Time is just never right. go pack, and keep on walking.

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Athens’ Kiss

I understand it was hot summer night. Athens hit more 35 degrees at that time. and certainly the weather was not the only thing that got fired up…

Roman Agora, just at the foot of Acropolis, my friends and I were having dinner (nice dinner)(and quite cheap, less than 10 euros/pp) and the night crawled to be hotter and hotter…want to scream “hey, it’s respected ancient site! get a room!” but maybe they were just carried away by Aphrodite? not their fault I wasn’t with my guy rite?

And the Aphrodite seems to be coming in multiple…

flamenco, ola!

What is Spain?

-The Men

-Tapas

-Football

-Gaudi

-Ibiza

-Flamenco!

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Those are lists to do in Spain, and of course I didn’t want to miss during my visit in summer 2009. From Gaudi everywhere in Barcelona, getting robbed in Madrid, partying in Ibiza island, down to southern part passing Seville and ended up in Granada to whisper salam to Alhambra..and of course cold sangria while watching Flamenco in Albaycin area!

I’ve seen flamenco once before, more to Seville style, and watching the one in Granada brought more intense feeling to me. Hard stomping feet, the guitar, the singing..

we got scolded by an old mother dancer – who seemed to be the pack leader – for recording the dance. well, I snooped a bit though *grin*.

The excitement was not only the show, but we also watched it in a cave! there are some flamenco shows in the city, but I chose this traditional one, with big influence of Moorish era and located in Albaycin hill, 30 minute drive from city centre, and you can see the Granada city and Alhambra lying there beneath. Awesome show, awesome crowd, awesome view! Mesmerized and hypnotized, couldn’t get my eyes off them, swirl, spin in flamenco dress and carried away by sad then upbeat rhytm and almost forgot our sangria….

nothing such a free toilet on la fête nationale

commemorating  la fête nationale - just like independence day of France Republic every 14 july. People would flock to Eiffel Tower since in the afternoon and don’t expect to get ‘great seats’ if you come there by evening.

These pictures were taken on 14 July 2009 during 120th year celebration of Eiffel Tower.

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My friends and I, we gathered by Arc de Triomphe and marched ourselves to Champs de Mars and settled there. We enjoyed Read the rest of this page »

la boqueria

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Tempat yang gak boleh dilewatkan di Barcelona, apalagi ketika lewat La Rambla, yaitu Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria alias La Boqueria  – adalah sebuah pasar yang isinya ya kayak pasar biasa, dari daging, seafood, bumbu dapur, buah, bunga (banyak banget tukang bunga disini, juga di sepanjang La Rambla), dan juga di dalam nya ada beberapa kafe kecil tempat sarapan yang selalu rame.  Berhubung gue dapet sarapan di hostel jadi gue mampir untuk ngemil tapas di sini hanya di siang atau sore hari aja. La Boqueria ini pas banget deket dengan metro Liceu, next to the street of my hostel, jadi paling pas setelah mampir disini terus bawa makanannya baru naik metro.

Walaupun cuma sekedar pasar, tapi La Boqueria ini gak bau, gak kotor, malah resik dan apik banget, dan malah jadi tempat turis. Gue aja sadar bahwa ini salah satu pusat kunjungan turis malah setelah pulang, terus nonton acara-acara travel, kenapa selalu ada pasar ini ya hehehehehe.

Jadi, yuk kita sarapan disana, drinking cafe con leche lanjut dengan olive tapas, terus beli candies warna-warni atu jus kiwi, dan langsung berangkat ke pantai!


Dikejar Dracula di La Rambla

La Rambla ini memang jalanan paling hip se Barcelona, apalagi buat backpacker cekak kayak gue ini. Dari hostel-hostel murah 18 Euro semalam, sampai hotel-hotel berbintang seperti Le Meridien juga ada. Dari restoran keren sampe makanan kaki lima juga banyak.

Kenapa gue memutuskan tinggal di sini adalah karena banyak hostel backpacker (sebagai anggota hostelling international, gak mau rugi!), banyak makanan murah, dan dekat kemana-mana. Ke metro deket banget, ke pusat info turis deket, ke pasar La Bouqueria deket, ke Placa Catalunya juga deket (tempat bus ke airport, dan bus-bus lain), jalan kaki ke Passeig Gracia, terus lanjut ke Sagrada Familia juga bisa, dan yang paling penting, tinggal jalan kaki ke Barcelonetta! Berhubung lagi summer, pemandangan cewek-cewek berbikini dengan rok pendek atau cowok-cowok topless dan cuma bawa handuk jadi hal biasa!

Yang lebih seru adalah happening art yang ada di sepanjang jalan yang membentang sejauh 1.2 km antara Barri Gotic dan El Raval, menghubungkan Placa Catalunya dengan monumen Columbus.

