Archive for ‘Spain’

March 22, 2015

Exotic vibrant Indonesia!

Well one more trip to Asia and the third one to Indonesia. Its becoming routine and love it. The only thing the flight is very long and tiring on economy class….. I visited Ngoro, Surabaya and then flew to Jakarta. My last trip here see post back in October 18 2013.

The official tourist office is at http://www.indonesia.travel/  and you have good official tourist sites for Surabaya here , http://www.sparklingsurabaya.info/  and Jakarta here http://www.jakarta-tourism.go.id/

I went on my usual long journey from Nantes Atlantique airport to Paris CDG T2F on Air France, and then took the CDGVal train to terminal 1 to catch the fly with Singapore Airlines; reaching Chiangi airport in Singapore  after about 13 hrs , their tourist office is here http://www.yoursingapore.com/en.html  ; from there continue on SQ to Surabaya in Indonesia. The return was the same but coming out from Jakarta to Singapore on SQ and continue to Paris CDG T1 where the unusual was not to take the cdgval train but two buses one from T1 to T2 and another from T2 to T2CD;weird. Here to catch the AF flight to Nantes Atlantique airport.

The airports, I took, CDG is here http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/inter-terminal-shuttles

Nantes Atlantique is here http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/acces/plan ; the connection at Singapore is at Chiangi airport here http://www.changiairport.com/

I arrive first at Surabaya Juanda airport, official at http://juanda-airport.com/?lang=en and a better site in English here http://www.surabayaairport.com/   ;and I left by Jakarta Soekarno Hatta airport here http://www.jakartaairportonline.com/

I had driver to pick me up which improves tremendously the logistics, and take me to my hotel and office and eatings etc; the traffic on both areas is bad, and in Jakarta the worse ranking amongst the most congested cities in the world. Upon arriving in Surabaya Juanda airport I was taken to the office and then in the evening to my usual hotel the Somerset, http://www2.somerset.com/en/indonesia/surabaya/somerset_surabaya_hotel_and_serviced_residence.html

Driving by car took me to see a gas station (glamorous::)) petrafirma and the old stores like K Circle and A&W, and eat at Ngoro at the Me Joyo restaurant of local cuisine (one of the advantages of keeping with the locals you know the country well). Very hard to find webpages on it and will just take my word for it, it is good and see the pictures.I took some of the roads passing by.

This was a short visit here and I move on to bigger Jakarta, where driver was waiting again, thanks God!!! I love to drive but this is too much, can really undertand how they can sustain driving like this every day.  What it says is a 45 minute car drive from hotel to airport is really 1h30 unless you go at midnight ::)

Here, again I stayed at my now usual Grand Kemang hotel right in the entertainment ceter of Jakarta. http://www.mesahotelsandresorts.com/grandkemang/facilities/  You really don’t need a car staying here as all shopping, restos, bars to boot are walking distances.  I have some pictures of the airport, and hotel with its great Sperta restaurant.

Had great lunches at the Lembur Kuring restaurant here is a restaurant site in Indonesia with some info on it, https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/lembur-kuring-serpong/maps very good restaurant of local regional cuisine.

Another day  I was taken for lunch at Sambara another west Sumatran regional cuisine resto that was exotic and authentic, here you pick the food and then they cook it for you, superb ;https://www.zomato.com/jakarta/sambara-resto-fatmawati

Lastly, for lunch again was taken to another authentic restaurant Sederhana, a typical padang region cuisine, here they stack the dishes according to how many people to eat and you choose which ones to eat if you try them all they will charge you for all;so be picky but all good stuff ::) They have several branches in the city too. A site that tells more about them is here http://www.yukmakan.com/restaurant/Jakarta-Selatan/Kebayoran-Baru/20441/Sederhana-Masakan-Padang

In all the trip back was easy with a driver, and the connection at Chiangi Singapore just barely but since on the same airline, they took me by people mover cars to the gate and I was waited for by Singapore Airlines. At Paris CDG had to take twice buses to reach my terminal T2F for the first time ever, but you always learn something new traveling lol!

