europetrip

Une Jounée in The Louvre Paris

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One of my biggest dreams when I was a child is to visit the incredible “City of Love” Paris, all of the girls in my town would love to be there it’s very famous of its romantic and european style architectures, buildings, people, culture and plus they speak the language of love “french”.

How many of you would love to go to this place? I’m pretty sure every single lady would love to be proposed by their lover in front of the Eiffel Tower, to make a lovers padlock in the Bridge, and eat french croissant and pain au chocolat while sitting in front of the Seine River.

For this part I’ll show you more of my forte, since I am a historical lover I do love to visits museums and expositions etc. so my second official visit in the city town of Paris is most likely to visit the rest of the places that I haven’t visit yet, and of course to tour the most famous and largest museum in the world, a historical place in Paris The Louvre.

The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the most visited place in Paris, it is the third most visited Museum in the world with more or less 7 millions visitors every year, there are around 38,000 objects from prehistory to 21st century including for sure the masterpiece of Leonardo De Vinci’s Mona Lisa and a lot more aircrafts from the most famous people, furthermore the Museum contains the most prestigious collections  like Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; sculpture, Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings and a lot more.

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Organizing the visit was quite difficult at first when we passed by to this place we thought that we could directly come in and have a tour however it’s not likely that way here, in this place you will see people queuing up to enter the Louvre that would take for 30 minutes to one hour of waiting just to enter imagine? the day we went to our hotel to plan the tour for the next day, we bought our tickets online and went there as early as possible but well surprise there’s still a queue even 8:00 am but not as much as yesterday.

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It was a sunny day, the weather is harmoniously synchronizing with my mood despite of the long queue we were able to stay calm and stress less. waited for more about 25 minutes finally its our turn to enter, yehey I was very excited that I want to see all of the precious fine objects inside this famous museum. Time check 8:30 am and we’re about to start our grand tour.

This is the first view when you get inside the Museum.

After a brief tour in the entrance hall its time to kick some oh sorry not to kick to visit the first section that we have chosen and that’s the Greek/Roman/European Empire the most awaiting part garnering the most visited department you know why? it’s just that its very famous if you have seen the book based film “The Vinci Code” the museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries.

With not much further a do here I’ll show you one my favorite galleries including the painting of Mona Lisa, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Winged Victory of Samothrace,   and many more.

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There were a lot of cool stuffs that are exposed in the galleries it’s really up to you where will you start first but for me I chose this one since I wanted to see more of paintings, arts, and just have that feeling to be back on 300 BC feeling like a time machine where you can see all the creations, fantastic and incredible creations rather from our ancient people.

Meanwhile on the other part of the gallery we have encountered the most unique pieces which are the collection of special arts from different cultural base of several countries starting off with the African rare objects, Asians including from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines among other collections are also from South and North American and Eastern and Western Europe.

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The one and only piece came from my country which I’m very proud of.

The tour from the beginning took us around hours already then we decided to take a break eat some a little bit and continue, for those who doesn’t know the Museum area is 72,735 square metres (782,910 square feet) it might take you an hour to tour just one category of the galleries.

Looking forward to the next department its the Egyptian side, it is really fun to see how this collection was retrieved thinking that it was from way back years ago.

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Going through the Near Eastern Antiquities it’s the second new department, the contents are from the archeological objects of Iraq, Iran from Persian period. The most famous collection is the Human-Headed winged bull Assyria, limestone from 8th century.

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The last part was the ancient greek mythology side where you can see statues of Hercules, Artemis, Zeus, Hermes and a lot more. Well I wish I could show you all the fantastic works of art the Louvre Museum has unfortunately I have a limited space here so I’m trying to cater the maximum that I can so here are just a quick peek of the Greek Gods.

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Before I end I want to share to you the most expensive collections that I have seen this are the jewelry collection of the French Royal family from Louis XV period, and the rest of the descendants.

Personally I would consider it as the “chamber of secrets “like in Harry Potter, chamber of jewelry and fancy stuffs, the rest of the place are extremely elegant and majestic, who doesn’t want to see this things, I think every girl wants to marry a prince in her dreams.

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So there it is our journée in La Louvre Museum it was pretty long, started 8:00 am as I have mention earlier till 4:00 pm and after that we headed directly to Brussels. my eyes are very intrigued with all those collections that I have discovered some were familiar to me some were my first time to see especially the Mona Lisa painting, looking at it, it feels like unreal honestly the tour was worth it.

