Travels

It was behind the rock where I saw you dancing...
by missP on Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:05 am
The rock of Gibraltar, which is also called the “Pillars of Hercules” is located at the southwestern tip of Europe. It is separated from North Africa by a stretch of water called the Strait of Gibraltar, which also played an important role throughout history. It has played a strategic part in battles fought. Those who won had control of the western Mediterranean seaways.

It was said that Gibraltar marked the limit to the known and unknown world. To pass beyond the rock island, one needs to sail to certain destruction over the bottomless waterfall at the edge of the world.
It is also said that a long time ago, one can find many leftovers of offerings made to the Gods by civilizations of Phoenicians and Carthaginians in the many caves on the shorelines of the Rock Island.

Hubby and I visited the place or at least we wanted to do it together. Unfortunately, since I still have a Philipine passport, without a Visa from the United Kingdom, I was not allowed to enter the territory.

I managed to convince hubby to go ahead and check out the island and take as many pictures for me. He relented but came back after an hour or so, not impressed with the place. I guess he was already bias because I was not allowed entry to the place and thought that the place is not quite as exciting anymore as it really actually is. I love my hubby, Wink

While hubby was exploring The Rock, I spent my time taking pictures of the surrounding area. There wasn’t much to see. Some residential buildings and studio offices was all that I found. There were also one or two school buildings, but that was basically it. I stayed for awhile under the shades of the scarce trees in the small park that was located across the entrance to Gibraltar. Then, I went for a walk along the shore for almost two kilometers. There I had the chance to capture this series of events. It was amazing. It's as if they knew that from afar, somebody was taking pictures of their beautiful existence.

__

Lose weight the "fast" way...
by missP on Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:56 pm
I had the chance to experience the richness of Algarve. The wonderful cliffs that we walked through for days, not to mention the coastline where our afternoon siestas were spent was truly wonderful.

Hubby and I registered in a "Fasten und Wandern" (Fasting and Wandering) vacation in Portugal from the 7th until the 17th of the month. With the help of our "Heilpraktikerin", we returned to Germany feeling light and very healthy. It was one great experience. I survived ten days with only water, tea and soup as daily supplement. We wandered from one cliff to the next and the next and the next… if you have been to Algarve, Portugal then you would know what I mean.

We scoured the towns and listened to our guide about how great the country once was. We saw their once “great castle”- ruins and experienced the warm hospitality of the Portuguese. We drank water from their healing water-well. We savored the fresh orange drinks and several exotic fruits the county had to offer to us.

On top of it all, I lost 7% of my body weight. I just need to lose 4 kilos more and I am back to my weight 10 years ago. My dream is to have the same body weight that I had 15 years ago, but I have to be realistic. I won’t be able to lose that much anymore. With the Christmas holidays coming up, I expect I would probably gain some back. One thing is for sure. I am happy with my body at the moment. I definitely don’t plan to weigh as much nor more than what I weighed 3 weeks ago.

Photos can be found in my Photo Gallery...
I will let the pics speak for themselves
by missP on Fri May 11, 2007 7:44 pm









A sickly old aunt went away,
To see her niece and nephew for a day.
So, the sickly aunt invited Jane,
She invited Lene
And both said yes, they are happy to join.

They had fun, running around Brussels,
Visiting the spots.
Places that tourists and locals alike love.
Then the day turned into two,
Boy, they almost didn't want to bid the magical place adieu!

But the aunt had to go back for a measely interview,
An interview with an old mamoth in the zoo.
So she did the least she could do
She took some pictures to look back to.

Some shots here and some poses there,
Solo and with the group.
The souvenirs were not forgotten,
Heaven's forbid, they were surely bought.

