This post is coming way after the fact, I wrote it a while ago, but recently been quite busy and having been going through some shit. However, this way my trip to Spain in early October.

Mallorca, or Majorca as the Irish spell it, is a lovely island in the Balearics and technically part of Spain. Its official language is Catalan, though you see German, English, and Spanish translations almost everywhere you go. My friend and I were staying in Magaluf, a very British touristy area, known for its crazy “spring break” type summer madness with copious amounts of booze, sex, and crazy shenanigans. However, we came at the tail end of the tourist season, so there weren't hordes of crazy young drunk Brits out and about and it was generally pretty quiet. 

Obligatory random weird bikini & sky shots.

Magaluf is very centered around the British tourists. All the restaurants serve British food, or variations of British food, and most of the remaining party promoters were British. Being an American and an Irishman in a sea of Brits can be somewhat entertaining. However, people were always more interested in why I was there, seeing as they don't see many Americans there. Our holiday was very centered around the touristy areas of Mallorca unfortunately. That's what you get when you book a last minute holiday with a company that sells holiday packages. That also means, we didn't get to eat that much amazing authentic Spanish and Mallorcan cuisine, but we did get to experience some great stuff.

"Kansas City Barbeque" Sauce found in Belfast. It wasn't bad. 

Our flight to Mallorca was supposed to leave at 6 am. However, we both slept through our alarms and woke up after our flight was supposed to depart. My friend was freaking out, as I was trying to calmly figure out our options for the cheapest and earliest flight there. After scouring options and being unhappy with how expensive the flights would be, I finally realized that I forgot to check if there were any flights from Belfast, which thankfully proved to be the best and by far the cheapest option. We ended up making it to Mallorca at 2 AM the next morning.

In comparison to the quickly fading Irish summer, the weather in Mallorca was lovely. I would have preferred a bit more heat to compliment my beach holiday, but it was still amazing, nonetheless. My friend and I spent a few days of the holiday just lazing around Magaluf and the beach, drinking too much cheap booze. This proved to be quite bad for me as well, since the alcohol and penicillin I was taking for my respiratory infection didn't mix well at all. At all.
The highlights of the trip were when we actually left Magaluf and went to the much more cultured and interesting cities and areas of the island. That and the one day we tried this simulated surfing experience, which proved to be super fun. 

Delicious cod paella, wine, and weird inedible pig fat.

We rented a car for three days and unfortunately only used it for two. Oh well. Driving proved to be incredibly stressful. Haha. He got his license just a couple years ago, but had not driven since actually getting his license. Also, him being from Ireland where they are drive on the wrong side of the road was a factor. I felt like I was coaching a 16-year-old on their first time in a car. Okay, maybe it wasn't thattt bad, but still.

Coffee & Cake, the caves, and a random stop on the road.

Anyway, we decided to spend one day driving to Cuevas Del Drach and spent time in Porta Cristo. On our way to the caves, we stopped in Palma the capital city for a late lunch. We went to a lovely restaurant and both ordered off the menu del dia. For something like 13 euro, you can get a starter, a main course, a dessert, and half a jug of wine. We were first handed the regular menus, which had all the translations in various languages, but we had heard about the menu del dia that many restaurants do, and asked for that menu instead. Since this was the menu of the day, it was only in Catalan. We both have a basic understanding of Spanish, but this still proved to be quite difficult. My starter was a lovely cod paella, and my main was supposed to be a pollo dish, however, what I got instead was not something I would never order (though I am still unsure the name of what I was actually served). I was given some sort of fat and bone dish that was at one point a pig. There was not any edible meat. Just FAT. Needless to say, eventually the waiter came back, and in his very poor English said that I was given the wrong meal and asked if I wanted the correct dish. The chicken dish proved to be lovely. I had tiramisu to finish off the meal, but since I was driving, I had to begrudgingly give my friend the remainder of my wine. Overall, a lovely, and very authentic Catalonian meal. 


The next time we ventured out, we went to Alcudia, which was quite lovely. We spent time walking around the old town there and for food, ended up getting a shared tapas platter that wasn't super authentic, but still good. As we were leaving Alcudia, there was a "hidden" beach nearby that according to the internet, was a hellish hike to get to, but absolutely beautiful. The hike was more difficult than I was expecting, but Coll Baix was so beautiful once we arrived. Too bad we got there pretty late, and it was no longer really warm enough to swim. Plus the water was kinda freaky with all the seaweed trapped in the crashing waves, especially after another couple had gotten in and started yelling for help. They were German and apparently one got caught in the tide, and the other got bitten by something. Despite all this, the beach was still beautiful though.

Goat chilling on our hike down. Just attempting to swim in the freakish beautiful water.

On our way back from Coll Baix, we stopped in Palma again to grab some dinner. We were trying to find a specific restaurant and happened to come across the Lorien, a small bar that is Lord of the Rings themed. It was terrific! After drinks, we ended up going to different restaurant than we had originally intended, and felt like mad bums walking in with our shorts and t-shirts. However, the food was amazing. We ordered various tapas and pinchos, and I failed at getting a good picture before we devoured everything. It was divine, though. 

The Lorien bar, and a lovely tapas and pinchos restaurant.

Those were the highlights of the trip. It ended up being a nice holiday despite our initial hiccups, and the super touristy area we stayed in. Spain, I will have to traverse one of your more cultured cities on my next visit.


My last post was about how much I enjoyed eating all the food in Budapest & Prague, but I always intended to actually talk about the cities themselves. My friend and I spent three days in Budapest and five days in Prague. It was really an amazing little trip.

St Vitus Cathedral in Prague was stunning

Budapest was such a nice change of pace after living in Dublin the last couple of months. It is technically supposed to be summer in Dublin, but of course, it's never really summer in Ireland. In Budapest, the weather was beautiful—definitely shorts and t-shirt weather. 

