Jul 8, 2008

Expo 2008, Zaragoza

My trip to Expo 2008 -- July 2008 -- Zaragoza, Spain

Here we go... ... are u ready?!? I'm more than ready!!!...And we're now starting the
Expo 2008 travel tale!!
2nd July 2008, it's 8.00 am, it's not very early, but it was the possible hour to pick up 7 persons for that journey!! I'm traveling with my sister and her husband,and their daughter(who is my older niece). Along with another friend couple with their daughter. We all are now driving into the World Expo, in Spain. It'll b an about 10 hours drive!! Boo boooo...
Well, there is not much to tell about the drive itself. It is a long and tiring day.
At about 6.00pm we arrived in Saragosse city. (In Spanish:'ciudad de Zaragoza') My small 'Square hotel'('Hostal Plaza') lies in the city's heart! It's location couldn't be better!!
But the hostal it's 'horrible' ...i mean compared to other hotels i'm used to stay in!! But i was all over the moon when i found somewhere to stay when all the hotels were fully booked!! My visit to the Expo was seriously in danger to do not happen at all.... so i don't mind at all!!
Anyway it's a clean place to stay sleeping, with private WC,AC(Air Conditioned) and a TV...i don't care about the TV, but it'll make me some company despite i brunt up my toys (ah!)and my music with me too. I'm super close to the city's Cathedral 'La Seo',the Basilica 'Nuestra Señora del Pilar' and the City Hall (in Spanish: 'Ayuntamiento'), and i will probably hear the bells ring during all night...hour after hour!LOL
I was left at my hostal and my trip mates went to their hotel in the city border. We were supposed to met one hour later at the central area, but they were about two hours late...it was good because they managed to buy our Expo 2008 tickets, and i was able to look after my bus tickets for the coming 3 days (I'll b traveling alone to reach them there at the Expo)and ask for info on the monuments and so on.

Zaragoza city.
The Basilica 'Nuestra Señora Del Pilar' on the left side and the City Hall on tne right side.(Called by 'Ayuntamiento' in Spanish.)

Central Zaragoza area, main streets and the Basilica in the background!

Basilica on the right side, and the main Square called 'Plaza del Pilar' in Spanish.

I also visited the Basilica and the Cathedral (where unfortunately i wasn't allowed to take pics). I was able to take 3 rusty pics while nobody was looking at me!! LOL It was a pity because i enjoyed much more La Seo's architecture & it's decoration details!! Ok,ok,i took many pics in the whole area: 'Nuestra Señora del Pilar' square and Bsilica inside!. Then my mates arrived and we had the dinner. As expected it was expensive and we didn't eat as well as in Portugal. At least not this time. I'm all excited & amazed by all the world reasons to b here now, and i hope i'll have a gorgeous time too.

 Above u can see the Basilica 'Nuestra Señora del Pilar'.

Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar was built between 1515 and 1772. It has four architectural styles on it: Romanic, Gothic, Baroc and Classic. One of it's architects were Ventura Rodriguez, and inside the Basilica u can see paintings by the famous Velasquez and Goya. I must confess i don't like that much it's style...too many styles together...Too many mix!! But of course it's still an amazing building!!))

Center of Saragosse city. The Basilica 'Nuestra Señora del Pilar' in the backgound. And in the center u can see the big,very original and nice sculpture/waterfall.

Yeap,u got it!!! The tower in the middle of this pic look like the Pisa tower in Italy!!! I don't know what happen, i only know it's an interesting spot, and lies in the center of Zaragoza.

3rd July: It's my sister in law B'date, and I bet i was the 1st to congratulate her b'cose i sent her a SMS at 0.30am!! At 1.30am i was in bed and was waked up by a baby cry at 5.30am...i wanted to twist him...ehehe
Ohhh... long day... i took my breakfast at 'cafeteria' door to door with my 'hostal' and had my 'cafe con leche'(milk with coffee) and 'tostada'.(toasted bread)It was a tasty one despite the high price. So i took the bus to the Expo and when arrive there, it was very, very difficult to talk by mobile with my bro in law... the big noise or some tech troubles were all around for about 3 hours and 8 call tries. So we gave up and only settled a meet point for lunch by SMS. It was the only chance and unexpectedly, ended up being much easier. But roaming SMS should not b so bloody expensive.

Detail of the African Pavillion exterior facade.

And now... look this pic:

Details of the African Pavillion exterior facade... a quite interesting one!!!
With the winds blowing, the facade seemed like if it was moving!! A result of a simple build detail... Isn't this amazing?!?? I made a video with the buidling moving effect, but it didn't come out that great...

