Sunday, September 7, 2008

Heidelberg, Germany

Went for a day trip to Heidelberg yesterday. Drove on the otobon not sure of the spelling but it´s the highway where there´s places with no speed limits. Heidleberg was awesome! there was a pharmacy museum which was basically an old herbal dispensary which i´ve learned about at college so it was amazing for me to see. there was a castle and some amazing vegan friendly sweet shops i was well fed :) A fireworks show too!


So September 4th has to be one of the best days of my life. I took a train from Madrid to Barcelona. I got to watch the sun rise which i kind of forgot was an actual activity since it´s usually well high in the sky when i wake up. It was really beautiful. Watching the Spanish country side with the sun slowly painting the sky different shades of warm hues. When I got to Barcelona I found the train station that i was to be leaving out of later that day but there was no luggage lockers so i went to the north bus station to find a place for my pack. I then went to The city hall where there is a bike meet every morning ( I was the only one to show up for that day so i got my own private bike tour. About 3 and a half hours it was some great information. There was a whole building that they moved stone by stone which took 50years just to make way for a main street. It´s really neat to see buildings older then the county i live in. I took a dip in the ocean. I swerved through heavy traffic (on bike) following my safety first guide and remembered why i had my travel insurance with me at all times. It was a bit of a white knuckle ride but I really recommend it. It really helped me see the city and find places easily later. After the bike ride I went to the BioCenter an awesome Vegan-friendly restaurant. I got Gazpacho, salad, main dish of the day, cerveza and a dessert all for under 12€. Then it was a walk along the Ramblas (which means dried river, which long long ago it used to be but now it´s one of the most popular places in Barcelona for a walk) to the famous house of Antoni Gaudi which was amazing and breath taking. I went to courting Ingles (it´s a huge chain of supermarket in Spain with everything. Like a classy wal-mart with more then 7 floors, it has everything) for some vegan mint chocolate before heading to the chocolate museum which was closed so i went to the park of Barcelona instead. Afterwards I went to the train station and met 3 great women to practice my french which is a lot better then I thought it was. Great train trip and best day :)

Madrid Casa

My Tio and tia in Madrid were great with my being Vegan. The made a few totally vegan meals for the whole family which made me feel so great. Knowing that my decision was making waves right in front of me :) I have two cousins with the coolest play room ever. They have a fully functioning disco light show complete with disco ball and lasers. It´s also filled with a bunch of cool toys and close by two white rabbits. I was in awe. I spent most of my time just hanging out with my two cousins making puzzles, playing some classic games like pick up sticks and memory. Watched some Spanish tv. Went to the pool but it was pretty cold. only went into town that once to get almond candy (which i still have a bag full) and train tickets.

Granada to Madrid

There was some delay on my trip back to Madrid from Granada. I went to the train station for my ticket and they told me the seats were full and if i wanted I could get a 1st class ticket for 50€ So i opted for the bus instead for 16€ The bus didn´t leave until a bit later so i got a luggage locker and walked around Granada. Really close by I found a park. It had such a neat jungle gym! I have photos because it´s different from any that i´ve seen. so photos to come :)

Granada last day, Aug 30th

So on my last day in Granada there happened to be a huge bike event. The street my cousin lives on was closed off. There were a ton of extra trucks and the city was just packed. Since it was so crowded we went off to the gym. There was a Sauna and a Vapour room. The Vapour room was so cool if anyone knows of one in Toronto please let me know. Then it was laps in the pool with a great view ;) Fany and I could not stop making jokes about cute guys :P then it was the best Jacuzzi i´ve ever tried. There were all different stations of jets one was as high as a shower head with supper strong pressure but since it was water it actually feels like someones giving you a massage. Great for shoulders and back. Then to another hotter typical jacuzzi. After that we went outside to eat and take in some sun. We were both so relaxed it was the perfect ending to my time in Granada.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bus to Granada

