Thursday, September 30, 2010

Qué fuerte me parece!

Os presento mi nuevo blog "¡Qué fuerte me parece!". Llevaba tiempo pensando en abrir una página donde poder expresar todas mis opiniones sin tapujos y aunque es parecida a "El desván de Opiniones de Destylou", no tiene el mismo fin.

En esta nueva página, de la misma manera que opino sobre cualquier tema, debato o me quejo de muchas de las cosas que pasan en el mundo, en un país, en una ciudad o en mi mismo barrio.

Os invito a visitarlo, espero que os guste.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho

The Lakshmana Temple is one of the oldest temple in Khajuraho (State: Madhya Pradesh). Belonging to Western Group of Temples it is the largest and beautifully carved temple at Khajuraho. It is built by King Yaovarman of Chandela dynasty between 930 and 950 A.D.

The main shrine of the temple has four subsidiary shrines at the corners of the temple platform.
The temple has columned halls with balconies, an entrance porch, and the inner sanctum.

In the inner sanctum is the sacred image of Vaikuntha-Vishnu brought from Tibet.

Decorating the sides of the temple are numerous statues. It is exquisitely decorated, almost completely with images of over 600 gods in the Hindu Pantheon. Most of the sculptures have economy of drapery but are effusively patterned with ornaments and flower motifs.

The various carvings and sculptures at this temple.

On the base of the platform are beautifully carved carvings. One such band of carving is King sitting on the throne in the Royal Hall with his ministers. In front of the King dance and music is played.

For the senses

It is not only teak and electronics that have been replaced, mounted and installed on this boat lately, finally we have also had the time to take care of the interior and at last it starts to feel like the boat is a real home and not only a boat. New cushions have arrived for both cabins and the saloon, new delicate pillows and sleeping sheets for different temperatures, wonderful designer cookware which brings harmony into our petite galley, some discreet pieces of art on the walls, scented candles to add an aromatic fragrance in the night time hours and a few, robust plants. (Any tips on how to keep the plants long lasting on a boat and through stormy weathers are most welcome!)

I might have gotten rid of a lot of stuff/clothes/shoes for this tour we have ahead of us, but one thing I can't see myself living without neither on land or on water, is a peaceful home where lights, scents, tones and design are in perfect harmony with one another and I must say that we're so slowly getting there, in the boat as well. /Taru

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dónde alojarte en Edimburgo

Hace unos días hice un post con los mejores lugares para visitar en Edimburgo. Ahora que ya ha terminado el verano, hay algunos viajes que no podemos dejar escapar.

Edimburgo es una ciudad impresionante, un lugar lleno de historia y todo ello se ve reflejado en sus calles.

Además de ser un lugar muy bello es muy turístico, tiene muchas opciones para que puedas pasarlo en grande.

Según me han contado, la gente es muy amable y acogen muy bien a todos los turistas que visitan la ciudad.

Edimburgo, además de por su historia tiene otras muchas cosas que pueden atraerte, como es el misterio contado en sus leyendas y otros hechos reales que con el paso del tiempo se han hecho cada vez más famosos.

Tampoco podemos olvidar el paisaje típico de los países del norte, con ese verde profundo que tampoco se puede ver en cualquier sitio.

Seguramente os contaré en muy poco tiempo por propia experiencia lo que viva en Edimburgo porque estoy planeando hacer un viaje allí. Con motivo de este artículo ha salido la posibilidad de ser una de las ciudades que veamos en breve, también estamos seguros de que no nos arrepentiremos.

Pasear por esas callejuelas del casco antiguo tiene que ser toda una experiencia, sabiendo toda la historia que hay guardadas en ellas y todo lo que se ha vivido allí durante siglos. Esa es la diferencia que tiene visitar este tipo de ciudades.

En cuanto a planerar el viaje hay muchas posibilidades, podemos elegir alojamiento en apartamento en Edimburgo. Es una opción muy buena, ya he probado varias veces hacerlo de esa manera y nos ha salido bastante bien.