They left Brussels via Liege through Leuven,
They stopped somewhere to have some pralines,
They tried the Belgian cracker and some waffles, too
An Lene just couldn't help it, she had
some authentic Belgian beer to go.
A remembrance of her trip to Brussels with Jane & the sickly aunt, too. Wink Wink Wink

The quest for the missing Castle
by missP on Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:21 pm
We've had sunny days these last couple of weeks. What I noticed was, we had a not so cold winter, a warm spring breeze and it seems like just a few days since Springtime officially started, it feels like summer already. The weather has been acting strange. Summer came early. Im not complaining. mMore like appreciating it actually. The warm weather means I could once again go for walks and castle hunting with hubby. So, last Wednesday (just the week before hubby left), after being cooped up in the house for almost a week, hubby and I decided to go visit the Castle R?mer. It is supposed to be located just about 40 kilometers from our house. Since it is marked clearly in our map that the castle does exist, we geared ourselves up and left just after lunch. It was also a good exercise for us, since we just finished a heavy lunch prepared naturally, by the Chinese fast-food locale just a few minutes drive near our place. With our cameras, map, monocular and compass, we headed for one of the oldest castles which supposedly existed during the Roman times. First we drove for like 30 minutes up to the nearest village where we could leave the car and walk all the way towards the castle which was supposed to be about 3 kilometers towards some kind of small forest.

We walked. Then we sat on a bench just at an intersection of the open fields surrounding us to rest for awhile. Then we walked further and further. Until finally we found a place where there was a cluster of trees. I assumed it was already the small forest that was indicated on the map. We went inside the forest. It was not difficult since, the forest was not so thick. Actually, it was almost barren. We followed a path that seemed to be paved by a tractor, judging from the thickness of the tracks. We walked around the place, cut through diagonally, horizontally. I didn’t want to admit that the castle does not exist anymore. But after sometime, hubby and I finally found a big hole where we assumed the castle probably was erected hundreds of years ago. What happened? Where has it gone? Normally, the castles here in Europe are preserved for hundreds of years. This one disappeared or perhaps was torn down. The only sign that indeed something once stood in the middle of that little forest was the dried up well which is now filled up. Near the old well was the pile of rotten potatoes or perhaps sugar beets that was emanating a sweet, foul smell.

Unfortunately, we couldn't ask anybody there, since the place was just surrounded by open fields. There were no villagers in the area. There certainly wasn't anybody to ask about the missing castle. Every now and then, some cars would drive pass the place, but we couldn't just hail them to stop and inquire about the castle that was not there. In the Philippines, one can probably do that, of course you are not sure if you get the real story about the castle, because we tend to make several versions of one "pandesal" so to say. But here in Europe, I don't think it is wise to flag down a passerby just to ask about the castle that does not exist. They would probabyl just tell you. "Do you see it there? If not then there is no castle!" And off they would be.


So, I?m back. But I am so missing the Philippines already.
by missP on Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:58 pm
The warm weather, the friendly smiles and yes, even the arrogant and obnoxious drivers. Yes, my most unforgettable experience in Manila a couple of weeks ago happened when I was trying to park the car in the underground parking of Circle C in Quezon City.

If you happened to pass along Congressional avenue in Quezon City, then you may have noticed that right beside the Cherry Foodarama grocery store is Robinson?s Circle C. It?s some sort of a little Greenhills in Q.C. where one can get almost everything. From clothes, cellphone housing, bags, shoes to computer gadgets and yes, even get your facial and scrubbing done. I was going to pick up my eyeglasses and because when I was there the first time, I didn?t have a car with me, I was not aware of how difficult it is to maneuver parking a Toyota Adventure in their underground parking area. And because some people are just arrogant and stupid enough not to bring their manners with them when they get out of their humble abodes, naturally, I only ended up in an ugly yelling and giving the dirty finger sign at a smartass down under.

