Two Days in Seville

I know I haven’t blogged in forever but I am getting ready to play catch up and in doing so my first post after my long hiatus will be dedicated to my favorite show.

So pretty much everyone knows that season 6 of Game of Thrones airs tonight, it is probably the most anticipated season the show has ever had, I mean let’s be serious who doesn’t want to know whether or not Jon Snow lives? What may you ask does this have to do with my trip to Seville? Well to all you die hard fans out there, you already know the answer but to those who don’t know, part of the show is filmed in the south of Spain. Remember the beautiful Water Gardens of Dorne, well it’s actually better known as the Real Alcázar of Seville. You know that may have been the deciding factor for my move to Spain (haha just kidding). But of course I could NOT pass up the opportunity to visit the Alcázar and I’m so thankful I took this trip because I found out something very special while I was there.

Real Alcázar, Sevilla

Seville is located in the south of Spain, this region is more commonly known as Andalusia. The climate here is pretty warm all year round except for the brutal summers, I’m talking about deserted streets. It is not hard to enjoy the city, we barely planned our trip (which is not usually like me). I think that sometimes its better that way, less organized.. you get to lose yourself in the city and see things that you otherwise may miss because you stayed on the guided path.

Procession Sevilla

A procession taking place on the streets of Seville

Procession, Sevilla

Sevilla, Spain

There were horses and carriages everywhere


I have always been intrigued by Andalusia, there is just something about the culture there that seems so exotic to me. Throughout the region you can still see the history reflected in the lifestyle, architecture and cuisine. Long ago the Moors took control over Andalusia and occupied it for almost 800 years.  Their influence would forever shape the culture in the south of Spain and even produce some of the world’s most beautiful monuments as well as most visited.

Cathedral, Sevilla, Spain

Cathedral of Sevilla

Cathedral, Sevilla

When we arrived and the weather was perfect, not to hot and not to cold. We set out in search of the Alcázar and let me be the first to tell you, it is NOT easy to find (even with a map -__-). Funny enough we happened to stumble upon a bunch of different monuments and tourist attractions without even realizing it. Unfortunately I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to. After we spent some time wandering around and asking for directions, we finally asked someone who knew where it was located. Victory! Once we turned the corner near the main cathedral we saw everyone waiting to enter and joined the queue. The entrance fee wasn’t too pricey, it’s about 10 euros or if you’re a student under 25 its 2 euros but its free for Seville residents which is a great because who wouldn’t want to take a daily stroll through the garden and see the peacocks.

Panorama view Alcázar, Sevilla

View from the top of the Alcázar


Paths of the Alcázar, Sevilla


Fountain Alcázar, Sevilla

Gorgeous fountain inside the Alcázar


Alcázar, Sevilla

Inside part of the Alcázar


Inside the Alcazar, Sevilla Spain

Breathtaking, the gold was everywhere


Inside the Alcázar, Sevilla

Tiles of the Alcázar, Sevilla

Tiles on the walls of the Alcazar

tiles Alcázar 2 sevilla

More beautiful tiles

Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain

The floor was decorated too

I loved everything about the Alcazar and the gardens, it was so magical and the entire time I was exploring I kept picturing scenes from GoT. Thanks to the popularity of the show tourism has grown ever since the location was added. People come from all over to see the gardens and we even saw a couple taking their wedding photos here!

Wedding, Sevilla


Water gardens of Dorne, Sevilla

Top view of the gardens


peacock at the gardens, sevilla

Peacocks everywhere but I only got this one up close


Orange Trees in the gardens, Sevilla

Famous orange trees are found everywhere in the city


Gardens of the Alcázar, Sevilla

I ate some great food in Seville and hands down had the BEST chocolate con churros in all of Spain, of course in my opinion. Chocolate con churros is a typical Spanish dessert that is a must when you visit Spain. On the other hand, I am not the biggest fan of chocolate but with that said I would go back to Seville just to for this dessert. If you can’t already tell I haven’t found any worth comparing to in Madrid. So if you do have a sweet tooth my recommendation is to go by the first bridge, Puente de Isabel II and you’ll see on the side a churro stand.. you’ll thank me later. There were definitely a lot of options when it comes to eating out but I have to say that my favorite restaurant was right next to the Metrosol. Eating at the Metrosol is great because you can see a spectacular view of the city for 2 euros and then enjoy some yummy Andalusian dishes. Here are a few names of places I loved TapaOle, Al Solito Posto and Albarama.