Es imprescindible preparar bien los viajes para que no se presenten inconvenientes que puedan impedir que lo pases bien y disfrutes.

También se puede coger alguno de los aparthoteles en Edimburgo que son muy variados y de diferentes precios.

Sin lugar a dudas, Edimburgo es uno de mis próximos lugares de destino.

34 days to go.

It is very stressful around here on s/v Caos this week. We have the last parts of our teak to refit and also the toerails. Added to that we are now in the process of organizing for the last missing parts to be ordered before we leave to Sweden in the end of this week, so that everything is here when we come back - to avoid delays for our departure on the 31st of October. Finally the windvane is ordered and a big Thank You goes out to Stellan Knöös at Sailomat for giving us such a generous discount, can't wait to have it installed and tried out! Other things ordered this week are the bathing platform, the water maker from Katadyn, new portholes, new parts to the windshield, new cushions to the v-berth and a lot of other missing parts.

So what happened with the boat exchange? The truth was that, as we decided for going around the world just for a few months ago, we never really had the perfect time to try out how this boat would fit us both and during the summer we realized what we realized - that we would like to have it bigger. It might have sounded like a crazy idea to realize that two months before heading out, but there was no time earlier and we had to give it a try. Others might plan for their circumnavigation for years and years and they might have been perfectly in the know of what boat they'll use, we are the more impulsive ones: Go around the world? Hell yes! What boat? We'll figure it out later! As happy Hallberg Rassy owners we are though, we were always and are still convinced, that HR is the brand we want. We believe that for a journey like this, we'll need a boat which is strong, safe, well made and reliable - and that is exactly what the Hallberg Rassy's are.

We've been visiting a lot of beautiful boats these last weeks and found a couple of very interesting ones for sale in our neighborhoods. One Hallberg Rassy 38 and one 39, and we decided to go for any of them IF we got our boat sold in time. This is where we still are, many people have showed their interest but none of them could be able to fulfill the deal this year (which we can understand), so we'll have to wait. Now we know more or less what we want, but the timings must also be right. We are not in a hurry to make the exchange, and will not lower the price on our boat just to get it sold. The day we get it all perfectly matched, will be the day we'll exchange to the next boat. Until then, Caos is the one taking us around the world, and we are perfectly happy with that. Especially now when she is getting close to perfection!

Next on the agenda: Figure out which brand to invest in for a full set of new sails.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Mandwa Paintings

Shekhawati region in western India, is famous for its mural paintings. It is like a huge open air gallery of painted walls, havelis and palaces in the vast expanse of the desert of Rajasthan in India. Mandwa is one such place, where every nooks and corner of the town, street, home has been painted with frescoes. We had been to one such ancient home where the interiors are beautifully painted.

Here the theme is based on royal army of Rajasthan Kings. The paintings show royal assembly.

Even the ceiling is painted with floral designs.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A weekend of shopping

Tip of the week came from the wonderful Dreamkeeper crew aka Gar and Nicole, who're in town for some weeks for a stop in Barcelona before they head further West on their last leg of their 4 year long circumnavigation. Besides of tons of other invaluable sailing-around-the-world-tips, they explained for us the convenience of having a printer/scanner/photo printer onboard for all administrative paper work in harbors etc so yesterday we went out for some printer shopping. Shopping has by the way been our main task this weekend. IKEA shopping, tea shopping, electronic shopping, computer shopping and some provision shopping has filled our days and if we thought the boat was over weight before, it is nothing to what it is today. Alex is begging me to throw out more of my shoes to get some additional space, as we still haven't organized our new boat buy, and I guess I soon have to give in for the pressure. Who needs 30 pairs of shoes on the oceans anyway? /Taru Happy 3-Yr Anniverary Sale!!

