Since my last entry I have taken as many opportunities as possible to travel both within Spain and outside its borders. During the weekdays I am fairly booked between class and my internship, so that leaves the weekends for exploring. In the past two weeks I have made it to Paris as well as Mallorca, both incredible in distinctly different ways. I have a friend who is studying abroad in Paris, which presented the perfect opportunity to take a quick trip in her direction. With the low prices of flights within Europe, it’s hard to think of any other time when it will be this easy for me to see one of the most iconic cities in the world. Paris did not disappoint in any way. I was in awe every moment of my three days there at the richness of culture and sheer amount of art at quite literally every corner. While I did not have the chance to visit The Louvre because of the high number of tourists at this time of year, I was able to visit the Musée de l’Orangerie where some of Claude Monet’s Waterlilies are. I do not consider myself to be an expert on art by any means, but these are one of those pieces that you cannot help but be moved when you see them in person. The scale of the canvases combined with the oval shape of the room makes for a truly immersive experience. In addition to seeing the iconic sparkling of the Eiffel Tower at night, this was probably one of the highlights of the entire trip. There were some small bumps in the road as is to be expected from any trip, but even those added to the whole experience. For example, both afternoons I was there the city got hit by massive thunderstorms out of nowhere and both times I ended up drenched in the rain. What I found though is that when you are so blissfully absorbed in a moment, even these inconveniences feel completely magical. Though I only spent three short days in Paris, it without a doubt will live vividly in my memory.
In stark contrast to the urban experience of Paris, this past weekend I took a short flight over to the island of Mallorca. I had seen many pictures of this stunning destination, but nothing can compare to glimpsing its crystal turquoise waters for the first time. Most of my time on this trip was spent either by the water, swimming in it, or riding atop of it in a boat. I made the fantastic decision to purchase a cheap pair of swimming goggles and that easily made the experience ten times better. Getting to swim above the reefs and peer into the eyes of fish mere inches away from you is something I recommend everyone do at least once in their lives. As always, there were also some major challenges on this trip. I think I have been very lucky with the public transportation in Barcelona as it is highly reliable and easy to navigate. Mallorca was far from the level I was used to and that took a lot of frustration and time spent on Google Maps to adjust to. I think if I were to go back I would definitely be renting a car. Nonetheless, it was still an overwhelmingly positive time and it taught me that I am capable of solving problems in unfamiliar places even if it takes some time.