Thursday, August 31, 2017

[CENTRAL MACEDONIA] Budget and Itinerary

WEDNESDAY: 30 August 2017
Ryanair (Paphos - Thessaloniki) - 42.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 35.00
78 (One-Way) - 2.00
2elve (Strawberry Slushee) - 1.00
Brothers in Law (Beef Steak w/ Fries & Water + Oreo Cheese Cake) - 23.80

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

[THESSALONIKI] All Chill Here in Thess

When you tell people that you are going to Greece, they are quick to conjure images of the blue and white houses of Santorini or the Parthenon in Athens. This is the default set of imagery that one associates with the country. And then I thought, hey, why not Thessaloniki? Thessalo-what? Thessaloniki is in the northern part of Greece, not far away from the Macedonian border. In fact, the region is called Central Macedonia. Are you confused yet? So am I, but let’s discuss further.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

[PAPHOS] Budget and Itinerary

TUESDAY: 29 August 2017
Convenience Store (Snacks) - 4.00
Intercity (Limassol - Paphos) - 4.00
Airbnb (1 Night) - 14.00
618 (Karavella - Harbour) - 1.50
Entrance Fee (Archaeological Area) - 4.50
Solemio (Penne Carbonara w/Coke x2 + Vanilla Shake) - 19.50
603 (Harbour - Karavella) - 1.50

[PAPHOS] Beach, Love, Mosaics

Once upon a time Titan Cronus and his father Uranus had a big fight, and the son thought it’d be fun to castrate daddy as a form of revenge. Aww, family love. Long story short, something fell from the sky into the sea that day and the beach bums of Paphos be like, “ZOMFG IS THAT WHAT WE THINK IT IS???!!!” But shit was just about to get real when from the severed genitals of the sky god arose a beautiful goddess called Aphrodite. Google “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli for visuals.

Monday, August 28, 2017

[LIMASSOL] Budget and Itinerary

MONDAY: 28 August 2017
Intercity (Larnaca - Limassol) - 4.00
Airbnb (1 Night) - 26.00
Starbucks (Choco Chip + Sugar Donuts x2) - 7.60
Bus 30 (One Way) - 1.50
Coffee Gallery (Bolognese + Coke) - 10.80

[LIMASSOL] Beaching in Cyprus, Part II

Limassol is halfway between Larnaca and Paphos. All three cities are connected by Intercity buses that cost EUR 4 (~PHP 240) one-way. The travel time is usually an hour and a half depending on traffic. In our case, we arrived 10 minutes earlier. Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus after Nicosia. Even so, the population is a mere 200,000 which means there is enough beach for everybody. As for me, my expectation is simple: Beach again. Yes, we came to Cyprus to beach, and beach we will.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 7/Episode 7

7.7 The Dragon and the Wolf
As the grand meeting finally comes into fruition, so do unwanted reunions: Cersei and Tyrion; Euron and Theon; The Mountain and the Hound. As the wight emerges from his box and lunges at Cersei, they all realize that the threat is real. She eventually agrees to the truce and pledges her troops but has a totally different plan in mind, which upon Jamie’s discovery prompts him to abandon her once and for all. In Winterfell, Petyr Baelish’s crimes catch up with him as the Stark siblings reveal that they are the ones playing him all along. After Sansa comes up with a guilty verdict, Arya finishes him off with a quick dagger slash to the throat. Theon manages to rally his remaining men and vows to rescue Yara from Euron. Sam arrives in Winterfell, meets Bran, and they put two and two together regarding Jon Snow’s true lineage. The dead army arrives at the wall. The Night King, saddled on now blue fire-breathing Viserion’s back, attacks the wall, causing it to entirely collapse. Tormund and his gang flee as the undead march south undeterred.

