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Saturday, June 29, 2013

MAYON VOLCANO - 7 SIGHTS OF - THE PHILIPPINES - A WONDERFUL DESTINATION TO EXPLORE AWAY FROM THE BEATEN TRACK WITH CARLO DE LA CRUZ, THE ADVENTUROUS BLOGGER OF www.visa-freeworld.blogspot.com

The majestic Mayon Volcano with the 2006 lava flow
(The photos published on this post are of Carlo Dela Cruz, editor of www.visa-freeworld.blogspot.com and they are published with his consent)
Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, in the Bicol Region. The mountain and the area around is part of the Mayon Volcano Natural Park.
The locals named the volcano as "Bulkang Magayon", describing its perfect cone-shape, like the beauty of Daragang Magayon, the local heroine of a dramatic love story (click here to read more about it)
As time passed, the name "Magayon" was shortened and it became "Mayon". When the tip of the volcano is covered by clouds, old folks say that Panginorin (Magayon's love) is kissing Magayon, and afterwards, rain trickles caressingly down the gentle slopes of the volcano, with the insistence that it was the tears of Panginorin.

Cagsawa Ruins. The lone survivor of the town of Cagsawa during the 1814 eruption of the Volcano

I am really proud to host these wonderful photos made by Juan Carlo Dela Cruz, a great photographer and blogger. I recommend to visit his adventurous blog visa-freeworld.blogspot.com and follow his travels!
From Philippines to Singapore, from Vietnam to Thailand, from US to Cambodia, Carlo explored many wonderful destinations, giving on his blog good practical advise for travelling and many amazing photos and stories to see and read. Thank you Carlo for these great photos and please keep travelling, we will follow you at www.visa-freeworld.blogspot.com.

ATV-ing the natural stream created by the Mayon Volcano eruption

ATV path going to the lava flow

Volcán Mayon, también conocido como el Monte Mayon, es un volcán activo en la isla de Luzón, en Filipinas, en la región de Bicol. La montaña y la zona que rodea es parte del Parque Natural Volcán Mayon.
Los lugareños llaman el volcán como "Bulkang Magayon", describiendo su perfecta forma cónica, como la belleza de Daragang Magayon, la heroína local de una dramática historia de amor (haga clic aquí para leer más sobre esto).
Con el tiempo, el nombre de "Magayon" se acortó y se convirtió en "Mayon". Cuando la punta del volcán está cubierto por las nubes, los viejos dicen que Panginorin (amor de Magayon) está besando Magayon, y después, la lluvia se escurre cariñosamente por las suaves laderas del volcán, con la insistencia de que era el llanto de Panginorin.


Another look at the 2006 lava flow
Estoy muy orgulloso de albergar estas maravillosas fotos hechas por Juan Carlo Dela Cruz, un gran fotógrafo y blogger. Recomiendo visitar su blog aventureros www.visa-freeworld.blogspot.com y seguir sus viajes!
Desde Filipinas a Singapur, de Vietnam a Tailandia, desde EE.UU. a Camboya, Carlo exploró muchos destinos maravillosos, dando en su blog buena consejos prácticos para viajar y muchas fotos increíbles e historias para ver y leer. Gracias Carlo para estas grandes fotos y por favor, seguir viajando, le seguirá en www.visa-freeworld.blogspot.com.

The volcano view from Embarcadero de Legazpi

Steaming soil from the foot of the Mayon Volcano
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

7 SIGHTS OF STOCKHOLM - EXPLORING THE VENICE OF THE NORTH AND ITS WONDERFUL SUMMER LIGHT IN THE CAPITAL OF SWEDEN

Crowned dragon on blue roof in Gamlastan

Stockholm is a city of colours. In the summer light.

Stockholm is also known as the Venice of the North, because it is build on dozens of islands now connected by scenic buildings and causeways.
It is a wonderful city to explore and it is a great enjoyment to visit it. From the elegant area of Gamlastan to the green island of Langholmen and trendy Sodermalm, Stockholm offers such a variety of buildings, styles and panoramas that to represent this city in 7 sights is a task nearly impossible to accomplish.

These photos celebrate the Nordic light of the Swedish capital during its long summer days.
When the night comes, Stockholm's streets are quiet and in the summer nights the monuments are majestically shining in the twilight.


As usual, I really hope you like my photos, I am already planning to publish 7 sights more!
  
What a sky! Evening in Stockholm

A boat tour of Stockholm is the best way to enjoy the city's sight-seeings.
Here the government house (Riksdagshuset)

Stockholm's elegant buildings shining in the evening light. The evening is the best time to take a boat tour of the city

Estocolmo también es conocida como la Venecia del Norte, ya que está construido en docenas de islas conectadas ahora por edificios pintorescos y calzadas.
Es una ciudad maravillosa para explorar y es un gran placer de visitar. Desde la elegante zona de Gamlastan a la isla verde de Langholmen y Södermalm, Estocolmo ofrece tal variedad de edificios, los estilos y los panoramas que representan a esta ciudad en 7 qué es una tarea casi imposible de lograr.

Estas fotos celebran la luz nórdica de la capital sueca durante los largos días de verano.
Cuando llega la noche, las calles de Estocolmo son tranquilas y en las noches de verano los monumentos están brillando majestuosamente en el crepúsculo.

Como de costumbre, realmente espero que te gusten mis fotos, ya estoy planeando publicar 7 qué más!

Game of light @ The Government House (Riksdagshuset) - Stockholm

One of the lions protecting the stairs of the Royal Palace


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

7 SIGHTS OF BUENOS AIRES - A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY IN A HOT SUNDAY MORNING, AFTERNOON AND EVENING IN THE ARGENTINIAN CAPITAL

In the quarter of San Telmo, in a Sunday afternoon, people dance in the square.
Tango, the art of Argentina, is actual as ever.
Walking in Buenos Aires in a hot Sunday is a very different way to visit the Argentinian capital.

Streets are deserted around Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, even along the main shopping street Avenida Florida only few tourists are wondering about.

It is actually not very safe to walk around Plaza de Mayo and Avenida Florida in a Sunday afternoon.

Because not many people are there you risk to become a perfect target for pick-pocketers and baby gangs.

What to do in a Sunday in Buenos Aires?

It is plenty to do in Buenos Aires in a Sunday.

Here some ideas for the morning, the afternoon and the evening.

What to do in a hot Sunday morning in Buenos Aires?

Start the day visiting in the morning Parque Tres de Febrero, in the elegant quarter of Palermo.

Parque Tres de Febrero is a beautiful park where locals practise some sport or just enjoy the quiet of its gardens.

In a Sunday morning the park will be crowded and lively. You can have a walk, rent a bike or just enjoy some street music along the shady avenues.

And if you want some quiet?

Just bring a book with you and sit for a while in the rosetum, enjoying the silence and the blue sky.

Parque Tres de Febrero, in the elegant quarter of Palermo, is a beautiful park where locals practise some sport or just enjoy the quiet of its gardens.
The beautiful rosetum in Parque Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires.


What do in a hot Sunday afternoon in Buenos Aires?


Head to the quarter of San Telmo and visit the famous San telmo flea market.


Starting from the old Cabildo (The City Hall building), a huge and lively flea-market will make your Sunday afternoon lively and special.

Along Avenida Defensa thousands of stalls are selling antiquities, artesan works, painting, clothes, old furniture, music instruments and much more.

The locals who remained in town are strolling leisurely in the narrow streets of the picturesque old quarter of San Telmo, browsing in the stalls of the huge flea market.

Music and tango dances make Plaza Dorego lively and you should absolutely stop for a drink there and to observe the many masterpieces of "filetados".

Fileteados  are the wonderful artistic drawing, with stylised lines and flowered, climbing plants, typical of Buenos Aires.

You will easily notice filetados on signs, taxis and buses. 

Skilled fileteadores work in San Telmo's Market and you should take time to observe them at work.

Alternatively you can look for one of the many stalls selling asado, the tasty Argentinian barbecued meat, maybe the best in the world.

Live traditional music in San Telmo's streets. All talks of music in a Sunday afternoon in Buenos  Aires
Fileteados -  The wonderful artistic drawing, with stylised lines and flowered, climbing plants, typical of Buenos Aires.
Signs, taxis and buses are adorned with fileteados. Skilled fileteadores work in San Telmo's Market.