It's Stefanibags' 3-Yr Anniversary and in celebration, they're offering a One-Day Sale (30% off) on all Kooba, Botkier, Linea Pelle and Treesje bags (good for both regular priced and SALE). Use code "PARTY30" (expires 9/27/10).  Here are three bags to snap up (2 of which are on sale!): (Note: Prices reflect 30% discount.)
  • Treesje Crimson ($256.20) in black:  If you need a little more info on this rocker chic cross-body bag, check out my video review of it (Video Review: Treesje's Crimson)!
  • Linea Pelle Dylan Medium Tote ($301) in black:  Gunmetal hardware...need I say more?
[Images Courtesy of Stefanibags]

Air China Launch Direct Chengdu-Tokyo Flights

Air China Chengdu to Japan

Good news for Chengdu City. Air China, is launching twice-weekly nonstop service from Chengdu to Tokyo on September 22 2010. Air China Is The First Airline To Launch A Direct Route To Japan From Southwest China.

Flights CA423/4 will depart Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 08:00 and arrive in Tokyo at 13:40 local time, every Wednesday and Saturday. Return flights will depart Tokyo Narita Airport at 14:50 local time and arrive in Chengdu at 19:20.

Previously, Air China had opened three routes linking Chengdu with Japan, which include seven flights per week on the Chengdu-Beijing-Tokyo route, seven flights on the Chengdu-Shanghai-Nagoya route, and three flights per week from Chengdu to Osaka via Dalian.

Japan relaxed its visa requirements for Chinese tourists in July, and the number of Chinese tourists to Japan continues to increase. In 2009, Sichuan received 166,910 Japanese tourists; the number during the period from January to May 2010 was 47,601, an increase of 33.83% over the same period last year. The launch of this direct route will help improve the Japanese tourism market, the development of Sichuan's tourism industry, and even the economic and cultural exchange of the entire Southwestern region.

About Air China

Air China is China's only national flag carrier and a Star Alliance member. Using a fleet of 256 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Air China's 250 routes serve 32 countries and regions. Thanks to the airline's admission to the Star Alliance, Air China's route network, with Beijing as its hub, is able to place 912 destinations in 159 countries within its reach. Air China now has 10 million members in its frequent flyers program.

For more information, please visit Air China website , or call Air China service hotline 4008-100-999.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lalbagh Flower Show August 2010, Bangalore

Every year in the month of January and August, the Lalbagh Gardens at Bangalore hosts Flower Show. If in Bangalore around this time one should not miss the event.

In the month of August, it is usually organized for 10 days from August 6th to 15th. The theme for this year is to show respect to all the martyrs and freedom fighters of our country.

This year the main attraction is the monument India Gate, beautifully made from more than 250,000 roses, a fitting tribute to the Indian soldiers.

On display were around 260 varieties of Anthuriam, Orchids, Celosia and Dianthus among others.

Every day thousands people enjoy the beauty of these flowers on display. It is mostly crowded in the evening on the weekdays. Best time to be in this place is the early afternoon. I had been here
on the weekend afternoon. Even though it was crowded I had enough space to take some snaps.

Very minimal entrance fee is charged for the show. No charges for camera.

A desert hike through Joshua Tree with high tech

Going solo into the backcountry -- or on a sailboat around Catalina, or on a mountain bike in Moab, Utah, for that matter -- always implies a trade-off, the exchange of safety for reverie. Nearly always, the risk is worth it, and for all the reasons Emerson made a career of. To be alone in big-N nature is to challenge yourself, to calibrate yourself, to fully inhabit the body you were born with, to feel the chill of the absolute run up your spine.

