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Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum

I had never heard of a chocolate museum, until I starting reading about Barcelona’s tourist attractions. A chocolate museum! How cool is that? Without any hesitation, I put Barcelona’s Museu de la Xocolata on our World Trip travel itinerary.

At the chocolate museum, we spent an hour or so, learning about the origins of chocolate in Europe and looking at some awesome chocolate exhibits. I was truly impressed by the details and creativity of each of the exhibits. Below are some of the chocolate displays we saw during our visit.

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At the end of our tour, we treated ourselves to hot chocolate. We were given a spoon with our cup of hot chocolate. It felt like I was drinking melted chocolate. The hot chocolate was nothing like I had ever tasted before; it was extremely thick and sweet.

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If you decide to visit this neat little chocolate museum, you must try at least a spoonful of their rich hot chocolate and judge for yourself.

A Day in Pamukkale, Turkey

We woke up early and headed to Pamukkale, a small city located in southwestern Turkey. This city has become a popular tourist destination for its incredible hot springs and travertines.

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These picturesque terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs.

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In Pamukkale, there are 17 hot water springs with temperatures ranging from 35 °C to 100 °C.

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Before visiting the terraces, we toured around the ancient Byzantine city of Hierapolis, which is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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We made another detour at a Turkish market. In this photograph, the vendor is bagging Turkish delights. We thought the Turkish delights were quite yummy!

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The pools of Pamukkale. We were able to walk around and inside the terraces!

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A huge limestone wall.

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After spending a few hours, walking around and enjoying this beautiful and unique site, we made our last stop at the Hierapolis Sacred Pool.

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At this hot spring, we were able to swim among the ancient ruins.

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What a relaxing way to end a wonderful day in Pamukkale!

Quaint German Towns in the Harz Mountains

Some of the most picturesque towns I have seen were in central Germany. Wernigerode and Quedlinburg are two small but quaint towns located in the Harz Mountains. These two towns were particularly memorable for their unique and cozy looking timber buildings and beautifully paved walkways.

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After spending a night in a cozy half-timbered house, we woke up early to some wonderful German hospitality and breakfast. It was not long before we were strolling leisurely around Wernigerode.

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The atmosphere in the streets was very peaceful and pleasant. There were plenty of unique cafes and patios everywhere in this small town.

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This is Wernigerode’s Town Hall.

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This is a market area located next to the Town Hall.

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This is Wernigerode Castle, which is located above the town. It is interesting to note that this castle and the Neuschwanstein Castle have similar architectural styles.

Wandering around the Wernigerode Castle and its gardens as well as viewing the town from high above was a wonderful experience.

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The next day, we visited Quedlinburg. Just like Wernigerode, this town was also very pleasant and picturesque with all its splendid looking buildings.

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This is a half-timbered house, which I thought was very unique and cozy.

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This is Quedlinburg’s market square.

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A view of the rooftops in Quedlinburg.

If you are interested in visiting small and quaint towns and a few castles, I would recommend a short trip to the Harz Mountains. A walk through Wernigerode and Quedlinburg, has left me with everlasting beautiful memories of these picturesque towns.

The Enchanting Castles near Fussen, Germany

We had decided to stay in Fussen for a few days while we explored the Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. These two castles are some of the most popular and beautiful castles in all of Germany.

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Fussen is a small town located in Bavaria, Germany. While in Fussen we walked aimlessly through the open fields, simply enjoying the beautiful landscape.

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In the evening, Fussen is just as beautiful with its glowing sunset spreading across the sky and high above the mountains.

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We could have rode a horse up the hill to Neuschwanstein Castle, but instead opted to walk up the steep hill. Upon approaching the castle, I was instantly awed by its beauty. To me it really looked like a fariytale castle. Growing up, from books and movies, I had constructed an image of an ideal castle. In my mind it looked similar to the Neuschwanstein Castle. To finally see and explore a fairytale castle in such a scenic setting was absolutely amazing!

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This photograph was taken from Hohenschwangau Castle. The Neuschwanstein Castle can be seen in the background. We were able to visit both castles during the same day, since they were not located far from each other.

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I thought the yellowed coloured walls of the Hohenschwangau Castle was a very unique touch.

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Although, both castles were lovely, I have to admit I liked the style and architecture of the Neuschwanstein Castle a bit more. In my opinion, the Neuschwanstein Castle should be named one of the Wonders of the World!

Spain’s Cruel Bullfighting

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This is Madrid’s famous bullfighting arena, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. It is regarded as the home of bullfighting in Spain. Typically between April and September, bullfighting events are held every Sunday throughout Spain. During special festivals like San Isidro and San Fermin for example, bullfighting events are held daily.

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It is interesting to note, the price of the ticket depends on whether you choose to sit in the sun or shade. The higher prices are for the shaded seats.

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As I entered my first bullfighting event in Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, I really didn’t know how I would feel about this experience. Usually the bullfighting lasts about 2-3 hours. I believe it was about 30 mins into the event, when I could not bare to witness the cruelty that was being inflicted onto the bulls anymore. I could not understand why all the people around me were having such a thrill watching these innocent bulls being tortured and bleed to death. Even today, I still don’t understand people’s fascination with bullfighting events. The only thing I understood was that I felt uncomfortable and disgusted. Within less than an hour of being at the arena, I decided to leave the roaring crowds behind. What do you think of bullfighting as a form of entertainment?

Partying at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

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When we were organizing the itinerary for our one year World Trip, we planned it so we would end up in Munich, Germany during Oktoberfest. But, what we didn’t plan for were our accommodations. When traveling, we usually never booked our accommodations in advance because we figured we will somehow find a place, which we always did. However, when we arrived to Munich, it was next to impossible to find accommodations. We should have known better. After all, thousands of people from all over the globe were flocking to Munich for one of the world’s largest drinking parties. Luckily we did manage to find a campsite, and put up a tent. With our accommodations arranged, we were super excited to check out the festivities of Oktoberfest.

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If I had a top ten list for festivals to attend in the world, Oktoberfest would definitely make my list. The atmosphere was fun and electrifying! There were plenty of rides, games, and gingerbread cookies for everyone. Jason bought me a delicious gingerbread heart cookie. We enjoyed Oktoberfest so much that we went twice. The first night, we met some travelers from Europe and Asia. That’s the beauty of Oktoberfest, you can meet people from all over the world and simply have a great time together over freshly brewed beer! On our last day, somehow we were lucky enough to enter a tent. Inside the crowded tent, people sat at tables laughing, drinking, and chatting. Everyone was having an awesome time! We were invited by a group of Germans to drink, sing, and dance with them. It was an amazing cultural experience. And, we were so grateful to the locals, who showed us the true meaning of Oktoberfest.

Take a quick look at the carnival surrounding Munich’s Oktoberfest!

Curious to know what it is like inside one of the beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest?

Stunning Cappadocia, Turkey

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This is beautiful Cappadocia in Turkey. This region is formed of soft rocks made by volcanic deposits. It was absolutely amazing to see how people historically carved out spaces for their homes, churches, and monasteries from these rocks. Cappadocia, with its natural beauty and huge monasteries, was simply picturesque.

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We had the fortune to meet some knowledgeable young boys, who toured us around the monasteries. The spaces were extremely small, and walking from one room to another was definitely challenging. It was hard to believe how people once inhabited these spaces. This was one of the most amazing places we visited during our 3 weeks in Turkey.