Finally I could say after years of coming in and out of Paris I have visited this most famous Museum in the world, no offense from the other Museums however this one is the most that I’m looking forward to.

Some tips if you want to organize a visit in the Museum, first you need to know that this is a huge really huge place it will take you hours of walking and visiting the entire area, be reminded that there are restaurants inside the hall so you can eat whenever you want. Be sure to come early before 8:00 am perhaps especially in summer its very tight very full. Be reminded that when you buy your tickets you need to select the entrance time so be prepared and be there early before your chosen time.

Nothing much more to say, this a 10/10 score for me, if you will visit the Museum in the near future you can always visit their official website Louvre.fr

Ticket are also available there its 17 euros/person, open every day except Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 6:00pm

You’ll receive an information map, audio guides from different languages they even offer guided tours and workshops, so it’s all for you now to choose what’s the best fit for your tour. I wish you had a great fun reading this article.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Adventure in Lugano, Switzerland

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Switzerland or Suisse in french is an independent country in Europe known for its richness, high cost of living and for its incredible landscapes and climates, has more than 1,500 lakes, it has several of the largest bodies of fresh water in central and western europe including the largest Lake Geneva, in terms of climate it has two distinguish whether, from Alps mountaintop or northern part is mostly glacial conditions which lead to often suffers no sun appearance for weeks like most of the european countries do and on the other hand southern part receives the mediterranean climate, with palm trees, sunny humid and rainfall.

People are here are called “Swiss” they speak quite a lot of languages including German from the frontier part of Germany, French from the frontier part of France, Italian and Romansh from the frontier part of Italy.

Lugano City is known for its Marvelous Lake Lugano a glacial lake located in between the border of southern part of Switzerland and Northern part of Italy. There are two other lakes situated not far from away these are Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.

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To start of my adventure, I know you would ask why I chose Lugano Lake from other lakes of Switzerland, apart from visiting the largest Lake Geneva last time but with a short limited time only, apparently Lugano has its own ideal and perfect panorama view furthermore it has its own unique Monte Bré from the east and Monte San Salvatore from west side which encompasses the whole magnificent view of Lake Lugano. though Geneva has Mont Blanc however for summer destinations it’s not really an ideal spot.

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The Distance from Brussels Belgium to Lugano City is more or less 836 kilometers taking us more than 8 hours of drive from home until our destination, which led us to stop 3-4 times on the road for to eat and other necessarily needs to be done.

The difference from the gasoline price between Belgium and France are not that much but when it comes to Switzerland it’s more higher, the solution was to gas up in Luxembourg before entering France and Switzerland, note that Luxembourg has the cheapest among of them all, cheaper than in Belgium.

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Along the way I have seen a lot of fantastic view from the border side of Luxembourg and France especially in Metz and Strasbourg, We have also drive through the holder of the longest tunnel during 1980 and now currently in its 4th place longest is Gothard Road Tunnel with almost 16.9 km of length.

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We started our road trip early 4 o’clock in the morning, had some traffic when it comes to crossing the frontier from Switzerland to Italy. We headed first to our hotel located at the northern part of Milan one of the hotels from IHG booked for one night only with free parking, breakfast and wi-fi, primary purpose is to have enough time to visit Lugano City and also pass by for a shopping in Milan near Malpensa Airport.

The moment we arrived at the hotel around 12:30 pm, we arranged our baggage from car to the room then search for to eat, at that time we haven’t eaten lunch yet so we went to the hotel’s restaurant and waited and waited a lot. There were only 2 employees working that time and the restaurant is full of people ending up on searching online some restaurants nearby.

Kilometer away from the hotel is a simple yet cheap restaurant, shockingly cheap only 8 euros a menu per person including main course and drinks, well considering that we’re in Italy its kinda a bit cheap compare to northern side of europe.

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At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we arrived at the main city, the weather is not on our favor again, the sky is starting to be grey but still lucky that It didn’t rain yet. We went to search for a parking space then search for a bank to exchange euros to franc swiss, astonishing banks are everywhere from commercial to privates.

Inside the bank, the receptionist told us that in the city they also accept euros, reminder that euros  is just some cent bigger than CHF in terms of monetary value its around 1 euro for 1,07 up to 1,10.

Finally walking in the streets of Lugano City the most awaited part is to see Lake Lugano, minutes walk from the parking lot, we made a desert stop at Macdonald’s my favourite sundae delight.