Going down the somewhat tight slope into their underground level parking, I already noticed the tight space that they call convenient parking area. As I was trying to park the car in a space I finally found after circling the area two times, a****le suddenly started honking at me, signaling for me to stay on the side so that he could pass. The dumbass driver was like three cars behind me. The funny thing was, the other cars that were directly behind waited patiently noticing that the parking area is tight. Of course, the s****d id**t did not stop honking his car until I finally rolled down my car window and shouted at him to stop harassing me. He then told me to stay on the side. To which I was already boiling mad, I told him quiet frankly that I didn?t want to stay on one side, but that I wanted to park the darn automobile. He did not seem to hear what I was saying and started honking again. At which point I gave him a dirty finger sign and told him to bug off. Finally I could park the car properly and the other vehicles were slowly moving pass by me. I smiled at them and said sorry for the inconvenience. When the monkey driver who was harassing me finally came to, I told him quiet frankly, that just because he was able to buy a big brand new car it does not necessarily mean he also owns the whole building or the Philippines for that matter. (If indeed he was the owner of the building, then I would have happily informed him of the discomfort that they give the customers with their very tight parking spaces). He was not. I was still harassed and was fumigating until I got to the optical shop where I had my eye glasses made.

On a lighter note: I like my new eyewear. I had difficulty choosing the right color for me but since the price for two glasses was still less than for the price of one here in Germany, I opted to get two instead. I got this white and yellow combination and a silver/indigo combination of the same style. At least I would have a reserve or something? hehehe.

At dahil pa rin sa gigil ko sa a**hole driver, I decided to go to a spa parlor and had a body scrub done. Nakatulong naman sa pagpa pa relax sa akin. Nag pa pamper ako sa kanila at sa magandang serbiyso ng NISCE. Lumabas ako ng NISCE na magaan ang kalooban. Masaya akong nag tuloy sa Robinson?s para mag grocery. Pagkatos ay dali-dali na akong lumabas and guess who I met downstairs again? Siyempre, yung damuhong nag harass sa akin sa pag paparada ko ng sasakyan. This time, he was arguing with another vehicle owner. Apparently, nag ka scratch yung kotse niya at nagasgasan daw nung isang mama habang papalabas ito ng parking area.

O diba, na karma siya?! Si Lord talaga has a funny sense of humor. Dumaan ako sa harap nung unggoy na damuho and I gave him a very sweet smile. Sana gumanda na ang araw niya at nang hindi na siya nakaka perwisyo sa ibang tao.

Grace under (air) Pressure!
by missP on Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:31 am
Finally, andito lang ako sa bahay ulit. Color coding kasi sasakyan ko, kaya I can’t leave the house yet till 10 a.m. Yes, andito po sa Manila ang lola niyo. I arrived via a long and somewhat scary flight via Doha last March 18, 2007 to attend to my little bro’s high school graduation. Isa po ako sa mga libo libong OFW’s na kipag bunong braso makalabas ng NAIA airport at sumisigaw ng, Itaaaaaay! Andito na po ako, sabay kaway- kaway sa may Ramp arrival area ng NAIA. After such a looooong and hectic flight, tuwang-tuwa kaming lahat ng pasahero ng QR 646 via Doha, Qatar. Paano po naman kasi, 375 miles after take off po ng eroplanong sinakyan naming, biglang nag drop po kami ng siguro, sa estima ko ay almost 10 meters altitude din yun. Napasigaw lahat ng pasahero at nag iakan. First time ko po nakaranas ng ganun. Kakaiba pala talaga ang pakiramdam pag alam mo kung nasa panganib ka.

Tuwang-tuwa pa naman sana kaming lahat ng pasahero dahil medyo apat na oras din kaming nag transit sa Doha. At sa wakas ay nabibilang na ilang sa naming ang mga oras na kami ay makarating muli sa Pilipinas. Halos lahat ng pasahero ay Pilipino. Nabibilang lang sa aking sampung mga daliri ang mga Europeans / Westerners. Kaya noong oras po na bumagsak ng kaunti ang eroplano sa ere, matapos ang limang segundong hiyawan, sabay-sabay naman pong maririnig ang mga pasaherong nagsimula nang mag dasal ng „Hail Mary’s at Our Father“...