To navigate 75 miles of gorgeous but punishing chaparral, I've brought along a Garmin Colorado 400t GPS unit, with which I've electronically marked the water caches I buried earlier in the week while driving across the park. If I fail to find even one of these caches, I will wind up very miserable or worse. Also on my utility belt is an ACR Microfix 406 Personal Locator Beacon. Essentially one big panic button, when activated the unit sends a signal to a station monitored by the Air Force, which in turn mobilizes search-and-rescue resources.
read article

San Gorgonio windmills can teach you a lot

The San Gorgonio Wind Park begins about 100 miles east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley. To reach the windmill tour departure site, take Interstate 10 east to the Indian Road exit (five miles past the California Highway 111 exit to Palm Springs) in North Palm Springs. Drive a block north to 19th Avenue and turn left into the parking lot at 19-125 N. Indian Ave.

TOUR DETAILS run Wednesday through Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (mornings only during the summer). Tours are 90 minutes long, cost $25, $23 for 65 and over and $10 for 12 and under. Reserve ahead to confirm times; (760) 320-1365,

There are about 4,500 of them out here, representing 80 wind farms run by companies you may know ( Florida Power & Light), others you may not (Iberdrola) and, formerly, by others you wish you hadn't (Enron). Collectively, they can harness 650 megawatts of pure, clean, renewable energy.

"Enough to handle 195,000 typical California homes," says tour guide Ken Huskey of Palm Springs Windmill Tours, a Palm Springs-based tour operation that touts itself as the longest continually operating wind farm tour in the country (about 20 years).
read article

Sunny days

It's a beautiful and sunny day today. Starting to get a little colder in the nights here in Barcelona but we can still enjoy hot, Mediterranean climate on the sunshine hours - hoping to be able to do so all those days until we're leaving this town in 36 days. /T

Friday, September 24, 2010

White + Warren: Drape Neck Cardigan

I was able to nab this White +Warren cashmere Drape Neck Cardigan for $100 on

It was on sale for $150 (and still is), but thanks to a $50 promotional gift card from Neiman Marcus, it brought the price down to $100.  Throw in free shipping, how could I not get it??  My old dry-cleaners had shrunk my previous White + Warren cashmere cardigan, so I'm happy that I finally found a replacement at such a great price!

Note: Even if you didn't receive a $50 promotional gc from Neiman Marcus, $150 for this cardigan is still a great deal!  Use code "NMSEPT" to get free shipping (expires 9/27/10).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mashed potatoes from heaven

When I grew up, mashed potatoes was equal to: potatoes-butter-milk-salt-pepper and nothing else. Nowadays I'm trying to experiment as much as possible with it, as it goes with close to anything and the homemade version is a serious classic none can live without, right?

Sometimes I'll add herbs, sometimes bacon or parmesan - sometimes I'll make it simple with only some salt and oil, but this one I have to consider to be the favorite:

I boil my potatoes in small cubes. In the meanwhile I'll fry some very thin cut red onion and 2 small cloves of crushed garlic. When the potatoes have boiled (around 15 minutes), I'll mash them (but not too much, leave some chunks!), adding the onion mix, liquid cream, loads of butter, salt, pepper and a pinch of chili powder. This might not be either a low carb or low fat alternative, but oh so damn good. It goes especially well with grilled chicken or fried fish but really anything goes, I'm sure.

Try it!

Picture: My mashed potatoes served with fried Barracuda meat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prescription-Strength Hydroquinone: Not Covered By Insurance But Still Cheaper Than Whitening Beauty Products

Last week, I went to a follow-up appointment with my oral surgeon.  I went in knowing that he was going to admonish me for getting a tan on my recent trip to Bermuda.  And yes, he did admonish me.  He re-stressed to me that tanning and scarring don't mix.  Basically, he was thinking, "What the hell was she thinking??"  

I was really good the entire summer.  I avoided tanning and I used sunblock every day.  But when I'm on vacation, I just can't help it.   I like to tan when on vacation.  I still use sunblock but when you're on the beach, you tan.  KWIM?  

So what did this mean for me?  Before I could start my laser resurfacing treatment to correct the scarring below my lower lip, I had to lighten up the scar area.  My doctor prescribed to me prescription-strength hydroquinone (4%) - the generic version.

