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A Weekend in Barcelona: Part III

27 Feb 2015
Yes, I am back with yet another post on Barcelona. I really hope you're not bored by now, but this is the last one I promise; and Barcelona is so incredibly amazing that it deserves multiple posts.

On the last day of our visit, and with just three hours of sleep, we packed up our bags and headed towards the Sagrada Familia. Now unfortunately I don't have any photos of this because all that we could see was covered in scaffolding and not really worth taking a picture of. Of course, that was actually the back and not the front of the church which we didn't realise until we had hopped onto a bus and drove past the BEAUTIFUL front. Woops.

Now I'm a big fan of sightseeing buses, not just because you get to fit a lot in in just one day, but also because it saves those of us who have no sense of direction (aka: me), the stress and hassle of getting to and from places. The day pass was 27€ which was just about worth it for us, although we did freeze like crazy when we stayed on the top deck for a good hour and a half... not fun! Despite whizzing past quite a few different areas of the city whilst on the bus, time was very limited and so my photos are solely of the beautiful Park Güell, designed by Gaudi, and the views from it. But hey, who doesn't love a good view?



Myself and Rowan, awkward as ever.


We walked up to (what I think is) the highest viewing point, clambered onto some very small rocks with about fifty other people, and admired the beautiful views of the city. I love a good skyline as much as the next person and it's not often I get to see a beautiful 360 degree view in daylight so the walk to this point was well worth it.


As is the case with any ultra touristy spot, there were a lot of stalls and artwork for sale. This kind of thing usually stresses me out because I don't like feeling pressurised or pestered, but I didn't at all when I was walking around the park and the artwork was lovely and ultra colourful.





Next time I visit I will definitely be going to the Mosaic section of the Park, which unfortunately we didn't have time to have a look around due to queues and whatnot! The designs were all stunning, and especially beautiful in the sunlight which joined us pretty much throughout the entire weekend. Gaudi is one hell of an architect and I can really see why people rave about the city and the park in particular; his designs are not only beautiful but so colourful.

And there we have it - my third and final post on Barcelona. I'm not entirely sure whether I'll be heading back there this year, due to the fact that my funds are decreasing very rapidly. I really would say that it's my second favourite city though (first is London, of course) so fingers crossed I will be back in the near future.

A Blog Birthday Post: THANK YOU

17 Feb 2015
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Happy Birthday to me, 
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to imogenscribbles.co.uk,
Happy Birthday to me.

Okay so it's not my birthday, but it has been one year since I created this blog and I think it's about time I said thank you. Thank you to all those lovely people out there who read my posts; thank you to everyone who comments and therefore makes my day; thank you to everyone who enjoys the content that I spend time creating and thinking about; and most importantly, thank you for encouraging me to stay positive. 

It's not easy having a hobby that not everybody understands, and that not everybody can relate to. It made me feel embarrassed and slightly ashamed and I don't think I could've gotten over that feeling without the help of you trusty followers. Although my closest friends and family know about imogenscribbles, I can't imagine it's something that would interest them much, and I don't think a lot of them understand why I enjoy it so much, or why I even do it. 

I learnt html coding and I learnt how to use Photoshop one summer when I was 13. I'd spend many nights awake till 1am (which I thought was pretty late for a 13 year old) following tutorials on blending, brushes, colouring etc, and learning FTP and CSS. My favourite lesson was not actually English but ICT. Things start to get tricky when you get older, and studying/ a social life starts to take over, so I haven't gone back to my designing days (apart from minor things like my blog layout), but I did toy with the idea of a website/blog and have been since I first introduced myself to the digital world. I finally had the courage to create something this time last year and although I'm still very much learning and I'm still very much not content with my blog and its direction, I am proud of what I have achieved so far and I am proud of myself for sticking with it. I also have my friend from University, Emily, to thank because if she hadn't started writing a blog in first year then I would've never had the guts to.

