Hwagyesa temple before Lunar New Year

Some of my friends will be leaving back home soon, as the Winter Session at HUFS finishes at the end of February. So this past few weeks I've been trying to hang out with most of them, going sightseeing (as I have tons of free time now) and visiting new places we hadn't visited yet. A few weeks ago I visited Hwagyesa temple with my friends Ephim (from Russia), Mike (US) and Andrea (Italy). Both Ephim and Andrea are leaving back home in February and Mike just left to Japan for a month,  so we decided to go out and see new things before saying goodbye to each other.

Algunos de mis amigos se irán para casa prontito, ya que el trimestre de invierno de HUFS termina a finales de Febrero. Así que éstas últimas semanas he intentado salir con ellos, a hacer turismo (ya que tengo bastante tiempo libre ahora) y a visitar sitios que no habíamos visitado aún. Hace unas semanas fui al templo de Hwagyesa con mis amigos Ephim (de Rusia), Mike (de EEUU) y Andrea (de Italia). Tanto Ephim como Andrea se vuelven a su país en Febrero y Mike se acaba de ir a Japón durante un mes, así que decidimos ir a hacer cosas juntos antes de decirnos adiós.

Hwagyesa temple is near Suyu metro station, which is pretty much f**king Narnia pretty far away from everything. Also it's located at the foot of Mt. Samgaksan, so we had to walk a bit before getting there. Despite I don't like any kind of physical activity (lol) it was worth visiting :)

El templo de Hwagyesa está cerca de la parada de metro de Suyu, que más o menos está en la jodida Narnia está bastante alejada de todo. Además se encuentra en el pie del Monte Samgaksan, así que tuvimos que subir una pequeña cuesta antes de llegar. A pesar de que odio cualquier tipo de actividad física, valió la pena :)

Ephim (left), Mike (center) and Andrea posing for me
Ephim (izquierda), Mike (centro) y Andrea posando para mi

I feel like Ephim is a little embarrassed... haha
Creo que Ephim siente un poco de vergÜenza ajena... haha

You can tell the Dancheong in here, the Korean traditional decorative coloring :)
Se puede ser muy bien el Dancheong en ésta foto, el coloreado decorativo tradicional coreano :)

This tomb with Chinese inscriptions really reminded me of the tombs in Disney's Mulan!
Ésta tumba con inscripciones en chino me recordó mucho a las tumbas que salen en Mulan de Disney!

Hwagyesa Temple was built in 1522 AD but was destroyed in a fire in 1618. In 1866 (the third year of the reign of King Gojong), it was rebuilt through financial support from his royal elders. 

El templo de Hwagyesa fue construido en el 1522 dC pero fue arrasado en un incendio en 1618. En 1866 (en el tercer año del reinado del Rey Gojong) fue reconstruido gracias al apoyo económico de la realeza más mayor.

I'm so glad we visited right before Chinese New Year, they had all these colorful paper lanterns to celebrate it :)
Me alegro de haber visitado el templo antes del Año Nuevo Chino, habían puesto todas éstas linternas de papel de varios colores para celebrarlo :)

I'm gonna miss these two... >_<
Voy a echar de menos a éstos dos... >_<

"Omg, Mr. Buddha!"
"Oh, Señor Buda!"


The Versatile Blogger Award: Seven facts about myself

Hello lovelies! How are you all doing these days? I'm just bored at home, waiting for Feb to pass and working on my Japan trip blog posts (4, 5, 6 and 7). However today I wanted to write about something different, just to change a little bit. Yina passed by my blog not too long ago and left me a very important prize... the Versatile Blogger Award, a prize you give to bloggers you follow and you enjoy reading. Thank you very much sweetheart, I didn't expect this at all! ^_^ So what is this prize about? You just have to share 7 facts about yourself and nominate other 15 blogs. I don't like doing that last part though, so I'll just write about those seven facts... Hope you enjoy reading it, and hope you find it interesting!

1. I love collecting stuff. Really, I just love it! :) My dad used to collect things like stickers or stamps back when I was a kid, so since I was young he always helped me when I wanted to start a new collection. I remember I finished my Pokemon sticker collection thanks to him, haha! Now that I'm an adult I have 4 collections: Postcards, guidebooks from places I've been to, notebooks and Starbucks cards.

2. I need sun, I just need it. I'm a very Mediterranean person (even though you would never tell for the super pale color of my skin, lol!), I get super depressed if I don't see the sun for 5 days straight haha! I love visiting places like the UK and Ireland (I've been like, 3 times now!) but it comes a point when I do not enjoy it as much as I can... Because the sun was missing all the time! :(

                                          My summer village in Northern Catalonia (north-east of Spain)

3. I'm a big foodie, and proud of it. And as a good foodie I was blessed with the power of eating as much as I can and not gaining a single kilo/pound. My weight it's been the same for 5 years now, and I can eat as much as an average male adult (wow I sound like some kind of overweight lion lol!).