Anyway,u can see the VIDEO here:

The Cirque Du Soleil Expo 2008 performs....

The show of The Cirque Du Soleil!!! 5 Stars!!!

I was overwhelmed to see the CIRQUE du SOLEIL performing live in the Expo streets and did a small video and took some pics too. I'm not used with video making at all, and plus i'm making them with my digital camera(digi cam), not with a video camera... ...but it will still b a nice souvenir to keep, right?!!? I must confess i keep my preference for the photographs without any doubts at all. How about u, by the way?!?
After lunch the pavilions visits kept and so it will b all my days at the Expo...

A gymanstic group from Denmark. Boy they were all performing in the sun...it was bloody hot...most guys were simply drying up...poor guys!!! They all were great!!!

Expo area.The original and curvilineous textile roof in the background!! Can u see it?!?

I spent, and i'm spending most of my time alone at the Expo, while my group mates were or are doing their own pavilions visits and also following their own interests ... that happen not only on the 3rd July, but also today, 4th July. That it's also a result of staying in diferent hotels!! I think 'being alone' it is the best way, though i'm surprising myself too...it is like i'm spending vacations alone and i never though i could do it. So many trips i wished to do the past 5 or 10 years and never did b'cose had nobody to join in with me at that time or to that destination nobody wanted to go (Yeap,u know, i tend to have fancy tastes...or quite weird or exotic at times!!...eheh)... Life it's a box of surprises, isn't it?!?! That it's why we should enjoy ourselves to th'a max while we can!! I'm enjoying myself too!!

Above: Can u see Cirque du Soleil big snake?!??! It was superb!!!

Cirque du Soleil big snake.

Some of the Cirque Du Soleil VIDEOS i did:

Yeap... turn ur head down...sorry!! LOL

Today, 4th July, i woke up 30 minutes later than usual, and arrived to the Expo about 1h30 later too. Still i had the time to see the CIRQUE du SOLEIL performing at 12.00pm and was amazed by their magical work!!!... Their surprising music and facial paintings, the stunning, original and colored clothes are making my days a lot brighter! And, how about their super acrobatic exercises?!?! They all are so elastic! My Godness this it's too much emotion for 4 days!!!
During the afternoon i found an original wood and gorgeous piece to buy. An envelope(or napkins) wood support from Costa Rica. Quite a nice and classy piece with small quadrangular pieces of different colored wood pieces. All around the brown, pastel yellow and cream colors.

Detail of the Costa Rican enveloppes support.

My enveloppes support bought at the Costa Rican Pavillion. :)

It will certainly be very useful to me. U know, i always have so many snail mails to answer...and i always do it with big passion!
At night, i bought the piece i was thinking to buy yesterday: a dark brown ceramic piece from Dominican Republic. The piece it's an indigenous man from the island, these indigenous were called 'tainos'. This taino man it's seated on a small bank, and his face make me remind the Mayan or Aztec drawings from Latin America. The indigenous draws are similar. If i can compare... The piece was made by Esteban,he's who sold me out the piece... He was very nice and i asked him the contact too. I'll certainly contact him later on by e-mail. He's finishing the build up of his own website now. Great!! It's always cool to keep the contact with some sexy folks!! LOL
At night, once again I’d a fancy dinner with all other my travel mates.

The Dominican Republic ceramic 'TAINO' pieces i bought!!

Expo 2008 area.

The Bridge Pavillion.

The Pavillion 'Puente' inside...the architecture of the future!!

Pavillion 'Puente'.

Inside the Bridge Pavillion.('Pavillon Puente'!)

Saragosse city.(In Spanish:'Ciudad de Zaragoza'.

Imponent view of Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Zaragoza.

The central square of Zaragoza city. My 'hostal' was just 1 minute walking from this area.

Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica,Zaragoza city.

It's Saturday, 5th July, and i woke up more broken than yesterday... gosh! Ehhhh! I woke up with a headache again... it has been happening this the whole days... My Hostal room it's so tiny and hot that i am drying up here!! It has a window with horrible view that i can't open either. Ohhhh, my Hostal room has a great Air Conditioned (AC) but if i turn it ON during night, i will wake up with a bad cold... If i keep it OFF, i'll wake up with headache... ... Big luck,ugh? LOL
Today i visited the Palacio de Aljaferia (Aljaferia Palace) after breakfast , at 11.30am i was there to attend a guided visit... It was quite interesting and the guide was very good. I enjoyed the whole palace very much!! I bought a book, and took many pics with my digi cam. Here are some of them:

Aljaferia Palace in Zaragoza city.