Despite being 21 and not having finished university yet, I am already panicking about the future of my personal life and my career, which is making this year a particularly stressful time.  I feel like I should've achieved a lot more than I have by now, and that's pretty hard. However, I am finally accepting that imogenscribbles is a step in the right direction, and is a great achievement itself. Although I have taken time off, ultimately it has been something that I've stuck with and something which I hope to continue to develop and improve as time goes by. 

I'm excited to see what the future brings for not only my blog but also those other bloggers that I've been following. It's an amazing feeling - watching other peoples creations grow and become successful; from little simple blogs with ten followers, to great big professional blogs with hundreds of followers. So I don't think this is really a pat on the back just for me, it's more of a reflection on the blogging community in general.

Be proud of your blogs and what you have achieved!

A Weekend in Barcelona: Part II

14 Feb 2015

A walk towards the sea...
A pretty sunset...
A delicious seafood paella...
A night out at Razzmatazz...
& three hours sleep.


Saturday not only included visits to as many American/British shops as possible, but also a walk down to the waterfront. Unfortunately we didn't have time to properly see the beach, but we've agreed to organised another trip in a few months when it's a lot sunnier and we can appreciate it more. Having said that, I absolutely loved walking along the waterfront in the pictures, and I kind of liked how (vaguely) quiet and peaceful it was without the summer tourists! 









On Saturday evening we headed down La Rambla and into a back street to find Restaurante Los Toreros, which we'd been told was a 'non-touristy' restaurant. Sure enough, the place had a great, friendly Spanish vibe and we heard near to no English from anyone. We ordered a gigantic paella for four which included various vegetables, chicken and seafood. Now despite spending most of my day thinking about food, I'm actually quite a picky eater when it comes to savoury things (fortunately my sweet tooth knows no limits). This is so frustrating, especially because I feel like I'm a major inconvenience to people when we order things to share, so I figured what the hell, i'll give the prawns and mussels a go. Thank the lord I did because it was so, so damn good, and I wasn't even dosed up on sangria so I really, truly appreciated it! I still wouldn't order a seafood dish on my own at a restaurant (especially not when chicken is on the menu), but I will happily eat them if they're put on my plate.

Apparently the Spanish are even more chilled out about evening meal times than the French (it has taken a lot of time for my big appetite to adjust to this), which meant that we didn't end up eating till about 10pm and got back to the hostel around 11.30pm. A trip to the bar and a few lot of tequila shots later and me and a friend headed out to Razzmatazz, one of Barcelona's biggest clubs, to sample the Spanish nightlife. 

Although it did cost a whopping great 17€ to get in (quite possibly the most I've paid ever), it was worth it and I'm glad I was able to experience the nightlife there because they sure do know how to have a good night. My friend was incredibly chatty to the taxi driver on the way back, but he didn't speak very much English, so I even managed to practice a bit of  my GCSE Spanish, and he definitely understood me perfectly... haha! I feel like I want to spent the Summer there improving my language, but it's probably best to focus on my French first.


I'm not done quite yet, there's part III coming up soon, folks! 

A Weekend in Barcelona: Part I

10 Feb 2015

To say that my expectations of Barcelona were high would be a huge understatement. But despite these expectations I was still completely wowed and blown over by the city. The fact that I only had a weekend there killed me, and I've already agreed to go again in May (after all, it is only four hours away at the moment). Not only did I fall in love with the city, but I also fell in love with the general vibe of the place, and my weekend entailed not only some sightseeing but some interesting and kind of entertaining stories! So much so that this first post is going to be quite chatty, with less photos and more thoughts on the place. The next two posts on Barcelona will feature a lot more pretty photos, I promise.

We took the coach up on Friday afternoon and after six hours and one border crossing we were in Barcelona. We headed straight over to Generator Hostel, which is a pretty modern, great value and very friendly. Being the foodie that I am means that my aims of a city visit always include sampling the best restaurants, in Spain this meant trying some tapas and some paella, so after a brief lie down we headed out to Las Ramblas to find a Tapas restaurant. My friend Anna remembered a place called Ocana on Plaça Reial from a few years back so we managed to avoid the hassle of trawling the streets for a restaurant that looked nice and wasn't full, and headed over there. 



