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Delos Island in Greece

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Mykonos sure is an interesting place, but I’m not very fond of it. One reason why is that I found it lacking with historical sights. However, there is an even more interesting island nearby that can patch that hole.

Enter Delos.

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Delos is an uninhabited island. The only dwelling residents there are remains of the past. Mind you, it gets more visitors than my crib. :D

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It’s all a bunch of rocks, an archaeological site. That’s all it is, but not “just” it. People cannot live here. That’s how sacred and historically important and valued this place is.

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According to Greek mythology, it is the birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister, Artemi.

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It’s a small island, but it’s so vast with so many archaeological findings. It’s a dwelling to many temples and statues, housing of many Greek gods and goddesses. It was a magnificent experience to see and visit.

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There is an ancient theater. I always love seeing one. It always make me envision the gatherings of god and goddesses being entertained.

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Delos made our trip to Mykonos worthwhile.

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Before I forget. Beside the fact that no one can make Delos a home, no one is also allowed to either give birth or die on it. So be extra careful with every movement you make if you visit this island. ;)

Last Call…

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Amalfi Coast in Italy

Back in September, I was lucky to attend a two-week training class in Italy. I Didn’t let that chance to re-explore Italy to just slip away. I decided to go to a most personal favorite city, Rome, and what was a new travel destination to me, the Amalfi Coast.

I bring you …

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…Amalfi Coast.

The coastal drive to get there is a sightseeing experience on its own. South Italy Coast is just gorgeous!

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There is a remarkable church behind the port.

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By the time I was done roaming around, it was already getting dark. The moon made a dramatic appearance.

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It made the views of Amalfi Coast even more picturesque.

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Amalfi Coast, to me, is one for the bucket list, but not exactly one for the books. The coastal drive really makes up to my high expectation of it. A gratifying, dream-come-true travel destination nonetheless.

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Last Calls…

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MYKONOS

Me and my girl went to Mykonos right before the Summer ended.

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I don’t know what to make out of Mykonos. I was looking hard as to why it is deemed as one of the top destinations in Greece.

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I was looking hard for its character. I saw it as being generic. At first, I thought it was so mundane.

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I was looking around and I couldn’t spot any hot, beautiful women around. :D ;) That actually de-energized me. I even told my girl that. :) How awful of me, I know.

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Instead, I see lots of burly strapping herculean men walking around.

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The main landmarks are only windmills.

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You can walk and shop around Little Venice.

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Even that I question because it looks nothing like Venice. They do have great Italian restaurants.

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As the sun was setting, people crowded the area by the windmills. My apology for the pictures. We only used an iPad for a camera.

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As we continue on just strolling around esp. when the night fell and people where heading out to party, we saw even more men. What I didn’t know and is interesting to know is that Mykonos is a place where gays go to for a vacation.

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And that’s what I like about Mykonos. It gives it a different vibe, a different charm.

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I maybe still skeptical how Mykonos is a well-known Greek island, but I think that makes Mykonos an interesting place to really wander around. I guess the mystery enveloping this island is part of the personality.

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I think people come here with a let-it-loose, chips-fall-where-they-may attitude. And so, people who are here for sightseeing reason should come here without preconceived notion, an open mind. I was trying hard to find the character of Mykonos because I was only looking to find it on the sightseeing views. I had my blinders on. The character of Mykonos is on what it has become, the kind of people who come here  and each of their own characters. Mykonos, to me, is a free-spirited place with a hidden flair.

Last Call…

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You might get interested with these three more islands that are also part of the Cyclades ….

Naxos
Ios
Santorini 

 

Catania in Sicily, Italy

I only had a weekend to explore Catania in Sicily, Italy. During my short visit there, I saw it as a cross between Naples and Rome.

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I was actually walking around with a very awesome travel buddy. We were in the same training class together. We talked about travel experiences over Sicilian cuisine, arancini (very popular there), and glasses of wine and limoncello. I was lucky to find a travel buddy who has itchy feet like I am and would not complain about places like Catania, places that are not exactly aesthetically pleasing to most people.

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It’s quite … uhm … dumpy over there. The buildings look aged and uncared for. But if you can be open minded and really look pass the … uhm … “greasy” layer of the buildings. you can still notice how magnificent the architectural designs of the buildings are no matter how battered the appearance is.

 

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The city looks so unorganized. Dysfunctional. It’s noisy. It’s clammy. It’s mucky. It’s busy as heck! And to me, it looks so alive … so liberating.

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And despite it’s chaotic nature, the historical side of the city is so evident everywhere.

