My experience to 1st solo International trip.. ; Adventurous and Free spirited…!!!!

13 Days, 3 countries , 8 flights.. multiple Buses,trains and cabs….  ==>> Memories to cherish. #solo woman traveller

It was my heartfelt DREAM to visit SPAIN for my 1st international solo trip. And I was just dying to make it happen. By the end of 2017, I was damn sure that I am going to make this happen.soon…! 2018 ringed the bells and I was eager to plan my trip within this year. I wanted to plan this trip around my birthday, So I planned it in the 1st week on August.

I roughly decided the dates 1st and started to explore about the country. Within just few days of research I realized that 1). Spain is hottest in the month of August (Unbearable SUN) 2). It will be crowded, as August is holiday season in Europe. At first I was really disappointed with these facts but then I continued my search to discover the “Best of SPAIN in summers”. I started reading blogs, visited multiple websites, contacted travel agents and also took suggestions form locals (Thanks to FB) but still I was in dilemma. Hot weather became so much big constraint to me that I even planned to change my destination. But then, I got suggestions to stay near coastal areas of Spain and to avoid the places with high heat (South of Spain).I follow the same.

Couple of months passed by and I was still clueless about trip itinerary. (I was looking forward to do early bookings to save the cost). Phweee..!!.. After so much of brainstorming and thought process; long story short; I planned to add two more countries in my itinerary. Keeping 4-5 days for SPAIN and moving to different country for the rest of my vacation.

My itinerary was for 13 days. Barcelona(Spain),Ibiza (Spain) , Bergen (Norway) , Flam (Norway) , Amsterdam (Netherland).

For above European countries Schengen visa is mandatory. Here comes the long and painful process. It took me one and a half month to gather all the required documents. (So much of paperwork). There was no one to sponsor me. I applied for the tourist VISA personally. I was afraid if my visa will be approved or not, But….

There was a small moment of Happiness, In the 1st week of July I got my VISA stamped from the SPAIN Embassy. I was really very happy. I could see my dream coming true J.

Now it was the time to freeze all the reservations from flights to hotels, Trains to buses etc.etc…I planned everything in advance. I was spending lots of sleepless night to research in detail. Made TO DO lists for each place. Whenever i had free time i was exploring the planned Cities/Countries on phone. I was so so …so much excited that I couldn’t even sleep at night. All this went on for a month.

FINALLY, 31st of July 2018, Most awaited day of my dream. I was flying to Barcelona. With mixed feeling of excitement, worry and joy I left for the airport.It was real now and i was happy.

Almost 15hrs lonnnggg journey still i was not feeling tired, I was so much excited that It was visible all over my face. Arrived at airport and commuted to Hotel in Barcelona by bus and metro. (Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia.).

I was feeling totally different on the new land. Different people, new language, everything seems amazing. After checking into my hotel, I took some time to dress myself up for the new city and went out for a walk around the local city. I stopped by the small street to have some Veggies and apple juice.

Soon after that I realized,Some money was stolen out of my bag   , Completely disheartened by Barcelona city on the very 1st day.But i didn’t wanted this incident to spoil my further trip so i just let it go and enjoyed my trip.Guys please keep yourself safe from the pickpocketing in Barcelona.

Next MORNING i started my day with Antoni Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona https://www.parkguell.cat/ (There official website).Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements.It has specific timings of entry and some entry tickets as well as it’s a World Heritage Site.Its a pretty cool colourful place. Gaudi’s house architecture is something that you can see inside. Hot sun was harsh but still i managed to take the complete round of park.  Coming to outer area of park there were few folks performing Flamingo dance which i really enjoyed watching.


View of Barcelona city from Park Guell

And this Antoni gaudi statue actually moves


Park Guell

People here usually speak spanish, English is not spoken much, So it was difficult talking to many people here..

Later in the evenings i went to

  • Las Ramblas
  • Plaça de Catalunya also called Catalonia Square.
  • And the famous fruit market La Boqueria Market

Las Ramblas is a street in central Barcelona which connects with Placa de Catalunya. It’s a big shopping area, So many people strolling around. It is even more expensive as its a major tourist area.

At Plaça de Catalunya there were countless human friendly pigeons eating seeds all around.