So I realize that I´m backtracking a bit but the funniest thing about the bus ride from Almunecar to Granada was when we were driving along a very narrow windy road up in the mountains. Very high up looking way down at the drop i was thinking, that´s nice that they finally put up a little ramp here, even if it does only reach the wheels of the bus. I then reasured myself that if there were more accidents the rail would surely be higher. Then I remembered signs I saw in Madrid. In Toronto you can see more police in higher crime areas. Where as in Madrid there are just some signs saying ´by the way, there´s tonnes of theives in this area so watch your stuff.´ Then as I was watching the last of the sea sceanery I saw a truck bigger then the bus laying on it´s side :P

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Almond Candy

So i was going to write about Granada but that can wait. I just found these amazing candy coated almonds which i have to say was my salvation after finding out my train ticket was 72€ more then I expected. Ouch.

So... Granada...
Last day there went to the gym that Fany goes to. Amazing. Best Jacuzzi ever. I want one.

I´m in Madrid now, it´s cooler which is nice. I didn´t have a siesta today so i´m a bit tired. Hopefully i´ll find some time to write more soon. All is well, love Sam

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Melting from heat a little

So i´ve just been relaxing in Granada. Last day today and then tomorrow off to Madrid. It´s been so hot it´s easy to do absolutely nothing. The temperature ranges from a normal 34ish to 42 Celsius. There´s really great places to walk and really nice people. I saw my cousin Fany act in two different classical plays. Garcia Lorca is like the Spanish Shakespeare or so i´m told. He wrote some really great works. Foods good, Vegetarian tapas are apparently hard to come by but haven´t had any problems. I know the gyspys this time so i haven´t been attacked with the outcome of my future. (They prey on tourists, grab their hand, give them a sprig of rosemary and then demand payment for the fortune they just told and insist that coins are bad luck) I had a close call with them last time :) Oh I visited the Cathedral. I was impressed. I had been walking by it so many times, it looked pretty plane an regular and then I went inside and was wowed. Really pretty. Took some photos but this computer wont upload them for me :P So just taking it easy in Granada, looking forward to the cooler weather of France and Germany.
Ciao, love Sam

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So I made it to Granada safely and easily.
Reasons I love visiting Granada...
- The great smelling flowers that seem to be everywhere
- The huge sidewalks in the middle of roads and on either side.
- The abundance of beautiful old fountains
- The really cool Graffiti

pictures to come

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quick blasts of update

- Went to my Tia Juana´s house, such an amazing house with a great view. Saw the biggest avocado of my life.
- Walking back to Abuelas house I just remembered my Tio Pepe and was asking my Tia Laura ¨doesn´t tio Pepe live right around here?¨She said oh no he lives farther that way, pointing somewhere. Then we turned the corner and low and behold there was Tio Pepe :) He´s really light hearted and I can see a bit of my dad in him. I think the next time my dad gets frustrated i´ll say ¨what would Tito Pepe do?¨
- A typical conversation between me and my Abuela:
Me in front of the stove a good distance away slouching moving stuff in a frying pan. My Abuela pats my tummy so I think this means to stand up straight. ¨no no, don´t stand so close to the stove, you can burn yourself, see I burned myself¨ she shows me a faint line on her stomach. Then I ask in shock as how anyone could burn themselves this way ¨how did you burn yourself?¨ ¨well with the iron, so don´t get to close to the stove¨
- English friends went back to England saw them off at the bus to Malaga
- I bought more sun cream today...
- Thanks for all the comments everyone :)
- I´ll be going off to Granada tomorrow
- OH yeah! My tia Laura had something of a swollen eye from a bug or something and she was saying yeah mines gone now but Tio Andres has one. So I asked her well how did you get rid of it? and she said ¨well I used a medicine and Maria del Mar who´s pregnant blew on it¨ :)
- Love and miss you all!!

news worthy :)

I was really happy today but when I signed into hotmail and saw that this was the head story instead of whats going on in the ´whos dating who´ of the celebrity world I was super happy.
So give a quick read...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

As per request

My English friends requested that I describe them, so as per request...

