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Today is my 4th day in Italy and this morning I’d be off to beautiful Florence. Unfortunately, I won’t be touring yet again. In fact, this venture would be much better! It’s shopping spree time. :)
I don’t know if I did tell you that my sister is very much involved in the exclusive branded fashion goods business. You can find out more about her business activities on her website – www.ddldfashion.com (Just a free plug for her :))
In a nutshell, she sells bulk genuine branded goods like Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Valentino, Diesel etc directly to licensed merchants. It’s good for me because I don’t have to pay retail price for the designer I love. Good eh
As usual here is a brief video of Florence at night with my sister in it. Hahaha I know she’d kill me for it.
I’m sorry that I didn’t have any videos or pictures during the day to share with you. We were too busy shopping
If you did watch the video above, then you’d know that I was having so much fun that I completely lost track of time..:)
Later, we went to a posh Italian restaurant and drove back to Genoa with a smile on my face.
Today is my 2nd day in Genoa. I will be here till the 15th February 2007. Unfortunately, I won’t be touring the place as it’d sound silly. This place is practically home to me.
Genoa is a wonderful place. It has been acclaimed that Christopher Columbus was born here. In fact, you could go to the remains of his home close to the city centre.
You’ll be glad to know that Genoa sits just 2 hours away to Milan and Monte Carlo / Nice. Hence, the wide smiles on my face everytime when I’m here ..errr apart from my family that is
I dont usually post personal videos here but I suppose this could be a one off :). So here goes…
I know Im mad but I hope I am not as mad as Russell Brand. Hahahahahahaaha
Today – Friday 9th February 2007 was my last day here in Prague. I was seriously unhappy leaving this place. I’ve met some seriously beautiful people and had so much fun…
I promised myself that I will be back this summer. So watch this space and my friends in Prague heheheheehe
Anyway, the cab man was unusually friendly. His English was bad but it was enough for me to understand some of his points. He was quite engrossed talking about Prague past and his passionate views on America. For political reasons, I am not going to share it here
It took me about 30 minutes to get to the airport. I checked in for Munich departing at 1310. I was still in my upset mood leaving Prague so I called up my Prague friends to cheer me up… :) Don’t ask..they made me happy.
My best friend back in London, Iveta has been yapping on Messenger about going to Budapest and the importance about me going there. It’s her homeland. So dont blame her.
Honestly, I really hand on heart wanted to go to Budapest but I was having too much fun in Prague. My restricted time was also a contributing factor so it was really a difficult decision.
I’m sure she’d get upset knowing that I didn’t go. But I am sure she’d get over it quite soon.
The plane we had to get on was one of those small propeller/fan plane. I was scared senseless. I’ve never flown Fokker style. I wasn’t sure if I could make it. Worst still, they put my window seat next to that flipping propeller fan. Darn… What if..What If….
You’ll see my growing FEAR here…
Now imagine this NEXT TO YOU…Feel my FEAR
I was glad to reach Munich safely. But, I was only here on transit. I had decided much earlier in London that I wasn’t going to tour around Munich as I’d been here with a very close friend before . Hence, the transit.
I should have told you earlier that my next trip from Prague was to Genoa, Italy.
So, no touring around here. Well, apart from shopping that is. I have been to Italy zillions of times so it’s home to me.
Anyway, the plane I was on from Munich to Genoa was very much the same to the one I was on earlier. Difference: Just bigger.
My numerous flights to Genoa all these years have taught me this:
Shaky and turbulent flight/landing.
So, flying on a propeller plane to Genoa alarmed me big time. If a Boeing aircraft could be ‘unstable’ whilst landing, imagine what it could do to a propeller aircraft……
Huah Huah I wanna cry……
Trust me, the 2 odd hour flight was one of the most discomforting experience I ever had and sitting next to the ‘fans’ weren’t funny anymore.
I was soooooooo glad I’d finally reached Genoa safe and sound.
As usual, my sister and brother in law picked me up at the airport….
I have decided that today was my relaxation day and I must try to recover from my tired and aching feet. I had walked for miles and miles yesterday and I think I deserved a rest.
I started the day with my delicious hotel buffet breakfast and I quickly dashed up to my room to finish off with some of my work that badly needed completing.
Strangely, I got bored quickly doing the work I guess working while having a fab holiday could have a very adverse affect to the quality of your work – no matter how hard you try… I know I know, it sounds lame but who cares anyway, it’s my holiday hahahahaahahahaha
Round about noon time, I had decided that I shouldnt be doing any more work. I got changed and walked straight out of the hotel along with my ‘FREE’ Prague map.
