Tag Archives: Travel

The perfect ending to our trip to Rome, the Pincio gardens

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I absolutely loved how our week in Rome ended spontaneously with a visit to the well hidden Da Vinci Museum and watching the sunset against the beautiful city of Rome from the Pincio gardens. We couldn’t possibly have planned for a better ending, especially when we don’t plan. Well actually the Pincian hills leading to Villa Borghese. I’m a little confused.

Rome was actually one of the cities where I had failed to plan completely. All I knew when I arrived was that I wanted to visit the Vatican city and the colosseum. That was the extend of my plan. We arrived confused by the crowds in the termini and ended up buying our first map ever that highlighted the places of interest in Rome. Ha. Anyway, on our last evening, we realized that we’ve pretty much covered everything interesting but not the gardens, which took up a huge portion of the map, and decided to head there.

It was also when we discovered the awesome Da Vinci Museum right by the stairs leading up to the Pincio gardens! Unlike most museums where you look at stuff behind some barricades or through a transparent casing, this Da Vinci Muesum recreated some of the mechanisms that were found in his notebook and actually allowed visitors to play with. There were also 2 or 3 videos shown within that I found extremely informative.

So the gardens. Fantastic view of the city. There are 2 ways (or more) of getting up to the gardens, by the Spanish steps or by the stairs by Piazza del Popolo. The museum is right beside the steps on the left of the latter.

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A couple of the many heads (bust, po-teh-to po-tah-to) displayed in the gardens. In some places you get headless sculptures and in others, you get the heads. I don’t get it.

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Walking towards the light.

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The temple of Aesculapius.

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It was a sunny summer day and the kids were all out there frolicking and making out on the grass. We did encounter plenty of couples making out just about every where in Rome. The city of love I suppose?

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And that marked the end of our 4 week vacation, wedding and/or honeymoon. I’m definitely looking forward to explore the rest of Italy as soon as I can! I just need more time and money, easy peasy. NOT.

The walk down Via Appia Antica

Which turned out complete different from what I had imagine it to be. I had imagined a quiet walk down a dusty sand path (or a cobblestone path) surrounded by fields, deserted villages with an occasional horse trotting by with a carriage in tow. Like this.

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I guess this is why I prefer reading books to watching movies. I was aghast when I watched an episode of Naruto anime in which he did Kage Bunshin no Jutsu and I was like WHAT?! JUST LIKE THAT?! It was way more impressive in my head than in the anime.

I digressed. Anyway I probably should have had done a little more research, perhaps checked out some images instead of just going with my imagination. Even if (according to legend) it was the road that Jesus appeared on and thus I assumed he walked on.

We started the walk all the way from our apartment at Tor Pignattara (which has the nicest pizza ever for only 5.50 Euros!).

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Just the usual neighbourhood ruins. Hurhur.

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Enroute. Where we walked on non existent paths for pedestrians, passed by a petrol station with a single pump and a bare roof, the industrial area and abandoned houses before we finally… took a bus. Hahahaha.

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And a couple of stops later.

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First things first, breakfast! Walked past what appeared to be a private estate with signs offering coffee at the entrance, took a peek in and had a lovely breakfast under the orange trees. That was until we noticed the oranges on the floor and started worrying about having oranges fall on our heads.

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That was also my first time seeing orange trees.

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Continuing on.

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After Googling a little, I am now confused between Appia Antica (a park?) and Via Appia Antica. It seems like I might have taken the wrong road, thus the difference in expectations?

Anyway, there were loads to see on the road that we had taken including popping in a church for mass (in italian), hesitating at the entrance of catacombs and entering random open gates. My only gripe was having to share the road with cars zooming by.

Sea Adventures at Seaventures, Sipadan

Because not every moment can be captured by photos, I’m here to note down memories that are precious to me. I do wish I had been more consistent blogging about my travels. More often that not, my memories fade quickly as time passes.

Anyway, third post and possibly the final post on Sipadan (at least until and if I head there again)!

Our accommodation for our dive trip at Sipadan, Seaventures. Here’s where we spent a huge portion of our time during the day in between dives flipping through the fish bible, having our meals and basically doing nothing.

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This is also where I would have the ultimate comfort dive food before and after every single dive. The awesome “so da pia” (biscuits) dipped in hot milo with a spoonful of coffee powder! I’m so gonna bring along a huge tin of milo for all of my dive trips!

Comfort food on dive trips, Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

I usually have pretty low expectations of our accommodation on dive trips since we barely spend any time in our rooms and KO the minute our heads touch the pillow. All I ask for is a clean bed and a clean toilet. Both of which was fulfilled by Seaventures.

Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

This was where we prepared for battle. Well sort of. IT IS a battle getting in and out of our wetsuits. Especially when I wore 3 layers, thermal guard, rashguard and a full suit. IT WAS COLD and it was also an experience sneezing underwater. Hurhur.

Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

The awesome possum lift which is able to take us directly down into/from the water for house reef dives.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The sleeping/lounging area. Cause that’s all we do during dive trips. Dive, eat and sleep.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The group that got lost during our one and only night dive. I was merely following a hermit crab for that ONE SECOND and in the very next moment, it was just us in the darkness. I can’t recall how we ended up with KS and Pam where KS blacked out for a second, we held on to each other attempting to do a slipshod safety stop (which wasn’t required anyway since it was a house reef dive) and ended up ascending a distance away from the lift.

I remember being in awe as I ascended looking directly at the stars filled sky then cursing when I saw how far we had to back fin to the lift. Hehehe.

Diving at Sipadan, Seaventures

The gorgeous waters of Sipadan island. I’m a big fan of deep blue diving, feeling like a drop of water in the ocean, just a redundant tiny organism floating in vast waters. I love looking out/away from the reef walls and from other divers, just floating and staring out at an endless blue feeling completely at peace. Before anxiety hits me and I would turn abruptly to make sure that I’m still safely with my group. Hurhur.

Besides, in the deep blue I get to do big and silly actions like somersaults and cartwheels before ending up with a massive ear discomfort.

Oh and it was also during this trip where I felt way more comfortable being in the water and instead of following the group blindly, I spent a lot more time checking out the reef and managed to spot quite a few sea creatures on my own!

Diving at Sipadan

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. Meaning to say, is this a shot of the sunrise or a sunset? Hahaha.

Sunset/sunrise at Seaventures, Sipadan, Malaysia

This post was suppose to end with a WOOHOOO! Last post of my 30 days challenge. BUT as life would have it, as I exited the full screen mode, my post disappeared so here I am typing for the second time feeling a tad annoyed and no longer excited.

Photos were taken with my iPhone 3GS.

That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind

Our fav spot on our fav island in Greece – St Paul’s Bay

Apparently, a hot spot for weddings too!

I’ve come to realize that if I want to blog about a place, I do have to take more photos of it rather than just a couple of shots in the best angle (in my opinion). Anyway, we were pretty captivated by St Paul’s Bay given that this was our first time seeing a bay having lived on our little island for like forever. Hahaha. I actually had to google the difference between a bay and a sea.

We were also pretty surprised at how big the waves were within the bay. We expected the waters to be relatively calm since the rocks at the entrance seems to have taken the brunt of it.

So this is where our random walk took us too, it also helped that Lindos is a really small town.

Quiet and gorgeous. There are actually 2 “beaches” by the bay.

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This would be the perfect spot for a small beach wedding with just one cafe on that one tiny stretch of sand. 🙂

Strolling down Gion, the famous geisha district in Kyoto.

Train ride to Kyoto from Osaka, Japan

Took a train from Osaka and then a bus from Kyoto Station. Its kinda interesting what the mind remembers. In this case, I vividly recall falling asleep on the bus and woke up to find the bus fare I was holding in my hands missing.

Lesson learnt, always keep your bus fare in your pockets.

Anyway, we were at Kyoto in the day to check out Kinkaku-ji and only arrived at Gion in the evening when the sky was already dark.

Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Gion, Kyoto, Japan

A peek into the streets of Gion. We strolled down very briefly and found it to be filled with rather high end restaurants.

Gion, Kyoto, Japan

A few thousand origami paper cranes containing the wishes and blessings of those who left it there.

Paper cranes at a temple in Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Thinking back, our trip to Japan was really too short and we only managed to spend a couple of hours in Kyoto itself excluding the traveling time from Osaka.

We’ll be back Japan! XOXO.

Some of my favorite shots taken in Prague

In random order.

The walk down from Prague Castle to Charles Bridge, the colours of autumn.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

One of the 30 baroque (replica) statues.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

The view of the Vltava river from the bridge.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles bridge in the background.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

As the sky slowly turns dark. Interestingly, this shot brings about the memory of a bunch of rowdy teenagers who were saying hi to random people on the road as drove past in a limousine.

Prague, Czech Republic

Unfortunately, there isn’t a shot of the bridge itself that I’m happy and willing to post. Not when they are such a far cry from this. Photo taken off the internet.

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The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland

Where you’re welcome to lick the floors and walls any time throughout the tour. Hehehe.

On a random note, blessed is the one who is chain sneezing. ME.

It was a 2KM underground tour through the various chambers.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

We were basically surrounded by salt, the walls, the ceiling and even the floors. And how would you know? This is what happens when you place your torch against the surface.

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Saint Kinga’s Chapel, the largest among the underground chapels found within the salt mine. Would have been a damn cool place to get married too.

Everything you see, is pretty much salt.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

Probably the saltiest (last)supper ever.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

Family shot under the salt crystal chandelier.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

For a mine, it was certainly clean (hopefully not cause of people licking the place clean). Being my first visit to a mine of any kind, the size and depth of it was impressive! Not to mention the fact that there were multiple chapels, pulpits and even a lake all within the mine itself.

OH and awesome ice cream just outside the mine! If only it was this big.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine

Kamari, the black sand beach of Santorini

Darkness is the absence of light. Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light.

Black sand beaches exist in areas with volcanic activities originating from ground lava that has evolved over centuries or created merely overnight through a large amount of lava flowing into the ocean.

On a random note, the opposite of love is not hate but indifference.

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Walking down the street to the beach. Here, you can get anything you need for a day by the beach. Towels, hats, sunblock, swimwear and what not. You name it and they’ll have it.

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An entire stretch of cafes and restaurants by the beach. Reminds me a little of Phuket but less crowded with lesser people calling out to you.

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Probably closed till summer.

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That does not look like a leisure stroll. I think we were walking purposefully to get our feet wet. Hahahaha.

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Then attempting to avoid the cold waves. The irony. Hahahhaha.

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Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I’ll be right beside you dear

The centre of the earth, the ancient site of Delphi

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

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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.

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

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The reconstructed Athenian Treasury.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.