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I am a Filipina living in France.  Because of my husband’s job, we get the chance to travel and live in different places principally in western Europe.  And even without a job, the travelling bug in us takes us into exploring other places, living away from home more often than staying in our own home in France.  Through our travels, I get to experience a lot of things – sometimes funny, sometimes frustrating, sometimes mind-blowing, because this continent, despite being a very expensive place, is amazingly steep in culture and history.  It is very beautiful as well!

My other passion, besides traveling, is  photography.  I have accumulated gazillions of them – all taken of my travels – and the time has come that they must see the light. 

My photos and my stories make up this website.  It is my pleasure to share them with you.  Enjoy reading! 


24 thoughts on “Blog”

  1. Hi,

    We met August 22 at the Dusit Hotel, I was seated next to you during lunch (ako yung papunta Vietnam)

    Hope you got to your destination safely, I had to rebook myself via my travel agent as i could not rely on Cathay Pacific and wait for them otherwise baka monday na ako maka alis. So i cancelled my ticket with them and took a thai airway ticket to Hanoi via bangkok mas mahal nga lang ng 300 USD…..

    Nice site i enjoyed viewing it and reading the stories… keep it up… hope i can get to see Europe soon

    Andoy

  2. Hi

    I’m the one you had lunch with and Andoy was the guy sitting next to us. What happened to you? Never saw you after lunch. I got out Saturday night on a Qantas flight Mla-Sydney-Perth. In the end I had to throw a hissy fit for those Cathay Pacific reps to act. They were absolutely useless….

    Nice site . Will be checking this regularly now….

    Cheers
    Doris

  3. Hello Andoy and Doris

    Wow! What a big surprise that you really searched this site! Thanks for the kind compliments…I actually have a huge backlog of articles to post here so watch out for my updates.

    I finally left Dusit Hotel Monday morning to catch a KLM flight to Amsterdam. Indeed it was a nightmare being stranded for 3 days – and I was getting fed up of hotel food. The pool is awesome though. It kept me from getting bored plus of course, the regular walks in the airconditioned comfort of Glorietta Mall!

    I was wondering what happened to both of you because I didn’t see you anymore after that lunch. For the next two days, everybody was hanging around the lobby but all they (CX staff) could tell us was that “they are trying their best”. The real protest started on Sunday when we demanded that a high official come to the hotel as we were getting fed up dealing with “young girls and boys”. And so the manager came that Sunday and that started the gradual mobilisation of the passengers. First, all the HK bound were able to get out the country, then the Mid-East bound and so on and so forth. That evening, 34 Europe-bound passengers got confirmation and I was the first one to be called, hurray! As of Monday, both the U.S. and Canada-bound were still uncertain to leave. I wonder if they are still in the hotel as I type???

    Oh..we were put on Business Class so we were able to stretch our legs and dine on nice china and cutlery…but despite all these treats, it was no doubt a very unpleasant experience!

  4. Dear Maria,

    I had a great time reading your posts. It was trully enjoyable! I got the chance to live in France for 3 Months, a short time, but nonetheless gave me a glimpse as to how Europe is really so much different from the USA. I am looking forward to more of your Adventures!

    Regards,

    Vic

  5. Hi Mariadams-
    i am from Melbourne Aust. and i have been reading your post in
    Pinoy Exchange (a Pinay in Europe). I really enjoy it and i try to
    read a page everyday. Lo and behold on page 90?? i came
    across your line about your dental implant (5 in Hungary). Just
    want to know how it went as i am planning to go home to
    to Makati to have mine done as it is very costly here in Aust.
    Did the surgeon performed the 5 implant in one sitting. How long
    did it take to heal. I have read that Hungary is the best place to
    go and cheaper but it is too far from home. I have researched
    our dental procedures in Makati and i am going to one set up
    by an Aust who went to the Phil looking for a cheaper alternative
    to here. Was in Italy on Oct 08 before i have read all your tips-
    so i supposed i have to go back there again. Hope to hear
    from your dental implant experience.
    My email again: marina_espiritu@yahoo.com.au

  6. Hello Maria,

    Your website is the best I have ever seen and read. I read most of them but unable to read everything because there were so many pages. I will ask my four children Tina, Katrina, Ashley, and Lauren to read it. Just like you, they are great writers and speakers: Katrina was editor-in-chief of her high school newsletter, wrote journals, and has publications in professiona journals and Filipino magazines. I have written many myself and was editor-in-chief of Michigan U.P. Alumni Newsletter, FILAMCCO Newsletter. Tina has no publications but she is the best writer and most knowledgeable of them all. She is now Director of Business Development at Polo Ralph Lauren. Katrina is Division Manager at NYU Medical Center, Pediatrics Hematology. Ashley is Assistant Media Planner at “Greater Than One”, advertising company for A list drug companies. She develops advertising platforms, make client and company presentations. Lauren, my youngest, is a senior at Michigan State University. The three eldest worked and live in New York. I will talk more about them in future correspondence including my four younger children ages 2 and a half to 8 eight years old.

