Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have A Wonderful New Year 2012!

2011 has been a blessed and amazing year for me.
Everything was almost perfect...
my life, my family and all the people I met along the way...
the priceless and unforgettable experiences I've been through..
and all the wonderful things that happened this year.
Before 2012 comes
I would like to thank my family, friends, relatives
and anyone I met along the way..
and most of all, I would like to thank the Lord for everything
that He had given me this year.
Most especially thank you Lord for the gift of life,
the gift of nature, my faculties and abilities, all the opportunities...
There are just a lot of things to be thankful of.

NEW YEAR 2012!!
Good health always, love, peace and happiness
are all my wishes to all!

"It Depends on Us... Another year lies before us like an unwritten page, an unspent coin, an unwalked road. How the pages will read, what treasures will be gained in exchange for time, or what we find alone the way, will largely depend on us."

Esther Baldwin York

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Giralda of Seville Cathedral in Spain

I miss this place. I had so much fun and enjoyment with my friend while walking around in this city. Seville is truly a must-see when visiting Andalusia, one of the regions in Spain.

The tower you see below is called the Giralda. It is a is a former minaret that was converted to a bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville in Seville. The tower is 104.5 m (343 ft) in height and it was one of the most important symbols in the medieval city.

When visiting Seville, don't miss to go inside its Cathedral. You will be amazed by its arts and architecture. Spain still hunts me and wish to visit it again next year!

The Giralda, a famous tower in Seville's Cathedral. I am happy to be there last December 7, 2011.

The tower was begun under the architect Ahmad Ben Baso in 1184. After Ben Baso's death, other architects continued work on the tower. An architect named Jabir (or Geber) is also often credited with the tower's design. The tower was completed March 10, 1198 with the installation of copper spheres on the tower's top.

Friday, December 23, 2011

No White Christmas This Year!

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow..."
~Irving Berlin

Have a meaningful and memorable Christmas..
and a Happy New Year Too!
God bless us all!

in our garden last December 2010.

No white Christmas this year but whatever it is Christmas will always be Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Etcetera!

TGIF is almost here! Two more nights before Christmas Eve comes. I believed a lot of people are quite excited for this unique celebration. Some might be excited in opening their Christmas presents. Some might be partying and some might be simply enjoying the ambience of their homes.

As we went to Neumarkt today for some errands and shopping, we happened to pass-by a beauty parlor. I need to have a trim of my very long hair and also want to ask about eyelash growth. Since we don't have a lot of time and it might need us some hours to wait, I decided that I will be backed there next week. Girls need some beautification from time to time. Agree ladies?

Got a picture of some cute stuff toys in one of the stores we visited today.

Visit to the Christmas Market in Strasbourg, France

I had the chance to visit one of the beautiful Christmas market in Europe last December 2010. The market in Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region in France is also a worth to visit. This city is just located near the border of Germany.

The main Christmas market is located near the Strasbourg Cathedral but there are other areas in the city center where you can also find little markets. I guess the pictures I have below will explain a bit about the Christmas market in Strasbourg.

the market at the Cathedral square in Strasbourg.

some stalls at the market.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Day in Madrid- Things To See and Experience

What you can probably do when you only have the chance to visit Madrid for a day? Spain's capital and largest city is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage. There are a lot to see and to experience there. A day of visit is not enough but you can maximize the things you need to do and to see. At least I had the chance in my life to visit Madrid and truly enjoyed it.

If you only have a day and do not know the city at all, go grab a map and don't miss these sights.

Paseo del Prado- This is one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain which comprises three museums; the most famous Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the the Reina Sofia Museum. There might not be enough time to go inside the three museums but you can rather see the famous fountains in this area.

The Paseo del Prado taken as we were touring with the bus.

Plaza dela Cibeles- a square where you can see the famous Cibeles Palace, home of the City Hall in Madrid. It is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. Plaza dela Cibeles is one of Madrid's landmarks.

Puerta de Alcala- It is the main entrance to the city and now the symbol of Madrid. It was built by Francisco Sabatini to commemorate Charles III entrance to Madrid in 1778. It has a Neo-classical style made of granite and stone from Colmenar Viejo.

Puerta del Sol- This is one of the busiest places in the city and located in the heart of Madrid. At the center of the plaza, you can see the Statue of King Charles III on horseback, facing the Royal Post Office (Real Casa de Correos). This is the favorite meeting place for locals and you can also find here a lot of street performers and artists. Festivals, demonstrations and other activities are also being held here. Beware if you are in this plaza, there are a lot pickpocketers and anyone else looking to take advantage of all the tourists on hand.

