Saturday, June 30, 2012

15 Fun Facts About Myself - 15 Day Challenge

It's really hard to think of things about myself that  I haven't yet divulged in this blog but I'll give it a try.

1.  I guess many of you already know this, I cry pretty easily.  I cry when I read a book, when I watch a movie, when I laugh too hard, when I am very angry, when I get a nice surprise, when I am happy. I actually like it when I cry, except when it's because I'm sad.

2. I love to laugh.  There isn't a day when I don't laugh.  I laugh with my whole heart.

3. I go crazy over sweet words!

4. When I am in the countryside I always gaze up at the sky at night.  I love starry skies!  Someday, I want to sleep outside under a blanket of stars.  Oh! Just thinking about it makes me smile!  I know it's going to be wonderful, specially when I have the one I love beside me!

5. I spent my whole teenage life to my early adulthood trying to gain weight.  When I first started in the corporate world, I was only 78lbs with a waistline of 23 inches. I have always been envious of girls who were rounder and curvier. When I 30 years old, I thought of a sure way to gain weight. I intentionally ate a lot of burgers and fries. My waistline is 26 and a half now and hasn't gone back to 23 ever since. Funny but I am trying to lose  weight at the moment.

6. I studied in an exclusive school for girls from elementary to college. I was already 22 years old when I
   learned how to converse with members of the opposite sex. Before then, I was always nervous.

7. My name is Marie Claire and I'm used to people calling me Claire.  But I love being called Joy, Clairol, Claring, Clairee, Clara, Clarita, Sai, Ciara and Cia by people close to me.

8. People say I am an old soul.   I love old songs like Three Coins in the Fountain, Portrait of My Love, Inamorata, etc. I love movies and books set before the 20th century. I love old things.

9. I love the feeling of falling in love!

10. I once dreamt I was flying with Superman (young Christopher Reeve). He was gorgeous and he smelled wonderful! Yep! I could smell him in my dream!

11. Had I been any prettier and taller, I would have tried to become an actress.

12. Heat makes me sleepy.

13. I hate the smell of milk. It makes me sick.  The only time I pushed myself to drink milk was when I was pregnant.  At the time, it took me an hour to finish a glass.

14.  I love posing in front of a camera....I always have, ever since I was a baby.

15. I've always loved being on stage.

                                       Here I am dancing a  Philippine folk dance.

                                                Practising for a perfomance....

                                                   On stage and loving it!

I guess, that's it.  I can't wait to read what the others have written!

Saturday Shopping

I spent almost the whole day out today.  First thing on my itinerary was Ateneo de Manila University.  I had to file a leave of absence as I couldn't take any of my MA units this year. 

Ruel and I went to Greenhills afterwards, as I wanted to mail something for a friend who lived in Scotland.  Unfortunately, the post office was closed.  We ended up shopping instead.  I bought a couple of shirts, and some cute items for my "good-behavior" store.  

I also bought a gift for my German friend, Maike.  Her birthday is coming up and I bought her these lovely placemats.  I don't know what kind of dining table she has but I hope it's glass because I think these would look great on a glass table. :) 

Here are other pretty things I saw while shopping.

These coasters would have been a great gift for Maike but I had already bought the placemats when I saw these.  Anyhow, I loved the placemats!

I read in one blog that e.l.f. was a nice make-up brand and I wanted to try it.  I bought a liquid lipstick with a pretty Pink Lemonade color.  I was so excited to open it when I got home.  I didn't read the instructions anymore.  I was supposed to twist it 10-12 times before first application.  I twisted it I think twenty or more times! Needless to say, I broke the applicator!  Oh well....

I really had a nice time today.   I even got a bar of Toblerone from Ruel.  So sweet!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday!

Yesterday was a nice day for three reasons.

First, since it was a Friday, it gave me a chance to wear something I liked.  I always feel so ugly in my uniforms.  So anyway, since I felt so ugly the whole week, I decided to curl my hair yesterday so I could look a little pretty for a change.

Second, I finally satisfied my craving for yema.  A friend of mine gave me some with matching rubber ant!  It was so sweet, I almost cried....really!  My son always says that I have some sort of an abnormality in my tear glands.  :)

I know, it's not the pyramid-shaped yema I talked about and was so used to but still, it was yema and it was a sweet gesture so I was so happy!

