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In Rota

I remember it. The first time when I sat foot in European land, I remember it so well. It wasn’t in Rome, Paris, Dublin, Barcelona or any place grand.

It was in Rota. Still, I was overwhelmingly elated. How could I not be? Given it my first time, and that it pretty much has everything atypical to European territories. In my childlike mind- I was skipping, when I walked through those narrow alleys. I was gazing at castles, when I was seeing well-designed neighborhood houses. I ate like a king, when I chowed down a plate of paella and guzzled a glass of sangria. I explored it as if it’s the greatest place in the world, when I went to the beach, parks and the streets of decorative city lamps, statues in round-abouts,  the cobblestone roads, the balconies and the windows, the small businesses,  the cleanliness and overall richness posing in simplistic shape and form.

As I write this, I remember my experiences like it was only yesterday. I remember witnessing their catholic practices during the Holy Week the first week I got there all the way to watching a bullfight just days before I left Rota. There’s a military base there and that Americans are not so hard to find. I mean, incident with them and the locals are unavoidable. They’re always hanging out in bars. I remember my glorious drinking days. I remember the night when my friends and I slept outside, by the dock, waiting for the next morning’s ferry. I also, in turn, remember my equally golden lax days there. I remember riding the ferry with the morning sun glaring at the water. I remember witnessing Flamenco dance during the fair. I remember running 3 miles on a sandy nude beach. I remember the smudge looks and friendly smiles of the locals. I remember the first time I sipped on one of those small coffee cups.

Of all my travel destinations, it remains to be the most relaxed place I’ve been to. There’s nothing over-the-top about Rota but I remember so much about it. It’s actually those little things that are precious memories to me. It was Rota, Spain that first introduced me to European culture, I remember it very well.

This is part of Flash Friday.

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FEATURED BLOG

Victor has traveled all over Europe. He’s “well-fitted” for the kind of adventurous travels he embarks. Whilst most of his destinations are mainly European such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, etc, the other countries across oceans are not to be missed. His most recent itinerary is Cambodia. My favorite, To Visit Arizona for Miracle – The Wave at Coyote Buttes. Be prepared as he shows “sizable” impressive images in Victor Travel Blog.

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Last Call…

Near and Far: Europe and California

VENICE – Tops: California, Bottoms: Italy

I badly wish to go back to Europe. But I can’t complain as much. Not only that I’ve been very blessed to have gone there, the place I’m currently in ain’t too shabby for my travel fix. Plus, it really isn’t hard to cross-culture here in California.

Villas – Design of Getty Villa {Bottom) is inspired by The Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum (Top).

I really enjoyed the neat idea I came up with when I Merge: Herculanem and Getty Villa. And so, I tweak it a bit for my entry of Near and Far. The images in this post are places in California where you can imagine or reminisce different locations in Europe. Not what the challenge is looking for, but I’ve been known as a notorious  WPC rule-breaker.

Spanish Footsteps – Top Right: Rodeo Drive, California, Top Left and Bottom: Rome, Italy. Related post: Journey

I like to know. Anything around your area, or places you’ve been to, that resembles, comparable to, or is based from another location or site from a different country?

Alcazar Garden – Left: Sevilla, Spain, Right: Balboa Park

The next one is with the help of sister, Analyn. She’s quite a globetrotter as well.

Danish – Tops: Solvang, Bottom: Copenhagen, Denmark (picture courtesy of my sister)

This post is part of Flashback Friday. *sticks tongue out*

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FEATURED BLOG

Here is Loni. Check out her Yosemite posts. Check out her Venice post. Check out her Mud Run post. Check out the one where she got on TV. Check out her Anniversary post and the different places her and her husband have gone to. Check out her Academy post. Check out food, places of mainly California, and her wide-eye impressive photographs. My favorite however is  her 100th post where she showed her “Loni Exhibit”, These are some of my favorite things. Go ahead and Check out how Loni Found Herself.

Weekly Photo Challenges: Close Friends

Long overdue entry to two Weekly Photo Challenges. I love the challenge because it urges bloggers to show photos of themselves to their entries. So I just collected all my tagged Facebook group pictures…

Ramstein Germany – We had an itsy bitsy fun sliding down slight slopes of snow.

Naples, Italy – One of us was retiring but he didn’t get a proper farewell dinner from his company. And so we gave him one. We even gave him a plague with collage pictures of his stay in Italy. I think it’s much much better to have it with friends than co-workers.

Venice, Italy - The perfect time to go to Venice is during the Carnivale celebration. To ride a gondola is a MUST for every visitors. You might as well take advantage of it when you are just visiting it.

