Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Road Trip to Northern Luzon, Part 1: The Historical City of Vigan.

This past weekend Sheila and I traveled to Ilocos, a region located in northwestern Luzon. As I've mentioned before, since Sheila works during the week we typically travel during the weekends. And it's fine, really, because it allows me to see the country at a slower pace. And traveling at a slower pace ultimately leads to spending less money which is ideal for long-term traveling. However, due to the lack of inexpensive flights, we had to travel to the northernmost tip of Luzon without flying. In other words, we had to rush.

After Sheila got off of work, we took a taxi straight to the bus station and boarded the next bus bound for Vigan. Due to the amount of traffic in Manila, however, it took us 1.5 hours to leave the city. Damn you, traffic. Damn you.

We arrived in Vigan at 2am after a 9 hour bus ride. The historical city of Vigan is a Spanish colonial town that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The main tourist attraction of the city is the preserved colonial street of Calle Crisologo. After exiting the bus Sheila and I walked straight to this famous street, passing a line of horse-drawn carriages. And since we arrived in Vigan in the dead of night we were able to experience the city’s main tourist attraction in relative solitude, with the exception of a few drunken passersby who slowly stumbled their way down the dark, desolate cobblestone street conjuring images of walking zombies as the sound of their shoes skidding the surface of the street echoed off the old colonial buildings.

We lucked out with the weather, too. It couldn't have been any more perfect. The sky was clear and the temperature was cool and refreshing which made out for an enjoyable stroll down one of the country’s most historical sites. Lamps hanging from the old colonial-era buildings casted long shadows of us over the cobblestone street as we quietly took pictures. It was a real treat.

Vigan, however, was just a short stop-over before continuing north to Pagudpud. And after an hour we caught another bus out of the city, hoping to arrive in Pagudpud by 8am.

So much to see, so little time.


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