Of sun,sea,sand and finding a hero.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Enjoy Tuscany with a glass of wine

Finding Felicity in El Nido

Pink painted skies in El Nido,Philippines

Quaint Girona

Off the beaten path in Girona

Good Morning,Vietnam

Cruise the emerald water of Hanoi

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thoughts: 2012, the Travel Year that was

2012 is one for the books, from the nearby Southeast Asian neighbors to the far reaches of beautiful Europe. Despite the odds of project schedules and work load issues, I was still blessed to satisfy the wanderlust for this year. For the cubicle dwellers, there will always be means and ways to fulfill our dream destinations.

My personal letters to the 2012 places.

April 2012 - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Dear Siem Reap, 

That was a literal "Temple Run" adventure.Thank you for sharing the ancient wonder of your land - the intricacies of the details, the fine mark of craftmanship in your temples and the rich history that comes along with it. 
But beyond that I admire your resiliency from the tragedy of the Khmer Rogue. 
Thank you for sharing a part of your dark history and how it has transformed you as a nation. I adore your simple life - I have seen how you have dreams but contented with what you have. Beyond Angkor Wat, I will cherish your hospitality, goodness, simplicity and above all your spirit of moving on and pressing forward.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Barcelona: Giddy for Gaudi

Unconventional and interestingly peculiar Barcelona is about 4 hours (fast) train ride from Madrid. As you explore the streets of the Catalan capital you will be treated to a visual feast of architectural marvels.From buildings with wave like facades giving an illusion of having no straight lines, adornments of wrought iron in different shapes and sizes, mosaics carefully assembled to create a colorful image and a church with intricate details that it is still under construction for about a hundred years now.

Barcelona, is a living and breathing tribute to its famous son - Antoni Gaudi. Leaf through any Barcelona guidebook and the name Antoni Gaudi will be mentioned being the architect that is responsible in designing several places of interest in Barcelona.Uncover Barcelona through the Modernisme architecture of Antoni Gaudi.

Parc Guell
A park on the hill of El Carmel commissioned by Eusebi Guell .The entrance is flanked by two whimsical houses painted in brown, with odd-shaped roofs and colorful mosaic adornments that it can almost pass as the witch's gingerbread house in the story of Hansel and Gretel.The focal area of the park is the grand staircase right smack in front of the entrance with the lizard/dragon made in colorful mosaic tiles in the middle dividing the staircase into two lanes. The staircase leads to a covered area with grooved columns that resembles a tree trunk. The roof of which serves as a huge terrace surrounded by a serpent like bench that is decorated with a kaleidescope of tiles.
Parc Guell - Grand Staircase

Admission Price: Free (no admission price as of Oct 2012 but there is a rumor that they might be charging an entrance fee in the future)
How to get here: Take the metro to Lesseps. Once you alight in the metro stop (Lesseps) follow the direction signs leading to Parc Guell or follow the tourists. It will be around 10-15 minute walk with an uphill climb to the road leading to the park. 
Souvenirs: There are a lot of souvenir shops on the street leading to the park. Recommended buys are the mosaic tile decorations, reproductions or prints, colorful wind chimes.