Category Archives: 30 days challenge

The centre of the earth, the ancient site of Delphi

Located on the slopes of ancient Mount Parnassus, the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios.

20130911-163440.jpg

Super curious about life as it was then. Without proper roads, without proper shoes, without cars and what not. How was it that they could build such majestic structures there and then amidst the mountains which withstood the harsh changes in weather for centuries?

The Tholos at the base of Mount Parnassus. Just 3 out of the original 20 + 10 columns left standing.

20130911-163447.jpg

Lunch at a little quiet town in Delphi before we made our way to the centre of the earth (determined by Zeus) .

20130911-163504.jpg

The reconstructed Athenian Treasury.

20130911-163454.jpg

Following in the footsteps of the pilgrams years ago, we made our way up the (now) slippery smooth marble steps  to check out the Temple of Apollo with the companionship of grasshoppers as seen in the shot below.

20130911-163510.jpg

What’s left of the Temple of Apollo where he spoke through his oracle at Delphi (who got high on the fumes coming out of the cracks in the basement of the temple).

20130911-163518.jpg

The rise and downfall of the Oracle, uplifted by humans and then felled also by the whims of humans. Sounds familiar, some things never change.

20130911-163523.jpg

I don’t think the Oracle was being purposefully cryptic nor were there answers to the questions asked. In all honesty, all gibberish can be interpreted as an answer which is in turn subjected to the biases of the one who posed the question.

Speaking of which, if you were sentence to death by poison (as in the past) and you are required to drink the poison. Given that it was your hand that lifted the cup of poison, is this then considered suicide?

The theatre at Delphi where drama and music competitions were held during the Pythian games.

20130911-163528.jpg

The stadium of Delphi which was also used for the Pythian games (what we now know as the Olympics). Was looking forward to racing my sister there, much to our disappointment, the stadium was now overgrown with weeds and of course, out of bounds to tourists.

20130911-163534.jpg

One day, when time travel is made possible, all shall be revealed.

On a side note, for those whom are interested in historical fiction, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran is an incredibly good read.

Only those who have the courage to the face the fiercest battles will receive the greatest rewards.

Do not step on the cirrus clouds

Some of you might have seen this sign at East Coast Park in Singapore.

Do not step on the cirrus clouds

And just below it is one of my favorite poems.

Why A Man Cannot Have Wings
Alfian bin Sa’at

Because he will crash land on his head, assuming it to be
The strongest part of his body.

Because someone will put up a sign that reads:
Do Not Step on the Cirrus Clouds.

Because it does not even take a man hundreds of feet above
Sea-level to learn contempt.

Because there will be new categories of handicaps: bow-wings,
Ostrich disease, scaly feathers, carousel flight syndrome,
Or at a freak show: The Amazing Wingless Wonder.

Because he will have a new weapon, gravity,
And everything he releases becomes a missile,
Even glass marbles, books, the fatal music box.

Because he is lonely enough without being able to
Frame the house he lives in between his forefinger and thumb.

Because then the sky will shed its metaphors of freedom
And become another path for him to carry his burdens.

Because there will be a popular form of suicide:
Flying into foreign airspace and being gunned down;
All it takes is a nose-tip to press an invisible blue button.

Because each death in mid-air, each comic comet plunge,
Will be another enactment of the fall of Man.

Because in concentration camps people will break wings
And use the feathers for quills to write sonnets
And pillow stuffing for innocent dreams.

Because he will have less to fantasize about, less of miracles
And the word ‘levitation’ will not exist.

Because there will be children who will empty their bladders
Under cloud cover in an attempt to make yellow snow.

And because he might get the wrong notion that he is closer
To heaven, when he has not even come to a mile
Within the presence of angels, despite the resemblance.

Some times I wonder, is mankind trying to hard to go against nature with their efforts for the greater good? Perhaps it was never meant to be this way.

The advancement of medicine, saving and prolonging lives leading to over population and thus taking a toll on our earth. Technology and television that teaches our young the wrong things, planting violence in their heads, increasing their knowledge and at the same time their wants. Resulting in discontentment with what they have.

We have so much more than what others used to have years ago. But are we happier? What happened to the simple joys in life?

Or perhaps, it was meant to be this way. Since everything happens for a reason.

 

Eat more shrimp, millions of fish can’t be wrong @ Pier 39

San Francisco, California, USA

Hear hear.

I’ve always had a thing for quotes and phrases, quotes in French and Latin and all kinds of random quotes. Unfortunately, none that I can remember now.