Started to b built in 864 by Aben Alfage. Between 1030 and 1081 had a lot of build ups to get it bigger. In the XIV and XV centuries, Aljaferia was the Aragon kings residence, and later become the Inquiry Court. The Aljaferia Santa Isabel (Lately she become Portugal Queen) living room has gold on it's decoration. And it's said was brought by Christopher Columbus 1st trip!

Shopping time at Aljaferia palace!! :)

Brochures, Ticket entrance and Book bought at Aljaferia Palace!!

At Aljaferia Palace, Zaragoza.
Aljaferia Palace. More Arabian sexy writting!!!... ;~)

Inside the stunning Aljaferia Palace, Zaragoza.

U can see the amazing decoration and it's elegant style!!! I simply adore it!! It's like the other jewel i was blessed to visit too: The Alhambra, in Granada, southern Spain. It's a must indeed!!!

Aljaferia Palace, Zaragoza city. Stunning written caractheres!! :-)

Mudéjar architecture, UNESCO:

My travel mates tried to enter the Expo area today morning, but seems it was impossible due to the big affluence ... Today most of the Spaniards don't work (well,some of!), so they are all here visiting the Expo... Ok,ok...not all, but a big part!

La Seo Cathedral in the center at 'Nuestra Señora del Pilar' square. Zaragoza city.

Zaragoza main square and the sculpture/watterfall i told u about in one of my pics above!!!

My foot have been hurting me, so i'm trying to relax and site every time i'm able to. Today i had a delicious 2 hours sleep today after lunch (My lunch was a super delicious ice cream, lemon and chocolate by the way!! And dinner was an ice cream too...Quite a variation today,ugh??! Eheh) and at 6.30pm was entering Expo again. It was the easiest and fastest day to enter,by the way...ohhhh,i missed Cirque du Soleil today!! But it was another day shopping for me!! Boy i'm becaming shoppinghoolic!!! LOL (I didn't find that word on my dictionary, by the way!!!)

Let me tell you, just in case u don't know, that this Expo has a subject to follow by all the represented Pavillions: WATER as a good to urgently preserve. (I guess i didn't tell u this detail either!! Right now i hardly can remind the last word i have written here! LOL)
The other Expos i went to --1992 and 1998-- were Universal Expos, and there were no subject. I must confess u that I preferred the other Expos a lot more!! I think their Pavilions were much more amazing, and their stores were better too. And the performing shows used to please me a lot more as well!!
All the Pavilions i'd visited until now have,for e.g. a video about water resources and that we should save water as a precious good. Yeah, i know that... but all videos look the same, and i gave up on spending my precious time seeing the same videos all the time... it became too boring!!! If the Pavilions were also talking about their country natural beauty, cities and places to visit...and so on.. But that didn't happen very often.
Big disillusion! All the coming Expos will have a subject to follow. Some Pavilions are very interested tough!!

Inside one of the Expo Pavillions.

Expo by night...this it's my actual PC backgound pic!! ~:-D

A night show at the Expo Iceberg.

Like for e.g the Caribbean one have a simulation of a tropical storm. It is pretty interesting, we can feel the wind, rain and the hot humidity too. Inside the same pavilion, all stores facades are built like the traditional Caribbean houses style. Pretty colored and nice!
Today i returned to the Central America Pavillion to make some more shopping. I bought another tiny Xmas sculpture , and two more tiny magnetic dolls from Bolivia.

Central America Pavillion... Music time!

Latin American Pavillion. I love that kind of ceramic! How about u?!?

Inside the African Pavillion. Some of the masks i would love to buy are here...but there were not at the store.... ehehe

X'mas time... some more shopping i did at Bolivia Pavillion!! I've quite a huge colection of these ceramic X'mas pieces!! They are so cute, aren't they?!? ~:D

Plus i bought another dark brown ceramic piece from Dominican Republic. It has the native indigenous "taino" represented on it. The 1s piece i bought it's a big and heavy one, this one it's smaller. I just love that kind of decoration pieces. OK,ok, I know I’m a bit crazy!! LOL (Ohhh,by the way, did i mention that i've been to Dominican Rep.?)
I decided to go for the 3rd and last time to the African countries pavillion. And what a great idea i had!! They had new wood masks from Cameron and Mali. I bought a Cameron wood mask. Another mask that i enjoyed very much was a bit destroyed so I’d 2 give up on buying it. That it is one of the main items i wanted to buy at this Expo: masks!!!

