Bashar Alaeddin runs his own photo/video studio called Adasat that is based in Amman, Jordan. The site is being re-designed as of this article at www.adasat.co and he is in the process of launching his travel blog soon!
“After studying in Lebanon, then London and getting my last degree from Vancouver and with 3yrs work experience, I decided to start my small business in 2010 and the reason why I chose Adasat (which means Lenses in Arabic) as the name is because I believe lenses are more important than the camera. The sensor is just a recording device in the end and its the quality of the glass that lasts much longer than a camera would. It’s been 4yrs now and I’m hoping to expand to the gulf region by next year.”
We are thrilled to have him part of Travel Junkie Diary and share his favorite travel destination.
Here is his diary
Because of everything you can think of. From the life to the food to the vibe to the street to the landscape. I have this rule when traveling that I wouldn’t want to go to the same place twice. If I get the chance, go someplace new. Spain was the first country I’ve visited that, even when I was at the airport leaving back home, I was on my laptop planning my trip back there. It was phenomenal.
Stayed in In San Sebastian I stayed at the Costo Vasca Hotel and in Barcelona was in the H10 Art Gallery. Both hotels were great and my most important aspect was location and both were situated very close to all the happenings. Oddly enough I must say the rooms in both hotels were pretty tiny, felt a bit cramped in a way. But then again I didn’t stay in the hotel at all as I was out getting lost exploring as much as I can. In terms of price and cleanliness and all the default stuff, I recommend both hotels. The friendliness of the staff when checking-in and out was great. I usually don’t book my rooms with breakfast as it forces me to get up early to go eat out instead. I did try the spa at the Costo Vasca and it was amazing, great price and great facilities. In Barcelona, I never even ordered room service because I was out all day. I really can’t find anything bad or negative to say as I’m a very easy-going kind of traveler. Even when ordering a taxi from the lobby, they were very friendly and I’d wait 2-3min. till the taxi came. Both hotels had free wifi (bit slow but didn’t matter) and the cleaning ladies helped me practice some of my Spanish when greeting them in the halls.
In your suitcase I had two bags. One bag of shorts, swimsuits, t-shirts, nice shirts, flip-flops and my trusty low-top converse. My other bag was my camera-gear backpack and my tripod of course
Diary It was all about walking. I have this Jawbone bracelet and I was covering at least 20,000 steps per day. And every day I wanted to beat the record of the day before. In San Sebastian I literally covered almost the whole city. From the sea-walk to downtown to Mt. Urgull. I won’t usually have a detailed plan but I’d research some places to see and visit and I’d just take it from there. I let my feet guide me. I had a few friends with me so we tended to hang and explore together and the people we’d meet would be at night when having drinks and we’d literally just spark a conversation with people next to us. Sometimes we’d exchange contacts, some we’d just do a cheers and move on. I found myself amazed at how, and this was in San Sebastian, the streets and organization was so perfect. Not just were they lanes for cyclists and skateboarders, but those lanes had two lanes from coming and going. The people were oh so friendly and relaxed and chilled. I felt myself so at ease. Whatever stress or negative though I thought I may have was just washed away by walking there. The landscape was heavenly, food was phenomenal, people were nice and friendly, hard to believe but there’s really nothing bad I would say about San Sebastian, streets were so clean as well, no garbage or littering anywhere. I went there specifically to surf as it is a hobby of mine but unfortunately the waves weren’t big enough, but I didn’t care, I soaked up the sun and enjoyed one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I learned a lot about the basque region, the wine, the history. I honestly can not wait to visit it again.
Dined in One place stands out from the rest was the Atari Grostrotka. A nice pintxo’s place in San Sebastian. I can not explain how delicious the food was. And the best part, you just walk up to the bar, take a plate and start putting a whole bunch of tapas. Two I distinctly remember was red pepper filled with a tuna-mix that was to die for, and another was of course a chorizo-based one which I have no idea what was in it but I ate three of them! Also, they had a grilled octopus which you had to order from the menu (see photo attached) and I’m not a huge fan of octopus, but hey, you have to try things if you know you may not like it, but I did, and my friends and I actually ordered a 2nd plate!
Tips When you walk up Mt. Urgull all the way up to the Jesus Christ statute, make sure you have a hat and water. There’s not little shops or anything, you have to carry everything with you. It’s a good exercise up, you will break a sweat but the view is totally worth it, especially at sunset! If you’re looking for nightlife, you won’t find much, I think there’s only one club which is nice but having a drink in the little alleyways meeting and mingling with locals is more fun. If you take a cab to anywhere, the maximum you would pay is maybe €10 as everything is close and not far off. When going to the beach, also, get your cups and food with you as there’s only maybe one little snack bar across the whole beach. And although I couldn’t make it, my friends went to Michelin-star restaurant there and had a very unique cuisine experience but you have to book over two months in advance if you want to eat there. And that’s it
Shopped Didn’t shop much while in Spain. Only bought bracelets as I have this thing where I get one bracelet from the city I visited. I should have over 22 by now but there’s only 6 on my left arm now. Shopping wasn’t much on my mind or something that’s on the top of my list when traveling. I usually just want to get souvenirs as reminders of the trip that put in my home or office.
Mode of Travel I flew on Royal Jordanian from Amman to Madrid, spent 3 nights there then took an internal flight from Madrid to Bilboa airport which was only 45min away. I wasn’t happy I had to pay €60 to check-in my second luggage. Then I took a train from San Sebastian to Barcelona which I completely recommend. Buy it online and get the VIP/First class one, it’s about €70-80 if you can afford it. Sit by the window and enjoy the diverse landscapes and terrain on that 5hr journey. Just. Beautiful. Keep in mind though the over-ground train does get shaky sometimes which did not help with my motion-sickness. I just wished at some points I could tell the train driver to stop for a minute so I can take pictures of the scenery. Then took a Royal Jordanian flight back home to Amman.