[LARNACA] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 26 August 2017
easyJet (Berlin - Larnaca) - 85.84
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 32.00
425 (One-Way) - 1.50
Convenience Store (Water 1.5L + Strawberry Slushee) - 2.40

[LARNACA] Beaching in Cyprus, Part I

Philippine passport holders who have a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa can visit Cyprus using that visa as a substitute. This rule is applied to most countries in the Balkans that are not part of the Schengen agreement. However, some of them require that the visa should’ve already been used to enter the Schengen territory at least once, so it might be a better idea to simply toss Cyprus at the end of your Eurotrip itinerary, just to be sure. From here, you can also catch a one-hour flight to Tel Aviv in Israel, a visa-free country for us.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

[BRANDENBURG] Budget and Itinerary (2)

Ryanair (Riga - Berlin) - 67.73
AXA (Schengen Low Cost) - 57.00
German Embassy (Schengen Visa) - 60.00
University of Potsdam (Summer German Course) - 470.00
University of Potsdam (Accommodation) - 280.00

Food Allowance (EUR10 x 25 Days) - 250.00

Friday, August 25, 2017

[POTSDAM] German at Uni Potsdam

Potsdam was more like an accident. When I left Germany last April, I still had a serious Berlin hangover. Needless to say, I really wanted to go back. The thing is, my financial situation was kind of unpredictable and I wasn’t able to commit to a summer comeback fast enough to secure a slot at either Humboldt or FU. I visited Potsdam while I was still based in Berlin so I thought hey, why not Uni Potsdam? It's just an hour away and even connected to Berlin's Metro. And so I submitted an application.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Atomic Blonde

Berlin, 1989. As the world prepares to bear witness to the historic fall of the wall and the country’s eventual reunification, top-level MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is dispatched to retrieve a list that will expose the identities of all active agents in the field. She is tracked and ambushed by the KGB right after landing at Tempelhof, prompting her to believe that there must be a double agent sabotaging the mission. She is welcomed by David Percival (James McAvoy), a hedonistic agent who has been stationed in the city for the last decade or so. She is also persistently stalked by mysterious photographer Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) who warns her about her partner. Broughton is well aware that she is operating in a world of friendly faces that will betray her in the blink of an eye. Unwilling to trust anyone, she must find that list and cross over to West Berlin before it’s too late.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 7/Episode 6

7.6 Beyond the Wall
Arya confronts Sansa about the letter she was forced to write ages ago in King’s Landing. Jon Snow and friends reminisce about the connections they have as they tread the perilous path north of the wall. The Hound sees the same mountain in his vision and warns everyone that they are near. They find their way to a White Walker convoy, carry out an ambush, and successfully capture one of the enemies. Sensing an upcoming larger attack, Jon orders Gendry to rush back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Daenerys informing her about their predicament. As the gang is cornered and all hope seems lost, she arrives to save the day, but loses one of her dragons to the Night King’s spear. Left behind, Jon Snow is rescued by Uncle Benjen. He finally agrees to bend the knee, while she vows revenge for what happened to one of her children. As the White Walkers haul the dragon’s carcass off the icy waters, one touch from the Night King reanimates him. Waking up from temporary death, his eyes now glow bright blue.

[UUSIMAA] Budget and Itinerary

FRIDAY: 18 August 2017
Air Berlin (Berlin - Helsinki - Berlin) - 123.65
Airbnb (3 Nights) - 84.00
HSL (Region Ticket/One-Way) - 5.00
K-Market (Water 1.5L) - 1.19

Saturday, August 19, 2017

[HARJU] Budget and Itinerary

SATURDAY: 19 August 2017
AS Tallink (Helsinki - Tallinn - Helsinki) - 43.00
McDonalds (Fries + Ridged Fries + Pancakes) - 4.00
Krua Thai (Pad Thai & Coke) - 9.50

Estimate of EUR1 = PhP59.50

TOTAL PhP3,361.75

[TALLINN] Sail In, Sail Out

Tallinn is easily accessible from Helsinki via a two-hour ferry ride. What surprised me was the ferry itself. I’ve only been on small ferries plying the Hong Kong – Macau route as well as some inter island ones in Australia and New Zealand. Those were pretty much straightforward. You have seats and an outer deck and that’s it. This one is huge and resembled a sailing department store. You have restaurants, shops selling signature brands, and then some slot machines. Am I really on a boat?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 7/Episode 5

7.5 Eastwatch
Daenerys intimidates what remains of the Lannister army to bend the knee. When father and son of House Tarly refuse, they end up as ashes on the ground. Jon Snow gets to tame Drogon. Tyrion and Varys are worried about their queen’s recent decisions that involve too much show of power. The impending threat of the White Walkers looms as Bran sees them approaching Eastwatch through his ravens. Ser Davos smuggles Tyrion into and out of King’s Landing. There he sees Gendry again after a long time who does not take much convincing to run away with him. The two Lannister brothers are temporarily reunited, but not in amicable terms. Jamie later learns from Cersei that she’s pregnant with his child. Sam steals some books and runs away with Gilly and her son. Ser Jorah finds his way back to Dragonstone disease-free and ready to serve. He sails with Jon Snow and Gendry to Eastwatch to capture a White Walker that they can deliver to Cersei and Daenerys. There they meet the Hound, and together they venture north of the wall.

[OSLO] Budget and Itinerary

FRIDAY: 11 August 2017
Norwegian (Berlin - Oslo - Berlin) - 1,595.00
Airbnb (2 Nights) - 470.00
Flytoget (Airport - Oslo S - Airport/Student) - 180.00
Drinks (7 Eleven) - 75.00

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 7/Episode 4

7.4 The Spoils of War
Bronn returns to assist Jamie in his military campaign. With the loot she amasses from the sack of Highgarden, Cersei pays off their debts to the Iron Bank in one installment. Arya comes back home to Winterfell and reunites with her siblings. She spars with Brienne and manages to disarm her. Jon Snow finds the Dragonglass reserves along with petroglyphs of the first men banding together to fight a common enemy. Daenerys promises to join his fight, if he bends the knee. Dismayed by the failure of Tyrion’s strategy, she takes matters into her own hands. Covering her Dothraki ground forces while saddled on her dragon’s back from high above, they incinerate Jaime’s army. Bronn gets to test King’s Landing’s new weapon on Drogon. As the injured dragon lands and Daenerys attempts to take out the large spear embedded in his throat, Jaime attacks them on his horse and almost gets cremated on the spot, had he not been pushed out of the way in time by Bronn, much to Tyrion’s relief who is watching from afar.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


World War II, 1940. After France succumbs to the advances of Nazi Germany the remaining allied soldiers gather at the coastal town of Dunkirk to await evacuation. As the enemy gains more ground and bombs are continuously dropped on the retreating forces, hope starts to flicker. On the other side of the English Channel, civilian ship owners sail toward the battle in an effort to evacuate as many soldiers as they could within the holding capacity of their tiny sailboats. Soaring through the skies, a trio of Royal Air Force pilots do their best to deter the air strikes of German fighters despite the rapidly dwindling fuel supply of their Spitfires. Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), a young British private, is the only one to survive a ground attack that kills his entire unit en route to the evacuation point. Holding on to nothing more than the prospect of getting back to Britain in one piece, they must endure the non-stop attacks coming from all sides, all while attempting to help their comrades survive as well. Will their efforts suffice to make it back home?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Baby Driver

Coerced to a life of crime, getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) awaits the day when he no longer needs to go against the law. This wish of his further intensifies as he meets Debora (Lily James), a diner waitress who becomes his source of inspiration. A childhood accident has left him with a severe case of tinnitus, which he deals with by virtue of never-ending music through his earbuds. He also has a knack for creating mix tapes from various bits of conversations that he secretly records. When his criminal mastermind boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) does not keep his end of the bargain and forces him to perform more illegal activities for him, he must come to a tough decision. Should he keep up his life of crime to protect his loved ones from the likes of his criminal colleagues Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Bats (Jamie Foxx)? Or should they make a run for it? The question is, just how fast and far can he actually drive?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

In the aftermath of the Chitauri siege of New York, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) capitalizes on scavenged alien technology to produce weapons for illegal distribution. For eight years his business is profitable and sans interruption, until 15-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) comes along. Yearning for more action after his Avengers sampler, he spends his school days eagerly awaiting the next mission that just won’t come along. Crossing paths with Toomes, now equipped with a flying suit and referred to as “The Vulture,” he finally finds the excitement he is looking for and willingly engages his foe despite Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) stark disapproval. He aspires to be one of the Avengers but is he truly ready for the big responsibility, or will he forever be your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man grounded in New York?

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