I walked via the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) towards the beautiful Charles Bridge. Here are some of the pictures I took during my strolling session (By the way, weather was much better than yesterday. It didn’t snow )
I had a surprised text from my new found friends at the club yesterday and they were asking me to go back again tonight. I texted them and said YES!! I had a blast and yes they made my day again…..
Anyway, I continued my stroll towards the Old Town Square. This place is absolutely magnificient. If you’re here, you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous ancient buildings.
Ok, before you ask where are the pics….so here goes;
For Prada, Louis Vouitton etc enthusiasts, you’ll be pleased to know that it is just around the corner from Old Town Square. The road name is Namesti something :).
I know I am not being helpful. But you cant miss it. It stands out by a mile particularly that huge Chanel logo jutting out from the Chanel boutique :). If you walk straight ahead on that road, you’ll get to Intercontinental Prague. One of my favourite hotel chains.
I have to admit that I got lost a wee bit from the Old Town Square but I quickly made it to safety. See I can survive you know…
I was at Vaclavske Namesti (Main Square) when my stomach grumbled. I then decided that McDonalds was the answer. Junk food time.
Here is the pic from the square. At the far end you’ll see the National Museum. I didn’t go in there. Just couldn’t be asked. Seen too many of them.
That was it. Tired. Off back to the hotel.
After my well deserved rest, shower and fresh pair of clothes, I was ready for my session at the club with my new found friends. I am not going to include it on this blog but FYI, I had a fab time!!
Unfortunately I didn’t spend too much time there. I came back around 1 AM. My flight was just a few hours away
The date recorded by WordPress above does not reflect the date that I had travelled anymore. It has now taken me quite a while to update this blog. I have been having too much fun :) In fact, only a couple of days ago, I had completely lost track of time….there was one point where I didn’t even know the day or the date
I understand that I have a duty to do and that is to update this blog for my lovely friends and you. So here goes…
Note: To make matters straight, the date for today was Wednesday 7th February 2007. I have now travelled away from London for exactly a week now.
The blog continues…
I did the usual thing and that was to have breakfast. The breakfast here at this hotel was nice. Well prepared and they offered a number of mouth watering selections. I supposed the one thing that still impresses me was the interior. It’s so me :) Love this place.
I went straight to the lobby and asked one of the guys at the reception about the best way to get to the castle. He directed me to get the No 22 tram and get off at the far end of the castle where I could just walk conveniently and visit all the historical touristy places.
The No 22 tram stop was just around the corner and the fare that I paid was 20 Chezk (very reasonable). The next problem that I had when I got on the tram was finding the stop to get off at :) There wasn’t any clear sign of the destination for each stop and although they inform you of the place at each stop but the spelling did not seem to match pronunciation. Bugger!
I used my intuition in deciding the right stop. Finally, I got off and voila…it was indeed the right stop. Yippeee.
The roads in Prague are very winding and it can be quite daunting to some people. I suppose my sense of direction is not so bad. Finding the castle was just a breeze and on the way, I was surrounded by some seriously beautiful buildings.
My Prague Video Intro:
Prague Castle is a place that everyone must experience. It sits at the top of a hill and views overlooking the city is unmatched!!. I did take several video images of the castle but for some unknown reason it wouldn’t convert to wmv. Hence, no upload on Youtube. Darn. Not happy
Anyway, you do need to pay the entrance fee to get in but I couldn’t remember the price I paid for the ticket. I just pay when people wants money off me Absolutely no records of it for my accountant back at home..Hehehehehe
Don’t fret though, ticket wasn’t that expensive at all.
The first thing you see when you enter the castle is the infamous St. Vitus Cathedral. Here are some the pics (Again, sorry no videos – it has gone buggered):
Just opposite the cathedral, there’s the St George’s Basilica. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to snap pics inside. Lots of tombstones though….
Another interesting place here at Prague Castle is Golden Lane. Its just a small lane with tiny cute homes. However, they sell lots of souvenirs here and oh, they’ve got a rather surprising museum on the upper floors as well. Here’s the video.
A picture of Golden Lane,
and another picture of a view of Prague from Prague Castle:
There were a number of museums in the castle itself and I went to all of them. Unfortunately, I have issues with going to museums on my own particularly when i am left alone in an exhibition room. I don’t know why. It never fails to give me the creeps. So no pictures. I just walked and quickly glanced through all the exhibition stuff and dashed straight to the exit
I did witness the change of the guards but again I have completely forgotten to get the camera from my bag and by the time I remembered, they were nowhere to be seen…Oh well, I guess you just have to come here yourself to witness it
After the castle, I walked up towards Strahov Monastery. Again, it sits on another hill and that was a bit of a trek. Blimey, I have to stop moaning
Anyway, I’ve been told that this monastery is one of the oldest monasteries of the Premonstratensian Order in the world. I saw a nun in there and she smiled at me. Yeah!
