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After Christmas Sunset 2017

Every year, on December 26, I've taken photos of the sun rising from my front door. I woke up late this year and missed it but I was lucky enough to see the sunset from my favorite spot in Central California. 


"May every sunrise hold more promise And every sunset hold more peace."  Anonymous
I hope everyone had a happy Christmas day.
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Images by TravelswithCharie

More fun things to do in Capiz

Just when I thought I've explored Capiz enough, I'm finding more places worth seeking and memorable experiences to share with friends. Some places hit me with nostalgia like the ruins of the railway bridge approach, others with complete surprise (La Playa Beach and Marugo Lake). These new discoveries inspire me to hit the dusty roads to hunt for more local color.
These hardwood pylons supported the approach to a railway bridge in Duyoc, Dao. This was constructed in 1910 and the railway extended for 117 kilometers from Capiz to Iloilo. Passenger service operations ended in 1985. Buses and private utility vehicles (PUV) now ply the highway between these two provinces.
These ruins are on McKinley Street in Duyoc, Dao.
There are so many beaches in Capiz but La Playa stands out for its serene surroundings. It's far from the noise and crowds of the city. If you appreciate a quiet time and a beach to yourself, this is the place to go.
Pilar is an hour by private car from Roxas City a…

Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Philippines

Far away from California and longing to celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to invite a few close friends and family to my Thanksgiving luncheon. I had never had a boodle fight meal and had wanted to experience it so I decided to have a boodle fight on the beach at Bitoy's. It was so nice of them to accommodate my group with less than 24 hours’ notice before the event. And the result was everything I could have hoped for.

I had reserved for 10 people and this is how much food we got.  It sure was a table of plenty. We had oysters, shrimp, milkfish, chicken, eggplant, okra, fried banana, green mango, tomatoes, shrimp paste and rice. I had also brought with me the alimasag (baby crab) we bought at the beach in Ivisan the day before. Guests brought several kinds of dessert including guinataan*, brazo de Mercedes and various kinds of Philippine kakanin (delicacies). Needless to say, we lingered over lunch and slowly savored what was on the table before us.
The simple protocol of boodle fi…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Pan-ay

Christmas arrives early in the Philippines. When the months end in ber, Christmas songs are heard at malls and over the radio. In October, the TV stations start the countdown to Christmas and stores start displaying Christmas trees. And in November, the Christmas decorations are installed in town plazas such as this one in Pan-ay, Capiz. 
Santa Monica Church is a National Historical Landmark.
When the temperatures dip a couple degrees, Christmas has truly arrived. Pan-ay, a 20-minute ride by car or public transportation from Roxas, is ready to usher in one of the biggest celebrations in the country. 
There is a famous Pilipino Christmas carol that you'll hear a lot, Ang Pasko ay sumapit. It goes,
Ang pasko ay sumapit Tayo ay mangagsi-awit Ng magagandang himig Dahil sa Diyos ay pag-ibig Christmas is here Let us sing Beautiful melodies Because Christ is love.
This bell is a replica of one of the biggest bells in Southeast Asia. Many visitors visit Pan-ay to see its huge bell in the campanile wh…

Nara, the Ancient Capital of Japan

As I sleep
Facing the city,
My Buddhas
Stand even in my dreams
On an autumn night. Aizu Yaichi, Poet, historian, calligrapher 1891-1956

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama has the distinction as being both a Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. It shares its name with the mountain that creates a lovely setting to this popular destination.Sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring, the red and golden colors of autumn leaves and snow on the slopes of Arashiyama in winter enhance the beauty of the landscape through the changing seasons. 

Munich was luminous

Munich was luminous. A radiant, blue-silk sky stretched out over the festive squares and white-columned temples, the neoclassical monuments and Baroque churches, the spurting fountains, the palaces and gardens of the residence, and the latter’s broad and shining perspectives, carefully calculated and surrounded by green, basked in the sunny haze of a first and lovely June day. Thomas Mann, Gladius Dei, 1902

At Gamla Staden in Malmö

Mirabell Gardens

The Mirabell Gardens were laid out in 1687 during the reign of Prince-Archibishop Johann Ernst von Thun. It was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach within the Mirabell palace grounds and redesigned a few times over the years. One of the characteristics of a Baroque garden is how it incorporates vistas outside the garden into its design. This feature is evident from Rosehill, on the south side of the Palace. Our eyes are drawn from the Small Parterre to the Fountain of Pegasus and beyond to the dome and steeples of the Cathedral of Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress. 

Osaka, City of Kuidaore

Unlike its neighbors, Kyoto and Nara, Osaka has few historical landmarks to show. This third largest city in Japan makes up for the shortfall with its thriving entertainment and food scene. 

Copenhagen Revisited

Surprising Nuremberg

"Nuremberg shines throughout Germany like a sun among the moon and stars." MartinLuther

Salzburg's Chic Store Signs

Wieber

Hallstatt - A Village with a Clone

A picture paints a thousand words. So without further ado, here's Hallstatt.