Much to my surprise, prescription-strength hydroquinone - even the generic version - is usually NOT covered by insurance.  Cash price for generic hydroquinone cream (4%) was $43.  Okay...this is not a huge amount of money, but what the heck am I paying my health insurance company for?  Per the pharmacist, hydroquinone is considered a cosmetic prescription, so most health insurance plans do not cover it.  I argued that I needed it for corrective purposes, not cosmetic but it fell on deaf ears.

I've been using the bleaching cream for a few days now... and not just on the scarring below my lower lip but also on a dark spot on my left leg.  I don't know about the scarring below my lower lip, but the dark spot on my left leg has lightened in a most dramatic manner.

What's the point of this post?  If you're out there buying over-the-counter bleaching products to lighten darks spots, consider going to your dermatologist for prescription-strength hydroquinone. Even at $43, there's a good chance that it's still cheaper than whitening beauty products from a department store.

Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho

The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in Khajuraho (State: Madhya Pradesh) is the finest example of architecture of the medieval period in India. Belonging to Western Group of Temples it is the largest and most ornate Hindu temple at Khajuraho. It is built by King Vidyadhara of Chandela dynasty in 1050 A.D. (Click on the image for bigger view)

The main spire rises to a height of 31 m and is surrounded by 84 miniature spires. Other features of the temple are columned halls with balconies, an entrance porch, and the inner sanctum. Inside the sanctum is a marble linga representing Shiva.

Decorating the sides of the temple are numerous statues and the inner sanctum also has large number of ornate statues. Many of the side panels depict Shiva in the presence of apsaras, consorts, and other divinities. Most of the sculptures have economy of drapery but are effusively patterned with ornaments and flower motifs.

Its ornate gateway is very attractive with carvings on it.

Above is the front view of the temple when Sun rays fall on it. The people around it give us the sheer size of the temple.

Peñíscola - Encanto, Magia y historia

Castellón - España

Peñíscola está en la comarca del bajo Maestrazgo, al norte de la provincia de Castellón. Declarada Conjunto Histórico-Artístico en 1972.

Es una ciudad con más de 2500 años de historia y entre sus calles esconde la magia de tiempos pasados, en todos sus rincones y sobre todo en el casco antiguo.

El casco antiguo de Peñíscola se encuentra sobre un tómbolo que se adentra en el mar, sus callejuelas están pavimentadas con canto rodado, plazas claramente mediterráneas, ermitas dedicadas a vírgenes, casas encaladas en blanco y murallas que han protegido a los caballeros más ilustres durante varios siglos, todo ello hace de Peñíscola un lugar único.

Peñíscola guarda en su historia muchas tradiciones, hechos históricos y leyendas.

Una leyenda dice que Anibal, tras su paso por Sagunto, juró odio eterno a los romanos. El castillo templario de la ciudad fue una de las tres sedes papales de la Cristiandad junto a Roma y Avignon.

Peñíscola fue un asentamiento perfecto desde tiempos remotos. Su situación, en una península rocosa que sólo está unida a tierra por un istmo de arena, hacía que su defensa fuera muy fácil, ya que ese istmo de arena, quedaba en muchas ocasiones inundado y sepultado bajo el mar, por lo que los habitantes de la ciudad quedaban totalmente protegidos. En la actualidad, ese istmo ha desaparecido por la construcción del puerto y otros edificios.

Esa condición estratégica también favorecía el comercio, además de que la afluencia de manantiales de agua dulce dentro y alrededor del tómbolo hacía más posible todavía su inexpugnabilidad.

Peñíscola ha acogido a iberos, fenicios, griegos, romanos, cartagineses, árabes, órdenes religioso-militares y otros hombres religiosos, del renaciminto, ilustrados y carlistas. Toda esa mezcla de culturas ha hecho posible que la ciudad sea privilegiada en cuanto a la historia.

