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Before Summer Begins

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As an habitual way to turn the page of the season winter is the spring, when spring comes it means nature will be no more in mode hibernation, nature will be more colorful, trees will be filled with leaves, grasses resembles like a beautiful shining green carpet, and flowers are commencing their petals to flourish, bees will be more occupied to fulfill their works, and above all Spring in europe means Tulips will be one of the biggest clan of flowers that will be lively and attractive to watch out.

After a long trip from Philippines the next plan is to visit one of the most biggest flower gardens of the world, it is located in the city of Lisse just right next to Amsterdam on its southwest part in Netherlands. The journey began with early in the morning like 6:00 am already in the road, a road trip from brussels to Holland that will take for about more than 2 hours depending of the traffic flow, unfortunately for us passing through frontier between Belgium and Netherlands is the busiest.

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The ride took us 3 hours to get to the destined place, it was already passed 9:00 am when we arrived, before entering the main road I’ve noticed the large farm of tulips around however the flowers were already ripped off since it was almost the end of the tulips season.

 

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Entering the garden was majestic, blooming flowers was waiting to welcome us the colors of each and every variety of tulips are amazing there were violet, blue, red, yellow, orange, white, pink it was like a real rainbow shattered in the garden. Not just tulips but also daffodils and hyacinths.

There weren’t a lot of people at that time, I had such an incredible time to savour the immense city of tulips and just relax take some photos from here to there.

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The park covers an area of 32 hectares equivalent to 79 acres, accordingly it has approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted yearly which means this place is enormously brimmed with blossoms surrounding.

Keukenhof actually means “kitchen garden” has more or less 100 royal suppliers, this are exhibitors who supply the best of the best range of flowers and arrange them accordingly through out the exposition.

On the map you will see some guide the area, places where you can visit publicly, some with shops, souvenirs etc. at first you have Wilhelmina which indicated a shop image and restaurant and also public toilets, next is Beatrix for Orchid Show then Irene a plain shop, Willem-Alexander with flower shows, Oranje Nassau with flower shows, flower mosaic and walk of fame, the Mill, and lastly Main Entrance and Flower Bulb Shop.

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It has several types of gardens too it features the english landscape garden which has winding paths and see-through alignment, the historical garden which has many old types of bulb, nature garden which consist of water garden and shrubs and japanese country garden a non-traditional garden.

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As we passed by from one garden to another I’ve noticed a lot of types of colourful displays, uniques statues, paintings, arts and special art designs that are very attractive on eyes.

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Aside from this unique displays of course the most much visited area of the park is the famous Mill, there were already many people at the vicinity, families, children, couples, doing some picnic, it was the highlight of the site, along side is the souvenir shop filled with special items for visitors.

There is also a kiosk for the Wispher Boat tour it was 7 euros per person for a tour in the tulip farm, but unluckily since we visited a little late in the month the farmers already cut off the tulips for their the next cycle of bulbs to be created.

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After visiting the Mill on the other corner, there’s a small building with a collection of different kinds of orchids exhibition, wide range of rare colorful orchids decorated and designed by specialists they usually call it the orchid show which is stated in the map, there were also some mannequins wearing special clothes with orchid design on it, it was very interesting to see cause it’s not typical nowadays.

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After the visit in the Orchid Show next was to eat lunch in Wilhelmina near the big fountain, but before getting there we get to go up close in the lake and did the march with the circle spot like wood floating. there were people crossing the lake at the moment it was kinda difficult for two or even three persons in one circle, you really need to be careful not to fall on the lake if that I’ll be a bad day for you.

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After lunch the visit wasn’t over yet, continuing our track next on the line is Juliana/Tulpomania wherein this place offers exhibition of tulpomania and bulb information which means it’s all about the “bulb” for those who doesn’t know this is  a rounded underground storage organ, consisting of a short stem surrounded by fleshy scale leaves or leaf bases in short this is the kind of seed but for tulips it’s called a bulb.

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The biggest of all the exhibition building is the Willem-Alexander it has the largest exposition with an area filled with flowers arts, designs, landscape, shops, ideas for interior design with plants and even techniques and ways to make plants look more attractive and prettier and a lot more.

The best thing that I’ve found here is that handicap persons are very welcome and they can access almost every where in the park except on those circle spot floating in the lake of course.

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A few walks later I saw a small house with some rabbit like form statues all over the place, I wonder what was it at first I thought it was like a souvenir shop for tulips but in the end when I went there it was a petit Miffy Village.

Miffy is originally told by Dick Bruna to his son for bedtime stories as white bunny, who scampered around the garden of their holiday home, later on he sketched and make it a little girl bunny in dress and so Miffy was born.

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Miffy is very popular for children all over the world, its creator featured her in more than 30 books, she is known as “nijntje” in Netherlands from the dutch word “konijntje”, meaning “little bunny” and in French she is known as “le petit lapin” .

Moving on, I wanna show you my favorite part of this tour normally there’s two of them first is the different types of water fountain that I saw around the gardens, I intentionally took pictures of them cause for me I find them beautiful, who knows one day I’m gonna build a water fountain in my house.

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The second is my personal collection of beautiful photos of tulips that I have collected, hopefully it will please you also.

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Over all Keukenhof is a very accessible park to all, for all ages and specially for handicapped persons they even have wheelchairs free of charge and electric wheelchairs with 10 euros charge available in the park, however with a 20 euros for security deposit.

Free Wi-fi, Lockers , Lost and found service, and even your dog can enter in the park except in restaurants and pavilions.

Opening hours is from 8:00 am – 7:30 pm

Admission fees :

  • adults – € 16
  • children (aged 0 to 3) – free
  • children (aged 4 to 11) – € 8
  • combi-ticket (entrance + travel from Amsterdam) – € 29

How to go to Keukenhof ? via public transport use 9292.nl find the shortest and the fastest way to get to Keukenhof by public transport. Note that during Keukenhof opening season there are special direct buses going to Keukenhof from airport Schiphol (№858), Leiden (№854) and Haarlem (№850).

Going there by car? Keukenhof is located between Amsterdam and Leiden. To plan your route use Keukenhof’s address in your navigation: Stationsweg 166A, Lisse. It will take you approx. 40 minutes (sometimes more depending on the traffic) to drive from Amsterdam to Keukenhof. You can park your car near the park for € 6.

For more informations go to the official website keukenhof.nl

 

Score : 8.9/10

Almost everything was perfect but due to the traffic of the road deviation in the Keukenhof Area, and plus the inutility of the Whisper Boat without the tulips farm this is my score.

