Page 3 of liliram Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Philippines » Metromanila » Makati June 18th 2012

I know, it's no big deal. But hey, I like how I feel now. Just got wind of it last week when I checked how my latest blog was doing in terms of hits. I must confess the countdown to 100,000 hits was exciting by itself. I never kept tab of how many countries I have visited. Should be nearly or slightly over 40 by now. I have not covered as much of the globe (and as luxuriously) as Pierre-Alexandre of Maisondubonheur nor gone on long hauls like Ben Beiske of LivingTheDream . I do not write half as good as Jason of aspiringnomad or Jonathan aka Vinovat Sudarynya . My blog entries were never as engaging yet comprehensive as Shane's of Travel Camel, and my... read more
My Very 1st Friend On TB
Ed Vallance

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid May 6th 2012

I only meant to walk off all those chocolate bars I ate. Perhaps even contemplate a little after visiting a convent. No camera strung around my neck. Today I'm a local enjoying Madrid's gardens and parks. I tried talking to Siri but she just kept misunderstanding every word I said. Have you guys tried this? When I left Manila, my iPhone4S was just a week old. Thought I'd have plenty of time to get acquainted with my new mobile while basing myself in Madrid for the next 10 weeks. Siri and Me Too old for gadgets? Naaaah. I love new discoveries. Food, places, AND GADGETS. I hate reading manuals...... I just tinker away. (Don't start reminding me about our IKEA do-it-yourself assemblies) What I love about this new phone is its camera. I never owned a ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid May 6th 2012

A weekend in Barcelona. Semana Santa in Sevilla and Cordoba. They didn't come cheap, especially for babes from the Tropics where our currency struggles against the Euro. What's Cheap? When Westerners go RTW, their $, € or £ will go a long way in Asian countries. Not so with Asians (with the exception of the Japanese, maybe) on holiday with their hard-earned savings in local currency. In our case, we easily spend quadruple or more over what we would otherwise pay back home. Like a canned soda costs 4x what it costs from home. So it ain't easy to take off from my "nest" in Madrid without budgeting for it. Since transport and hotels take the lion's share of expenses, I lined up a few day trips from Madrid. Out in the morning or noon, back ... read more
Aranjuez' Freson Con Nata
The Resident Storks of Alcala de Henares
Don Quixote and Pancho

Europe » Spain » Castile-La Mancha » Toledo April 17th 2012

The past 7 weeks I've been revisiting old familiar places around and outside Madrid. I am headed home in 3 weeks, but not without paying Toledo a visit. This "El Greco" fav city has so much to offer, and not a tad bit difficult to visit from Madrid. Like Segovia and Avila, it is just a short train or bus ride away. It's Been 10 Years Has it been 10 years? Back In 2002, I traveled to Toledo for the first time with my nephew and good friend. I enjoyed that tripbut this recent one even more. At the time, we joined a tour group and allowed ourselves to be herded around this lovely city brimming with art, history and culture. I remember the winding narrow alleys. The many churches and museums, shops selling jewelry so ... read more
A Smiling Virgin and Playful Infant Jesus

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Segovia April 8th 2012

Just a week before, I was in Segoviawith some friends. We made it for late lunch here after a morning spent in Avila. That time, the sun was out and we made it through the day with light jackets. Snow in April? Not this time. By the time we got off the AVE train from Madrid, it was raining and the field across the Segovia-Guiomar Train Station was fully blanketed with snow! Bus #11 was jampacked with train passengers eager to reach the heart of the historic city of Segovia some 7 kilometers away. The bus stopped right before the 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct. We had the good sense to make reservations for late lunch at the Meson de Candido by the Azoguejo, now run by the fourth generation of the same family who made ... read more
The Inn By the Segovian Aqueduct
a Monument to Candido

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Córdoba April 5th 2012

I've done Semana Santa in Sevilla back in 2002. So I actually planned on spending the Holy Week based in Madrid this time around, perhaps doing day trips to Toledo, Avila, Segovia or Valladolid and heading back to the city where I have been based for 6 weeks now. Back In Andalusia Well, guess what. My itchy feet led me back to Andalusia. The Madrid procession last Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) must have whetted my appetite to see more of those Nazarenos with their pointed hoods, costaleros swaying in rhythm bearing the "Pasos" on their shoulders. Truly, Semana Santa is at its best in this corner of the world. It was easy to buy an AVE ticket for that fast train ride to Cordoba. No hotel reservations were made as my niece and I were ... read more
Lone Nazareno
All Preparations Wasted?
Maria Luisa Park

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid February 26th 2012

It's been 10 years since I last visited. Easily, these things come to mind. Chocolate con Churros at Chocolateria de San Gines, Prado Museum, Bullfights, Puerta del Sol, Tio Pepe, Callos, Jamon Iberico, Quezo Manchego, cafe con Leche, paella, CASA Botin, cuchinillo, Retiro Park and Plaza Mayor. Surely there's more. As soon as we slept off our jet lag, I was ready for my first chocolate con churros. That sticky hot choco and crunchy churros from Chocolateria San Gines makes a determined glutton out of me. The Jamon, Quezo, Paella, Callos can wait. But just like 10 years ago, getting lost searching for this Chocolateria seems to be the norm. I'm willing to bet I'd get lost again the next time I go for my churros con chocolate fix. But that cup and those crunchies are ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok January 22nd 2012

A trip to Bangkok is always made more pleasurable with a visit to Oriental Hotel by the banks of the lovely Chao Phraya River. I have not stayed in this hotel even for a night, but I have definitely visited it , dined in it, enjoyed quite a few high teas many times in the past. There are 2 spots in this hotel which I so love. The Authors' Lounge in the Authors' Wing, the original part of this century-old hotel. And the Riverside Terrace. But it has been years since my last visit. And I do remember being driven there by my friend in the past. This time around, we hailed a cab and asked to be taken to Oriental Hotel. The taxi driver asked us many times, and each time felt frustrated failing to ... read more
Authors' Lounge @Oriental Hotel
View From the Riverside Terrace

Asia » Bhutan » Paro December 8th 2011

Typically, I dedicate an entire blog about food in the country I visited. I failed to do that in Bhutan. Bhutan has many many lovely sceneries ... from the stunning views of the Himalayas to the gho or Kira-clad Bhutanese going about their daily business, to the monks and mini-monks, and the quaint architecture of their Dzongs and temples. Food was the least of my concerns while I was there. For one, I've been warned that Bhutanese cuisine does not exactly count many fans. Vegetarians would likely not complain. Most dishes are non-meat. There isn't also a good source of seafood outside of those brought in from India. Landlocked, there isn't much variety in local ingredients. For the whole week I was there, I ate a lot of potatoes and vegetable dumplings. All that accompanied by ... read more
Boiled Bean Soup?
Chicken Curry
Mixed Vegetables

Asia » Bhutan » Punakha December 6th 2011

Spending a week in Bhutan yielded 3 blog posts here and I feel I'm not done yet. Not until I write about this. Of all the cultures I have experienced, theirs is markedly different in a way I feel compelled to explain. After all, it is not everyday that you find houses with hanging phalluses and the same subject painted on their walls. Some in full color, even beribboned, with matching pubic background. Excuse me, did you say THAT is the phallus of one of your favorite saints? Yes, this requires some good explaining. Our tour guide Sonam Norbu gave us a glimpse of Bhutanese culture as he narrated the story of the "Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom" which is how they referred to THAT. He narrated it so matter-of-factly that one begins to believe how seriously ... read more
Hanging Phallus
Beribboned Phallus
The Village

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