Indonesian Pavillion....the lovely sculptures!!!

Inside the Indonesian Pavillion!!!
Indonesian Pavillion detail....a face detail!!! What an amazing wood scultpure!!

Detail of a stunning Indonesian wood sculture. This will certainly inspire me to my future art works!

Then i was expected to buy rose wood with inserted bone pieces from Kenya from two ladies there--they were both born in Kenya!--but i didn't. I wanted these same pieces in ebony wood. They said they had but the Kenyan woman told me she is having a lot of logistic problems with the Expo organization...so she lost a sell...and i saved more money! Ah! They stayed with my contact, and me with their too. But I don’t have that many plans to buy that piece later on… we’ll see. Then i got ready to return to the 'hostal'. It was about 10.00pm, and a good hour to take some other photos with the stunning night sky... I love the nigh pics, but I still have a lot to improve…

And now it's sunday...6th July, and i'm returning to my sweet home today... A long drive to go back... Time 4 the breakfast now, and close my bags that i packed up yesterday. My group mates are catching me in 1 hour!!
By the way, did i tell u that i sent the money to pay the HOSTAL 1st night via Postal Service?!? I sent a 'Giro Postal' (‘Vale Postal’ in Portuguese.) from Porto on the 11st June. I was told it arrived in Madrid on the 16th June… it has been all that time and nothing arrived, as I was told by the 'Hostal' man!!! Of course, i’ve to find out if this it’s the truth!! I’m now leaving the 'Hostal' to return to Portugal… and I'd no other chance... i had to pay that 1st night all over again!!! Now i'll have to complain in the Portuguese Postal Services despite i know it was Spanish Postal Services responsibility. They took too many days to deliver my money!!! Boo boooo !!!! I'm just sick of these guys...i paid for a service and now, i’ll have to pay to complain again!!! This it’s not normal!!! Sounds like a joke,ugh?!? But it’s not!!! Grrrr...

The Basilica. (In Spanish: Basilica.)

I’m back to Porto…. I went to have dinner with my travel mates… pretty earlier than normal… It is about 6.30pm and here I’m in paradise hometown again!!! It feels good to b home again!!!
I've been writing my travel tale in my PDA (Just in case u do not know, PDA it's a Personal Digital Assistant. It's a pocket PC.) while i'm traveling... my PDA it's a very useful toy, u see!! I'm high technology addicted, by the way!
I hope u enjoyed this travel tale.. and didn't find it too boring or too detailed. I enjoyed writing it, and loved my travel!!!
Obviously, i could b talking to you about some historical facts, or more details of the buildings,the architecture styles (Do u remember that i'm an architect?! Ah!!) ... or tell u about the Spanish people...the weather... there are millions of things i could talk about... ...i'll never end this tale!!!!

Expo Zaragoza at sunset!!

South Pacific islands Pavillion.... there was no store at this Pavillion... and my heart was totally broken!! :( Smiffff Snifffffffffffffff ehehe

At the Expo.

And water was every where... :~)

The 'snake' textile roof by night...

The fancy roof... Looks like an airy snake,ugh!?!! Quite weightless and elegant!! I L-O-V-E it!!!:~)How about you?!?

Brochures and maps of Zaragoza and Expo 2008:

I love to keep them all!!!

Can u see the entrance Expo'08 ticket in these photos?!? It's beside my Expo BUS (red) card. Unfortunately this year the entrance ticket it's an ugly white paper...The other 2 Expos had such a nice coloured entrance cards...
I am wondering who was the idiot who had this idea 4 Expo 2008!!?!? A bit disappointing... Bahhhhh!!

At the Expo store... buying Expo items... few ones because everything was bloody expensive... and to b honest,i didn't find anythimg that fancy at all either!!! :(

U can check out my newest Flickr account created to share my travel pics and experiences at:

For detailed info on the Expo 2008:

The Expo 2008 blog:

Info about the city of Zaragoza:


Enjoy my freaky Cirque Du Soleil VIDEOS:

The VIDEO of the African Pavillion stunning facade:

It has been over 2 weeks and i'm trying to upload another VIDEO. It's my longer video,by the way... It's taking forever to upload it, but in the end doesn't come online at all!! Big joke!! Quite frustrating!! So i'll try it all over again next time... Ohhhhhh boy!! Let's keep the faith!! :)

....O_O.... It was very nice to see you here!!!