Ocana had such a cool but also fancy restaurant vibe, and the sure did know how to make a strong but tasty cocktail. We were greeted by some staff dressed up in seriously strange costumes which I couldn't imagine happening in England or even in Montpellier, but although it was weird it was also kind of cool to see the difference in atmospheres. We ordered a selection of tapas dishes including ham croquettes, potato and chorizo omelette, meatballs with cuttlefish, and everything we were served was perfect. 

We then went on a bar called Glaciar for, of course, some sangria. We used to go to a bar called Andalus in Montpellier all of last term, and every time I got a litre of Sangria for 5€; I know, a litre all to myself but what can I say? I love me some Sangria. So anyway, we ordered a jug of it and took a seat in the Spanishy pub-like bar. Now this is where the night began to get even weirder (as if being greeted at Ocana by a man wearing what looked like tights over his face wasn't bizarre enough). There we were, happily sipping away at our sangria, when about ten people came in with baguette shaped brown paper bags, said nothing and headed upstairs. Then ten more, and more, and more. We literally had no idea what was going on and ended up laughing away with another group of English people at the absurdity of the situation! It must have been a private event so I guess we will never know what was in the bags or why they had them... some things are better left a mystery I guess.

Big cities and me have a weird relationship; they fill me with anxiety the minute I set foot in them, but once I adapt I fall in love. So I was surprised at how quickly I became comfortable in Barcelona (my gin cocktail could've quite possibly contributed to that as well, apparently I'm more of a lightweight than I thought...).





Shopping is a must if you ever visit Barcelona, and we actually ended up spending most of Saturday in Brandy Melville. I felt kind of guilty that I hadn't been more cultural, but we were so overwhelmed by the cheaper prices in Zara and Brandy Melville that we completely lost track of time!

Stay tuned for parts II and III, where we took a little walk down to the sea, and visited the famous Park Guell. 

Daytripping in France: Perpignan

2 Feb 2015
Let me introduce you to a little city named Perpignan. 

Technically, it's a part of the beautiful Pyrénées-Orientales region, but it's so close to Spain that it has a huge Catalan influence, which makes the buildings and the palace we visited all the more unique and interesting! I still can't quite get my head around the fact that I could actually drive from Montpellier to a completely different country in under four hours, and without crossing any oceans at all. It all just seems a bit surreal, as in, I know I need a passport for my trip to Barcelona next weekend, but it seems so unreal when I'm not crossing any oceans! Can you tell I haven't traveled to many places? 

Although the city centre didn't impress me as much as I'd have liked, (perhaps I've grown so fond of the bustling streets of Montpellier that I'm unfairly biased against everywhere else), I loved visiting the place and would definitely go back. The views of the Pyrenees from the Palais des rois de majorque were without a doubt the highlight of my little day trip, which is unsurprising considering my love for climbing to the top of things and spectacular views. I'm used to my dad pointing out the views of different British counties, not countries!


Can you spot the rainbow on the right? We climbed up staircase after staircase in the palace to reach a little viewing point on top of the building. As is always the case with these things, the climb was worth it and the views were amazing. It really makes me want to get in a car and drive to one of those mountains and to some hiking!




Along with the added bonus of a clear blue sky, views like this make me really, really appreciate my year abroad. These are the kind of places that I only find on holidays, I've never actually lived within a short train journey away from them!




Yes, it is still coat weather and yes, I did genuinely believe that I could go through my year abroad without wearing a coat. I think i was in a deep state of denial. It's still sunny though which is a damn sight better than the snow I'm hearing about in England!






Oh how I've missed my day trips to beautiful places with coloured buildings. I always find they remind me of family holidays to Devon, even though I know Perpignan is very far from the quaint villages I used to visit in Devon!



I like how in amongst the pretty buildings and the busy shops there are Je Suis Charlie signs everywhere which actually have the ability to draw you away from the sights make you stop and think about the really important, significant things in life.



Next stop? Barcelona.