Euro Trip 2018 Highlights: Greece (and Turkey)

My dream to visit my “dream” continent, Europe, was planted in my heart I think a decade ago. Since then, I’ve been there three times — in three consecutive years nonetheless! God, indeed, is faithful!!! 🙂

In 2016, I traveled to my ultimate dream destination, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (with a bonus trip to the Republic of Ireland).

In 2017, I was privileged to visit Central/parts of Eastern Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria), and I knew then that I wanted to see more of the EU!!

This year, 2018, I went on a Greco-Roman adventure — fulfilling my dream to visit the heart of my Catholic faith: The Vatican ❤

It has been a little over a month (time flies fast!) since I came back from this memorable experience. I have a feeling that my next Euro trip won’t be as soon as the previous ones (priorities are changing! *ehem, ehem*), but I’ll definitely be back! Europe is such a great continent, and one of the things I love about it is that each region offers a different experience!

And since I know it’ll take some time before I get to explore another European region (Nordic countries, anyone? Haha!), allow me to relive and savor my latest adventure through this photo blog.

For this Greco-Roman adventure, I went to Greece, a side trip to Turkey, then on to Italy and the Vatican.

So, where exactly did I go in the “Greco” part of this adventure? 😉

GREECE

Athens

-where I saw remnants of Classical Greece and then some

Parthenon

Theater of Dionysus

original modern Olympic stadium

Delphi

-where I was transported back to the time of Greece’s ancient civilization

en route the Oracle of Delphi

it was raining, but that definitely didn’t stop us from exploring this historical place!

Meteora

-where God allowed me to once again be amazed by His natural creations

at a monastery on a hill

Mykonos

-my favorite part of Greece! I want to go back here with the love of my life, hehehe 😉

with the famous windmills at the back

at the famous Little Venice

Patmos

-where I saw the cave where St. John wrote the book of Revelation (no photo, though, because it wasn’t allowed! More info here)

Crete

-where I learned about the ancient Minoans (even the Parthenon was built at least after a century since the Minoan civilization!)

Santorini

-another dream come true — totally felt like a part of the cast of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” haha 😛

one of the blue domes of the Greek Orthodox churches

“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3,” anyone? Haha! (Shout-out to my friends Nicole, Tanya, and Bec!)

TURKEY

Kusadasi

-where I think Aladdin got his magic carpet! CHAAAR haha

handmade carpets being sold by Mr. George Clooney look alike!

Ephesus

-where I walked on the same grounds as St. Paul when he was preaching to — you guessed it — the Ephesians!

ruins of the library of Celsus

AND THAT’S A WRAP!!!

Next stop on this photo blog series: ITALY! Ciao!

Euro Trip 2017: Imperial Highlights

Time to take a break from all the #hugot posts you’ve seen and read on my blog! I’M BACK, FRIENDS!!! Back to my beloved Manila. Back to reality. Back to my travel-loving single self (MWAHAHAHAHAHA!). And most especially, back to my own kaloka and unapologetic blog writing style! That was evident in my posts from early 2012 and before! Love it, then thank you! Hate it, I. don’t. care! 😛

So what’s the topic for this one? If it wasn’t obvious enough, well, I’ll spell it out to you: E-U-R-O-P-E. Yes! Two years in a row! Even I was amazed at God’s provisions in my life despite the setback I’ve encountered later last year/earlier this year. After my UK-Ireland trip last year, I thought I’d be seeing Europe again in, say, five years? But no, obviously, God’s plans are always better and THIS TRIP was just another testament to that! I’m claiming, though, that my third Euro trip will already be my honeymoon! So future husband, you better be reading! I want to go to France and Italy for that! Don’t worry, I don’t expect it to be next year (but who knows?! haha). I won’t even expect it the following year. In that year though, I’m claiming that I’ll be in Panama for World Youth Day 2019! Maybe you can come along? Haha! 😉 After that, then I think I can start to think about settling down. “Start” being the operative word! Char!

