A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: joannereyes

San Juan

85 °F

Want to feel like a kid again, eat great food, hike through a rain forest, soak up the sun, relax? Visit Puerto Rico. I can go on and on about how Puerto Rico is a great place to visit because I had a fantastic two weeks there. The people are friendly and helpful, transportation is easy to navigate (bus/Uber/car rental). If you are in the touristy area, restaurants and bars can get expensive, so do yourself a favor and check out more local restaurants to eat - I wouldn’t try the local bars if you don’t know the neighborhood.

The most fun for me was playing in the ocean. The water is warm, the waves were strong and the seaweed was plentiful. Also, when you play in the ocean garden, you can expect to find seaweed in places that is totally unexpected.

There are a lot of areas in Puerto Rico that are in need of a major makeover. There is a very present police force which is comforting, but begs the question, why? Every housing development is behind some sort of gate, windows and doors are covered in bars, and the graffiti is prominent. There are still many buildings that either require major construction or are totally abandoned from Maria. I never felt threatened, but I also wouldn’t walk the streets or the beach at night by myself. As a tourist you may not see the gritty side, but I would take the city bus so I saw the local neighborhoods up close. I have no idea if these neighborhoods are safe or not - I never felt threatened so maybe what I saw was just the way the people live.

Bottom line, I will visit this city next year and rent a car so I can explore more of the island.

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Old San Juan
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Sunrise
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Sunset
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Beautiful beaches
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Fun in the sun
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Posted by joannereyes 18:20 Archived in Puerto Rico Comments (0)

Barcelona

72 °F

Did I have fun? Yes. Did I enjoy Barcelona as much as I did a couple of years ago? No. The city seemed a little dirtier, not as friendly and a bit more expensive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a must see city if you’ve never been here but my expectations may have been unrealistic from my memory of my past experience. Or, maybe I’ve come to the conclusion that visiting major cities don’t appeal to me as much as medium size cities.

What I have also figured out through my 4 months of travel this year, is that if your accommodations are lacking either in location or the rooms have been misrepresented, that really can ruin your experience.

I’ve come to the conclusion that not all Airbnb reviews are real, somehow the owners have figured out a way to manipulate the review process. I’ve always had excellent results with Airbnb but not this year. I actually got an update from Airbnb stating that they are going to do more inspections of listings, unfortunately, that didn’t help me on this trip. Did I complain to Airbnb? Yes. Was I satisfied with their response? No. I’ll be more inclined to stay in a hotel in the near future until my confidence in Airbnb has been restored.

I purposely haven’t read my last review of this city because I wanted to write something from the perspective of someone who has traveled here before. I am including the link to my past review if you would like a get a different perspective.

https://joannereyes.travellerspoint.com/16/

Jetsettogether blog
It’s all about the Pinchos

Sagrada Familia
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Vistas
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Parc de la Ciutadella
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Beach
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Harbor
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Central Market
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City sights
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Posted by joannereyes 07:44 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Valencia

74 °F

I’ll be honest, I had no idea how beautiful Valencia would be. When I thought of Valencia, I thought of oranges and beaches. That’s it. But it is so much more with its Spanish Architecture which combines elements of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I spent a week here and that was plenty of time to see all their historical sights and have a few days to relax on the beach. Known to be the home of paella, you can eat paella to your heart's content. Authentic “Valencia paella’s” main ingredient is rabbit so if you are not into eating Bugs Bunny, try a different paella dish. ;) As with all Spanish cities, there are beautiful parks and squares to enjoy a few minutes to sit, relax, and re-energize yourself while people watching. The metro system is excellent and the walk ability is easy as you explore the sights of Valencia. Another big plus here is biking, just be cognizant of the bikers if you are wandering aimlessly enjoying the sights.

Beautiful buildings
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Fountains
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Bull rink
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Train station
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Post office
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Markets
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Beach
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Statues
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Mosaic everywhere

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Street scene
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Posted by joannereyes 11:37 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Granada

75 °F

First the negative, they seem to love their dogs, (hold on, that’s not the negative) but many don’t pick up after them (that’s the big negative), so it will behoove you to watch where you walk. That’s it, the only negative about this charming city, well, maybe one more thing but this is a personal problem with me and Western Europe in general. They eat dinner late - nothing opens until 8:00pm, I mean, how are they able to sleep eating so late. However, I was able to solve this problem by eating a late lunch and then eating ice cream for dinner. Yes, that’s what I did, don’t judge me, it worked and I was a very happy traveler. :)

The people here are kind, fun loving and helpful. The culture of neighborhood parks, squares, walkways are simply stunning. I don’t know how to sit in a park and relax, but, maybe here I can learn how to slow down and enjoy my surroundings. I love this city so much I actually took the time to speak with a realtor. I would move here in a second, well, at least part time - I don’t think I could take the winters here. Not withstanding any problems, I may be writing my next years travels from a base home of Granada Spain.

Granada enjoys tapas more than any city I’ve visited in Spain. What do I mean by that? your tapas are free with your drink. I’m not a big drinker, but getting your tapas for free with every drink is a big plus. Most bars and restaurants change up their tapas with each round of drinks so it can be fun guessing what your next tapas will be - it’s like anticipating a gift. But beware, once you order a meal, the free tapas stop.

The biggest tourist attraction here is the Alhambra - which I visited a few years ago. Lucky for me, it wasn’t someplace I felt a need to revisit because they were completely sold out. I’m just letting you know that if you want to visit it, make reservations in advance.

I LOVE GRANADA!

All things Granada
Jetsetalona

Charming walkways
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Fountains, fountains and more charming fountains
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Always places to eat and sit in the public squares
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Street art
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Granada equals pomegranate
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Beautiful buildings
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Posted by joannereyes 03:17 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Athens

rain 70 °F

One day in Athens is one day too many. Actually, if you’ve never been to Athens and you love history, then you need at least one or two day to visit the ruins. If you’ve been here before, then it’s just a city with nothing exciting or interesting to see. I stayed in the city center (walkable to the Acropolis). I decided to walk to dinner And it was a bit ominous. It was a nice restaurant (a bit hipster) but the walk was scary, people doing drugs, shooting up for all to see. There were other questionable parts of the walk but that was the saddest. I needed to stop in Athens to catch an international flight to Spain, so next time, I’ll just stay in a hotel close to the airport. I usually enjoy visiting big cities, but this city was nothing to write home about - it was expensive and on the dirty side.

Acropolis
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Theater
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Olympieion: Temple of Olympian Zeus
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Street scene - good and bad
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Vistas
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Posted by joannereyes 09:15 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

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