Churches and synagogues in Budapest

We did a lot of drinking, a lot of eating (as evidenced by the previous post), and a lot of relaxing and walking around. We went on a walking tour on first day in Budapest, and got to walk around on both the Pest and Buda sides of the Danube River. Budapest is a lovely, beautiful city, but it's a bit run down, and that's part of it's charm. There are half destroyed and decaying buildings spread fairly abundantly around the city, but it's still lively and enchanting. Another plus, is great food, cheap beer, and cheap everything, basically. I would say it's a bit cheaper than Kansas City, which is great for a European city.

Walking up to the Buda castle

We were also completely retarded when it came to paying in Forints. It was about 300 HUF to the Euro, which proved to be quite difficult for us (I wish I sucked less at math), and people would just take money out of our hands when we were trying to pay for things because we would often hand them the wrong amount.

Having some beers on the train to Prague and  beers in one of the ruin pubs.

We had heard a lot about the ruin pubs before our arrival in Hungary. The ruin pubs are basically old half-destroyed buildings (from various wars) that were turned into exciting divey bars. We went to Szimpla (one of the more famous ruin bars) one night, and it definitely a lovely experience. We met some fellow (somewhat fellow for me, since I do live there!) Irish and Scottish men and chatted with them while downing way, way too many shots of Palinka. Palinka (I mentioned this in my previous post) is very, very strong fruit liquor. It burns like 151 going down, but I thought it was definitely better than the Absinthe shots we took in Prague (though my friend disagreed). We asked our new friends what time the bars close here, and they said, "eh sometimes never sometimes whenever they feel like it."

The Széchenyi baths

One of my favorite things from Budapest was getting to go to the Széchenyi Baths. The Széchenyi baths are one of the largest baths in Europe and are fed by thermal springs. It was so relaxing, and was a needed break after walking around the city for a couple days.

The John Lennon wall in Budapest

Prague felt like a bigger city, and definitely was filled with more tourists. It definitely lives up to the description of being a fairytale city, as the architecture there is absolutely breathtaking. My friend kept joking that we would eventually find the shitty part of Prague, but it just never happened. Prague was a bit cooler then Budapest weather wise, but still so much nicer than Dublin. We also kept stumbling upon the coolest random things.

We found this neat little museum with fantastical works painted by Czech artist Reon Argondian. Then, we found a house of mirrors.

Our first day here, we stopped in Old Town Square and I was immediately enthralled when I saw a performer in a kilt blasting Die Antwoord and some other music that was definitely not family friendly in a square full of children and tourists. We watched his show, which was entertaining enough, but his personality and charm was what really made the show awesome. His name was Chicken Joe, and he was from Belfast (more fellow Irishmen) and he ended up taking us to a local bar that is definitely far off the beaten path for the average tourist. He was a character and had great stories to tell (he also grew up in a family of buskers and performers). His Danish friend was bat shit crazy, like he definitely did too many drugs in his past and most likely his present. Chicken Joe kept reminding that his friend was harmless enough and he proved to be alright.

A beer flight in the Prague Beer Musuem

Beer is better in Prague, though not quite as cheap. Prague is known for having great cheap beer, and our first night there we went to the Prague Beer Museum and tried a flight of local beers, which were mostly pretty good. Everything in Prague is a little more expensive then Budapest, but still much cheaper than Dublin. The money was also easier for our poor minds to comprehend, approximately 25 Czech to the Euro (after the conversion rate) was so much easier to deal with. Another interesting thing we found is that you are allowed to smoke cigarettes everywhere, in every bar and every restaurant. I found that my favorite beer was Krušovice, a dark stout that was surprisingly similar to Guinness, but not quite as heavy. 

Watching a barman prepare our absinthe drinks.

Absinthe is a fairly popular drink in Prague. We tried absinthe in the traditional Czech way, just a straight shot, which was horrible. I knew already that I wasn't a big fan of Absinthe, but I was determined to give it another shot (no pun intended, ha). I do not like licorice flavored things, especially licorice flavored things that burn like a mother going down. We also tried Absinthe in the more popular non-Czech way with the caramelized sugar and water, which was far more tolerable.

The outskirts of Kutna Hora.

We took a day trip to Kutna Hora, which turned into more of an afternoon trip, which means we didn't actually get to explore the city of Kutna Hora at all. Our main purpose of going to Kutna Hora was to see the Sedlec Ossuary or more famously known as the bone church. The bone church is a small Roman Catholic Church decorated with bones from approximately 40,000-70,000 human skeletons. I was expecting it to be creepier than it turned out to be, but it was definitely amazing.

The Sedlec Ossuary, look at all dem bones.

Our main nightlife excursion in Prague was to go to the Cross Club, an alternative industrial electronic club. It's decorated with all sorts of gadgetry giving it a very industrial feel and it even has moving pipes and parts. However, I wish I wasn't so exhausted when we got here though. We didn't arrive till 2 A.M. (It's open till 7 A.M.), but the music was still bumping and vibes were still good. I would definitely recommend going here, and I definitely want to go back there sometime.

Leaving the Cross club a bit after dawn, and the inside of the club.

Overall, the trip was amazing. We did find that the people of Budapest and the people of Prague do not know how to pour beers properly, or they simply do not care. Beers are always poured with a ton of head, and are never filled to the top. At least they are cheap! My friend found this to be way more irritating than I did, as I was just having a good time! I loved Budapest and Prague both. Budapest for the ruin pubs, amazing food, cheap beer, and the baths. Prague for the incredible architecture and beauty, good beer, and cool vibes.  I can't wait for my next adventure.

Walking the streets of Prague, you will see all sorts of interesting things