 

 

 

 

Un Jour in Megara, Corinth, and Argolis

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Have you ever heard of this ancient greek historical places, if you’re a fan of Greek Mythology or Greek history you might already have read about them, It all started with a curiosity at the beginning at it turns out to be more and more intense of the stories or myth behind this mysterious country Greece.

Have you ever questioned yourself between reality and the myth about the Goddess, Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, Hector, Paris, Adonis, Apollo and many other known names, even if we go into details about the past and history of Greece some of this names will come out, how come people from the ancient period mentioned the goddesses and drag it til the future, what is really the connection between this two different worlds? did Zeus really existed? did Athena herself was the Queen of the City of Athens? what if Gods really existed? what if  there are still some demigods out there trying to survive themselves in this fierce world.

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Well all I can say is lets keep it as a mystery, every world has a secret, let it be, leave it like that. who knows one day someone out there will unleash the truth behind every enigma in this world.

A week in Athens wasn’t really enough to tour all the corners of it, all the beautiful sceneries, the people, the culture, its treasures, its ruins,  its history, It was pretty tough to have a short time in this beautiful city. it has been decided that the last day would be visiting the so-called Peloponnese part of western Greece, getting almost in Sparta there were incredible, stunning, and wonderful temple/ruins to be discovered.

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Sunny morning we’re heading to west Attica direction, we happen to take the non toll roads, where you need to take the short and normal roads of the village and after we had a quick stop in Megara, It was a fine view of Megara Gulf, the ocean was blue the other islands was clearer as I can imagine. Since I’m a fan of greek mythology I know who is Megara but for the real city that’s existing I havent heard anything special in this city a part from its outstanding picturesque seaside, the Saint Constantine and Helen church, the rest is yet to research.

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During our quick stop at Megara, I have at least took some magnificent photos of the Megara Gulf and its surroundings. On the left side as you can see its the trail way and from far island view are Islands of Makronosis, Revithousa, and Salamina.

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Near Ancient Corinth there is a bridge connecting Corinth to Athens,  there were superb photos that I found online and I really wanna see it with my own eyes, unfortunately we passed on the other side of the bridge which I haven’t had a good angle in the car to take a picture. it was desperate sadness not to have even one picture of it.

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Meanwhile we continued our adventure, taking up the toll-free roads to Corinth City, we actually got confuse because the city Corinth and there’s also Ancient Corinth, instead we went to Corinth arriving at the place it was kinda bizarre cause the place is pretty modernize, a lot of cars, building were like same in Athens.

I recheck the address on the GPS and it was actually the right one, but Ancient was added on so as we tried with Ancient Corinth and there I found the real address was pretty far from where we are, it’s actually 20 minutes drive more to the Temple of Apollo.

At last after more or less an hour and half of searching this place finally we have found it, it’s normally an hour drive from Athens but since we had some circumstances causing to be more delayed than expected.

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In this site can be found not just only the Temple of Apollo but as well as the remains/ruins of the Corinth itself, the beauty of this ancient city hasnt faded even once, even to its archeological parameters it has quite dramatic, according to Greeks Temple of Apollo is one of the best examples of Doric Building in the greek world.

Getting to the inside was interesting, it was a big space in the midst of nowhere, only houses and normal buildings around. As we landed in the area, paid 6 euros for entrance fee and get to discover the museum and its collection from the Ancient City located where you are.

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A great way to start the day it was already pas 11:00 am and now here we are roaming, searching, discover this antic site part of the Ancient city, the view of this temple is splendid I could say that it has the perfect 7 columns left standing after all this decades. I could imagine and feel the houses built before, the roads, the people, if I close my eyes I feel like I’m in the middle of the film from Hercules or Odyssey.

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Going to the inside of the Museum, it was filled with different collections of remains from the city, vases, coins, toys, plates, sculptures, mosaic floors, parts of statues and figurines, buttons, and a lot more. As they’ve said romans were very keen of water, fountains and running water are their favourites, that’s perhaps the answer why researcher have digged out from their excavations more of vases, pots, and other things that mostly related to water.

Corinth was one of the famous city for its pottery, that explains why I saw a lot of pottery collection from different stages and designs.

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Corinthian Order is one of the three classical orders of Greek and Roman architecture, the others are Doric Order and Ionic Order, Corinthian was one of the most difficult of the three showing how luxurious lifestyle and the wealth of the city.

Adoring this remains might be the easiest work to do but making them will take maybe a century to attain its perfection.

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Meanwhile on the farther northern part of the site was a total beauty with its pure and solitude ambiance features of remains, since Corinth was once considered as the “city of luxury” because of its wealth, its pretty obvious as you can see the richness of the architectural foundation.

It makes me wonder how have they actually build the temples at the first place, then how did they come up with this structural ideas for their houses, roads, ports, and others. It’s largely impressive.

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The monolithic rock hilltop that you actually see as the background of the temple is called Acrocorinth means “upper Corinth” it is the acropolis of the Ancient Corinth. it is one of the most popular site of the city since it has been the most impressive Acropolis/high city of mainland Greece but unfortunately for me being my first time travelling without a lot of information from the western part of Greece I havent had the time to research and I slipped this information, even after the visit we went to a restaurant nearby ordered some greek dishes and ask for some other sites that we might visit and the man said “you must visit Mycenae”

though the visit has taken more or less an hour plus lunch, it was practically 2:00 pm when we decided to go with no hesitations, we rather directly drive out and hence our next destination is Mycenae it is.

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Continuing our toll-free road at the time being, enormous mountains were in front of us, its symmetrical angles are surely charming, the curves, lines, and its forms were almost identical. lucky to have this view for another 45 minutes drive going to our next stop I’m sufficiently prepared for this next adventure.

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Finally arrived at this place, roads were not that difficult to follow although it was calm not a lot of vehicles around mostly I can see was tour buses and motorcycles from locals. the ruins and museums are located on the top of the hill as expected I can sense a wonderful story to be discovered here, I’m very excited.

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Mycenae is an archeological site consist of the classical temple and ruins, the grave circle A, citadel of Mycenae, and museum its located near Mikines in Greece. The lion’s gate will be the first thing you will see upon entering the main entrance of the bronze age citadel of Mycenae.

The entrance fee is 6 euros person access of Mycenae and Treasury of Atreus,  but if you’re a student is free or being in a group it’ll be more cheaper.

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As you go to the right side after the entrance you’ll find this noticeable circle form of ruins, it is called the Grave Circle A, a royal cemetery situated to the south of lion’s gate.

After climbing up you’ll see a beautiful panorama of the whole place with the view of the whole citadel, the mountains surrounding it and the ruins above all.

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I have read the citadel facts about its time-consuming construction process, I can’t believe that the Minimum stone required: 145,215 Cu.M or 14,420 average stones (10 tons) that will actually take 2.125 days to move a 1 block of stone, imagine how long will it take to build a citadel like this. It’s really amazing how ancient people live their lives like this.

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Walking around the area til its exit gate was exhausting, the place is very interesting, if you’re a fan of new discoveries, reading while walking, this one is perfect for you. Of course reading all the details of every single piece of stone that you may see is really annoying but once you followed the story you’ll become part of it and you’ll surely never stop reading until you’ll be totally satisfied.

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As we go on, we bump into a cave like passage where you can go down using the stairs, at first it looks creepy but once you got in you’ll different it was like being with the Mycenean people working and doing their job. I light up my phone lamp and go one until the dead-end well not really its just that it’s stated “no enter” so I guess that’s means you cannot go on anymore.

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After nearly finishing the tour of the citadel, the tomb of Lion Tholos was on the way, it’s mostly known as “Beehive Tomb” its a kind of burial structure having a false dome that resembles a beehive.

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The last highlight is the Museum, personally its more like normal for me, since I got to visit tons of Museums everywhere but I guess the Museum of Mycenae is special for its very calm and details, its more of a place where you can relax while walking around reading some information about Greece’s history.

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But lastly there’s one more archeological site that we must visit, its situated not to far from Mycenae its 5 mins drive it’s called the Tomb of Agamemnon hearing this name reminds of the “Helen of Troy” movie does it reminds you too? If yes you know what I mean but for the sake of those who doesn’t have any idea from the movie Agamemnon is the king of Mycenae or Argos the brother of Menelaus the king of Mycenaean Sparta the husband of Helen of Troy.

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It’s also a Beehive/tholos tomb, one of the largest actually located on the Panagitsa Hill of Mycenae its known for its lintel stone above the doorway which weights 120 tons that makes an extreme dimension of the door makes it the largest of the world and its monumental shape and grandeur it is one of the most impressive monuments.

According to some information that I’ve found, Agamemnon doesn’t have anything to do about this tomb, it was the german archeologist Heinrich Schliemann who named this place and thus the name was use ever since.

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To end the day a sweet sunset view was the last perfect piece to make it indescribable, for me this one is one of the special tour that I’ve done, I call it a Lazy Traveller’s Way of discovering other places. I’m not a professional traveller nor a professional Nomad I am simply a human who wants to enjoy my designated limited vacations and making the best out of it.

For those who want to discover other place near Athens it’ll be magnificent. just don’t forget your suitable shoes for walking and wear comfortable clothes, especially light ones cause its very hot in terms of weather issues. If you’re travelling via car better pack up your own food and drinks It’ll be cheaper or even via bus bring a backpack with your food and drink on.

To summarize all of my experiences from Athens to Argolis it was 100 percent fantastic, though there were maybe more places we could have visited if I managed to plan it before it started but no regrets at all. the food, the places, the people, it was all worth it.I totally recommend you to spend a week or more and delve into the inner history of Greece.

Score : 8.8/10

 

 

 

 

 

Nothern, Southern and Suburbs

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Imagine your life living somewhere in the hinterland of your country, far from the civilization, modernization, far from rowdy and blusterous sound of vehicles in the morning. Envision yourself wandering in the your backyard with a scenic view of mountains, humming sounds of birds dominates, the evenly whisper of the wind that you can vividly hear, bountiful sources in the vicinity. That would be really fantastic meanwhile suburban areas are in the middle of that quite ambitious scenery, it might be well most likely as in big cities where people became more and busier with technologies.

A part from framing myself into this deep imagination, I wanted to show you the other parts of Greece especially those who aren’t too far from Athens, a peck of taste from other cities nearby who gradually captivated my eyes for its stunning, and outstanding history.

Straight towards the northern suburb of Athens is Parnitha or Parnithos, this Art Gallery Exposition caught my attention, its repleted by famous greek paintings, culture, and other stuffs.

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In respect to the artist who created this precious outcome, I won’t show specific photos, and videos from it, due to some unwanted intentions of other people to copy or imitate those images I won’t reveal them.

It’s a 30 – 35 minutes drive from Athens, getting to the right address what our first trouble, we first arrive at a residence place filled with houses. it was the GPS fault or rather the one who type the address.

A quick visit in the neighborhood, then a lunch in a sushi bar after the rain after we ran off to another destination which is Marathon or Marathonas. On our way, I have a bit of this stargazing outlook on the road, It’s full of mountains, cliffs, trees, beautiful nature, lakes, and isolated houses.

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Lake Marathon is a water supply formed from the Marathon Dam, the Dam has a maximum height of 54 m and a maximum width of 28 m at the base and 4.5m at the crest. It is location at the juntion of Charadros and Varnavas known as the primary source of water to Athens since a long time ago.

Arriving at this place wasn’t to hard, just a bit rain on the way but after seeing this wonderful art Its makes you feel like being in the clouds.

There’s actually a restaurant found at the end of this bridge, it’s called Fragma and it has also parking space for vehicles, and you can eat or drink at the same time savour the panorama view of the Lake Marathon.

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Reaching Marathon’s town in some minutes, rain fall comes crashing again it was really a bad timing. result was we end up having coffee late in the afternoon in a small café unfortunately I havent took many photos from there.

After barging in the town, its time to see how the east coast looks like. I was quite unsure, if it’ll look good as I have imagined, since it was raining all day It might turn into catastrophic situation. hoping for a good condition sea level we directly drive into this place nearby.

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It turned out to be a quiet beach not even one tourist in the site, perhaps due to the bad weather and high tide-water, It was a prominent place, nice view, very calm and pleasant. I would stay here for with a book in my hand sitting just in front of this stunning ocean.

Going to Marathon from Athens will take you around 50 minutes plus going to the seaside that’s about 5-10 minutes drive only, after this short pause with the ocean its time to go to the next destination.

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Another 40 minutes drive from Marathon to Rafina it was almost 6:00 pm when we got there, the place is almost dark without the sun anymore but still I manage to take some photos around.

Rafina is a port town located in the east coast of Attica Greece it’s the second after Piraeus, not too far from the northern airport (Eleftherios Venizelos Airport) the destinations for the ferries at this port are within Evvia and the northern part of the Cyclades  which  are Andros, Tinos and Mykonos.

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Getting to Rafina, via Regional Bus the bus fee is 3 euros only, it will take 1 hour and 30 minutes from Pedion to Areos. via Taxi will cost you 30 euros, and will take 1 hour more or less depending on the traffic and same with car it will more or less be the same as taxi.

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Showing you our route map for that day, going out from Athens to Parnitha then from there to Marathon and after to Rafina and finally heading back to the hotel in Athens. We went out from Athens around 11:30 am and came back at night 7:30 pm.

