Sunday, January 31, 2016

[RABAT] The Supermodel of Chellah

I never really knew that I'd find more Roman ruins in Morocco. In fact, all the Roman ruins I’ve been to are in Morocco. When you geek out about it, it’s actually fascinating to think how immense the empire once was. I mean, come on, this is like the edge of the Mediterranean, more like the beginning of the Atlantic, really. Oh no, verbal diarrhea much. Let’s talk about the ruins of Chellah, which is less than ten minutes by taxi from where I reside.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

[RABAT] Dead and Still Sunbathing

I chose Rabat over Fez because they have an ice skating rink here. I’m not so sure if I would be leveling up soon. I left Manila almost taking the FS2 exam, but sometimes the Christmas holidays are just hard to predict. The plan is to just practice here so I can take the test at once when I go back to Manila this April. Was I wrong to base my decision to learn Colloquial Moroccan Arabic in Rabat? I don’t think so. Besides, the school I enrolled in is reputable enough as far as online feedback is concerned.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

[FÈS-MEKNÈS] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 16 January 2016
Ryanair (Paris Beauvais - Fez) - 50.59

Friday, January 22, 2016

[MEKNES] Fancy Fancy Mausoleum Is

Meknes has two train stations: Meknes and Meknes Al Amir. The second one is where you want to go if you're planning a trip to Volubilis, although getting off at Gare de Meknes is also fine because petit taxis are everywhere anyway. The main difference is Al Amir seems closer to most of the attractions in the city itself. I’ve been to both but I recommend Al Amir if Meknes is your main destination and you like taking a stroll and seeing what the city center is like.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[FEZ] Camel with Fries, Please

I don’t have to reiterate how life sucks when you just love to travel but you own a Philippine passport. The few countries you can visit without visa hassles are usually halfway around the world and the flight tickets alone will already cost you an arm and a leg. Brazil? Peru? Morocco? But our plans sometimes change. Finding myself welcoming the new year in Hamburg, the prospect of a Moroccan adventure suddenly became more feasible. And so I booked a flight via Ryanair: EUR 50 from Paris to Fez with 20 kg in tow.

Monday, January 18, 2016

[MEKNES] Gaga Ooh La La, Want Your Bad Romans

Volubilis is highly recommended not just by Wikitravel but also by other travelers who have already been to the place. It has been on top of my priority list since I started planning this Moroccan adventure. True enough it has served as my first stop for sightseeing when I got here. From Fez, you can take any train passing through Meknes. Although there are tours from Fez and Rabat, I really suggest that you just go there on your own for it will be way more affordable that way. How cheap is it, you ask?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

[ÎLE-DE-FRANCE] Budget and Itinerary

WEDNESDAY: 13 January 2016
Megabus (Brussels - Paris) - 6.00
Metro 6/8 (Quai de la Gare - Daumesnil - Republique) - 1.80
Hippopotamus (Grilled Salmon + Coke) - 22.80
Metro 9/13 (Republique - Miromesnil - Porte de Saint-Ouen) - 1.80

Friday, January 15, 2016

[PARIS] Burlesque Paris

All together now: “The French are glad tooooo dieeeee for LOVE!” And then cue Nicole Kidman hanging from the chandelier! Who knew Sia wasn’t the original, huh? I already told myself that the Moulin Rouge will be on the itinerary no matter what. Lo and behold, my friend’s flat is located in the same arrondissement just a few metro stations away! But I didn't make it inside. The façade glowing bright red along with the windmill are still worth the trip.

[PARIS] Creepy Paris

While nothing can really match the cold weather in Berlin, Paris was starting to catch up as the single digit temperature approached negative territory. And so I thought, maybe it was time to match the gloomy weather with something as morbid and depressing. Why not try something different but still touristy to some extent? That’s when Les Catacombes de Paris caught my attention. A collection of skulls and bones deep down under, because why not?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

[PARIS] Romantic Paris

This blog entry is accidental, sort of. I ran out of space in the other ones and my side trip to Champs-Élysées was suddenly nowhere to be found, which I think is rather unfair because the place itself is really nice as well as its surroundings. Anyway, this all happened before the catacombs and after the Eiffel Tower. I had three hours to spend on two consecutive nights and so I chose this one to see the Arc de Triomphe and reserved the final night for Moulin Rouge and Montmartre.

