Home » Articles posted by rommel

Author Archives: rommel

Fortezza of Rethymno

I think its about time for me to tap into the history of Crete. I found just the right place. Fortezza of Rethymno is quite the destination to talk about it. ;)


The Sophomore Slump Recommends:

Music: Trouble by Ray Lamontagne – A singer-songwriter album to its truest form. This troubadour is one for the books in my book. :)

Prepare to be amazed … here is … Shelter.

Movie: The Slumdog Millionaire – You gotta admit, this made-epic movie is still incredibly entertaining.


Today a tour in Fortezza of Rethymno offers overlooking panoramic views of the entire city center and the west coast of Rethymno.





The views are just … muwah. :D



During the 4-century Venetian period in Crete called Kingdom of Candia, there were these walls of Rethymno protecting the harbor and surrounding houses in the area. But that didn’t go so well when one Turkish attack took place because of the weak integrity of the walls.


So then they built this Fortezza in Rethymno with improved construction in order to protect and shelter the citizens after Turkish threat.




During the Cretan War, Venetians were pushed out of Crete by the Ottoman Empire. Rethymnon fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1646. The biggest change they made in Fortezza was turning a temple into a mosque.




Greece achieved their independence in 1821. They removed all traces of Turkish period and repaired the damages of the original establishments. The layout of the fortress remained all along.



Last Calls …



Anastasis, Holy Week in Greece

This year, Holy Week, the most important holiday in Greece, falls one week after the western schedule. It is the same week only approximately every four years.


The Sophomore Slump Recommends

Movie: Under The Skin – Scarlett Johansson’s biggest break to being critically acclaimed. This movie is out of this world yet so human. I dare you not to get weirded out by this movie.

Recommendation Flashback:

Pan’s Labyrinth – This movie will never leave my top 3 movies of all time!
Here’s the Pale Man scene …

Music: 19 by Adele – Vocal prowess … bow.

Recommendation Flashback:

My Dark Twisted Fantasy – The frontrunner for the best album of the decade …
Here is Runaway …


Good Monday is the start of heavy fasting.

Maundy Thursday is a long mass where they read the whole story of The Passion of the Christ. Some church do a reenactment.



Good Friday is the procession day where they carry an epitaph or casket and parade on the streets.
I went back to Agia Triada Monastery for this. Activities are different from other village. Agia Triada Monastery only circled in and around the church vicinity.


Easter Saturday is Anastasi, The Resurrection. It’s when the burning of the Holy Flame takes place. They make an effigy of Judas. But nowadays it’s someone they hate like politicians or enemy. And they make a bonfire at midnight.
Me and a group of co-workers went to Sternes for this.





People light their candles at midnight as well.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Easter Sunday is the end of fasting. So the Greeks celebrate it with feast, an Easter party, of roasted lamb, or goat. They make Easter biscuits, hot raki, and red painted eggs representing blood of Christ.
My landlord gave me a red egg and a bag of delicious biscuits.

They sure celebrate Easter with a bang!






This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last Calls …




The FIFTH Element

Jo of RestlessJo finally tagged me with something. ( Geez! About time. Ahihihi :D ) She tagged on a competition that asked us to explore the four elements – Earth, wind, water, and fire. This competition has long been done. It’s okay I never submitted any of my post entries anyway. I just want for other participants to better their  chance of winning. :D Plus I always like to break the rules whenever I respond to this kind of tagging posts. ;) Instead of just the four elements each alone, I’d like to add something …


10897041_10153004203533578_8122219716242680052_n Yosemite National Park, California

406088_10151379189933578_950573131_n Joshua Tree National Park, California 564245_10150939138568578_1423020871_n Rocky Intertidal Zone in Point Loma, California 10985270_10153261256353578_6683271605383885461_n Stavros, Crete, Greece

Death Valley National Park, California



Channel Island, California

Los Angeles, Venice Beach, California
Naples, Italy


999176_10151789381208578_1516809486_n Ventura County Fair, California

San Pedro, Torrey Pines, Santa Monica, San Diego, Sunset Cliff, California
_MG_4757 (2) Ventura, California



Munich, Germany
Okinawa, Japan
Torrey Pines, Ojai, Malibu, California
Caramoan, Philippines

540887_10151032369543578_85645926_nBlack’s Beach, San Diego, California
Iraklio, Crete, Greece
Malibu, California
Cebu, Philippines

I added the HUMAN element. ;)

Last Call …
Souda Bay, Greece

See also: Letrato e Cronicas

The Sophomore Slump Recommends
Movie: The Fifth Element :)
Music: Dave Matthews Band

Iraklion, Crete

Another quick post…

What is Crete’s capital? The answer is letter C. Joke, joke, joke. :)

Irakleio is Creta’s capital. The largest city in Crete, and fifth in entire Greece. What you get is a bustling, urban city. Not very hard to notice. It is also hard to deny that this economic center has its both modern and historical importance, and has its full of wondrous discoveries within.

I first introduced you to Minoan Palace of Knossos. If you are to look up “first civilization in Europe” or “history of Europe”, you’d find that this, in Irakleio, is the site of Europe’s first civilization.


Another place of interest is Archaeological Museum.

Me and a friend went to CretAquarium, a stop in Golden Bay, Venetian Fortress, and McDonalds (what!? Don’t judge. They have Greek Mac :D ). Crete was once in a Venetian Period, but more on that later. :)


Last Calls…





And since this is a quick post, I want to share you these very very cool music videos all created by OK GO.

One note: All music videos are impressively one-shot videos.

First is this massive, extreme domino effect “machine”… really really cool …

Second is a highly complex choreographed video. The matrix part close to the end is whoa-insane!

The matrix part is participated by 2300 people. During filming, this video was done in intentional slow-motion playing the song in half-time.

Next is playing “musical instruments” while driving a car … again under one take.

If you did watch it, the song was recorded during filming of the video.

This last one is creative, creative, creative. This truly is “some pleasure in the eyes”…

I really hope you got to see these whoa-some, fun, cool music videos.

Also … Madhu of The Urge to Wander is an excellent, one of the top bloggers in my book. I hope you vote for her entry for “Journeys of a Lifetime Story”. I assure your vote will be casted for the right person, or that you won’t be disappointed following her blog.

Next, a 2.0 of Death Valley, Downtown Chania, or a something-else post.

Aptera, Without Wings

THE MUSES They were the Greek Goddesses of the Arts. They were the personification of knowledge and the arts especially literature, dance and music. Writers, poets or composers, even painters and philosophers, called out to The Muses when they’re in need of inspiration or help. Hence, where the word “music” comes from, referred to as one of the arts of The Muses. aptera3 THE SIRENS They were black-winged bird-women singers. They were placed by Romans in islands surrounded with cliffs and rocks such as Paestum, Sorrento, and Capri. They were femme fatale. Beautiful but dangerous, they used their enchanting music and voices to lure sailors to their deaths.


THE SINGING CONTEST Hera, Queen of the Gods, persuaded The Three Sirens to compete with The Nine Muses into a singing competition. The Muses won the competition. The Sirens were in such a distressed state that their black feathers fell out into the sea, which transformed into “white islands” in Souda Bay.



It is from this legend that the city takes its name, Aptera, meaning without wings.






MUSIC: The Man Who by Travis – Pop version of Radiohead? The soft-side of Oasis? The unknown Coldplay? Label as much as they want, Travis pulled a solid album with The Man Who.

Recommendation Flashback: Clocking in at #2 of My Top Albums of Decade 2000’s is O by Damien Rice. Here he is with Blower’s Daughter…

Movie: Death at a Funeral – Perhaps the funeral that you’d ever have the most laughs.

Recommendation Flashback: Here is Amelie … helping a blind man …


Short post so I’ll add this one … Speaking of music and dance …

I had the chance to have fun joining in to some Greek cultural dances during a part of the event that our work assembled for us …

aptera11 aptera10

Next post: Downtown Chania, Irakleio, or a something-else post. :)

Unique California 2.0

Here are some of the most unusual, unique, weird, odd, out-of-this-world, one-of-a-kind, outlandish, and fun places in California.

From an out-of-place Hindu templeVenice Beach


an outrageously decorated apartment of mystical creatures, to Frank Gehry’s unconventional methods of constructions and onto some of the most exotic places you’ll find in California.

Let’s start again with world renowned starchitect Frank Gehry.


The Gehry Residence features fences that are out-of-place, unpainted wood, aluminum stack that doesn’t work, roofing materials that used as walls, oddly placed glass cubes, and other unusual designs. Gehry still lives in this house today.