Now very tired resting on a Sunday nice weather at home, and ready for work tomorrow …..and preparing my next flight April 13 stay tune. Have a wonderful Sunday and great workweek ahead. Happy travels !!!!

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March 14, 2015

My travel this year so far, or for lack of a better name !

Wonderful Saturday light clarity ,the Sun is trying to come out at 11H (11am), and no wind no rain, temp at 8C.  Chilled out at home lazyness in preparation.

Next week, my family will have a task to do , will cover the wall in wood paneling and installed two velux Windows on our roof ,like a sunroof feeling. The task will take the whole week lol!! Of course, I won’t be around as me got to go out for work duties. At least all the necessary goods are at home already.

Me, well I  have my budget approved at work and now planning to visit our foreign offices which cannot tell much but , flying and travel are an integral part of my job. Nice.

Tomorrow by 3h (3am) I will be up to race by car to Nantes Atlantique airport and a long journey that will take me first to Paris CDG, then Chiangi Singapore and finally Surabaya, Indonesia, to do again in mid week another domestic flight to Jakarta, from which I will be returning home next Saturday.

Already book, are trips next month to Guadalajara, Mexico. Going here from Nantes to Madrid, to Mexico DF to Guadalajara!!!

Follow that up in May with a trip from Nantes to Lisbon, Portugal and then  during the week by car (yes!!) to the north near Porto. Come back to Lisbon by car, and then flight to A Coruna in Galicia, Spain then from there back to Nantes by Madrid!.

And again, in June have my get together with some friends (invited folks here on the blog that follow me you are welcome to come) Where I will take them around Paris, underneath the Tour Eiffel, Chapelle Expiatoire (where the remains of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were dumps by the revolutionaries), sightseeing on some historical monument salons in luxury hôtels of Paris I once worked. Then visit the castle in Fontainebleau and some room I hold meeting that are not open to the public, then back to Versailles for a tour of the castle properties and some neat sights usually bypass by the tourists in the city I once lived for 10 years!  These will be done June 24 Fontainebleau, June 25 Paris, and June 26 Versailles.

The family is trying to figure out where we are going for our long French summer vacation. So many places, and choices, every year is a torture to choose. We are thinking and prebook and cottage in the country near Trier Germany as we were there once in winter and it was freezing cold and light snow, summer should be better. And going back to our favorite little country Luxembourg ; where we used to go just for lunch at place d’Armes on a weekend!!! Now will do more as have more time. This is for August.

And of course, then there will be others as the planning is throughout the year and Vietnam and South Africa could be a possibility. Stay tune as many of these adventures will be documented here in my blog Paris1972-Versailles2003. IN case ,you have not read well, Paris1972 because it was the first time I saw Paris in tribute to the movie Last Tango in Paris by Marlon Brandon and Maria Schneider!! and Versailles2003 because it was the year we moved in to the magnificent, wonderful, gorgeous Royal town of France! and lasted for 10 years of joy. Missed it even today, even as wonderful and gorgeous Brittany/Breizh/Bretagne can be and is.

Have a Great weekend everyone wherever you are or going ::) Cheers.

Surabaya Jakarta Mexico Singapore Lisbon Porto Madrid Xove Galicia Fontainebleau Versailles Paris luxembourg city Trier

December 30, 2014

Happy New Year 2015 to all of my followers and readers , thank you.

http://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/annual-report/

and of course to add as the old song said, “I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a  Merry Christmas ,AND a Happy New Year”

Some photos of our Christmas market in La Rochelle with a festive mood we are all loaded for waiting the New Year here.

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Carrousel at place de verdun Christmas chalets

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Christmas chalets by cours des dames vieux port

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Grosse Horloge and festive Christmas markets

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live music at Christmas market by cours des dames vieux port

Wishing all a very healthy , prosperous and beautiful travels expériences in 2015. Cheers!!!