Third, I went out on a movie-date with Ruel which I wrote about in another post.

I hope every Friday is as nice as yesterday!


Ruel and I watched The Amazing Spider-Man last night.  My son will watch it with his dad today so he didn't go with us.

Anyway, we watched it in 3D and popcorn and Coke came with the tickets.  I wasn't very happy with the 3D effects.  I thought it wouldn't have made any difference if we watched it in 2D.  If for anything, the 3D glasses just hurt the sides of my nose.  The popcorn also came in a tiny cup.  They didn't even sprinkle salt!   

Now, about the movie!

I must say I enjoyed it more than I did the last three superhero movies that I watched which were Green Lantern, Captain America and The Avengers.  I wouldn't want to spoil things for you by telling you information about the story.   So, I'll just focus on the things I noticed, instead.

First, Andrew Garfield played Peter Parker so differently from how Toby Maguire played it.  I don't know who played it better but this Spider-Man, I think, has a different personality.  I cannot say if I liked it or not because I am not a Spider-Man fan.  I'm a Superman fan. :)

Second, there was definitely a story here, not like The Avengers which was more action-packed than story-packed.  I would never recommend The Avengers for children younger than 13 because I got too affected by the violence of it all.  Spider-Man 3 had the same effect on me.  I didn't do much cringing from the violence this time.  Still, parents should be present to guide their kids because violence is still present in this movie.

Third, Ruel and I thought  Emma Stone, the girl who played Gwen Stacy was pretty but we thought she looked older than a high schooler which was the role she was playing.

Fourth, this is a total reboot of Spider-Man franchise and the story is totally different from the ones we have already seen.   I cannot say which story is better because I watched the first Toby Maguire movie a long time ago.  

Fifth, Stan Lee's bit performance in this movie was very amusing.  I think it's something everyone should look forward to.  I really enjoyed that part!  It's actually my favorite.  

So, would I recommend this movie? It's definitely a "yes".  The only thing I didn't like in this movie was why Peter Parker decided to let the bad guy (the one who eventually killed Ben Parker) go in the first place.  I  just thought there wasn't enough reason for him to do it and for me, he was the one at fault there.  Well, sorry, if I am not making sense here, but I cannot say more because I'd spoil everything for you.

Peter and Gwen's love story was pretty cute too.  Ruel thought there was much focus in the love story but I thought  it was just right.  Probably, they could have just lessened the kissing since a lot of children will be watching this.

I still cried when Ben Parker died.  I cried for Aunt May, and I cried for other reasons I cannot remember.  I'm just a cry, no, I don't think this will make you cry a river of tears.  Ruel said I was probably the only one who cries watching Spider-man movies.   Well, I think I enjoyed it more because I cried.  I like getting caught up in the emotions of the characters.  Getting caught up makes me like the movie more.

I don't really know how to end this post here, and I don't really know if my thoughts made sense to you. It's just a lot of babbling here.  :)  So I guess, I can say, go and get your tickets now and watch the web-slinging, Spider-man!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Thoughts v. 2

This is a link up with Sar.

I woke up this morning thinking of one thing:  yema.  It's some sort of a local candy that has peanuts and milk as its main ingredient.  It comes in small pyramid shapes.  I could actually see these small pyramids inside my head the whole morning.  I could taste it's sweetness and  I could feel its crisp surface and the soft inner part of the candy.  


I finally returned the book, Best Man to the library.  Honestly, I did not finish it.  The story was  too slow for me.  I kept on waiting for the funny parts which were supposed to come from the main character's attempts to sabotage his best friend's wedding.  I was already halfway through and still, there were no attempts.  I couldn't even understand why it was entitled Best Man. 

After returning, Best Man, I went to the fiction section of the library and looked for another book.  I saw a college student, a friend I made in Brigadoon, who recommended two books to me.  It has been a long time since I read a book I truly enjoyed and I hope I would end up enjoying these two.

