Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

My Euro Tour Part 20 Spain

Hello !  Renxkyoko Iglesias here !

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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.  )

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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.

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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.

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.Above photo is a bullring.

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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.

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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.

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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..

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.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.

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After dinner, we watched a Flamenco dance group.

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Oooooh, passionate dance, passionate people.

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

Peace and stay cool.

My Euro Travel Pt. 19, Burgos/Bilbao, Spain

Hola ! Renxkyoko Iglesias  aqui.

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This is my 19th  travel post, and maybe the 3rd to the last.  I really  need to get this done quick  because I’m starting to lose the memories. All I have left now are impressions.

By way of introduction, let me write down my random thoughts… as  usual..

* sips coffee*

The abdication of the Pope…….  I’m a Roman Catholic,  so it’s a given I should be  interested in what’s going on at the Vatican. To be honest , I’m not  interested  at all. What I’m really, really concerned about    is  the abysmally  low number of  young men  who  have  the calling for  priesthood.  The average age of priests  now is 65,  and when they retire , there’s no  guarantee there’s a priest who will take-over  the position.  There are even Catholic parishes here in the US where Episcopal priests have been tasked to ” say ” the Mass in the absence of a parish priest. Why Episcopal , you ask.  Well, the Episcopalian Church is  Protestant, yet Catholic.  It was actually once called The American Catholic Church, and it’s Preamble states  “ it’s a constituent member of the Anglican Communion,  a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic Church….”

It’s a no brainer to  know the one reason why men don’t enter the priesthood….. the vow of celibacy.  It’s almost unnatural to  suppress the primal animal instict to mate, most especially with men. So, as a member of the Church, do I approve of  married priests ?  I’m a tree hugging, bleeding heart social  liberal, but I’m not a solid , hard core one.  Some of my views are, in fact,  pretty conservative,  and that includes my view on celibacy.  I don’t know.  Don’t hate me, but I think I would  cringe at the thought of  a married  priest saying  Mass in front  of me just had a blow job or kinky sex  a few hours  before . * Ren, you pervert, perish the thought! *  So, what’s the solution?  Ordain women into priesthood. I think women can withstand life without sex .

By the way, the ” bad” priests are pedophiles , not gay or straight priests,  except that Cardinal from England who had to resign … he had made numerous compromising overtures to  adult seminarians….  * shakes head *   The Catholic hierarchy should not cover up the crimes of these pedophiles.  Sick bastards…. the pedophiles, I mean.  This is just my opinion, at the moment.

Oh, wait…… I’d like to tell you something. My mother has a relative who is  an ex-priest.  It was the Pope who ordained him when the Pope went to the Philippines  years and years ago.  He became a parish priest, but then, the parish had a beautiful secretary.  They fell in love.  He left the priesthood and married the girl…. and  now have 4  children .  Lucky girl. I wish I could find an ex – monk. * sigh *

Now on to Burgos and Bilbao, Spain.

Burgos and Bilbao were our last stops in Spain. Both are located  in the northern parrt of Spain. Bilbao is the capital of the province of Bilbao , and the autonomous region of the Basque country.

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.Above 2 photos were taken from the hotel. In case you haven’t noticed it, all the buildings  are colored orange. The only one with a different color, red, is McDonald’s. This is the newer part of Bilbao. Bilbao is a nice place but it’s not a popular tourist destination. Funny thing though, Bilbao is  popular in our household.  Mom always adds Chorizo de Bilbao to her Philippine dishes., such as Cocido, Pochero, spaghetti  and  all sorts of soups and stews.

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.I wonder what they call this in Bilbao….. just Chorizo?  They don’t make this in Bilbao, though. It ‘s a Philippine  sausage  concocted by some guy from Bilbao. He he … well, that’s true.

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.Above photo is the Guggenheim Museum. The building was designed by American Frank Gehry and is made of glass, stone and titanium. We didn’t get to see what was  in there. We had lunch and just walked around  the vicinity .

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.There’s one  important thing about Bilbao and the Basque region.. It is an autonomous region of Spain… kind of separate but equal  thing ……. giving an autonomous status to a place is actually the next step to independence, but of course, the Spanish government won’t allow that.  Majority of the   Basque people though vehemently  want  independence……. that leads  some to engage in ” terroristic” “activities. Calling it terrorism  depends on whose side you’re on, of course.  And people there don’t want to be called Spaniards and  to refer to the Basque region as Spain.  (  like Barcelona ). In fact, we saw a loooong line of cars waiting to be inspected at the border between Spain and France.