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They have an elephant statue, an elephant!, standing as an emblem of the city. Something that is so uncharacteristic of Italian culture.

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You can still drive a little further and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Catania may never be a contender for the cleanest, most organised city, but to me … I was soaking in the chaos surrounding me as if I was lying down a peaceful meadow. I was loving the moment of being in a city full of everyday people living real everyday lives.

Last Call…

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All images are taken with an old Nokia phone.

South Italy Coast

South Italian Coast is gorgeous! …and that’s putting it lightly.

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We were ooh-ing and aah-ing inside the bus. It certainly took my breath away.

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Last September, I was blessed to revisit Italy once again after five years of ever dreaming of coming back. I had two weekends in Napoli. I decided to travel to a familiar place, Rome, and a place that I didn’t get to see before, Amalfi Coast.

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It’s cheap transportation too! The fare from Napoli to Sorrento is only about 3 Euros. Then the tour bus costs 16 Euros to and from Amalfi. So that’s about 22 Euros of transportation expenses in total. I say not too shabby for such incredible views and travel experiences.

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And, you can visit Sorrento and Positano all in one.

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The road is narrow, winding and steep! I recommend just taking one of the tour buses or having an experienced driver to take you there.

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If you’re ever in Southern part of Italy, a trip to Amalfi won’t be a disappointment.

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The drive there is an unforgettable sightseeing on its own.

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I’ll show you Amalfi Coast on a later post. Here’s for now…

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Back in Rome

Last September, I was assigned to three weeks of classes in (yey yea!) Italy- one week in Sigonella and two weeks in Naples.

I was there for training but rest assured that I did some traveling. I managed to revisit and visit old and new places. I chose to come back to Rome and Amalfi Coast.

My return to my most favorite city was more than bliss.

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-Rome-

It was an entirely different feeling when you come back to a place you’ve known than seeing it for the first time. Returning back to Italy was most profound. It’s like having your precious memories come to life again.

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-Colosseum-

Granted my ardent love for Rome will never cease, i’m so grateful that I was given a blessing to come back and see it all over again.

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-Vittorio Emanuele-

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-Roman Forum-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Pantheon-

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-Trevi Fountain-

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-Spanish Steps-

Rome is one huge majestic outdoor museum, and what I always love about it is the plethora of historical and architectural sights you get to see.

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

I resided in Italy for 2 years. I love and missed it so much. I always hoped of returning, but I always thought that would only stayed as a dream. I really felt so blessed to be given that opportunity to come back. I was there for a day so I didn’t get to hit a lot of other great spots like St. Peter’s Basilica. My time there was short. Even then, I’m very thankful.

If you ever plan of going, be ready to do a lot of walking. Given my time restriction, I steered clear of places where there are waiting time just to get inside.

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-Spanish Steps-

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-Piazza del Popolo-

P.S. A lot of construction works when I was there. If you look at the Trevi Fountain picture, I only took the upper part of it because there are works getting done to it. I also noticed a lot of giant advertising billboard signs (see a car advertisement on the first picture of Piazza del Popolo) are put up in front of or around the sights.

Related Topics:
Revisiting Rome
ROMA

Greedy as it may sound, I do hope to revisit Italy for the third time. It doesn’t cost to dream, right? ;) I hope for everyone to be happy with whatever or wherever life takes you.

Last Call …

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IOS

ios is a tini-tiny island about 3 – 4 hours north of Crete.

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Ios is only 11 by 6 miles long. Cute island, eh. You can literally ATV the whole island in a zip. Driving around it was so so so fun! Yup, that’s me on a four-wheeler. :) We were off to here …

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… an amphitheater situated with a very nice view. If I ever to watch a performance here, I would be so distracted looking at the show.

Ios is actually a party island. We went out to eat and drink a little at an Italian restaurant, but never really did the whole bar scene. I’m just more about a different kind of party……. sight-seeing party. :D

11924956_10153655655273578_6452839684383586709_nAbove is what they call a “buried church”. :)

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And like most waters here in Greece, the beaches are so pristine and beautiful.

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Greece really has converted me into a beach person.

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I had a very low expectation of Ios. It isn’t known to many. A party island doesn’t suit me well. It looks generic. But we made the best of out it, and had fun. I actually like it more than the more popular Mykonos. But that’s for a later post.\

If you are ever here, I suggest riding the ATV. It’s convenient, and not to mention, practical. ;)

Last calls …

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11903910_10153655719588578_5871982902849588406_nMy apology for the hiatus. I was between work, studying for promotion, and college. Plus, I don’t have darn internet at my place!

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