Napahiyaw din naman po ang lola niyo, kaya pagkatapos mag anonsiyo ang piloto na umupo ang mga cabin crews, hinintay kong mag sabi sila ng eksplanasyon kung ano ang nangyayari. Pero wala po. Na dismaya at natakot na rin po pati ang mga kuto, wrinkles at libag ko. Biglang nag flash back sa isip ko ang mga nagawa ko na sa aking buhay at yung mga kailangan ko pa pong gawin or asikasuhin. Pakiramdam kop o talaga napa karami p a nito at hindi pa po ako handang pumanaw sa mundong ito. Kaya naman po sa mga oras ding iyon ay naipangako ko po sa Diyos na talagang magbabago na po ako. Hindi ko na po gagawin ang mga bagay-bagay na makakasira sa buhay ko at sa buhay ng ibang tao. Naisip ko na rin na kumuha ng L.I.P. para sa mga maiiwan ko kung sakali mang may mangyari sa akin. Wala man po akong sariling anak, meron din naman po kasi akong mga tinutulungan na pinsan at inaalalang mga pamangkin. Umabot din po ng isang oras bago nagging stable na ulit ang paglipad naming. Pagkatapos nito ay saka pa lamang humingi ng paumanhin ang Kapitan ng aming sinasakyang eroplano tungkol sa nangyari. Iyon daw po ay dala ng “heavy turbulence”. Hinding-hindi pa daw po nangyari sa kanila ang ganung insidente at una nga daw po naming naranasan ang ganun ka tinding turbulence sa himpapawid.

Hindi ko na rin nakuhang matulog sa buong biyahe, bagamat inabot kami ng 9 na oras sa himpapawid. Bumagal na rin k asi ng kaunti ang lipad ng eroplano, siguro nga dahil may mga air pockets daw. Sumuka at umiyak ang aking katabi habang nagdarasal siya. Tatlo ang anak na iniwan niya sa Pilipinas. Uuwi siya sa kauna-unahang pagkakaton matapos ang limang taon na pamamasukan sa ibang bansa . Nang kina-kalma ko na siya, napa tingin siya sa akin at nagtanong kung normal nga daw bang nangyayari ang ganung insidente. Nabanggit ko naman na sa loob ng sampung taon, ilang beses na rin akong umuwi ng Pinas ngunit first time ko naranasan iyon. Hindi siya maka paniwala sa akin. Tinitigan niya ako sabay sabing: “In fairness, ate, poise at beauty ka pa rin jan. Parang sanay na sanay ka na.” Napangiti lang ako at nagpasalamat sa compliment niya. Pinag kuwento ko nalang siya tungkol sa trabaho at buhay niya sa malayong lugar. Para lang maiba naman ang pinag tutuunan ng kanyang isip. Nag work naman. Nagkuwento siya tungkol sa trabaho niya, bakit siya umalis ng bansa natin para kumita at kung ano ang gagawin niya kapag nalaman niyang may kinakasamang babae ang kanyang asawa na napag iwanan niya ng mga anak sa Pasay. Nabanggit niiya iyon ng kusa, kaya sa pakiramdam ko ay may kutob siya. Hindi ko na inusisa pa at baka sakaling mamlungkot na naman siyang muli at mag iiiyak na naman. Sa tapat lang siya ng NAIA nakatira, kaya hindi na siya nagpasabi na sunduin siya. Isang malaking sorpresa daw. Naisip ko lang, huwag sanang mangyari na siya ng ma-sorpresa sa kung ano ang man ang madatnan niya sa bahay nila. Habang nag kukuwentuhan kami, di tuloy maalis sa isip ko yung kantang „Napakasakit Kuya Eddie“.

Matapos ang siyam na oras sa himpapawid ay nag anonsiyo na ang kapitan na malapit nang mag landing ang eroplano namin sa pambansang paliparang NAIA. May ssegundong natahimik lahat maliban sa mga batang nag iiyakan dahil sa pressure sa tenga. Noong nag touchdown na po ang eroplano ay ktalagang laking tuwa po n aming lahat at sa galak ay nag palakpakan kami. Sa wakas ay nakarating kami ng maayos. Ang iba ay nagsimula nang magkuwento kung saan pa sila uuwi. May pa puntang Davao, Bicol at sa bandang south pa ang destinasyon.

Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, walang nag bukas ng celfone nila hanggat hindi nahinto ang eroplano sa tapat ng gate. Noon kasi, pagkalapag palang ng eroplano, ang ibang may katigasan ang mga ulo ay nag bubukas na ng kanilang celfone upang mai text na nila ang mga naghihintay nilang kamag anak sa labas ng airport. Ilang beses ko na pong nasaksihan ang ganitong pangyayari. Pero sa pagkakataong ito, nagging matatag ang lahat at naghintay naman hanggat huminto na ang eroplano at saka palang nag bukas ng telepono. Dala na rin siguro ito ng takot dahil sa naranasan naming sa himpapawid. Puwede naman palang maghintay ang mga Pilipino. At sa pagkakataong ito, nag ka-isa ang lahat sa pag disiplina sa sarili. Kung sana ganito lang din ang Pinoy sa normal na buhay siguro ay mas maunlad na ang ating bansa ngayon.
Manila through someone else's perspective
by missP on Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:22 am
I have never seen Manila like how Se?or Enrique showed it. I always thought that this place is just overcrowded with:

Vehicles- judging from the heavy flow of traffic daily;

Crooks- having experienced them myself, as I was robbed of bracelets and bags when i was still commuting going to school and later on to work;

Street Vendors – I have nothing against their way of earning money, it’s just that they make the streets looking dirty and chaotic.

Not to forget the pollution, heavy congestion of canals and the noisy pedicabs running at all hours. The place is simply too busy. So, each time I would go back home, I don’t really stay long in Manila, maximum a week or ten days. Then I would go to the provinces and really enjoy my vacation there. Where there is an abundance of fresh air, nice view, refreshing crystal blue waters and the likes.

Naturally, it comes to conclusion that each time the topic comes up if it is nice to visit my country, I would say proudly, yes! But I also never fail to add that they should rather go visit the islands rather than stay in Manila. Except of course for the Baywalk, The New Greenbelt Cluster in Makati, The Fort in Makati and Malate and Adriatico where I have been to for nightcaps. I always thought that Manila does not have much to offer to tourists during the day. Perhaps to businessmen, it does have a lot of potentials. These entries make me really feel guilty and ashamed of myself. I have been so wrong, and now, I plan to correct myself. From this day on, I promise also to promote Manila at a different perspective. Thanks to Se?or Enrique, for showing me Manila the way he saw it, I can now live without shame about the place.
LIQUID SUBSTANCES ARE BANNED IN CARRY-ON LUGGAGES
by missP on Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:37 am
***LIQUID SUBSTANCES ARE BANNED IN CARRY-ON LUGGAGES ON FLIGHTS TO THE U.S.

Started 10th of this month at the Frankfurt International Airport, new regulations have been in effect to all flights to the U.S. NO liquid or gel are allowed to be brought in the handcarry luggages of passengers. If any, passengers are advised to check-in the said carry on luggage prior to boarding the aircraft. This includes:

*beverages
*tanning lotion
*toothpaste
*shampoo
*creams
*hair gel
*other liquids of similar consistency

***Passengers can bring:

**baby formula, breast milk or juice (if baby or infant travels in their company)
**essential medicine if the name marked on the medicine/prescription matches the name on the ticket.

Since this memorandum was issued as per instruction of the Federal Ministry of Interior in Germany as required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, extra security checks has been placed in Frankfurt International Airport before getting into the departure gates areas. Hand-carry luggages are checked for any liquid matreials that cannot be brought on board the aircarft. These stuff are confiscated if the passengers doesn't have enough time to check in the said banned substances. Although there are leaflets being distributed and passengers are even informed at the check in counters, there are still a lot of complaints occuring.

