i remember when i have just arrived in Singapore back in 2007, the first country i visited outside of Singapore was Macau. but i had to wait until February of 2008 to do this. i considered it my sneak preview to Europe since i haven’t been anywhere in Europe at the time.
i went to Macau with my friend, Jen because she wanted to jump off the Macau Tower. she was convincing me to do it with her then but i told her i was saving my money for shopping in Hong Kong. that was just an excuse because i was a bit scared to do it then. and still scared to do it up to now. jumping off buildings is not really my thing.
i wouldn’t want to hang off the side of tall towers either… jumping off city towers is just not my style
Since hubby was on a short business trip to Hong Kong, we took the opportunity to take a mini-break together and visit some interesting sites both in HK and in Macau.
Our room at Lan Kwai Fong hotel, it was quite old and maybe a bit dusty but it was very central and the staff were nice and spoke good English.
this is our view from the hotel
It was hubby’s first time to visit both countries, while this is already the second time for me. Our hotel was very central, located in-between Sheung Wan and Central MTR stations, and within walking distance to the Ferry Port.
this Romanesque architecture of one of the churches in Toledo reminded me so much of the Basilica de St Sernin in Toulouse
i wanted to visit Madrid first of all, to see a friend from Singapore who was having a grand European tour. it was so nice to see her again after a long time. we had such fun catching up, soaking in the sights and sampling the gastronomic Castillian delights.
Please do not use my photos without permission (even the watermarked ones). If you wish to avail of my non-watermarked images, you may contact me for a copy. See my Contact page for details. As promised, I went to visit the historical places in Madrid that has to do with Jose Rizal. Before going there, I have printed this useful file that you can get from the web site of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid.
I tried to contact the historian Jaime Marco, the author of this document to know more about it. He was quite friendly and willing to meet and tour me around. Unfortunately, he’s only available during the weekend, and my trip schedule fell on weekdays.
I was able to see most of the places in the list in such a short time because they were mostly located close to each other.
It’s nice to have a Metro Station in Madrid named after the Philippines
First off, I went to Avenida de las Islas de Filipinas to see Jose Rizal’s statue. This statue is just like the one that we have in Luneta (Rizal Park) in the Philippines, only smaller.
(please refrain from using my pictures without my permission)
even before living in France, i have always wanted to visit Rocamadour. i have first read about it in a book called, Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong. and the way the author described how wonderful a place it is made me put it in my list of must-visits.
for non-french speakers: photo captions are in english.
il faisait très beau le weekend dernier. pour profiter le soleil, on a décidé d’aller à Lourdes.
je ne suis pas très catholique mais je trouve les vieux architectures comme les vieilles basiliques et cathédrales vraiment intéressants. et il faut profiter le reste de temps que je suis encore ici dans le sud de la France pour visiter tous les beaux endroits.
en route, dans la voiture, on avait la vue magnifique de la chaine des Pyrénées. ils sont plus magnifiques dans l’hiver avec les glaces partout.
approaching the ice-capped mountains of the Pyrenees
if you are ever in Paris, take the time to visit Shakespeare and Company. It’s a really old bookshop along the Seine, right beside the Notre Dame. It was frequented by a lot of famous writers back in the day. If visiting old bookshops is your thing, you wouldn’t want to miss this one.
View of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral from a park right beside Shakespeare and Company; couldn’t resist taking this pic because it’s so beautiful in this golden winter light.
I was able to drop by when I visited Paris for the second time. All the books inside were English books ranging from the classics to the contemporary. But when you go up the old rickety stairs to the premier étage, you are transported back in time as you find yourself surrounded by old, dusty, hard-bound books, complete with cozy nooks that temptingly invite you to sit down and read. These books are not for sale though.
Please do not use my photos without permission (even the watermarked ones). If you wish to avail of my non-watermarked images, you may contact me for a copy. See my Contact page for details. Followingthis blog post, I have made a promise to retrace Jose Rizal‘s footsteps here in France. And just last week, I have had the most delightful occasion to visit Paris with my husband. Luckily enough, the apartment of our friend, who accommodated us was just a few blocks away from Jose Rizal’s traces.
For those who are not familiar with Jose Rizal, he is a Philippine National Hero. He was a great influence in the history of Philippine Independence from 333 years of Spanish rule. I am not quite sure what a National Hero (as proclaimed by the Americans during their occupation of the Philippines) really means, but I mostly like him because he is quite an intriguing and fascinating person.
Jose Rizal was a doctor, a writer, an artist, and above all, for me, an indefatigable traveler. During his time, which was in the late 19th century, he traveled to Europe for his medical studies. He was particulary in Paris for a few months from 1885-86 for his apprenticeship in opthalmology under Louis de Weckert, and then again later on, to witness the World Exposition of 1889. It was during this year that the Eiffel Tower was completed. What a wonderful and romantic time to live in.
Anyway, back to the present… on our way to our friend’s apartment in the 10th arrondissement, we passed by Place Jose Rizal in the 9th arrondissement. I was quite disappointed to find that it was just a small island in the middle of the street with a couple of seats in it. But I was quite happy to be there and take pictures.
since my days in France or in Europe are soon going to end within a few months, i’ve decided to make a list of the places that i would like to visit here in France, and in Europe, if still possible.
i have included in my list some of the nearby places like Lourdes and Albi. the latter, we have already visited a couple of weeks ago to see the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec museum and the cathedral just beside.
entrance to the Toulouse-Lautrec museum in Albi
the museum was worth visiting because it contains a vast collection of his famous works, which were mostly donated by the Countess Adèle de Toulouse-Lautrec, the artist’s mother. and the garden outside, with the view of the Tarn river is just beautiful even with the bleak wintry landscape. i should try to go back in the spring, and with a real camera.