Wandering About: Athens and Corinth, October 18th 2017

My mom’s conference ended, and we finally went on a little tour, eheh. We went to Athens, the Acropolis to see the Parthenon, etc, we had lunch at Plaka, and afterwards we headed to Corinth to see the man made canal and the Roman acropolis of Corinth.

Here are some pictures I took at the Athenian Acropolis, where you can see the view from the top, the Parthenon, the temple to the Goddess Athena, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Theatre of Dionysus, Temple of Poseidon:

And here are some photos of Corinth:

I had an awesome time in Greece, and I will gladly come back again, because this is awesome, and the food is to die for.

Wandering About: Vouliagmeni and Athens, October 13th – 17th 2017

On the 13th we made our way to Athens by ferry, and wow, what a bad trip. Super windy and bumpy and it was definitly not an easy crossing. Vouliagmeni is like the French Riviera of the place, so a lot of beaches and so resorts and so on. We stayed at the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso, and while I enjoyed it, it had a few issues. I didn’t do much for these days, but check out some pics.

Wandering About: Mykonos, October 11th and 12th 2017

It’s official, I love Mykonos. Yesterday we did nothing except staying on the beach… yeah, tough day. Today, me and my mom went to the island of Delos, an ancient city from a few centuries BC, that housed around 30.000 ppl at some point. Today, it’s an UNESCO site, and it’s not inhabited. Gorgeous though. The boat ride there and back? Not so great. The sea wasn’t cooperating today, ad it was a very rough journey.

Spanish Lessons (Jessica Peterson)

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Vivian Bingley has big plans for her semester abroad in Spain… 

Along with her BFF, Maddie, Vivian hopes to indulge her inner Art History nerd by visiting the best museums in the world. She also wants to tackle more practical concerns — like a less than stellar GPA in her major, Economics — with the help of a Spanish tutor.

But falling for her studly Spanish tutor definitely isn’t one of them.

Madrileño Rafa Montoya is the stuff study abroad dreams are made of: super studly and super smart. He also happens to be super into Vivian. With his wicked dancing skills and his passion for the arts, he tempts her to throw caution to the wind and live out her wildest dreams. 

Only problem? Maddie wants Rafa, too, and Vivian promised herself she’d never settle for second best again…not after a hookup-gone-awry last semester left her heartbroken. Is it best for Vivian to protect her heart at all costs? Or is letting Rafa in worth the risk?


First of all I would like to say that some of the feelings at the beginning of the book felt familiar to me. I never did the Erasmus program during my undergrad years, but during my Masters I relocated to Barcelona to do the practical component of it, and stayed for roughly 6 months. I was never as lost as Vivian feels though, because even though I didn’t dominate the Spanish language, I always understood it – Portuguese people mostly understand spanish quite well. But still, it’s a daunting feeling, to not feel at home… I know, because I felt it again when I moved again to Barcelona a little over 3 years ago.

Also, I freaking love this cover!!!

Now, onto the book itself. I really liked the writing. It was fun and easy and Vivian was mostly a fun narrator. Obviously, because I do understand spanish SUPER well, I sometimes found it too much to have the translation after every spanish phrase uttered, but I do understand its presence. I did have a couple of moments where I totally went “OK, I’m pretty sure that’s not right”, like Venga con dios” being translated as “Go with God”… nope, it’s Vaya, because “Venga” means “come” and not “go”. Or “Quiero ser contigo”… again nope… the right ways would be “quiero estar contigo”, I know that in english the verb TO BE is used for a lot of things, but for us the verb SER and ESTAR mean different things, though they both translate to TO BE.

The thing that, well, didn’t bothered me, but I just couldn’t quite see it, it was the descriptions of the spanish people and certain habits. Well, maybe I’m just living in the wrong part of Spain, but the way that the spanish people are described? Not exactly what I see everyday. Now, I can totally blame the city here, I’ve only been to Madrid once and back then I wasn’t actually looking (really looking), but here in Barcelona? Nope. I don’t see it.

Other thing that kind of bothered me was the coffee. Wow Cristina, nitpicking much? Well, I am! Because coffee is very important for my survival and the coffee here sucks. With that said, and especially in the center of Madrid, it is quite easy to find coffee chains like Starbucks that not only serve all kinds of coffee, but they all have to-go cups. I know, because in my first day in the city I located a bunch of them. Also, not that I get out much, but I usually see people drinking way more bear than red wine…

Ok, I’m done! Now onto the story :D. I liked the fact that it dealt with Vivian finding her true passion and what she wants to do with her life. I also understand her unwillingness to keep having flings and to find The One, though I thought that at 20, and with very little experience under her belt, it was a bit TOO important for her, if that makes any sense.