November 1, 2014

Country Brazil, State of Sao Paulo

One of the benefits of work travel is to be able to go back to places you have been and like. This is the case of Brazil. A wonderful country full of ups and downs, intrigue, beautiful ,and sometimes not understood. My trips lately have been to inland State of Sao Paulo, where the most famous city is Sao Paulo. However ,I go inland to the country towns of Paulinia and Descalvado.

More on Paulinia here, http://campinas-regiao.com.br/index.php/en/cidades-en/139-paulinia-2  ; and more on Descalvado,http://www.descalvado.sp.gov.br/historia.htm

And the tourist site for the State of Sao Paulo, http://www.tourisminsaopaulo.com/  where the two cities are base.

I come into Guarulhos airport and have driver to take me to hotel in Paulinia the Ibis.  The airport official site is here http://www.gru.com.br/pt-br very modern and has all facilities. My hotel was Under renovation but the chain French is very good. http://ibishotel.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3054-ibis-paulinia/index.shtml

Here reunited with friends one of them not seen in 20 years!!!! It was indeed a memorable event, we ate at the Estancia Grill in Campinas near on the side of Paulinia, it was the usual churrasqueria with meat cuts , salads, and drinks, nice family ambiance, and decoration country style. http://www.estanciacampinas.com.br/

We drove the wonderful rodovias of the State of Sao Paulo such as the Banderaintes to the town of Itapui, nice ride and great driving in the country. We took advantage of the rest stops or posto de serviço of the Graal chain, with all the trimming.

I then move on to Descalvado, this is really deep country with so far the only hotel in the area Hotel Descalvado,  A historical building dating from 1888, see site, http://www.descalvadoonline.com.br/hoteldescalvado/ , it has AC , breakfast and a nice park across the street, as well as the main Church Our Lady of Bélem.  You can read about the Church here, in Portuguese, http://diocesedelimeira.org.br/paroquias-e-padres/

We had our dinner with friends at choperia Caneçao in Descalvado, cuts thin slices of beef and breaded seafood with nice chopes or beers in the terrace right next to the road, nice ambiance, relax, and friendly service . The best site could find them is here, goes to show you the locals knows best. https://pt.foursquare.com/v/choperia-canec%C3%A3o/50de53f6e4b0c48b5320a143

On this trip had to transfer in Madrid, so again try the T4 to T4S terminal train on Iberia, that was very nice trip, got my seats, and ahead of Schedule both ways !!! here had my usual airport lunch at Mas O Menos on the way to Brazil in T4 ;http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Madrid-Barajas/en/LTDA_FA/1237564203089/1237552881450/  and on the way back try the Eating Point at T4 too, here http://www.areas.es/es/marcas/eating-point

Who is to say to really enjoy the city you need to have plenty of time, for me coming into Madrid even the airport is already nice to be back to the city I love and once lived for four years of my younger life ::)  Brazil as well been there so many times and including periods of 3 months at a time so always enjoyable to be back and this time meeting again a friend that ocean and distance has kept us with little communication. However, what are friends for, it proves the real one, stays with you forever no matter where you are.

Enjoy the photos and until we go out again, next month. Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers.

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August 26, 2014

Monasterio San Juan de la Peña, Aragon.

As it goes driving around Jaca got a pamphlet from the tourist office about this monastery. So decided to give it a go. What a pleasant surprise and great road warrior ride up the mountains to it. The Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña.

This is their official webpage, http://www.monasteriosanjuan.com/monasterio-san-juan-de-la-pena.php?L=en

We drove from Jaca after coming back from Sabiñanigo, on the N330a. We took going the mountaneous ride (about 1280 meters high)  along the A1205 road that change into A1603 that goes to the monastery head on. We arrive about 10H30 in time to go the new monastery and take the mini bus by 11h30 to the old monastery. We left the place by 18h going the way towards Santa Cruz de los Seros on the A1603 that connects with the N240 that brought us back to Jaca.

