Lamyerda Diaries

Lamyerda Diaries: Level up in Amstie

“Balang araw, magtatravel tayo. Yung tipong, uy magkita naman tayo sa Europe para magkape; or overnight naman tayo sa USA para mag grocery. One day, antay lang tayo.”

Dati, pangarap lang namen ito. Yung levels lang namin is pang A.S.E.A.N. Tours lang hahahaha ( Alcala, Solana, Enrile, Aparri, Namabballan). A really wild dream we never thought would come true. Kasi nga naman, paano? Parang impossible. Parang malabo. Paano maaachieve? Pero, kaya pala. Sipag, tyaga, tiwala – we made it happen! It may have taken a decade, we may be incomplete (for now) but ACHIEVE!!! Finally, di na po ito drawing, totoo na talaga mga veh! And the chosen becky destination: Amsterdam!

This was more or less just a weekend trip to celebrate our dear Janus’ big 30. Also our chance to bond na din since it’s been a while since lumarga ang mga tita.

Nag antayan nalang ang mga tita sa Schipol Airport. From there, you can buy day tickets which is for unlimited transportation within Amsterdam + return tickets to Schipol Airport (outside the city). This is perfect for when you are aiming to explore the whole city and if medyo tamadchi kang mag alay lakad. If masipag ka naman maglakad, no need to get the day tickets. They now do contactless payments or just get as needed tickets from the vending machine.

We wanted to stay in the heart of the city so we looked for hotels right in the middle of the red light disctrict. We did find an affordable b&b however if you’re a picky traveler, waley siya! It’s good enough to sleep in pag pagoda tragedy na but it’s not the best. Also, dinig mo din yung ingay and langhap mo din yung mga ganap sa labas so if you want to really relax, medyo layo ka ng beri light. The good thing though, paglabas mo, anjan na agad ang mga pasabog! Kulang nalang mapagkamalan ka ring babae sa bintana.

Super chill lang talaga ng weekend na itey. No plans. No itineraries. Super scrung lang wherever tapos sabay lafang on the side. Siyempre as part of the city adventure, I let them try everything. Lol. As in EVERYTHING! Pati yung pagnood ng mga pa-rated SPG ni Mayor pinatulan para avail!

For the birthday dinner, ang Lola Anut natin nagpa lafang ng bongga! Japanese buffet at Shabu-Shabu which is in the Rembrandtplein area. Guysh, super panalo siya especially if betchikolah nyo talaga maging haponesa. I tried to capture the moment kaso, food is life! Isa lang ang na document ko.

At nakaka shala din na sa ipad ka lang oorder tapos after ilang minutes, anjan na ang mga paandar! Umabot sa point na kinain na ng sistema si sis Khie at super pindot ng kung anek anek and ang ending, dalawang bandehadang sushi ang sinerve. Di namin kinaya mga besh. Buti may pinay na kinunchaba para makalusot.

Unfortunately, na-confirm din namin na wala talagang blue light district for the merlats and mamshies. Anyway, busog parin naman ang mga mata sa dami ng sightings. Also, busog din sa food!

For the windmills, you have to go outside of the city which also means di siya sakop ng day pass ticket. On my previous visit, we took the train which costs €6 return pero there’s a long walk from the station to the place. This time, we tried the bus which was €11 but it will stop right outside the Zaanse Schanse museum so no more haggardo na!

Lastly, di macocomplete ang aurahan without a random trip or lss! If before kantahan, this time sayawan naman! Dati nung college, we really love to dance- mapa sa bahay, kanto, club, kalye kahit saan wapakels lang. Siyempre before, malalambog pa ang mga shutawan pero this time, tita levels na so bear with us dahil nangalawang na! Anyway, ito na po ang gist ng aming weekend escapade with a mix of our level up lss. Enjoy!

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Blabbermouth, Lamyerda Diaries

Lamyerda Diaries: Hola Espanya! *update: video added!*

Time and time again, my friends and I always plan on going to New York but for some reason (second time now) it just doesn’t get a green light! We didn’t want to waste our week off so we just decided to head somewhere with a beach and just chill and we found just the perfect place – Barcelona, Spain

FLIGHTS

I had this spur of the moment thing and booked a flight just because it was cheap. Although it was a really good bargain (£55 for return flights per person), we ended up spending the money we saved from flights with the B&B (booked a 20:30 flight then got delayed, landed 1am but only got out 2am) so really, it just broke even.

From London, the usual budget airlines (Easyjet and Ryanair) offer flights to Barcelona el Prat which is near the city centre. There are also 2 other Airports which I found to offer cheaper flights but at a further proximity.

From the airport, they usually have the Metro which is their main transport system. We landed at around 2 AM and there were Night buses available which we took and fyi it was really packed at that hour (cost: €4 one way to city centre); They also have Aerobus which is mainly for airport transfers. I originally booked return tickets from them (cost: €10) but our flight got delayed and they only run till 1am; Uber or MyTaxi (download the app in advance) is also available if you want less hassle from the commute and much faster journey.

ACCOMODATION

Since it was peak season, rates were expected to go higher and after some thorough research, I ended up booking a room from AirBnb. Since we anticipated a summer weather, I mainly looked for 1) Has airconditioning 2) Good location 3) Value for money. Luckily, I found Valeria’s flat which was only 7 minute walk from Plaza Espanya and 2 minute walk to Metro station- Hostafrancs. It was also surrounded with cafes/restos and 24/7 convenience stores. For our 5 day stay, we paid a reasonable amount which ticked my last requirement. Our host was really nice and we mostly just had the place to ourselves. If you do plan to visit Barcelona, I highly recommend her place. You can message me for her contact number.

