Salvador Dalí. 

I had seen the popular Dalí artwork but his museum in Figueres is amazing. He was incredibly creative. He has a certain style but he has branched out into many art forms – not just sculpture or painting. The weird and wonderful Dalí. 

Figueres itself is small but beautiful. It has the narrow, winding streets similar to Girona (will get into that later). But I came across some parks that were wonderfully kept. 

I love going to these small a towns and cities that are usually overlooked by tourists for the big and glamorous locations. Also, the countryside is always a breath of fresh air. 

   
   
  
Olot.

 Poor Olot. It has a few extinct volcanoes and a nice walk up one of them. But after that I was bored (sorry). The cathedral is impressive And I love the small streets but I need a bit more activity personally. A couple of hours is sufficient here. Anyways, I love Catalunya. My dream is to live somewhere as peaceful as these towns. ‘Someday…’  

  

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Monserrat, Spain

One of the most incredible places I’ve been. That sentence really hyped Monserrat up, I know. Any description of the place just does not do it justice. 

I spend an afternoon here last Sunday. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, a small church in the mountains maybe? I wasn’t annoyed I was so wrong. It was incredible. 

The views are spectacular. It takes a good hour to get there from Barcelona (Plaça Espanya) but it’s so worth it. It’s not just a church, it’s more like a village high in the mountains. Don’t ask me how the people living in the monastery dealt with this. 

When I arrived, there were local traditional dancing groups (of some kind, I really don’t know sorry!) performing on the square. It was fun to watch, especially the traditional outfits. 

  
I then took the funicular up to Sant Joan (not for those afraid of heights). From here, the view is amazing. There are small buildings at other peaks that you can walk to. You can see far all around. Im disappointed I didn’t hike up (reviews didn’t encourage it). I hiked down though, and now I can’t wait to go back. 

  
Bring water, sun cream, good shoes. And explore. Monserrat is well known but for new, it is a hidden gem; no one recommended it to me at all before I came. Most people stick to the small village but there were abundant hikers and cyclists that braved the peaks. I’ll be back to hike. Do. Not. Miss. 

  

   

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Barcelona, Spain

I spent almost four days in Barca, my third time to visit the city. Each time I see new places, artwork, buildings and God, I wish I had more time. 

There is an indescribable energy that I feel from the city. I haven’t felt like this anywhere in Ireland (ok maybe when it’s sunny in Dublin, but that’s not often). It has something for everyone. Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece! Even as an atheist, I adore the place. For me, it’s not about religion, it’s just astounding architecture. Gaudí was so talented, so creative (really stating the obvious here but he still amazes me). 

Nowhere in Ireland is as unique as the architecture here. I notice myself walking along streets with my head in the air marvelling at the urban landscape. I will come here again. But I want someone to join me so I can show them around and gaze at the wonder of it all. 

   
Casa Batllo

   

Sunset from MNAC

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St. Louis, Missouri 

What I consider the real American Midwest! I met my friend and her family again and it was one of the best weekends ever. Maybe it was because of the people or the lifestyle or sun or all three. All missing from Ireland. 

The City Museum is like no other; a museum constructed of old city parts like a fire truck and steel that you can climb and explore. Indoor caves and slides and a wacky art room are also housed within. A playhouse for adults almost! I will go back. When I live someone else’s life, I question my own. I don’t know if I would be happier there for a long time even though I had the best weekend. But I don’t want to regret not trying. I can’t live on Dublin all my life. Well, that’s what I’ve been telling myself. I need to start living again. 

I want to start living again. I am working, coming home and laying on my bed. I want to save money for a house but now I’m questioning whether I really need a house. What would make me feel free? 

I love travelling. I feel safe travelling. I want more money to travel then so I need to work! It’s a circle! Maybe if I had a companion of some sort, that would help. 

I arrive in Dublin at 5am tomorrow and will be going to work about 8 or 9. I didn’t want to take another day off. I’ll regret it tomorrow but I’ll never regret this trip. I will be in Spain on May 30th for 11 days. I’ll be dreaming of that sun until then.