Archive for the ‘Barcelona’ Category

My Euro Tour Part 20 Spain

Hello !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

00000003

I’ve been hella busy these past weeks……… exams, work, and  stuff are getting in the way of blogging. As usual, there’s nothing on my mind  at the moment, but then I’m always like this, right? I’m a slow starter.  Funny thing is, when I get going,  there’s nothing that can stop  me from  taking off.  So, let’s see where this post goes.

My signature name here, Ren x Kyoko .  It goes without saying that  isn’t my real first name.  The name comes from one of my most favorite mangas ( Japanese graphic novels) SKIP BEAT.  Yep, I read mangas, and really, really enjoy reading them.  They are drawings, cartoons, with very few words to read, and basically depend  on facial  expressions to convey what ‘s going on in the story.  Did you get to read my Valentine’s post here ?  It conveys a lot just looking at the drawings, doesn’t it,  with  minimum number of words, 13 short sentences, and really, the drawings say it all.  Oh,  I’m not rationalizing my fondness for stories with pictures. I read to entertain myself. That’s all there is to it. But, I have to admit  some manga stories do lower the level of my IQ a few notches. Or, have   irreversibly killed a few brain cells.  ( Eh. I’m not worried about my IQ.  I’ve been called a walking Encyclopedia once,  and I believe I can give Jeopardy contestants a run for their money.  )

042

DSCN0076

The other stuff  thar I read.

Quite  a few mangas  have scarred me for life, though.  Like, what, you ask.  Like Incest, that’s what.  Like 2 siblings who are into forbidden love, and in the end, both comitted  suicide.  Or,  twins who have  fallen in love with each other, and have ran away to another country to be together. There are tons of forbidden love stories like these, though some are cute, especially those that involve love between two  non-blood -related siblings.  There are so many plotlines like these that it makes me think, is this actually  a cultural thing in Japan?

Back to SKIP BEAT…… it’s a series that I’ve been reading for 6 years now, and still ongoing. It’s at Chapter 198 , to date, and the truth is, it’s been on going for 10 years already..  What’s amazing about this manga is that, the timeline of the story  as of the last chapter is barely over a year .  A chapter comes out every  5th of the month, and I tell you, I always get butterflies in my stomach everytime I turn on the computer to check if  a new  chapter has already been uploaded. That’s how addicted I am to this  pure  love story. It’s a comedy, too.

e520be997ec4e859d89287bf950996f3

You know, I visualize myself  already a grandma, sitting in a rocking chair, sipping hot cocoa, clucking my dentures, and still reading Skip Beat. ( *_*)  For the love of God, hurry up and kiss already ! ! Gosh !  * like  that’s gonna happen * (6_6 )

Oh, well. * turns off fangirl  switch *

I did say I was going to post a few left-over photos  of Spain. I hope  a reader from Spain can recognize them.  I don’t know where these pictures were taken, but I’m sure it was before our trip to Burgos, Spain. I was wearing the same dress.

DSCN1605

DSCN1594

.Above photo is a bullring.

DSCN1597

DSCN1600

Photos below are our Optional dinner at Barcelona, which cost each person $75, and  includes Spanish Flamenco Dance entertainment. I think this was the best  dinner in our 27 day tour……. a sumptous  Spanish buffet !  The dishes were  like the foods we cook at home…. estofado, paella, etc.  There was even a squid soup dish that included the ink… the way we cook it at home.

DSCN1264

.DSCN1265

DSCN1261

.DSCN1266DSCN1267.

Ooooh, there’s the black rice with squid ink.  That’s how we cook it at home too. We saute garic, onions, lots of tomatoes, then the squid with the ink, then water…. then we eat it with rice, and the rice turns black in color because of the squid ink. Guys, it’s an acquired taste, but it really tastes good.  Trust me.

DSCN1269

.DSCN1268

DSCN1263.DSCN1270

There’s rabbit stew on the plate but I’m not sure which one. Rabbit estofado was delicious, it really was, but,  it was difficult to swallow Roger Rabbit..

DSCN1272

DSCN1273

.Desserts !

I ‘m going to blog about the foods we had in Europe, something like a food critique.  One thing,  we had the best in Spain. And very generous portions, too. More to my taste, anyway.

DSCN1307

After dinner, we watched a Flamenco dance group.

DSCN1283

526.521

Oooooh, passionate dance, passionate people.

DSCN1276

DSCN1280.535

517.DSCN1308

.That’s it for Spain…. the land of my ancestors.  Beautiful country. Good-bye.

Peace and stay cool.

My European Travel Pt. 16, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, HI !

00000003

Someone commented here, ” Where are you? You’re MIA ! ” Don’t worry. I’m still here, lurking.  Actually, I’m on semestral vacation, and I go back to school last week of  January. So, what have you been doin’, Ren?  Well, 1. I have 2 jobs, and I’ve been given more work  hours. 2.  Playing Resident Evil 5. My brother ‘s Christmas gift is Resident Evil 6.  I want to finish RE 5 first before I start with the 6th.  Problem is, I ‘m bad at aiming.   I need a high powered assault weapon than can fire 100 rounds of ammunition without reloading. Freakin’ zombies.    7. And, instead of reading some blogs from my email folder, which has  6, 247 unread ones already, it makes me not do anything at all…  a totally complete opposite effect on me. I mean, I’m…..completely overwhelmed.  It’;s a daunting task, I know, but, * shows a determined look *  I vow I won’t lose to it. I’ll read up ,  every last post of it, and I  bet all my Pokemon card collection I SHALL OVERCOME AND I WILL WIN ! !  FTW ! !

