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Travel Journal #8 | Rock Climbing, Hiking, & Eating Our Way Through Spain

In my last travel journal, I shared that I moved to Rome! I’m back for another travel journal, this time, sharing more about my whirlwind trip to Spain. We started the trip out with rock climbing in Gandía, Spain. As some of you may know, I have a bad habit of throwing myself into big goals – Swiss National Park mountain biking trip, I’m looking at you.

Rock climbing is no different for me. Setting big goals for myself that challenge me and push me to my limits. Whilst they aren’t particularly hard climbs as far as sport climbing goes, they’re good goals for a beginner like me.

Rock Climbing in Gandía

Gandía is in Spain, located along Costa Blanca on the East Coast between Alicante and Valencia. It’s a sweet city, with a beautiful coastline. There’s all the convenience of a big city with the charm of a town. Temperature-wise, it stays mild during the winter before heating up in the summertime, so it’s a winter climbing destination.

This beautiful climbing destination has everything you could want – funky, beautiful rock, warm winters, great food, and captivating rest-day destinations. I really enjoy rock climbing trips. When I was younger, I hated them. I never climbed, instead playing Nintendo at the bottom of the rock while my parents climbed. How things have changed!

Valencia: Staying Indoors

On one of our rest days from climbing, my parents, Phil, and I headed up to Valencia. It was a beautiful day and we explored quite a bit of the city. My favourite was the Valencia market – it was filled with amazing produce and food, but the alleys were wider and less crowded than other markets. We spent some time in the market before seeing other main sights. By the end of the day, I was so exhausted that I needed a rest day from our rest day!

At the end of the day, I’m glad we had such a crazy day exploring. When Phil and I returned to Valencia just a few days later, a big storm came. The wind was so strong that branches were falling on top of cars, it rained heavily for 3 days straight, and there was no way I wanted to go outside! We spend our 2 days in Valencia inside our hotel, getting some work done.

Ibiza? In January?

After Valencia, we flew to Ibiza. I know, I know, in January, no one is in Ibiza. The clubs and lounges aren’t open! That didn’t bother Phil and me, as we aren’t too big on partying until the wee hours of the morning. We went for hiking!

Luckily for us, the weather shaped up and we were able to hike for two days before I caught a cold. It was so beautiful, but they are NOT kidding when they say Ibiza is dead in the wintertime. ATMs were closed, it was hard to find hotels, even supermarkets were closed! It felt like a ghost town!

Barcelona is never a bad idea.

We finished our Spain trip in Barcelona. Every time I visit I fall more in love. We found a hotel for 20 euros a night, which meant we could splurge a little more on activities. We decided to do a tapas tour and to visit la Sagrada Familia. A LOT of research and running around in Barcelona occurred for this blog post – check it out! I have a FULL itinerary and some really good ways to save money in there (who doesn’t like saving money?).

Spain in the wintertime is absolutely magical. I had such a blast, and I already can’t wait to return.

I’m writing this back in Rome, where I’ve had a few days to rest after all that travel! I’ve been eating lots of carbonara and doing some not-so-fun administrative tasks, as well as working on some exciting projects for the blog! Watch this space!

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