Florence, Italy

After a long overnight drive, we finally made it to Florence, Italy. It is the city of art and culture!

My first impression of the city was that there were a lot of naked bodies. The Italians really like the human body at its purest form. It was just awkward having a minor with you and they are asking, “what’s that horn hanging between his legs?” The only real response you can say is, “It’s nothing important child, let’s keep it moving.”

There was tons of art, as art is everywhere in this city. I am not passionate about the arts; however, there was someone with us who was and he pretty much informed us on everything.

Our volunteer tour guide told us that Florence was one of the centers of the Enlightenment movement in Europe. The art made during that time was mainly focused on religion and the human body.

When in Florence, make sure to check out the Florence cathedral. It’s hard to miss. It’s the building with the red dome. It’s truly a beautiful place inside and out.

Another site is the town hall. Our volunteer tour guide told us something about the flag on the building being amazing. Truth be told, everything he saw in Italy was amazing to him.

(All photos were taken by Hugo Morel)

Thanks for reading, next time we will be in Assisi, Italy.

Just wanted to say thank you

Hello everyone! Just wanted to say thank you for your support! We reached over 1340 followers!! Another awesome milestone accomplished! We have so much more context for you all that we can’t wait to share!! Places like Europe, Asia and Africa! Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Carlisle Bay, Barbados

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How can I discuss a Caribbean country without mentioning the beach? Carlisle Bay in Barbados is that beach that we all see on hallmark postcards (it’s the perfect beach!). My journey to this beach was very interesting (and cheap!). I took 2 buses for the total of 4 Bajan dollars which converts to $2 U.S. dollars. I got lost at one point but I was able to get help as Bajans are kind, helpful and friendly. I finally arrived at Carisle Bay and was filled with so much joy. All Bajan beaches are free for the public!

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The Dock at Carlisle Bay; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

There were many activities at Carlisle Bay and the first thing I decided to do was snorkeling with the turtles. At the last minute I almost chickened-out but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the Atlantic ocean. I agreed and the snorkeling guide reassured me that I wouldn’t regret it. It was amazing and very surreal. I saw many tropical fishes that swam pass me. I also saw several shipwrecked ships. I felt like I was in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. I never saw a single turtle but it was the experience in monumental.

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Getting ready to Snorkel at Carlisle Bay; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.

The beach also included an on-site restaurant, Wi-Fi, surf boards, fishing activities, and other water activities. I recommend Carlisle Bay for a day or half-day trip if you are in Barbados. I took about a 35 minute bus ride (maybe a bit longer if you get lost like I did).

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Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

This Jamaican hostel is “interesting”

*warning: the photos you will encounter on this post, will not be children friendly.

After getting settled in Kingston, my friend and I went around looking for a good place to eat jerk chicken. Ironically, it was not that easy. I noticed that there was a lot of curry chicken and curry products. I learned from a local that Jamaica has a strong community of East Indians, due to the English bring them for cheap labor.

Eventually, we found a place. The chicken taste like it was out of this world! Much better than the stuff you find in NYC. I never felt so fat before because within five minutes, I was fighting myself to not order three more plates.

The cool thing about the restaurant, it had a collection of old silver and gold coins. It made me truly feel like I was in the Caribbean.

We eventually went to the Bob Marley museum in Kingston, Jamaica. It was an interesting place. It made you see how the superstar lived. It was pretty cool but, they played a movie at the end and no lie, we all fell asleep during it. No disrespect to Mr Marley.

Before we end this, I just had to show you this hostel. This hostel had some Rasta statue of this horny old dude. Here you go!

Yes, it’s what you think it is.

This was the most memorable surprised ever, unfortunately.

Thank you for reading! Next time we will explore more of Kingston.

Let’s Travel to Spain!

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The Spanish National Flag and its Naval Jack flag; Photo by Tony Polanco

Spain is a European country with rich culture, profound history, and many sites to see. It is also a backpacker’s fantasy with cities such as Madrid and Barcelona on everyones’ travel bucket list (If it’s not on your list, it should be.) Spain’s official language is Spanish but Spaniards are taught the languages of Basque, Galician, Catlan, and Aranese. The history behind these languages are very interesting, For example, Catalan is a mixture of French and Spanish as it is commonly spoken in Barcelona. Barcelona’s is located not too far from the French Border.

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Photo of Hills in Barcelona; Photo by Tony Polanco

Other interesting cities include Valladolid, Segovia, and Salamanca. Spain’s architecture is beyond amazing with examples shown in museums, cathedrals, aqueducts, and monuments.

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The entrance of the National Museum of Prado in Madrid

It is believed that the origin of the Spanish language originated in the region of Castillo Y Leon and therefore Spanish is referred to Castillian or Castellano in Spanish to track its linguistic roots. I visited Spain while in Study Abroad and it was amazing. I attended the Universitas Castellae located in Valladolid. Everyday I would visit the center of the city known as Plaza Mayor. It is here that Christopher Columbus was buried on May 20, 1506.

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The Statue of Christopher Columbus located in the Plaza Mayor of Valladolid.

It was very easy getting around Spain as they have access to buses, trains, and subways. The subway system in both Barcelona and Madrid were modern and competes with that of New York City. I must admit, I did get lost a few times but it was worth the adventure! So what’s stopping you from taking that trip to Spain?! You won’t regret it!

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An underground subway in Barcelona; Photo by Tony Polanco

Check out my travel video to see Spain’s beauty in all its glory. So what’s stopping you from taking that trip to Spain?! You won’t regret it!

Genoa, Italy and the leaning tower of Pisa

After a crazy up hill drive with very narrow roadways, we made it to Genoa, Italy.

Although we were in the outskirts of the city, you can still feel the atmosphere. This part of Italy was a lot cooler in temperature.

The view was incredible and totally worth the drive. I have never seen such natural beauty. It made me feel like I was living in a painting.

In the photo above, you can see parts of the city.

I really enjoyed this part of Italy. I felt breathless from all the views. Don’t recommend coming here on a tour bus though. Since the roads are very narrow. If you are traveling in the mountains, bring a smaller car for safety reasons of course.

Oh yeah!!! By the way, the tower does lean in Pisa!

Next time we will go to Florence.

*All photos were taken by Hugo Morel.

Welcome to Jamrock!

How can it be Caribbean week without a post about Jamaica?

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

It all started with my friend telling me that he was going to celebrate his birthday in Jamaica. Of course, how can anybody say no to being invited to Jamaica?

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

The flight to Jamaica was so boring. It’s hard to let time pass when you are so excited. It was a four to five hour flight from NYC; however, it felt like 24 hours. I was sitting in my seat like a kid waiting to ask, “Are we there yet?”

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(Photo taken by Hugo morel)

Once I arrived in Jamaica, I was surprised by all the smiles on the locals’ faces.  Be careful when finding a taxi driver. Luckily, the taxis driver I got was honest. He told me the tips and inside information on the taxi system in Kingston.  If you see a red license plate, that car has been registered by the government to be a taxi driver. Knowing this will help you from getting into unnecessary trouble.

(Photos taken by Hugo Morel)

I was truly blown away from the white sands and crystal blue waters. Jamaica was extremely hot. Taking a quick dip in the ocean was really the only way to refresh. There were no complaints here though.

Next time, we will visit the Bob Marley museum!