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!

In the Caribbean of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic part 3

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(Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco)

Following up from my previous series about the Dominican Republic, my adventure in the Santo Domingo, Dominica Republic was amazing. I stayed at the Beaterio Guest House in La Zona Colonial.

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(Outside Courtyard at El Beaterio Guest House; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco)

This guest house was amazing and seemed like something out of a movie. It’s location on Calle Duarte was a safe one and I never had any issues. The front-desk attendants were well-educated Haitians and their customer service was impeccable. I spent a lot of time exploring the streets of Calle Duarte and Calle Esconde. These streets lead me to La Plaza de Santo Domingo which was similar to the Spanish colonial center of the city commonly known as “Plaza Mayor”.

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As I explored this area, I came across so many taxis. The taxi drivers in Santo Domingo are competitive and can be found all over the island anytime of the day. I was able to find a taxi driver that was willing to work with my  budget and he was so hungry for business that he accepted whatever I offered him. While on my journey, I had to get a haircut and I had a Dominican barber exclusively for the past 3 years. I ran onto Tony’s barbershop. Dominicans are experts when it comes to hair care, salons, and grooming.

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(Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco)

    Since I was in the Caribbean, I had to explore the beach. I visited Boca Chica and relaxed in the calming waters. I noticed that there were a lot of street vendors selling fruits, shrimps, glasses and other things directed towards tourists. Having a very common Dominican last name, I was able to blend in with the other Dominicans. I helped the street vendors by translating for them and helping them make a few sales. Therefore, I spent the entire day receiving free fruits, shrimps, and even a pair of Burberry glasses (they were knock-off but I really appreciated the gesture). After spending so much time at the beach, I returned back to La Zona Colonial and had good food, a Presidente beer, and good music to end the night.

Stay tuned as we continue our journey in the Caribbean as we explore Jamaica.

One Love. Peace!