El Nido, Palawan
I think it’s only fitting to cap this challenge by featuring one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I’m amazed at how the local government is able to responsibly handle tourism in the islands. In fact, they are proposing to close some islands this year to rehabilitate the corals, and they will be opening other sites.
I went here with my friends way back in 2012, and I only had my phone with me so the pictures aren’t as good. I’d sure want to go back here though no matter what!
Limestone cliffs from afar
I found this sandbar really fascinating, and the water is just so nice and clear! We got to cross this sandbar to get to the other island 🙂
another stop of our island tour; yet another breathtaking view
Clear waters, beautifully sculpted caves = perfect!
Another shot of the limestone cliffs and emerald water
El Nido’s islands have these limestone cliffs which locals scale to harvest ingredients for bird’s nest soup. And that’s really the color of the water in this part of the sea 🙂
Hunter x Hunter’s Whale Island??
These boats take the tourists to the islands
I’m very much fond of cats, and they’re one of my favorite subjects when I’m wandering about.
Here are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy!
These two seem to be waiting patiently for someone to give them food. They look normal-sized too compared to the cats I saw in Himeji^^
This looks like a still from one of those anime openings! Hahaha 😀
I like this one’s pattern. Doesn’t he look regal?
😛 I just had to take this shot before he wakes up and walks away!
Minoo Falls, Osaka
Strolling through gardens is nice, but for me, natural parks are definitely on another level, and Minoo Falls just happens to be in one. Minoo Park is on the outskirts of the busy Osaka metro but it’s easily accessible by train. It’s a 25-30 minute walk to reach the falls, but the trail is scenic, it’s literally cool–like 2 – 3 degrees C cooler than in Umeda–and definitely refreshing. Here are some pics of my stop in Minoo Park:
Bought a bag of maple leaf tempura to snack on along the way. It’s light, sweet and crunchy!
Ryuanji Temple up ahead!
One of the five or so vending machines along the trail, and that doesn’t include the vendos near the falls!
Near the falls
More trees starting to change their leaves’ colors
Seeing gardens of flowers is a refreshing sight for me because since moving out of UP and getting into an office-based job, all I see everywhere are buildings, traffic and sidewalk peddlers–which is why I relish visiting gardens when I can, be it indoor or outdoor. Here are some of my favorite flower pictures:
I was excited to see tulips when we visited Everland!
nice shades of green
An old man had a spray bottle with him and sprinkled some water on these blooms before taking a few pics. I took my shots after he left while the dew drops were still there 😄
this was taken at high noon so I’m glad the colors turned out fine
I cannot let the opportunity to experience walking though the Sagano Bamboo Grove pass, although I almost gave up in doing so. It was quite tricky reaching Arashiyama from Sakai, Osaka and I used the local trains where I could use my Kansai Thru Pass. Getting to the Bamboo Grove was a good deal though because I’ll get to see Tenryu-ji and its gardens, and I’d have the chance to see the Okochi-Sanso Villa.
That was the plan, but in reality, I just ended up in the bamboo grove and then in Tenryu-ji. (In the guide I tried to follow though, I was supposed to pass through Tenryu-ji first and then exit into the grove. Agh!)
In any case, even if the bamboo grove was crowded, and the path is just around 5oo m long, and there were a lot of people in Tenryu-ji, I still enjoyed being there.
Today’s theme is “bird’s eye view.”
I enjoy watching the sea of clouds whenever I’m on the plane, although someday I want to experience watching it from the mountaintop, too. Seeing the greens from above also looks refreshing.
A friend nominated me to work on this challenge and I thought it would be a good idea to post the pics here as well. It’s one of those few challenges I wouldn’t mind taking a part of.
So for Day 1, I chose to start with UP Diliman. It’s one of those rare places in the metro that will welcome you with lines of trees, winds a couple of degrees cooler than in the concrete jungles, and where roads are made for walking. UP is special to me because it’s been my home for several years.
These pictures were taken on off days, although it can get very lively on a fine Sunday or any busy school day. At the top left is a portion of the academic oval, lined by sturdy acacia trees; below it is the amphitheater were university graduations are held, and the annual lantern parade makes its final stop. Top right is a little-known path near the lagoon–a wild but scenic area popular for group studies, cosplays or group cosplays.
Bottom right is a shot of the newly-renovated Carillon, UP’s bell tower, that plays the school hymn at 5 pm. The Carillon is one of UP’s many iconic landmarks (and you might be looking for a shot of the oblation, which I never took of yet for some reason^^;)
Last but not the least, a portion of the University Avenue lined up by sunflowers. Since this pic was taken late afternoon, the sunflowers look like they’re about to take a nap. Sorry about that!
There are sunflowers planted every year, timed such that they bloom fully when the students graduate from their colleges or universities in April. Now that the school calendar’s been changed though, I wonder if they’ll still keep this tradition.
Those mere five pictures are not enough to capture the experience of staying in UP, but they’re just five of the many wonderful moments in this place.