Plaça de Catalunya

Spent Another beautiful at Barcelona, Visited Sagrada Família


Sagrada Família

No doubt i thoroughly enjoyed Barcelona, It’s a beautiful city. Local city commute services and roads are nicely built and maintained. People are helpful. Cabs here are too expensive so local transport is always suggested. Within city you will find so many bars and cafes on road side in nominal cost. Worst thing …drinking water is only available as mineral water bottles. Many Indians working in general stores as a sales or cash person. Even Indian food is also available in the market near Las Ramblas.

Fruit market is must visit in Barcelona..So many different options of fruit and each one of them is just wow. Juicy fruits are sold in small packings. There are many vendors selling it similarly in this market.

After spending 2 days in the Barcelona, I headed to the party Island IBIZA…jj

Ibiza

Ibiza is incredibly beautiful island. I reached around 12:00 in the night but city was still alive, I could still see people moving on the streets, City was full of energy.Views from my hotel’s window were mesmerizing, I only realized it when i woke up next morning. Sunrise on an Island like Ibiza is really refreshing.Reflection of orange-red rays of sunlight in ocean make it picture perfect view.

Early morning beach was very serene and less crowded.Only few people walking along the shore.I had never seen such kind of beach before, I was absolutely entranced by the beauty of this new experience. Crystal clear blue water with white sand makes it stunning.

Ohh..its was breathtaking view…

Sunrise Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza
Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiz

It was my birthDAY….!! I started day by clicking many pictures and selfies of mine. I really enjoyed each and every moment of it, I had wonderful breakfast and then joined a boat cruise party… So many people, loud music, drinks, Attractive DJ… WoW… I think i could not have asked for more… It was just awesome..!! “I will come back Ibiza.. :

It’s best place to party in WORLD.I spent 2 Days in Ibiza..Both the days, i was on Playa d’en Bossa Ibiza, major holiday resort on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Next day i just spent moving around the city and small market.

Tapas is one of the famous food items you will get here. Tapas has variety of appetizers, one of the famous Spanish cuisine.

TAPAS

Minus harsh heat/Sun of Ibiza, Everything else was good.

After spending fabulous time in Ibiza I headed to my next holiday destination. Bergen (Norway)..Oh God It was damn cold.It was raining when i reached Bergen (Bergen is Norway’s second largest city). I easily got the bus from Bergen Airport to the Hotel in the Bergen city center.  My hotel was very well placed just 2 mins walk from the bus stop.

I planned 4 days for Norway (Bergen,Voss, Flam).With its very small city centre and clearly defined suburbs, Bergen is a city where it is easy to navigate. I observed most friendly people at this place.My place of stay was Thon Hotel Bristol.Hotel staff was superb.. very helpful. And the mouth watering breakfast just made my date.

Bergen is one of the Scandinavian Country. City is surrounded by mountains, fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest.City itself is very safe, Solo travellers can make most of their trip without any fear in there head.Below are few clicks from Bergen City center..

As it was rainy day …So it was densely clouded and cold.


Byparken bergen

Art museums and Composer homes

You will find here Bergen light rail, Buses and cars using the same road. I walked from Byparken towards the Bryggen. It was totally scenic. Bryggen in Bergen is famous for medieval wharf  and historic harbour district known for its colourful, wooden-clad boat houses.


Bryggen in Bergen

Later on i visited Fløyen or Fløyfjellet which is one of the city mountains of Bergen. Fløibanen is one of Norway’s best-known attractions and the only funicular railway in Norway. Its short 6 to 7 mins travel by this rail.It will take up uphill, And view from there is fantastic. Its aerial view over Bergen city and its major viewpoints. It is must visit place for any tourist.

Bergen

In evening i had train booking for Voss, Rail travel from Bergen to Voss and Flam is quite famous for its stunning scenic view, no doubt, all throughout the journey you’ll be mesmerised with amazing mountain views.

Voss village is surrounded by rivers, mountains, fjord and lakes.My place of stay was Vossestølen Hotel. Its very small village with few houses, But it’s very pleasant and peaceful place. The view of Opheim lake makes it even more beautiful. I couldn’t find good veg food here but still managed with breads n tea..!!

The only thing that was surprising me here (In Spain as well) was the length of day. I checked into hotel at 09:00 PM and still it was complete daylight. . Till 11PM in the night as well it was not completely dark. And this was really new to me. Below picture taken at 09:00 PM, Please have a look…

Next morning i took bus to travel Flam for a day tour and came back to Voss in the evening. Thanks to the navigator and there local bus application. One can easily check the timings of bus online and plan based on that. On your way to Flam, you’ll find beautiful hut form houses all around on green land, which will just steal your heart.It has steep mountains and valleys that will leave you speechless and the rivers cutting through deep ravines. ..