ITINERARY

I usually just have a list of places I want to see but nothing too detailed. My go to app’s usually through Pinterest and Sygic Travel but I recently discovered Google Trips (App store or Google playstore) and it has everything to make your trip more systematic and efficient. You can save your booking details (flights, hotels, tickets) and make day plans through their list of places to see and you just pick what you want and it can auto create a route for your conveniece! Ultimate travel hack! There’s also this app called Tiqets where I got our passes for Sagrada.

All in all, I would say it’s best to explore the city for a good 2-3 days and 1 extra day could be spent for day tours outside Barcelona.

GETTING AROUND

I would say London’s underground system trained me well so adjusting with Barcelona’s came off effortlessly. If ever in doubt, you can always rely on Google Maps or download the TMB app which is dedicated to their metro/ transport system.

We bought a 48-hour travel card – it’s like an unlimited pass for trains, buses, airport transfers and costs €15 which you can get on the actual station or online (order online to get 10% off then pick it up on any station).

Other than the metro, we like to do a bit of walking which we more or less did like 75% of the time and with Google Trips journey planner feature, this gets easier on those curious toes.

EXPLORE

We woke up really late and managed to go out just in time for lunch. What did we choose to eat you’d ask? Of course – Paella!!!! With the help of Yelp, we found this restaurant just a few minutes away from the BnB called Portonovo Silvestre. I loved their paella (€14.50) and adored their sangria (€15 for a large jug)!

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After a really really sumptuous lunch which left me buzzed at noon, we had to head to our first stop – Parc Guell. To be honest, we were taken aback with the heat and add to that being plastered with wine. To make things worst, we had to do a bit of hike to get to the view point so my heart was really pounding! I would suggest wearing really light clothing, comfortable shoes and not to get sloshed at noon and pre-hike! The view though made our ordeal bearable.

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I usually just choose which site I’m usually dying to explore and want to spend money on and Sagrada Familia was one not to miss and probably 1 of the highlights of this trip. Sans the heat and the massive number of people in, the architecture could almost speak for itself. I was in awe with the intricacy of details and all the time spent for it’s completion which by the way is due on 2026. Also, book your tickets online (got mine thru Tiqets app). If you’re also aiming to get good pictures without the overwhelming number of tourists in the background, I would suggest visiting at around 6-7 am. It just felt like we had the who church to ourselves thus, picture worthy!

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Walking around, I just noticed just how the vibe feels so alive and I love that there are trees everywhere! If you go to La Rambla- it’s a whole tree lined street stretch where tourists mostly flock. There are shopping stores, restaurants, souvenir vendors and benches where you can just sit, relax and people watch.

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Some of Gaudi’s famous designs: Casa Mila & Casa Batllo which is a walking distance from each end

Gothic quarter – this is basically their old town and has narrow streets and old school spanish balconaje.

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La Barceloneta – This was the other highlight of our trip and enjoyed the most. Rest and relaxation achieved!

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Fuente Magica – They normally have scheduled fountain shows on certain days and it’s just a lovely sight to see.

Day Trip: Montserrat

On our extra day, we decided to visit Montserrat, a gorgeous mountain range which offers spectacular views. Also within those range lies an actual monastery and a basilica where you will find the Black Madonna (The image of the Virgin Mary).

From Plaza Espanya, you can take the R5 train straight to Montserrat. We bought tickets from a tourist centre in Plaza Catalunya which costs 35 euros and that would include return tickets via the R5 + Metro train, Aeri (cable car), funiculars and lastly their audio visual room. They also have museum but we opted to just explore and hike.

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The hike going up would probably take around 2 hours for noobs like me. There were some trails you could follow although there were also rough areas but the view from top is amazing. I would suggest to bring some water and snacks to munch especially once you reach the top. Also, wear comfy clothes (I wasn’t prepared for the hike and was wearing a skirt and chucks)!

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Overall, going to Barcelona is a one stop holiday shop if you ask me. If you like the city and rich architecture, the beach to just relax, flavourful food/ drinks and if you’d like to go nature tripping or hiking, it’s all within arms reach! Adeu!

 

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Blabbermouth, Lamyerda Diaries

Lamyerda Diaries: Side trip to Tulip Land

As mentioned in my previous entry, day 2 of our amazing road trip charrozcaldo was Netherlands!376d2054-964b-4494-94ac-0f95021b2121

This was another out of the blue moment. Going back to 2015, we went to the Netherlands around the last week of May, aiming to catch the field of tulips but WALEY! Their festival ended 17th of May but we got there the next day! As in, literal na latak nalang of tulips yung naabutan because everything were already harvested. So I just promised myself that I’ll come back.

2018. Eto na yung chance ko. Because we had an extra day from our Belgium trip, we decided to go ahead and see the tulips cause why not, we were only 2 hours away.

Same as the first time, we went to Lisse where they house Keukenhof- Dubbed as THE Garden of Europe. The festival has already started and there’s loads of tourists everywhere as in sold out mga besh. I was only after the actual fields but since there was a hint of curiosity of what is going on inside, might as well!

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Getting into the garden costs €18. In all honesty mga besh, I felt like it was a total rip off. Di sulit. I mean the whole place is nicely done, but for the price and the volume of people coming in, I thought it could be a bit cheaper (plus they charged I think €6 for the parking). The whole place was so crowded!

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The best time to go to see the fields would probably be towards the end of April, before they start harvesting all the flowers. And if I were to decide, I would just pass on the garden and just hire a bike/car to go around instead. The fields were everwhere but the challenge was to find one that wasn’t harvested yet. Luckily, through the help of instagram locations and some online searching, we’ve managed to find some spots!

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It was really worth it going around to look for the fields. It was truly a feast for the eyes, my pictures/videos wouldn’t do justice and I’m glad I’ve got it ticked off my bucket list.

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PS! Here’s my Belgium with a bit of the tulips video! Ü

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