Se han hallado abundantes vestigios arqueológicos en las cercanías del tómbolo, en los yacimientos del Poaig y Els Barrancs, confirmando el poblamiento de la zona de algún pueblo ibérico (ilercavones) y la relación que tuvieron con los mercaderes fenicios que llegaron por mar sobre el siglo VII-VI a.C.

En Peñíscola se asentaron los fenicios procedentes de Tiro y después los griegos de Zacinto. Después llegarían por mar los cartagineses, romanos, bizantinos y árabes.

Fue colonia griega y romana y un importante puerto a través del que entraban productos como cerámica, telas, armas, etc. Los colonizadores intercambiaban algunos su preciado vino y aceite de oliva de los íberos que poblaban las sierras del litoral. Precisamente fueron los romanos quienes al traducir el nombre griego de la ciudad al latín (paene+insula, "casi+isla") dieron el origen al topónimo actual de la ciudad.

Tarik conquistó Peñíscola en el año 718 y hasta 1233, vivió bajo dominio musulmán. De esta época no quedan muchos detalles.

La ciudad fue asentamiento de personajes muy ilustres como el Rey Lobo "Mohamed ben San, Aben Mardanis" (1124), que logró mantener un reino musulmán en el sudeste de la península ibérica frente a los invasores bereberes y el literato Alí Albatá, que intervendría en las negociaciones con el rey Jaime I, que finalmente, tras varios intentos en 1225, cuando sitió la ciudad durante dos meses, sería en 1233 cuando el rey tomaría posesión de Peñíscola, recuperando al mismo tiempo el dominio sobre el mar.

Aquella conquista fue pacífica y tras la caída de Burriana, quedaban los castillos musulmanes del norte aislados, la ciudad se entregó sin luchar, bajo algunos pactos que respetaban leyes y costumbres sarracenas.

Jaime I de Aragón, el 28 de enero de 1251, otorgaría a Valencia la carta de población de la ciudad. Desde aquel momento desposeía a los moros de todos sus bienes y propiedades, que serían entregadas a los pobladores cristianos, consolidando demográfica y económicamente a la ciudad y con ello, iniciando una etapa de prosperidad para Peñíscola.

El Castillo Templario se construyó entre los años 1294 y 1307 sobre los restos de la alcazaba árabe. Los promotores fueron frey Berenguer de Cardona, que era el Maestre de la Orden del Temple en Aragón y Cataluña y frey Arnaldo de Banyuls, que era el Comendador de Peñíscola.

Los escudos de los dos se conservan esculpidos en piedra, formando fajas heráldicas que se sitúan por encima de la puerta de acceso del castillo y sobre la puerta de la basílica. Este castillo templario se conserva en muy buen estado y de aquella época de la Edad Media, se pasaría a la del "Cisma de Occidente".

El Cisma de Occidente (período de la historia de la Iglesia Católica en que varios Papas (hasta tres) se disputaron la autoridad pontificia entre los siglos 1378–1417), marcaría la historia de la iglesia con la presencia simultánea de dos Papas. Pedro Martínez de Luna (Papa Luna) era uno de ellos, que sustituyó a Clemente VII como Papa de Aviñón con el nombre de Benedicto XIII, al mismo tiempo que otro Papa se instalaba en Roma obedeciendo a alemanes, italianos e ingleses.

El Papa Luna, desautorizado, se autoexilió a Peñíscolo el 21 de julio de 1411, asentando allí la sede pontificia y convirtiendo su castillo en palacio y biblioteca pontificia, tanto para él como para el que fuera su sucesor, Clemente VIII, segundo Papa de Peñíscola, que tras la muerte de Benedicto XIII el 23 de mayo de 1423, sería elegido en Peñíscola por los partidarios del Papa Luna.

Estuvo gobernando entre 1424 y 1429 y con su renuncia, acabaría el Cisma de Occidente. Tras aquel período pontificio la ciudad regresó a la jurisdicción real, siendo una de las villas del Reino de Valencia junto a Morella, Játiva, Alcira y Burriana entre otras.