I have been craving for milk tea for like a week and today, I got the chance to have some with Angel.  She and I took the train together after work.  We got off at Gateway Mall, as usual, and had our milk tea. On my way home, I dropped by Mango.  They were having  a sale and I saw this really nice white top that was great for Fridays  (That's the only time we were allowed not to be in uniform).  I fought the urge try it on because I knew that if it fit me, and I was sure it would, I would end up buying it.   I got home and regretted not having tried it on.  I guess I'll go back tomorrow. :)

I went to Sar's blog when I got home and I was happy to see that she had already posted the questions for her 15 Day  Challenge. Can't wait to read answers to these questions!

How was your Thursday?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I have decided to do a little countdown today....but only until the end of this year.

159 days to go before my wedding.  When I first got engaged...I mean, this time around....I was so excited that the wedding was all I could think of.  Today, five months before my wedding, I am still excited, but most of the time, I try not to think about it because of the stress that it gives me. This is really a stressful time for me and Ruel.

3 months to go before the first fitting of my wedding gown.  I was the one who designed the wedding gown so I really can't wait to see if they would be able to follow my design and if my design would look as lovely in real life as it looked on paper.

2 months to go before I turn another year older.  I honestly cannot say my age at the drop of a hat anymroe.  I stopped counting a long, long time ago.  When people ask me my age now, I say, "I don't know" because I really don't know or I ask them to wait as I do the math.  It's really funny, I thought I was the only one who had this experience but I was recently talking to my college best friend and she has the same don't-know-my-age-till-I-do-the-math disorder as well!  Anyway, I thank God for every year of my life, every year with my loved ones, and for all of the many more years He'll give me  to enjoy with my loved ones.

39 days to go before my son turns 13! I can't believe it! I have a teenager!!!  I pray that God will give me the strength and the wisdom to raise such a strong-willed teenager like my son.  Who am I to complain?  As they say, "The apple does not fall far from the tree.", "Kung ano ang puno siya ang bunga".   I thank God for giving me such a talented, intelligent son. I love him so much and I pray that God will give us many, many, many more years to be together.

42 days to go before my mom turns another year older.  My mom is probably the most unselfish person I have ever met when it comes to her children and grandchildren.  My goodness! She doesn't sleep a wink when we are sick, even if it's just a slight fever.  I actually wonder how she does it.  I have tried doing it several times but I have failed every time.  I pray to God that He will bless my mom with many more happy, healthy and productive years.

6 days to go before Brigadoon practices start.  Well, you probably know by now how excited I am about this.  I have written about it twice, thrice if you count this one.   I really can't wait to see the other members of the cast.  And I want to feel that adrenaline rush again!

I really hope everything turns out great!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday's Letters

This is a link up with Megan.

Dear Monday, thank you for being so nice to me problems in school whatsoever, and I got to leave school early.   I'm so glad you're almost over though coz I can't wait for Friday.

Dear Sar, I'm so excited about the 15 Day Blog Challenge you're planning.  Please hurry up and start it already! A lot of us are waiting.

Dear Toots, I love you so much! I hurry home every day just so we can have time to talk and just be with each other.   I miss my little Toots but I don't love you any less now that you are big.

Dear Spiderman, I'm not much of a fan but I can't wait to see you on Friday. That way, my son and I can compare notes about you, and I can talk about you in my blog.

Dear July 2, I am counting the days till you're here!  I don't care if I have to leave school later than usual, as long as I get to be on stage again, rehearsing for the Brigadoon cast's last hurrah.

Dear God, thank you for everything and for everything you have in store for me.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I was tickled to the bone last night.....I mean literally!  I have Ruel to thank for this.   No, he wasn't the one who did the tickling.  He was the one who paid for it.  

Ruel had been trying to convince me to try fish spa for like the longest time but I never really agreed to do it till last night.  For some reason, the more I imagined little fishes taking little bites off my skin, the more I imagined I'd end up with small pink holes in my feet!  I had always thought it was going to be a painful experience.

It was the exact opposite!  It was both relaxing and interesting.  I couldn't stop smiling and I tried so hard not to laugh.  The fish tickled me so! I kept saying, "Tickles, tickles, tickles!" to my son, who was then in no mood to try my little adventure.

Each customer had his own tank which was filled with around a hundred fish.  No, I didn't count.  We were just told by the staff when we asked.   Imagine these small hungry creatures  attacking your feet the moment you dip them into the water! They kept biting and biting, and biting for 30 minutes non-stop!  I didn't feel any pain though.  It was a totally fun experience for me.  I was almost sorry when it was over.