If you think you can stomach this next one, you might wanna chew on it …


In Downtown of San Luis Obispo, you can find an alley filled with bubble gums.

Bubble gum Alley

General Sherman

Where do you find the largest tree on Earth?


General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth, can be found in Sequoia National Park.

In South Pasadena, you can find a pharmacy with adjoining vintage memorabilia store, bath and accessories store, soda, ice cream and coffee bar counter. It’s called …

Fair Oaks Pharmacy

283625_329897867090255_1339904138_n 556619_329897353756973_753875817_n

Laid scattered in Anza Borrego Desert State Park are these metal sculptures …


… with dramatic desert settings all created by Ricardo Breceda.

Where do find the lowest point in North America?

THE Lowest point in North America: Badwater Basin in Death Valley NP

THE Lowest point in North America: Badwater Basin in Death Valley NP

Badwater Basin can be found in Death Valley National Park. You can find tons of interesting nature’s arts there in DVNP including Artist’s Pallet, Devil’s Cornfield, Twenty Mule Team Canyon, to name a few.

There’s a skull-looking jumbo rock…


… in Joshua Tree National Park. You can find tons of interesting rock formations there.


Can you see the guy?

We are getting too strange so I’m going to stop from here. If you’re intrigued by one of these odd places, either click to the ones I linked or try the Search tab.

Last Call …





A flashback recommendations … I’ve already suggested this before but didn’t provided videos then …

Movie: DOUBT

My favorite is when late-Phillip-Seymour Hoffman yelled, “You have no right to act on your own … ” :D

All lead and supporting performances were nominated at the Oscars.

Music: Vampire Weekend

The album I recommended was the self-titled album Vampire Weekend.This video, however, is from the second album called Contra.

It’s a fun, fun, fun, fun video. Stick to the end, I love the bell poundings.


Part 1 includes a binocular-shaped building, a house filled with graffiti, the last place in America, a yard full of junk arts, a painted mountain, a bunny-filled house, towers made of junks, and an apartment filled with mystical creatures decorations.


Minoan Palace of Knossos

Instead of talking history about the archeological findings, let’s learn a little bit of Greek Mythology. I think it’s more insteresting.


Labyrinth and minotaur happened to originate or are still holding evidence here in Crete, Greece and became common knowledge or usage.

Labyrinth. In Greek Mythology, the original labyrinth is associated with Minoan Palace of Knossos. It’s an elaborate maze construction built by architect Daedalus to hold Minotaur. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it.


Minotaur. Minotaur comes from the words Minos and Toros which translate as “Bull of Minos”. A minotaur is now being used as a common name for bull-headed creatures. “The” Minotaur was kept in the center of the Labyrinth and was eventually killed by Theseus.


King Minos of Crete. Every nine years, he made King Aegeus of Athens to pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to the Labyrinth and be eaten by Minotaur. It served as a payment for the death of one of his son, Androgeus, in Athens.

Theseus of Athens stopped these killings by slaying Minotaur.


Theseus. Theseus is a founder-king of Athens. He volunteered to be one of the youths. He was  successful in defeating Minotaur with the help of Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter.



Ariadne. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him pointers on his quest in the Labyrinth and to kill Minotaur in the promise that he’d take her with him if he’s successful. He defeated Minotaur and as promised took Ariadne with him. But Athena woke Theseus telling him to leave early and leave Ariadne. It was said that Ariadne was left in the island of Naxos (which I hope to visit one day :) ).  Later, the island’s protector, Dionysus, found her and eventually married her.



Movie: Juno – Hip, witty and expotentially cooler.

Here’s a clip …

Music: Voodoo by D’Angleo – Perhaps one of the most sought after artists to ever come back in the music scene. It’s because his two albums Brown Sugar and Voodoo are just too darn good not to be followed.

For the ladies … deemed as one of the sexiest music videos in history.



I was expecting to see a real palace when we went to this place, and all I saw was a bunch of rocks. :D No, I didn’t see grand majestic construction. But the value of this place is deep in the birth of Greek civilization and mythology. It pays to read about the places you’ve been to. As it turns out, it’s so awesome to see a bunch of rocks. ;)

Last Call …



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,361 other followers

%d bloggers like this: