Monday, December 22, 2008


These last two days, I have been in Gozo, Malta's second island in size. It is really small: around 10km x 5 km and you can go everywhere just walking!! It is full of very small towns and the countryside is very beautiful. It is just like in the middle of nowhere, so it is a nice place to relax and think. I have visited the main city, Rabat, and some megalithic temples and natural marvels (Azzurra Window among others).

Now, back in Sliema, Malta, to sleep. Tomorrow will be my last day here. I will visit Rabat, Mdina and a little fishermen's town. It will be a perfect wrap up for a nice vacation!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2nd day in Malta

After sleeping 12 hours, today I felt with much more energy than in the previous days. First thing in the morning, prehistoric temples. Malta has a good deal of those and today we visited the best!

The first one was the Tarxien Temples, in Paola, near Valletta. The temple was interesting, with big stone blocks and some real sculptures.

Then, we moved to the Hypogeum, which I think will be the best visit of this trip. It was simple impressive. It is an underground necropolis from around 3000 BC. The guided tour was really good and the atmosphere so misterious... I really enjoyed the 1 hour visit to the place.

Then, we went to South East Malta, to visit some more temples, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. We also visited the Blue Grotto nearby. These two temples happened to be closed!! so we could only catch a glimpse of them... That was frustrating!! Some structures were being built around them to preserve them against rain and wind.

Afterwards, back to Valletta and some walking in the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Senglea and Conpicua. These cities have a lot of charm and good views!!

Tomorrow, the island of Gozo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last days

On Monday, I traveled back to Spain. I arrived on Tuesday night at home, had dinner and spent some time with my family. On Wednesday morning, met my grandparents and said bye to everybody! At 3pm, I left my home town and went to Girona, where my flight to Malta departed from. Therefore, a too fast stopover in Spain so far.

Now, I am in Malta. I am really tired after these last non-stop weeks (studying, finals, trips...) but traveling is so nice! Malta is a beautiful place. Today, I have visited Valetta and the surrounding cities. Tomorrow some prehistoric sites.

On 23rd, I will be back in Spain (finally) and will stay there until 4th (unless some unlikely last-minute change of plans).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Parking your car in the street in USA

Sometimes I feel it would be necessary to have a degree in street parking in the US. You have to get out of your car and double check sooooo many conditions... :P

Me and my car made it to SF

This weekend, I have driven up to San Francisco. I followed route 1 all the way and in the end, round trip to Pasadena, it was 1120 miles! 1800km!! in 4 days! It was a nice road trip in California, really beautiful. I have stopped by at Sta Barbara, Sta Cruz, Berkeley, and many places along the coast to take photos. Route 1 in California is amazing. But it is better to get into that road only from Santa Cruz to San Francisco, the rest is just a slow road in the middle of the countryside: mountains, cows and ranches...

Now, me and my car in one of SF most famous landmarks, the Golden Gate!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From the Bay Area

This weekend I am in San Francisco, well, more exactly in the Bay Area, since I sleep in Berkeley. I just finished all my finals and decided to come to SF after a couple days reading a thesis (I had forgotten how tiring it can be reading about the same stuff for two consecutive days!). I came here by car following the most scenic route from LA, route 1. It goes in the middle of the countryside in California, then next to the sea. It's been just a couple days but I have visited downtown SF, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz... Now, it is time to come back to Europe, on Monday. I really want to meet my family and friends!! But before, I have to drive all the way back to LA!! That will take from 7 to 9 hours depending on how scenic I make the trip :P And it'll be tomorrow.

Btw, this is the post #301 of this blog!!

Sorry, for this short post... I am really tired, so not much energy to write "cheerfully" and with photos! XD That will come sometime in the future! Maybe... ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oahu. Day 4: Manoa Falls and bye to everybody

My last day in Hawaii started with bad weather: rain, although it was still quite warm.

I decided to go for a hiking to Manoa Valley, to Manoa Falls. On my way walking to the beginning of the trail, I could find some interesting things:

1. Nice Honolulu skyline from the mountains

2. Kind of an Asian temple in the mountains, with a nice Chinese lion.

3. It would be interesting to live in a place like this: tropical forest just at the end of the street!

Then, I started the hiking and it was really beautiful! The hiking was very easy technically and did not require any effort (that was the only bad part of it!)

And these are Manoa Falls, quite nice!

Afterwards, back to Waikiki for my last hours there... :(

I went with the people in my hostel to Ono Hawaiian Food, a very famous restaurant for real Hawaiian food. The food was mainly porc with vegetable and something called taro (a tropical tree in the islands). It was really good!!

