A Week in Andalusia – El Gastor & Grazalema

Whenever I travel, I like to document my adventure as best I can. For my trip to Spain last July, I had really wanted to vlog, however, it ended up being too hot to carry around my digital camera and instead I resorted to shooting on film. My Canon AE-1 and a couple rolls of Portra 400 went everywhere with me.

We arrived in Malaga and quickly picked up our rental car. We then began the drive from Malaga to El Gastor where we were staying.

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Every night we would watch the sun set behind the mountains and then stay up talking and watching the stars.

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I had to take a siesta everyday around noon until 2pm as I wasn’t very good at coping with the heat and would end up with a migraine. However, after my nap, I’d jump back into the pool, or rather have to be pulled in, so as to avoid painfully warming up in the cool water.

The place felt very magical, I’m glad that I don’t know any Andalusian folklore, otherwise, I’m sure I would have convinced myself that there were creatures lurking in the desert hills surrounding us.

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Grazalema, a beautiful cliff top town was the first place we visited. Of course, visits only happened after two in the afternoon, so as to avoid the hottest part of the day. The road to get there was crazy bendy, and was often a single track lane.

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When we finally got to Grazalema, we had ice cream and sat in the town square. We wandered the streets, seeking shade between the houses.

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Surrounded by tree covered mountains, Grazalema has a very tropical feel to it.

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Grazalema is a picturesque town, with its white painted houses and greenery. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area!

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Old Montreal // New Memories

Once a year, two of my friends and I go on a pilgrimage to Montreal’s China Town to appreciate the culmination of the island’s Chinese culture. We stuffed ourselves with vegetarian dumplings, Dragon Beard candies and Bubble tea. Happily satiated we continued our journey into Old Montreal, the historic cartier of the city.

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 Unfortunately, most of China Town was under construction while we were there so I didn’t get any photos of the area. Hopefully these dumplings and scallion pancakes will satisfy! 

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I’m never disappointed when I visit Old Montreal. With a European air, cobblestone streets and delicious food trucks, it’s always a pleasure to be there. My friends and I took pictures in Place D’Armes, in front of the Notre Dame Basilica where Celine Dion got married and the monument fountain dedicated to Montreal’s Founder, Paul de Chomedey. 

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While on our way to the water front, we passed by the Cours Le Royer. I pulled my friends over so that we could take a closer look. I felt like I was in Paris! Surrounded by converted warehouses, now made into apartments, the area had small water fountains and benches, acting as a quite get-away from the busy streets nearby.

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We made it a goal to take pictures at all the MTL MOMENT signs we could find. Located all over the city, the picture frames allow you to take a cute photo with a scenic Montreal background behind you. The two we found were located in Place Jacques-Cartier, surrounded by artist street vendors and one in the Old Port, with a view of the Cirque de Soleil tents behind it. 

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This past winter my boyfriend and I went ice skating on the canal. It was absolutely beautiful! Returning with my friends, I was even more impressed with the calm nature of the park. You can rent pedal boats on the canal or lounge on the grass while admiring the view of the Bonsecours Market. We bumped into friendly tourists from New York and Shanghai who though it was cool that we were having a tourist day in our own city. We explained that since one of my friends and I are both going to university outside of the province, we wanted to make the most of what we had here in our city.  

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It was a great way to appreciate the city I call home and a wonderful way to spend time with my friends. I can’t wait to have my next adventure!