28 February 2009

Southwest in March

During the last semester break in Eichstätt I spent two months traveling through eastern, southern, northern, and central Europe. As you already know, another semester break has rolled around, and, as you may have expected, another lengthy trip is about to begin.

For the month of March I will journey through the last basic region of the continent in which I have yet to step: the Southwest. Though my time on the road will be about half of that as my Odyssey in 2007, I still have ambtions to pack in a trove of exciting destinations.

The trip begins this Monday with an early train ride to Milan, Italy. Here I will stay for most of the week with a friend I made during my first year in Eichstätt. Next I will head to the western coast of Italy and to a region known as the Cinque Terre. These five isolated villages are suspended over the Mediterranean on seaside cliffs. The terrain is so difficult that modern roads did not reach the villages until the later decades of the twentieth century.

After a few days spent in this beautiful landscape, I'll find my way to the French Riveria. My main stops here will be Monaco and Nice.

Then, the rails will carry me to the Iberian Peninsula, specifically first in Barcelona, Spain. I will spend a few days experiencing some of the notable peices of architecture and tireless lifestyle of this famous city. Eventually I will go to southern Spain, to the cities of Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. Each of these communities is famous for its splendid old town and remnants of Moorish architecture.

I will push on essentially as far west as one can go in Europe to Lisbon, Portugal. The capital of this country is often overlooked by tourists heading to Europe's cultural heavyweights more to the east, but supposedly offers just as coloful of an experience. If time permits, I will check out the city of Porto.

Likely though, I will head directly from Lisbon back into Spain and to Madrid. I plan to stay in Spain's capital for several days in order to fully appreciate its many offerings: fantastic art museums, tapas bars, boisterous food markets, bull fights, and so on.

At some point, and likely with a hint of regret to leave Madrid, I will board an overnight train to Paris. I will stay with a friend who lives near this iconic city and take a number of days to relax and better soak in the French culture and lifestyle.

When all goes well and as planned, I will arrive back in Eichstätt on April 2nd, but my fun and travels will not end. The next day my parents will arrive for an extended visit, but more will be written on that later.

Similar to last time, I do not know how often I will be able to make posts while traveling. Those that I do make will likely be short and sweet in order to keep my bill in internet cafes as low as possible. Likewise, please don't expect many photographs to be posted during my travels. Once it is all said and done though, I will post my favorite shots and stories as I did after my Odyssey.

As winter seems to finally be on its death knell here is Eichstätt, I'm ready to head south and warm up a little quicker. Monday can't come soon enough.


Anonymous said...


But seriously if you want tips on the french riviera, e-mail me! We stayed in Nice and took day trips every day... everything is so close and the tickets are ridiculously cheap. DO NOT MISS EZE! Perfect clifftop village overlooking Villefranche which is a busy but beautiful beach we went to twice. Jean Cap Ferrat has the most beautiful (not crowded at all) beach of my life. The whole train line from Monaco-Nice is like that... wear your sunscreen :)


(i tried to send this 3 times, sorry if you get 3 emails!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I also know some things about my city ever, Barcelona :)