This is a monumental place that must be seen advertise spread the word more, can’t believe it is not more known. I take office of the tourist guide who gave an excellent recount of the events here, she was good. Here in the mount of Oroel you find San Juan de la Peña, the monastery is covered by a huge mountain rock and its done since 920AD and known for maintenance of the Christian faith in the Pyrénées at the time of the Muslim occupation, this monastery was chosen as pantheon by the Kings and nobles of Aragón-Navarra. The land was before occupy by hermits who had withdrawn in this hidden corner of the Pyrénées, following the Muslim invasion, around the year 720.  In the 11C, the monastery adopted the Cluniac reform.

The low church or early church who subsequently made office crypt, is one of few Mozarabic buildings remaining in the region. The courts and Pantheon of the Aragonese nobles of the 11C to 14C. Aligned along the left wall décor billets and pearls, burial niches are minted badge, a chrismon or cross in four Escutcheons, emblem of lñigo Arista, one of the founders of the Kingdom of Navarre. On a niche you can see an Angel carrying the soul of the deceased. Opposite a door gives access to the Museum, products of excavations in the monastery. The high Church of the end of the 11C. Part of its single nave in the rock for vault and three apse chapels decorated with arches are engaged in the wall.

The royal Pantheon opens in the left wall. For five centuries the Kings of Aragon and Navarre there were buried. Its current appearance dates from the 18C a la renaissance style. The cloister from the 12C and  it is reached by a Mozarabic door. Inside you can see the paintings of San Cosme and San Dàmian from the 12C, the Superior Church done in 1094AD, and gothic chapel of San Victoriàn.

After fires and hesitudes a construction of the new monastery was begun in the year 1676. Throughout its works that extended until the first years of the 19C the monks counted on the advice of numerous professionals,you can see several Windows on the floor covered with glass floors that shows the work been done in the lower floor off from visitors only can be seen thru the glass. The trace of the building constitutes one of the most perfect and evolved examples of the monastic architecture in the Modern Age, because of its symmetry, because of the multiplication of its cloisters and because of the rational organization that possessed the original project, the one that, regrettably, was never totally carried out.

The facade of the new monastery building is impressive of a barroque style. It was abandoned in 1835 and after much needed renovation it houses Inside the center for interpretation of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, and a hospederia four stars (lodging hotel), a rest area, cafeteria’restaurant, Spa, salons and free parking. You can contact at gestora.sanjuandelapena@aragon.es or tel +34 974 355 119 fax +34 974 355 089.

Enjoy the pictures and sure its Worth the detour. A magical place indeed.Cheers San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña  San Juan de la Peña

 

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August 25, 2014

Jaca in Aragon Spain, we I come again!!!!

Here I come again but this time up close and personal. This is another town in my life that passed by so many times on my route to Madrid of my youth, and really never explored it. Well, its never too late in life ,and to have the opportunity to be closed tented me for the ride with the family to see it up close and personal. It will once again deepens my appreciation for my Spain and closer to a new region of Aragon. This is Jaca, or Jacetania and the road to St James,  and the tourist office ishttp://www.aspejacetania.com/oficina_turismo.php?idio=fr&Id=5  and the tourist section on the city page is   http://www.jaca.es/oficina.html

Most of the best information is in Spanish of course, but rather give you the most coverage on the place, you can later translated online or other places, but the one I give you are the official Spanish sites. Good info.

We got into town by the road N330 coming from France by car, you hit immediately the boulevard facing the Ciudadela or citadel or castle of San Pedro on your right hand side, impressive fortified castle and what a way to enter a city! wow!!! I parked by car by the parking Turismo on Plaza Ripa across is the bus station and to the right is the Cathedral right in city center secured underground parking all day for 6€.

