Game of Thrones and Van Gogh

Hey it´s Han, back with another update from Barcelona. Aside from focusing on my studies (Mom, I swear I´m doing well in my classes!), I´ve been doing some light traveling, ensuring more stories and photos to share with all of you.

My program took us on a trip starting early in the morning Friday 3 June. We forced our sleepy bodies onto the bus and set off for Girona, a city in northern Spain. Like many places in Europe, Girona boasts architecture from the 1st century, layered with 14th century, existing in stark juxtaposition to the adjacent modern buildings. From exploring castles, churches, and ancient neighborhoods full of history to walking accross bridges built by the architect of the Eiffel Tower, Girona is full of magic. I haven´t even told you the best part yet. We got to see some of sets that main scenes from the current season of Game of Thrones were shot! Anyone that is a big GoT fan like myself will understand my obscene level of excitement for having walked through the streets of King´s Landing and up the steps of Braavos.

Gina and I on the steps where the Game of Thrones ‘Walk of Atonement’ begins.

It’s good luck to kiss the behind of this XII century lioness.


 After some time for exploring on our own and a lovely lunch, we boarded our chariot, aka the most uncomfortable bus I´ve ever been on, and headed to Montpellier in the south of France. We stayed two nights in a hotel, and were able to freely explore the city for dinner each evening. Saturday morning we awoke, devoured breakfast at the hotel, and left for Arles. Outdoor markets, gladiator arenas, and major sites of Van Gogh´s life were all highlights on our city tour. As a great fan of Van Gogh, walking around the city to see the actual courtyards and streets that are present in paintings that I recognized was sensational. There is just so much history packed into the narrow streets that are now full of shops and restaurants. We then headed to Aigues-Muertes, which means ´´dead water´´ in French. This moniker comes from the fact that the water there is not potable. The city is completely surrounded by perfectly preserved medieval walls and we did a bit of walking around and exploring inside. My friend Gina and I saw an opportunity to do something we´ve never done before and took it. Here is a raw photograph of the moment we put our feet into a tank of little fish to get pedicures:

Ancient gladiator arena in Arles


 Sunday morning we left Montepellier for Collioure, our last stop in France. This is where we spent a tranquil day enjoying the beautiful seaside town that I always pictured when the phrase ´south of France´ popped into my head. We enjoyed the beach and the traditional crew boat races in the water. The colorful buildings that line the streets there made for a fun and flavorful adventure and a perfect ending to a nice trip to France.


Things learned on this journey:

  1. If you go to a sushi restaurant in France you get the double-whammy effect of not speaking French or Japanese… and things get a little tricky. Good thing is, you end up figuring it out.
  2. I’m all for cultural immersion, but I just don’t think unrefrigerated, warm milk will ever be my thing. 
  3. Organic, non-gmo, gluten free, vegan, sugar-free-everything grocery stores exist everywhere. And they´re all the same.
  4. Keeping up with a blog while you´re out and about travelling can be challenging, but it´s worth it to stick with it.

 Special shoutout to the love from friends and family I´ve been getting for the blog posts. I´m doing it for you guys and I miss you all. Special shoutout to my little cousins Jack, Max, and Madison, I can´t wait to see you guys when I get back and share even more stories!

Signing off for now but not for long,

Hannah 

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