Amsterdam – Bikes are not the only hype in Amsterdam, baby strollers of visitors as well. *grin*

St. Francis Basilica in Asissi – Traveling with big group can still make small trips memorable.

Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy -After Venice, we headed to Maranello for some Ferrrari zeal and adrenaline rush.

This is coming back from our trip to Idelweiss in Germany. (A separate trip from Ramsteinn)

White Elephant at a Christmas Party.

Last Calls…

Rota, Spain – I was chugging a Jungle Juice. *grin*

Italy – My 2010 birthday.

Cheers to a happy life with family, friends and love ones!

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Traveling? Meeting and making friends?

FEATURED BLOG

Brazil, South Africa, Asia, Europe, England, Japan, Mozambique, Bolivia, Rwanda, and a whole lot more. 3rdCultureChildren is not just a travel blog, it is full of heart, generosity, and kindness. My favorite is this unnoticed post with highly impressive travel images and heartwarming messages, “The World We Live In” has called: places we’ve discovered… Enjoy the sights, follow their experiences and meet their acquaintances.

Journey: Spanish Footstepsss +1

I couldn’t really think of what my entry be. So I’m just gonna go with this one. I think this sums up my journeys. I got Italy, California and then, Spain for the rest of Europe.

Spanish Footstep #1: Rome, Italy

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Spanish Footsteps: Rodeo Dr. in California (Built to resemble the above)

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Spanish Footsteps: Random footstep in Spain

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Wait, I can not just ignore Philippines…

Lemme dig through my picture archives…

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Good enough. Vigan, Philippines was a key city when it comes to Spanish colonisation, which is still evident til today.

Bullfight (Andalusia, Spain)

Here’s another Spain event that deals a lot of cheering. Ole! No, not just that. They are actually giving sonorous accolades to the matador when he does a good job. But if the torero makes a mistake or takes a while to accomplish what he’s supposed to, the crowd will surely notice and immediately yell out a series of boo’s. The crowd also waves out their handkerchief in the air. If I had known that, I would’ve brought my own.

I’m always been that way. I don’t like watching movie previews. I don’t really read full sypnosis of anything. I hate spoilers. I like surprises, spontaneity and the unknown. I really enjoyed watching this event because I didn’t know squat what was happening. Now, I don’t want to give too much of anything as not to give away the farm.

These guys are on the side. They get ready in case the bull gets rowdy. They will wave that pink capes to make a divert the bull’s attention from the matador’s red cape. These guys are not just for support. They are actually training as future toreros. Actually, one of them starts the show with the bull. 

A real bullfight aficionado will perusely look at the matador’s forms, his detailed executions and his sways. They would argue that bullfighting is not a sport rather is a form of art.

There’s also this part where they bring out the horse. The bull would rammed its head to the horse’s body. The horse wears a protective covering.

Now the bulls are going to get killed. My friend might had just wanted to console me saying they handpick the sick, old or dying ones for the show. I believe it. That would be a great show with an ailing bull running around, chasing the red cape innocently, unbeknownst its 11th hour is about to come, with his ticket to slaughterhouse… I don’t really know exactly how they pick which bulls.

The bull is not just ill but is now killed. Ole! to the torero. It’s all for the show. Personally, I can look at it as part of their tradition that has been going on for years.

And I did really enjoy it. I love the crowd. I was gathering information as I watch. I was trying eagerly to relate with the crowd and their reactions, trying to spot what I should cheer for but I just sat there with a blank face while they whoa-ed and woed.

 

You can ask them what the handerkerchief is for.

What fascinates me the most is the risk of mastering bullfighting and how a person would consider doing this kind of thing. Makes me wonder.

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FEATURED BLOG

Check out Andrew Petcher’s blog  Have Bag, Will Travel. Click on his itinerinaries and see if you share the same locations. He’s currently been blogging about Greece and displaying his favorite Greek pictures.

Sevilla, Spain

Not my choice of a movie, but when I saw Knight and Day (starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz), I got excited seeing Sevilla, Spain and how it covered most of its tourist spots at the end of the movie. I’ll just go through the pictures as how the movie features the highlights of the location, if memory serves me right.

The Alcazar is this spacious royal palace of sophisticated, majestic architecture. As a matter of fact, royal families still live there whenever they please. Keep an eye on the designs. They really are sophisticated and intricate.

It also has this huge garden. The movie actually has a lot of walking involved all over this palace.

