05 August 2008

Mediterranean Europe!

So I'm home and wow I have so much to tell you I don't know where to start! The European mini-tour was excellent, awesome in fact and the pictures just do not do it justice at all. I will very briefly summarise each country, city or section of the trip.

1. Benicassim
Benicassim was awesome! Let's get this out of the way first; there were two nights of arguing between R and I, one was about something silly and I ended up crying and probably spoiling his night :( but the other was about something more serious. I know he wasn't mad at me for having the opinion I have but I know it spoilt his night and the next morning for a while so I suppose he was mad at me for that. It also made me look like a complete idiot and sour woman to everyone else. That's a shame but I'm not changing my views and opinions to suit the flock.

Anyway, the beaches were excellent, the performances were great even though majority wasn't my top choice of music but Mika, Jose Gonzales, Justice and Calvin Harris were the ones I enjoyed the most.

The camping was also fun and our 4-man tent was very spacious. We set up camp in BeniCamp (the campsite supposedly closer to the beach, but it wasn't) to begin with but the ground was terrible and all our (R's) friends hadn't arrived yet. As there was no more space in BeniCamp, they would definately end up in CampFib (the campsite closer to the stage area) so we decided to meet up with them the next morning and head there. It was a much better campsite and the whole area was more organised.

The tent in the morning was roasting and you couldn't breathe but the freezing cold showers would cool you down and wake you up. They also seemed to be the very best cure for a hangover. The others seemed to have them often but I only drank a few nights and I'm a lightweight anyway. One morning I did wake up still drunk but the cold shower cured that.

The town itself was lovely and the beaches soon became full of the festi-goers. Everyone would go and sleep off their hangovers during the day, buy cheap food and beer at the supermarket and often drink all day and night.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience!

2. Spain: Valencia & Barcelona
The cities were amazing! We were really surprised when we stepped out of the train station in Valencia; it was massive but beautiful and clean! We had one day and night there before his 17 year old brother and sister (the twins, A and E) came. They were very lively and it was cool to have them! We spent quite a bit of time on the beaches; the Valencia beaches were lovely but I wasn't so impressed by the Barcelona beach that we went to. R and I weren't talking that day anyway as I'd kicked up a fuss the night before when we went to a 100% dance club called Pacha. I really regret that because I made it soooo much more of a big deal that I needed to. Anyway, I was forgiven, yet again. The attractions and nightlife were really good in both cities, Valencia being the more quieter of the two. We had the most beautiful dish of paella in Barcelona and I ate so much I was nearly sick! We ate the leftovers in the Barcelona airport, on the way to Nice, the next day. R and A were searched at the Barcelona airport because they decided to spray the entire contents of a Right Guard aerosol on one another after being told they couldn't take it in their hand luggage, plus the fact they have Lebanese passports. Tut tut Barcelona, tut tut!

3. France: Nice, Antibes & Monaco
Well, Nice was also a pleasant surprise. The beaches looked lovely but my skin got bruised like battered peaches when trying to swim on the pebble beaches shoreline We stayed in 3 different places in 4 nights in Nice so all the moving around was fun (not). We did our washing in Nice. The nightlife in Nice was good, especially in the Old Town. The KFC there was amazing and was some of the best fast food we had in Europe. Whilst we were there we got a train to Antibes to go the Antibes Land theme park. It was a bit of a let down but still some good rides and good ice cream. Monaco was the next stop and was rather expensive. We saw the changing of the guard and the Monte Carlo casino, from the outside at least. We also hadn't realised it was on a hill so had to fight our way down a thousand odd steps with all our luggage (including E's suitcase with broken wheels) but we finally found our hotel; a hotel room with 3 beds for 4 people so I took the floor with my sleeping bag. R and I went to an open air cinema and on a tour of the port one night while A and E went out with their friends from home. Then we headed for Rome the next day.

3. Italy: Rome
Unfortunately, we had to travel nearly 12 hours on trains to get from Monaco to Nice but the journey was fun nevertheless. We passed through Genoa and Pisa, stopping only to change trains and get a sandwich or Maccy D's fries. When we got to Rome it was late and we were all rather unimpressed with the lack of party and cleanliness in Rome. In hindsight I think that's because we weren't in the (snall) party area of Rome, but in the downtown area. The hostel people were nice and our room was good despite the lack of air-con. The next day was A and E's last and only full day in Rome and it was Sunday. That meant we couldn't visit a lot of the museums and so on. We went on a wild goose chase to the Catacombs which wasted half the day and we never got to see. So we went to the Colesseum instead and got audioguides; it was excellent. We wanted to go to the Roman forum but we'd been told about a pool party, pub crawl and boat party all rolled into one which we all wanted to go to so we headed home, stuck on our swimming gear and headed for the pool. We got into the pool party for free, swam a little, tried the free food which was terrible and then headed for the pub crawl. The pub crawl was fun with lots of free beer and wine. We moved between 2 or 3 different bars/clubs with free shots and then to the boat. It was really fun, minus a lovers tiff. I was embarrassingly silly that night as being drunk, on my period and missing my family was a recipe for disaster, but still, that's no excuse. Anyway, I woke up the next morning still drunk to find A and E gone, they'd already caught their flight.

We spent our last day together going to Vatican City, seeing the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilicam which included climbing 551 steps and back down again but the view at the top was amazing and well worth the climb. We then had a "three course dinner" (it wasn't really 3 courses, we got a bit juped) at an Italian restaurant; spag bol and pizza, which wasn't too bad. On the last night R and I were in a different hostel so we spent the last night just chilling with the people in our dorm and relaxing before our return to the UK.

And now we're back and neither of us really want to be back but we have to carry on I suppose. I am dreading getting back to my PhD work but I'm going into uni tomorrow.

That will do for now as this post is getting too long and I will do a short general one soon.

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