Thursday, April 22, 2010

Solo Travel in 28 days: Week 4

April 10, 2007: Madrid

Time to get to my next destination. There was no direct flight from Casablanca to Barcelona so I booked a flight with transfers in Madrid. But then another unexpected thing happened. My flight to Madrid was delayed for about two hours and I only had a lay-over of two hours. I knew that I would not make it to my flight to Barcelona but I was still hopeful.

Upon touch down, I was in a mad dash. From the hallway, I could still see the Air Europa plane bound for Barcelona. I breezed through the immigration, claimed my luggage and then went straight to the airline counter. I talked to the airline people to accommodate me on the flight. But when they saw that I had a luggage that needed to be checked in, they told me that it was already impossible because the plane was about to taxi down the runway. Thankfully, they booked me on the next flight (early morning of the next day) at no extra cost (no rebooking fees and no-show charges).

Solo Travel in 28 days: Week 3

April 1-3, 2007: Madrid

My first morning in Madrid, I woke up to a bag of churros and a cup of hot chocolate. Perfect! Un desayuno de churros con chocolate en la Madrid.

Since it was a Sunday, our first order of the day was to attend mass at a nearby church. It gave me an opportunity to observe how the people of Madrid celebrated Palm Sunday. And this was how it went.

The main doors of the church were locked so the churchgoers carrying palm leaves waited outside. Meanwhile, the priest early on led a procession within the radius of the church which ended at the church’s main entrance. He knocked on the door before opening it and then proceeded to march towards the altar. The churchgoers started filling up the pews inside the church. The priest blessed the palm leaves carried and waved by the faithfuls. Palm Sunday in Madrid was in no way different from the one we have here in the Philippines.

Solo Travel in 28 days: Week 1

March 18-22, 2007: Vienna

This is it! I packed into my small trolley and borrowed knapsack my clothes (one week's worth), maps of different European cities, DK Germany travel book (courtesy of There), tourist pamphlets, pasalubong for my hosts, pair of slippers, socks, scarves, bonnet, gloves, tripod, video camera and several mini-video cassette tapes, manual Canon SLR, lomocamera and rolls and rolls of Kodak films. I brought my winter jacket with me (never mind if I felt warm several times during the trip) because the spring weather can be so unpredictable. I double-checked my passport and its photocopy, copies of proof my scholarship grant, tickets, IDs, ATM card and extra Euros.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Solo Travel in 28 days: Preliminaries

Finally, I am going to put into writing my European and North African sojourn (on a student budget with help from family, friends, acquaintances and strangers) after shelving it for so long. I hope I can still capture every feeling I had with the aid of my travel tickler notes, scribbles and doodles on my e-tickets and maps, photographs, videos and other mementos I accumulated during the said trip.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Around Capiz (with a pit stop in Iloilo)

This year, my Mom and I spent our Holy Week in Roxas City. Apart from visiting Maves Simon, a friend way back in high school who survived a year since she had her kidney transplant, it was a chance for us to explore the genteel city and its environs as well as literally sink our teeth into the seafood, the city's pride and treasure.

My Mom and I, together with my friend TSC, took the Cebu Pacific flight from Mactan to Iloilo. We were fetched at the airport by TSC's husband as well as her brother. From the airport, we proceeded to the Tagbak Bus Terminal where we boarded the Ceres bus bound for Roxas City. TSC and her hubby disembarked at Tinaytayan en route to Dumalag while we proceeded to Roxas. The fare from Iloilo to Roxas (aircon bus) costs Php 169.00.

On our first day in Roxas City, we climbed up the Culasi Point (Medium Lighthouse). It was a slightly difficulty trek especially for someone who has shied away from physical activities for some time now. We treaded on black rocky shores and a hilly landscape before we finally reached our destination. Then, we had to take several flights of steps up the ladder in order for us to reach the top of the lighthouse where we had a nice view of the city and a blast of the cool breeze. Mr. Jun Anisco, the lighthouse keeper, told us that the lighthouse is powered by solar energy.

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