We moved on first by the Citadel like I said its a must to visit, there is a minituare museum of military pièces Inside very nice admission is 7€ adults. Here is the city page on it in Spanish, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/la-ciudadela-de-jaca.html  and a video presentation in English of the museum and ciudadela here http://ciudadelajaca.s3.amazonaws.com/scb/CiudadelaJacaEN.html  (just drag the computer mouse and go in virtually !)

Next you should see the Cathedral of San Pedro or St Peter’s huge richly decorated a marvel and UNESCO heritage site, an absolute must to see, i can’t describe not good for that, but its a must tant pis. 11C jewel of a Cathedral ,construction from 1077AD , as the site says its an open book of architecture from romanesque to renaissance. See my pictures it tells it all.

We had our lunch right across it while seeing the world go by at Plaza de la Catedral,3 at Casa Fau, very nice folks , fast service, good food, veal pork chops, fries, roast beef, sodas, coffees, and a bottle of Enate Crianza red 2008 Somontano local wine delicious. All for 16€ per person ::) nice Spain. no web but the commerce assn of Jaca has their listing ,http://www.acomseja.com/asociado_ficha.php?id_asoc=293

We continue wandering to the side Streets having cheese breads from the local bakeries and did went shopping for sweets to take home at Confiteria/Pasteleria Etcheto , right next to the restaurant above, site, http://www.confiteriaecheto.com/lapasteleria.shtml

We had some goodies for later and wines from Somontano like the Enate again at Bodegas Langa, lots of canned gourmet goodies like ham Teruel, cheeses of Roncal, and wines of Lalanne as well. Great, happy ::) Also, in the same area behind back door of the Cathedral, http://www.bodegaslanga.es/venta-de-vinos-a-granel-jaca-74/

We were ready and charge for more sightseeing, we walked past the episcopal palace or Palacio Episcopal , a site for those seeking the way of Santiago, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/palacio-episcopal.html  We enjoyed the old ruins of the ermita de Sarsa or chapel right at a corner with great views over the mountains , it is the abandon Church of a nearby town moved to Jaca in 1970, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/romanico/ermita-de-sarsa.html

Monasterio de Santa Cruz, where the daughter of a king of Aragon Ramiro I, Sancha was brough over from Santa Cruz de los Seros in 1622, (the best preserve romanesque tomb in Spain) the monastery itself was built from 1555.  The order of Benitas of sisters were in charge of the place. http://www.jaca.es/turismo/romanico/monasterio-de-santa-cruz-monjas-benedictinas.html

The Seminario Diocesano built in 1926 follow a great tradition in the city of diocese life for teaching the gospel since 1610. A great architecture building on the old walls of the citadel, that passes behind it.http://www.jaca.es/turismo/monumentosymuseos/seminario-diocesano.html

There is a street of the old jewish quarters such as Calle de Ferrenal and Calle de Cambras panels show you the history as you walked. The old coins and money of Aragon is shown on the pavement of Calle Mayor with a plaque to explained it in Spanish. There is a beautiful Paseo de la Constitucion with nice children playground, and music kiosk , many libraries or book stores are here and an open air book market with stands as well, http://www.jaca.es/turismo/naturaleza/el-paseo-de-la-constitucion.html . This is the area that takes you to the Puente (bridge) de San Miguel in the back , http://www.jaca.com/puentesanmiguel.htm#.U_sIncIcTmI

In the Paseo you have the Seminario Diocesano on the side and behind it the Ciudadela. You ,also, can see the quaint Torre del Reloj or clock tower built in 1445, it was once used as a prison. Now its a work office of the region of Aragon, but it can be seen Inside too by Calle(street)  Sancho Ramirez, http://www.jaca.com/torredelreloj.htm#.U_sJLsIcTmI

With all there is to see you will have a full day or more, we rather like the wandering of the old Streets and the foods lol! its a state of mind, and so much to be back in Spain.  From here we went to the side at Sabiñanigo on the new A23 and back on the N330a to Jaca, just for the ride on this side, and take a look at city center and breath a bit more of Aragon, Spain. We remain in Spain see next post ::)

Enjoy the pictures. Cheers.

