All posts tagged: europe

A Rainy Day in Athens

“How often does it storm here in Athens?” my boyfriend asks our tour guide as he drives in the pouring rain at 7:30 in the morning. “Quite often,” he says. We look at each other, then our gazes turn to the cruise ship, which was then being swayed back and forth by the wind, as we passed by the port, with our guide telling us this was one of two major ports in Athens. It was at that point seeming more like a monsoon than just rain. I give my boyfriend one more uneasy look, thinking, are we sure we want to do this today, i.e. are we going to drown in Greece? But we’re in Athens, and we were determined to make the most of it. Seemingly unaware of our doubts, our tour guide tells us, by then around 8 am, that he was going to drive us directly to the Acropolis. First thing in the morning, he says, is the best time to go, for us to beat the crowd. We drive a …

Venice, a Wish Granted

I have always dreamt of going to Venice. I imagined being on a gondola, with the quintessential gondolier wearing the black and white striped shirt, me quietly sitting and taking in the views of the great city. So when I had the chance to go last year, it was a great blessing that my boyfriend could share the experience with me. Not only was he there, he was the one who made sure I got my unforgettable gondola experience. Getting what you’ve always wanted, wished for and dreamt of, after all, is not as sweet an experience as when shared with those who matter the most to you.

Wall of Wishes

I think it is in the Max Ehrmann poem Desiderata where he says, “therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.” There are 7 billion people in the world, all with their own dreams and wishes; each praying to their gods as dictated by their beliefs. Some believe in no god, and yet in their hearts are whispers of their hopes and aspirations. I was raised Catholic. Born in the Philippines, an almost 80% Catholic country, I grew up believing in all things that came with this faith. So during our most recent trip out of the States in November of last year, it felt almost surreal to be stepping foot at what was believed to have been the Virgin Mary’s House. In Catholic school growing up, every October we used to have rosary month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and I remember saying a lot of Hail Mary’s, with “pray for us” being …

Best Gelato: Dubrovnik, Croatia

I have written about the best ice cream I’ve had, so I thought this time I’d write about the best gelato. For this, we’d have to go to Croatia. I remember walking into the gates of Old Town in Dubrovnik and seeing everyone walking around holding ice cream cones. Being a marketer, I can attest that there isn’t any better advertisement one can ask for than that. That day, my boyfriend was not feeling too well and I told him, feeling envy towards the cone holders, that gelato will make everything feel better. Little did we know that we will be eating the best ones we’ve had. I approached the vendor with the flavors piled high displayed in the glass case and asked for the cones and bought chocolate for him, chocolate chip for me. We sat down by the fountain and started eating — I have said in my ice cream post that I microwave my ice cream when at home to get to my desired consistency, and this was just perfect, no microwave …

Candid at Bodrum Castle, Turkey

What do people see in us during our most unguarded moments? When we allow ourselves to just be, at our most free, one with our truth, stripped to our core, unpretentious, alone with our own thoughts, most honest, most vulnerable? Above photos taken by MW, in Bodrum, Turkey, November 2013. We found Bodrum interesting. There wasn’t as much to explore compared to the other destinations we were to go on the cruise we were in at the time, so we spent most of the day at Bodrum Castle, looking out at the beautiful, pristine water beneath and exploring the castle itself. On our way back to the ship, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant looking out at the water. The food wasn’t as memorable as our meals from other stops so there isn’t much to tell there, but the view is definitely worth sharing. Perhaps one of the most memorable things about Bodrum for me was the walk from the ship to the castle, where we found the coolest-shaped ATM ever. We really find …

On Skyscrapers, and My Visit to the Eiffel Tower

There was a time when one of the manifestations of man’s search for greatness was how tall he can go with his structures. Not accepting defeat after one skyscraper from another side of the world dares go up, there was this unrelenting drive to prove that it is he who can reach closer to the sky and stand tallest — perhaps brought by the technological discoveries of the time, the sprouting of the then great minds in architecture and engineering, in the case of real estate it was a need, and in some cases purely competition. During my trip to Paris, one of the highlights was visiting Eiffel Tower, knowing that although not tall in today’s standards, it was at a time the tallest man-made structure in the world. The best part about the structure for me personally though was being able to see Paris from the top of it, and it was a beautiful sight. (Whenever my travels take me to a skyscraper nowadays, I can’t help but ask the question, how much higher …