Thursday, November 29, 2012

Things i miss in Darmstadt

Two months away from my first home in Europe - Darmstadt, Germany - makes me think of the things i miss in Deutschland. In my random thoughts, here they are:

1. Bike. My friend Jenny lent me her cool bike for 8 months. My Brazilian classmate, Marcelo, called it 'Feharri.' I miss how I can easily access grocery shops, the university, the church, the city center, nearby parks and places. The bike lanes and road discipline are also part of it.

Mein Fahrrad (My Bike). Spring/ Off-Road Bike Day/ Last day with my bike

Friday, October 26, 2012

Summer Statistics

Before I embark again for another trip, though this upcoming one is a short one, I have to, at least, write down where I had been this summer 2012 (European time summer which is August and September). My posts had been silent lately, as it is the usual case. So here I am breaking down where I had been, how long, and some smart spending points.

Across countries literally turtlebackpacking

My first backpacking trips were not spent in the Philippines, but in a few European countries from ABCD to P! Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Poland.  Covering over 21 cities and towns in West and East Europe including my first Scandinavian land, I started my first step spending a calm midday in Cologne. 
First stop at Köln with Turtany while waiting for my carpooling driver
I brought my turtle, Turtany, during my entire trips which served as a trusted headrest and pillow. And a 35+5L backpack which include all what I need for my days on the road. Since this is a summer trip, my clothes are not so bulky, no thick jackets necessary and i can squeeze them all to less than 7 kilos (including my MBP). Check my turtlebackpacking routes 1 and 2 from

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Here's my first week and one of the close encounters to Rome city center. 
At the end of the first week of our Mathematical Economics class, the Mundus Urbano - Rome group hurriedly went to the Welcome Day 2012 organized by the Erasmus Mundus Association. This event aimed to prepare the EM students to the Italian cultural, academic and gastronomical life. 
Mundus Urbano - Rome group: Me, Jamileh, Manuela, Tharmendra, Lea, Aleksei, (Matthew is still in Darmstadt, Germany); and EM Students
We arrived late but just on time, uhmm, for lunch. So our empty and hungry stomachs went rejoicing after seeing the lunch cocktails prepared. It was a real-tummy filling experience.
Fusilli, Risotto, and Panini

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How great!

So groß ist der Herr, sing mit mir!
So groß ist der Herr, Ihn preisen wir.
So groß, so groß ist der Herr!

Grande è Dio
canta che Dio è grande è Dio,
e si vedrá che grande è Dio,
è il nostro Dio.

How great is our God, sing with me,
How great is our God, and all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All roads lead to rome

and so I am here.

How can I not start writing again, now that I am in Roma.
From Germany to Italy, via train! It took me a total of 33 hours of travel all-in-all including my stopovers in Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Wilhelmsfeld, München and Venezia. (Which I still have to put up in this blog)
first glimpse of sunrise in my new flat from my balcony
I was so eager to move in to my new flat in one of Rome’s suburbs in the south, Giardinetti. I was expecting for a flatmate, but apparently, it is hard to convince people to live near the university than in the city center. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

back to cologne

Kölner Dome+me. This was supposed to be my Christmas greeting card if I was not able to go home to Pinas

My first time in Cologne (Köln auf Deutsch) was during the last weekend before we had the Christmas 2011 holidays. I visited my friends Simi and Holger living in Bonn and they brought me to see Cologne for the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas bazaar) and the famous Dom. We drove from Bonn (after having a very nice vegetarian soup and Knödel) to catch the Dom before it closes.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

i kissed mensa goodbye

Mensa means canteen and/or cafeteria. Affordable food, drinks, snacks are served. 
Schnitzel, salad, soup, pasta, pizza, fries, chocolate pudding, cakes, asian wok meal and a lot more.

Clockwise: bistro lamps, hobbit-like door, mensa
Most of my classmates knew that I am no mensa fan. As much as possible, I prepare my own food for many reasons. I cook better rice than mensa rice to name one. But if I don't find time to prepare my lunch, mensa provides many options for me.
Mensa is not just a place where to find something for our hungry stomachs, but also a safe venue to exchange our thoughts on different things.