With the nearby cathedral, the green garden of small ponds and ornament walkways and this (picture below) timeworn structure, Filipinos can’t help to reminisce its resemblance to Philippine Intramus.

The Seville Cathedral, aka The Cathedral of Saint Mary, is the third largest church in the world.

The tower (first picture above) is called La Giralda. Its very top is the statue of La Giraldillo. You can spot its replica (picture below) on the ground and on the side of the cathedral.

The movie Knight and Day continues on with a chase around the area leading to a bullring called La Maestranza. By then, I was oh-ing and ow-ing recalling my unregrettable visit to the arena.

The movie finishes with a stretch to the park along Guadalquivir River, highlighting a watchtower called Torre del Oro.

For more of this destination, check out one of my favorite blog and blogger of all time …

Featured Blog

I’m no tita buds so why not check her Freshly Pressed entry of Seville, Spain. tita bud’s blog. The title alone has that hooky, catchy ring to it. More so to her domain having the panache, chic, hip, and fun, all in the right tone.  She is also my favorite visitor. A comment from her makes my blog entry complete. She is just one lively and lovely blogger.  

My favorite entry of her is yet another Freshly Pressed post. http://titabuds.com/2011/08/16/3-things-i-cant-do/

Peaceful

Channel Islands

I’ll take the general approach of the challenge.

Malibu

Painter takes a moment to look at rocks formation as the basis for his drawing.

Diego Garcia

 
Diego Garcia is a small island located in Indian ocean. However, it is mainly populated by overseas filipino workers. 
 

Rota

 
That’s where I’ll be next month. (Above)
 

Capri

 
Na-ah, this “Peaceful” set won’t get away from a little bit of humor …
 
 
Mother Nature cries after Mother Nature calls. Hehehe. I mean, shame on them two!
 
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Running of the Bull

Other than the thrill and excitement and anything that the event dictates, my bullrun experience was certainly one of the most memorable. Why? I got rammed by the bull, that’s why.

I had a check-off list of things-to-do when I was in Spain for 6 months. Bullrun was a top priority. Thankfully, everyone was interested.

Our destination, Jerez. 

When the roads got narrower, we were anticipating how close we were to our destination. We were navigating through small alleys but still couldn’t sight the suspected crowds. We finally asked the locals, and we were told to go there, there and there, not by wheels …. but on foot.  A little turn from where we parked and we saw the pandemonium. All of us must had our mouth open thinking Ahhh that made sense.

The long street where the bull is supposed to run was blocked by barricades and rails for the onlookers to be behind it. A lot of them are cramped in higher positions to where the bull can’t reach.

    

  

Others are brave, willing and silly enough to be in level or near the bull. That’s where we got stupid.

Fortunately, or should I say unfortunately, where we set to watch was where all the actions were. They released the bull, and it ran towards the center of the street where everyone seemed to have expected it’d stay. I, for one, couldn’t help but to step out of the rails and get closer to the action.

The machos would jump in front of the bull and off they risk to show off their bravados. What they do is get the bull’s attention by distracting it, making noises and the matador way of waving colors to attract the bull. Ultimately, the idea is to make the bull run its course in the street.

In lesser pain of explaining, I took the liberty of taking a harder task of uploading and editing a video, something I don’t do.

The intense ending is where my story started. The person who was taking the video was lucky enough to get away, while I …

I wasn’t aware and active enough to run back behind the barricade that the bull had the chance of ramming his head against me with his horn on my legs. I could only imagine the wide eye OMG expression on my face when the aggravated bull was right in front. It didn’t register what just happened to me until I managed to stay alive from the attack. I think the bull threw me. My friend did got rammed too, and had an S-shaped scar on his left cheek. As for me, there was no major injury. No broken bones or even slight wound. The damage was my pants which recounted a close call to my family jewel.

While my friend was walking with a bigger than Harry Potter bloody mark on his face, I had to walk around with this air-conditioned pants …

So there goes my warnings. You’ve seen the pictures. I’ve uploaded the video for it. In case or any chance of you seeing the running of the bull, it’s up to you to stay back and be behind the bars or step out and risk it. I guess I’m supposed to suggest to be smarter and faster if you did involve yourself.

It was a definite horrid moment at the time. Looking back now, I can only say that it was quite an adventure.

The crowd …

Just thought I’d end the year with a BANG. Happy New Year everyone!

Kaleidoscope World

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Geez! Great ideas are just hard to execute. I took time creating this darn thing. :D Hopefully, it’s worth it.

What happened?

How come I end up where I started

How come I end up where I went wrong

Andalusia, Spain

Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out and you cut the string

– Radiohead

 

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