It wasn’t really a planned tour for that day, as for me I really like to discover around by my means not of going through reservation for tours or others, Car is the best option if you want to be free from thinking about all those bus schedules and other public transportations.

Additional information, going to northern part of Attiki is easier with car cause you don’t need to pay for toll fees, you have the option on your GPS to avoid toll fees but of course you should compare the time that it will take, luckily the difference wasn’t that much so it was better with car. Gasoline price are pretty much lesser than the other european cities plus the distance is not that very far is won’t cost you a lot.

On the next day we’re going to some of the southern part of Attiki, next will be the most famous site, it’s the Sounion town.

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Getting to Cape Sounion will actually take 1 hour and 15 minutes via car depending on the road traffic, it it’s widely famous for its ruins of the Ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon as we all know Poseidon is the God of the sea according to classical mythology.

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The Aegean Sea as you can see here in the picture, was named after the king of Athens Aegeus, he actually killed himself off the cliff when discovering that his son Theseus was didn’t survive on the mission to stay the Minotaur at Crete. Myth says that Athenians were forced offer every year seven men and seven women to offer to the king of Minos Crete, placed those people in the so-called labyrinth and be eaten by the Minotaur.

The son of the king of Athens volunteered to be one of those men, and made a promise to his dad to slay the Minotaur, which he actually did but too late when his father died having thought of him didn’t survive at Crete.

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As what we hear from its history, mariners actually made a place where to sacrifice animals or gifts to the Goddess, (Poseidon) as he is the second to Zeus in hierarchy, he was feared by many of the mariners for he can make storms at the sea that can result to shipwrecks or drownings. As a result the temple of Poseidon was built. The name of an Englishman poet is often mention in this site, his deeply engraved name “Byron” in the ruins makes him one of the famous poet in the history of Greece.

When we finally arrive at the site, I thought of getting to the temple but I don’t know what came into my mind I wanted to explore more the outside part of the place, I roam around taking some pictures until it was almost sunset and guess what I could say I have the most beautiful photos that I ever had in my life.

The ruins of the temple is situated at the peak of the cliff and its has the perfect angle and perfect scenery.

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After some great shots of the temple, I decided to take some pictures of the Aegean sea and its perimeter, the sky was as its finest form, the terrific color of the ocean hooked my eyes, then suddenly there was a ferry passing by but it was very far for me to get a good picture of it.

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Out of nowhere some I bump into some birds or I might say quails around, gathering up like having a family conference. At first I thought of just leaving them alone but at the end I end up chasing them like a soldier photographer, watching my steps til I get a little closer and took some photos of them, up close they are so much adorable, I was very pleased to have a photos of this rare moment with them.

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Sunion is actually one of the most expensive areas in Greece, nowadays there are a lot of massive houses, condos, villas constructed in the area.

The temple is open from April through October, 8:30 am – 8 pm Admission fee is  8 euros reduced 4 euros. there are a lot of package deal tour that you can avail to go to Sunion or even the Temple of Poseidon, around 30 euros and above including free snacks, wi-fi, and tour in the town of Sunion.

for more infos you can always visit http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2390

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Heading back to Athens after the visit was kinda sad, I have to leave that wonderful place, but on the other hand I had an outstanding experience with the most splendid sunset I’ve ever had in Greece.

We didn’t finish that day that way, we had an over stop in the road to see one of the most talked in the internet, a site where a lot of tourists come to relax and enjoy the beauty of this rare and unique lake near Athens.

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I accidentally discovered this place from instagram, when I saw people talking about this natural thermal spring that can be found near Athens. from then on im hunting to be able to reach this spot.

Lake Vouliagmeni has a labyrinthine cave located at the edge of lake near the rocks starts an underwater labyrinth cave which can be explored 3.123 meters of lengths, researchers have discovered a huge stalagmite in that area. The lake is included in Greece’s national NATURA 2000 network and as a Site of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Ministry of Culture.

The lake is located across the street of the Vouliagmeni beach, you can reach here via Athens Bus or KTEL Bus that uses coastal road to Sounion, you can also take Metro if you prefer, take the metro line to Ellinikon and take the Saronida Express 122. if you wish to know more infos about the services and what the Vouliagmeni Lake offers visit their official website here;  http://www.limnivouliagmenis.gr

Other sites that you must definitely take a look are Ancient Rhamnous near Marathon, the town of Skala Oropou, Mount Parnitha, Perama, Pireaus, Santa Panteleimon, and many more.

Watch out for my next article, I’ll be featuring Ancient Corinth’s “Temple of Apollo”

 

 

 

Fascinating Athens and its environs

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Athens as we all know is the capital and the largest city in Greece, it has been a city for 3,500 years but its greatest glory was during the classical period of ancient Greece from now has several building and artifacts that still standing. Metropolitan population reached 3.7 million inhabitants.

The name of Athens was from its patron goddess Athena (goddess of wisdom, craft and war), according to etiological myth its name was acquired from winning the legendary contest between Athena and Poseidon requested to be patrons of the city and dedicate their names to it, she won by creating an Olive tree which Athenians accepted and named their city to her.

Athens had passed from Roman to Byzantine when the empire was split, later it was part of the Ottoman Empire however did not became of the independent Greece until 1832, 2 years after it became Greece capital and after 62 years it hosted the very first modern Olympics.

It remains a metropolis which is the center of businesses and a major world tourist attractions.

There are some places that I have visited in Athens, for a week spending in this enraptured city I have learnt a lot of things culturally, and more over people in this city are much more friendlier as I’ve heard from people’s opinion before getting here. Let me guide and show you these delightful experience of mine, considering that I didn’t visit every corner of Athens but anyways these places are 100 percent worth it to spend your time.

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known as Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal at the center of Greek capital, dedicated to the olympian Zeus.

Built over several centuries and completed by a roman emperor, its unique columns and layout made it to be one of the largest built in ancient history.

General Entrance: 2 euros,  Hours of Operation:
Winter: 08:30 – 15:00
Summer: Daily: 08:00 – 19:30

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Commonly known as Hadrian’s Gate, it has been said that the gate is built to celebrate the adventus or arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian it resemble a bit with the Roman triumphal arch.

To arrive in the location of this Arch all you have to do is to walk until the end of the Temple Olympian Zeus and you will reach this place, it’s actually in the side of the road on open public so no more entrance free to pay.

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Means “beautiful marble” a multi purpose stadium in Athens, listed as one of the main attractions of the city, to enter here is not free at all but not too expensive either you must make a reservation or buy ticket on the place. its 3 euros or 1,50 euros reduced, Open daily from 08:00-19:00 during March to October and 08:00-17:00 for November to February.