Metrosol, Sevilla


Black and white, Sevilla


While I was in Seville I had plans to meet up with a friend of mine but unfortunately we didn’t get to see each other. She did however end up showing me something that left me in complete awe. Let me explain, you see I have a very unusual last name (Guardamino) it has actually always made me question – where does this name come from? One, because it is not the typical Latino last name you would normally hear and two, people usually assume it is Italian. Well finally there is an answer to my question. For hundreds of years (or who knows how long) people have wandered the streets of Seville seeing my last name. Calle Guardamino is about a 5 minute walk from the Metrosol. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this picture, I didn’t stumble upon this street but I was so happy that my friend did, thanks Chava! Overall I loved my time in Seville and to anyone who is thinking about going trust me you won’t regret it! Sevilla definitely has a special place in my heart but until next time.

Gotta run!


Calle Guardamino, Sevilla

Calle Guardamino

Flowers in the Alcázar, Sevilla

Flowers in bloom




Copenhagen for the Weekend

So ever since arriving to Madrid I have been craving cheese danishes and unfortunately theres a bit of a shortage here haha. Luckily, my roommate and I had planned a weekend trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. Our mission… to find the best danish in town!

My first impression was obviously at the airport and oh my was it stunning and luxurious! Everything was beautifully adorned with Christmas decorations and illuminated in soft white lights. The halls were filled with what seemed like an endless amount of clothing stores – every shopaholic’s dream. If I wasn’t already in the holiday spirit, I am now.

Random Street in Copenhagen

Random street in Copenhagen


Trying to get to the apartment was a bit of a struggle, there was a bomb threat just a few hours before we arrived. As a result, the metro line we needed was shut down for the night. (Of course -__-)  Thankfully almost everyone speaks English in Denmark and we found our way by bus. The flats in Denmark are tiny in space but have beautiful, huge bay windows.

Navigating the city is pretty simple by bus, we decided not use the metro that way we could see more of the city. There were 2 buses we used, the 5A takes you straight into the city center and to the airport as well. The 66 takes you to the other side of town towards the harbor.

Winter night Copenhagen

Winter night in Copenhagen

Beautiful building in Copenhagen

Beautiful building in Copenhagen

After settling in we went out for kebabs – Marisa always craves them haha. It is actually pretty popular in Copenhagen and although I was not sure what I had ordered, thanks to the help of a friendly stranger I knew it wasn’t spicy. Alongside our meal we were given Turkish tea which hit the spot since it was super cold that night. I’m talking 3° F!

Snowy night in Copenhagen

Too much snow I could barely take photos


Colorful streets of Copenhagen

Day 1:  Marisa had planned our itinerary and the first thing on the list was a 3 hour walking tour. It was my first walking tour and I think it is a great way to see the city, without getting lost. However, the weather in Copenhagen was not great and on top of the freezing temperature, it was windy, hailed, and rained the minute we started the tour. I ended up breaking 2 umbrellas, even one belonging to the tour guide.  >_<.  It was a great tour despite the weather and as luck would have it, we saw the Prince with his wife and children while touring the palace.


Caught off guard

Fun Facts Learned on the Tour:

  • The Danish language has no word for “please”.
  • The history of Copenhagen can be summed it by “it burned down”.
  • It is reported that Danes are the happiest people around the world, despite the horrible weather conditions.
  • LEGO is Danish 🙂
  • Cycling is one of the most common forms of transportation (rain or shine) and there are more than twice the amount of bikes than there are cars.
  • Hygge [hue-gah] is a Danish word, that has no translation but describes a cosy feeling of togetherness, a genuinely great time.
  • The Danish flag is the oldest flag in use by an independent nation, first acknowledged in 1219.

