I drank lots of beer on my trip to Glasgow, Scotland. My trip to Scotland was planned rather last minute and to be quite honest, I had no real itinerary upon arrival. And I loved it that way. I prefer to roam and stumble upon things. In Glasgow, that ended up being beer. Everyone thinks of Scotch Whisky when they think of alcohol in Scotland. I did of course try my fair share of Scotch too. But the beer … that was quite the pleasant surprise.
I was missing beer
In my home country of the United States, we’ve really come to love beer. And no, I’m not talking about Budweiser. I’m talking about microbreweries. My hometown of Cincinnati has at least five that I can think of. That always blows Spaniards minds when I tell them that and the fact that a normal bar in the United States has at least seven different types of beer on tap. What can I say … we love variety.
Why Andorra? Okay so you’re either asking me why or what as you start reading this. If you’re asking what, Andorra is a tiny country sandwiched between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains. Nothing crazy ever happens there that would make national news and it is often left off of world maps. And I’ll admit, I really only learned about the country 4-5 years ago. And ever since, I’ve been fascinated.
So Nina, tell me more!
Oh I’m so glad you asked. Andorra is actually a principality and the only country where Catalan is the official language (Catalan is also spoken in parts of Spain, parts of France and one community in Italy. It is very similar to Spanish but is considered it’s own language. Think like Spanish and Italian … both different languages that share a lot of similarities). However Spanish and French are also widely spoken, as well as some English. I spoke Spanish my entire time there because I figured most people were more likely to be comfortable in Spanish over English (and because I hate being “that” American who asks for English everywhere).
Several weeks ago, I found myself with just a night in Barcelona. The next day I was headed to Andorra, so I reserved myself a room in a hostel for the night. Little did I know that this hostel would be among one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a social Barcelona hostel (and Barcelona is a great place to make new traveler friends), then look no further.
I was very fortunate to spend several days in Glasgow, Scotland a few weeks ago. While it was very cold, I managed to find a good amount of things to do that cost me nothing. When traveling, I do believe that you can save money. Luckily in Scotland, many of the historical sites are free to the public. I spent my three days there touring the city this way. So without further ado, here are 7 free things to see in Glasgow, Scotland.
7. The Glasgow Necropolis
The Glasgow Necropolis sits up on a hill just above the Glasgow Cathedral. From here, you get some of the best views of the entire city. What’s a Necropolis? It’s a Victorian-era garden cemetery. I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s always something neat and calming about wandering through a cemetery.
Hi friends! After about 12 days of traveling, I am back in Spain. I have so much to share with you all that this month will just be full of tales of my travels to Scotland, Andorra, France and Spain (Barcelona). So I thought I’d start off with my day in Loch Lomond.
What is Loch Lomond?
Well I’m so glad you asked! Loch Lomond is this beautiful body of water just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. If you’re spending a few days in Glasgow like I was, it’s an easy drive or train ride to spend a day in Loch Lomond. In America, we really don’t have lochs or we at least just don’t call bodies of water lochs. So the word seems very Scottish to me (especially since they have to whole Lochness Monster deal).
This week and next, I’m off traveling through Europe. So I thought I would ask some of my blogger friends who are also Americans living abroad to guest post for me. Kristin is the first of three. Enjoy!
My name is Kristin Kohler and I am the blogger behind Countdown to Friday. I am so excited that Nina invited me to participate in the blogger series about expat life! It has been one of my dreams to live abroad, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s been an amazing experience so far.
I moved to Germany last summer because my husband got stationed here with the military. Lucky me! I was able to get a full time job, so I spend week days working in an office. In my free time I love fashion, spending time with my pup, Rascal, and Netflix marathons.
Last weekend around this time, I found myself in Cordoba, Spain. I had decided to take a day trip with a friend. Winter is setting in here in Spain, so I had to dress accordingly. Did I wear a dress? Of course! I did choose carefully, though. So I thought I would share my 5 tips for winter travel wear.
My 5 tips for winter travel wear
Many of us find ourselves traveling during the winter months. Perhaps you decided to take your two weeks off around the holidays in the Czech Republic. Or perhaps you have some time in February and decide to make your dream of visiting Paris a reality. Or perhaps, like me, you’re an expat who plans to travel through Europe little by little on long weekends and days off from your job. Either way, we do find ourselves as tourists in the cold. And as long as you are prepared, it can be just as much fun as traveling in the warmer months.
One of the amazing things about living abroad are the day trips that you can take. Sure, I do love traveling to other countries and the further away spots in Spain. However there are some weekends where you don’t want to be away the entire weekend. Day trips are perfect for this. This was exactly how I saw Córdoba, Spain. We only had 8 hours in Córdoba.
8 hours in Córdoba
How to get there
If you find yourself in Spain and want to pop around to nearby towns, villages and cities, there are several ways you can travel. Here are a few:
Recently, I found myself exploring Jaén. Jaén is a city that is just about an hour North of me in Granada. These days, I do not have tons of money to travel to big, extravagant places. However that is okay as I live in Europe. There are so many neat places to see only a few hours from where I live. So exploring Jaén was one of those closeby but awesome trips.
As most of you all know, I’m the girl who is always wearing a dress. I love traveling in my dresses and wear them all year long. So when I was exploring Jaén with my friend Sharifa, I of course opted to wear a dress. I had found this grey dress at a shop in my neighbourhood in Granada called Humana. It looked perfect for a work setting or really just anything. I loved the buttons on the front too.
The lovely province of Jaén sits in the North of the region of Andalusia, Spain, where I live. While many tourists who find themselves in Spain opt to visit places like my home of Granada, Malaga, Sevilla or Cadiz, Jaén should not be overlooked. If you are a fan of history and castles, you will definitely want to add Jaén to your lists of stops throughout the wonderful region of Andalusia. El castillo de Santa Catalina sits just above the city of Jaén, the capital of the province. The city is a mid-sized city worth a visit for a weekend or a few days.
Last Saturday, my friend Sharifa and I had a nice little visit to the castle. The views were absolutely breathtaking and I’m now planning to see as many castles as I can in Europe. It’s my new mission.