Page 8 of scenicroute Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Philippines » Manila » Quiapo September 16th 2013

Jose P. Rizal may sound like a South American rapper, but the Filipino Doctor-Poet has a park dedicated to him in the centre of the Philippines' capital, Manila, and has a garden to commemorate his execution. I knew very little (read: nothing) of the history of the Philippines. A collection of islands that were united and subjugated by the Spanish in 1565, and named after their reigning monarch, Phillip II. Jose P Rizal comes in at the end of the Colonial Philippines. He was born in Calamba, Laguna (some thirty miles south of Manila), to a wealthy family. His ancestors were a mix of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, the most notable of whom were Chinese merchants and entrepreneurs. At an early age, Rizal and his brother were already annoying the aurthorities with their political ideas ... read more
Jose Rizal

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur September 15th 2013

I was thinking back over the strange and terrifying people i have met over the past decade, and the first one in tonight's blog is the first one I met, or at least the first I met when traveling. I was 16. I was on a Team Challenge Expedition to Northern India, and this particular story takes place in the middle of the desert in Rajasthan. We decided to go on a camel trek to watch the sunset in the desert. The man who was leading my camel, whose name i honestly don't think i ever knew, was as softly spoken as Michael Jackson. When we were riding back he sat behind me on the camel and we talked about... something (i don't have my India diary to hand, so i don't know what we talked ... read more

Europe » Russia » Centre » Tver September 12th 2013

These stories generally end with me weeping internally and praying that the person leaves on their own accord. People tend to come up and start talking to me and I'm not entirely sure why. It might be because I normally smile at people, regardless of whether I know them or not. Many of the people who come up and start talking to me are genuinely lovely people who are just curious or fancy a chat. Eccentricity doesn't bother me. Pasha and the Pervy Babooshka were not eccentrics, they were really, really creepy. I met Pasha in a bar when I was living in Tver, not far from Moscow. The bar was on the main street, not far from our lodgings, and the group that went consisted mainly of the Scots, French and Finns that were studying ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island » Stanley September 10th 2013

In mid-October, Irish asked if I wanted to go with her and her colleague to a Mosque for a gathering of some kind; Ms Chan had been pretty vague on the details, but had insisted that Irish go with her, and Irish didn't want to go by herself, so I agreed that it would, at the very least, be interesting. It turned out that the place was a Sikh Temple, and it wasn't a 'thing', it was an ordinary service. The most embarrassing part was Ms Chan and her friends taking photos, posing and arranging themselves, getting in the way of everybody trying to worship and get on with her business. Ms Chan was also unable to put on a headscarf properly and ended up wearing it like a terrible bandanna that somehow managed to miss ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon September 9th 2013

In order to get into practice for this blog, I am going to write-up some of my time in Hong Kong. My track record with accommodation in foreign countries is less than cheerful. My first few weeks in Russia were, let's say, 'uncomfortable'; I lived in a two bedroom flat with a single mother, her daughter, her sister, and sometimes a man... who may or may not have been a brother. She would laugh at me if I tried to speak Russian to her, and she spent a lot of time shouting at her toddler. I was relieved to move into the student flats above the classrooms a week later. I'm still not sure if my first month in Hong Kong was better or worse. On 3rd October, I wen to view a flat in Kwai ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Lamma Island September 8th 2013

FRIENDS! FAMILY! ESTEEMED RAGAMUFFINS! On the 2nd October, I will be heading back home. After a year of living and working in Hong Kong, I am looking forward to cold weather, dandelion and burdock, and people whose madness I understand. There are, of course, several flights every day from Hong Kong to UK, but I have decided against this. I don't want to get a flight; they are boring. Instead of sitting for 24 hours with crying children, ear-popping, bad food, and a functioning entertainment system a mile up in the air, I am instead going to be travelling overland for weeks.... with crying children, a stiff back, weird food, and no entertainment system (beyond the company of strangers). My journey (a mixture of train, car, bus, etc.) will take me from the south of China ... read more

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