Blogcean Award: what a fantastic way to end my Sunday!

My reaction:

I was just settling down with my family to watch a bit of Sunday television, before tucking myself into bed with my current read, when my phone alerted me that I had several emails. Nothing out of the ordinary, a few subscriptions, a few posts from bloggers I follow, a facebook notification and…wait a minute…that´s not my standard email…that´s an award! I received a lovely notification saying I had been awarded  a Grade 4 BlOgcean Award. Still in shock and disbelief I rushed to the computer to make sure my beloved mobile wasn´t lying to me, sorry I ever doubted you: you know I love you really, but sure enough there it was on my about page, that beautiful comment:

BIOgcean Award

So what is a BIOgcean Award?:

BlOgcean Awards is a new way of congratulating and encouraging achieving Bloggers. Blogcean Award.

Blogcean is a relatively new site offering a variety of awards raging from grade one to six, as well as their superstar award: The diamond star award. The idea behind these awards is to encourage and support bloggers, basically share the love.

So how does it work?

The idea is that you go to the website, choose a category and nominate a blog you think is worthy of the award. Then the BlOgcean Awards Judges will check out the Blog and decide whether it deserves this award, simple!

What does this mean for me?

It means that I get another shiny award badge for my blog and a really good nights sleep!

BIOgcean Award: grade four, my shiny new badge!

Final words:

I would like to thank the judges over at Blogcean Award, and all my readers and followers, for taking the time to look through my blog and for their encouragement and support. I love blogging and writing, nothing could ever change that, it´s my way to focus on the good things in my life and escape from the bad. For me, it keeps me happy. One of the best things for me about blogging is the world that opens up before you, the people who you get to know, the experiences you get to share: that´s the real award in my eyes. So thank you Blogcean Award for making my Sunday!

Go check out this website, any website that aims to spread encouragement, support and joy is worth checking out!

I hope you are having a fantastic Sunday wherever you are,

As always, thank you for reading,

Until the next time,



One Day at a time: Valencia.

I am kicking off this new section with a bang, first port of call: Valencia. I feel that this is a fitting place to start as it is here where the story began, it is here where this new travel project was concocted and brought to life. On the 30th of August P had an appointment to see a head surgeon in one of the hospitals in Valencia. Having been told by the surgical team in the hospital he has been treated in to date that they were unable to operate on him, as it was too risky and he was not in fit condition for such an operation, Ps oncologist decided to seek a second opinion and sought out an appointment with one of the most advanced surgical teams in Spain.

Having gone along with everything the oncologist has ordered up to this point P felt it was fitting to take on the three-hour journey to Valencia and see what this surgeon had to offer him. As expected the surgeon was of the same opinion as the other surgical team, P was in no fit condition for such a dangerous operation. Obviously, no matter how strong you are, no matter how positive a person you are news like this is not the sort of news you want to hear. You can prepare yourself for the worst, but hearing it is something completely different.

So slightly deflated and disappointed with the outcome we headed back to the hotel in quite a zombie like manner, each person trying to remain positive and upbeat but struggling to hold back the disappointment and the emotion. After awhile J, as she will be refered to for the purpose of this blog, came up with an idea, a genius idea if I must say so myself, she decided that, instead of sitting in the hotel room dwelling on the news, she would go to the reception and find out if it would be possible to rent a wheelchair and, as I´m sure you can guess, the answer was yes! So, seeing as it was late, we decided to set off to the shops and get P some comfortable clothes, have something to eat, head to bed early and set off and explore the city the following day, Ps birthday.

We woke well rested, the news from the previous day had taken it´s toll and we all slept like babies the night before, ready to take on the city – only downside; we only had half a day to do it in. Hmmm mission impossible suddenly comes to mind! Ha! Right, time to put our thinking caps on, what is the fastest way to see the most of what this city has to offer? Bingo, I´ve got it, a hop on hop off tourist bus, genius…or so it seemed!

We asked at our hotel where the nearest tourist bus stop was and the lady explained to us that if we went to the city of arts and sciences we would find a bus stop there, brilliant, off we went on our mission. We set sail, with our shiny new set of wheels, for the city of arts and sciences and o what a city it is. I have to say, once I stepped foot in this so-called city of arts and sciences something very strange happened to me: I was left speechless. What a site to behold, a picturesque garden set against a backdrop of modern dome like buildings, one a deep blue shade, another a long glass dome and finally, at the very furthest point, a stone dome covered in the most colourful flowers you could ever set your eyes on. Beautiful, much more so than my words give it credit for!