Phil is Awesome
David is Brilliant
Tommeh is Amazing


Just visited my Tia Trini. She always tells me I´m Guapa and asks how my dad is doing and then tries to pinpoint my day of leaving so she can load me up with homemade sweets for home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I love quotes and sayings so i´ll share some that i´ve learned here in Spain

The funniest I would have to say would be ´Edad del Pavo´ which literally translates to the age of a turkey hahaha ´gobble gobble´ um... you say this when someone´s being really whiny or having a temper-tantrum.

I was yawning a lot and my Ti told me ¨tiens mas sueño que dinero¨ The literal translation is you have more sleep then money. I hope you get the jist because it´s odd to translate.

¨Mas vale pajaro en mano que ciento volando¨ One bird in the hand is worth more then a hundred flying.

You say this next one when someone says they didn´t say what you are sure they said. For example person A say ¨buy the white one¨ Person B buys the white one and tells person A then person A say ´I never said that¨ Donde dije digo, digo Diego. Try saying that ten times fast and remember j is pronounced h ;)

And an alternative to telling someone to be quite... ¨En boca cerada no entran moscas¨ Bugs don´t fly into a closed mouth.


So I went up to the look out point and it was a really great view to do yoga but all these tourists kept on coming up. From that height though I saw an area of beach that looked very nice and secluded. So I climbed all the way back down manoeuvred my way to the awesome space and layed out my towel. Really nice little pocket of beach, really only room for one yoga-er. There were a couple people passing by wondering what the hell I was doing but I ignored them and continued on. Then just as I was getting into my favorite pose that needs a lot of my focus because there´s a lot of balancing involved this couple walks by really close with their wet dog. They then do not notice my ´only space for one glare´ and decide to lay out their own towel. I was being calm and focused thinking well they´ll just go into the water and let me be. But the woman sits down and lights a cigarette. So my zen was no more :( So I quickly finished and left. I miss my considerate Canadians...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


So I was looking at the pole thing over that way >>>>
and it says to talk more about Family...
Family´s great :) My Abuela is an excellent cook and loves her children. We went to the supermarket together and we were looking for some yogurt for Luis and she was very strict about which type and brand he likes. I was thinking well what´s the difference really it´s all yogurt. Then I realized that she takes that much care with me and my food choices (which at the moment some see as daunting and like me she just sees it as fact, right now Sam likes this and not that). It made me really appreciate how attentive she is especially when it comes to food. She really cares and I really love being able to spend time with her. I also love her food (yum Yum) She´s not really a very touchy feely kind of person. When we were walking to the fireworks I was runbbing her back a bit and she was pretty determined that she didn´t like it. So i´ve just been trying to spring as many hugs on her while i´m here.

My Tia Laura is funny, very much a routine kind of person. I´m organized usually but never really had a routine. My only routine is that every day is different. After every meal we clean up and i don´t mean just wash the dishes, there´s sweeping and mopping involved too. There´s a cup of chamomile tea always before bed. Lunch is at about 2:10 and she changes into cooler clothes and we all eat together and my Tia and Abeula discuss latest gossip. My Tia is really sweet too though, just very into her routine. She´s pretty easy to talk to once in relaxing mode. The other day we went to put gas in her car. I got to wash her car with this superly strong hose in the shape of a machine gun. It was really fun. Then together we walked around. Found some nice clothes at a really great price. I haven´t been wearing any jewelery at all and so every night she tries to put something on me and I told her i liked her earings. Very simple silver studs, and so now I have a pair. (Don´t think i´ll take them off) She notices the details. You don´t have to say much to say a lot. She always askes too ¨do you understand that¨ even to other Spanish people. I think I do that a lot too usually so I realized I get that from her.

Well almost time for lunch, I think i´m going to check out an art store around the corner i really have been craving a chance to paint.