En la época moderna se construyeron en Peñíscola murallas renacentistas que finalizarían en 1578, a cargo del arquitecto militar de Felipe II, Giovanni Battista Antonelli.

Estas murallas son uno de los ejemplos más relevantes de fortificación del Mediterráneo. Son muy parecidas a las de Ibiza y el motivo por el que fueron construidas era evitar la amenaza turca del siglo XVI y la piratería.

El castillo de Peñíscola sería el refugio del virrey de Valencia durante las Germanías (conflicto armado que se produjo en el Reino de Valencia a comienzos del reinado de Carlos I, paralelamente a la rebelión de las Comunidades de Castilla, entre 1519 y 1523).

A finales del siglo XVII comenzaría un período de crisis en Peñíscola después del cambio dinástico a los Borbones, la población protagonizaría uno de los capítulos más relevantes de su historia declarándose partidaria del bando borbónico junto a Sancho de Echevarría, su gobernador militar.

Por otro lado, el Reino de Valencia era partidario en su mayoría del aspirante al trono austríaco, al igual que el resto de reinos de la Corona de Aragón, por lo que Peñíscola sería sitiada durante dos años por destacamentos principalmente ingleses y holandeses. La "Batalla de las Trincheras" sería uno de los hechos más importantes.

Finalmente venció Felipe V la Guerra de Sucesión, declarando a Peñíscola como ciudad y otorgándole los títulos de "Muy Noble, leal y Fidelísima Ciudad".

Sancho de Echevarría recordaría aquel episodio construyendo la iglesia-ermitorio de la Virgen de la Ermitana.

En la Edad Contemporánea, Peñiscola estuvo ocupada por los franceses y fue objeto de operaciones militares por su gran valor estratégico y militar.

Fue conquistada por el general napoleónico Suchet y la población fue expulsada de la ciudadela, refugiándose en la Sierra de Irta.

Más tarde, sería reconquistada por el general Elío.

A lo largo del siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX, las actividades económicas principales de la ciudad fueron la pesca y la agricultura. Uno de las joyas de Peñíscola fue el vino, que se exportaba a través de Benicarló y era muy apreciado.

Los cultivos de secano locales se centraron en el algarrobo, el almendro y el olivo tras la epidemia de la filoxera.

El puerto pesquero terminó de construirse en 1922, después de ser solicitado durante muchos años.

En la actualidad, Peñíscola es uno de los lugares más visitados, muy popular entre el turismo y se ha convertido en el motor principal de la ciudad.

En la peña de Peñíscola se divisa ese casco viejo tan mágico, del que sobresale el castillo del Papa Luna y que divide la costa de la ciudad en dos mitades completamente diferentes.

Pintura de Ernest Descals
Tanto al norte como al sur de la península hay playas muy amplias y hoy día, sigue siendo una de las sierras litorales más vírgenes de la costa valenciana, la Sierra de Irta, que acaba en el mar en una costa rocosa baja y en otros puntos de acantilados altos, como el de Badum.

Esta sierra ocupa dos terceras partes meridionales del término, con 81 km².

En su parte septentrional, Peñíscola tiene una pequeña llanura aluvial que comparte con Benicarló y que llega desde el mar hasta las cimas del Poaig.

Peñíscola ha sido escenario del rodaje películas como El Cid de Anthony Mann o Calabuch de Luis García Berlanga.

Lugares de interés:

- Castillo Templario
- Murallas
- Templo Parroquial de Santa María de Peñíscola
- Ermita de San Antonio y el lugar donde se encuentra, el Parque Natural de la Sierra de Irta.
- Ermita de la Virgen de la Ermitana
- El Parque de Artillería, zona de casamatas y polvorines rodeados de jardines
- Museo del Mar
- El Bufador, gran brecha entre las rocas por las que "respira" el mar en días de temporal.
- Casa de las conchas

Las Playas de Peñíscola:

Playa Norte, con 5,5 kilómetros de arena fina que comienzan en la falda del Castillo y discurren a lo largo de la Avenida Papa Luna hasta llegar a Benicarló, su ciudad vecina.