In front of us is the stunning view of the lake, with the sparking gaze of the fresh water, the yellowish color of the sky was impressive, the rare forms of mountains on the other side of the lake are pretty cool, you will definitely fall in love with its water and mountain creation.

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I was absolutely blown away from this wonderful place, the more I zoom with my camera the more I’m amazed by its natural formation.

The journey didn’t end there, I have seen various aerial view of this lake displayed from all over the stores that we have passed the next plan was to get to the hilltop of the city in Monte Bré minutes drive from the city center.

As we go on our way I suddenly spot this perfect view which led me to stop the car and take some pictures of it. What can you say? isn’t it fantastic? who else won’t adore this kind of view.

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Panorama View from Monte BréIMG_5188IMG_5191IMG_5181IMG_5190IMG_5182

Monte Bré is actually a small mountain compare to Mount San Salvatore , you can access here via car but you must be a good driver cause the road is narrow and its a one way road but 2 vehicles can pass at the same time or via Monte Bré funicular its 20-30 minutes drive from city center to the hilltop, from here you can see the view of Lugano, Pennines Alps and Bernese Alps.

There are two more Funicular that you can take also if you’re visiting here, this mountains are must to visit. The first other one is Monte San Salvatore Funicular and Lugano Citta-Stazione Funicular.

After taking spending some time with the mountains, the nature, and the aerial view, I guess the sky  didn’t like us to stay longer, it began to turn dark and commence its excessive heavy rain then thunder and lightning. I was kinda intimidated by the fact that we have to cross this tiny road again to drive down back to the city but with more difficulties.

Successfully surpassed all the vehicles in our way back to the city, the rain didn’t stop still after waiting some minutes more finally we headed back to the hotel.

 

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On the next day we went back to Lugano and took the Monte San Salvatore Funicular, the price per person was a higher than expected as usual its was 30 euros person back and forth, if you are travelling with a group It’ll be 26 per person. Its open from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on normal days and summer up to 11:00 pm.

But it will guarantee you a 360 degrees view of the city, Lake Lugano, Monte Generoso, and the italian enclave of Campione. It’s absolutely splendid and priceless, I won’t recommend you this if you are afraid of heights or aerial views are not your on list of preferences, if you prefer City Site seeing it would good for you.

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Monte San Salvatore is a mountain situated in the Lepontine Alps above Lake Lugano its as high as 912 meters, arriving at the summit on that day, I can’t barely see the city cause of fogs all over it wasn’t raining but there were some droplets in fog.

After taking to funicular car we arrive at the spot were you can take pictures of the panorama view between Lugano City and the italian enclave of Campione, though I can feel some raindrops falling it didn’t bothers me at all.

The rain started and we didn’t have a choice but to stay at the restaurant nearby and ate our lunch.

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We continued to climb up to the top of the hill, there is a cathedral that is found at the topmost part of this site and climbed the stairs inside until we arrive at the topmost part of the cathedral.

The view is spectacular, I lost my words and just take a deep breath and enjoyed the moment but suddenly something terrible happened to me.

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As I was busy taking some photos I suddenly suffer from pain of stomach (suffering  from dysmenorrhea), due to it we directly rested inside this small cathedral but the pain was still there I was about to cry and I kept on praying, and at last miracle happens after almost 30 minutes of baring the pain I was able to overcome and walk down untill the funicular car.

We drive back at the hotel and there I rested, took some medicine and when I was feeling a bit better we checked out from and directly went to Malpensa Shopping Mall.

It’s actually my second time there, the first time was visiting Milan 2014 which made me discovered this shopping mall with cheaper prices especially in Sales period.

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Shopping was done so its time to bid goodbye to our Italian friends and Swiss friends I will miss this adventure though I had gone through some bad situation, however there’s always a brighter side. I’ll surely come back again to make sure to do all the activities that I’ve missed, and maybe shopping again why not.

Conclusions:

First I would say that this adventure was amazing, despite of what had happened to me or even due to the weather and even if we didn’t have the opportunity to visit the city that much, I can still say that our tour was successful. Probably one of the most expensive city trip that you want to do, well for me 2nd cause I have been to Geneva too for a day and it is really expensive.

You have to take note that when eating out at the restaurants here prices are from 30 euros per person (not a menu only main course) so if you wanna be thrifty you must pack homemade sandwiches with your or buy from groceries stores, Italy is not far away so it was an advantage to buy some food in Milan and bring it with you in Lugano.

