Spring Break: A Trip Around the Mediterranean

Hallie Bates
April 30, 2014

A few weeks ago, I met up with my best friend from home for a much needed vacation around the Mediterranean and up to England. We ended up traveling to Rome, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, and London, and despite being completely exhausted (and broke) at the end of it all, it was one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever taken. Here’s a quick summary (with pictures!) of the places we visited and the things we did.

First Stop: Rome!

It was my first time in Italy, and despite a bit of confusion with our meeting place (turns out there’s more than one arrival and departures board in the giant Termini Train Station… who knew!), Emma and I finally found each other and headed to the apartment. In the next 2 days, we would see the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Vatican, the Piazza del Popolo, and the Sistene Chapel. Despite how amazing seeing these landmarks firsthand was, I found myself appreciating the little things in Rome much more. The frequent gelato stops (at least two each day), sunsets, winding cobblestone streets, and amazing pasta were the things that I’ll always remember about this incredible city. Here are some highlights from Rome!

Trevi Fountain! Very beautiful, but also very covered in tourists.

Watched the sunset from a bridge overlooking the river. The Vatican is in the distance.

Pasta and wine; a Roman staple.

Had the best gelato of my life here… Nutella and coconut flavors with Nutella on top.

On to Barcelona!

Our next stop was Barcelona. It felt good to be back in the land of tapas and sangria, and we even found nachos at our hostel (something I’d been craving all semester). For the few days we were there, we walked and explored for hours, making it to the port, a big, beautiful park, the old Olympic stadium, the National Art Museum (MNAC), Sagrada Familia, and Park Guell. We even happened upon a marathon and several very cool antique markets while wandering through the city!

More tapas! Yummm

Beautiful park we stumbled upon in Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia from the outside… One of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever seen.

Inside Sagrada Familia, the stained glass creates surreal patterns on the walls and floors.


Of all the places I visited on my trip, Nice was my favorite. It may have been because we spent the most time there, or because there were much fewer tourists there than in the other cities we’d seen, but I know that I’d love to go back someday. There was a very easy-going atmosphere in this seaside town, and the Fruit and Flower Market is one of my favorite memories from the whole trip. The food was amazing, the weather was perfect, and everything was only a short walk from our hostel. We also took a 40 minute bus ride to reach nearby Monaco, a beautiful (and amazingly wealthy) country just east of Nice.

Best cookie I have EVER eaten at the Fruit and Flower Market by the beach.

Feeling quite French at the market.

Macaroons! Or, at least what we thought were macaroons… After buying some and biting into one, I quickly found that they were actually soap. Oops.

Nice from above!

Monaco harbor!

London Calling
For our final trip, we headed to London to stay with Emma in her apartment. London was amazing, and although we were burned out from so much travel, we made the most of our time there, seeing the London Eye, Big Ben, the London Bridge, Borough Market (my new favorite market!), Buckingham Palace, and Hyde Park. The best part of this final leg of the journey was getting to go to Easter Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was a very moving ceremony (and in such a beautiful and historic church!).

Outside Buckingham Palace.

Green Park near Buckingham Palace.

Stumbled upon this French egg race on Primrose Hill.

Love this city!

All in all, the trip was amazing… Although I felt pretty burned out and even relieved arriving back in Granada, I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel and explore Europe (S/O to the padres). Hasta luego!


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Hallie Bates

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I&#39;m currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I&#39;m an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can&#39;t wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I&#39;m excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>

2014 Spring
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