After that, I had another relaxing treat --foot massage, which was still part of the package Ruel paid for.

I was so happy with how my feet felt and looked afterwards.

For those who haven't tried fish spa, I suggest you try it.  Some would probably not believe that it could help you have beautiful feet but in my experience, my feet really feels smoother and they actually look nicer.

I plan to go there again next time, for a chocolate nourishing foot spa, and a facial therapy.  I can't wait!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Angel! Sorry it's late.....

I'm not really good at remembering birthdays.  Sometimes I do remember the dates but when the day itself comes, that's when I forget!

One of the friends I have in school just had her birthday last Monday and I totally forgot that it was her birthday.  I am so ashamed to admit that I haven't greeted her yet! I only remembered today!
I feel so bad, actually.

So trying to make it up to her, I gathered my beads and made her a cellphone charm.  I had a small angel charm that looked like this:

Please excuse my dirty hands.  I had just finished working when I took the pics.

The back of the angel had "made for an angel" inscribed on it.

My friend's name is Angel so I thought that the charm fit her perfectly.  Unfortunately, the charm was tiny and I didn't have it in a bigger size.  Because of this, I felt I had  to use my tiny beads for the added accessories.

I used metal beads, and Chinese crystals in red and two shades of green.

I added the green ribbon to make my gift look more festive as I wasn't planning to wrap it anymore.  I also added a tag that said, "Sorry, it's late" because I am really extremely sorry.

Here is  a picture of Angel and me.  She's the one you see on the left....really pretty girl who looks like an angel!

So to you, Angel, if you're reading this post, happy birthday!  I hope this year will turn out exactly as you want it!  Cheers to you and to our friendship!

I really hope she likes my gift.  It's not really much but it comes from my heart!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tiny Feet!

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my feet.

I've always thought they were pretty, and when I was younger, they always looked good in sandals. There was even one weird guy I met who kept talking about  them!

As much as I love them for the way they look, for taking me to all those beautiful and interesting places I have been to, for dancing whenever I feel like it, there are times when I hate them for being so tiny....well, I think hate is a strong word and I don't hate hate them, I just wish they were bigger. But just for the sake of writing I will use the word hate.

So, I have tiny feet. I always have a hard time buying shoes! I can spend all weekend mall-hopping and never find a pair that would fit. I always end up settling for something that's half a size bigger, or sometimes one size bigger! And that's not all, I end up settling for a style and brand that I don't really like. I just buy because that's the closest they have to my size!

I hate corks! Now, I'm not using "hate" just for the sake of writing. I really hate them because after some time of walking, they wouldn't be in place anymore and you'd have to fix them again. No matter how much I hate them though, I always end up using them.

Unlike other girls who love shopping for shoes, this is definitely one of the things I dread. Shopping for shoes is a chore for me, a chore that I would never ever think of doing until such time that I really need to do it, and that's when I don't have anything to wear anymore.

Sometimes I am so jealous of those ladies who have more than ten pairs of shoes because it's so hard for me to even own one! My sister has more at least 30 pairs, I think. Our feet have the same length but her feet are bigger because she's flat footed. I also don't understand these shoe manufacturers for not making shoes in smaller sizes. Surely, I am not the only one who has tiny feet! I understand there aren't many of us out there but I think they could spare maybe three or four pairs in our size per style! The only small size that I see nowadays are those with high heels (4-6 inches) which I am very uncomfortable in. For some reason, I can only wear shoes with 2-inches heels. Anything more than that is scary for me!  Besides, I will never wear something uncomfortable just for the sake of looking taller!

The only shoes that are close to my size are all flats. I don't like walking around in flats because I seem to walk funny in them and standing in them feels funny too. But what's a girl like me to do? Certainly, I can't go to school barefooted! I take whatever is available. With the help of corks they would fit me just fine. So here I am, settling for flats again, settling for a certain brand, and settling for a certain style.

I really hope those shoe manufacturers read this post and realize that people like me do exist! I want this love-hate relationship I have with my feet to end. I just want to love, love and love them!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The First Men Who Ever Loved Me

These are the first men who ever loved me....and the first I have ever loved.

                          My dad.....