Always check the weather of the City, but yeah sometimes when bad weather comes we cannot do anything against it.

Toll fees crossing Italy are not too expensive 2-3 euros only, and eating out is cheaper than Lugano of course, I recommend you to take a buffet breakfast included in your hotel stay, you can save more.

Which is cheaper to Lugano via Car or Plane? Car will be more cheaper but you need to be more resistant in terms of driving and it’ll take time. 8 hours is a lot for novice drivers it inquires 3-4 stops on the road, however if there’s some sales on flight tickets don’t hesitate to grab it. The flights are pricey from 250 euros and above so if you prefer quick travel then plane is your solution.

Verdict : 7,5/10

 

 

 

Unforgettable Week in Portugal Part4

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The day was full of wonderful list to follow, day 5 in Lisbon where our hotel located as for now we have already made some fantastic experience but it’s not yet over this day will be loaded with lots of proposal tourist spots to visit.

To begin with our day we ate our breakfast and drove to the nearby place supposed to be the next city after the famous bridge Costa da Caparica situated near Almada but unfortunately it was our bad day, an unexpected event happened all the roads leading to the bridge going to the other side of the city are close, it was a serious situation, traffic was terrible and the only option is to search another way going to the other side of the bridge.

There were police officers all over the places, which made us pretty worried, we took our maps and GPS the cause of this motion is actually because of the bikers doing their marathon for that day, I felt devastated, we lost 1-2 hours of driving back and fort since certain roads were close or deviated.

The plan was a complete disaster the last choice was to take the road to Sacavem and cross the bridge of Ponte Vasco da Gama which is about 20-30 minutes drive from Lisbon and I thought that’s the best option despite of the situation I still managed to capture some photos of this beautiful bridge of Lisbon.

IMG_3823IMG_3824 On the way to Sacavem I felt good 20-30 minutes will be fast, but we encountered another problem, arriving at the area the road to cross the bridge was also close, I felt like the world is on my shoulder, I was really sad causing us to lose time again, it was almost 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I don’t want to lose time again after this unexpected incident we stopped the car and think of another option to take.

This is really annoying when you are about to change your original plans, but on the other side it’ll show your flexibility as a traveller, there’s always something that might happened and you should always anticipate and put a plan B aside.

I opened my travel book guide and there I saw this Garden called Porta do Sol  located in Santarem and from there we can cross the bridge which is connected to go to the other island. according to the book going to this place via car might take more or less an hour, so it’s finally its decided were going to this Garden and get some fresh air to relax a little bit.

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Finding this place wasn’t that pretty as I thought, we parked the car nearby and walked for 10-15 minutes and at last we are here in this spectacular landscape site, after an hour of driving this wonderful place welcomed us.

It has its own unique and incredible charm that you’ll feel relax and want to go to tak a nap, the site is originally an old castle and now turned into a garden, the walls, towers, and the scenery of a castle are still maintained and preserved, this place is actually calm not a lot of tourists to intrude your way.

It is situated on a high slope which include an epic view of a bridge, sky view, the view of Tagus River (the river that continues until Lisbon) and the Railway.

The scenery of Porta do Sol  have really captured my heart, blue sky, perfect forms of clouds, sunny, the weather (not hot nor cold), its refreshing wind, the view and the peaceful place itself makes you wanna stay. I don’t even want to leave this place but I must continue the adventure and not waste time, now going to the other side of the bridge is my target.

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Looking at the map of Portugal I wondered what if were gonna visit again the west coast but this time the southwest side I suggested to go to the city called Sesimbra which will take us 2 hours drive from our spot however among the popular tourists sites recommended in the book I ended up choosing the captivating pictures of Cape Espichel (Cabo Espichel) which has a church nearby to visit and of course the lighthouse and the seaside.

On the road we struggled a lot with the horrible weather waiting us after leaving Santarem the weather changed as quick as a the wind, the sky turned into a black and grey like colors and some wild thunder and lighting afterwards and then heavy rains, do you think I’m happy ? yeah still I am but with a lot of deceptions but anyways forget about it I slept the whole time, from the moment I woke up we’re almost at the site and it wasnt raining no more, I saw the sun and I was happy again, keep telling my self to cheer up cause there’s more worst than this.

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Watching the site it was pretty especially with the sun’s presence my conclusion of the day might probably change, arriving at the hill-top you will see the Church and the Santuary, there were a lot of people as well a lot of cars parked side of the road and tourist busses all over. It didn’t actually surprised me to see this people cause Cape Espichel has made top 1 on tripadvisor years earlier, this site is one of the most researched and hot topic.