A secondhand music instruments shop in San Telmo. There is somehow an armony in this window shop.

And finally, what do in a hot Sunday evening in Buenos Aires?

Head to Puerto Madero and enjoy some breeze and some good food.

Many Portenos, as the locals from Buenos Aires are called, in the evening go for a walk to the old docks of Buenos Aires at Puerto Madero.

The old docks of Puerto Madero has been recently and stilishly refurbished and now the old stores house the best restaurants and the most trendy bars in town.

And if you are looking for some great desig architecture don't miss the worldwide famous Santiago Calatrava's Masterpiece: The Ponte de la Mujer.

The white modern bridge connecting the two sides of the docks is a wonderful masterpiece of the Spanish Architect and the night comes, the lights make wonderful reflections on the water of the canals.   
Puerto Madero - The old docks of Buenos Aires are now a trendy area with bars and restaurants, where locals enjoy an afternoom walk, nice breeze from the sea and some good music.
The Calatrava's bridge Puente de la Mujer is one of the highlights of Puerto Madero.

At Sunset Puero Madero shines of thousands of light and it is the best time to visit this quarter of Buenos Aires.
In the photo an old military vessel now a navy museum you can visit during the day.

Hope you enjoy your visit in Buenos Aires and you enjoyed our photos.

Planning to travel to Buenos Aires?
You might want to read about Buenos Aires:
How to get to Argentina and Buenos Aires
Where to stay in Buenos Aires

Want to read more about Argentina?
You can read more about Argentina and some recommended itineraries for your journey on our "Visit Argentina" Page

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WHAT TO SEE IN RIO: 7 MORE PICS OF RIO DE JANEIRO AND A SHORT GUIDE TO RIO "HIGHLIGHTS"

Ipanema's sandy girls @ Ipanema sandy beach in Rio de Janeiro

Seven new sights of Rio de Janeiro. 

A wonderful city that impressed me for its beauty and its variety.

I deliberately added to the six sepia photos of Rio under a wonderful sun, the only one in colours taken inside Rio's Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, Edgar Fonseca's masterpiece. 

I believe that the contrast between the sepia photos and the one in colour of the inside of the Cathedral represents and celebrates very well the many beautiful contrasts of Rio de Janeiro that make this city so wonderful!

Coco's juice @ Ipanema beach
Rio de Janeiro is certianly an unmissable stop in every great world tour and certainly a city you should visit at least one time in your life.

Rio de Janeiro is a city in constant change and development in these days and it is something you should take in consideration before you plan your visit.

We published two different posts about Rio and we are already planning to publish more about this wonderful city.

Here you will find some tips about visiting Rio in the other post "7 sights of Rio #1 Part" you will find some more info for planning your visit in Rio de Janeiro.

Ipanema Beach - Rio de Janeiro
I. First thing in Rio visit the Cristo Redentor and enjoy the wonderful views from up there. It will help you to have a comprehensive idea of the city and decide what you want to visit.

II. If you have already seen Rio from the Cristo Redentor is not so much point to see it even from de Morro de Urca (Pao do Azuçar), use your time and money to see something different!

Waves @ Copacabana - R de J
III. Visit one of the Favelas of Rio with a no-profit organization. You will have a complete different idea and understanding of what a favela is and you will contribute to one of the local development projects!

IV. Spend a Saturday or a Sunday at Ipanema beach. Walk along the lively promenade, seat at one of the many beach bars, admire the sand sculptures and watch a football match on the beach!

Daily life near Favela de Rochinha - Rio de Janeiro
V. Visit the city center and see some great colonial architecture in Rio. Also visit the financial area and the modern and controversial, but certainly impressive, Metropolitan Cathedral. Visit the area only during business hours!

VI. Enjoy a wonderful walk in the jungle in the center of Rio. Tijuca has the third largest urban forest in the world and is certainly a great places for a walk. Spot the local monkeys in the trees and remain always on the main path!

Light in the dark @ Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian 
VII. Take the metro to move around Rio. It is all considered the safer way of transport. Be careful when you come out from the metro stations, particularly after dark!