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July 9, 2014

A different part of Mexico.

Well this time the travels took me to a new area of Mexico, this is way down by State of Quintana Roo ,and around the city of Chetumal. This is some tourist info on them

http://www.grandcostamaya.com/

http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attractions-in/427/chetumal-quintana-roo.html

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/chetumal.html

http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/laguna-de-bacalar-y-cenote-azul-quintana-roo.html  ( in Spanish)

 

I took a flight on interjet Airlines from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to Bacalar,Calderitas, and Chetumal.  Funny thing is there is a casino but closed because of some irregularities so no go Inside.  http://flyto.mx/en/flyto/Aeropuerto_Internacional_de_Chetumal/_rid/64?language=en&lng_act=lng_step2

In Chetumal you have a wonderful museum of Maya culture right in town, and a great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and out has a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS we use for lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo, http://www.vips.com.mx/

The highlight is here is leisure relax in the Mayan riviera, the Bacalar lagoon  is located 38 km (24 miles) from the city, also known as the 7-color lagoon, and colonial monuments.http://www.zonaturistica.com/en/tourist-attraction/339/bacalar-lagoon-chetumal.html

We,also, visited the Cenote Azul, a wonderful place with a lake of 90 meters deep water with swimming possibilities and a great restaurant, boutique. this is at Bacalar, and just climb up from the marina Los Mulatos and see the nice fortress museum San Felipe, built in the 17C, then part of the war of the Castes,and now a museum Cost:$5 and times are Tuesdays to Thursdays ,and Sundays from9h to19H

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/Bacalar.html

 

http://www.bacalarmosaico.com/pages/activities/fort_s.htm

We had our lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice. http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/index2.php

We had our drinks here at Hotel La Laguna in Bacalar gorgeous place and we were allowed to roam free afterward, the site picture tells it all !! http://www.hotellagunabacalar.com/

Once the night arrive we use friends points to stay at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city. http://cityexpress.hotelescity.com/es/hoteles/city-express-chetumal/informacion-general.aspx?hoteldatos=0CECECTM

Enjoy the pictures and another hot spot for retirement especially around Bacalar. Cheers.

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July 8, 2014

Way over at Belize life is beautiful!

Yes way down over across Belize life is beautiful. I heard a lot about it as diving and fishing and retirement place for years. I have the chance to visited it for  a week, and I agree. However, it is catchy and sublime, one begin to think about why not a retirement there…. Belize.

The tourist board is here http://www.travelbelize.org/  and my best area Placencia, http://placencia.com/ , and again some others http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2014/01/independence-mango-creek-hokey-pokey-ferry-big-creek-port-cardies.html

I had a different approach than most; coming from Chetumal ,Mexico, by car crossing the border (paying 306 BDollars) with my French passport, glorious trip. We started at the top of the country on the road from Corozal, on the corozal-progresso road downward bypassing Belize City, then on the western road to Belmopan (the official Capital city), continuing to Dandriga, then Independance/Mango Creek, to Placencia.

I saw picturesque colorful buses zigzagging the small country and in Belize city horse wagon and mini bus ride like a little train ride. Wonderful architecture, some gloriously rich, and above all , gorgeous beaches like the one at Placencia.

We went by the craftmarket in Belize City, nice with many souvenirs and all in USDollars. The Casino still imposing and the hôtels and restos we went.

