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David

Posted by Susanna On January - 11 - 2011

David is the second biggest city in Panama. And it is a perfect place to stay and plan trips from there in surrounding towns like Boquette or areas like the cloud forest, the hot springs or islands. I stayed at the Bambu Hostel of Greg and Mike and it became like a second home to me while being away.

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Last days in 2010

Posted by Susanna On December - 30 - 2010

Walking in Casco Viejo on the last days of the old year… Everywhere vendors selling lucky charms and incense. It smells after frankincense in the busy streets and people try to get everything they need for the last new years eve.

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Casco Viejo

Posted by Susanna On December - 29 - 2010

My first day in Panama. I remembered a cartoon of my childhood with a little bear and a little tiger. They always used to say: “Oh how beautiful is Panama!” They were right – Panama is a wonderful place. The weather is perfectly warm. For me a perfect condition. I stayed in the old quarter, so called Casco Viejo. It is a photographers paradise since there all over hidden corner and beautiful restored colonial houses are close neighbors to old morbid ruins. The quarters special atmosphere makes the mixture of both. Panama City was founded on the 15th of August 1519 as a important connection for colonial Spain while conquering the Inca kingdom and transporting gold from the new world. The old quarter owns as well a few beautiful old churches. One of them is accommodates the famous golden altar. In 1671 famous pirate Henry Morgan, a welsh man, was in the process of robbing Panama City. He was looking for the golden altar and it is said that his raid on Panama was one of the last military campaigns in the wars of the reformation. However the monks had time enough to paint the altar black to hide it from the pirates and that is why we can still admire it today.
Other than that I tried to get my broken external hard disc fixed and I tried to buy a new hard disc. But both didn’t work out, unfortunately.

Casco Viejo

Iglesia de San Jose

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Iguana park

Posted by Susanna On November - 5 - 2010

Can you imagine! Guayaquil in Ecuador is probably the only park in the world where big iguanas live peacefully in the middle of a pulsing city! Of course I had to see them. Yes it was true – park Simon Bolivar is full of people – and iguanas! They walk around, dig wholes in the ground and climb trees or chasing pigeons… Just amazing to watch. Nearby is the cathedral what I visited as well.

Parque Simon Bolivar

Cathedral

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Beautiful colonial Quito

Posted by Susanna On October - 4 - 2010

Ecuadors capital Quito is wonderful. Everywhere you see old colonial style houses and churches. The streets and especially the Plaza Grande. After the coup the army was standing around the Palacio de Carondelet. I actually felt like a giant between all those small people. Even the soldiers were smaller… It is good to be back in South America. The people are so warm and friendly and it is easy to talk to people everywhere.

Basilica de voto nationale

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Seeing the tarsier!

Posted by admin On October - 17 - 2009

Sagada and Hanging Coffins

Posted by admin On October - 1 - 2009

I went to Sagada actually because I’ve heard about some Hanging Coffins. Sounds strange therefore I got especially curious! Supposedly there is a strange ritual in Sagada in the north of the Philippines. If someone died they had put up the coffin with some favorite belongings like cheers up on a rock formation. I really did not know what to think about it. So I had to see it with my own eyes. The time was tricky because the Philippines just have the worse typhoons in ages. So basically I went with two fellow travelers I met in Manila up north and our second destination was Sagada. The town is famous for 1. The Hanging Coffins, 2. The Weaving, 3. The civet coffee like coffee Alamid.
First of all a tip: To go to the coffins you really need no guide they are just behind the cemetery. Just cross it and walk 5min into the forest. And then you see the coffins hanging on the rocks. Really I was disappointed. It was nothing really special to me. I have seen more interesting graveyards. Some lose bones lay around from a coffin what broke down. On the way back I went to the . It is especially nice because you can watch the ladies weaving the material. Close by is a shop where you can buy lots of different seized bags and more. And then you are probably interested to know what is Coffee Alamid? It is the most expensive coffee on the world and it is made out of civet poo! Yes it is true. Basically the civet a nocturnal animal of the mongoose family eats the ripest and sweetest coffee cherries during coffee season. Later people collect the ‘leftovers’ after the animal excretes them out and make coffee with a special taste out of them. Weird but very true!

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Cañón del Sumidero

Posted by admin On November - 24 - 2008

One day of my days in San Christobal de las Casas I made a trip to the Cañón del Sumidero. To both sides of Río Grijalva rock formations can loom up to 1000m height. I felt so small in between those majestic mountains. While enjoying the landscape from the boat on the river banks you can watch various crocodiles and the typical black vultures.
I have seen crocs before but these here came really close and I was able to take great photos….
The turning point of that cruise is the Chicoasén dam what with its 261m high walls belongs to the ten biggest of its kind on earth. After the boat trip I stopped shortly in Chiapa de Corzo the town near by for a quick snack and looking at some architecture…

Cañón del Sumidero

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Horse ride to San Juan Chamula

Posted by admin On November - 23 - 2008

After a very freezing night because even in summer San Christobal de las Casas is cold at night and Mexican friend and I got up to do the horse ride to San Juan Chamula. It was Sunday so it is actually perfect timing to check out the markets. I knew that on Sunday all villagers come down to San Juan Chamula selling their goods. And I love horse rides. So what could be better then to connect both and ride over there through Zapatista land. I was excited. The company picked us up very early as well as other people who had booked the tour. We arrived in within 30min at the place where we got our horses. I wanted so bad a white horse (maybe a girly dream of mine, haha) and so I just picked Palomo without even checking the saddle what would have been more important… Then unfortunately later I realized that my legs were too long and it was not possible to adjust the saddle… Guess what that meant – yes, backache for weeks after that mountain ride. Guess I learned my lesson. Anyway after 1-2 hours riding to the mountains we arrived in Chamula. On one part of the ride we were not even allowed to be fast because the guide told us it could happen that the Zapatista shot then…
San Juan Chamula was full of people with the most interesting and colorful clothes you can ever imagine. Too bad that you can not take proper pictures of them – they believe you steal their soul with taking photographs. So I had to respect that. After checking out the market and went to the famous church. For me this was one of the most unusual churches I’ve ever seen but as well no photos inside.
I try to describe as good as I can: You step into a very smokey hall where the floor is full of fir needles. In between are all over burning candles and people sitting on the floor. It seemed very dangerous with all these fir needles and the fire close by but it seemed to be normal for them. The walls to both sides were full of saint dolls…never seen so many of them…
I stepped into direction of the main altar. I started wondering about all those coke bottles but I found the answer real quick. People drink coke or drinks with carbonation to actually burp. Burping in their believes means releasing the bad spirits. OK understand. And while still looking around in awe somebody next to me grabbed a chicken and sacrifices it. I could not trust my eyes – Wow! What an experience…
Then we took our horses for the way back to San Christobal. But we heard the pick up bus for the customer crashed so they had to call a taxi and we all had to squeeze in… After a quick visit in a bar believe me this night I didn’t feel the cold I was just sore and tired  – but happy. It was such a great adventurous day – again.

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Sightseeing in Merida

Posted by admin On October - 21 - 2008

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“We need to make the world safe for creativity and intuition, for it is creativity and intuition that will make the world safe for us.”
by Edgar Mitchell
 

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