                                    Tagliatelle carbonara my mommy made once... I miss her food so bad T_T''

4. I hate my name, I've always hated my name and I always will. But what I hate most is when people tells me "Oh, why you hate your name? I find it very beautiful". That really gets on my nerves. That's why I always use nicknames on Internet and many people calls me Nana instead of Claudia. Fun fact: "Nana" means "number 7" in Japanese, if you read Fact #4 you'll see I didn't pick this name randomly ;)

5. I love dogs, and I've wanted one probably since the day I was born. I've always begged my parents to get one, but they always said no. They've always considered an apartment it's not the best place to have a dog. Even though I've never had one though, I have a high knowledge of dog breeds: Back when I was a kid I read magazines about it and I wanted to be a vet. But just a dog vet, haha! My favorite breeds are (in this order) Welsh Corgi Pembroke, Shiba Inu, Pomeranian, Samoyed and Chow chow.

I took this picture of a Chow Chow puppy in a flea market back in Barcelona, one year ago <3 He looked like a baby lion/dog! <3

Now that I'm a grown up I also consider an apartment is not the most appropriate place to have a dog. Only if I had a big house with a backyard I'd consider having one :)

6, I love traveling! ^-^ No matter if it's by car, train or plane, I love seeing and visiting new places! I've been to many places in Europe (France, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Greece, Malta, the UK, Ireland...), Japan, the US (Washington DC & New York) and I'm gonna visit the south of Vietnam this summer. And obviously with this hobby of traveling comes along my passion for taking pictures!

(Photos I've taken during my trips around the world. From up to down: Dublin, Yokohama and Washington DC).

7. I don't have any brothers or sisters, but I have a cousin I love just like my sister. Her name is Sara, she's an only child just like me and we've been raised together almost, we've been to the same primary school and we even have friends in common!

We've always been super different, both phisically and phychologically (she's tall, light haired and dark skinned, I'm short, dark haired and pale as a piece of paper!). We're like cat & dog, we can't be together but we can't be apart. Even now that we're grown ups we hare our riff raffs from time to time, but nothing serious :) We love spending time together: Going shopping, baking, playing games or watching TV, going to the beach, sleepover... I miss her so much now that I'm in Korea,but I know I'll be back eventually!

Plus her birthday is in 10 days so... Happy 20th Birthday sis :) Even though I don't say it too often, I love you sososososososo much! *hugs*

Thank you again Yina for nominating me! Hope you all have a lovely month of February! <3 Love,


My trip to Japan day 3: Akihabara and Shinjuku

The third day was one of the busiest days during our stay for Raquel and I... But we definitely had fun! :) We woke up around 11 in the morning (after staying up until late the previous night... Just like all nights in Japan haha!) and we went straight to Akihabara, one of the places we were really looking forward to visit. Once we arrived we easily realized why it's known to be the anime/technology/ hentai (Animated Japanese porn) area in Tokyo...

Nuestro tercer día en Japón fue uno de los más intensos para Raquel y para mí... Pero nos lo pasamos muy bien! :) Nos levantamos sobre las 11 (después de quedarnos despiertas hasta tarde la noche anterior... Como todas nuestras noches durante el viaje jaja!) y nos fuimos directas a Akihabara, uno de los lugares que queríamos visitar con más ganas. Una vez llegamos nos dimos cuenta rápido de porqué es conocida como la zona de anime/tecnología/hentai (porno animado japonés) en Tokyo...

This poster was saying, in a nutshell... "Girls, be careful with your miniskirts!". And well, I bet you can assume what it's about by that doodle of the camera...!
Básicamente lo que dice el cartel es... "Chicas, id con cuidado con las minifaldas!" y bueno, seguramente podéis deducir a qué se refieren exactamente con el dibujito de la cámara...!

One of the reasons why we went to Akihabara this early was because I left my camera charger in Seoul... So I had to buy myself a new one if I wanted to take pictures during the rest of my trip! We went to Yodobashi Camera, a very famous chain store selling electronic products. 7 floors of the highest Japanese tech at a (not so reasonable) price, but definitely worth visiting!

Otra de las razones por las cuales fuimos a Akihabara tan pronto es porqué me dejé mi cargador de la cámara en Seúl... Así que tenía que comprarme otro de nuevo si quería seguir haciendo fotos durante el viaje! Fuimos a Yodobashi Camera, una cadena de tiendas de productos electrónicos. 7 pisos con la tecnología japonesa más punta (a precios no muy razonables precisamente), pero que valió la pena visitar!

Beautiful but (most probably) expensive Pentax <3
Unas Pentax super bonitas (pero probablemente muy caras!) <3

After finally buying my charger for 3850 Yen (27€/$37) we finally took our time to walk around the area. 
Finalmente después de pagar 3850 yenes por mi cargador (27€/$37) nos tomamos algo de tiempo para pasear por la zona.

Hentai (Animated Japanese porn) store. It was funny because Raquel and I were the only girls in the store (plus, we were foreigners!), and all the guys waited until we were out to keep reading their magazines hahahaha! It was hilarious XD

Una libreria de Hentai (Porno animado japonés). Fue divertido porqué Raquel y yo éramos las únicas chicas en la tienda (y además extranjeras!), y todos los chicos esperaron a que saliéramos para seguir leyendo sus revistas haha! Fue muy cómico XD

We didn't spend much time in Akihabara since we were meeting Àngel and his friends at Sophia at lunchtime! He introduced us to Mizue, a Japanese girl and Ernie, a Mexican buy studying with him as an exchange student :) Together we went to Shinjuku, part of the city center and also one of the financial areas in Tokyo. 