LEGO store on Stroget avenue

Main street in Copenhagen

Snowy night Copenhagen


Driving in bad weather

On the tour we saw the famous Christmas markets and the selection of goods ranged from food to decorations. I tried Glogg which is a spiced mulled hot wine that Danes drink during the holiday season. It can be compared to the American holiday beverage Eggnog. There was also an assortment of roasted nuts, fudge, jewelry, ornaments, crepes etc. Unfortunately it was too cold and rainy to take pictures at the market.

Venitan masks

Venetian masks Copenhagen Christmas market


Paying respect to the victims of France

That day was also the famous Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game and being a Barcelona fan I had NO intentions of missing it. To all those Madrid fans let me just say 4-0. 🙂 It was a different experience but a cool one nonetheless, cheering on our team with fellow fans in a Danish bar.

Day 2: Today we hit Strøget avenue here you can find cute boutiques and high end stores. Some of my favorites were Moss, & Other Stories. Strøget is located right before the Christmas markets.


Shopping in Copenhagen Stroget avenue



Streets of Copenhagen


Tivoli Gardens – Theme Park in Copenhagen

This area is also where we had our best meal. We stumble across this charming vegan friendly cafe called Flottenheimer. The food was amazing and reasonably priced, I ordered the spinach spaghetti and Marisa got the lobster sandwich. We also discovered our new favorite drink, Elderflower. It can be served hot or cold and even comes as a soda –  I loved it as a tea!



Flottenheimer Best restaurant in Copenhagen

Hidden on a quiet road, inside what looks like a typical brownstone you will find Ruby. This was the best bar/lounge without a doubt. The drinks are on the pricier side but the staff was super friendly and the ambiance extremely welcoming. That night Marisa and I made friends with the bartenders and even stayed until close. We found out that Ruby is ranked as one of the best bars in Europe, definitely a must see when in Copenhagen. We had a hyggerly time!


Nyhavn Copenhagen

IMG_8677 (1)

Nyhavn Harbour Copenhagen

Day 4: Our last day in Copenhagen was full of beautiful sunshine and warmer cold weather. Today we went to see the Little Mermaid statue and the Nyhavn harbor. The buildings by the water are beautifully colored in saturated reds, pinks and orange. As you walk inward you can see that it is the wealthier side of town with white buildings, lavish hotels and cafes on every corner. Here we achieved our goal of finding the BEST danish, the cafe was called Vedels Konditori.


Near the harbour


Best danish in Copenhagen


Vedels Konditori Cafe Copenhagen


Copenhagen pastries

Growing up I watched every Disney princess movie, like every other little girl, and I always wanted to be like Jasmine and my sister like Ariel. So seeing the Little Mermaid statue was especially important for me, this way I could show her photos of her favorite princess. Unfortunately my phone died, then Marisa’s died and then her camera. It wasn’t the stroke of luck I had hoped for but the pictures it all worked out in the end.


The Little Mermaid Copenhagen

Nyhavn Harbor, colorful buildings

Nyhavn Harbour

It was the perfect end to our trip. I fell in love with this city and I could totally see myself living here. I can’t wait to return but maybeee when I’m not freezing my butt off -summer sounds good haha.

Last fun fact Danes attend college for FREE, some are even paid to attend university… U.S get it together, nobody likes student loans.

Gotta run!


Morocco – Tangier, Chefchaouen, Tétouan

I’m so excited for this post because it was my first time in Africa! This past week, I had the chance to tour a few cities in Morocco with some friends. I knew before moving to Spain, that Morocco was on my list of top 5 countries I had to visit, during my time abroad. I even went as far as to get a typhoid vaccination, mom -__-, to make sure everything went smoothly.