I liked how she slowly decided to make the choices that were best for her, and stop focusing on what she should be doing. Still, her road there was a bit unnerving at times. I was frustrated with this girl for most of the book!

Rafa, on the other hand, was a delight to read. I loved his broken english. And how friendly he was to everyone. And how patient he was with Vivian… though, let’s be honest, that had to be hard.

I could have done with the weird sort of love triangle. It was weird! It’s worth noting that Rafa is NEVER interested in Maddie though. I thought that both Viv and Mads were in the wrong, but honestly? Mostly Maddie! She got under my skin. True that Vivian should have been honest about her feelings for Rafa, but Maddie KNEW (and she admits that she knew) that her best friend had feelings for this guy, and still she made a move on him. Not right!

I was super happy about the last 20% of the book. I liked the resolution of the story a lot. That, Raffa, and Vivian’s sense of humour while narrating it, totally did the book for me. I’m excited about the next story of the series, which will be about Maddie, even though I had a lot of problems with her character during this book.

Wandering About: Budapest (2010)

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In October 2010 I did one of the best trips of my life, I went to Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague. Today I’ll share some pictures of Budapest, and then I’ll share the others at some other time (because there are too many).

My mom had a meeting there, in Budapest, so we thought it would be an ideal time to do those golden cities. My grandmother (82 at the time) agreed to come as well, and so did my mom’s business partner, and we ended up going with a Brazilian couple friends of ours and their kid. So we flew to Budapest for the meeting, and from there we rented 2 cars and there we went. I did have a small detour in the middle of my stay in Budapest, I had a aDNA congress in Munich, so I spent 2 days in Budapest with mom and grandma, then I took a 6 a.m. flight to Munich to spend 3 days at a conference with my adviser and another professor – where I had to share a room with my adviser… not weird at all – and then I got back to Budapest on the day before we left on our big trip.

I loved Budapest, it’s one of the most gorgeous cities I’ve been in, and I’m itching to go back there, because I needed so much more time to see everything properly. 🙂 Bratislava, Vienna and Prague will come soon.

Bout of Books 14: Road Trip Challenge

Hello! It’s day 6 of the Bout of Books 14 Read-a-thon, meaning, just one more day! Yesterday I didn’t participate in the challenge, because it involved shipping people from different books, and I find it so hard to do that, I’ve been putting off doing the Rip it or Ship it book tag because of it.  But that’s ok!

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Today’s challenge is a bit more manageable, the Road Trip Challenge, hosted by Steph in Wonderland. “For this challenge, I’d like for you to come up with a list of the top 4-5 states/places you’d love to visit and find a book (you either read or want to read) that takes place in that state/place or a book by an author who lives or is from there. :]

Because this felt somewhat similar to the challenge from day 1, I decided to use TBR books for this one, and mark a real possible road trip, starting from Barcelona, where I live… so, here it is.

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I’ve also started my third book, Shatter Me, today! Finished The Wrath and the Dawn yesterday evening and I’m still a bit hungover by it, such a stunning book, such heartbreak 😦 …

Wandering About: Paris (2006)

It’s summer, we’re almost in August, which means that all the people at work will be going away for almost the whole month (yes people, that’s a thing here in Barcelona… I don’t get it either). It also means that I will be working all alone for most of the month.

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That doesn’t mean that I don’t get to travel. If you’re following this blog for a while now, you know that I DO travel quite a bit. So I thought that maybe I would start sharing some pics of the places I’ve been throughout the years. Sounds good?

Ideally I would to this in chronological order, but given that before 2005 all my photos are physical and at Portugal, I’ll start with a more recent trip :).

In February 2006 I went (for my third time) to Paris, this time with friends. I was never so cold in my life than on those few days, but I loved it.

The pyramid of the Louvre Museum:

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Sacre Coeur:

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L’Arc de Triomphe:

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The Orbitron at Disneyland Paris:

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Moulin Rouge:

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The Eiffel Tower:

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Me at Disneyland (almost 10 years ago!):

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This was also my journey with the coolest photos, lol. So, have you been to Paris? Do you want to go someday? 🙂

*** ohhh, I had forgotten about this one, it’s the city of Paris viewed from the Eiffel Tower***

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