No pasamos mucho tiempo en Akihabara porqué teníamos que quedar con Ángel y sus amigos en Sophia a la hora de comer! Nos presentó a Mizue, una chica japonesa y a Ernie, un chico mexicano de intercambio como él :) Juntos fuimos a Shinjuku, parte del centro de la ciudad y también una de las zonas financieras de Tokyo.

They took us to Touchou (the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building), 45 floors and a free observation deck on top (better than paying 2000 or 3000 yen in Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower!). It kind of reminded me of the Petrona Towers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for some reason, haha!

Nos llevaron al Touchou (el edificio del Gobierno Metropolitano de Tokyo) de 45 plantas con un observatorio gratis arriba del todo (mejor que pagar 2000 o 3000 yenes en el Tokyo Skytree o en la Torre de Tokyo!). Me recordó en cierta manera a las Torres Petrona de Kuala Lumpur (Malasia)!

Beautiful and breathtaking pictures of the city at sunset :)
Fotos de la ciudad a la puesta de sol :)

The sun was going down by that time so we decided to get into the party area of Shinjuku and meet some other friends for some karaoke time!
Ya empezaba a anochecer, así que nos dirigimos a la zona más fiestera de Shinjuku para vernos con otros amigos e ir a un karaoke!

Àngel wanted me to take a picture of him with those two ad girls in red! A very sexist way to advertise a product I must say but... This is Japan!
Ángel quería que le hiciera una foto con éstas chicas anuncio de rojo. Personalmente creo que es una manera muy sexista de anunciar un producto pero... Esto es Japón!

We went to an arcade and we waited for a new friend to join us. In the meantime, we took a picture with Kumamon, this cute (but also creepy) bear very famous in Japan! From left to right: Mizue, Raquel, Me, Mr. Kumamon and Àngel!

Nos paramos e unos recreativos a esperar a un amigo. Mientras tanto nos hicimos una foto con Kumamon, éste oso tan mono (pero en parte daba algo de miedo) muy famoso en Japón! De izquierda a derecha: Mizue, Raquel, Yo, el Señor Kumamon y Ángel!

Japanese schoolgirls
Colegialas japonesas

Perona (One Piece) figure
Una figura de Perona (del anime One Piece)

Gira Gira Girls, I bet you know what this can be about...!
Gira Gira Girls, seguro que os podéis imaginar de qué va éso...!

One of the people I look up the most in this world, Takeshi Kitano :') (The guy from Takeshi's Castle by the way!)
Una de las personas qué más admiro en éste mundo, Takeshi Kitano :') (El de Humor Amarillo, por cierto!)

Surfing robots on the road (?)
Robots surfeando por la calle (?)

Then Sungwook arrived, a Korean/Japanese mixed friend of Àngel who took us to a karaoke... We had so much fun that day, haha! I've been to karaokes before in Korea, but being with my old friends and some new people was so much fun! I sang so loud my throat was itchy at the end of the night :)

Al poco rato llegó Sungwook, un amigo de Ángel medio japonés medio coreano que nos llevó al karaoke... Nos lo pasamos muy bien aquella noche! Ya había ido a karaokes en Corea, pero estando con mis viejos amigos y gente nueva fue muy divertido! Canté tan fuerte que la garganta me dolía al final de la noche :)

I proudly sang Sailor Moon's opening, Moonlight Densetsu <3 SO HAPPY!
Canté con orgullo el opening de Sailor Moon, Moonlight Densetsu <3 QUÉ FELIZ FUI!

Raquel and Àngel sang Digimon's opening in Spanish (even though the song was in Japanese), haha!
Raquel y Angel cantaron el opening de Digimon en español (a pesar de que la canción estaba en japonés), haha!

I was going to upload some videos of us singing but I won't do it in order to conserve our dignity we have left and for your hearing health :B

Iba a subir videos de nosotros cantando pero al final no lo haré, simplemente para conservar nuestra dignidad que nos queda y por vuestra salud auditiva :B

From left to right: Mizue, Àngel, Ernie, Raquel, Sungwook and me.
De izquierda a derecha: Mizue, Angel, Ernie, Raquel, Sungwook y yo.

Then we went to have dinner to an Italian restaurant in the area... And that's how our day concluded :) Then Sungwook offered himself to guide us around the city the next day, so we didn't have time to rest either! ;) I'll write about it in the next post!

Cuando terminamos fuimos a cenar a un restaurante italiano por la zona... Y así concluyó nuestro día :) Sungwook se ofreció a guiarnos por la ciudad al día siguiente, así que tampoco tuvimos tiempo de descansar ;) Lo explicaré con más detalle en la entrada que viene!


Ihwa Mural Village

Hello sweethearts! Recently many people have been told to stop with this blog hiatus of mine haha, so I'm back again with my blog posts...