Now, where was I? Oh , yeah, Part 16 0f my European tour….. Barcelona, Spain.  Ah, Spain ! The land of my ancestors .  My great grandfather came from Sta. Maria  la Nueva , Segovia, Spain.  He went to the Philippines  to work  in Spain’s so – called Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines.  I don’t know the economics of that, but , it ‘s not a nice heritage , in my book.  I mean, tobacco ?  And to this day, our family is still involved in this business. It is , in fact, a family corporation.  Well, not directly my own family here in the US., but , kind of…. we still get our share from the produce.  I think  our folks there should  stop producing that . Diversify . Plant garlic or something , or sell off the land and stop acting like some absentee fuedal landlords or whatever they call them.   Anyway,  I don’t know  if  our Spanish relatives are still living or have disappeared . My grandmother  and some relatives from the Philippines  did go  to  Spain  in 1970 to attend a grand reunion  given by  great – grandpa’s  folks in Segovia, one of whom was a mayor of  their town,  named Bruno ( funny name, that ). And  Senor Bruno was honest enough to inform grandma , et al, that though most of great- grandpa’s properties were sequestered by Genaralissimo Franco millions of years ago,  there were some real estate left for them to claim.  Ha ! So now I can say, we have some real estate pr0perty in Spain. He he he… Maybe , after subdividing it among great grandpas descendants, we’d be left with one pot of soil each.  Hopefully, one square foot planted with one olive tree. That would be nice, too.

Sorry, I ‘m just musing.

Back to Barcelona.

The city of Barcelona is the capital of  the autonomous region of Catalonia.  Spain has several autonomous communities, much like the US  has 54 states, with its own state laws, and capitals.  Catalonia though has 2 official languages, Spanish and  Catalan.

546

.To be honest, I  can’t distinguish anymore which photos are those of Barcelona’s  and of Madrid’s.  But the one above is definitely Barcelona.  Our tour manager, Ruben, who was a Spaniard begged us to go shopping in Spain.  That time, Spain had a 25% unemployment rate.  So, we went shopping.

DSCN1402

.That’s me in black tee , slippers and shorts, already carrying  a shopping bag.

DSCN1398.

The place is a pedestrian mall at La Rambla. La Rambla is located in central Barcelona. It consists of a series of short streets, one of which is the pedestrian mall where the photo above was taken.

DSCN1397

.Courtesy of Wikipedia below…… that tree- lined street is one kilometre long.

543px-La_Rambla_2009-06-10

.I’m wondering how different Catalan language is from Castillian ( Spanish ) . In Catalan, it’s Placa?, in Spanish, it’s Plaza. Chair is  cadira in Catalan and silla in Spanish. Clean is net in Catalan and limpio in Spanish.  And do you know that Barcelonians are offended when they are referred to as Spaniards?  I was told that when the 1992 Olympics was held in Barcelona, the Barcelonians  wanted to let the world know the event was being held in Barcelona, not Spain.  Hmmm, Spain has a political problem. And it isn’t just Barcelona. Spain is right now having a terrorist problem with the Basque region that wants to secede from Spain.

DSCN1369

Above is the Barcelona cathedral. Gothic style.

DSCN1372

.Architectural details.

551

.DSCN1366

Whoa !  I really did put on so much weight here.  Chubby cheeks.

The photos below are of  Sagrada Familia Church . This church has beenn under construstion since 1882, and  still not done yet.  It is funded by private donations, but they plan to finish it by 2026, the 100 year death anniversary of the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.

DSCN1315

.The church has 3 facades: Nativity, Passion and Glory. The one above is Nativity.

DSCN1318

.

.The Passion facade

DSCN1324

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

613px-Sagfampassion

Sagradafamilia-model_background_adj.

Above is supposed to be the miniature model of the church.  To be honest, I don’t like it. To me, it’s just a massive oddity, or to be blunt, a massive monstrosity,  and to think, it’s a house of God. Oh, well, there’s no accounting for taste. Each to his her own, y’know?  No offence to those who like it.

There were other places we went to, like places where some  1992 Olympics events were held. They were on top of a hill and following photos were the views of the city of Barcelona from there.  The Olympic structures were, uhm,  just buildings.

DSCN1343

.Oh, by the way, Barcelona faces the Mediterreanean Sea.

DSCN1345

Photos below are some random places and buildings that I took.

DSCN1333

.DSCN1334

.

.DSCN1350

DSCN1337

.Walking tour of the city below.

DSCN1379

.DSCN1377

.DSCN1385

.The guy looks a bit emaciated, doesn’t he? We thought the guy could use a few Euros for a dinner of  tummy -filling paella.  So, we dropped enough Euros into the hat.

DSCN1380

Lovely wall !

DSCN1382

.DSCN1384

.I don’t remember what we were gawking at, but I figure it would be interesting, too, to show our backs. To be honest, I feel I’ve become somewhat jaded at this point, about 20 days into the tour. Remember ABC ? lol! ( Another Bloody Church ) Well, there’s another one…. ROB ( Random Old Building) Don’t get me wrong. I loved Europe. It’s such a marvelous and magnificent place. And I hope I can go back , and see more of Europe, especially the ones less travelled.  I want to see Pompeii. I want to go to Naples. I want to see Eastern European countries, like Hungary.

DSCN1389

DSCN1393

.515513DSCN1327

There we are, waiting for our motorcoach to take us back to our hotel.

.That’s it for Barcelona.

Oh, wait…. right now, I’m watching Pres. Obama’s Inaugural Ball. The First Couple are dancing right now.  * Ah I’m ,so in love with you … la la la , I love this song.   And It’s so cool to be First Lady.  Can I dare dream about that?  Be First Lady, I mean ?

Oh, another thing, I hope you can check out   this blog. It’s about science-based life and I assure it’s so educational and interesting.

http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com

Next is Madrid.  Good day to all , PEACE , and yes, Let’s Stay Together !