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It’s a 15.5 hectares enormous Garden located at the back of the Parliament, the park was used to be garden of the royal palace, eventually the garden was open to public for free admission.

Inside this place you will see some remaining ancient ruins, amazing landscapes, plants, trees, and flowers.

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Is found in the National Garden, the heart of Athens City, The Zappeion is currently being used as a Conference and Exhibition Center.

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The Acropolis Museum was built to conserve and display all the artifacts, and rocks parts found in the surroundings of the treasured area of Acropolis which are essential to the Athenian’s history.

General admission fee is 5 euros, Free entry: 6 March (In Memory of Melina Mercouri), 25 March, 18 May (International Museum Day), 28 October.

Summer season opening hours may vary from 8:am to 4, 8, or 10:00 pm or winter season from 9:00am to 5, 8, or 10:00 pm depending on what day you will visit.

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I have already discussed this site in my previous article you can continue reading here : Acropolis which consists of Parthenon, Theatre of Dionysos, Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, Old Temple of Athena, Statue of Athena Promachos, Propylaea, Eleusinion, Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia or Brauroneion, Altar of Athena, Sanctuary of Pandion and many more.

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Is located in the northern part before the entrance of Acropolis, from the inside you’ll see some ancient columns, Tower of the Winds, Gate of Athena Archegetis, East Propylon, Fethiye Mosque, Agoranomion, Vespasianae.

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The word itself literally means rock” people say the name of comes from Ares or Erinyes, however later Romans referred it as “Mars Hill” from Mars from the Roman God of War.

The rock is situated at the northwest of Acropolis, you can actually see the rock from the Temple of Athena Nike as you’ve at the last photo of mine.

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Known as Lycabettos, Lykabettos or Lykavittos the hill is one of the famous tourist spots of Athens, it’s a Cretaceous limestone hill with 300 meters high. 

There are two peaks the first is still accessible via cars or other vehicles but the highest peak is accessible only by walking its passage. from the top you’ll see a 360 panorama view of the city.

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Is located inside the Agora of Athens, the building is made of Pentelic marble and limestone. The stoa is identified as a gift to the Athenians for the education that Attalos received. The Museum of Ancient Agora is found inside Stoa it consists various types of collected items from ancient period.

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or known as Hephaisteion “Hephesteum” referred to its  Ancient Greek name and earlier it’s called as Theseion  “Theseum”. located at the northwest side of the Agora of Athens on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill.

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The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens an example of Greek Agora, it a huge location where various types of temple and ancient buildings like Peristyle Court, Mint, Enneakrounos, South Stoa I, and South Stoa II, Aiakeion, Strategeion, Agoraios Kolonos, Tholos, Agora stone, Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, Metroon (Old Bouleuterion), New Bouleuterion, Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion), Temple of Apollo Patroos, Stoa of Zeus, Altar of the Twelve Gods, Stoa Basileios (Royal stoa), Temple of Aphrodite Urania, Stoa of Hermes, and Stoa Poikile.

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In addition to this there are more places that you must visit, places where to eat and drink, and especially to shop for souvernirs. like a flea Market Monastiraki, going there was easy from the last located which is Agora of Athens but unfortunately it began raining and I had to keep my camera to avoid raindrops.

I suggest if you would visit all this places you can reserve a package ticket or reserve online, the thing is Museums and Monuments site admission fee are very cheap 2-6 euros only. but its more interesting if you’ll buy a ticket for all of this visits it will cost you only 12 euros and try to look the schedules in advances, especially days of free admissions. except of those places that doesnt require entrance fee.

From the Airport to the city center it will take 30-40 minutes you can take by:

Metro line 3 The trip from or to the Airport to Syntagma station to Athens Center important tip is that you must not forget to validate your ticket rules are very strict and officers do often check around.

via Suburban Railway (Proastiakos) take Athens Central Railway Station (Larissis Station) and Acharnai Railway Center.

via 24 hours Express Bus which routes are directly to Athens center and Piraeus you can take port X93 to Kifissos Coach Station, X95 to Syntagma Square (subway Lines 2 and 3), X96 to Piraeus (subway Line 1) and X97 to Dafni metro station (subway Line 2) for €6 (€2.50 under 18 or over 65) or

by Taxi located at Exit 3 of Arrivals Level with a fix rate of €35 from 5:00 a.m. to midnight, and €50 from midnight to 5:00 a.m.

A private airport transfer can be also booked in advance or last but not the least rent a car i’ll be more convinient for you if you’re travelling with family.

for more infos visit http://www.visitgreece.gr

 

 

 

Delve into Greek’s Acropolis

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The ancient fortress situated on the hilltop of Athens, it represents the political and cultural achievement of Greece in the mid-5th century BC. “Acropolis” from the greek 2 greek words “ἄκρον” means highest point, “πόλις” means city.
It consist three contrasting temples and a monumental gateway, Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion and Temple of Athena Nike, the Theatre of Dionysos on the south slope was developed after and next Theatre of Herodes Atticus was added.

As we all know Acropolis is one of the famous places in Athens, it has been very popular in city sightseeing and all travel guide books has this site as recommended on their list, since this is my first ever exploration in this wonderful citadel I must say It was a bit exhausting after a long ramble until the hilltop.

It was noon after a walk in the city we have decided to visit this well-known unique masterpiece of Athens, but before that we have first entered in the Temple of Olympian Zeus and paid 10 euros for entrance which includes entrance free for Acropolis and its museum.

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Once passed the first entrance, the first site that you’ll see is the remains of the Theatre of Dionysos, located in the southern cliff face of the Acropolis, is the birthplace of Greek tragedy. according to its history Greeks had performed here as always for their City Dionysia festival, it is also the first theatre built of stone.

While having a short time scrutinizing the area I had to take some photos of the nicest mountain views that I’ve seen so far, considering that Acropolis is found in Athens well it’s a city and normally in a city you don’t usually see mountains all over. It was a rare moment to mesmerize.

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Roving around the site was almost impossible the passage to attain the semi summit of Arcropolis which is remains of Theatre Herodes Atticus or mostly known for Odeon of Horodes Atticus. like Theatre of Dionysos it’s also made up of stone not just utilize for music concerts rather mainly in Athenian Festivals and orchestra plays in ancient period.

With its detailed façade and structure of the theatre it also is very impressive when it comes to visitors accommodation up to 5,000 capacity.

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The sacred bastion built in the southeast edge part and the entrance of Acropolis the temple of Athena Nike. considering its name derive from the goddess Athena Nike Athenians in the past strongly believe and worship her to win the war against Spartans and eventually led the people to name this temple and as Athena Nike (Nike which means “victory”)

In later years people turned it into a church and later as munitions store, after many years past it was demolished. however Greeks restored it and began its restoration until present times.