[PARIS] The Obligatory Eiffel Tower Selfie

I don’t know whether I'm just a lucky bastard or if it just happened to be promo time in Europe when I booked everything transpo-related. For the Brussels – Paris leg, I managed to find a GBP 4.50 ticket from this company called Megabus. Thinking it was a scam, I immediately searched for feedback online and discovered that they're really just cheap. And so how was the actual ride? We were delayed for 15 minutes and the trip took a total of 5 hours because they had to refuel and wash the bus.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

[BRUSSELS] Budget and Itinerary

SUNDAY: 10 January 2016
Airbnb (3 Nights) - 69.00
Metro 6/1 (Pannenhuis - Beekkant - De Broukere) - 2.10
Pizza Hut (Bolognaise + Frites + Coke) - 15.00
Metro 1/6 (De Broukere - Beekkant - Pannenhuis) - 2.10

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

[BRUSSELS] Shining, Shimmering, Splendid, and Full of Asian Tourists

After I may or may not have gone gaga over the chocolates, I decided that it was time to leave the pissing boy alone, because the heavens were also pissing on us, and I was starting to get pissed off as well. Anyway, another thing you’ll appreciate about Brussels is that the main tourist attractions are just within a few minutes walking distance from one another. If you run towards the right direction, you will reach the Grote Markt in less than five minutes, I reckon, from the Manneken Pis. Wait, the what?

Monday, January 11, 2016

[BRUSSELS] Death by Chocolate

Aside from sleeping more and reviewing for my exam, the only other agenda I have for Brussels is to do the laundry. Having been able to do it on my second day, I can now say that I’m done here. The trend nowadays is for me to rest and review for the first few days, then go sightseeing on the last day. It was the same case for Brussels. If I were younger and with less obligations, then a day would suffice here to go sightseeing the entire time, but things just don’t work like that anymore, at least for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

[NORTH HOLLAND] Budget and Itinerary

TUESDAY: 5 January 2016
Easyjet (Berlin - Amsterdam) - 72.92
BVG Intercity (Schiphol - Amsterdam Centraal) - 5.20
BVG Metro (Amsterdam Centraal - Amstel Station) - 2.90
Airbnb (4 Nights) - 120.00
Amstel (Water/Chocomel) - 4.00

Friday, January 8, 2016

[AMSTERDAM] So Many Canals, So Little Time

And today’s blog post is dedicated to Amsterdam’s canals, for they are so ubiquitous they need an entire article all for themselves. Article? Hahaha. More like a collection of random rants and raves while passing by these bodies of water, I’d say! So what is there to know about this canal fascination? If you want a history lesson, there’s always Wikipedia. All I know is that there are more than a hundred canals in this city, and I think they were built more due to necessity rather than preference.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

[AMSTERDAM] That Elusive Iamsterdam Selfie

I let out a mild chuckle as I scanned the shelves. From sex toys to legal drugs, Amsterdam seems to have it all. As my eyes panned from left to right, products such as tiny pecker condoms and special cookies met my gaze. I just love how unpretentious this city is. Perhaps I find it hilarious as hell because I just know that you’ll never have the same experience in Manila. The devout Catholics are going to have a field day, and the owner of that store will burn at the stake the next afternoon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

[AMSTERDAM] A Chest Freezer of Cannabis Ice Cream, Please

If ever I die here in Amsterdam, it’ll be because I got fatally hit by a speeding bicycle. I just can’t help but invade the bike lanes, like, “Oh really, this is your lane? I thought this was a catwalk made especially for me so I can model my OOTD. What ‘ya gonna do about it?” And then the bikers will gang up on me and I’ll end up as nasty roadkill. But the Dutch are a cool bunch, and the language sounds like English if you close your eyes and listen but don’t pay attention.
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