Playa Sur, Playa de las viudas, Playas de Pebret y del Russo y 15 calas por todo el litoral de la Sierra de Irta. Hay otras playas más inaccesibles donde se suele practicar nudismo gracias a su anonimato.

En la gastronomía de Peñíscola se refleja su tradición ancestral marinera, siendo el pescado y el marisco las bases de su cocina. Su famosa paella, platos como el "suquet de peix", "arrossejat", "all i pebre de rap", "fideuá", "remesclo", "cargols punxents", lubinas, mucho marisco, doradas cocinadas de muchas maneras y dátiles de mar.

Durante el año hay 2 Citas Gastronómicas ineludibles:

1.Coincidiendo con el Festival de Cinema de Comedia (finales de Mayo-principios de Junio), los restaurantes elaboran sus mejores platos, siendo el “caragol punxent” el producto estrella.
2.Del 1 al 8 de Septiembre, antes de las Fiestas Patronales, es el turno de los bares, quienes nos sorprenden cada año con sus tapas en la divertida Ruta Gastronómica “Chanclas y Tapas”.

3. What language do you speak to each other?

Let us proceed with the inquiries you guys had for us.

I can understand that you might wonder about the language thing as we're of French/Greek/Finnish/some sort of Swedish-origins and none the same as the other but the answer is very simple. Besides of a lot of bodytalkin', we're using the International language of English to make ourselves understood.

It is not always we do so, though, and there are a lot of misunderstandings made (especially in arguments!) and it will most probably get plenty of more of them in the future, but at least we're getting close to where we want. It is certainly a pity that we sometimes can't express ourselves and our deepest thoughts with the most perfected words, as none of us speaks completely perfect English, but that's how it goes when choosing a partner from another country. We could of course converse in Spanish as well as that is a language we both master (though Alex is much better than me), but English is definitely the one in which we have the largest vocabulary - beside of our own ones.

Alex is also teaching me some French and I'm hoping to be able to speak it well after the circumnavigation. At the moment I can only boast with an excellent vocabulary of naughty and expletive words, and with those I do not get very far in life. /T


One of those days in Corsica, we anchored up in Sagone and had a day-trekking-tour to the small village of Vico. Vico can be found some miles up in the mountains, inside of the Corsican island. A beautiful, very petite countryside village where Alex spent many of his early ages with his family. The place was so very peaceful and also reminded me of the small village in Sweden (Magra, 72 km from Gothenburg) where I grew up among horses, cows, deep forests and a feeling of being totally cut off from everything else that was going on in the big world.

As there were no buses or trains, we hitchhiked our way up on the mountains and got a pleasant ride by 1. A firefighter 2. A young man on his way to work 3. A man, his daughter and their very amusing and happy dog - in the back of their pickup along with the dog.

It was a beautiful and funny day and very wonderful to get high up in the mountains for some variation from the sea life. Too bad the owners of the horse ranch weren't there, I would have loved to have a ride and also see Alex on a horse. Next time!

The car of the village's pastor.
Beautiful view and delightfully fresh air.
Blueberries in the forest.
I told Alex to take my picture while I was standing inside of a cork tree. I wasn't there for very long though as I suddenly felt termites all over my feet and inside of my shoes!! Alex couldn't stop laughing and made fun of me for the fact that I would do anything to have a nice photo of myself. I don't understand what he means.
We were strolling along in the forest and suddenly a cow showed up from nowhere. They walk along completely free and liberated here on this island. Along with other types of animals such as donkeys, goats, cats, dogs and chickens.

Hello there little beauty!

In the back of the truck with a friendly dog.