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The view of the southern part of the city is not just typical it is very remarkable imagining people live just in the corner with a nice view of Acropolis.

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The Parthenon is  one of the finest monument in Acropolis, the most important surviving building in Classical Greece, considered as the zenith of the Doric Order, this temple is built as a dedication to their city’s patron Athena Parthenos.

The surroundings was quite noisy since there were some construction on going but despite of that Parthenon is an enormous temple its history and significance to Athenians is really imposing.

As you go on around you’ll see the big poster guide of the location, written the story of the buildings that you’ll see plus the area that you’re allowed to enter or not. there were officers around to check if every rule is being followed, and to remind you that no touching and sitting allowed on those precious remains.

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The elegant building located at the northern part of the sacred rock of Acropolis, the temple was made of Pentelic marble, in its history the eastern part of the building was dedicated to Athena Polias while the western served the cult of Poseidon-Erechtheus according to the myth it’s where Athena’s sacred snaked lived and traces from the dispute against Athena and Poseidon for the possession of the city.

The tour was not yet done after that I had to take some pictures around the vicinity and explore some edgy places to get a full benefit of this extraordinary place repleted by history.

We had to take a break and drink some water that we packed and back on the track again for the tour of the rest of the area.

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Soaring the hill was pretty fun, you need to walk a lot at the same time profit the scenic side of the city and its environs. Of course you must be ready and well equipped before to visit the Acropolis, make sure you have your pair of sport shoes cause you’ll gonna climb for long minutes and bring water or food with you.

On the top there is a free potable tap water, you can bring an empty bottle to refill it there it’s totally free. Toilets are available also and free of charge. It is strictly no eating, drinking, touching, nor sitting on the selected sites, since there will be some employees around that surveys the area.

I would love to suggest you this place, you wont spend your entire day here, plan it better in the morning and have a lunch in the nearest corner or even plan an exclusive tour for your partner or family it’ll be great to have a private tour guide only for you.

For interested future visitors here are the informations:

  • Tickets: full price 20 euros/person , reduced 10 euros/person
  • Telephone no. +30 21 0321 0219 or +30 21 0321 4172
  • Open:
    • April-Oct; 8am-8pm daily
    • Nov-March; 8:30am-3pm daily
  • Closed:
    • 1st January, 25th March
    • Easter Sunday, 1st May
    • 25th and 26th December
  • Free Admission:
    • Sundays of Nov-March
  • Transport
    • (M)Acropoli or Bus 120, X80

or visit http://odysseus.culture.gr for more infos.

 

 

Viaje a mi Cuidad Zamboanga

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After the great experience exploring the Queen City of South its time to go back to the place where I truly feel safe, the place where I founded, molded, evolved and loved, the place where I called home, once entitled as “The City of Flowers” in my college days however after years gone by it turns out to be “The Asia’s Latin City” 

As we always sing Zamboanga Hermosa a chavacano song it says there “Orgullo de Mindanao” which literally mean the Pride of Mindanao Region. It is a colorful, historical, interesting, spanish style, scenic, and most of all the people itself are different from other Filipinos around the country.

Chavacano “un poquito español” the dialect called in the city, its a mix of largely spanish words and Filipino, and Cebuano or Visaya. Among 175 dialects in the country this one is the most unusual, unique and stylish dialect currently spoken by the citizens which has been passed from old generations through new ones and still being spread and preserve by its people.

There are various tourists spots hidden in this marvelous Municipal some are just discovered recently or shall I say appreciated recently, on the other hand others were actually discovered by the people themselves. Classic beautiful spots are the Fort Pilar, Santa Cruz Island, Pasonanca Park, Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar, Plaza Rizal and City Hall, Plaza Pershing, Mount Pulong Bato, Cathedral of Immaculate Concepcion, some were discovered in year 2010 and beyond like Marloquet Falls, Butterfly Garden, Limpapa Bridge, Parola in Limpapa, Grassland in Lantawan, Dulian Falls in Bungiao, Hermosa Falls in Anuling, Tinuy-an Falls, Lumbangan Falls and many more.

Lets move on to my short visit, I personally love to visit all this places, unfortunately even a zamboangueño like me haven’t explored yet some of the most beautiful spots found here, with my limited time my first priority is to spend maximum time with my family and the rest nothing rest actually I didn’t have much time, so I rigidly utilise every single second to fulfill and satisfy my duty as a daughter and sister to my family, the best way is? road trips and outings.

First was visiting KCC mall, my first time it was enormous same as those as I can see in Cebu and Manila containing different restaurants, supermarkets, branded stores and etc. my family’s favorite thing to do? is to eat so here’s our first target for that day.

Puerto Vila of Patalon

Puerto Villa Beach Resort was our next on our list, a somewhat family bonding and at the same time profiting the lovely breeze of the sea and to be relax after a non stop travel throughout the week.

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With the neighbour resort just beside it was really interesting, I got to take some good pictures out of it, the sun was rising, the temperature was high but the ocean’s charm overflows them all.

Despite of being far from the city center this zone has a lot of visitors, a more or less 1 hour and a half trip would lead you to hidden resort in Barangay Patalon.

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The sunset is pretty amazing here its breathless, you’ll surely be blown away by its spectacular gaze of colors, the trendy feature of sunset that you’ll normally see on films or in T.V. this one has exceptionally cross the bord of perfection.

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The day was overwhelming, watching the sunset, having my favorite foods cooked by my mom, being with my siblings seeing them enjoying the ambiance, laughing and smiling, it was the perfect day for me.

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We all know that Philippines was under the colonisation of Spain for more than 300 years, this shrine is one of their doings, in the history Fort Pilar was originally built as military defense fortress by spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City, after some time a relief of Our Lady of Pillar was place above the eastern wall of the fort.

According to people Virgin Mary appeared twice in the area, the first when a soldier seen her at the gate of the city and ask to stop her but by the time the soldier saw her face he fell down on his knees and secondly after a strong earthquake hit the city, Virgin Mary made an apparition standing straight with her right hand raise protecting the city from tsunami.

One of the most famous site nowadays many people would always visit here to pray, attend the mass, light candles, and praise Our Lady of Pillar who never fails to protect and guide its people and the city.

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Who would not pass by to this corner after praying and lighting candles in Fort Pilar, it was already late that we have decided to eat our dinner here at Paseo the stunning streets lights and of course the view of the sea here are the most wanted plus the food, I remember before I used to come her with my friends and eat tempura, isaw, and nicker bucker.

