LIVING & DREAMING!

IF YOU CAN IMAGINE IT , YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT. IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN BECOME IT.

-William Arthur Ward, 1921-1994

Advertisements

Laguna Larga – Los Azufres, Michoacán, Mexico.

Laguna Larga – Los Azufres, Michoacán Mexico

Laguna larga contrariamente a lo que su nombre refleja, es un laguna no muy grande pero llena de magia que podría ser confundida como la laguna que apareció en la más reciente película de terror que lo único que dejo a deber fue la mala actuación de actores sin experiencia, por otro lado cuando el sol hace su presencia puede ser confundida con el mismo paraíso terrenal o con el hermoso lago al cual en las películas de Hollywood, parejas enamoradas deciden pasar una velada romántica. Desde mi punto de vista la constante neblina obstruyendo la presencia de un sol que muestra su lado más débil y el tipo de flora, solo me trae a la mente un lugar en la lejana Rumania, llamado TRANSILVANIA.

No eh tenido la oportunidad de viajar mucho dentro de mi país, algún par de playas están en el expediente que mis pupilas guardan silenciosamente.

Normalmente suelo realizar mis viajes solo pero esta ocasión lo realice con algunos amigos, una camioneta fue el transporte seleccionado para la travesía.

La palabra “desafortunadamente” en otras circunstancias seria la que mejor describiría el trayecto con destino a la Laguna Larga en los Azufres, Michoacán. Esto, debido a que en más de una ocasión nos salimos de la ruta, ruta que nunca habíamos tomado; sin embargo esto nos llevo a conocer maravillosos paisajes.

Dentro de la logística de nuestro viaje estaba planeado hacer 5 horas de camino, hicimos cerca de 8 horas.

A la distancia montes vestidos de pinos verdes y frondosos, acompañados por pilas de humo generado por las aguas termales que yacen en esta zona de nuestro país.

Cuando me propusieron realizar este viaje dudas rondaban en mi cabeza y no fue hasta que arribamos a Laguna Larga que todas se esfumaron en un parpadear de ojos… déjà-vu!… pensé, al recordar aquella mañana del 2009 cuando mi tren de Constansa con destino, Brasov, hacia su llegada triunfal a Transilvania, Rumania.

No había nada a nuestro alrededor más que arboles, la laguna, y un sentimiento de aventura que parecía querer extinguirse ahuyentado por el crudo frio que nos golpeaba, pero bastaba voltear y apreciar la laguna para que los malos fantasmas nos dejaran tranquilos.

Nuestra cabaña, definitivamente parecía recién salida de un cuento de  fantasía, excesivamente pequeña pero inteligentemente distribuida por dentro, cuatro camas, un baño, una cocina, una mesa para realizar alimentación y si era poco un pasillo de no más de un metro de ancho, tenebrosamente adornado por una silla de madera solitaria y recién salida de una película de terror.

En general el clima era muy impredecible, yo lo compararía con el de Roma, donde el frio te reclama un buen abrigo, pero el sol repentinamente sale y te recuerda la playa, sin olvidar la constante lluvia.

En este lugar mucha gente acude a pasar un buen rato con su familia, la mayoría va de ida por vuelta en un mismo día, disfrutan de la alberca abarrotada de niños pero con aguas termales y posteriormente regresan a las ciudades o pueblos de origen.

Al final de este viaje llegue a la conclusión de que México es más que simplemente sus playas famosas y también que los dispositivos electrónicos en estos rincones de mi país no son más que pedazos de plástico bonitos.

Conclusiones: Toma tu tiempo, México tiene muchos destinos turísticos que ofertar.

Recomendaciones: No olvides llevar ropa de invierno, pero al mismo tiempo ropa para verano, incluido el traje de baño.

Curiosidades: A nuestra cabaña misma, le asigno la etiqueta de lo más curioso del viaje.    

Macedonia from my perspective – CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4

Republic of Macedonia (Република Македонија)

One important place to visit is the Skopje Fortress (Скопско Кале), it is common to find fortresses in important cities from the old Yugoslavia, one can infer it because of the wars fought through their history.

The Skopje fortress is commonly referred as Kale Fortress. It is located in the old town of Skopje closed to the Ottoman old Bazaar. The main material used in this construction was stone wall. After the 1963 earthquake, Kale’s circular, rectangular and square towers were conserved and restored. 

From this awesome place it’s possible to enjoy of the best Skopje sightseeing. It is also used as hosts outdoor performances in summer.

When you talk about Macedonia you can’t forget this land saw the birth of the Mother Teresa Calcutta (Üsküb, Vilayet of Kosovo, Ottoman Empire today’s Skopje. 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997) the Mother Teresa had also Albanian and Indian nationality.  She was called “of Calcutta” for founding the Missionary of Charity in Calcutta, India. Her humanitarian works and support to the poor and helpless gave her international respect at the point that after her death she was beatified by Pope John Paul II with the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

The Macedonian food; from my point of view is everything you could wish, it’s cheap and testy, two good dishes options are the “Picmajlija” and the “Pastrmajlija” both made from dough, meat and eggs. The name “Pastrmajlija” comes from the word pastrma, meaning salted and dried meat of sheep/lamb. You can have a good male for only approximately five dollars.

Recommendations:

  • Carry on one umbrella, the weather is very unpredictable.
  • When you arrive Skopje, take your time to get a timetable for your next destination, the train and bus station are small ones and there are not departs everyday and every hour like in a European Union station.
  • It is not necessary to use the public transportation to know the city, on foot, in a couple of minutes you can cover the main tourist points.

