Traveling Across Europe in Jan 2016

Got a bit of the travel bug from going around Southeast Asia last summer. I posted a small blog post with pictures on our travels through Bangkok before completely forgetting about blogging about the rest of it which sucked. I got really sucked in when making a GoPro travel video though for that trip so it makes up for it.

So when I decided to go to Europe, I figured that easier than blogging about the trip would be just to take artsy and hipster-thoughtful pictures whilst maximizing for Instagram likeage. Ultimately I had too many pictures to put on Instagram (not that I hadn’t already spammed my followers shamelessly) so I’ve decided to diverge from some regular data science stuff to display some photography. I still worked on projects while traveling abroad which is actually a great thing to do to get some rest time in.

I ended up hitting seven countries somehow in just under three weeks in January and lost my SD card in only the third stop which was great.

I first stopped in Copenhagen for one night after a brutal two-city layover flight. Having already explored the city while studying abroad in it for 4 weeks, I felt like I wanted to check out some other places.

Harry Potter Bridge in London
Harry Potter Bridge in London

I spent about three nights in London where I just walked everywhere. I just wanted to see this city. I ended up doing a bar crawl in Camden on the second night that turned out to be a great way to meet travelers and locals alike that give great perspective into traveling. I ended up taking an Uber that night after the bars to a Chinese noodle shop that was still open and ate some really good soup noodles. Then I climbed into a double decker bus and sat at the top amazed by the city lights on the way back to the hostel.

Some London Casino at 2 AM
Hippodrome casino at 2 AM in London outside Chinese noodles

I landed in Amsterdam a couple days later. I visited the city before while studying abroad for a weekend and liked it so much I had to come back for round two. Ultimately I think I still prefer Amsterdam in the summer but it still has it’s winter beauty too that I saw from walking around. The low winter sun can illuminate a lot of things. I spent a lot of time chatting with people in my hostel and made friends with a group of Irish guys who were spending a week there for winter break.

A Warm Amsterdam
A warm looking Amsterdam (not true)
Walked around in the cloudy city
Walked around in the cloudy city

Amsterdam cars

Next up was Chamonix Mont-Blanc for skiing in the alps. I stayed in an Airbnb and mostly skied on Mt. Flegere and Brevent even though I thought my pass could be used on other mountains. On my last run on Mt. Flegere, I picked up speed at the bottom to lessen the amount of pulling I would have to do at the flat bottom of the run. I didn’t see the massive jump but cleared it and landed on my feet avoiding death somehow to the amazement of myself and skiers around me. Not captured on GoPro unfortunately.

GoPro of sunny Chamonix Mont Blanc
GoPro of a sunny Chamonix Mont Blanc
Chamonix Mont Blanc from the Village
Chamonix Mont Blanc from the Village
A semi clear sunday afternoon
A semi clear sunday afternoon
Chamonix at Sunset
Chamonix at Sunset

After skiing in Chamonix for two days I headed to Geneva which is just a forty minute drive away to meet up with Crystal. We stayed in a very nice hotel provided by Crystal’s conference and I got to experience some fine dining and drinking while exploring a bit of Geneva, CERN, and swiss chocolate by day. I walked around the first day and somehow ended up tailing someone into the International Red Cross HQ building before I realized I was not supposed to be inside. I made it to the cafeteria and ate inside. Ultimately there were not that many things to do in Geneva in the winter and it also turned out to be the most expensive city in the world so that didn’t help too much either. But old town still seemed nice.

Mountains behind Geneva
Mountains behind Geneva
The View from St. Peterborough Church
The View from St. Peterborough Church

Geneva city skyline

Flying Over the Alps
Flying Over the Alps

Spain was the next stop for us as we decided that we wanted some warmer weather after enduring the cold front of Geneva and basically everywhere else before Barcelona. We ended up going to Barcelona first and walked around a ton from the old town and eventually to the beach. Barcelona was sunny at a nice 60 degrees and felt very much like San Francisco would in the winter. By the third day we ended up getting electric bikes and felt the amazing power of not sweating whilst biking up long hills. Barcelona also had very good food, paella, and lots of good jamon. The streets of Barcelona are so akin to walking through that it felt very much like a quant old town.

Asian Barcelona

Shadows on Las Ramblas
Shadows on Las Ramblas

Our second Spain stop was the island of Mallorca. Just a quick plane ride away, we ended up having a lot of fun there walking around by the beach while checking out the main city of Palma de Majorca. Afterwards I longed to get a scooter again, so Crystal and I rented out a scooter and drove it around the island on the second day.

Palma Water Fountain

Beach on Palma
Beach on Palma

Asian man Palma Spain

View of Palma de Mallorca
View of Palma de Mallorca
Artsy
Artsy

I found myself driving over 90 km/hr on the freeways across Mallorca on a scooter for the very first time. Though a bit jarring the views on a bike were almost always worth it. That day we woke up early to drive over to Soller, a small city right on the other side of the mountains and also ended up wandering by the port. Port De Soller was easily our favorite spot on the island by it’s absolute serenity and warm air.

Port De Soller
Port De Soller

Port De Soller Mallorca

Cliff by Port De Soller
Cliff by Port De Soller

Port De Soller

Views from Port De Soller Lighthouse
Serene

We continued to scooter on through the mountains and hit a couple more stops where our Airbnb guide told us to go after Soller. Deia was the first stop along the way and we found ourselves driving into the mountains after leaving the sunny port behind. A light flog enveloped around us which made for some slow driving but we arrived finding ourselves looking at a village sitting on top of hills with rice field shapes.

Deia in Mallorca
Deia in Mallorca

Deia Mallorca Spain

We walked around and then continued on hitting another city called Valldemossa where we got some coffee and beer at a cafe and walked around. This city was also in the mountains and the light fog made for an eerie look. Chopin apparently lived here for a summer and called it the most beautiful place ever.

Valldemossa
Valldemossa

The next day we woke up at 5 am yet again to catch our flight to Stockholm at 8. We eventually got to Stockholm a little after 5 pm and walked around a bit trying not to freeze from the polarity of the weather going from a nice 65 degrees to below freezing.

Stockholm Downtown
Stockholm Downtown

Stockholm Ice

Stockholm Buildings

After Stockholm we headed back to San Francisco. It was a great trip and I feel like I got a lot of vacation fulfillment out of it. I also got the travel bug from traveling but everyone gets that anyways.

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