Leaving this place with a satisfied stomach, we must hurry to go home and sleep for the next trip that we’ll take, a trip that I will endure for 2 hours going to Barangay Limpapa on the next day.

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6 o’clock in the morning and we are heading to see the known Limpapa Bridge and Parola in Patalon. As I’ve seen the photos of my brother it gives me the pulse to see in it with own eyes if how splendid those places are, we planned to stop by the bridge first since its more easy to access to avoid the heavy sun at noon.

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Lately, explosion on social media about Limpapa Bridge was definitely not to ignore, it has captured a lot of attention to locals as well as tourists in the internet, boosted by all this blissful shoutouts of videos and photos nowadays has become one of the talk about spot in City. this bridge is located at Barangay Limpapa west coast area border of Zamboanga City from Del Norte (North)

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There’s not much information about this bridge as I’ve heard it’s a simple bridge which called by people from the barangay “Rol-Pa Bridge” not sure if the city municipal made it already official.

Getting to this place is very easy if you live in the city center it’s around 2 hours of travel or more depending on the weight of the road traffic, or if you live in the west area its more rapid and light since your driving straight roads until you arrive at the crossing point where military team are on duty to check vehicles who enter and exit the city.

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It’s time for breakfast after a long ride and taking many pictures as we can in the bridge, As we went on the down part of the it with our small family size vehicle, we stumbled into this more unexpected seascape that it offers, I didn’t expect that the highlight of area lies underneath.

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Imagine yourself having a breakfast with this picturesque view, your day will absolutely be complete. It’s around 9:30 am we ate and continue to roam around explore a little the vicinity hoping to see more great and interesting side of it.

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A five minutes walk from the bridge is a residential area on the seaside, fishermen, and children were there getting ready for their day to start, as we walk on further we found out this cottages and bangka (native canoe) encircling the place.

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The heat of the sun is getting more and more violent so after the short exploration we went back to the car and continue for the next destination which is just a few minutes drive away from the opposite direction.

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A couple of minutes after our departure from the bridge we stumble into this recommended spot by my brother, it’s an actual beach hidden from bushes and grass on the road side. It’s an anonymous sea-side with an exceptional glimpse of the curve shape of the island.

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15-20 minutes of walk from the road side to this so-called Parola or Lighthouse which is now among the busiest places that locals and tourists visit. To penetrate to this site you need to be physically and psychologically ready from its ups and downs land formation that you must undergo.

The passage was a little bit scary if you have fear of heights it’s not advisable for you, on the other hand if you reach the top of the hill it’s all worth it you’ll see a wonderful panorama sight of the west coast.

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We climbed up on the top of the lighthouse and there much higher and vivid view of this magnificent west coast surroundings, I cannot help myself not to say “wow” on this one, maybe it’s not the same panorama features from european countries but hey this one is raw and can be found in the far land of The Philippines.

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Relaxing and enjoying the moment was our goal while having our lunch in the corner cottages beside Parola, in the morning we had a drive thru from Jollibee for breakfast and lunch not that healthy stuffs but the quickest way to be on the road from 6:00 am in the morning.

Strongly recommended for tourist, though the way to this site has a range of difficulty just make sure you’ll bring your sport shoes with you and wear proper attire as you are needed to climb hills and don’t forget the sun cream to protect your skin from heavy heat of the sun.

At night-time my brother and I have discussed about going to this another spot near in our neighbourhood not far from Cabatangan which is Lantawan, in the hill-top part of the barangay there is this hill located higher than Pulong Bato of Pasonca, locals call it “GrassLand”

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In the morning we rushed up bringing our motorcycles heading at the location, it wasn’t that far more or less 10 minutes of drive and you’ll arrive in the upper part of Lantawan. 6:15 am we were late for the sunrise and at that moment we were ready to challenge ourselves for another hill to surmount.

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Soaring the almost vertical passage going the top, at last we made it and get to profit the weather its surroundings and well of course the hallmark of this place its landscape and outlook of the whole city of Zamboanga.

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Exploring the spot I would say that this is notably one of the places that I would consider as next to Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the outline of the hills around the vicinity are much likely that of Bohol’s perhaps not that bounteous as I can see less 10 hills from where I was standing.

I recommend you to come and visit this spot this one will surely fascinate and allure your eyes, very easy to access from those who live near Lantawan and for those who are in the City it’s just a drive away from your place.

We continue to run, play, and jumping out of joy up to our out most effort till we run out of energy. Since its my last day being with my family the day has yet to begin and we will surely bond and value every single second that we are together.

The day has come that I need to go back to Cebu for my flight and I will truly miss this experience. I wish I could just stop the time and live with the moment with them, nevertheless life must go on, we need to accept and move on and continue our regular daily lives.

Conclusions/Suggestions/Opinions

The venture of my visit was incredibly great, what I’ve learned from featuring this new comers tourists spots is definitely a challenge since not a lot of information were spread about those sites, it’s one of the hardest thing especially Limpapa Bridge, Parola of Patalon and Grass Land I have to be honest that I did dig out some research arround sites however there’s not pretty much historical linings on this ones.

I’m lucky that I have my brother and his fiancée who know more about the west coast area of the City.

Personally I think the city’s government should put an attention to this new tourists attractions spots, these are very important for it could help uplift the city’s reputation, they must probably start on improving the area and make it more convivial and accessible to all visitors. Tours and Travel company could add this sites to their lists with the help of the government. The City of Zamboanga will positively stood out from all of the cities of the Philippines.

Summing up points on my visited areas I can say its all worth it even if it’s not that much improved yet but as they all say “It’s with whom you are with that counts

For those foreigners who want to make a tour in the city please be guided that you are advised to ask more information if it’s safe for you to travel alone, if you know someone who lives here then its much better if not you can always call the tourist information of Zamboanga City they will always be available to help and assist you for your future visit http://www.zamboangacity.gov.ph/

Photos are taken by me and my siblings with my phone hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this article and follow me for my next adventure “22 hours and 10 minutes of travel time” experience with Emirates going back to Paris

Verdict : 8.5/10

Exploring Cebu City

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I have often stayed in this city every time I’m in vacation, it’s a big known place following the footstep of Metro Manila popular for its Sinulog Festival largest festival in the Philippines. It is the place where Ferdinand Magellan arrived, explored, discovered, and established the spanish colonization in the country, known for its beautiful islands and tourists spots, The Queen City of the South, Cebu City Philippines.

The first tour that I have done with my family here in Cebu was to visit a lot of tourists spots like Basilica of Sto. Niño, Taoist Temple, Magellan’s Cross, Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Fort San Pedro and Simala Shrine.

For the second time its with my family again, first thing to do after my flight is to eat like a monster in a restaurant called “Hukad” it’s a Cebuano word means “to serve food” popularly use by Visayan people in breakfast, lunch or dinner or anytime when they eat.