He is a loving, selfless father and among the dads I know personally, he is the best provider I have ever met!

                           My grandpa....

My grandpa was my first playmate and my first best friend.  He patiently played pretend with me, taught me riddles, and told me stories which were mostly legends. Just thinking about him makes my heart ache with longing. I wish he had lived longer. That way, he would have known how much I loved him.

They are my heroes and my models.  I will never cease loving them.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Brigadoon Again!

There's really not that much to look forward to next month other than our Brigadoon practices which will start the week after next.

When I was a teenager, my dad used to take us to the theater to watch major productions of musical plays.  I have been lucky to watch Camelot, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Evita, and Miss Saigon.  I enjoyed watching all of them, and enjoyed everything that had to do with theater -- the seats, the break, the cocktails during break, the souvenir programs, and the dresses I wore.

I guess I owe my love for musical plays to my dad who exposed my sister and me to this kind of entertainment.
Les Miserables is and will always be my favorite musical although it was only my sister who was lucky to watch it in Broadway.

It is no wonder that I had dreamt of being in a musical play.  Last year, my chance came when our university decided to stage the musical Brigadoon.

The musical cast was composed of mostly college students, some grade school students, around three college professors, one grade school teacher (that's me!) and a college counselor.

No, I did not get a speaking part and neither did I get a solo singing part.  I guess you can say that a beautiful singing voice was just not one of those lovely things I have been endowed with. :)

I got to dance a little though.  But I wish I got to dance more.  I got to act a little too, but I wish I got to act more. :)  Oh well...maybe someday.

Our after-class practices became some sort of a respite for me after my usual stress-filled day in our department.  I know some of the cast considered our practices work but for me, they weren't.  They were  the best  form of relaxation for me at the time.

I have honestly missed the ones I worked with in the cast, most specially the college students with whom I spent majority of my off-stage time.

Remembering Brigadoon, I posted some of the photos taken backstage and on stage.

with my students

with college students

I'm so proud I don't look my age here!

I'm acting here!

and also here!

I don't really like my costume.  I think it made me look more like a Spanish girl rather than the Scottish girl that I was supposed to be. I didn't like the kilts the men wore either.  I can't put my finger on it, but I think there was something wrong with them.

So anyway, the university is staging Brigadoon again.  And I can't wait for practices to start!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just Trying to Make Sense of It All

I have been betrayed by people I once considered friends—people who appeared  to be decent and worthy of my trust and loyalty.  As it turned out, appearances can really be deceiving, and so are someone’s actions, words, and way of speaking.

I admit I have been wrong, in judging a book by its cover, so to speak.  I have placed my trust on people who were in all appearances meek, nice and who acted like ladies.  Always forgetting past mistakes, always forgetting that some wolves are in sheep’s clothing, I fell into the trap.  Time and again, I find myself trusting the wrong people, investing my time in false friendships and getting hurt in the end.

I have worked in another industry prior to this – an industry that DID NOT HAVE to place high premium on Christian values but I have never been betrayed by people I met there. In fact, they were the friends I will always cherish for life.    In contrast, the industry that I belong to right now, place so much importance to Christian values and the Christian way of life.  However, it is where I have suffered betrayal, persecution and injustice.  The worst part of it all is that I suffered them all in the hands of people I trusted, people I once called friends. 

I wonder what is it about this profession that makes it so easy for colleagues to step on one another’s toes? I wonder what is it that makes them want to put someone down just so they can look better?  I wonder what is it that makes it so hard for them to just let the other enjoy his moment of triumph or glory?   Why can’t they keep themselves from raining on someone else’s parade?  Why can’t they just simply be happy for one another?  What is it about this profession that keeps someone from being the friend he is supposed to be?   
Are we all just so hungry for recognition, position and power that we are willing to sacrifice our relationships?  Is glory more important to us than kindness, respect, loyalty, trust and friendship?

Things will never be the same again. They CANNOT be the same again.  I may be able to forgive them in time but I know I will never see them again the way I once saw them.  As far as I am concerned, if they acted the way they did, they were never my friends and I do not in any way owe them any amount of loyalty.