    Thanks for a very beautiful and excellently written website,
    Your cousin,

    Ben

  7. Hello manong Ben

    So now I know why I have this writing streak, hehehe!!
    You have very successful children and I can see how proud you are of them. I wish I could meet them someday. But nothing is impossible. If they are planning to come to Europe for holidays, I could help them with their itineraries and maybe meet them up for an espresso.

    Thank you very much for the compliment!

  8. hi my gf and i are planning to have a europe tour next yr. i just want some tip/advise on how to plan (itenararies e.g.) i can have the 2 weeks vac. we want to see italy, germany, some mediterranean countries.i am frm san francisco ca. while my gf is frm manila. salamat po.

  9. Hi fernando

    Thanks for your message.
    Two weeks is too short to do several countries in Europe besides, which cities you are interested in? Assuming that the capital cities are okay with you, then let us make a draft itinerary.

    Italy – Rome
    Germany – Berlin
    Some Mediterranean countries I recommend would be:
    Spain – Barcelona
    France – Nice
    Italy – Sicily

    If these are okay, then we can start checking on the flights, and then the itineraries for each city. When are you planning your holiday? This is very important as peak months (July/Aug) would be quite expensive and gets fully booked rapidly.

    Mariadams

  10. thank you so much maria. two weeks is only my paid vac. now, maybe rome, barcelona, berlin would be enough. the months,,,how about between frm feb to apr if you said july/aug is expensive. our plan is to meet in hongkong then proceed to europe. or meet in europe. to reduce expenses. can you give more advices pls? thank you.

  11. Hello Fernando

    Based on your schedule, I can say that April is the best month to go to Europe because it is Springtime, it’s still the low season hence, you can find cheaper hotels, lots of touristy things going on but with less number of tourists. Northern cities like Berlin would be chilly still so bring a light jacket, southern and Mediterranean cities like Barcelona and Rome would be warmer so lighter clothing would be advisable, but not shorts as it is still inappropriate, jeans will do.

    Here is the draft itinerary I made for you:

    From your own countries of origin, FLY to Rome. Don’t you think it will be more romantic if you meet up with your gf at the Trevi fountain in Rome? Huh! and you must complete that “unforgettable meeting” with a red rose …ooppsss sorry but I am just romantic by nature :)

    Now back to work:

    Day 1 to 3… Sightseeing in Rome

    Day 4 (morning)…fly Easyjet to Berlin (2 hrs flight)…if you book early, fare is +/- 80euros per head

    Day 5 – 7 …..Sightseeing in Berlin

    Day 8 (morning)…fly Easyjet to Barcelona (2.5 hrs flight)….+/- 80euros per head

    Day 9 – 11 ….Sightseeing in Barcelona

    Day 12 (morning)…fly Easyjet to Milan (1.5 hrs flight)….+/- 50euros

    Day 14…fly back home

    Note that your long haul air ticket should be (for your gf for exqample): Manila – Rome – Milan – Manila
    Reasons are: there is no Easyjet flight from Barcelona to Rome; you can visit one more Italian city (Milan)

    Sightseeing Tips:
    – Take the sightseeing bus so you see the attractions from a high vantage point, then hop on, hop off in your own time. Some buses offer a 2-day validity, some for 24 hours.

    – Go straight to the Tourist Office of a city for a tourist map. You can do the walking tour yourself as the interesting routes are highlighted on the map.

    – Buy a DAY ticket which will allow you unlimited rides on the bus/tram/metro or city train

    – Join the free walking tours

    Berlin…http://www.newberlintours.com/daily-tours/new-berlin-free-tour.html
    Rome…..http://www.romefreetour.com/free%20tour.html
    Barcelona…http://www.runnerbeantours.com/
    Milan….I couldn’t find the free walking tour site but you can use these links:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2121638_take-walking-tour-milan.html
    or the sightseeing bus: http://media.city-sightseeing.com/images/library/media/inventory/54/Doc/tour-map.pdf

    As to hotels, google “cheap hotels” and if possible, choose one in the center so you don’t need to take the bus/metro just to go to the sights.
    Book Easyjet as early as 3 months in advance to avail of cheap fares.

    That’s it for now. And if you want to research more on the cities, surf “virtualtourist.com”

    Check my Barcelona Itinerary (http://mariadams.com/?p=24) on this site, it would be helpful for your Bcn journey.

