Why I Fell in Love With Gaudi in Barcelona

I only spent two days in Barcelona but it didn’t even take me that long to learn that Antoni Gaudi is a genius.  Gaudi was a Spanish architect who lived from 1852 to 1926.  He had a really vivid imagination and it shows in his designs.  It is clear he was well ahead of his time.  It may sound like I am exaggerating as I describe some of the places, but honestly I was thoroughly impressed.  I am not the only one who thinks this, many of his projects have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

La Sagrada Familia is a basilica designed by Gaudi, still currently under construction.  After more than 130 years, it is scheduled for completion in 2026.  I have been to many amazing churches across the world (St. Patrick’s, St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s and more) but in my mind La Sagrada Familia tops them all.

La Sagrada Familia under construction for the last 130 years! - "Why I Fell in Love With Gaudi in Barcelona" - Two Traveling Texans
La Sagrada Familia under construction for the last 130 years!

If you plan on visiting La Sagrada Familia while you’re in Barcelona (and you really must) you should get your tickets in advance!  There are several different ticket options but all are timed entry.  The cheapest option is to just buy entry into the cathedral for 15€ each.  We decided to splurge and go for the most expensive option.  For 29€ per person, you get access to the cathedral, an audio guide, and you get to go to the top of the towers on one of the cathedral facades. (more…)

What You Need to Know About Visiting Dublin Castle

I am not going to try to hide it, I have become obsessed with castles.  You probably have already realized this if you follow along this blog.  So when I realized there was a castle in the center of Dublin, I just knew we had to fit it in the itinerary.  Dublin Castle is conveniently located a short walk from the Temple Bar Area.

I had no idea the fascinating history I was about to learn.   The first castle on this site was built around 1200, although most of the current buildings date back to the 18th century.  Dublin Castle was the seat of the United Kingdom Government’s administration in Ireland until 1922, and is now a major Irish government complex.

Selfie in the courtyard of Dublin Castle - "What You Need to Know About Visiting Dublin Castle" - Two Traveling Texans
Selfie in the courtyard of Dublin Castle

While under UK rule, the castle was the residential and ceremonial quarters for the Viceroys (deputies of the British Monarch) and the Viceregal Court.  Now that Ireland is an independent country, the castle is used for inaugurations and other prestigious functions.  Over the years it was also as a prison and the seat of parliament. (more…)

The Truth about the 10000 Buddhas Monastery

You will see many Buddhas all over Asia but I don’t think there is any one place that has more than the 10000 Buddhas Monastery in Hong Kong.  In fact, the truth is there are actually 13,000 Buddhas.  That’s what makes this place different from other temples you visit throughout Asia.  If you love Buddha, this is definitely the place for you.  It was my friend Courtney’s first time in Hong Kong and she wanted to get some culture, so we decided to check it out.

Buddhas with a view! - "The Truth about the 10000 Buddhas Monastery" - Two Traveling Texans
Buddhas with a view!

The 10000 Buddhas Monastery is located in the mountains in the New Territories of Hong Kong.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to get to via public transportation, but luckily taxis in Hong Kong are really cheap.  We were staying at the Sheraton in Kowloon, so we grabbed a taxi from there and it only cost 110 Hong Kong Dollars (about $14 USD).  Plus, we had a lot that we wanted to see that day and taking a taxi would save us precious time. (more…)

Our 2017 Travel Wish List

It’s hard to believe 2016 is almost over.  While we may not have done so well with completing our 2016 Travel Wish Lists, it’s still been a great year for us with lots of travel. For 2017, we want to do even better, so here are our picks for our 2017 travel wish list.

Anisa

So I may have not made it to any of the places on my wish list from 2016, but I still had a great year with international trips to Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and of course England.  In 2017, I will be returning to Spain again thanks to the Air Europa flights that I won at a Spanish Wine Tasting.  (I still can’t believe I won!) In addition, here are some places that are high up on my 2017 travel wish list. (more…)

San Sebastian’s Monte Urgull is Worth the Hike!

One of San Sebastian’s most famous landmarks is the statue of Christ on top of Monte Urgull that looks over the city.  We had a lovely view of it from our hotel room at the Hotel Londres.  I had heard that you could walk up to see it and I thought that would be fun to do.  I had no idea that Monte Urgull has more to offer than just the statue of Christ and a great view.  So if you get a chance to visit San Sebastian, I would definitely recommend setting aside an afternoon to explore Monte Urgull.

The statue of Christ on top of the castle.
The statue of Christ on top of the castle.

I would really classify the trek up Monte Urgull as an easy hike.  While the paths are nicely paved, some parts are steep.  You will also find stairs in some places.  If you walked up without stopping to explore, it would probably only take 30-45 minutes depending on the speed that you walked.  You can reach the trail from Mari Street in the Old Town Port Area. (more…)

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