04 August 2014

European Travel Journal: Spain

Although I am a beauty blogger, I thought it would be nice to do a few travel posts about our trip to Europe.

Some people think my husband and I are crazy (or have a lot of money) to do what we did, but that's just how we are: crazy holidays on a budget. My husband's motto is: "If you come home from a European holiday refreshed, you're doing it wrong." We were both extremely tired the first two days back home, so I'd say we did the trip right!

To keep the posts short-ish, I've decided to break the "journal entries" down by country, starting with Spain.

Friday 4 July 2014

We left OR Tambo international airport at about 21:00 and I was very nervous as this was about to be the longest aeroplane trip of my life. Luckily my husband is a seasoned traveller, so he just made sure we had enough drinks, and that I had my travel pillow and blanket, and a good movie to watch.

Saturday 5 July 2014

We landed at Munich airport at about 07:25 and had an hour to browse the duty free section before getting onto the plane that would take us to Madrid. (It's at this duty free area where I purchased my Origins Charcoal Mask, Melvita Cleansing Oil, and Clarins Natural Lip Perfectors.)

The plane trip to Madrid airport was a little over two hours, and by that time two hours felt like nothing! We arrived in an extremely hot Madrid and then had to figure out how to use the Metro trains. Eventually we did figure it out and took the train to the closest station to our hotel which was Atocha. 

We stayed at Hotel Mora which is ideally situated for travelling by Metro. We initially took a wrong turn in walking there, but once we figured out where the hotel was, it was a mere five minute walk from the station. The hotel has a beautiful and modern reception area, and the receptionist was friendly, but didn't offer any extra tips on how to get around or what to see. I know that's not a prerequisite, but I would have liked to get some tips about where to eat and what to see from a "local" perspective. The room was clean and tidy but very small. It overlooked a busy street, but thanks to the double walled glass, we couldn't hear a thing.

Sunday 6 July 2014

We packed up and left our baggage in the baggage store room of the hotel before setting out for some more sightseeing.

Early afternoon we took the Metro to Chamartin train station from where our train to Salamanca would depart. The train we were aiming for was fully booked, so we had to wait an hour at the station to catch the next one. After a three hour long train trip, we finally arrived at the beautiful and historic Salamanca.

We checked into Eurostars Las Claras and I can definitely recommend them. This is not a budget option, but staying there was a perk of me presenting at the conference!

Monday 7 July - Thursday 10 July

Over these four days the conference took place at Palacio de Congresos (the congress hall). There was a hectic social program for three days in a row, and by the end of the conference I was dead tired! Our hotel was about 800 m walk from the conference venue, and although it felt much further, it was really beautiful to see all the old buildings and connect with the history of this special place.

We really had an amazing time at Eurostars Las Claras hotel. The staff were friendly, accommodating, and helpful, and the breakfasts were delicious!

I hope you've enjoyed reading the first instalment in my little travel series! Please check in next Monday for our trip to France...

Until next time!



  1. Spain looks absolutely beautiful. The history and the ornate old buildings all over Europe really are pretty (and always make you realise how "young" SA is by comparison!)
    Sounds like you had a great time there.
    Can't wait to read about Paris!

    1. I did have a great time, yes! And SA really does seem young in comparison to Europe's amazing history. Thanks for commenting, Gina!