See Sicogon Now

Buaya Beach
It was summer in the Philippines and we really wanted to go to the Gigantes group of islands. But we had no desire to join the throng of beach pilgrims who wanted to take the iconic selfie from the hill above the white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay. So here we were on Buaya (crocodile) beach in Sicogon, waiting for our lunch to be served, enjoying a cool drink under the shade of this old Talisay tree and looking at the Gigantes islands from our comfortable roost.

Salzburg

"Framed by mountains, crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress and divided by the turquoise Salzach River, the Salzburg landscape is pure drama.” Frommers

Themed Travel Ideas for Summer 2017

Church of Santa Maria, Jeronimos Monastery, Belem

Favorites from the Rijskmuseum

Stunning South Iceland

Little Free Library launched in Capiz

It's a beautiful evening

It's a beauteous evening, calm and free
The holy time is quiet as a nun Breathless with adoration, the broad sun Is sinking down in its tranquility
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er sea Excerpt from It's a beauteous evening by William Wordsworth

Let's go to Mantalinga Island

Mantalinga Island or Good Luck Island beckons from across the sea. Just under 20 minutes from Baybay beach in Roxas City, it's rocky shores, tidal pools and sweeping view of Baybay are enough reasons to make the short crossing. 
   Mantalinga Island

A strong U.S. dollar can stretch your travel budget

Pack your bags and travel now while the U. S. dollar is soaring in value against foreign currencies. This Frommers' article discusses the strength of the USD vs. the euro, the English pound, the Japanese yen, the Mexican peso and the Chinese yuan. http://www.frommers.com/tips/money-and-currency/the-us-dollar-continue-to-soar-against-virtually-every-foreign-currency-cutting-the-cost-of-rooms-and-meals-abroad
In this article from Mashable, it seems the U.S. dollar is the preferred currency even in the afterlife. http://mashable.com/2017/03/30/usd-hellnotes-malaysia/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#km0F8n1Nmaqf


Mararison Island Getaway

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Mararison Island. For good reasons. How can one not rave about the crystal clear waters around the island and the long stretch of beach with nary a soul? Or the opportunity to take a hike up the hills for a panoramic view of the "land where the mountains meet the sea"? 

We docked by the pile of ginormous jackstones which serve as breakwater for the island. Someday these will be properly redistributed so the beach will be well protected and halt the sea's reclamation of the beachfront. 


















The sea was calm in February when we visited Mararison. It didn't rain though the sky was heavy. And as it was low tide, the curving sandbar, Kawit, was visible from our open cottage on the beach. The hut rental was P300.
After leaving our things in our cottage, we went in search for grub. We found fish and vegetables for sale just a short distance from the beach. And we were pointed to a woman who cooked our meal for us. She grilled the fishes an…

Pictures from Verona

"Pleasant Verona! With its beautiful old palaces, and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace walks, and stately, balustraded galleries. With its Roman gates, still spanning the fair street, and casting, on the sunlight of to-day, the shade of fifteen hundred years ago. With its marble-fitted churches, lofty towers, rich architecture, and quaint old quiet thoroughfares, where shouts of Montagues and Capulets once resounded....." Pictures from Italy, Charles Dickens, Chapter 8

Florida Road Trip

Miami Beach
South Beach

A look inside the Arena of Verona

Cube Houses of Rotterdam

8 hours in Bologna

Basilica of San Petronio and Piazza Maggiore

European Parliament votes to end visa-free travel for U.S. citizens

The European Parliament has voted to end visa-free travel for U.S. citizens after the U.S. failed to agree to allow visa-free entry to five members of the European Union namely, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Poland and Romania under a visa-free reciprocity agreement. "The vote urges the revocation of the visa-free scheme within two months."
The European Commission has been given two months to take legal steps to require visas for U.S. citizens entering the EU. The Commission, for its part, advocates "continued engagement and patient diplomatic contacts". 
How would this affect travel plans to Europe if the visa requirement is imposed? It will certainly add an extra inconvenience, acquiring a visa. How easy would it be to get one? How much will it cost? What is the duration of the visa? So many questions yet to be answered. If you're planning on traveling this summer to EU countries, you might want to hold off getting your ticket until the visa issue has been resolve…

Urban Light

5 Fun Things to Do in Pan-ay, Capiz

1. Visit Santa Monica Parish Church, a National Historical Landmark. 2. Try "puso", a specialty of Holy Grounds Coffee Shop located in front of the Church. 3. Go to Buntod Beach which has a commanding view of Olotayan Island. 4. Visit a heritage house, Balay ni Nanay Lording, and try their choriwich with thick hot chocolate. 5. Order pica-pica at Dante's Taberna on Friday and Saturday nights then dance the night away.

The Three Queens

View of Cebu City from the Marco Polo Hotel

Eataly Milan

Eataly Milan Smeraldo

Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House)

Balcony

Happy New Year 2017

Thank you 2016 for a rip-roaring year. Welcome 2017 and wishing all of you memorable travels in the new year.
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Image by TravelswithCharie