Reaching Flam i could see big cruise and there were people boarding the train on other end. Flam cruise ship dock and the railway station are at same place.

Flam is one of the most beautiful place on this earth no doubt.Flåm village is located in  southwestern Norway, which is known for its fjords. Flam is at end of Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the vast Sognefjord.

Beautiful hut form houses all around on the green land will just steal your heart.It has steep mountains and valleys.

Norway is a country that you will just fall in love with. Its so clean, beautiful and scenic that it made me forgot other countries/places i visited in last few days.It was totally an unforgettable excursion.

Final destination of my trip Amsterdam.

How can u call a Euro trip complete without going to one of the most happening destinations of Europe Amsterdam(Netherland).1st thing u see after moving out of airport is “I AMSTERDAM”. Everyone getting clicked in front of that.


“I AMSTERDAM”

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, The canals of Amsterdam are a city symbol and of great cultural. The 1st place i visited here was Dam Square Its notable buildings makes it one of the most eye catching and popular place and all the roads lead to Dam Square, the real heart of Amsterdam, 

The place was quite crowded and people walking from one end to another. Nothing much to see here other then admiring the architecture of buildings around. There are few shops in next lane which had souvenirs shops,eating joints etc.

Later i walked towards Burgwallen nieuwe zijde(Amsterdam central) , Also known as Amsterdam Central. Weather was bit cold as it was rainy day.  On the way to Amsterdam central i moved though few canals which gives altogether a different look to this city. Coz of lesser time i didn’t took any canal tour. Reaching Amsterdam central you will see the largest railway station of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amsterdam Central

Crossed few more canals and i was at De Wallen which is medieval city center,narrow streets lined with small bars and Surrounded by the neon-lit red-light. Yes Red light district, heard a lot about this place,This was one of the bucket list. Both sides of narrow street will see sex toy shops and female escorts behind the glass in dim light. There were not many girls in this area, only men were around. Very light atmosphere, with very different atmosphere. I think its must visit at least once) for all.

Later i went to Holland casino, It was my 1st time to casino, That was big place , music, and so many casino table vector displayed on large screens.The Roulette Wheel was new to me. But once i started to understand the game i started to enjoy it..Dam its so cool. I WON around 50 euros at the end. It was another whole new experience for me… Amazing fun..!!!

Next morning, I went to Giethoorn, Netherlands a small village in the northeastern Dutch province. It’s even called Venice of Holland as there no roads here. Giethoorn is a dreamy village. This was one the highlights from my Netherland trip.There are no roads in Geithoorn. Only canals covered with green plants,flora and canoes moving around. There are footpaths and canals joining thatched roof cottages on the both sides waterways.Very peaceful place.

I had one day trip to Geithoorn , Came back to amsterdam in evening.

Next day @ Bataviaplein Lelystad for shopping , Small charming village is a hub for fashion lovers. So many fashion u0026amp; lifestyle brands like Hugo Boss, Michael Kors,Fossil etc.

Finally next day i had to come back to India. I didn’t wanted this trip to end. I boarded flight back home, again 15 hrs of long travel but this time i was just sleeping in complete journey. One things that i was realised was that travelling gives you a whole new level of experience and when you are doing it solo it’s almost life changing. Every time eating your food alone. No one around you to ask “if u r ok?”. You just start to love yourself even more, Coz you company to your own self in good and bad times. My family back in India was quite worried about me, travelling alone was something completely strange to them , Once i reached back home my mom has sign of relief on her face.

Few Souvenirs i bought during my trip

It was absolutely unforgettable journey for me…. I never thought that it’s going to be such a pleasant memory of my life.Before going on this trip i had fear and many doubts in mind but I really relished the trip, that is what inspired me to write this post. I would really like to thank and appreciate SWTT (Solo women travel tribe) group on FB. Ladies on the group are very helpful, their stories inspired and motivated me to live my dream. :-)♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thanks you for reading my blog…..!! Keep Smiling…!

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5 thoughts on “My experience to 1st solo International trip.. ; Adventurous and Free spirited…!!!!”

  1. Great photos! Wow, 13 days, 3 countries, and 8 flights? Too fast for me 😉 But, also understand that when you only have a limited amount of time, then it’s a rush.
    Many thanks for stopping by my travel and photography blog – much appreciated.

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