We did some shopping at the El Corte Ingles in this area.

Plaza Mayor- An impressive and stunning square and perhaps the best known plaza in Madrid. This is also a must-see when visiting Madrid. Until today, it continues to accommodate a whole range of activities., There is a Christmas market going on in this plaza during our visit last Dec. 10, 2011. You can surely find a unique and relaxed atmospheric surrounding in this square. I remember buying some souvenirs in one of the shops there.

The Plaza Mayor during our visit last Dec. 10, 2011

The Royal Palace of Madrid- King Philip V commissioned it to be built in the 18th century. It is an enormous palace and considered to be one of the biggest in Europe. It has an impressive collection of paintings, musical instruments and armoury.

The Catedral de la Almudena is just facing the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace of Madrid.

If you still have the time, you can also visit El Retiro Park, Plaza dela Villa, Las Ventas Bullring, Gran Via, Templo De Debod, Plaza de Castilla and other interesting sights that might be of interest to you.

The Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain. This is where we landed and take-off during our 8-days trip to Spain. I should get a better picture of it. Maybe in my next visit.

Madrid is served by Barajas Airport with international flights from all over the world. It serves as the main gateway to the Iberian peninsula from Europe, America and the rest of the world. It is also the main hub of Iberia airlines. Barajas airport is knonw to be one of the busiest airport in Europe and in the whole world. The architecture of this airport is also worth to see if you are not flying. Low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Vueling and Ryanair use this airport for domestic, international and transcontinental flights.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remembering Windsor Castle in England

It was three years ago since I visited this medieval castle in the English country of Berkshire. Windsor Castle is noted for its architecture and the association with the British Royal family. This castle is considered to be the largest inhabited castle in the world since more than five hundred are living and working here. It is in essence a Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, with Gothic features reinvented in a modern style.

I remember during our visit, I told myself not to go inside because I will surely pay for an entrance. Upon seeing the castle November 2008, I decided to go and had a look of it. Sad to say, taking pictures inside the castle rooms is forbidden.

My visit to Windsor castle was so far one of the highlights during my three weeks vacation in England.

Windsor Castle during our visit last Nov. 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bonding with Sis in Vegas

Time truly pass-by so quickly now. Just last week, I was in Spain and now I am back in Germany. Where is the next?

It was over three years now since I had a bonding with my dearest sister and relatives in Las Vegas. It was a long two months vacation I had there. Now, I am just happy to see the travel photos I took from Vegas. Believe me, I have a thousand photos or two including California.

Last Thursday, I also had the chance to chat and speak with my sister via yahoo messenger. Some of the topics we talked about include medical uniforms, house in the Philippines, travels and about Christmas. She mentioned further that she brought with her some medical uniforms from the Philippines when she had her vacation last May of this year. She is hoping that we will see each other again next year in Las Vegas. I am hoping and praying for it.

Heard about Caesars Palace in Vegas? Here is an image taken during my vacation there last 2008. You feel like being in Rome when you are in Caesars Palace Hotel.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Plaza de España in Seville, Spain

Visiting Spain is so far the most highlight of my trips this year. It was another dream come true. One of the places we visited in Spain was Seville, known as Sevilla in Spanish. The Plaza de España or "Spain Square" is one of sights we saw and experienced.

I was amazed by the beauty and the architecture of this square. There was a very memorable experience that happened here. It is better not to say it. If I have the courage later I might share it. It was not really bad just something exciting and! It just happened due to the call of nature. I guess you have an idea now.

Below is an image of this beautiful square in Seville, Spain. I love this place! I love Spain!

1929 Exposition Building at the Plaza, during our visit last Dec. 7, 2011.

It is a plaza located in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park), in Seville It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Renaissance Revival style in Spanish architecture.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Driving to Poland

It was so far the most adventurous trip I had this year. Together with some friends, we planned to drive to Poland for a pottery shopping and sightseeing trip as well. I admire my friend's courage in driving there. I can drive too but not that far like that. Besides I am not comfortable driving around 500 km away from home. I am not use to it. Thanks to our gps truck tracking, we were able to arrive to Poland and nearby places in Czech Republic. It was a very exciting and interesting trip we had last October 2011.

I have a shield here as we were driving in Poland last time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Hotels in Las Vegas

It is nice to always remember the past vacations we had. One of the most exciting and longest vacation I spent was in Las Vegas. Could you imagine all the fun you will have when visiting the so-called, "Entertainment Capital of the World" and for two months period? Isn't it a real great time? Some people say that if you want to visit different places around the world, go to Las Vegas! I believed I agree with it now.