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.Dinner at the hotel

On to Burgos…..

Burgos is in the n0rthern part of Spain, and is the capital of Castille.  Burgos has  a lot of medieval structures  that are well preserved.  Burgos though is noted for it’s number one  inhabitant …. EL CID, the National  Hero of Spain.  His war exploits , and his victories were legendary.  Please  google him.  Oh, and there was an old movie about El Cid, starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.

Below is the statue of El Cid. Actually , it was the Moors  who called him  that name, from Arabic wotd Seid, meaning  ” lord”.

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Oh, that’s Ruben, our tour manager.

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.The Burgos Cathedral , built in 1221, and is a Unesco World Heritage site.  Gothic style architecture.

Picture below is from Wikipedia.

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This  castle  was built in 840 AD.

That’s it for Bilbao and Burgos. To be honest, I felt   more history vibes  in Burgos  than in Bilbao.  Oh, and I got to eat Spain’s famous blood sausage,  Burgos Morcilla.  I liked it better than the one I had in London. Also, I did write before that one of my favorite Philippine dishes was  a blood dish too.  It’s an acquired taste, folks.

I think I missed one place in Spain. The problem is, I have no idea  where that is…. there’s a bunch of photos  in the folder, and I’m sure they’re from  another place in Spain.  I’m so lame. I really need to hurry up and get this done.  I’m even forgetting the names of places I’ve been to. Yikes !

I guess I’ll just post the photos  on my next post, which is France.

This is all for now. Good day, and stay cool. PEACE !

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My European tour, Part 18, Toledo, Spain

Hola ! Renxkyoko Iglesias aqui.

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I’m almost done with my Euro travelogue.  But I’m afraid after this, I won’t have anything to talk about anymore. In fact, even right now that I have a specific topic , my mind is still  blank. I feel it’s travel overload. I’ve been staring at the monitor for 2 days now, y’know.  Oh, but I think I had a lovely Valentine’s Day post, if I may say so myself.  I ;ve been rereading it, and everytime I do, I laugh. Hahaha * cough *.  It’s like I’m laughing at my own jokes.  Oh, Newsflash,  I actually had a date on Valentine’s Day.  Heh. I wasn’t really complete  zero, you know.  =_= ”

Oh, and one blogger got interested in my old  Valentine post, and her comment  made  me revisit   that one. .  Homigash !  It was a Valentine’s rant ! ! I’ll save you the time and just copy  here a part of that stupid post.  Ah. Sweet Ren ain’t so sweet , at all.

Here it is…..

I’m quite annoyed at the star rating feature here.  Why do we need to be rated anyway? I don’t really want that thing on my space.  On my previous blog, some reader rated my work as 1 star. I think that’s so rude. It’s like telling me my work is pure crap. Well, it is, but you , whoever you are, don’t have to rub it  in. WTF !  This isn’t a grammar test, nor a writing  one.  These are  my random thoughts , and  crappy or not,  this is my freakin’  blog and I can freakin’ write whatever I freakin’ feel like writing, so don’t freakin’ judge me.  I’m sure you’re no  freakin’ Pulitzer Prize winner either, whoever you are.

This is all for now.  Not in the mood to write anything else.  I have headache .

I  was such a sensitive fool.  I got a 1 star rating and went berserk.  Anger issues  much, methinks.

Oh, well.  Anyway, here’s Toledo, Spain.

Toledo is located in central Spain, and is the capital of the province of Toledo and   the autonomous region of Castille- La Mancha.

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Ah, La Mancha !  I’d like to believe everyone reading this has at least heard of  the play Man of La Mancha ?  This play was originally a manuscript of  author/soldier/actor/tax collector, named Miguel de Cervantes who had been imprisoned in Toledo for  heresy, ( together with his manservant)        ,    during the Spanish Inquisition . Well, no, not for heresy, but for foreclosing a monastery ! ! !  Ahahaha ! Anyway  the play is about a man who has read so many books about chivalry and injustice that he  loses his mind. Then, after renaming himself as Don Quixote de la Mancha, and  together with his manservant, Sancho Panza, he  embarks on a quest for his dream .  He is the ultimate symbol of a knight in shining armor.  One of the most memorable songs in the musical play,  is the song The Impossible Dream. To dream, the impossible dream…..To fight, the unbeatable foe. To bear , with unbearable sorrow….. la la la.  The lyrics are just so beautiful and meaningful.    I watched the movie version of this ( starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren, in our  collection of musical  movies at home  ) and I think , this is one of the most touching and heartfelt  story that I’ve ever seen and read, a story that is simply magical and  makes one believe again  in the innate goodness of man  and nobility of the human mind.

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The man on the horse is Don Quixote with Sancho Panza, his manservant, the top middle statue is Miguel de Cervantes, the author, the two women statues on the left and right are just one character, as  Dulcinea, his  virgin dream maiden, the damsel in distress,  and as   Aldonza, actually a prostitute  in a rundown inn which, he, in his addled mind, sees as a castle.

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.Toledo was declared a World Heritage site. No new building can be constructed and all buildings are preserved.

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The one on the right is the Alcazar ( Arabic  for castle -palace ) and the one on the left is the Cathedral.

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.The center of Toledo has several  entrances. I don’t lknow what the name of this entrance is. Do you notice the Muslim influence on the design of the entrance? It’s kind of Arabesque, Moorish, or whatever they call that design.

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Toledo was the capital of the Spanish Empire before Madrid.  It was the place where Muslims, Jews and Catholics coexisted. during the Middle Ages., before the Jews and Muslims were expelled at the start of the 15th century.  Below is the oldest synagogue still standing, built in 1180., called  Santa Maria la Blanca, formerly  Ibn Shushan Synagogue.  This building is unique because it was constructed  under the Catholic  kingdom of Castille, by Islamic architects for Jewish use.

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.Interior of the synagogue.

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.The Cathedral.

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Cathedral’s interior

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You know what, the real thing is more jaw-dropping.

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.The city of Toledo is surrounded by walls.

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The photo above…. this kind of building with painted on faux windows, and doors are very common in Europe. I’ve seen this in Florence, too.

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.Not sure, but I think above photo is the oldest police station in Europe.

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.Random me.

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.The photo above….. just showing you how narrow the streets are.  It’s actually charming.

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.One of the more notable citizens of Toledo  who lived or were born here was EL GRECO.  He was a Byzantine painter whose paintings had a modernistic feel to them .

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.We went to see his paintings and there’s an interesting story behind the above photo. Our tour guide was particularly effusive in his story telling. It’s a pity I’ve forgotten what it’s all about , ha ha.

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* ponders*

You know, the difference between a Protestant cross and a Catholic Cross is that the latter has an image in it and  Catholics call it Crucifix.  Speaking of which , I have a funny picture of a speeding Catholic driver.

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.Ha ha ha… I , myself, have a Rosary hanging in my car.

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It may seem boring, but , believe it or not, Toledo is one of the most beautiful places  I’ve visited in Europe.  Oh, by the way, Toledo used to be the the top sword maker in the whole of Europe since Roman times. They still make the stuff, but only ceremonial ones.. They now make handcrafted gold jewelries. We visited one such craft shop and bought several pairs of handmade gold earings and necklaces….they’re  beautiful with such intricate and delicate designs.

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This is all for now.

Burgos and Bilbao, Spain are next.

.With song in my heart, I say, hasta la vista… chau and Paz. La di da…..

My European Travel Pt. 17, Madrid, Spain

Hola ! Como estas ?

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Oh, that reminds me that in the Philippines where I came from, the common greeting is Comusta.  I can’t help but talk about the Philippines, too, when it comes to Spain.  Much of  the Philippines’ written history is closely intertwined with Spain, almost 400 years , that is,  and in fact, the country was named  after King Philip II. Oh, and while I’m at it,  do you know that the Philippines  was the only ” colony” the US ever had? American historians so far have refused to refer to it as  ” colonized ” , and they weren’t wrong because the US  that time did not use that term either. They were more comfortable using ” annexed”, and the “war” that  lasted 2 years  and left hundeds of thousands of Filipinos dead  was ironically called Pacification Campaign. ” Pacification” didn’t have anything to do with Pacific Ocean where Las Islas Filipinas are located.  Well, this is just a bit of historical trivia for the benefit of  us  American insulares.

Moving on…..

Madrid, Spain……..  I assume everyone knows about Madrid.  There’s really nothing  I can add that you cannot find on Google.  There’s just one  thing  for you to ponder….. have you ever wondered how the history of the world would have  turned out if  the King or Queen of Spain didn’t finance  the explorations  of Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, and Ferdinand  Magellan ?