I know that no matter what happens, no matter how many times I get hurt, I will always end up trusting once again, when someone new comes along.   It is kind of stupid, but it is the way I am.  Some may call me gullible or naive but I think that no matter how hard I try not to be, no matter how hard I try to keep my walls up, I will always end up letting my defenses down,  hoping against hope that someday, someone true and worthy of my trust will finally come along.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Real Friends

Today I realized that not all people I chat with, joke around with, or laugh with are my friends.

A real friend is:

 -someone who wishes the best for you;

 -someone who does not only stay with you when you are fun to be with, but who will stay with you when you are down, cranky or depressed;

 -someone who will laugh with you during silly moments and cry with you during times of loneliness and despair ;

 -someone who will risk looking like a fool as long as you get to enjoy your shining moment;

 -someone who will never show your weaknesses to your enemies;

 -someone who will stand by you and with you;

 -someone who will do everything to help you when you are truly in need

 -someone who will honestly tell  you your faults and still love you just the same;

 -someone you can trust with your life.

 Although I can only count my real friends with my fingers, I still  feel so blessed that I have them in my life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

This is in response to the question I just heard on TV.  "Do you think the Philippines is really free?"

Here is what I think.

Today, the Philippines is free from colonizers.  However, Filipinos are now slaves of other things.

Filipinos are slaves of corruption.  It exists not only in government but shameful as it is, it also exists even in schools, in the workplace, and in all other aspects of society.  It has become a part of life and is practised by people from all walks of life.    Of course, there are still those who are honest and live their life with integrity but I am talking about the majority.

Filipinos are slaves of  poverty.  More and more people go to bed hungry.  Salaries stay the same while prices of commodities constantly go up.

Filipinos are slaves of ignorance.  More and more people cannot afford quality education.  There are a lot of children who cannot even afford to go to school.  Some of those who go to school do not get to stay in school.

Filipinos are slaves of indifference.  Many choose to just let things happen, rather than take active part in making them happen, or in preventing them from happening.

Filipinos are slaves of greed -- greed of other people as well as their own greed.

Worst of all, Filipinos are slaves of themselves.  They want the country to change, the government to change, but they forget that the change should start with themselves.  Many people complain about many things.  However, they do not do anything to change things.  They complain about garbage, but they litter everywhere.  They complain about corruption but all they do is point their finger at someone else.  They do not know how to make sacrifices. Even the sacrifice of standing in attention when the National Anthem is being played or sung, is difficult for them to do.

I know I have made my country and my people look bad in the light of the things I have just written.  However, I write with the hope that my countrymen will read this post and reflect on it.  It  is only when we see ourselves for what we are and for what we have become can we be able to change what it is that needs changing.

I love my country and I love my people.  I believe in the goodness and in the greatness that lie within us. I just hope that we work hand in hand to let that goodness and greatness shine so that we may one day reclaim the glory that was once ours.

Happy Independence Day fellow Pinoys!

Monday, June 11, 2012


A week ago,  I promised after I go to Intramuros for dinner, I would post some pictures.

My fiance and I went there on the 8th. I wanted so much to leave school early so we could be there while there was still enough light.  Unfortunately, I had  tons to do and tons of problems encountered in school that day.  I was only able to leave after 5:30 pm.  This was why I wasn't able to take as many pictures as I wanted.  There wasn't enough light anymore to take good ones.

Anyway, people reading my blog asked me what Intramuros was.  It's the oldest district in Manila and was the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Period.  Intramuros, literally means within the walls.  It is called Walled City since the city is surrounded by walls.  During Spanish time it was located along Manila Bay and south of Pasig River.  This was before the 20th century land reclamations obscured the city from the bay.  It isn't surrounded by water anymore today.  Anyway, the thick walls were constructed by the Spaniards to protect the seat of government from invasions.

The walls of Intramuros are so thick that they are now being used as coffee shops, souvenir shops and the like.  There's even Starbucks inside the walls.
This is opening, though not one of the gates, lead outside the walls

This is the Manila Cathedral

I took this from afar so the tower of the church could be seen.

King Louis the IV at the Plaza in front of the Cathedral

This is the wide flight of stairs leading to the dining room of Barbara's.

Dancers dancing our national dance, the Tinikling.

Some streets are still lined with stones like these.  It actually makes it hard for one to walk.  It was tiring.

This picture is not mine, but from Wikimedia Commons.  I just took it because here you could see the ruins.