When I was researching on places I could go with Amanda I had two requirements: it must be warm and it must be near water. I had had enough of the cold and snow of chicago and the cold and rain of London. I needed some sun in my life. So I went on google maps and looked at the biggest cities along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. There was Gibraltar, Malaga, Almeria, Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona, Palma, Marseille, Toulon and Sicily. With a pretty slim list, I went about researching prices of airfare, travel, hostels and daily life. This narrowed my list down to three cities: Valencia, Gibraltar and Malaga.
I love the city of Valencia because of the way I saw it pronounced in a boring documentary in spanish class in high school. The c in Valencia turns into a th, so it sounds all mysterious and such: Valenthia. I knew they were also known for their oranges, so I did a bit more research. There was plenty of history in the city, but at the end of the day the flight cost 57 pounds more than the other two candidates. Next.
Ahh, Gibraltar, how I love thee. I seriously developed a serious mancrush on this rock of a country upon doing my research of it. You see that jagged stone in the picture, that is all of the country. It is a part of the U.K. and has an area of 6 square kilometers. Yea, its that awesome. The main attraction, other than the views from the big rock are the monkeys on the stone, aptly named Gibraltar Monkeys. The flight was cheap, the hotels were decent and my mind was set. Only one problem, there were no flights on Sunday. I could not afford to miss classes either, so there went my lovable lil country.
At the end of the day though, everything works out like God intends. Instead of visiting a country that looked kinda cool, I got to visit a fabulous city that delivered more than I could have ever dreamed of. Without getting into too much detail yet, it is affordable, friendly, spotlessly clean, and absolutely breathtaking. O yea, and the sun decided to come out of its week long slumber and grace us with its presence during our visit to give us shorts and t shirt weather. What more can you ask for?
Part 2 to come tomorrow. I’m about to head out to a bar to watch my beloved Marquette attempt to shock the world!