Oh and sarcasm. Something about sarcasm that attracts me. The intelligent kind of sarcasm. Probably why I’m such a huge fan of Friends and Big Bang Theory.

And words that rhymes. Like sister and dinner.

Strawberries and chocolate. The best combination ever! Especially the ones at Chocz!

San Francisco, California, USA

Colours.

San Francisco, California, USA

Flying flag(s) against the clear blue skies.

San Francisco, California, USA

Carousels.

Pier 39, San Francisco, California, USA

The taste of home. Its a plus point that all baristas at Starbucks are ever so friendly.

Pier 39, San Francisco, California, USA

This could easily be a post on my favorite things. Hurhur.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, 
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, 
brown paper packages tied up with strings, 
these are a few of my favorite things

Alcatraz Island

I’m not quite sure if I believe in the laws of attraction (The Secret), but whatever works. If your beliefs make you a better person, why not?

I’ve always loved traveling and been wanting to give solo travel a shot. Well, travel I alone I did. And I have finally come to realize that traveling for work isn’t as glamorous as it seems and can get rather lonely at times. Especially so when I’m socially awkward. That said, I’m still grateful for every opportunity I get to travel! 😀

While there are many pros of traveling alone (few which I appreciate), being more observant to the surroundings and people is definitely top on my list.

Finally got to visit Alcatraz! Failed to heed a friend’s advice of booking Alcatraz tickets in advance and ended up paying 100USD (which includes a bay cruise) when it should have been only 30USD. Still, it was totally worth it!

It was also one of those times when I felt less lonely with someone talking in my ear throughout – the audio guide. Hahahahaha.

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz, San Francisco

IMG_4055

Alcatraz, San Francisco

My favorite state in USA. Looking forward to spending more time there next year. 🙂

Life is a journey, not a destination – a part of Stevens Creek Trail

15 mins till 12am. Here goes a super quick one.

I was in San Francisco for work last July and was planning to cycle from my office down to Apple headquarters since there appears to be a trail, Stevens Creek Trail, that leads down to it. Since I wasn’t a fan of planning, all I did was checked out the entrance of the trail and left it to chance.

Started from Crittenden Lane Trail Head, took a left turn and as chance would have it, that was the wrong direction (the view on the left did look better).

The Stevens Creek Trail

The Stevens Creek Trail

Oh boy. I just realized that I cycled past NASA property! To think that I didn’t even both with photos cause I thought that was just some ongoing construction.

Anyway, went past the Tidal Marsh.

The Stevens Creek Trail

Hit the end of the shoreline and realized that was the wrong direction.

The Stevens Creek Trail

Headed the other way, went under the wide highway 101 bridge and… called it a day.

The Stevens Creek Trail

It was a nice ride. Afterall, life is a journey, not the destination. I did enjoy the journey. 🙂

Open water certification at Pulau Aur

This was a long time ago..

Arrived at Aur to this gorgeous pink sunrise.

Sunrise at Pulau Aur

The tiny strip of sand where we stayed.

Diving in Pulau Aur

One of our instructors sharing about the dangers in the sea and showing us his scars from a jellyfish sting (thus that face).

Diving at Pulau Aur

What we do during surface intervals.

Diving in Pulau Aur

Diving in Pulau Aur

 

Diving in Pulau Aur

No underwater photos this time since we were all too busy trying to remember to breath, clearing our masks and our attempts to hover.

Diving in Pulau Aur

Diving in Pulau Aur

… when I was still reading paperbacks. I do miss the smell of new books!

 

Musée du Louvre

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

One of those must go places. Who wouldn’t after reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code? Hurhur. I realize it is fiction that draws me more than facts. Then again, who is to say there is no truth to fiction? I rather live believing that there’s more to this world than what we can see with our naked eyes.

Looking up at the tip of the glass pyramid from within.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

I wish I could actually blog about the art pieces within that blew me away, the strokes, the intricacy, the expression of whatever that most people gush about. Sadly, that isn’t happening simply because I’ve no clue about art.

Some of my favorites.

Totally reminded me of the weeping angels in Dr Who. Especially the one staring right at you on the left. DON’T BLINK.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

I’m not sure why it failed to cross my mind when I was there, but I wonder if the statues are all placed such that each and every statue is actually looking into the eyes of another and thus leaving them quantum locked. Hehehe.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Such is life, going round in circles. Reminds me of Harry Potter. Which came first, the phoenix or the flame? A circle has no beginning. I guess that answers the long time question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Now we know.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

The Mona Lisa. Yeap. This is how you view the renowned painting. From afar amidst the sea of bobbing heads and cameras.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

I was extremely impressed with this painting. I mean the child looks incredibly life liked and the artist actually managed to portray the innocence of a child. I guess that is pretty much the extent of my ability to appreciate art.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Still, been there done that. One place crossed off my bucket list.

The happiest place on earth, Disneyland in Paris!

More like happiest places given that there are a couple of disneylands scattered around the world. Something about the air, the music, the silly ears that everyone else is wearing and the peals of laughter from kids everywhere (whom at any where else are plain annoying). You can’t help but smile and skip a little while you’re there.

I couldn’t imagine anyone being unhappy there until I was there with my then cranky bf who was damp and cold from the rain.

First things first, to get our own ridiculous head gear which I happily wore around the theme park the entire day.

Main Street, U.S.A with Sleeping Beauty’s castle all the way at the end.

Mainstreet, Disneyland in Paris, France

The disney parade! Colours of the rainbow against a gloomy sky.

You can own the earth and still
All you’ll own is earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind

Disneyland in Paris, France


The Sleeping Beauty Castle.

I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream.
I know you

Sleeping beauty castle at Disneyland in Paris, France

Playing in raincoats and ponchos, the maze from Alice in Wonderland.

What an idea. A crazy, mad, wonderful idea. – Alice

Disneyland in Paris, France

The most expensive fast food meal ever! One of the rare times I’m actually happy to pay the price. Hurhur.

The most expensive fast food meal, Disneyland in Paris, France

Didn’t take too many photos cause I was too busy having fun, plus the rain and the cranky bf.

Popped by Disney village and found my second happiest place on earth!

Mcdonalds at Disney Village, Paris, France
While this is LF’s happiest place on earth. Hurhur.
Starbucks at Disney Village in Paris, France
Globalization at its best. Knowing that no matter where you are, you’ll still be able to get a hot cup of sugar water with a tinge of coffee and a hot greasy meal that tastes exactly like home. <3

All sorts of things at Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Also known as Clignancourt Flea Market in Paris. I’m not sure if it is 3 different fleas held together or if there are known as 3 separate fleas. There was one under a couple of huge tentages, one indoors and one by the roads, all in the same area.

It was fun looking at pretty things.

I love love love these luggages! Totally impractical for travel.

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Leather balls anyone?

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Gorgeous boots! Although lacing them up would be a complete pain. Are pretty things all so impractical?

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

I used to dream of having a mini library in my future home. Now it seems pointless to have a library just to hold a kindle and an iPad mini. #firstworldproblems

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Pinky: Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?

Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Interestingly, all the random pieces of furniture actually seem to fit together nicely.

Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

My only buy from the flea, could not resist anything rainbow. Lugged it back all the way to Singapore only to leave it untouched in the shoe closet.

Rainbow heels from Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Ending off with a shot of my favorite dessert, strawberries and cream!

Strawberries and cream

‘Cause I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news everyday I am
I don’t know it’s just the way I am

Currently going through a teenage fan girl phase. Totally too old for that but as what they say, never stop doing things that make you happy right?

Montmartre, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris and The Mortal Instruments

Left on an early morning train, just because train tickets were the cheapest, and off we were to our last stop in France – Paris.

Train station at Saint Malo

Since we were staying in Montmartre, we decided to spend the rest of the day exploring the area slowly and of course, check out the famed Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris.

Where the artists gather in the public square of Montmartre. I have to say, some of these artists are really good!

Montmartre Square, Paris, France

Always impressed with people who play the harp.

Harpist outside Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Paris, France

Absolutely loved how this photo turned out, the power of sunlight. I do not deny the beauty and grandeur of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. However, it is kinda hard to appreciate it when I could only shuffle around the church with a horde of other tourists (like myself).

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Paris, France

The view of Paris from the highest point in Montmartre.

View of Paris from the top of Montmartre, France

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Paris, France

On a random note, I’m not sure what is it that attracts me to The Mortal Instruments. In fact, I tried reading one of the books awhile ago and actually did not bother to finish it. Unexpectedly, I really did enjoy the movie and completed all four books after.

I do wish it had ended at book three. While the story of Lilith was interesting, I absolutely hated how the fourth book ended and got a little tired of the endless suffering in the “love story” between Jace and Clary. Plus the story somehow feels a tad unoriginal, like a mixture of Harry Potter’s world, Twilight’s love story and the science of Doctor Who.

While no book can match what J K Rowling had written, I thought that The Mortal Instruments was a pretty good read. At least, I found myself lost in another world while reading. That is my definition of a good book.

Not exactly proud that I like teen fiction, but I do have a thing for alternate realities. 😛

Day 11 of my 30 days challenge.