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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 3) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Plaza de España Seville.

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 3)
Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Plaza de Espana Seville


Plaza de Espana Seville is by far one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the world. Considering that I used to worked in Singapore Airlines, and I've traveled to quite a number of places, but I have never seen a place as magical and mystical as this place. It is like Disneyland but it is completely real. It is not a fantasy world. It is reality. 

Plaza de Espana "Spain Square" is a plaza built in the Parque de Maria Luisa (Maria Luisa Park). It was built in 1928 and it is a landmark example of Regionalism Architecture of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish Architecture (Architect - Anibal Gonzalez). 


Wedding Photo Shoot - EPIC Location

For romantic couples who want to look for a place to propose to your beautiful girlfriend, or a place to take wedding photos, or a place for a honeymoon, this surreal place beats a lot of countries and cities, hands down. It is the most romantic place I've seen. For my friends who plan to do their wedding shoots in Bali, or Santorini, or Paris, it is way too cliche. I would say, go to a location that not many Singaporeans would go, or have even heard of or seen. Your wedding photos would be EPIC!

My photos are just taken with an Apple Iphone camera, imagine taking photos and videos of this place with a professional camera. It would be out of this world.


The Plaza de Espana is so majestic that it was a filming location for quite a number of movies. Few examples was Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Espisode 2 - Attack of the Clones (2002), whereby they featured the exterior shots of the City of Theed on the Planet Naboo. It was also featured in one of my favourite funny movie - The Dictator. It was even used for music videos, Simply Red's song - Something Got Me Started.



Today, Plaza de Espana, is used mainly for government stuff. The end of the park, where the grandest mansions are situated, have been turned into museums. Some of which contains the city's archaeology collections. The main exhibits are the Roman mosaics ad artifacts from the nearby Italica.


Pictures from Wiki




Truly, these pictures doesn't do this magical place any justice. Hire a professional photographer and fly down there to take really nice wedding photos. You won't regret!

This place is a must visit.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Read more about my 1 Month Spain Trip - CLICK HERE

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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2) - Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection, National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 2)
Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Places of attraction - Casco Historico De Toledo, Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection,
National Archaeological Museum of Spain, La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain.


Casco Historico De Toledo

I love Toledo! This place is like a dream land!

The Historic City of Toledo is a historic site of the Spanish municipality of Toledo , declared a World Heritage Site.


The set includes historical buildings of the Spanish city of Toledo , in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha . The protected area includes the old part of the city, enclosed by the city wall and by the meander that forms the Tagus River , and a series of areas on the opposite bank of the river course. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1986.  The city also has the status of cultural interest , having been declared a historic-artistic monument on 9 March 1940.






The Whole TOP VIEW of Toledo



Spanish dish at Cigarra Monte-Rey Toledo

I had an awesome Spanish meal at this famous restaurant on top of a hill. The exterior of the building looks old, classic and brick like. But the interior of restaurant is modern and impressive. It was an extremely beautiful view of the entire Toledo at the bottom. Try to get a seat by the window to have an awesome scenic view while dining. 


This is the splendid view from this restaurant on top of a hill. Their food was really good. I even met a few friends who are also traveling and visiting Toledo. 





Making a Sword in Toledo


TOLEDO, SPAIN–Mariano Zamorano has a 12-inch dagger blade gripped in his right hand as he guides it with his left over a rough stone rotating on a spinning wheel. He shifts and sparks fly up and out, illuminating the darkened room. Then he moves with the blade to the next stone, and then another and another, each finer than the last, to whir away the layer of black left by the flames it was forged with.

Mariano Zamorano, 63, polishes the blade of the sword in his workshop on June 5, 2015. Zamorano is one of the last artisan sword makers of Toledo, Spain.

His shop, Mariano Zamorano Fábrica de Espadas, set in a quiet corner off the center of town, has passed from five generations of fathers to sons. Today, he is one of the last authentic sword makers in Toledo – a city south of Madrid, in the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain – where warriors, kings and noblemen would go for the weapons they carried into war. At 63, though, Zamorano is getting ready to retire. And while his son, also a Mariano, an aeronautical engineer, is able to replace his father, he is not willing to take over the business. And that means after 150 years, the world-renowned sword shop will likely close down.


Urban Hotel by Derby Hotels Collection
Looks like museum


The company was established in 1968 with the opening of the Derby Hotel and is now one of Spain’s most prestigious hotel chains.

Jordi Clos is the chairman and founder of Derby Hotels Collection, a Catalan businessman closely linked to the tourist sector in Barcelona, who runs the company along with his family in a very personal manner.

As well as a hotelier, Jordi Clos is an Egyptologist, collector and sponsor of art. He chairs the Clos Archaeological Foundation, an organisation that owns the Egyptian Museum of Barcelona, with the largest private collection of Egyptian art in Europe on display to the public and that has been funding archaeological digs in Egypt for over twenty years.




URBAN HOTEL LOFT SUITE


Duplex suite with loft layout conceived as an experience for the senses: it combines modern design, luxury, spaciousness, natural light and views over the central street Carrera de San Jerónimo.

The layout of the suite on two levels conveniently separates the sleeping area on the lower level from the lounge area on the upper level. The suite’s large glass window, measuring more than four metres high, allows the entry of natural light throughout the day.


But what particularly stands out in the Suite are the materials used in its decor: wenge wood inlays, limestone in the bathrooms, glass and steel in the partitions, Zimbabwean black stone in the glass bathroom screens and tropical teak furniture.

Deco rugs and steel furniture combine in the rooms with furniture by the architect J. Hoffman, Meridian transparent chairs by Driade, headboard and glass bedside tables by Triade, Italian leather sofa and Starck bathroom furniture by Duravit. The Loft Suite is presented as a work of art in itself, where comfort also takes precedence.


I stayed at the Suite Loft. It was super grand, as their decorated it like a museum. It is around 800EURO (Suite Loft) a night on average. 


National Archaeological Museum of Spain


The National Archaeological Museum (Spanish: Museo Arqueológico Nacional) is a museum in Madrid, Spain. It is located on Serrano Street beside the Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square), sharing its building with the National Library.

The museum was founded in 1867 by a Royal Decree of Isabella II as a depository for numismatic, archaeological, ethnographical and decorative art collections of the Spanish monarchs.

The museum was originally located in the Embajadores district of Madrid. In 1895, it moved to a building designed specifically to house it, a neoclassical design by architect Francisco Jareño, built from 1866 to 1892. In 1968, renovation and extension works considerably increased its area. The museum closed for renovation in 2008 and reopened in April 2014. The remodelled museum concentrates on its core archaeological role, rather than decorative arts.

Its collection is based on pieces from the Iberian Peninsula, from Prehistory to Early-Modern Age. However, it also has different collections coming from outside of Spain, especially from Ancient Greece, both from the metropolitan and, above all, from Magna Graecia, and, to a lesser extent, from Ancient Egypt, in addition to "a small number of pieces" from Near East.

Noria de Sevilla in Spain

I spotted this beautiful ferrywheel. Apparently, its quite famous. I visited their aquarium nearby and also spotted a man show casing his owls.


Trip Advisor 
La Noria de Sevilla
Ride this ferry wheel at around SGD40.



La Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia Spain 
(UNESCO)


A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.



Visiting a Palace in Granada Spain. They have colourful flowers and a lot of different types of fruits and crops. Their own potable water from the mountain and a perfect view of the whole Granada City. They seem very self contained. I could live in this Palace forever. 4000 people used to live here.

Can I be one of them?


The History of Alhambra

The Alhambra - "The Red One",the complete Arabic form of which was Qalat Al-Hamra), is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. 

It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.

Alhambra's last flowering of Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered following the defeat of Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site. The rediscoverers were first British intellectuals and then other north European Romantic travelers. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well-known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. 

The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.


Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The park (Alameda de la Alhambra), which is overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring, was planted by the Moors with roses, oranges, and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms brought by the Duke of Wellington in 1812. The park has a multitude of nightingales and is usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades. These are supplied through a conduit 8 km (5.0 mi) long, which is connected with the Darro at the monastery of Jesus del Valle above Granada.


Despite long neglect, willful vandalism, and some ill-judged restoration, the Alhambra endures as an atypical example of Muslim art in its final European stages, relatively uninfluenced by the direct Byzantine influences found in the Mezquita of Córdoba. The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court, and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. 

Alhambra was extended by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red, and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.


The decoration consists for the upper part of the walls, as a rule, of Arabic inscriptions—mostly poems by Ibn Zamrak and others praising the palace—that are manipulated into geometrical patterns with vegetal background set onto an arabesque setting ("Ataurique"). Much of this ornament is carved stucco (plaster) rather than stone. Tile mosaics ("alicatado"), with complicated mathematical patterns ("tracería", most precisely "lacería"), are largely used as panelling for the lower part. Similar designs are displayed on wooden ceilings (Alfarje). 

Muqarnas are the main elements for vaulting with stucco, and some of the most accomplished dome examples of this kind are in the Court of the Lions halls. The palace complex is designed in the Nasrid style, the last blooming of Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula, that had a great influence on the Maghreb to the present day, and on contemporary Mudejar Art, which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and widely popular during the Reconquista in Spain.




Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Moorish rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Nasrid Emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era.