Vegan Pizza

Everyone is being really great about me being Vegan. Especially my Tia and Abuela. My uncle Luise came to Almuñecar the other day just for some work thing (??) and we went out for Pizza. I got a vegetal pizza no Quesso (cheese) and it was really awesome. Mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli, tomatoe sauce, oregano, nice thin crust. And they also have a vegetarian restaurant here!! Who knew?! My tia Laura pointed it out to me so I´m gonna check it out ;)


Yesterday went to Auquatropic with British friends it was really a lot of fun! Tonnes of walking, especially up towards the slides. We got in for free because they all made friends with an English Spainsh person who works there so we had an even better time I think. The water hurts a bit because it´s all chloronated salt water flying in your face all the time but well worth it. Back hurts a bit today and I miss my own bed but I think i´m going to climb the highest rock today because it has a platform and a great view of the ocean and do some yoga.


Pan means bread in Spanish and it seems to come with every meal. Without fail breakfast, lunch and dinner bread, bread, bread. There´s a saying that goes ¨tu eres mas largo que un dia sin pan¨ which translates to: you are longer then a day without bread, refering to hight. I really do not normally eat that much bread and yesterday I went looking and I finally found oatmeal. So life is back in order. Went for a run again this morning walked along the beach too. It´s really quite nice to be out that early in the morning. But anyway the point is I can´t haddle the amount of bread that´s being pushed on me so i now have oatmeal instead of toast at morning and ricecakes instead of bread at night and just looking for an alternative for lunch...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dig a hole

The other day my English friends dug a huge hole in the beach... and I just sat and watched... And that was pretty much how a whole day at the beach was spent.
Oh and the funny part,
One of the people digging the whole is named David and once they dug a huge whole they opened it up to the sea. Later that night they all met a Moses and Jesus who were quite impressed by it.

Small town Charm

What I forgot to mention about the night of the fireworks was that my Tia, Abuela and I went to the far beach to have a good view but also to not have fireworks fall on us. With tonnes of people on the beach at night we ended up sitting right beside my Abuela´s sister (see photo from previous post). That´s small town charm for you I think.


So this morning I went for a really nice run around Almuñecar with my Tio. I think I´m going to try and make it a regular occurance. I´m not really a runner but I think it´s something I might be able to commit to for a week or so.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

what I see

So i´ve only gotten one response to the ¨what do I need to talk more about¨ on the right had side so that way >>>>
And it says to talk more about the sights...
It´s quite beautiful here all the white houses. The Beach has lots of rocks and not to much sand. The water two days ago was pretty perfect. Clear to see the bottom no matter how far you go out and perfect temperature. A little chilly once you first dive in but a nice get away from the sun. There are a few more buildings but everything is pretty much the exact same since the first time I remember coming here (9ish years ago?) I really love it here. Everyone walking at a slow pace. Part of the side walk near where my Tia works is all dug up because they´re putting in another underground parking. That used to be my favorite stretch to walk along... well more about the sights later!

British Friends

So four years ago I made a friend here in Almuñecar from Britain and through the magic that is Internet we stayed in touch and met up again :) so now i have some British friends who are quite a laugh and teaching me lots of slang. My favorite would have to be ´Swish´ like cool or neat. I think I have an easier time with Spanish then with the accents they have but we all get along great.

Best Fireworks

Last night was the fiesta of August 15th where there´s a parade with the Virgin that goes through the whole town. The Virgin (a statue b.t.w.) Then gets put on a boat and goes around the three rocks and returns safely to shore. Meanwhile there´s a half hour long fireworks show which is so awesome that one of the rocks always catches on fire. The castle lights up the sky is full of sparkle. It´s great. I hung out with my Abuela and older aunt and uncle for this one. It was good fun!

Routine that I can live with :)

Hey all,
I´m here in Spain having a blast, don´t really know what to say. Wake up and go to the beach make sure i´m at lunch with Abuela and Tia at 2pm then back to the beach and then back to the house for 7pm shower and read for when Abuela and Tia get home. Then hang out on the porch and chat away in Spanish. Then it´s dinner at around ten and then out to Fiestas. That seems to be the general routine so far.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hair Cut

So I got to Almuñecar at 6am and the first thing that was scheduled for me was a trip to the hairdresser. My hair is now super short and brown. Great for this weather because it dries so fast.

