Pastrana, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Pastrana is a village and municipality in the south of Guadalajara province, autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, at 95 km from Madrid. It is the capital of the region of La Alcarria. The city was important in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There are still a few presences of the medieval city. We find the Ducal Palace, where the Princess of Eboli lived, an important figure in the history of the place, now owned by the University of Alcalá. You can also find the convents founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus, the tapestries of Alfonso V, the Collegiate Church with its Baroque altars, statues and shields, the fountain of four Sewers (1588), Dean Square with its historic buildings that remember the grandeur of the past, the street of the Palm, with its palaces: of the Inquisition, Burgos, knights of Calatrava and the synagogue, among others.

Tips

St Joseph’s Convent, founded by St Teresa, is part of St Teresa’s traces a route of culture and tourism pilgrimage which brings together the 17 cities where St Teresa has left foundations or “traces”. The road is not in an established order or time because every pilgrim can do it when he wants and in the order he wishes.
If you visit the city in January, you can participate in two festivals, the 17th is the day of St. Anton and the 20th is the day of Saint Sebastian, you’ll find songs, processions and typical food. At Easter, you will find similar festivities. The day of St Teresa, October 15th, is also celebrated.

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The St. Antthony Hermitage, Bouchette Lake, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, Canada

The St. Anthony hermitage of  Bouchette Lake was founded by Father Elzéar Delamarre in 1907 with the construction of a second home and a chapel dedicated to St Anthony of Padua. The place became a pilgrimage site and the abbot was building a larger chapel to accommodate the visitors. In 1925 the site was taken in care by the Capuchin Minor Brothers who built a monastery and a church dedicated to the Virgin. Today the place has also a hotel with a large dining-room with terrace overlooking the lake and an excellent gastronomic choice with local products and typical menu of the Lac St-Jean region as the famous pie called ‘tourtière’. There is also a wooden observation tower, a pedestrian path, a souvenir shop, a bakery, a camping area with parking for trailers and the warm welcome of the Brothers and staff who make of this place a beautiful option for a relaxing holiday, solo, with family, friends or couples. To see: the St. Anthony of Padua chapel (neo-Gothic country), the frescoes of the Quebec painter Charles Huot, the monastery (neo-Romanesque), the Marian Chapel, among others and of course the natural environment that is really beautiful!

Tips

You can book your accommodation with or without breakfast but it is good to take it even as the supper cause the site is in nature and there are no restaurants very near.

You have a small beach nearby, on the way to the village, and there are some games for children on the site next to the lake.

Taste the bread and buns baked at the bakery on site, it’s worth it.

There are many activities around Lac St-Jean; so staying at the monastery would be economical and comfortable to come and visit the area.

Ko Tao, Thailand

Ko Tao or Koh Tao is an island in Thailand located on the West coast of the Gulf of Thailand, between the provinces of Chumphon and Surat Thani. It covers an area of 21 km². The primary institution and the main port of the island, is Ban Mae Hat.
Its name derives from ‘Turtle’; many turtles which until a few years ago spawned on its quiet beaches and the curious shape of the island also itself. With most of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan and other smaller islands, forms the Mu Ko Samui archipelago.
The island‘s economy is almost entirely focused on tourism. Ko Tao is indeed known amateurs of diving everywhere in the world for many schools and sport clubs that allow you to get easily the ‘Open Water Diver’ diving certificate. Tourist guides announce the bottom of shallow seas, transparent waters and fascinating coral reefs of the island as an ideal for the practice of diving sport for beginners. The interior of the island is full of wild and lush greenery. The climate is pleasant throughout the year and the beaches are heavenly, the most famous are Sairee and the quieter than others Chalok, Mango Bay and Ao Leuk.
 
 
Tips
 
 
If you want to follow the course of diving and the certificate, as a beginner or as master of diving: there are many centers and many courses because it is cheap, then look at standard tourist packages that are very practical and cheap but be careful, cheap hotels are not recommended!
To move on the island the more convenient is the moto with mountain wheels if possible, because roads are not well paved, or aren’t at all.
If you like fireworks, there are on almost all beaches in the evening.
 

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