The literal translation of Alhambra, "the red (female)," reflects the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings as seen today are reddish. Another possible origin of the name is the tribal designation of the Nasrid Dynasty, known as the Banu al-Ahmar Arabic: Sons of the Red (male), a sub-tribe of the Arab Qahtanite Banu Khazraj tribe. One of the early Nasrid ancestors was nicknamed Yusuf Al Ahmar (Yusuf the Red) and hence the (Nasrid) fraction of the Banu Khazraj took up the name of Banu al-Ahmar.



This place is a must visit.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Read more about my 1 Month Spain Trip - CLICK HERE

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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 1) Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class - The Royal Palace of Madrid, Aqueduct of Segovia, Cathedral de Segovia, Walls of Avila.


TRAVEL - SPAIN (Part 1) 
Sara Shantelle Lim goes to Spain on Singapore Airlines Business Class 
1 Month Trip
Places of attraction - Madrid, Aqueduct of Segovia, Catherdral de Segovia,
The Royal Palace of Madrid, The Catholic Cathedral, The Walls of Avila, Aldea El Rocio Huelva.


Singapore Airlines Business Class Travel - I always enjoy flying with Singapore Airlines on Business Class as they always provide excellent customer service and comfort is very important especially on quite a long flight. I like to arrive fresh at my destination so I have the energy to complete all my travel plans and tasks enthusiastically.


Beautiful Aqueduct of Segovia in Spain 

A massive structure which is over 2000 years old and an iconic view for the town that has 3 UNESCO world heritage sites. It has a total length of 15 km from its source in the mountains to the Alcazar on the NW tip of the city. Simply incredible and stunning! I enjoyed a magnificent walk around the town and lovely scenery surrounding this area. 


Roman Aqueduct in Spain
With the Pont du Gard in France, it is one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts. It is the foremost symbol of Segovia, as evidenced by its presence on the city's coat of arms.




The History of The Aqueduct of Segovia Spain

As the aqueduct lacks a legible inscription (one was apparently located in the structure's attic, or top portion), the date of construction cannot be definitively determined. The general date of the Aqueduct's construction was long a mystery although it was thought to have been during the 1st century AD, during the reigns of the Emperors Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan. At the end of the 20th century, Géza Alföldy deciphered the text on the dedication plaque by studying the anchors that held the now missing bronze letters in place. He determined that Emperor Domitian (AD 81-96) ordered its construction and the year 98 A.D. was proposed as the most likely date of completion.However, in 2016 evidence was published which points out to a slightly later date, by 112 AD.


Segovia Aqueduct in 1824 by Edward Hawke Locker

The beginnings of Segovia are also not definitively known. The Vaccaei people are known to have populated the area before it was conquered by the Romans. Roman troops sent to control the area stayed behind to settle there. The area fell within the jurisdiction of the Roman provincial court (Latin conventus iuridici, Spanish convento jurídico) located in Clunia.

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Museum of Santa Teresa
Basilica of San Vicente, Covent of San Jose. 
This place is 1.5h away from Madrid City. 





Cathedral de Segovia 

Also known as the Lady of Cathedrals, this Gothic cathedral is lined with 1300 stained glass, has one of the highest tower in Spain and has wonderful altarpieces and a museum. Visitors are encouraged to visit the bell tower as the view from the top is simply spectacular! 


The massive cathedral was built between 1525-1577 in a late Gothic style, outdated elsewhere in Europe. The previous cathedral of Segovia had stood adjacent to the Alcazar, and had been used by the royal armies in defending the latter against siege. The rebellious Comuneros were intent on taking the Cathedral to protect its holy relics, and to use its position against the walls of the Alcazar in order to defeat its defenders. In a famous exchange, prominent city officials urged the comuneros to halt their attacks on the church, saying they should consider the injustice of razing so sumptuous a temple while making war against those who, serving their king, defended his Alcazar. But their plea fell on deaf ears, and the comuneros replied: la Iglesia era de la Ciudad (the Church belonged to the City). After a bitter siege lasting months, the cathedral lay in ruins.


Overall view of the Cathedral of Segovia, Castilla y Léon, Spain and the surrounding Jewish Quarter of the city (la Judería).

Due to fears of a repeat assault, the cathedral was relocated to the present site and built using a design by the Trasmeran mason named Juan Gil de Hontañón, and the work was continued by his son Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.


The building's structure features three tall vaults and an ambulatory, with fine tracery windows and numerous stained glass windows. The interior is characterized by unity of style (late Gothic), except for the dome, built around 1630 by Pedro de Brizuela. The Gothic vaults are 33 meters high by 50 meters wide and 105 long. The bell tower reaches almost 90 meters. The current stone spire crowning the tower, dating from 1614, was erected after a major fire caused by a thunderstorm. The original spire, entirely Gothic, was built of American mahogany, had a pyramidal structure, and was the tallest tower in Spain.


Among the most prominent chapels are that of the Santísimo Sacramento, with a Reredo by José de Churriguera, the Chapel of San Andrés, with a Tryptich of the Deposition by Ambrosius Benson, the Chapel of Piety with the Entombment by Juan de Juni, ; and the chapel of the Deposition with the recumbent Christ by Gregorio Fernández.

Vitreaux of Virgin Mary


The retablo mayor, or main reredos, of the cathedral was carved by Francisco Sabatini, and is dedicated to the Virgin of the Peace. It is adorned with the Segovian Saints Frutos, Geroteo, Valentín and Engracia. The choir has gothic seating.

The cathedral museum has works by Pedro Berruguete, Sánchez Coello and Van Orley, and the cathedral archives have one of the first printed books published in Spain: the Sinodal de Aguilafuente.



Typical Spanish Meal at Taberna Real (Madrid)
Plaza de Isabel II, 8, 28013 Madrid, Spain
www.tabernareal.com

I had a typical Spanish meal at this really quint restaurant. 
The decor inside is quite like as if I've entered another world.
I see dried meat hanging on the walls. The music played is really old school Spanish. 
But it was entirely delightful and surreal. 
Their dishes were really delicious and impressive. Service was awesome too!


History

Pardellas-Rivera Brothers, Manuel, Cesareo, José and Abelardo, put al their enthusiasm in order to give birth The Taberna Real. Continuing a family tradition of cooking, from the hand of Manuel, the older brother, they moved from Pontevedra, where they were born, to Madrid, where they found several restaurants in the most emblematic areas of the town. 

Taberna Real was opened to the public in 1997 at the same time as the Teatro Real is reopened, after a hard work of the brothers, who had given their whole life, and with the whole heart of support of their parents. The place can't be better: in the middle of the Madrid from the Austrias. 
In the 16th century, the Taberna Real was one of the out buildings used by the service of The Royal Palace, where the service ought to do all kind of gastronomic tasks which couldn't be done in the Palace. 

Our Restaurant was born in 1997 in order to offer you the best gastronomy elaborated with fresh market products in an environment which remember you the 16th century by achieving you complete satisfaction.


The Royal Palace of Madrid & The Catholic Cathedral 
in Panorama View

The Royal Palace of Madrid - One of Europe's largest and most beautifully decorated palaces spanning across an area of more than 1 million square feet. It is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family but is only used for state ceremonies. Basic entry costs only EUR10. Inside the palace houses opulent gilded rooms and lavish interiors. Unfortunately photography is generally not allowed inside except at the grand staircase area. 

The Catholic Cathedral - One of the most beautiful churches in the city and the only Spanish cathedral that has been consecrated by a Pope. The church was blessed by John Paul II during his visit to Madrid in 1993. Located just beside the The Royal Palace, you can combine your visit of these 2 places together.


The Walls of Avilla in Spain 

 This is the place where St. Therese lived and it offers a glimpse of the rustic, serene and beautiful city of Avila. The walls are incredibly preserved over the years and is a beautiful fortress of the city. A truely impressive architecture that is worth the lovely stroll and a sight to behold!


The work was started in 1090 but most of the defensive wall appears to have been rebuilt in the 12th century. The enclosed area is an irregular rectangle of 31 hectares with a perimeter of some 2,516 meters, including 88 semicircular towers. The walls have an average width of 3 metres and an average height of 12 metres. The nine gates were completed over several different periods. The Puerta de San Vicente (Gate of St Vincent) and the Puerta del Alcazar (Gate of the Fortress) are flanked by twin towers, 20 metres high, linked by a semicircular arch. The apse of the cathedral also forms one of the towers.

It is possible to walk upon the walls for roughly half the circumference. Whilst some of the walls will never be navigable in this way because of their integration into other structures, there is a large stretch of the walls that has yet to be made safe for pedestrians.



Aldea El Rocio Huelva


This church once had over 1 Million visitors over 40 days. It is situated in a small town that still uses horses to get around. Its very old school. But its very beautiful. This town has lots of Flamingos by the lake.





It was a really wonderful trip to Spain and I really enjoyed myself tremendously.

Some photos and information is extracted from Wikipedia & Tripadvisor.

Stay Tune for more Blog Posts on my 1 Month Trip in Spain!

READ MORE ABOUT SPAIN (Part 1 to Part 4) - CLICK HERE


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Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to New YorkCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to San FranciscoCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to Hong KongCLICK HERE.
Read about my First Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to BaliCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SydneyCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to LondonCLICK HERE.
Read about my Business Class Singapore Airlines Travel to SpainCLICK HERE.