Special thanks to my sister and her hubby for sponsoring my vacation especially the plane tickets they booked for me at Delta Air Lines Flights online. It was so far the cheapest one they can find in the internet. I truly had a wonderful and fun holiday in this fabulous city of Las Vegas.

Let me introduce to you my Top 5 Fave Hotels in this city.

Caesars Palace- Not really 100% Rome but at least you feel like you are in Rome, Italy because the theme of this luxury hotel is based on Roman Empire. It has five towers, the Augustus, Centurion, Roman, Palace, and Forum and has total of 3,349 rooms.

the lobby of Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas strip during my vacation last 2008.

I love gallivanting in this hotel from time to time. This was also my favorite shopping venue with its Forum Shops. This is where I spent most of my shopping escapades when I was in Vegas. I also loved dining here. The highlight of my visit in this hotel was when I witnessed the show of Elton John called, The Red Piano. It was wonderful.

Bally's- This is also one of my favorite hang-outs in Las Vegas. My cousin who is a singer used to perform in a band in this hotel. Everytime their band plays in Bally's, I was also there. I guessed, I only missed their play once.

the adjacent hotels, Paris and Bally's.

One of the signature features of the hotel is the neon lighting wrapped around the covered moving sidewalk that brings guests from Las Vegas Boulevard to the entrance of the casino. It is also noted for its large shopping area. I bought some souvenirs in one of their shops in Ballys. It is also famous for its Jubilee show.

Paris Las Vegas- At the time I spent my vacation in Las Vegas, I haven't been to Paris, France yet. In fact my vacation in Las Vegas is one of my inspirations why I really wanted to travel. Now it is one of my passions.

You can see the replicas of the Eiffel Tower and a two-thirds size Arc de Triomphe, a replica of La Fontaine des Mers, and a 1,200-seat theatre called Le Théâtre des Arts in this luxury hotel. Paris Las Vegas is linked by a promenade to its sister property, the Bally's Las Vegas.

Bellagio- When I think of this hotel, I also think of the amazing Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized to music. It was a very fantastic show and free of charge. Bellagio is home to Cirque du Soleil's aquatic production "O".

dancing water fountain in front of Bellagio. I love this show!

One thing that I love to visit in Bellagio is its Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. I was amazed by the beauty of its flower collections inside. There are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes: Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. I experienced the spring display last 2008.

Luxor Las Vegas- I might not be able to visit Luxor in Egypt yet but I am happy to see and to experience Luxor in Las Vegas. I just felt like being in Luxor, Egypt too. I was amazed by the architecture of this luxury hotel. It is highly modernized and has contemporary design.

the interior of Luxor with a Sphinx inside.

Luxor Las Vegas has a lot of facilities and attractions. Among the few are, four swimming pools and whirlpool, 29 retail stores, shows like Carrot Top, "Criss Angel - Believe", "Fantasy" and "Menopause the Musical.

I wish to visit Las Vegas again in the future. I want to board with any American Airlines flights in my next visit there. I just want to have an experience flying with this airline company. This time, I will won't only visit Las Vegas but also other cities in the U.S. like New York, Chicago or Phoenix. Someone promised me to witness and to attend their wedding next year.

I also hope in my next visit I can already spend some overnights in any of these hotels.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fort San Pedro, Cebu, Philippines

How I wish I am in the Philippines right now. The reason is, to escape the cold winter time in Europe. It was a wonderful time vacation I had last year in my home country. More on that, it was so far the longest vacation I had, almost three months in the Philippines.

Although I am busy with a project that time, I still managed to have little trips especially in Cebu Province. One of the sights we visited in Cebu City was Fort San Pedro. Called as Fuerza de San Pedro in Spanish, this structure was used a a military defense during the Spanish era in the Philippines. It is located in Plaza Indepedencia, in the Pier Area of Cebu City.

inside the compound of Fort San Pedro. taken during our visit last January 2010.

Fuerza San Pedro, the fort is described as built of stone mortar with a terraplein where guns are mounted. The fort contains the necessary buildings. The largest of these buildings was the "Cuerpo de Guardia" where the personnel that manned the fort lived. Adjacent to it was the "Vivende del Teniente" which was the living quarters of the lieutenant of the Fort. In between the aforementioned buildings is a well. At one corner attached to the walls of the bastion San Miguel (NE) was the "Alamazaros del Rivera" (powder magazine where the fort's supply or arms and gunpowder from Manila were stored).

the main entrance of the Fortress.

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