Thursday, 24 September 2015

Travel | Alicante, Spain

To start off my gap year I went on holiday with my two friends, Antonia and Vicky, to Alicante in Spain for 5 days. We had been planning to go away together after we had finished Sixth Form for a long time, so when the time finally came we were pretty excited!

DAY 1- I reluctantly woke up at 5.45 AM for our 2 and a half hour flight. It felt really weird to be going on holiday with just friends and not family! Annoyingly when I walked through the X-ray bleeper thing it got set off, even though I wasn't wearing anything metal! Apparently it was from my ankles but there was nothing metal there, just my leggings. Weird huh? Anyway, it was actually Antonia's first time abroad and on a plane so it was interesting to see her reaction to take off, flying and landing. When we arrived in Alicante it was actually raining! We knew there was going to be bad weather that day but it was still a bit of a disappointment to us when we got there. After checking into our lovely hotel, Melia Alicante, we walked around the Alicante area to get to know it and found somewhere to stop for a drink. I tried Aperol for the first time with high hopes but I actually hated it! In the evening we went to a restaurant and tried their local wine which was probably the best wine I have ever tasted. Much better than the Aperol, for sure! Then it was on to a bar by our hotel to drink cocktails where we actually made friends with an older couple who happened to be staying in the same hotel as us.

DAY 2- The next day we woke up to nice weather so we decided to go to the beach. But first we took advantage of the buffet breakfast and I stuffed my face full of croissants and watermelon. We managed to have a couple of hours on the beach and put our feet in the sea but then suddenly a thunderstorm came over! Fortunately the beach was right on the hotel's doorstep so we didn't have far to go to get back under cover. The thunderstorm was so heavy the streets began to flood so we had no choice but to stay inside for the rest of the afternoon. We filled this time by playing cards (I'm glad to say I won some games). Luckily by the evening the rain had stopped and the worst of the water on the roads had gone so we went out for a meal again with a new wine to try. It wasn't as nice as the first one but still good!  We ended the night at our new favourite bar and I discovered my new favourite cocktail: San Francisco. 

DAY 3- From our hotel we could see Castillo de Santa Barbara which is a castle up a small mountain in Alicante. We decided to go up to the castle to check it out. You can get a lift up to castle then walk the rest of the way. Let me tell you, it was beautiful! The weather was much hotter and nicer with clear blue skies so the view was spectacular. We could see over Alicante and the sea. We also got to learn about Alicante history and the backgrounds of families who had been living there for generations. After our trip to the castle we decided to relax by the pool so we could finally soak up and enjoy the lovely weather. I was reading my book called 'The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August' by Claire North. In the evening, we found another nice restaurant to go to. Annoyingly, on the menu I saw 'Pasta Carne' (which is meat) and 'Pasta Vedura' (which is vegetables). As a vegetarian I went for the second option expecting veggie carbonara, but only the pasta was vegetarian! The sauce still had bacon in it so I had to frustratingly pick out all of the bacon bits. After our meal we went out and had cocktails. I think I had a little bit too much because I ended up being sick when we got back to the hotel!

DAY 4- The start of my day wasn't too great as I ended up being sick twice more so had to skip breakfast. But after having a nap I felt a lot better and ready to go out. We decided to walk to town and check out the shops there. Antonia wanted to go to Pandora to get a Spanish flag for her charm bracelet to represent her first holiday abroad. We spent absolutely ages looking for Pandora but eventually found it in a Corte de Ingles store. One of the biggest hits of the day was discovering a Kiko Cosmetics store! I knew Kiko existed online as I had seen bloggers talk about it but I didn't know they had stores. We went in store and I think we spent a good half an hour in there in awe of all the make up. I ended up buying a blue eyeshadow stick, blue mascara and a eyelash night treatment. We also saw  Sephora store and freaked out about it because none of us had been in a Sephora before. On the evening I decided I was a bit fed up with constantly eating pasta so I decided to try something different. I ended up having a weird dinner: chips and bread dipped in vegetable soup. It was surprisingly delicious though! I wanted to order a chocolate milkshake instead of wine thanks to my being sick experience but the waiter ended up bringing me hot chocolate instead. It felt weird drinking hot chocolate in a hot country! The rest of the night was Fanta Lemons for me.

DAY 5- Last day! We had our final breakfast (I had way too many croissants) then we checked out of our hotel room. We relaxed by the pool for a couple of hours in the afternoon then had our final meal together at lunch time where I ordered Spanish omelette baguette. However, the waitress brought me French omelette baguette which I hate! I then re-ordered my Spanish one...but another French one came. Thankfully we were third time lucky and I  finally got what I ordered. Afterwards, we played a few games of cards before waving goodbye to Vicky. Rather than coming home with Antonia and I, Vicky was leaving on an earlier flight to Madrid to have a weekend there with her family. After she left, we went down to the beach for the last time and went in the sea. We then relaxed by the pool taking in the beautiful scenery for one last time. Our flight was at 23.55 and we ended up sitting next to a man on his own. He proceeded to tell us that he had a candyfloss vending machine business he was bringing over to Spain and showed us photos on his phone of it. Odd!  We were pretty tired by the time we got home and I finally got into bed at 3 AM.

Overall we had a great holiday and it was nice to be away with people I had been friends with since Year 8. We had just finished sixth form so it was a good way to celebrate the end of our years in education together before we went on to other stuff in our lives. Although, me and Antonia are planning to go away next year travelling as well. So watch this space!

Also, credit to Vicky who allowed me to use some of the photos she had taken for my post. You can check her Instagram out here. She is a make up and travel lover!

Where did you go on holiday this year? Let me know!

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