Are we there yet?


Views merged with the light and speed, the son is asleep at the back of the car, we’re listening to some opera, road trip from Germany to Britain is always fun. Car packed with goodies from Germany, our suitcases and some sweets, snacks and drinks. Son wakes up, listens to his music, then gets bored, asking when we are arriving.

Are we there yet?
Street lights and fast cars
Family’s road trip

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 8th 2016 75 words haibun, Photo Challenge #138

Montserrat, Spain – the trip of a lifetime

On our recent trip to Barcelona, we went to Montserrat, which is a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine monk mountain retreat about one hour North West from Barcelona by train.

Not only is Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance but the natural beauty surrounding the monastery is simply breathtaking. When we arrived there, it was still very foggy and couldn’t see anything, but as the day went, the fog cleared and an astounding beauty greeted us. We walked around, enjoying the experience.


For: #MySundayPhoto – Fire Sky, Discovery Day (Sundays In My City), ALL SEASONS- TREEEEZ IN FALL Nov 6, coastline beauty… . Also for: Jo’s Monday walk : The Masmorra Trail

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My Spanish Smiles

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all feeling great. Back from sunny Catalonia so I’ve got lots of smiles this week.

a must see in Barcelona – the Sagrada Familia Basilica, which is a large Roman Catholic church, designed by Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. The queue was really long so we bought tickets online and came back the next day. It was majestic.

Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló is simply amazing! Although I bought the ticket online, I still had to queue for half an hour , but it was all worth it. It’s a brilliant building, full of Gaudi’s weird shapes, colours, mosaics, not one straight line sort of masterpieces. And from the roof, I can see the street and the people still queueing and taking photos of the building.

we joined a bus tour to Girona and Figueres from Barcelona and it was wonderful. The Dalí Theatre and Museum, is a museum of the artist Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres. Dali is buried there in a crypt below the stage. Some of his works are displayed there.

We went to Montserrat, which is a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine monk mountain retreat about one hour North West from Barcelona by train. We also listened to the famous Basilica choir boy performance of Gregorian chants and other genres of religious choral music. They are voices of angels!

What made you smile this week?

For: Weekly Smile 44 #weeklysmile, Three Things Thursday: November 3, 2016

Weekly Smile Week 43 #weeklysmile

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all fine. Lovely smiles from me this week. I’m packing my bag to go to Barcelona – viva Espania!!!! I’ll be meeting my cousin from Cologne and the other one from Dubai and we’ll stay for 5 nights, how cool would that be? Three girls with lots of things to talk about, places to see, tapas to eat and Cava to drink. It’s going to be great, can’t wait!

Also Him Indoors has just bought tickets for Beethoven Symphony 5 and Chopin’s concert and the other one for Amadeus (film with live music) at the Philharmonie Munich. They are our early Christmas presents for each other, not to mention the first lot for New Year’s Day for Beethoven Symphony 9. Cultural overload for me! I love them all!

Got to go now. I’ve got to carry on packing. Cheers everyone and smile!

For: Weekly Smile Week 43 #weeklysmile. Also for: Nurturing Thurs – Believe in Yourself


Thank God, It’s Monday! — Week of October 24th 2016: The Need of the Moment

Hello everyone! Welcome back, Pia! Glad TGIM is back! Anyway, it’s a cold morning here in Bavaria and I’m just writing this before I have my breakfast and get ready for work. 2 hours one-on-one English conversation with my Serbian Engineer then I go to town to meet my friend for sushi or sashimi. We’ve also made some appointment for facial in the afternoon. Such is life! I love it!

This Thursday, I’m off to Barcelona for 5 days. That’s so cool! I’m meeting my cousins – one from Cologne, and another one coming from Dubai. Looking forward to seeing them again and the sight seeing and tapas and Cava, great! Hopefully, we can go in Sagrada Familia, then walk along La Rambla (I have to buy a shirt from Hard Rock Cafe for HRH the son), see the Gaudi House, Picasso museum, La Guell Park and spend a day trip to Dali museum. Fun, fun, fun!

That’s it from me. Have a lovely week everyone!

For: Thank God, It’s Monday! — Week of October 24th 2016: The Need of the Moment

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Hello everyone! Two days after the Hindu wedding, we went on a road trip. There were 18 of us in a big van and travelled 165 km, roughly 4 hours from Cochin to Thekkady. It was an interesting trip, with The Corporation Market, Kakkadassery Bridge, St Xavier’s Church and Bavas Archana Hospital on the way. Several petrol pumps were also located en route. It was a good experience, very long travel in the hairpin bend roads. Full of greenery on both sides of the roads.

We went to Periyar Tiger Reserve., which was a very well maintained area managed by the forest department in Kerela. The area was clean and we had a peaceful walk through its dense forest of towering trees and artistic roots. The Periyar lake is within the reserve and there were regular boat rides on the lake. We took the boat ride (1.5 hours of boating) and saw some amazing birds, like hornbills and kingfishers in full flight. Other birds include raptors, water birds, galliform birds, pigeons, wood peckers and passerines. There were also some sambar deers, foxes, monkeys, elephants and bisons, but from a great distance to such a point the animals appear as tiny dots. Overall, it was a good road trip and a boat ride.

For: Road Trips? by Calmkate. Also for: Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Skipton


Kerala Houseboat Tour

We had an amazing experience the day after the wedding. We went on a houseboat tour. From Cochin we drove a couple of hours to Kumarakom where we had the houseboat tour. Master craftsmen of these houseboats is now numbering. Only a few have tremendous knowledge and experience for Kerala houseboats. Without a scale model or drawing, they build these magnificent and beautiful Kettuvalloms. The natural coir fibre once soaked in oil, seal the holes and at the same time yield a little bit on mild impacts saving the houseboats. The ‘valavara’ the roof of the Kettuvallom is made of split bamboo poles Coir ropes and bamboo mats. The art of roof making is specialty of certain villages in Kerala. We stopped to buy some crabs, prawns and fish and the chefs cooked them. They were delicious. On our voyage across these mesmerizing backwater of Kerala we caught a glimpse of the beautiful water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, temples, rustic homes, and coconut groves. The people of Kerala living along these backwaters have a unique lifestyle and culture.

What made you smile this week?

For: Weekly Smile 33 #weeklysmile, WW #73 winter wild…, Nurt Thurs – Your Role by Becca Givens, Thankful Thursday: Fun, giraffe elegance…


#AwakeAugust – small stones 08/16/16


unpacking, laundry, shopping
back from 2 weeks holiday
from India where the son wed
his beautiful bride and we’re glad
three cheers to both of them
many years of happiness together!

(c) ladyleemanila 2016


During the month of August, I will be joining Satya and Kaspa for their Awake August 2016 and write small stones throughout the month. If you’d like to join us, simply write small stones during the month on your blog and/or post them on their Facebook page. Use the hashtag #AwakeAugust in your title to share with others on Facebook and Twitter. If you are unfamiliar with what small stones are, you can find out here. I do hope you will join in. It is a beautiful mindfulness tool.