My Abuela loves pushing food on me all the time and now that i´m vegan (no animals, no animal by-products) she doesn´t really know what to do so as i eat she surrounds the table with more and more fruit. Nothing tastes better then fruit from a family garden in Spain :)

I realized this morning where I get my strong sense of curiosity from, my Abuela. Every second especially when it has something to do with food she´s asking what i´m doing and why I am choosing to do it the way that. Curious, curious.


So I hung around Madrid for a day and here are some things I noticed
1. Arrows on signs. So In Toronto you see a picture like ´metro or ttc´with an arrow pointing up, as if to say ¨keep forging ahead, onward and upward¨ well in Madrid the arrow to continue is down facing. I guess as if to say únder this sign is the passageway´

2. The metro is nice. It´s clean, it´s simple and easy to use the only wierd part is the chime to close the door... In Toronto it´s do-do-doo-do almost sing song. On the metro in Madrid it sounded like the music you hear in a horror movie before something bad happens.

3. People whistle, for no reason

4. The architecture is really something. There´s so much detail. If it´s not the around the window it´s on the julite balcony.

Madrid was neat, it was the first time visiting it on my own, seeing where my feet took me. I went to the big park that starts with an r but can´t remember the name of now. Met a nice Argentinian who I shared my pick0nick with. Takled about travel and napped a bit in the grass we figured it was saffer with two. All in all a good but tireing day :)

Plane ride

So the flight went well :)
The delay allowed me to meet someone from London, so now i want to visit the vegetarian restaurant that James Bond went to. Watched ¨Vantage Point¨ on the plane. Who doesn´t want to see a movie about terrorists blowing up the city you´re about to visit? Needless to say I was on the edge of my seat. The food was less then very edible but not just for me :) PC actually makes travel food, who knew? Being Canadian i´ll have to write them a letter. ¨Make better meals, travelers are people too!¨

Bored at the airport

so i'm writing this from the airport. How cool? I just came from the security check in point and i have to say I wouldn't be surprised if next time i travel every one has to strip down to briefs. I had to take my belt off and gum out and i'm standing there holding all my stuff :P almost lost my bording pass. But all is well, I'm at gate c31. Ready to go :) my luggage was 18lb and then my carry on was like 5 or something. so alll is well... just waiting to board...

Something was apparently wrong with the aircraft so now there´s an hour delay. They need to switch all of our stuff over. I guess i´d rather hear them say that then say ¨oy, does anyone have any duck tape we just have to do some last minute repairs¨ They´re pretty efficient so I trust them when they say only an hour...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Operation: Pack LIght!

I have to say that I packed light!! (and the crowd goes wild... that's you) My pack weighs in at just over 20lbs. I'm crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath that I can take it as a carry on. I leave in less then 24hours... and of course I can't sleep so instead i'll share my itinerary...
Touch down in Madrid, Spain at noon (Spain time). I then take a bus to a small town called Almunecar where my Abuela lives 3min walking distance from the ocean. Stay there for about 15 days then it's off to Granada (only a couple hours away) for 5/6days. I go to Madrid from there and spend 2days with family and then pay a quick visit to Barcelona to see the chocolate museum and the house of Antoni Gaudi. Overnight train takes me to Paris for a day and then Karlsruhe, Germany keeps me for a weekend. Monday morning it's back to Paris to spend a day with Micheline and visit the flea market. Same day at 6pm (France time) I take the underground chunnel to London for 4 days and then on the 12th of September I'm flying back into Toronto around 2:35pm (home time).

Oh and the 'Bon Voyage' party was so much fun! Thanks for the send off everyone!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Hello Everyone,
This is the way that I will be comunicating while i'm off in Europe. You can easily comment on any of my posts and an email will be easily sent to me. You do not have to register anywhere to comment, just click on 'Anonymous' but please sign your name so I know who it is :)

The following photo I took at Brunswick and Bloor. I <3 Toronto