train trip

villefranche-sur-mer, france

villefranche-sur-mer, france

After our second night in Nice, we took the train from the center of the city to the first town on the coast in the direction of Italy: Villefranche-sur-Mer.  Armed with our favorite chocolate chip breadsticks from the day before, plus a few new bakery finds (when in France!), we were ready to hop from one coastal town to another all day long.  

rabat, morocco

rabat, morocco

After spending a day and a half in Fes (see more here), we took the train back to Rabat to finish out the last day and a half of our trip.  We opted for first-class tickets again (now, don't be thinking "OH who do they think they are now?!"  Refer back to our Fes post for our reasoning on that, but basically, it afforded us a bit more space and guaranteed seats for a few more euros...so we 'splurged.') and had another good experience.  Danny ended up sitting next to a (friendly, English-speaking) military cadet for a majority of the journey...and you'll see more of him before too long :)

valencia, spain

valencia, spain

For the last leg of our train trip (see our first stop in Zaragoza here and the middle - and longest bit - in Barcelona here) we made a day and a half long stop in Valencia, Spain's third largest city.  Now, I have to say that I wasn't all that sure what to expect for our time in Valencia.  A few (Spaniards) had given me dismal reviews of the city ("It's like the Jersey Shore of Spain - I hate it!") but foreigners we knew who had visited seemed to really like it.  Nevertheless, I tried to keep an open mind because I have a thing for places along the sea and I was also particularly stoked to visit the City of Arts & Sciences.  So, without further ado...another riveting blow by blow of how we spent our time in yet another pretty European city!

barcelona, spain

barcelona, spain

After not having visited Barcelona (while living in Spain) long enough for it to get embarrassing, we finally made it there!  It was getting to the point where at least two people said something to me along the lines of, "You know, Barcelona is somewhere you really should visit...it's kind of a big deal to Spain...and the world...it would be a shame to miss out seeing how close you are in Madrid...etc etc," and other people just raised their eyebrows and thought it when we told them how long we'd been here AND hadn't made it to B-Town.  So, like I mentioned in our Zaragoza post (see it here!), we snagged some fancy Black Friday train deals and made our way to Madrid's more-visited, more-laidback stepsister, Barcelona.  

zaragoza, spain

zaragoza, spain

At the beginning of December we took advantage of a four day weekend (Thursday - Sunday) as well as a holiday on the proceeding Tuesday of that week that we also had off.  We got brave and asked our schools if we could have the Wednesday off in between to make for six consecutive days off, and they said yes!  It was especially nice since we were only two weeks out from our two week Christmas break.