Travelling to the City of Pines is one of my must to-do lists before the year ends and thankfully it happened even before the busyness of the holiday season occupies me.
Husband and I travelled on Friday night; we missed the comfortable Victory Liner ride because we didn’t expect the volume of commuter who would also be visiting that weekend. I worried that the 2-days itinerary I formerly set up may not be fitting anymore and another day of stay will be considered. While I was getting annoyed at the circumstances husband checked on another bus line.
We were also considered as chance passenger at Dagupan Bus Line except that we were timely because we were allowed to board right away. I felt relieved despite the discomfort of our seats (located almost at the back), I don’t really mind because my excitement win through. 🙂 After 5 hours and a half, two stopovers and engine seemingly to break down, finally we hit the city!
From the bus drop off point, there was light rain as we walked going to Session Road even so I never felt gloomy. How can someone be? With the chilly atmosphere, smell of pine and good food, I know our vacay would be one wonderful weekend!
And yes, a beautiful rainbow welcomes me back to Baguio! 🙂
Since husband and I were no longer first timers to Baguio City, I skipped a number of tourist spots from my list. I am back to Baguio to unwind and to delight our tummies with mouth-watering dishes –that’s it only and nothing else should delay my plans.
Ahead of this trip, I had short-listed the places we must visit, not because I haven’t been to those places other than I had reasons this time.
Our two day stay in Baguio went around this way, no fuss just pure bliss!
After a light breakfast in McDonald’s Session Road, husband and I left our baggage at La Brea Inn just across.
It’s our second time in La Brea and despite the competitive rates Hotel Veniz was also offering, I remain partial to La Brea because of its very ideal location, it’s very accommodating staffs and consistently clean rooms.
Besides I don’t need full amenities this time because we plan to spend more time outdoor. We did not check in yet instead went out after securing our things. It’s going to be the start of our exciting tour. 🙂
From Session Road, we accessed our first stop making use of the long concrete stairway of more than a hundred steps. Whew! I had to ask husband for three to four stops before getting at the top of the hill where Baguio Catholic Cathedral is beautifully located. If you’re like me who have difficulty in climbing stairs, you can use the access road behind the post office building. I wonder why we never used it anyway. 😦
BCC is considered as the biggest Catholic Church in Baguio and is the center of religious activities. And it’s always a must stop for us.
After a little prayer for safety and guidance, we took the jeep ride the going to Mines View Park, which is considered as the most visited park in the city.
I have to give the observation deck a visit and took a photo of me with the breathtaking panoramic view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines and the surrounding mountains that unfolds before you. Still it shouldn’t be missed when visiting Baguio.
And aside from the horses, there are St. Bernard’s these days, which you can pose with for P50.00
Syempre, I didn’t let this chance passed oh I mean we, because husband became an instant fan of this big breed. I forgot his name eh. Though it was an added attraction to Mines View, I started to pity those St. Bernard’s (4 of them) because they seem to get tired of sitting all day. 😦
Another attraction to Mines View, you can rent Igorot costumes for P10.00 only and have an unlimited photo wearing it. Husband didn’t want this, KJ!
At the entrance to the park, you can find stalls that sells native handicraft such as wood carvings, locally made silver products and jewelry at Ibay’s, basket, brooms, sweaters, blankets and souvenir items –items that are similarly found in the public market.
Cordillera World is open to everyone and picture taking is encouraged for a minimal donation only.
There are also canteens, snack stores, and street vendors selling food and beverages.
A visit to the park should also be planned earlier during the day as the view may not be visible when the fog starts to move in during the afternoon.
Our next stop was the Good Shepherd Convent, which is within walking distance from the souvenir shops at Mines View Park.
The place is popularly known for their locally produce –strawberry and ube jams, cashew and peanut brittles. Though their products are also available at the public market I still prefer to buy my take back home here.
I bought strawberry spreads, jams and ube jams. And while taking a short time-out, husband and I had light snacks at the coffee shop.
Within the compound there’s also scenic views to picture around, there is also an observation deck where distant Cordillera Mountains are visible.
We didn’t stay long and hopped the jeep going to Wright Park this time.
Wright Park fronts the main gate of the Mansion so it’s easy to locate. It is also one of the many scenic parks in Baguio City which main features a shallow elongated rectangular body of water known as the “Pool of Pines” and the park circle at the other end of the park.
How can someone like me resist a photo op when all that surrounds are tall pines trees, and pines and more pine. 🙂
From the park circle is a walkway which leads to a wide stairway made of stones that descend to an area where ponies are rented out.
Riding a pony is a favorite among children and adults and the place can really get crowded during weekends and holidays.
I read somewhere (?) that the stalls nearby sells overrun cheaper than those shops at CJH but I didn’t find any at all. Anyway, I wasn’t too eager to search all over because our wanting to get seated and fed suppress.
You know how I can mix up things when I feel hungry. I asked the cab driver to drop us to Camp John Hay and even asked him if he knows where 50’s Diner is located inside CJH. Well, he kept mum so I stay put. I asked him to drop us to Mile-Hi Center and that was it.
Soon as we alight, I never had a time to think twofold and when I first saw Mile-Hi Dinner I thought we came to the right place –the one I had exactly in mind!
The famished one I am, I scanned the menu right away and was looking for that fall off the bone baby-back ribs but I cannot find it so I had to get a different set. Husband and I enjoyed our first decent meal despite its being pricey and limited.
Lunch was quick because my feet were itching to check the outlet stores close by. Husband and I went store after store and the only store I can suggest is the one that sells Benetton luggages and Sisley hand bags. 🙂 I want one however, I have to hold back the idea of getting something for me besides we have a scheduled visit to Paseo where an outlet is located too.
We left CJH after some souvenir shots from the rolling hills and pine trees that are hard to resist. 🙂
From CJH, we took another cab and ask the driver to drop us at Session Road. I wanted something delectable this time, so, we stopped at Vizco’s to try their mouth-watering cakes. I was so delighted to taste fresh strawberries on top of my cake. It was perfect!
Back at La Brea, husband and I take an afternoon nap to make up for the wakeful experience during our bus ride earlier that morning. And before nightfall, we were already up again to witness the bustling city became lively as SLU faculties and students parade at Session Road.
It was one lovely Lantern Parade that we were fortunate to witness.
Come dinner we didn’t went far, Star Café is an old and classic restaurant along Session Road and I listed it, so, we dined to sample its Chinese cuisine offering. (I will do a separate post of all the restos and food we sample, so, stay tuned!)
Following dinner, I wanted something sweeter again. Husband and I walk on the road to SM City this time. I know we should skip this place but we have a favorite souvenir shop located at this mall. We walk around and grab a unique dessert for a change (?). Well, eating ice cream is best during the cold season. 😀
Getting idle is the least we wanted while on this vacay, so we left SM City and decided to walk down to Burnham Park. We later found out that half of Harrison Road was closed to traffic to give way to ukay-ukay vendors that night. I was more than elated to work with my thrift shopping power –I haggle for pre-owned leather bags while husband bargain for original rubber shoes which are still very good. Okay, I score an overnight bag for P500 bucks –it wasn’t that cheap but I think it’s fair enough because it was all in good leather.
If not for my sudden dizziness, we planned to stay out until midnight and get drunk (?). Not really, we just want a place to chill out while people watching.
Muching on Chef Tony’s popcorn while channel surfing
We went back to La Brea and call it a day. It was one hectic day to account. 🙂