In the contrary of other west coast area that I have visited this is so far the most popular site attracting a lot of tourists to come. On our way to the Church a mass was on going I havent had the opportunity to take pictures inside, instead we walked around and saw this ruined hermitage not too far from the Church, continuing the road you’ll see the view of the southwest coast.

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Coastal Cliffs View

IMG_3862IMG_3860IMG_3878IMG_3880Honestly speaking I thought this site would be just the same as Cabo da Roca or Peniche so I expected that there would be not much of difference, surprisingly this one offers various scenery as you walk further there’s always a new view that awaits you.

I know now why people chose this place as top 1 in TripAdvisor, this cliffs amazed me so much each time I walk further it’s another potential perfect picture to take, the colors or the soils are as well different from each parts Espichel is famous for its dinosaur fossil trackways it is also believed that the Virgin Mary appeared here riding a mule from the ocean and up the cliffs which now led to a lot of devotees to come to visit the sanctuary.

The road to the lighthouse somewhat far perhaps 5-7 kilometers more so we took the car and drove till the lighthouse site.

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The Sunset View

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Cape Espichel Lighthouse

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Campo Pequeno, Lisbon

a14a16The next day is a lazy day, we decided to take a rest and enjoy the moment in this lovely city, including visiting at its famous City Malls, Walking around, do shopping a bit or window shopping maybe. Campo Pequeno was our choice of that day enjoying the ambiance inside the mall, roaming and browsing around the stores, walk a little bit and eat.

Startled by the prices of food, you can eat a complete meal from 6 euros and above, I was feeling excited calculating the price into “pesos” Philippine currency I’d thought that this is the most cheapest city among all european cities I’ve been.

Kababayan Restaurant, Lisbon

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Late night was reserved for my petit stomach, especial treatment of Filipino foods that I’ve missed. Thanks to the Filipina lady I met in the City of Fatima who recommends me to come over in this majestic yet simple Filipino traditional restaurant in Lisbon, it is located at Rua Marqeus Fronteira not that hard to find.

Kababayan” means “Countryman” in english, but most of the time when Filipino people addresses to someone who they don’t know they would greet and say “kabayan” literally this means for us like a “hello how are you friend” or like “how are you my friend”

The Restaurant’s place is really simple, a classic traditional Filipino style, not cozy and chic. I really love it, I like the “BahayKubo” style as their cashier, the bountiful ambiance and sensation of my country land is here I can extremely feel it.

We ordered some special Filipino dishes, since we have already ate a lot from the previous place, this night will be a little bit light, starting with some Garlic Rice, Pork Sisig, Shrimp Ginata, and Biko for dessert.

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Lastly, before we go I gently ask the owner and chat with her, I do appreciate her kindness of serving us the food I mean as an owner of the restaurant normally they don’t serve clients themselves but here I’m impressed. the style of her cooking is excellent I have enjoyed the tasty and delicate Filipino dishes, and for sure I will come back and make sure to eat the buffet next time.

Conclusions:

Overall I have visited 10 cities in Portugal, I know that there are more tourist spots that I must visited but for me I chose my own destination and despite of the fact that I haven’t visited a lot of popular places and other sites that are  recommended on social media, I should say that there are more beautiful and wonderful places that Portugal offers to those like me who clearly loves seaside views, mountains, cliffs and churches.

There are more to sites to visit in the other cities not just Lisbon though I’m not a fan of cityscapes, buildings, and streets I can say that I enjoyed my stay, Lisbon is a friendly city with its adorable people and cheap food.

There were disadvantages parts as well like prices of gasoline are kinda high, most of the museums have entrance fees, locals doesn’t speak english often (on rural areas), Toll fees are expensive so don’t forget include toll fee payment package when rental car like what we did you’ll pay less like 25 euros for the duration of your rent.

I must say 8.5 / 10

Future plans will be Porto, Faro, Lagos, Leiria, Coimbra, Braga and the rest of the cities. I’ll surely come back and continue another journey, another chapter of the book recorded and engraved in my heart and memory.

Unforgettable week in Portugal Part3

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known to be the civil parish of the municipality of Lisbon City which is located at the  mouth of the Tagus River this was our first stop for Day 4 in Portugal, so the plan is to visit:Belem Tower in Lisbon first, next to Casa do Castelo in Obidos, next in line will be then beach side of Nazare, then then Alcobaca City and lastly I wanna visit the most popular The Santuary of Our Lady of Fatima where I’ve heard a lot of Filipinos who are living there and also the famous apparition of Our Lady of Fatima which has a millions of devotees who come to visit her from all over the world, she is known to heal and make your prayers come true.