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain, la di da …. ”  Spain is second to Switzerland as far as land  elevation is concerned.  The plain in the song from the musical My fair Lady is incorrect. The rain in Spain falls mainly in the northern mountains. Most of the plain in Spain   are, in fact,  elevated , some of which are, surprisingly,  almost desert- like. They call it Black Desert … the land is not colored black, but the vegetation is sparse and looks dark, not green. I’m mentioning this boring topography because Spain’s  scenery  is in stark contrast to , let’s say Switzerland’s, which is mountaineous ,green, and idyllic. We travelled thru such scenery  in Spain for hours.

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Outside of central Madrid is the area with modern buildings.

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565.566.Actually, very little of medieval structures in Madrid survived.  That is quite surprising because Spain was an imperial power since  the 1400’s.  The reason  could be because the Moslems ruled most of Spain for 800 years, (  thus, no medieval structures ) until they were driven out by the Crusaders and small Christian communities in Spain that were spared of Muslim domination.  The Reconquista  ( Reconquest )  of Muslim strongholds in Andalucia, Granada , and Cordoba in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Spain. As an aside, the world famous Flamenco dance is of Moorish origin.

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A walking tour of Madrid

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.Above is the area where Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in harmony. It was  like a Jewish / Muslim Quarter .

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Above is the pedestrian shopping area.

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.The pictures below is the center of Madrid.  It;s called  Plaza de la Puerta del Sol.  Gateway of the Sun..  This is the place where Madrilenos congregate  on any occasion.  The statue of the man on the horse is Tio Pepe. Uncle Pepe.  Funny that I actually have a Tio Pepe. Tio Pepe  is Spain’s version of U. S. ‘s Uncle Sam, or maybe Uncle John? 598

Below picture is just across from the picture above.

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.599.Above is a stone slab, in the center of  the   plaza, supposedly ” the point where all distances are measured.” This is the center of Spain. All roads radiate from this point. It’s Km. Zero

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Europeans are so passionate about soccer.  We were actually in Spain during the Championship game between Spain and Italy.  Our driver, Torino, was Italian, and our tour manager, Ruben, was a Spaniard.  They had a heated argument on our way to Madrid, then did not speak to each other  the whole day. Torino abandoned us the next day, and Ruben franrically looked for another driver. Torino came back  the next day. How childish, those two. Oh, Spain won.

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Below is the Plaza Mayor, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the paintings in the building below are of naked people.

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There;s a person in there… must be a little kid.

Below is Madrid’s City Hall.

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.After  our tour of madrid, we had  dinner  near Plaza Mayor (  Optional dinner at $35 each ). Below is the place where we had dinner of tapa, etc. and bottomless Sangria. ( drink all you can ) Sangria is a wine punch , and is named after  blood, or sangre, due to its dark red color. The place is like a dungeon, dark, and cramped, but the ambiance is nice.

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..There’s the tapa and some cheese on the table. Tapa means to cover, but tapa as food means appetizers or snacks.  In other words, the cheese is also a tapa.  At first, Mom and I  got a little confused.  You see, tapa in the Philippines is a common dish for breakfast , but it is solely  thinly sliced beef, and eaten with fried rice and fried egg. The beef is marinated in vinegar or lemon juice  and spices, then air dried.  Here in the US, we can buy already thinly sliced beef from groceries selling Philippine stuff, and the beef is called tapadera.  The tapa is  also an appetizer  in the Philippines.

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.Look, 2 pitchers of Sangria on our table.

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.Happy hour ! Good job, Sangria, good job.

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Wasted ? Nope, it’s a dungeon, so there are iron clamps (?) on the walls. Ahahaha.

By the way,  I’d like to apologize for my flippant  and rather insensitive statement re assault weapons, on my previous post.   ” I need an assault weapon that can fire off 100 rounds of ammunition without reloading, freakin’ zombies.” , was what I wrote .I am for gun control, especially assault weapons.  Assault weapons are used in battlefield, war, and zombie invasion,  otherwise, they should be locked up in the armory.  If you’re an American, you know what I mean.

This is all for now.  Toledo , Spain is next.

Que tengas un buen dia. Have a good day. PEACE !

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

Renxkyoko Iglesias here, HI !

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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.

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.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.

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

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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.

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

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.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.

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Above is the Barcelona cathedral. Gothic style.

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.Architectural details.

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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.

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

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.The Passion facade

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Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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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.

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

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

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.Walking tour of the city below.

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.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.

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Lovely wall !

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.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.

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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 !