Rambling aside (serious muna ulit!), I went to Central/Eastern Europe — the “heart” of Europe they say because this region used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Not just a kingdom, but an EMPIRE!!! Did you know that the last “empire” remaining now is Japan? I went there, too, in June, and I’ve yet to write about it! Hehe! Anyway, this entry will serve as a “teaser” of what you can expect to read and see on this blog in the next few months. Since pictures paint a thousand words, I’ll let them do the “talking” for me for now until I can finally write separate blog entries for each country. In summary, I traveled with two of my sisters in a tour group to the following countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

GERMANY

Munich

Regensburg

Bavarian Alps /
(Adolf Hitler’s) Eagle’s Nest

Berchtesgaden

CZECH REPUBLIC

Prague

SLOVAKIA

Bratislava

HUNGARY

Budapest /
The Danube River

Szentendre

Gyor

AUSTRIA

Vienna

Salzburg

To be honest, my pictures don’t really do justice to the actual beauty of each place we visited. And that’s what I’ll try to capture through my words in the coming blog entries. Until then! ❤

The UK & I

Believe it or not, I started drafting a blog post about my “future” dream trip to the UK waaay back in 2011. Back then, it was blank (how could I write? I haven’t even been there yet!) and it was titled “It’s been a long time coming…” Haha. It’s not surprising, though, because as early as age 7, I’ve already dreamed of going to the UK. Some dream of having the ultimate Euro trip (traveling to countries covered by the Schengen visa), but me, though I still want to do that, my priority has always been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through and through! So if you’re wondering why I spent almost half a month in the UK (to be honest, bitin pa nga!) and didn’t go to other European countries (with the exception of the Republic of Ireland), then obviously we’re not really close. Wahahahaha! Simply put that those who really know me know that the UK has always been the apple of my “travel” eye and if there’s anyone who deserves to go there, that’s me! me!! me!!! Pag-agawan na ng iba ang France, Spain, etc. Basta ang UK, sa’kin at sa’kin lamang!!! Lakas lang maka-#Brexit noh?! Mwahahahahaha! But yes, as early as age 7, I claimed it, then I finally went, and I sure as heck “conquered” not just the United Kingdom, but also Ireland! This is the very draft I started almost five years ago, and I’m so happy I’m now finally able to click “publish”!!! 😀

So the UK and I. The “I” can literally mean ME, but it can also refer to “Ireland.” 😛 You see, waaay back in history (even before Magellan landed in the Philippines! Haha!), there was no United Kingdom — they were “divided” kingdoms. Back then, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were all independent states (or “kingdoms,” headed by monarchs). I’m not going to lecture you about their history per se, but let’s just say that somewhere along the way, the four became “united” into one country — hence the United Kingdom. BUT somewhere along the way again, Ireland became divided, and so now there’s Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK; Belfast is its capital) and there’s the Republic of Ireland (which is an independent country and requires a different visa; Dublin is its capital).

So technically, I’ve been to only two countries: the UK and Ireland. But trust me, if you’ve been there, you can easily distinguish the different characteristics of each “kingdom” that it’s not fair to write about the UK as a single country. (Plus! A week after I left, #Brexit happened. Go figure.) 😉

Now that you know that, you can further understand why I’ll be writing about England, Scotland, and Ireland separately — and why I still have more reasons to go back: I still haven’t been to Northern Ireland and Wales! Told yah, half a month wasn’t enough for the UK alone! Tapos ine-expect pa ng iba diyan na pumunta ako sa ibang European countries?! Kayo kaya ang pumunta at gumastos! ‘Nuff said. Haha!

Anywaaay, here’s a summary of the things you’ll be reading on this blog in the next few months (monthsss talaga! HA HA HA):

The UK & I

June 2016. Buckingham Palace, London, England, UK

ENGLAND

London

Big Ben

Did you know that this is actually called the Elizabeth Tower (prior to 2012, the Clock Tower)? Big Ben refers to the bell of the clock but not the tower itself.

York

Yorkminster

Trivia: some scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot here at Yorkminster!

Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's grave

That’s the grave of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers of all time lang naman. 😛

Oxford

Christchurch

Two words: OXFORD UNIVERSITY.

Wiltshire

Stonehenge

One UNESCO World Heritage Site off my bucket list, more to gooo! #Stonehenge

Bath

Bath

One of the Roman baths (guess you know where the place’s name came from! haha).

SCOTLAND

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Mary, Queen of Scots sure was lucky to have this view when she was still alive!

Glencoe (the Scottish Highlands)

Glencoe (the Scottish Highlands)

One word: BREATHTAKING! (This was also where we passed to go to Loch Ness…)

IRELAND

Dublin

Dublin Castle

Look, it’s the Dublin Castle! Hehehe!

The Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Ever heard of the lyrics, “where the fields are green, to see you once again… #mylove”??? THEY WERE RIGHT! Hahaha!

And this was just a teaser, so stay tuned for more!
Besides, when it comes to the UK and me, mahaba-habang usapan lagi yun noh!!!

Mika xx