-Extension of discussions cut short during the morning class
-Experiment time for german and other 'European'-named dishes (and criticism to soggy pasta and salty soups)
-Catching up from each others' weekend trips, last night's party, papers and exercises due
-Laughing and chill breaks from class

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Marburg, Korbach, and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe en route

From Darmstadt, on my way to Willingen and Brilon this weekend, I had a 40-minute stop in Marburg, Germany. So instead of counting trains and passengers at the railway station, i decided to check out what's outside the station. One thing that interests me about Marburg is that my friend Steffi will move there by September and she will leave in the castle. I knew it, she is a real princess in disguise! Another thing, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) - Europe is located in Marburg. So I had a short walk in the fine sunny weather...
Marburg church and buildings by the river

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Today marks the forty day countdown before my program ends here in Darmstadt, Germany. It had been 268 days spent in Europe. (My short visit in the Philippines including travel time was already deducted).
Vierzehn in German
Quaranta in Italian
Apatnapu in Filipino
Recently, i had been packing my things - vacuum-packing my thick and bulky winter clothes and shoes, checking accumulated papers/notes and hopefully scanning them. Not just because I had to leave soon but because I will have a new friend coming to accompany me all throughout the month of June. It was a bit sentimental cleaning and gathering my stuffs - which should I throw away, which I want to keep. Old train tickets, tourists maps, receipts, information flyers from museums, pine cones, gathered dried leaves, weird seed in the forest and many more. How can i keep all these things? Is it really possible not to lose any part of my European journey? *Sigh*

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Of washing - Abwaschen

During my first months in Darmstadt, I met wonderful people named Maria and Sebastian - very good-hearted, young German couple who touched my life in many ways. They invited me in the church, to their house and to other places in Darmstadt.

One day, I was invited (again) for a dinner in their house and I also agreed to cook a Filipino dish for them. With much thinking, I decided to prepare Chicken Adobo with Potato and Boiled Eggs, and of course, rice!
It was a great night, and even greater with Stefi's presence, some red and white wine, fresh apple juice and Basti's (aka Sebastian) ice cream with melted chocolate. It was a great night full of stories and sharing!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

26 before 27

How the break was spent in Darmstadt? It was too late for me to plan where to go during the Holy Week but I had a really great time in Darmstadt. Before the turn of another year in my life, i had celebrated more than 26 kilometers of physical activity as a way of thanksgiving to my faithful Creator.

13.3 kilometers
Eberstadt to Darmstadt Bike Route 23

Google Maps via Dailymile
It was my first time to ride a bike for longer-than-house-university-route and for 'real' biking experience. I was so excited that day to check the Frankenstein Run 2012 route (as i was planning to join the run). After checking the map where I should head, I prepared my stuff and went by tram to Frankenstein. Yes, Frankenstein, the one that was said to influence Mary Shelley to write about the famous fiction.
Unfortunately, i was not able to reach the Frankenstein Castle because i was a little bit lost and i find it too difficult to go with my heavy bike. But it was a great ride!

"Varied terrains, from off road, road, paved slightly rolling steeps until Beerbacher Straße. Checking out FrankensteinLauf 2012 route at 10-11°C. (at least I know what to expect). Few meters between Reuterallee and Heidelberger Landstraße, my mtb got a little trouble. But then I was able to go home safe. More, more, more!" (Dailymile log)

Before and after. Tired and gasping after the rolling climb. And a smile on my way down after a short stop.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wonderfully sunny and bright

Now that the sun is still up until 8:00 in the evening here in Darmstadt, why not write about a wonderful sunny experience that I had. Puerto Galera is my yearly Holy Week destination! Why? Having fun and enjoyment are understatement on how the Lord's creation amazes me, mouth-watering food, wonderful people, sun, sea and sand!


I bask under the sun, walk along the shore and go crazy with the sand! Oh lala! When I am tired, I can have a restful short nap or goodnight sleep in the hammock city, with the wind and waves singing me a lullaby. Hammock city is a covered hut with more than 10 hammocks of different sizes, colors and designs! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


In the bliss of writing about my experiences during this bright, sunny and happy Springtime, I decided to take time off from writing my paper due three days from now to share an unexpected afternoon with Pinays in Darmstadt.

From my German language course, I headed to Rewe to buy talong and saging (Aubergine+Banane). I was happy to see some Filipinas hanging out in the food court near Rewe. So after buying what I need, I decided to approach them. I had met already a couple of them, and some of there are new faces, but no matter how long I have known them, still I belong (irregardless of age too!). The usual short "Hi, I am here to drop by, bye" extended to more than two hours - hanging out and "Noynoying."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Links Likes and RTs

Connecting. It is now easier, so much easier with the technology that we have, especially from the developing countries. I can go on enumerating its benefits to many of us who became users and subscribers of this worldwide environment connected via internet. Even super-ultramarathon away from the Philippines, news and bits travel faster to me. Well, yeah, i do not have my personal FB or Tweeter accounts, yet there are ways to learn what's happening about something somewhere.