The Oceanographic Museum
The city of arts and sciences

After a little wander through the grounds of the city of arts and sciences we decided to head for the bus stop. We had been told that there were two bus routes available, one to take you around the section of the city of arts and sciences and the other to take you around Valencia. Feeling confident in our decision we decided that we wanted to take the tour of Valencia and hopped on the bus designated for the route we were informed about. We settled ourselves down in the seats ready to explore the city, suddenly panic set in. Why are we leaving the city? Where are we going? The city is the other direction. F**K, we´re going up the mountains!

After a brief moment of panic, seeing as this was half twelve and we needed to be back at the hotel for three, I went and asked the bus driver how long this trip was going to take. He informed me that the boat trip, yes you read it correctly BOAT TRIP, takes around forty minutes and the journey back to Valencia takes roughly 20 minutes, so all in all we would be back in Valencia in roughly an hour. Ah relief. But how the hell are we going to go on the boat trip with a wheelchair and a man who feels cold even in 40º weather? Hmmmm, interesting.

P, being the great sport that he is, decided to tackle this change of events head on, we left the wheelchair in the cabin located beside the boat and headed off on our unexpected yet highly entertaining boat trip. Apparently the main attraction of this trip is the fact that you can spot rare wild birds along the river. Our tour guide was a character, filled with anecdotes and was very helpful when it came to pointing out the birds. How did he know where they were? Amazing. Suddenly, after about the fourth bird sighting, P an J began to laugh. Puzzled I asked them what was wrong, they asked me had I noticed anything about the birds and I said not really as I couldn´t see them very well from where I was. Guess what? The birds were plastic! Only in Spain haha! After they pointed this out to me I began to pay attention to these so-called birds the man was pointing out and sure enough not one of them moved, they all had the same position, same colour and all the other creatures and birds around them scattered with the sound of the boat, but no, not these “rare” plastic birds! Priceless. Even the photographers on our trip put away their cameras half way through!

Nonetheless we enjoyed the trip, we were a little disappointed, it wasn´t what we had hoped for – a trip around Valencia – but it was highly entertaining and the scenery was beautiful. Take a look for yourself:

Along the River
Along the River
Along the River

After this excitement it was time to head back to the hotel. We ate, collected our bags and headed for the train station. Finally, we got to see a bit of the city. The train station, The Nord, is a magnificent building located in the centre of the city, beside the bullring. So once the taxi dropped us off I went and printed our tickets from the machine and left P and J at the station and quickly went and explored the area. Got to make the most of the time you have after all! I was gone roughly ten minutes in total, that´s all the time I had to spare sadly but I must say Valencia appears to be a beautiful city. It´s contrast between the modern architecture found on the outskirts of the city and the old buildings in the city centre is breath-taking.

The Nord
The Bullring

All in all it was an emotional trip, a trip of highs and lows, but most definitely a memorable trip filled with as much laughs as sadness, if not more laughs! I would definitely recommend a trip to Valencia but one word of advice, if you decide to take the tourist bus make sure you chose the right one. Otherwise you might have some “rare” birdwatching on your hands!

I´ll leave you now with a slideshow of some of the magnificent photos I managed to take on the trip. Enjoy!

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Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Valencia and learning about how this travel idea came into play.

Hope you are having a fantastic day wherever you are.

As always, thank you for reading.

Until the next time, take it one day at a time….

Giana xoxo

Take it one day at a time: A new journey.

Introducing a new section: I´ve decided to introduce a new section to my blog, something a little different to what I usually do but still in relation to the theme of travelling and adventure. I have decided to name this section, as you probably guessed from the title, “One day at a time“. However, before I begin the section, I would like to take some time to explain why I have decided to do this section, the meaning behind the name and also why I´ve been MIA for the last few weeks. This is a personal story, in my eyes an inspiring story, but, in order to protect the privacy of the people involved, I will not be using their actual names.

Why “One Day At a Time”?: The expression take it one day at a time is hardly a ground breaking expression, in fact it has been around for centuries. It is a motto that so many people live by, especially in times of tragedy and despair. It´s uplifting and inspiring and allows you to see that no problem is too big if you break it down and tackle it one day at a time. About six years ago, when one of my uncles contracted a terminal illness, take it one day at a time proved to be all it´s cracked up to be. It allowed my uncle, and his family, to cope with his illness and see it as not the end of his life but instead a challenge to be faced and tackled. Back then my uncle was told that he only had a year to live, six years on and he is still here taking it one day at a time, not making plans but instead making the most of every day by spontaneous trips, travel and spending his time with the people he cares about and loves; his family. He has inspired all our family and since that day we all live by this motto and it´s just as well we do as it looks like we are in need of it again.

Sadly, last September, another member of my immediate family, who for the purpose of this section of my blog will be called P, became sick. In October, after a huge array of tests, they diagnosed P with a benign tumour in the esophagus, in December they corrected themselves and informed us that it wasn´t benign but in fact malignant. Since then, P has battled through severe sessions of both chemotherapy and radium and when I say battled I mean battled. He has woken up every morning with a smile on his face, through his sickness and his suffering he has remained positive, upbeat and as witty as ever. I have never witnessed anyone fight for their life in such a positive and courageous manner. He has the most amazing strength out of anyone I know and has taught me the most valuable lesson I have ever learnt and that is no matter how big the problem, no matter how much you have to suffer, you must always believe there will be a positive ending and never lose your sense of humor or your happiness. Sadly though, after all his suffering through radium and chemotherapy the doctors have informed us that the tumor has not decreased enough and that there is nothing more they can do for him as he is too weak for more treatment and an operation is out of the question, two surgical teams have turned down doing it as it is too dangerous an operation.

However, P being P, he has decided not to let this get him down, he is remaining positive and happy, truly inspirational in other words, and instead of sitting at home and drowning in his sorrows he has decided to, with the help of a wheelchair and his family, take it one day at a time and visit as many places in Spain as he possibly can. Places he had planned to visit before he got sick.

So what has this got to do with my new section? Well I am going to carry on documenting my Spanish trips, like I have done throughout my blog, however, this time the trips have more importance as they have been inspired by an incredibly courageous man and I never want to forget his passion for life or these trips. So whether we have a day left or, like in my uncles case, six years, right now that´s not what matters. What matters is that P is happy, with the people he loves and who love him and doing what he has wanted to do: see Spain. The only difference is now he is not planning to do it in the future but instead doing it one day at a time….

Take it one day at a time

So I hope you will follow my family and I on our brand new adventure and for all of you out there going through a similar journey, sadly nowadays too many people have to walk this path, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

As always, thank you for reading. I hope you are having a fantastic Sunday, wherever you are!

Until the next time,

Giana xoxo

Come walk with me: Córdoba

So as you may know, if you are a regular reader of my blog, I have been living in Cordoba for over a year now. It seems crazy to me that it´s been that long already. To me it feels like it was only yesterday that I stepped out of my parents car into the enchanting furnace that I now call home! I say furnace as last friday the weather dials that are dotted around the city recorded a high of 55ºC, how much faith I have in those dials I cannot say but I can tell you this; it felt like I was cooking as I ventured out to my local shop for supplies! No wonder my furry visitor decided to pop by, my lovely air-conditioned apartment would be a dream to any creature in this heat!

Anyway, the point of this blog – sorry my ramblings always seem to get in the way, what can I say? I love to ramble – is to show you some of the sights I walk past on a daily basis, basically to take you on a walk through the city with me! I had planned to do this in June as a way of celebrating my one year anniversary here but, as you know from my previous posts, life got in the way! So I´ve decided that today, being a holiday, is a perfect day to go for a walk around my city with you. So put on your most comfortable walking shoes, grab some water and let´s go!

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I hope that through this slideshow you can get a feel for the incredible city I live in. Obviously I have left out lots of beautiful streets and places, if I included everything then what would I have to write about in the future?

Anyway, enough procrastination, time to make myself a cup of tea and tackle the big pile of corrections that is staring at me ever so daringly from my kitchen table!

Hope you´re having a great day wherever you are!

As always, thank you for reading, until the next time…

Giana xoxo