*************************************************************

In line with the London bombings and several threats going on at public areas which are common targets of the terrorists, more security measures have been added to ensure safety of the public. The airports are no exception to both facts. Because of this, you won't believe the lines and delays occuring everyday in such places. People complain. Guests get angry and hysterical. Then, they start blaming the airport /airline employees for being inefficient and unhelpful. BUT, just as frequent travellers and guests flyers whine about how bad/terrible the services at the airports are, we common lowly employees who work at the airport also have our share of complaints about the guests as well. Please bear in mind, that we are not there to make your life travels difficult or to prevent you from getting on the plane. We are not the denizens at the airports. On the contrary, we are there to provide you extra services that would make your trip as comfortable as it can get. Keep in mind some facts, then we can all communicate clearly and you (guests) will definitely be happy with the service you will get.


Pointers when flying:

***Know your airport. Nowadays, one can find this out without having to leave the comforts of their home. Check over the net, if you have internet connection about how the big the airport is, which terminal you will be flying from, in case you are departing from a very big airport with several halls, it is best to get off at the entrance of the middle hall. To get to both ends of the airport would then be easier and faster for you. You can also get these information from the ticketing agency where you bought the ticket from. Feel free to ask them about how to get to the airport, which terminal you'll have to get off, etc. They will be very happy to give you more than enough details that you need. Upon arrival at the airport, you will also find information counters which are most of the time located near the main entrance doors.

***Know your flight number.
Most passengers, when they get to the airport, they would declare to an airport employee, (recognize by their id's) their destination but not flight number. If for example, one flies to London heathrow, Lufthansa and British Airways for example, are two carriers that have several flights to london heathrow in one day. It would be good to know which flight would you be taking at what time, etc. You will get these info from your booking agent or if you booked over the net, then please print out a copy of your itenerary.

***Be there at least 2 hours before your flight.
Just because you have a ticket on your hands, doesn't mean that the airplane will wait for you if you arrive late. Gate closes 20 minutes before departure for some flights. Check-in counters close half an hour before time of departure. unless you do not have air-rail tickets, you cannot blame the tardiness of your train for your late arrival at the airport. Nor can you blame the airport staff for inefficiency, if you miss your flight just because you arrived late anyway. Definitely, traffic excuse or car trouble is not good enough reason for your airline to pay extra huge amounts to the airport just to wait for you. If you are flying long haul, please 3 hours prior to departure would be sufficient for you. This is necessary, specially because of the long cueues that cannot be avoided. Not to mention that nowadays, passengers have to go through several security checks as required by law in order to ensure and achieve utmost safety for the travellers. After going through all these, you will be rewarded by the comforts that the airport can offer to you. Internet connection, good quality service at the lounges, a variety of restaurants that serve international cuisines as well as local delicacies. For kids, there are also areas where they can be left to play at. of course there are employees present to assist them.

***Remember that your ticket serves as your binding contract with the airline you are travelling with. This means that not only the airline is responsible but YOU are too. Airlines provide what is necessary for the passengers but you have to put in your share of the bargain. If you arrive at the airport late, with several heavy luggages in tow and hysterical because you still want to leave on the planned timed, this system doesn't work. At the back of your ticket, you can find the necessary info you need too. Like how many hours prior to departure should you be at the airport and the amount of luggage you are allowed to take with you.

***With regards to delays, cancellations of lost luggages, for example, there are leaflets being distributed or placed at several info stands all over the aiport. As a passenger, you have the right to claim for imdemnities for the airline responsible for the delay, cancellation or losses incurred.

Keep this info in mind and you will definitely be ensured 110% service.

Those who travel frequently are definitely very much aware that these tips are actually self explanatory. BUt believe you me, there are people who travel, taking all the extra luggages they can bring but forgets to pack a bit of common sense with them as well Wink.

***No airline or airport authority is responsible for the "POINTERS" written here. These are all based from the incidents that I encountered as an employee of an agency at the Frankfurt International Airport during the three years I work there.