Our list was really full we went out from the hotel around 10:00 am after our massive buffet breakfast then packed up all the things needed then get the car for the longest ride of the day.

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At the arrival in Belem Tower we had the car park not too far from it, only 10-15 meters away but it was cozy causes to pay 2 euros for just a quick parking, evidently we were a little bit of shocked since Lisbon is really a cheap city with 5-7 euros you can have a full meal but well considering the place to park not to far from the river and Belem is not bad at all, If ever you will come here with your car it’s either you’ll get the parking space the same as us or you can also try to park somewhere else far a bit but you might walk more so depending really on your preference or you can also take the subway much easier for those who doesn’t travel with car.

The view of the Tagus River garnering the title of the longest river of the Iberian Peninsula was fantastic with the 25 de Abril Bridge this two made a splendid combination. Belem Tower is open from 10h-18h with an entrance fee of 6 euros per person but in my case I haven’t had the time to visit it with the long list I got, I desperately need to manage my time for the rest of the day however for you out there this place is a must to visit put it on your list, don’t finish your vacation in Lisbon without visiting this one and if you have time try to have a look of the inside of Belem Tower so this is how it look it the outside part just a wonderful view.

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Featured as one of the most visited place in Europe is Casa do Castelo situated in Obidos a more or less an hour drive from Lisbon, The Castle itself is still intact it is sorrounded by the village is amazing will see that the houses are all around with it and it has actually a hotel and restaurants inside and you can also climb up on the wall, it’s about 30-40 minutes of walk through it from the beginning till the end  There’s no entrance fee all you need to do is come here and bring your sneakers and climb up the wall, I promise this is the most adventurous tour I have ever had.

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The Disneyland of surfers I must say a dreamland for all surfers, the city of waves Nazare located at West part of Portugal. After the long walk at the wall of the castle we drove to this seaside part of Nazare which is really known for this gigantic waves, the first I did was run to the ocean and look for the big waves but unfortunately it wasnt the season yet so I have to be contented of the its extraordinary view of rocks formations and the blue ocean.

Looking at the sea there were surfers practicing on smaller waves I must say they’re were pretty cool to look at, I was trying to film them and take pictures of them, with their surfboard floating and trying to catch up some medium waves, watching them meters away makes me feel a little child who wants to try surfing and playing with waves.

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The view is extraordinary refreshing, from the breeze of the air, the ray of the sun a total package that you can rarely find. After a short walk we decided to eat ice cream while watching around the area, there’s a cable car on the right side of the mountain where you can ride on it to go to the upper side of Nazare. I absolutely recommend you this place you can spend a whole vacation here if you love surfing, waves, the beach, mountains, good food a perfect location. How to get to Nazare ? it’s either you go by car 1 hour and 30 drive or you can also go by train called Rede-Expressos that will cost you  cheaper or tour buses.

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Alcobaça Monastery, PortugalIMG_3782

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Minutes drive away from the City of Nazare is Alcobaça City mainly featuring the long and sombre façade Monastery of 18th-century it has several different images from other normal Monastery that I have been to, this one specifically has its own form of cone like shape on its wall as well as the outside part it reminds me of the temples that I’ve seen in Asia like in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand.

IMG_3781IMG_3772The interior part was pretty silent and calm there were palm leaves on the side part since its already the Holy Week portuguese people are also very religious, there were as well some various types of statues which represents Saints and Angels, unfortunately the museum inside is already close since we arrived somewhat late in the afternoon in the city so we walk around a little bit and decided to drive to Fatima.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, PortugalIMG_3792

It is believed to be a sacred place in Portugal, It is said the Virgin Mary has made an apparition to the three children near fatima and  which led the people to build a shrine and conserve this place for her where devotees and believers come to pray and show their love and devotion.

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Upon arriving we its was already around 19h and the sky is literally dark, the weather has completely change it was more colder than we expected around, I felt differently it was like a wind embraces my body and made me feel really good, we bought some candles and prayed, seeing this people praying some are crying asking for help with their personal problems.

I must say Mama Mary does help everyone and I believe about her apparition as well the messages that she gave to those three children,and  that she does miracle for the helpless ones.

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