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Royal Endeavors – Basque Country

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the much expected last Royal Endeavors episode, dedicated to my excellent travel experience and spiritual journey in Basque Country.

We have come a long way together to finally reach this milestone. You know how much I appreciate your patience – I am also deeply involved in the process of living consciously and mindful so please feel free to highly appreciate my time investment and persistant dedication to follow my passion against all odds – there have been quite a few. I am glad the challenges stopped. I am thankful it’s still Mercury Retrograde going on so I somehow have the proper mood to deliver what I have started a long time ago. As much as I would have prefered to split this blog post in a couple of them more, I feel I deserve some space to breathe after I deliver my adventures in wonderland therefore I will keep it cool and short.

What’s being served this time? Everything on point. Let’s dive deep into my cultural tripping around the world with (even) more cathedrals and museums. I know. Just when you though I had seen them all… Today’s menu consists of my delightful experiences in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Valladolid, Pamplona and Palencia. I will start the journey of a thousand pictures by telling you a funny story of how I got stuck between four closed doors in Catedral de Pamplona for a little while, with low phone signal and literally no one to shout to for help. Nothing to worry about. I didn’t panic much either, I thought it was kind of symbolic to whatever life situation I had put myself through and I needed to get out of. I literally can’t stop thinking about a basic coaching question whenever something out of the ordinary happens: “What is this trying to teach me?”. That’s the perfect way to cool off.

So I called our official guide for help after three failed attempts due to the low signal in the two squared meters dark chamber located in a corner of an impressive cathedral which had only a few visitors during the siesta time, but as soon as I heard it could take 10 minutes for him to reach me, the perspective of being stuck there for too long didn’t feel enlightening enough so I finally pushed an enormous door a little bit harder and got myself out. I never shouted for help but I hardly doubt anyone could have heard me. The curious thing is that the door I went through was one of no return. The other two seemed not to have been used at all so there was only one I could possibly use, which was ceiling high and faced the entrance of the cathedral. It was probably a centuries old original intricately carved massive wooden door. I was also extremely happy to have done so by myself, without panic, suffering an anxiety attack or needing extra help. I’ve noticed this aspect about myself – I have no problem to ask for help if I can’t do something on my own but I happen to do that just to know there’s a safe net in case I need it. I rarely get to use it though but the possibility gives me confidence to be in charge of the situation. That’s all I need. I guess everybody needs someone to count on, after all.

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Royal Endeavors – Oviedo

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Hello darlings,

I am extremely pleased we meet again for another memorable Royal Endeavors breathtaking episode, still dedicated to Basque Country – a wonderful occasion to be grateful for the opportunities this country offered to me to get in touch with myself and to discover the many distinguished aspects of a fulfilling life.

As I have previously mentioned so many times in other travel episodes, art and beauty not only raise vibrations to a higher level of (self) consciousness and confidence but also nurture our souls with the divine energy of creation, representing the very core of a luxurious simplicity accessible to the humankind. I know I get deep but let’s hope my example will pave the way of self-discovery and personal development for some, as I believe the academic foundation of having studied Psychology and Education definitely shines out.

I am having a wonderful time lately enjoying a book of Dominique Loreau on The Art of Refinement and Luxury, preaching the priceless experiences of spicing up life with memorable but little gestures or activities that feed the soul, such as traveling to see an art exhibition, sipping coffee or tea from beautiful cups or acquiring only top quality garments which will last a lifetime. Having the chance to admire the stunning masterpieces created by blessed minds and divine hands definitely resonates to the idea of affordable luxury, whose positive impact can bring joy to any heart.

I will start this precious storytelling journey with Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain, an elegant and enchanting city known for its medieval old town and the site of the Gothic Oviedo Cathedral with its 9th-century Holy Chamber. When describing Oviedo the words “Charming” and “Historic” always come to mind. One can feel the sense of history in every step, while discovering the impressive Old District and strolling among Palaces, Churches, Convents and ancient buildings.

We only had a few hours to wonder around, visit the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias (one of the best in Spain) or The Archeological Museum of Asturias, the 13th century Cathedral of San Saviour and eat if we still had time therefore I sacrificed the last to fully enjoy the art.

I only had a big slice tortilla in the last 5 minutes prior to the group meeting before our departure, that being, surprisingly, the cheapest food I ever tasted in Basque Country, which I compensated with my favorite sparkling water, San Pellegrino.

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Royal Endeavors – Comillas

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Ladies and gentlemen,

As the Royal Endeavors travel adventures in Basque Country appear to be slowly coming to an end, I would like to welcome you to this very special edition, exclusively dedicated to the lovely coastal town hosting our 7 nights residence – the wonderful Comillas, one of the most beautiful towns in Cantabria, located at about 50km west of Santander, elegantly highlighted by its cobbled streets, open squares, picturesque beaches, historic buildings and a fine selection of Modernista residences, including the incredible El Capricho summer vila designed by Antoni Gaudí.

If you are wondering about the unusual Catalan Modernism touch of the town as compared to its surroundings, that is due to the emigrants who came back from America with a different architectural vision. Amongst these was the future Marquis of Comillas, who was rewarded this title for his valuable support in the Cuban conflict. He comissioned the majestic Neo-Gothic Sobrellano Palace, where you can admire Gaudí furniture as well, and its chapel – is now the Museum of the Marquises. Moreover, his son build the Pontifical University, which he offered to the pope, gaining the pontifical title in return.

