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  • IDreamedofAfrica
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  • VirginiaRainV2
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Winging My Way to South Africa

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Winging My Way to South Africa I spent five gorgeous days in Barcelona soaking up the culture, the sunshine and the mellow, artsy vibe of the place. At one point I thought I'd stay another week, but when my housing plans fell through I had to make a quick change of plans - really quick. It was Sunday afternoon and I needed to leave my Airbnb apartment by Monday at noon. The problem was that I had NO CLUE where to go from Barcelona. I'd been hoping to go to Rome, but I was largely planning my moves by what "felt right", along with going where reasonable airfare and housing prices were available, and Rome just didn't make the list of possibilities. It being a Sunday, I went to church, as I normally did, and met the loveliest, loveliest people! The Barcelona ward is a hodgepodge of people from all over the world - from Chile to Africa to the Phillipines - tons of transplants - and there were quite a few amazing missionaries there, too, serving full-time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I immediately hit it off with a pair of sister missionaries, who took me under their wings and translated the Spanish I didn't understand and made me feel immediately welcome. I asked one of the Elders (male missionaries) to give me a blessing to help give me the direction and peace I was looking for in making my next move. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe the priesthood of God, as anciently existed, has been restored to the earth and one of the great things about having that priesthood available to us is that we can be given blessings by priesthood holders - blessings of comfort, peace and healing, as the Lord dictates. The blessing I received told me that I would figure out where I should go and know the decision was absolutely correct. Going to and being in the right place at the right time was a huge deal to me, because I wanted to serve God on my trip. I wanted to be able to be His hands wherever He wanted me to go. That afternoon I began to think about going to Cape Town, South Africa. At first it just seemed to crazy. Too far. Too... too. Too expensive. Too exhausting to travel such a long-haul. But as the day wore on, I began to "test" the idea. I looked up flights and prices were surprisingly low. I possible places to stay. I went to bed that night still unsure, with a prayer in my heart, and woke Monday determined that if I could find a flight that left that afternoon (with enough time to get to the airport, but not so late as to leave me stranded in Barcelona lugging around my bags all day long - it doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me, when you're traveling with everything you own your bags are your lifeline and you don't want to lose them.) that was a reasonable price and arrived … continue reading

Barcelona – Gaudi Photo Tour

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Barcelona - Gaudi Photo Tour Although Gaudi's architectural masterpieces are relative newcomers to Barcelona (the houses date from the 1800's and the Sagrada Familia still isn't finished. "Just thirty more years...") they are one of the main attractions in the city, aside from, you know, the incredible Spanish heritage and churros. … continue reading

Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra

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Granada: Albaicin and The Alhambra In the south of Spain, perched high amidst a town built between mountain peaks lies a quaint Spanish town home to sprawling castle that is the jewel in the crown of Spanish-Moorish influenced architecture. The Alhambra. Granada, in and of itself, is a complete jewel of a city. It sprawls over … continue reading

Seville: Flamenco

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Seville: Flamenco There are a few things you must do during a visit to Seville: Visit the Cathedral (where Christopher Columbus is buried). See La Giralda and perhaps climb to the top. Tour the Alcazar royal residence. And finally, you must see a live Flamenco performance. There are many, many places in the city that offer … continue reading

Sleepless in Seville

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Sleepless in Seville I rolled into Seville in my silver Skoda in the early evening. It was June, the temperatures were blazing and the days so long that night might as well have not bothered showing up at all. At first glance, Seville was absolutely nothing like what I'd imagined it would be. There were no quaint, picturesque … continue reading

Driving Spain

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Driving Spain I had really convinced myself that I would take a train around Spain. Well, first, a long time ago, I convinced myself I would walk from Southern France to the Western coast of Spain. In fact, the reason I purchased the suitcases I did was with this in mind. But plans change. Especially when you really don't bother … continue reading