It was Holy thursday and mostly all of the restaurants and malls were closed so we ask the taxi driver to drop us to the nearest place where we can eat diner and fortunately Park Mall is open, we ordered some traditional Filipino food that I’ve been longing for like pork sisig, sizzling bangus, bulalo, monggo soup, atsara, pinakbet, and of course garlic rice.

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On the next day we went for a walk going to the Basilica of Sto. Niño located at the city town, according to the history the holy child (Sto. Niño) statue was given to the wife of Raja of Cebu by the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan upon the royal couple’s christening, On the left picture is the Pilgrim Center where devotees come to hear mass in Basilica, it is built for the purpose of accommodating the increasing population of devotees who come to visit the place.

The last time that we have visited this place I vividly remembered that the walls and the upper part of the Basilica was destroyed caused by the earthquake, I felt happy to see that it’s now repaired as good as new.

As expected a lot of people come here to attend the mass and visit Sto. Niño’s statue, but this time most of them light candles solemnly and pray.

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After a short in this holy place next to go is to fill my stomach with my favorite fast food “Jollibee” we ordered some spaghetti, fries (not french fries), and burger patties with mushrooms and rice.

Jollibee is not just an ordinary fast-food chain it has rice based meals which is suited for Asians especially Filipinos who eat rice 3-4 times a day, it serves also burgers, side orders and desserts like other fast-foods but this one is the leading company in Philippines and all people from young to old knows Jollibee. Prices are very affordable with your 2 euros you can have a meal, its basically known to all Filipinos wherever you go just try to ask if they know Jollibee and the answer will be “Yes” for sure.

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Magellan’s Cross located just right next to the Basilica of Sto. Niño a house that symbolizes the Christianity that Ferdinand Magellan once ordered to his people to construct this chapel with a cross on it.

This place is one of the famous spots in Cebu which people from different countries come here to take some pictures of this historical chapel, as Magellan is considered as the person who discovered Philippines he also name it after the king of Spain on that time who is King Philip “las islas Felipinas” the islands belonging to Philip and the spreading of Christianity in the country as well as the spanish colonization for more than 300 years.

It’s a happy feeling for me to be able to take a good picture with the Magellan’s Cross and its features, as for my last visit as I have said after the horrible earthquake occurred in Bohol and Cebu this chapel was also affected and by that time I visited here it was completely in the process of reconstructing the area.

WhaleShark Watching at OslobDCIM100MEDIA

On the next day we decided to go for a long trip, to start with the Whale Shark watching in Tan-awan Oslob, it has started to be very famous in Cebu highlighting the whale sharks who come daily to be feed by the local fishermen under the supervision of foreign and national environmentalists and scientists.

To visit this place you really need to wake up early for the travel that may occur it’s about 4 hours from the city center unless you are already located at the nearest resort in Tan-awan, or else if you’re located in Cebu City you need either to take a bus or to get a package tour deal from your hotel. Fortunately with my family we have found a local taxi driver who helped us to easily get in and have some connections to make it faster access like VIP’s.

tariffs of the whale shark watching may differ if you’re going to swim with them or not, but before everything else after the registration at the resort, you will undergo a short briefing about precautions, do’s and dont’s during your swimming with whale sharks, do not worry whale sharks “butanding” are very friendly but you must follow the guides and rules given by the facilitator.

Opening hours is from 6:00am to 12:00pm only, so you must be very early to avail a slot. 500 pesos fee per person and if you want you can rent a go pro camera with unlimited pictures and videos underwater with free CD and pay a service charge to the resort.

Kawasan Falls 20170415_124015

Kawasan Falls was our next destination after Oslob, it’s about an hour drive located at Badian, after arriving at the entrance vehicles are not permitted to continue the road so people are obliged to walk for around 1,5 km from then on you will see this fantastic cascade.

The place was filled with locals as well as foreigners, as we arrived in the area our guide reserved us a raft for a “pool tour” closer look of the waterfalls and a shower massage under the falling water. Cottages are rentable from 500 pesos to 2,500 pesos depending on location plus raft rent of 300 pesos You can also avail some tour packages which includes canyoneering and cliff jumping adventure.

Unfortunately even if we wanted to stay more we have to budget our time, after the tour in the raft and the shower massage we directly went down and head on our next trip to Simala shrine which will take us another hours of drive.

Simala Shrine20170415_164745

The miraculous shrine in Sibonga known for its collection of various types of Mama Mary’s statues from all over the world, its winding staircase, its unique structure and faceted layout, arched balconies, jagged terraces and the castle life façade which will make you amaze.

Considered as a holy place for christians, as you visit inside countless letters from devotees will welcome you, from the photos of miraculous Virgin Mary, the thanks giving letter from all who have their wishes and prayers came true and the gifts and offerings of the people expressing their gratitude.

Second time to visit here and each time is another treasure of experience that I will keep in my heart.

Cebu Metroplitan Cathedral20170416_121607

Also known as  The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Angels and of St. Vitales is a typical colonial spanish church which is decorated with carved reliefs of floral motifs, Cebu was established as a diocese and elevated as metropolitan archdiocese and an application is still pending at the Vatican for its elevation into a minor basilica.

To start our last day before going home the sky is heavy and it seems ready for a rainfall,  we have attend a mass in the Cathedral the place was full that time and nowhere else to sit so we only pulled out some random stools in the corner so we can make ourselves install and focus on the mass.

To end our vacation days in Cebu it’s always a must to enjoy the precious Filipino foods in the Philippines, dining in Kuya J’s house with some home cook foods like pork kawali, grilled bangus, bulalo, adobong kangkong, palabok and the garlic and plain rice platter of course and lastly the special desert halo-halo.

In the next morning “direction Aéroport” destination Airport for our trip going home to Zamboanga City.

Overall it was a great and fun experience, all I can advise to those who want to do a tour in Cebu City, make sure that you’ll make a list of your iterinary first then compare prices from the different tours and travels agencies especially when you are travelling with your family its kinda less expenssive with packages, unless you’re travelling with a partner or alone much better if you’ll commute cause it will be more cheaper, don’t forget to contact a local friend or try to ask more about how you can reach your desired destination at the hotel receptionist or inquire at the official websites to be sure.

For foreigners, Cebu City is an ideal city for you to visit its a safe place but always be careful as bad people are everywhere.

My last advise to all travelers, do not trust easily to strangers, and refrain from sharing your personal lives, be more vigilant and cautious.

If you want to know about detailed information on how to plan and go this tourists spots don’t hesitate to ask me or send a message. It’ll be my pleasure to help you.