The Ramada Princess hotel Calypso restaurant right on the bay. This is a great complex with hotel casino, and restaurants just near city center and the craftmarket, we ate here at the Calypso Beach Restaurant. wonderful fried fish whole from the catch of the day, and the local beer Belikin;  http://www.ramada.com/hotels/belize/belize-city/ramada_belize_city_princess/hotel-overview

We stopped by for the great WiFi at Rose’s bar restaurant in Placencia, and did some groceries at Ming Supermarket  near the post office in Placencia. The best area was by Barefoot bar and we stop at the funky Tupsy Tuna bar in Placencia by the beach, great ambiance. We stayed at the Paradise Resort ,wonderful accommodation, great hosts, funny people,and super views of the ocean not to mention the drinks at the bar and the Karaoke. Here is the website , http://www.belize123.com/

On the way back to Mexico, we entered Belize City, a bit more of  a little town with a nice beachwall along the ocean. We continue north on the Western road towards Chetumal Mexico to take our plane to Mexico City. The excuse for another post later.

Belize will be remember ,and will keep an eye for that retirement spot… Cheers.

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May 25, 2014

Real Madrid 10th Champions!!! The greatest!!!

well indeed with all the travel I have overlook a bit my passion of football/soccer, just notice my last entry on the subject was back on July 28, 2013!

The team this year had a marvelous season , if they missed the LIga of Spain finishing third , it was the first with a new coach and new philosophy. It all we have won the most LIgas in history with 32. Atlético de Madrid won the Liga this year for the 10th time with a team playing together for as much as four years.

However, in the Spanish King’s cup, we won again beating archrivals Barcelona (second in the Liga) 1X2 with the winning goal from Welsh international Gareth Bale. It was our 19th King’s Cup in history.

The big one came in the top European competition the Champions’s Cup. We had to start winning against teams like Juventus of Italy a former winner, and on our way to the final beat teams like the last two Champions winners, Borussia Dormund and Bayern Munich by big scores. This was to be our 10th Champions, the most of any team by far.

We reach the final against the Cinderella team this year, Atlético de Madrid. Playing for their second final in their history (againts 13 for us) they have done an excellent year wining the Spanish LIga and knocking off Barcelona in the Liga and the Champions semifinals. The momentum was on their side.

However, this is the CHAMPIONS, and the history, class, of Real Madrid came thru. After controlling the first part of the game and only falling behind by an unusual mistake of goalie Iker Casillas coming out too early to clear a ball, giving Godin, the Atlético defender the goal ,they came back roaring.

First, the papa Sergio Ramos, another central defender came thru in time to tie the game on a brilliant header. 1X1 after the regular time of 90 minutes plus 5 minutes referee addition for wasting time in stop, injuries, etc, normal in a football.soccer game.

The extra time started what seems to be a game header for deciding on penalty kicks. two 15 minutes half to decide or go into penalties.

This is where the class, shirt, history of this team came out . Coach Carlo Ancelotti of Italy make some good changes bringing in marcelo and Isco, and the team took off with extra lung capacity. They were all over pressuring constantly until the inevitable came in.

In the 110th minutes came in the Welsh stallion Gareth Bale again to score, what turn out to be the decisive goal of victory. the team was running still like the first minute and the Atlético was broken hardly could run. then came the expected, Marcelo scoring in the 118th minute ,one for Brazil. The 10th was ours no matter what we were in total control.

And ,if not enough, Cristiano Ronaldo score on a penalty kick, after a foul by Godin, the scorer for Atlético and after protesting, was send off from the field by the referee. The Atlético was humbling, could not run anymore, and CR7 score in the 123rd minutes the final 4X1 score. Cristiano Ronald has now a record 17 goals in a Champions, of all history, one for Portugal.

The team came back to Madrid in addition to all of us who followed on the TV and bars all over the world, there were 80000 fans watching on a giant screen in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The celebration continues from there down to Cibeles fountain, the symbol of Madrid and Real Madrid in Alcala street (my street living there and to note also played for the team alavin division to start a dream that grows with time!!).

The celebration continues until past 6AM with an estimâted over 500 000 fans filling the Streets where Madrid became a one city huge party. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS were sung by all, and indeed we are the best ever ever that played this sport. Hala Madrid!!!

Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid Real Madrid

May 15, 2014

Barcelona revisited!

Well here it is, one more time passing by Barcelona, Spain. With all what is going on it was an eyeopener to come back here since 2011. For the tourist here is their webpage,  that you can see in English.  http://www.barcelonaturisme.com

I did my usual flight pattern from Nantes to Paris CDG to then Barcelona prats airport; nice modern airport in the outskirts actually in the town of El Prat de Llobregat . webpage here http://www.barcelona-airport.com/

I head it out listening to friends who ask me to try the public transport as I am always there by taxi. Well took the Aérobus from the airport to Plaça de Espanya, purchase the round trip for 10,20€ payable to the bus driver. webpage http://www.aerobusbcn.com/index.php/en.html

From here I went over to the metro line 3 to get to my hotel near Maria Cristina stop. The metro was sweaty very hot day and it shows, I thought I was going to be on a fast diet from the sweat. However, it is clean nice ride for a Sunday! The organism that handles the metro or bus is TMB, webpage at http://www.tmb.cat/en/home

I ,then ,walk to my hotel the Princesa Sofia (old Intercontinental hotel) ,now this was great. A heaven to come to every day and see the city in style. webpage http://www.princesasofia.com/en/index.jsp

I took a room in the 3rd floor, nice clean, good views of the front entrance and Ave Diagonal, just what the doctor ordered when you arrive from going around this public transportation trip! There is a nice pool, and Biergarten bar for a cold beer when needed. Also,a Spa and gym that is nice but little time to use it. The breakfast were great and plentyful, and the restaurant nice and friendly staff.

While there , did not wanted to eat at a hotel restaurant thus, so we had a discussion with the concierge, and finally decided to go to the La Fonda del Port, http://www.lafondadelport.com/  ;which of course is at the harbor of Barcelona, and plenty of seafood and tapas. We had a great time there. However, we finish early and not about to end the night, so we went to the Casino de Barcelona, for a look at slots machines that I did go last back in Atlantic City ,New Jersey ,USA!!! The casino is nearby at the Port Olympic, but we took a taxi to get here for about 15 euros. Webpage here http://www.casino-barcelona.com/en/

We went around checking out all the machines, and table games, the restaurant /bar in lower level, and finally went out into our night searching for more thrills and events;;;;; walking around it we cave in to a wonderful place where you go down a stair of tall wooden men like Egyptian or Indian statues into the lower floor , tables and couch awaits you ,where you can take off your shoes and go into a sofa style bedding/table awaits for your drinks and be merry life full ahead, massages available extra.

We stumbled into the Carpe Diem Lounge Club describe above or the CDLC, a wonderful place Worth coming back for it. Portos away and classy beautiful sights and looks. http://www.cdlcbarcelona.com/carpe-diem-lounge-club

We came very late of course, but had a great time and a nice hotel bed to rest on. Next day we set out into town again, this time we walk past Gran Via de Carles III then the Rambla Brasil and turning into Carrer Sants we end up in a nice Basque restaurant call Txalaparta. This is like been back in basque country with great Basque cider and Navarra wine of Monjardin red with a wonderful tuna steak with red peppers and a nice crema catalana dessert.  The resto name is a Basque music instrument that after making cider, the same board was used to pressed the apples later was to call the neighbors. Then, a celebration was held and txalaparta played cheerfully, while cider was drunk. This place had no music but it was definitely nice and loud, good food and plenty of good cheers. webpage http://www.restaurantetxalaparta.com/

In between time was allowed to walk around Montjuic plenty of wonderful buildings and great people watching. At my return, took the same metro line 3 to plaça Espanya and there in a middle bay took the aérobus to the airport at Prats. My flight was great to Paris CDG on AF of course,and then on to Nantes, where my car was waiting at P2 and the ride home arriving by midnight. Another nice short trip but full of memories and old and new friends.

Barcelona will be revisited again if all stays the same. Cheers

Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona Barcelona

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