Then, some Jenga in the hostel (we got 35 levels!!)

And the last coke by the sea with my "Hawaiian" friends!

Hawaii was amazing: snorkeling, beach, surfing, hiking in the mountains, road tripping... And I met such a nice bunch of people in my hostel!! An unforgettable experience!! Next time I go to this State, I will try to go to the Big Island!! As Joaquin Sabina says in one of his legendary songs, "Never go back to where you have experienced real happiness". Waikiki and Oahu would not be the same without the great friend I met in my hostel: Kaori, Molly, Holly, Nicki, Fabian, Simon, Javier... It was so nice meeting you all guys!!!

Oahu. Day 3: North Shore

My third day in Hawaii started with surfing lessons. The sea was not too rough that day but it was a nice start for a first time surfing. I could ride a wave for around 20 second on my second trial, so the experience was amazing! I really enjoyed it!

Afterwards, we rented a car and went roadtripping in Hawaii. Destination the North Shore, one of the world most famous surfing spots. The middle of the island was full of mountains!

In around one hour and a half, we were on the other shore. And up there, everything is about surfing. Waves were so high and the sea so rough... and still, people said it was not a good day for surfing... not rough enough!! Actually, it was mostly kids surfing... Some nice photos so you can feel the atmosphere there:

We continued our round trip on the North Shore and went beach hopping. The beaches there were impressive! White sand, wild sea, emerald color ocean... really beautiful! This is Sunset Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Hawaii:

We continued along the North East coast, called Windward Coast. There, mountains arrived down to the sea and the scenery was dramatic. The interior of the island looked like the jungle in Northern Thailand (not so cool though :P )

It also kind of reminded me of the Norwegian Fiords (in a smaller scale).

We also passed by a famous island which has the shape of a Chinese hat, but we could not stop... At least a could take a fast desperate photo from the car...

And back to Waikiki and the hostel!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exams at Caltech

These days, it has been so busy here at Caltech that I could not update my blog. Sorry for that! It has been time for final exams and I have had to prepare them and take them all from last Friday. Today, I finished the last one.

By the way, since I am talking about exams at Caltech, maybe I could tell you something interesting about them. In Caltech, most exams are take-home exams. That means you are given the test and then you can take it home and go through it whenever and wherever you want. But, you have to respect the rules: open or closed book, what materials you can use, or the time you can use for the test. All Caltech students have to stick to the Honor Code. If you are found guilty of some Honor Code violation (copying from somebody, cheating in a test, etc) you can even be kicked out of this school.

Take-home exams are interesting in the sense that you can be studying, take a little rest and jump straight onto the test whenever you feel like it. They are more flexible and convenient. And come on, we are all adults! this is the way tests should be everywhere! ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Keanu Reeves came to Caltech

Keanu Reeves came today to Caltech to present his new movie: The Day the Earth Stood Still, which will be on theaters from next Friday. He came along with the director of the movie and the rest of the panelist were two Caltech professors: one cosmologist and one biochemist.

At 5, there was dinner served in the lawnyard in front of Beckman Auditorium and then we moved into the auditorium, where the panelists were presented. Of course the star was Keanu Reeves and, believe it or not, Caltech professors! Then, 5 minutes of the movie, with some funny too patriotic comments for international students... hehe... and then, a Q&A session.

I was very surprised Keanu Reeves was not the main point of attention. Many questions were scientific, for professors, and many were addressed to the director.

In general, an ok event, but nothing special.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Interesting cover by Hi Standard

Hi standard covered many popular songs and turned them into punk rock.

An interesting case is the song in this link:

The final punk rock song by HiStandard is this one ("My first kiss"):

Amazing!! They were so good!!

Special thanks to Naochan for telling me which the original song was!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