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Summer, adalah saat paling oke jalan-jalan disitu, sekaligus saat-saat yang mengkhawatirkan karena banyak banget turis dan backpacker yang tumplek blek di jalan yang sama, baik di La Rambla dan juga di jalan-jalan kecil yang banyak itu seperti Carre de Lleona, Carre Nou de la Rambla, Carre Fontanella, Carrer de l’Hospital (tempat dimana hostel gue berada), dan masih banyak jalan-jalan kecil lainnya yang pastinya memuat lebih banyak hotel dan hostel!

Belum lagi mereka keluar di saat yang bersamaan untuk makan, ngopi, ngeceng, shopping, pastinya harus berhati-hati sama copet dooong. Selain baek-baek pake tas selempang (dan pastikan resleting nya di depan, bukan di selempangin ke belakang), baek-beek megang kamera, harus baek-baek juga ketika lewat para artist yang sibuk acting dengan baju-bajuan ala batman, dracula, peri, etc. Mereka sibuk berdandan di pagi hari untuk kemudian goes to work at 11 am. Tentunya mereka berpose begitu bukan untuk sekedar iseng dan hobi, tapi minta duit ya…Jadi kalau kebetulan ‘nonton’ mereka beraksi dan motret mereka  dari dekat banget, siap-siap lah ngelempar 1 euro ke topi atau kaleng uang mereka. Gue sendiri males nonton dari dekat, jadi ngambil fotonya pun diam-diam:p

Tinggal di area itu selama beberapa hari, jadinya rasa surprise melihat happening art nya pun sedikit memudar nggak kayak pas di hari pertama. Tapi dasar manusia dengan rasa ingin tahu, tetep aja pingin ngintip kalau ada kerumunan dan mulai memotret kerumunan, eh ternyatatiba-tiba kerumunan terbuka lebar dan jerit bareng-bareng, dan tinggal lah gue di tengah-tengah yang terbengong-bengong ngeliat drakula keluar dari peti. yang gue lakukan?kaboooor sambil tentunya dikejer oleh sang drakula di belakang!

one summer in barcelona

my second city after Paris. lovely city, lovely weather (in summer:p), gorgeous old buildings, sexy people, sexy language (besides spanish, they have their own castillian language – which is very different to spanish), humping night lives,  blue sky (again, in nice lovely summer), vibrant artsy city with great football team! hoorah! :-D

one summer day in 2009 after plunging my self in the beach, and hanging out drinking cold wine and munching tapas on the La Ramblas, watching people go by before my paella dinner. Across the street is a very beautiful girl painted by artist on the street…

Visca Barca!

Since tomorrow is big day of Champion League’s final between FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United, I re-open my old photos….

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I visited Camp Nou, home of FCB in Barcelona, summer 2009, after they successfully had treble winning (and Champion League!). So excited since it’ my favorite club (besides Milan), so getting into the stadium is like a soccer pilgrim! All the games were over so not so many people around, but I got to see the megastore (bought myself the scarf and shot glass. wanted to buy the Messi shirt for my brother but I remember I had him Italian team shirt last year and this almost 100 euro shirt, better I use it for something else (which I regret  by now).

Will be back to Camp Nou someday to watch the game live, hopefully in the classicos against Madrid!

Good luck for tomorrow team, Visca Barca!

let’s fall in love!

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City of lights, city of love. PDA is not a taboo, so you can catch couples kissing everywhere, in the streets, graffiti on Eiffel Tower walls, and I happened to witness a couple having a pre-wed photo at Trocadero Park, just across the Eiffel Tower!

woman on top!

You’re not in France when you haven’t visited Eiffel Tower. So many tourists flock this place, so you have to arrange the best time to go up. Certainly not in winter! I managed to survive the super long queue in hot hot summer day (1 hour to get to ticket office, another 30 minutes to queue for the elevator to 2nd level (being acrophobic I didn’t get the stairs, of course!), and almost another 1 hour to get to the sommet or the peak of Eiffel Tower. It was 33 degrees celcius, and I almost froze during the queue since the wind was enormous up there!

But the wait was worth it. Hours line plus some stairs later climbing La Dame de Fer. So here I was, woman on top, on top of tallest structure in Paris – 324 meter high up, sipping coffee (that didn’t stay hot for very long), trying to combat my fear of height behind this bar….

liberté, égalité, fraternité

French fondamental values : liberté, égalité, fraternité – I found it just right on top of the Hotel Dieu, next to Notre Dame. Hotel Diieu itself is a hospital, which served the prisoners at La Conciergerie (where Marie Antoinette was prisoned before guilllotined). Considering it has Palais de Justice also in the quarter, so most important things happened there I guess, the trial, prison, and hospital. Can’t ask for more facilities, at that century!

something silly was said by my ex at that time when we passed palais de justice, thanks to the “liberté, égalité, fraternité” thing, I might want to familiarise my self with the French system so I’d know where to go when I want to report on any ‘inconvenience’, some discrimination, by men or others.  well, he was a jerk and i didn’t bother going there anyway. By the way, with DSK-case that just happened recently, turns out sexual harrasment is still issues fro women in France, especially those done by powerful men, and at work! So much for freedom, equality and brotherhood :-)

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