We will start our short tour by introducing the mesmerizing El Capricho, the 19th-century Gaudí-designed chalet with its Mudejar-style tower covered in sunflower tiles, that became the centre of my interest as soon as we could enjoy some spare time to invest in local sightseeing. Don’t get me wrong but each day was dedicated to an organized visit to the representative cities of Basque City therefore leisure time to explore Comillas was rather short. The truth is we couldn’t have had a better residence than this lovely little town with its fascinating tourist attractions – so many architectural masterpieces concentrated in such a symbolic place!

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Royal Endeavors – Bilbao and Santillana Del Mar

My darlings,

It is so good to be back on track by having the uplifted, creative mood just in time to deliver the next Royal Endeavors travel episode at a relatively fast pace, highering the standards on my blog to the now optimal frequency of posting to twice a week.

I have so many great memories in Basque Country, not to mention brilliant pics taken in the time pressuring conditions of organized tours and strict timelines, that I really take my time now in having the best mood possible in order to deliver greatness and also plenty of spare time to invest in writing and editing the material in order for my experience to be conveyed properly.

This royal episode is dedicated to the delightful Bilbao and its fabulous tourist attractions, although I will only stick with the ones I had the pleasure of visiting during those few hours we had available to enjoy ourselves in this remarkable city. Of course, depending on the duration of your stay in Bilbao, you will have many more amazing opportunities to connect to its sparkling vibe and contageous positivity or to enjoy its very tempting offerings.

We will start the marvelous journey with the Santiago Cathedral in the District of Casco Viejo, whose construction began in 1397 until the beginning of the 16th century and underwent a profound reconstruction in the 19th century. This was the first attraction that involved free time allowed by the guide to get the pulse of the surroundings, which I personally invested in visiting it, as you probably already have noticed by now how much I enjoy the solemn (neo)gothic decor, the graceful quietness and the faithful resistence of such majestic temples throughout history.

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Royal Endeavors – Catedral de Burgos

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#PrincessaPetra x #CatedralDeBurgos #GloryToTheHoly #Proph3ticJustice

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome back to the much expected but less anticipated Royal Endeavors eclectic episode which marks the beginning of the fabulous birthday adventures I recently had in Spain and Basque Country, by starting with a visit at the breathtaking Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos.

First I would like to mention this trip is featured and available in the Senior Voyage offer proposals of Christian Tour, one of the most appreciated travel agencies in Romania and the one in charge of most of the cultural trips I had taken with my parents, which we had very much enjoyed.

The greatest thing about these trips, except the destination, are the well-prepared and considerate guides, armed with impressive knowledge, patience and flawless people skills, the optional daily organized trips, which can be quite fast-paced, sometimes exhausting but incredibly rich in cultural and religious tourist attractions and the senior tourists accompanying us, which are absolutely delightful, to my opinion – witty, mannered and high spirited, just as I wish some people of my age would be. Honestly, I always prefer to be surrounded by younger or elder people I have much to learn from.

After waking up at 4 in the morning on the day of the departure, which was not my greatest pleasure (neither 7 or 8 is), we arrived with a Tarom flight to Madrid, where a brand new and fully equipped Christian Tour travel bus was waiting to take us to Comillas, a lovely municipality in Cantabria, northern Spain, set to be our residential town for the next seven days. We were part of an ideal group of 17 people, accommodated in a 54 seats bus so just imagine the discretion, space and comfort each of us had plus time to get to know each other.

With these being said, I will dedicate an exclusive Royal Endeavors blog post to the wonderful Comillas separately, as it hosts several architectural marvels, including one of the few villas designed by Antoni Gaudí outside of Catalonia – the exquisite El Capricho – spacious, intimate and delightful, an exquisite summer residence adorned with the Sun Flower symbol. Stay tuned for more!

Before going any further, deep diving into the historical background of Catedral de Burgos – the first gothic cathedral of the Peninsula – I would like to point out the outstanding psychological factor of seeing such a majestic ornamented interior has on my personal state of being. This is simply a personal experience based on keen observation, combined with a little bit of self-awareness, sprinkled over the refinement of my tastes through time.

I do understand other architectural currents such as minimalism but they are not really my cup of tea. Speaking about tea, the fact that I adore a smokey black African one gives a great suggestion on my preference for any art form which is oppulent, highly decorated, heavy in details, bursting with symbolism and myth in front of my very eyes. This heavy art with a twist of myth and magic is what truly energizes me, especially on my arrival in Spain, after a too early morning start and quite a long journey – not the big empty spaces in fancy “greige” (grey+beige) marble shades but the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles intertwined to shine light upon this  reigning beauty of Castile and León, the impressive Metropolitan cathedral of Burgos, groundbreaking in 1221.

Built over more than four centuries, the Cathedral bears testimony to the creative genius of architects, sculptors, and craftsmen throughout these periods.

The monument is an extraordinary summary of European Gothic influences, which can be admired in every component of the structure, from the facades and chapels to the stained glass windows and sculptures and contains all key attributes to express its Outstanding Universal Value, having been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

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