Morocco is such a diverse country in terms of terrain, climate and culture. I visited the north which is very mountainous, has beaches and it even snows. The weather around this time of year is warm but breezy. Communicating wasn’t too hard since we had interpreters but the official language is Arabic followed by French.


Upon our arrival I saw something which can only be described as if it were out of a movie. Let’s just say that movies do not exaggerate the truth of the violence or aggression from the police nor the sense of survival, when “crossing the boarder”. You see, Spain has land in Africa (Ceuta), which you must cross to enter Morocco. I had a front row seat to “this event”. It is a sad but harsh reality we live in and one thing is for sure, my eyes are opened.


Streets of Chefchaouen


Medina – Chefchaouen

In spite of this event, we were determined to enjoy our trip. The city that left me in complete and utter awe was Chefchaouen, it is known as The Blue Pearl. I learned on this trip that every major city in Morocco is represented by a color, Chefchaouen’s is white and blue.



The medinas, markets, were stunning, the walls of the city all covered in different shades of blue. It is as if you are in a maze and every corner you turn, there is a vendor selling handmade goods unique to the city. The best souvenirs to buy here are blankets, scarves and rugs. This city was by far my favorite of the three we visited.

A warning though, if you are afraid of heights try to visit cities that are located near fewer mountains. I kid you not, every city is in between two mountains. I mean it’s not like you are driving on the highway. There is barely enough space for you let alone the other cars. Oh and just forget about the rail guards… those don’t exist. >_<.


The shores of Tangier


Rolls Royce of Morocco

Tangier is another beautiful city with so much history. It is located where the Atlantic meets Mediterranean sea. We rode camels on the beach and took a tour of the King’s home. Even the King of Saudi Arabia has two houses in Morocco. It is one of the oldest cities and it is known an international zone.


Henna in Tetouan




Tiled walls


Tiled walls

Tétouan is a special city that reflects the country’s religious tolerance policy. Here you can find a Christian, Jewish and Muslim cemetery all on the same plot of land. It was here that we were recommended to buy organic products, purses, anything made from leather and most importantly argan oil! I’m a huge fan of using oils in my beauty regimen and oh boy did I splurge. It is much cheaper here than in the states. Needless to say I left Tetouan a happy camper.

Next visit I plan on exploring Marrakesh, Fes and Chefchaouen again. Have you ever been to Africa? Which country would you like to visit?

Why I Moved Abroad

Ever since my study abroad experience in Barcelona a few years ago, I’ve craved travel like never before. I have always planned on going back to Spain and living there for a while and this year I finally got the chance to live out my dream.

Deciding whether or not to move was easy. However I knew I had some heavy factors to consider.

For one, my family I have two brothers and two sisters, and we are all super close. We actually have a group chat with our mother, in which all we do is make jokes and talk about life. I can be away from my phone for about an hour and come back to 60 missed messages.

Another factor was my friends; they are my support system and moving to Madrid meant changing all of that. I have an amazing group of friends that no matter how bad things get, they are there to help me see the bright side. They’re the type of friends who are down for whatever, and I couldn’t be more blessed in that department.

Finally I thought about my aspirations. I studied history and education, and although I had a great job at the time (which wasn’t teaching -_-) I always knew teaching is what I wanted to pursue. I wondered if I should start my teaching career in the States and grad school, or put everything on pause for a year.

Despite my reasons, I took the plunge and decided it’s now or never. I mean, this is at least a resume builder, no? How many people can say they taught or lived abroad?

I knew whatever choice I’d make would shape the course of my future. Now that I’m here and finally settled in (trust me when I say it was NOT easy) I am glad I made the choice to leave. I don’t know what’s in store but who knows?  Maybe I’ll find another reason to stay.

Have you ever wanted to just get up and move somewhere else? Wish you could live somewhere else? Go and make it happen! 😉





Departing to start my new life in Madrid.



All roads in Spain lead to Madrid. Puerta del Sol, Kilometer Zero