10 years from now

Life is so unpredictable. Have you ever thought what your life will look like ten years from now? Life is full of crossroads, apparently unimportant choices which can change our lives completely. So many choices, so many people to meet. What we take for granted can stop being valid next minute… The smallest decision can make a huge difference some years from now. Today, I started thinking what will happen in my life in the next ten years. But in the process, I have just realized there is a more fundamental question which needs being answered before: who do I want to be 10 years from now? This is even more difficult to answer.
So far, I have had to make many choices and I am sure I have made many mistakes. In fact, I am not sure the current situation is what I really want. Life is either too complex or a sheer joke. We can take it too seriously or just make fun of it… what’s the right approach? I have always thought thinks over and over, always trying to consider all possibilities and make the right choices. However, looking back on those choices, I could have been happier if I had just made choices impulsively, following my guts instead of my head. Who knows! Maybe, in everybody’s life, there is a moment in which faith dries out and all your beliefs are deeply challenged; a time in your life in which your system of beliefs collapses and your future faces the unknown. At that time, nothing you have decided before matters. You are as defenseless as a vessel in the middle of the storm. Maybe that is what our life is; a vessel controlled by the playful winds of destiny. Are we anything but slaves of the present? The strength of “now and here” is such that changing the present situation is almost hopeless. Every choice we make limits our freedom and is a new chain to the present situation. It takes too much courage to break with everything and become free. And our mind is not ready for that.
What is the ultimate goal of our lives? Happiness, success, recognition…? What are we contented with? Modern world has created an unchallenged system of truths that everybody takes for granted. Humans are being dispossessed of the only thing that should matter: humanity. The importance of a good conversation, a good action that makes somebody smile… These are being superseded by ambition and greed, with the only objective of success. Is it what we want for us and our kind? Sometimes it feels like leaving society and starting living alone in harmony with nature would be the only way towards real happiness. Mankind has gone crazy and still does not know. And maybe it never does. In the meanwhile, we have been caught in this whirlpool of madness. We are slaves of our time. In these circumstances, it is really hard to figure out our real targets, who we want to be and what we want to become.
It is time to stop thinking thoroughly and try making some bold decisions. It is time to become more human and follow our heart. Maybe we will fail, but at least, ten years from now, nobody will blame us for not trying.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still in Mexico

Now, I am writing from Mexico City. These last 3 or 4 days have been crazy but so nice. I wanted to see many places in a very short time, which is usually a big mistake. But this places are visited in half a day (archeological sites), so it has been kind of ok. I have visited seriously Chichen Itza, Uxmal, the Puuc route and Tulum. In the process, I have visited Merida, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. These last 2 really briefly... Beaches are so nice in the Mexican Caribean! However, there are so many tourists... Everything is oriented for American tourists and a weary traveler as i am :) can really feel out of the water in a place like these. Anyway, my visits to all these amazing Mayan sites (piramids, temples, etc) has been so nice!!

Now, I arrived at Mexico City and there is some festival going on, which is nice. I have been walking around the cathedral, Templo Mayor, Alameda Central... but now i am too tired after around 60 hours in which I havent slept without interruption for more than 2 hours... Tomorrow, Teotihuacan and some more places in Mexico City. On Monday, back to real life, and final exams so soon...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Caltech and the movies

I know I should have written more about my trip to Hawaii and promise I will do! Just, these days have been kind of hectic... Yesterday, for example, I left my home at 8.30 in the morning and did not have a single free minute until 7.30pm!! not kidding... I cooked and ate in 10 minutes...

So, now, it is time to talk about something funny in Caltech these last two days. A movie or TV series has been being shot here in Caltech! And it is the third time since I have been here! Some days, walking to my lab or courses, I find the street full of trucks and I do not know what is going on. Then, it is when you see there are cameras and other materials and understand it is a movie or series. For me, this is amazing! :) I had never imagine a university can be so popular, but I guess Caltech is. I will have to get used to it!! or even to appear at the backscene in some movie! :P

Monday, November 24, 2008

New posted photos

Tonight, I have been watching photos from Egypt, during my trip there in March and have decided to post some of the best in my flickr account.

It is around 20 or 30 photos and it is a good way of feeling what Egypt is in terms of archeology and temples. Ah, and also some landscapes (Red Sea, sun rising in the desert)...

So if you have some time or just want to watch them:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Evening at Waikiki

After Hamauma Bay, we came back to Waikiki, where our hostel was. I wanted to see a bit of Waikiki by myself, so there I went.

I walked a bit in downtown Waikiki, next to Sheraton hotel, International Market... That area is quite nice, with sidewalks full of palm trees and people!

I found a way to get to the beach and arrived there for the sunset. The beach in Waikiki was also nice, with high hotels around it.

And the sunset was so beautiful once again! These last weeks I am watching too many beautiful sunsets! I am getting spoiled!

Then, back to the hostel to meet my new friends there and back to the pool-side cafe in Sheraton Hotel for some shows about Polynesian culture: hula dancing, fire dancers, Hawaiian music...

One of our friends had moved to a real hotel, so we went there after the show and wrapped up the night chatting there. A nice view from the room's balcony.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hamauma Bay

During my first day in Hawaii, I went to Hamauma bay, a paradise-like bay near Waikiki. It was amazing.

It was formed due to a volcanic eruption and has an almost circular shape. In the middle, coral reefs and colorful fish: perfect for snorkeling!!

This is me in such a beautiful beach.

Some photos of the beach:

And the whole group from Seaside Hostel. Nice guys!!