VIII. Visit the Museu Nacional de Bellas Artes. The building and beautiful and the collection of local contemporary Brasilian art is interesting as well.

Sunset at Ipanema

IX. Watch the sun set at Ipanema. Simply unmissable!

X. Visit Rio during the Carnival only, and I mean ONLY, if you are interested in the Carnival!

Sunset in the most glorious football pitch of the world @ Ipanema Beach - R de J

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Cathedral of Light - Visiting the model of Ken Follett's Kingsbridge Cathedral in The Pillars of Earth


The 4th dimension: reflections on the baptesimal font













Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most famous cathedrals in England and in Europe.

Salisbury Cathedral is famous for its beautiful gothic architecture, with its Britain's tallest spire.

Salisbury Cathedral is famous for its history: possessing the original Magna Carta in its Chapter House.

And it is famous for its religious importance: for over 750 years pilgrims have come to Salisbury from all over Europe.

The Cathedral Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, situated in England in the region of Wiltshire, an hour and a half by bus from Bournemouth low cost airport or from London Airports.

Salisbury Cathedral, its tower is the highest building in
Salisbury, a beautiful medieval town in the South of England
The Cathedral is considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture and we felt absolutely amazed, admiring this wonderful building both from the outside and inside.

We visited this church to discover what Ken Follett found so special in Salisbury's Cathedral to choose it for his bestseller The Pillars of Earth as one of the two models for his Kingsbridge Cathedral. (scroll down to continue reading)


Through the large windows the light exalts the wonderful gothic architecture of Salisbury Cathedral.
Note the fantastic effects of light on the ceiling.

Facade: game of lines #1 - Salisbury Cathedral 


Salisbury Cathedral is situated in the centre of the historic city of Salisbury.

The actual city was not established until 1220.

The first Salisbury Cathedral was built on the hill by St Bishop Osmund between 1075 and 1092. A larger building was built on the same site circa 1120. However, deteriorating relations between the clergy and the military at Old Sarum led to the decision to re-site the cathedral elsewhere.

Salisbury Cathedral was founded on a great meadow called 'Myrifield' and today the Cathedral is till surrounded by a large green and protective walls that enclose all the religious complex.

So the Cathedral of Salisbury today, although it is situated in the town center is surrounded by the countryside (if you visit the Cathedral take time to do the walk along the river to enjoy wonderful views of the Cathedral).


Facade: game of lines #2 - Salisbury Cathedral
It is special to admire the Cathedral from outside and it is as much amazing to visit it inside.


What makes the Cathedral of Salisbury so special inside?

We found the Cathedral Fountain a wonderful feature of this church.

As you see in the photos of this post the font developed from a square footprint, cruciform in shape, create a fourth dimension in the architecture of the Cathedral, we think is amazing and we absolutely recommend you to take time to admire it!

It's that all?

No!

Admire the oldest clock in the world!


Salisbury Cathedral - Interior
The Salisbury cathedral clock dates about AD 1386.

The clock has no face because all clocks of that date rang out the hours on a bell. 

Even more amazingly the clock was discovered in 1929, in an attic of the cathedral. 

It was repaired and restored to working order in 1956. 

That's all?

No again!

Admire the stained windows, the pillars, the ceiling, the statues and you will feel back in Middle Age or maybe in the best chapters of Ken Follett's The Pillars of Earth.

Do you want to visit the other model of Ken Follett's Kingsbridge Cathedral in The Pillars of Earth?
Visit Bath Cathedral and you can continue your travel on The Pillars of Earth. Click here to visit Bath Cathedral.

Are you planning your travel in Great Britain?
Visit our pages Visit England and Visit Scotland to plan your journey.

Are you interested to visit more wonderful Cathedrals in the world?




The knight's rest - Salisbury Cathedral - (Eternal in this light!)



Visit Bath Cathedral and you can continue your travel on Ken Follet's The Pillars of Earth. Click here to visit Bath Cathedral.

Are you planning your travel in Great Britain?
Visit our pages Visit England and Visit Scotland to plan your journey.

Are you interested to visit more wonderful Cathedrals in the world?
We recommend Nantes Cathedral! Click here to visit Nantes Cathedral