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!

Panamá: El Paraiso Escondido

Located in the center of the Americas, the Republic of Panama is a hidden paradise with more than just the Panama Canal. Welcome to a paradise of rich & diverse culture, unforgettable cuisine, and a adventure awaiting.

Panama’s people are diverse and comprise of different ethnicities, cultures, and languages. It’s official language is Spanish but due to migration movements, global influences, and tourism, there is more than just a Spanish influence. For example, the building of the Panama Canal sparked large migrations of people from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago. Panama also has a hundred year presence of Chinese that is central to Panamanian culture. The indigenous community of Panama is a rich and large one itself. The Kuna are one of Panama’s indigenous groups. In cities like Colón, you also see Panama’s African presence that dates back to colonialism.

The food in Panama is a seafood lover’s treasure. Panama is an intriguing country which translates to Fish in an indigenous language. My favorite fish is Corvina. There is nothing like fresh salt water fish. I visited Mi Pueblo in the Amador Causeway (take me back!). There is no shortage of seafood in Panama.

An adventure awaits in Panama!

The Beauty of Southern California

After arriving to Los Angeles and stopping by In and Out, it was time for me to lay on a bed. I met up with a friend from the area. He offered to drive me to my hotel. Man, this guy smoked! I appreciate the ride but wow. The air in his car was thick from cigarettes. Great guy, if you can get over the smell of something burning. He left me at my hotel, after learning more about the changes of this city. These changes were interesting.

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After talking to an old friend, I went to my hotel room. The room left me speechless. The layout of the room was fit for a king, not a traveler. I had this room all to myself. Truely, a five stars experience.
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The view from my window was amazing. At night, it reminded me of my time in Las Vegas with my parents as a child. The sound of the Californian freeway in the background was smoothing. I finally felt at home.

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One of the many great things about Southern California, the Spanish history is still visible. Coming from Northern California, our big cities are San Jose, Sacramento and of course San Francisco. Even though the cities still have Spanish roots, it’s not as visible as in Southern California. Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, makes you feel like you are in Spain.
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After taking in the view, I reunited with my travel friends. We went to a Peruvian restaurant. The food was out of this world. The rice had a strong taste of garlic. I even tried a Peruvian ice cream. When it came to meat, I only ate what I knew. I had guinea pig once, as a pet.
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Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Next week, we will be exploring more of Los Angeles. Have a great week and stay healthy!

America’s Independence Day en Argentina

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Published by Hugo Morel

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Published by Hugo Morel

When traveling to Buenos Aires, you will land at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Located in the city of Ezeiza, in the province of Buenos Aires.  The airport is about 22 kilometres (if you are american, 14 miles) away from the actually city of Buenos Aires. There are many shuttle buses from the airport that connect you with the city of Buenos Aires. Also, you can use city taxis that can drop you off to your destination. I always prefer taxis because it is a great to get an insight of the city from a local. Beware of shady taxis drivers!! If traveling from Newark, I do recommend traveling with United Airlines. They gave us dinner and breakfast with a great movie selection.

Published by Hugo morel

Published by Hugo morel

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Published by Hugo Morel

Before we went to the city of Buenos Aires, we stayed on a military base called Campo de Mayo. Campo de Mayo is one of Argentina’s most important military base. Located in the province of Buenos Aires. Walking down it’s halls, you do get an eerie feeling of sadness. No one ever told us it’s dark history. It wasn’t until after we came back from our trip, we found out it’s history. From 1974 to 1983, was the time of the Dirty War. The Dirty War was a time of state terrorism in Argentina. During this time, Argentina formed the right winged death squad called Argentine Anticommunist Alliance. The death squad, as stated in it’s name, fought against communism. They used the military base to hold the captured leftist guerrillas. Some locals rumors claim that the captured guerrillas were brutally experimented on. Also, the pregnant guerrillas’s newborns were taken away never able to see their mothers again. Lesson of the day, try not walk it’s halls at night.

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

On America’s Independence Day, we were invited by Gauchos for free steak at their ranch. This was a way of welcoming us, Americans, to their beautiful country. Probably one of the kindest forms of hospitality I ever encountered. The Gauchos are Argentine “cowboys.” They herd cattle year around, similar to the western movies. Their main form of income is earned through hunting. Our Gauchos friends put on a rodeo for us. After the rodeo was finished, they even let us ride their tamed horses. From fear, I did not even attempt to ride one. Horses are pretty tall, it looks like quite the drop to the ground.

Published by Hugo Morel

Published by Hugo Morel

When checking out the Province of Buenos Aires, make sure to not just go to it’s capital city, Buenos Aires. The province has a lot to offer. From the Gauchos to it’s Military bases, the province of Buenos Aires has so many hidden jewels of culture and folklore. Check it out when you get the chance. Also, make sure to bring the right plugin for the outlets. Otherwise, you might have to buy an overpriced plugin adapter. Unfortunately, talking from experience.

published by Hugo Morel

published by Hugo Morel