Family Vacation!

Hello everyone!  I haven’t posted in such a long time and am so glad to be able to blog again.  For the past two months, I was so busy interning, traveling, and getting ready to study abroad.  I finished my internship at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in July and left for Europe that same night.

From now on, my posts are going to be a bit different than they have been in the past.  I still plan on posting about feminist issues, but I will also be talking about my travels 🙂

So I’ve been in Europe for almost a month and so far the experience has been incredible!  I spent three weeks with my family in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, and Albania.  First, we spent a few days in Venice.  Most of the time, we were eating amazing Italian food and gelati, of course, but we were able to make time for some sightseeing.  We went to a glassblowing gallery in Murano and watched someone make wine glasses.  We also spent a lot of time just walking around and enjoying the beautiful views!

We spent a day on the island of Lido, a small beach town that was just a short boat ride away.  We thought it would be fun to rent a four-person bicycle and ride around the town, but that turned out to be much more of a work-out than we expected.  All in all, our stay in Venice was fantastic.

Next, we boarded our cruise.  We spent one day in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  We took a guided walking tour of the city and then had a traditional Croatian meal.  The following day we arrived in Corfu, Greece.  We did not spend much time in Corfu because we took a bus over to Albania to see the ruins of a town that was destroyed in an earthquake.  This site was incredible and the views of the ocean were beautiful!  After all the hiking, it was definitely time for lunch!

After that, we headed back to Corfu and spent a little while walking around the town.

We spent the next two dies t in Argostolli and Santorini, Greece.  Both of these places were breathtaking!  Although Argostoli was beautiful, we did not really get to do much.  The tour we signed up for turned out to be a lot of sightseeing from inside the bus… but I did get to have some amazing yogurt gelato!

In Santorini, we climbed to the top of a volcano and got to see three craters: one was active.  Then, we took a short boat ride which dropped us off in the hot springs.  The water was crystal clear and absolutely perfect!

Then, we head back to Italy for four days!  The entire stay here was fantastic but there were definitely some highlights.  The best day of the entire trip was when my mom and I toured the Tuscan countryside and stopped for a wine tasting at a winery in San Girigmano.  We tasted seven different wines and they were very generous with refills.  The winery’s mother also made two separate dishes for all the guests… her lasagna was the best meal I have ever had!  I can’t wait to go back 🙂

We also stopped in Rome, Naples, and Catania.  We mostly spent these days sightseeing and visiting local shops and restaurants.

After the cruise ended, we spent our last week together in Spain.  Unfortunately, I missed out on a lot of the sights in Barcelona because I was doing all of the written work for my study abroad program…. but I did get to do a few exciting things.  We spent a day on the sightseeing tour bus which was great because we were able to see all of the monuments and attractions in the city in just one day.

The highlight of Barcelona was definitely our visit to a local castle which featured two different exhibits.  The first exhibit talked about the history of the castle and the local area.  This was interesting but the other exhibit was even better.  It was about human rights issues such as lack of education, poverty, and inability to access reproductive healthcare.  I was so glad to see such a popular site focusing on something so positive, progressive, and educational.  There was one particular part of this exhibit that really shocked me.  It talked about how much it would cost to provide clean water to every person in the world for a year, how much it would cost to provide every woman in the world with access to reproductive healthcare for a year, etc.  Below each one of these facts was another fact on how much certain regions of the world spend on material products.  For example, the top would say something along the lines of, it would cost 41 billion dollars each year to provide reproductive healthcare to every woman in the world.  Then there was a glass-enclosed case with lipsticks and perfume bottles.  Below the case it said: Europe spends 87 billion dollars each year on perfume and cosmetics.  I really appreciated the juxtaposition of these two statements; I also liked that they incorporated a visual image.  Most of all, I appreciated that these statements were said in an unbiased way because it allows museum-goers to form their own opinions on the material they are being presented with.  I tried to take away some literature on this exhibit but there was none available.  I was able to snap some pictures though!

Next, we were off to Madrid for two days.  Apparently August is the month where everyone in Madrid goes on vacation, so there wasn’t really much going on there.  This was pretty unfortunate but it worked out because I was able to focus on finishing up my school work.

After all of this, it was time to study abroad!!

PICTURES WILL COME SOON – If you want to see them now, check them out on my facebook!

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