Curiosities:

  • The hostel didn’t have dry machine so I had to go the back yard and hang my wet clothes saying “hello” to the hostel Macedonian families neighbors.
  • At those days there was a hard metal festival inside the Fortress with many choppers in it.
  • Many people when see that you are a tourist, try to get a conversation with you randomly, it is recommended not always to pay attention to them and keep walking, you can never know their intentions, consider the Balkans drugs trafficking problems.
  • I had never seen too many people toothless; not specifically in Macedonia but in the Balkans.

Conclusions:

Maybe Macedonia is not the best place to visit if you only have a few vacations days, but I know that must be at least one person in the whole world dreaming to go Macedonia and enjoy everything my eyes have already seen there.

CHAPTER 3 Skopje, Macedonia

CHAPTER 3

One of the symbols in Skopje is a bridge called The Stone Bridge (Камен мост) built between 1451 and 1469 and is an Ottoman era bridge which also was incorporated in the city shield. It connects the center of Skopje to the Old Bazaar.

The Old Bazaar as the name show us is composed of many narrow streets and small stores where you can buy from an ice cream to any kind of traditional clothes. Also it is possible to find mosques. In Macedonia there are many Muslims.

The main square is not too big in one side there is a tourist center, what in USA we all know as a mall. Also beside there are some olds and news contrasting buildings side by side and statues showing us the old Macedonian leaders.

This square is also used for festivities, I had the pleasantly surprise of enjoy the Regional Macedonian Promotional Day (промотивни денови на регионите). Where you could enjoy of food-tasting and folklore music dances.

If you want to see folklore dances follow the next link:

Another video.

Close to the main square there are a lot of restaurants and places where the Macedonian used to have a good time, also some supermarkets, statues and there is one place you can notice from the distance because you can see Yugoslavia’s flags and posters with a phrase in small letters:

  • сојуз на титови леви сили  (Union of Tito’s Left Forces)

Those flags and memorials are outside the old train station, now the rests of it seems to being used as museum. It stopped being used as a train station because on July 26, 1963 an earthquake with a 6.1 magnitude occurred and killed more than 1,000 people and more than 200,000 people left homeless. About 80% of the city was destroyed.

Beside the train station and when you go across the old railway track you can see in the left side of the bad damaged station and with a white written letters, one memorial announce which says:

скопје доживеа невиден катастрофа но скопје

повторно ке го изградим со помоцта на цепата

наша засаш

тоа ке стане орцост н симбоа

братствого и единството на у саовенската

27 јчаи 1963 јодина тит

*This is one translation I made with the help of the Internet, the translations is not clear enough

Skopje experienced an unprecedented disaster but Skopje
will re-build with the stepping pomocta our zasash
it will become slightly orcost simboa
bratstvogo and unity among saovenskata.
July 27 1963 jodina Titus

I tried to do a deepest research and could find videos from the disaster; here I show one of them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CD_oV4E6Bs

For more information visit:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/26/newsid_2721000/2721635.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_Skopje_earthquake

Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru.


Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru.

 Lake Titicaca is one of the most interesting places in Peru, as we all know Machu Picchu is the most attractive touristic zone, but if you have the opportunity to go Peru take your time and go to visit this awesome place.

This lake is considered one of the most important in South America; its waters are divided by Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level and is near to the Andes, also is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world; therefore to get there can be physically stressful, motion sickness if the travel is made by bus is a typical symptom. 

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown until these days but has been translated as “Rock Puma” because of the shape of lake which seems a puma hunting a rabbit.

I traveled with my siblings directly from Cusco and it took eight hours, our travel were made by the night and in this way we didn’t feel the change of height meanwhile we were sleeping.

The lake is so big and has border with many cities throughout Peru and Bolivia, we chose Puno as destination, and the island we visited was called Uros. In fact, I looked up in internet that Puno and Cope Cabana were the best places to appreciate the lake.

We arrived more or less at five am, the bus station was a small one and there were more travel agents than tourist at that hour. This meant lots of people had  Lake Titicaca as tourist destination.

From the bus station a taxi driver took us toward the lake where a little boat was waiting for us with direction to some of the many little famous islands situated in the middle of the lake.

The journey from the harbor to the islands were amazing, to appreciate the nature full of yellow and green grass accompanied by the Puno city on its back, definitely worth the trip at that point.

Before arrive the islands we were taught some phrases in the Peruan dialect spoken in the islands in order to say hello to the people living there. This people obviously don’t speak Spanish.

Once there we were given an explication of what kind of material the island was made for, what they eat and how they live. Obviously there was a native man speaking Spanish for us in representation of his people.

To talk about how every island is get made it’s not easy because of the very complicated process they follow until get everyone made. Each island from the base until each house is made from the same grass material. In the bottom of the surface piles of mud are collect and tied with the grass, in this way the island is able to float over the water.  

 

The civilization used to eat the food they fish; even they are not more than an hour boat-sailing from Puno, but they prefer to supply the islands by their own way. Besides of the fishing there is one side of each grass straw, in the root side, which is eatable as well and helpful for health and teeth cares. We had the opportunity to eat one of them and it’s like to eat the white side of a coconut having a soft texture and almost not taste.

The civilization living there is very kind, besides of an explication of their lives, they allow us to get in to one of their houses and even play with children, or wear traditional clothes. Also you can buy them some handwork. At the end of the tourist visit, all the women make a row and sing a traditional song and all of this without any price, they only ask you any monetary aim and then you can take one of their all grass-boat-made and enjoy of the trip toward another little island where you will be able to take some snacks previous the return to the Puno’s harbor.

Conclusions: Have you ever read or watched a fairytale, well these islands are from my perspective taken out of a magical one and made all true.  

Recommendations: to take a sweater with you, sometimes the weather suddenly changes.

 Curiosities: meanwhile we were in the island, some guys ask us to dance with one native girl for a cultural movie recording. We said no, but a German friend of us did it, it was very funny.

More Pics: