Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dancing from London to Ibiza

Wow...sorry I've been on hiatus for a while. I couldn't manage to access a computer and blogging photos and text from the phone is not the business.

Anyways, this post is skipping over my trip to London because so much happened that I'll have to go over it in detail in the next post!

I haven't slept much in the past four days due to some intense EDM-experiencing in the UK and the white island of Ibiza, Spain. First up was the two day madness of  the dance festival, Global Gathering UK! Global was nothing compared to EDC LV (well...nothing really can compare to that), but the talent was amazing and the people were still relatively nice!

Mostly everyone was from the UK, but I talked to some cool Scandinavians and even met a raver girl (KANDI YAY) who used to live in America. The shirtless drunk "bros" were a little much, but at least they were having fun and enjoying the music I guess.

My favorite set was probably either Alesso (I saw him on tour, but he went pretty all out at this festival too!), Madeon, or Krewella. People didn't dance that much at this festival (again the bros...) but I was jumping all over the place for my favorite DJs. ^__^

Ibiza was nothing short of absolute Spanish madness, since they're already known to party from sundown to sunrise. Clubbing went from 2 am to 7 am (no wonder siestas are like 4 hours in the afternoon). I went to Amnesia to see the AMAZING combined talents of Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten aka New World Punx as well as some crazy house with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike in the other room. Definitely loved this event. I also went to the world famous Pacha club to see 2manydjs, Claptone, and Kenny Dope (with guest Idris Elba???) but I didn't like the music as much. Pacha has so many rooms though so it was fun just exploring the massive club! I probably won't be back in Ibiza for a while, if at all, since I feel like the club fees didn't really justify the entire experience. I can see equally strong talent in LA for 1/3 the price and have just as much fun...

The island itself was beautiful and I really enjoyed exploring it's beaches and medieval old town (Dalt Vila). Everything is well-preserved and there's so much to see other than the nightlife!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't Rain on my Paris Parade

So Paris on the second day was less heat but equal amount of lines (or "queues"). We started off the morning with a trip to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the heart of Paris and also the location of Victor Hugo's famous novel. After touring the beautiful interior, we decided to climb to the tower to get a 360 view of Paris...well let's just say an hour wait and 400-odd steps later we were completely exhausted. The view was good, but not worth the workout.

By afternoon, the wind was howling, the sky opened up, and it FINALLY started raining. Not happy with the idea of being soaked, we hurried back to our hostel in Montparnasse and had the most phenomenal crepe dinner ever (after the rain stopped).

At night, we had a little mishap in that we bought a bottle of wine...and then realized we didn't have a bottle opener. Instead of giving up, we found a youtube video on how to open it with a key and then spent 30 minutes struggling to get the thing open. You might think that success makes it taste all the sweeter, but we all found that we were not fans of wine. Well at least now we know how to open a bottle...

I parted ways that night with my friends and spent Sunday running around in the rain trying to get to Versailles. I was glad I first took a detour, however, to the Victor Hugo house in Marais. Even though everything was in French, it was really cool to see the house interior (which Hugo designed himself) and the artworks and prints related to his most famous novels.

Versailles was both a huge letdown and a blessing...after an hour train ride I found out that they start closing the Chateau at 6:10, so I only had around 40 minutes to see the inside. They also didn't give me the free youth entry because I wasn't a citizen, even though other places did. So I sat outside brooding and kicking rocks for an hour until the gardens were free. What I didn't expect was the fact that the grandeur of the palace was just as prevalent outside as it was inside. The gardens were an enormous maze of trees, perfectly manicured lawns and shrubberies, and flowing fountains (and one enormous lake). I spent two hours just exploring every little corner and unexpected turn. I'm so glad I saved 15 euros and had my outdoor experience for free. ^_^

Friday, July 18, 2014

Barcelona to Paris

It's been a crazy two days of traveling, but I managed to cover ground in two amazing cities already! Barcelona was a whirlwind but I managed to see one Barcelona's famous architect, Gaudi's, works: the Guell Palace. This beautiful palace used dark wooden material and really subtle attention to detail instead of the usual gaudy (haha) european marble and stone palaces. I later speed walked down the shopping area, La Rambla, and Placa de Catalunya (aka tourist central). I'm so in love with the beauty, relaxed vibe, and architectural design of Barcelona! Every little street holds something that catches my eye. I wish I could've stayed for longer...

But by 7 pm of the same day, my insanely jetlagged self was on another plane heading towards the City of Light, Paris! Paris was the burning mouth of hell this weekend, and I felt like I walked straight out of Europe into a Vegas summer. Obviously didn't have as much fun in Paris as I hoped but I walked to Arc de Triomphe, Champs de Elysees, Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. The heat struggle was so real, and my friends and I were all used to hot weather more or less. On the plus side, less people took the trek to the Louvre (and free student admission YES)! And I had French duck and gizzard for dinner. And the Eiffel Tower was absolutely beautiful to look at by night, and it was probably my favorite (and the coolest, weather-wise) part of the day.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Countdown to Europe - 2 days!

It's been a whirlwind headache of a week, from logistical planning to last-minute luggage crises, but I'm almost there... It's unreal that the moment is arriving so quickly! Just a breakdown of what I'm going to be tackling over the next two weeks:

12 cities
6 countries
1 determined girl + her enormous backpack