    Regards
    Mariadams

  12. Hi Maria!

    Been going over your blog and I can say that it packs a lot of incredible info. I plan to go on a tour of Europe on 2012 with my wife. Can you suggest a nice itinerary for us? origin is manila and i hope you can also include switzerland and germany in the IT. Duration maybe around 20 days or so. Cheaper and cooler months of the year is best. I’m willing to take the trains if flights aren’t available. Many Thanks, more power and more great travels to you!

    regards,

    MM

  13. hello! mariadams lol…i have 2 different ways of travelling to share with you….wintertime is the cheapest time to travel from u.s. main airporsts like L.A. chicago new york san francisco etc. there are european round trip fares for as low as $400.00 u.s. dollars indirect flights it is inconvenient but not if the wasted time are spent waiting in museums theaters cinemas shoppings or short countryside big buses short trips with highlighted mapsof places to see plus buses schedules inside any city-state public travel info stations mostly located in train stations or airports vicinities and quite easy if you know german french italian spanish english word for AIRPORTS TRAIN STATIONS BUS STATIONS POLICE STATIONS HOTELS INFORMATION CENTERS AND please thank you stop time what where who goodbyes etc just make sure youre at least 1 or 2 hours inside your flights terminals to avoid any cancellations & extra plane payments anywhere you maybe lol….some inexpensive winter flights sometimes comes with hotel rooms accomodationsor free breakfast do not be shy to asked if they do come with it….and yes buying daily or weekly bus fares called abonoments are handy no need to panic if you do not have enough money….to travel for almost free….from the main airport destination i buy eurorail bahn tickets for 2 or 4 weeks or more will of course will cost much more
    but cheaper cost you can stop anywhere to see-do what you like and just keep riding train, some ferries do come with the euro rail pass, my back packs are full of sodas water juices tasty bread with palaman in it ready home made some candies chocolates too…or we spent thousands of u.s. dollars in 4-5 star hotel accommodations that comes with our expensive returned airfares all inclusives lol!….

  14. cont: ….most of my european travels are almsot free coz we have families relatives in almost all european countries who love to see us visits …. i only spent lots of money in airfares shoppings theaters concerts outdoor cafees tea rooms restaurants taxiz or rent a cars if needed but walking is great in any european wealthy safe countries ….to take small hotels-inns is way inexpensive in country sides only if you have too much time taking waiting for bus transfers coz of public transportations-ferries schedules mostly weekdays just every 10-15 minutes wait & week ends 30 minutes to an hour or more waits depends on availability or populations….it is important that when travelling find out if when are the last schedules of all public trasports to make sure you arenot stranded coz of different time schedules so next transfer buses trains may not be available anymore lol!….euro rail pass is only good if you are in a travel budget coz you can sleep inside the trains too for extra train comforts you need to reserved seats so youre not standing the whole time inside the trains if you want-need some sleeps trains do have sleeper couches but pay more or sleep in your seats so good luck to anyone & have fun travelling be safe always lol!

  15. cont:….and do not bring many clothes coz it is more fun buying all your needed clothes accessories when travelling in europe coz it is like shopping in the philippines big grocey chains that sells clothings undies pajamas shoes etc. like coops stores are more likely cheaper than expensive private small boutiques it is fun to bargain hunt clothings in europe if there’s no public paying laundrymats then just handwash lightly & hung to dry coz winter coats sweaters jackets will cover you entirely anyway lol!….just be aware that kidnappings for prostitutions are not rare in europe for the not so wealthy europeans for later used but europe is beautiful but not so much the same anymore i noticed a lot of not so good changes when i was there the last itme so many things that dragged europe to entirely different many quite strange societies i hope they already changes those not so great that i noticed so have fun travellings be happy anywhere lol!

  16. Hi Maria,

    I just stumbled upon your website and i just enjoy reading it.Im Pinay living in Switzerland.I have been in many places in France and i just love this beautiful country.Keep up the good work!

  17. Hello Marissa,

    I will be in Switzerland next week playing tourist guide to my sister and her family and will be following the Golden line itinerary. Such a beautiful country, too, La Suisse!

    Thanks for visiting my site, I just ask you and everyone’s patience if I cannot update nor answer your messages instantly as I am too busy travelling, hehehe! In fact, I saw your post while in Paris, just when I was about to catch the train down South. Here I am now, in the lovely French Riviera, sunny and impressive as ever!

  18. Hi there,I am a professional pianist and Ive came up with a silly rule that allows me to have a fifteen minutes time out every one hour of training. So, each and every break I have to do some thing completely different, so usually I go to Search engines and look for the recommended last hour blog. It is enjoyable to do anything diverse and to examine new points each and every day. Btw, right now Im practicing. Beethoven. Your web page is great, I wish I could stay longer, however I have to get back to play In the future Ill drop by again.

  19. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely
    enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  20. Such an informative site! Know that the goodness of your posts helps a lot of Filipinos :) You provide an easy reference to us all. Bless you, keep those posts coming :)))

  21. What a nice comment to read just when I was getting up and trying to check my mails before even making coffee! Thank you, Pranabi, for the good words!
    Bless you, too, and have a happy week ahead!

    Maria

  22. I am from philippines and will be my first time to travel to europe, I will be going to rome . What budget tours can you suggest so i can see as much in Italy and what most vaked tours can you suggest? Thanks

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