Watch the short monastery video:
I did have a quick sneek peek at an Amber shop to see if there was any stones that I could purchase. This shop is located just around the corner of the monastery that leads towards Loreta – another beautiful church in Prague.
I have always wanted to buy an Amber but I’ve never found the stone interesting to look at. Maybe, someday when I see the ‘stone’ that I fancy then I’d probably buy it. This time around…well more like most times… I didn’t purchase anything :).
As I was heading towards Loreta, it was beginning to snow again. I didn’t mind…it wasnt that heavy anyway.
Here’s the video of Loreta (with cute baby statues and the bells)…
I then had lunch in a very unique yet quite interesting restaurant. This place wasn’t that far from the monastery and nicely tucked away from plain view. If you look carefully, you’ll see a sign for the restaurant…follow the sign and you’ll get there…:)
The restaurant was in a home but as you enter, you will find a small pathway that leads you to a staircase down to the cellar where you will then be greeted by the lovely waiter. Beautiful feeling to it.
I had ‘Beef Ghoulash’ and it was delicious. My good friend – Iveta have always been yapping about me getting some ghoulash and experience the yummy taste. Well, I now must admit that it was divine. I will definitely come back to this restaurant. Who wouldn’t?….It was amazingly cheap for its quality
After my well deserved lunch and rest :), I then headed up to another hill towards Petrin Tower – a small copycat version of Eiffel Tower :).
I almost ‘died’ walking up the steps to the tower but I supposed it was worth the trek once I there. The views of Prague was gorgeous but the Tower was a bit of a dissapointment. It was way too small
Anyway, I didn’t spend too much time here because I was already feeling extremely tired and in desperate need of my bed. I quickly headed towards my hotel and this journey took me about 20 minutes or so. During my stroll, I took several pics for your viewing pleasure
I woke up bright and early at 8 AM :). I got myself ready and went straight for breakfast. I decided not to do any touristy stuff today as I believed that I have seen most of Berlin anyway.
I did most of my work that was way overdue in the morning and I checked out at 12.30PM. I got the cab to the train station. The train fare was very reasonable. 1st class 1 way ticket cost just 80 odd Euro.
The train station in Berlin was very impressive. It looks more like an airport than a train station with many levels. Kings Cross is definitely nothing compared to this one. Hahahahahaha.
My train was due to arrive at 2.30 PM so I had plenty of time to kill. I had a quick stroll around the shopping area and got myself fish and chips for lunch.
The train arrived about 10 minutes late but I wasn’t fussed. Views en-route to Prague was okay. I didn’t see much as it was getting dark anyway. However, I did see loads of ‘Wind Farms’ along the way.
The journey took 4 hours. It was quite an effort to take my baggage out of the train as most of it was oversized :). Anyway, I went to straight to the money exchange counter and got my Chezk money.
Unfortunately, I was duped by the taxi man. He charged me a fortune for just a 3 minutes cab ride to the hotel. A bit of warning to anyone out there who may be planning to come for a visit – Be Wary With Taxi Drivers In Prague! Some of them can be quiet dodgy.
The hotel I stayed in was great. It’s called Eurostars Thalia. It’s a five star hotel that is close to the main square and located just opposite the National Theater. The room was fab. Extra large bed with ‘Kelly Hoppenish’ design. That was enough to make me happy after the taxi incident
As usual, I was already knackered. I went to have dinner and immediately came back to the hotel and slept.
30 minutes later, I was well prepared to start on my Berlin adventure. I walked out from the hotel and Voila…it was the main shopping street! There were Gucci, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and all sorts and probably because of that simple reason, my face was smiling from ear to ear. A good kick start for the morning. No need for a latte for me…Hehehehehe
The high street was nice and I resisted my temptations not to buy any more stuff I didn’t need and I walked straight out from it towards the park. Danger..danger… (if you know what I mean) Anyway, here’s some of the pictures I took on my way there.
I continued my stroll towards the park via the zoo. I didn’t see the point of going to the zoo so I gave it a miss. The park was gorgeous.
Here’s my video intro of Berlin.
More pictures below:
I found this beautiful building in Berlin while I was on my way to the Haupbahnhof train station to buy my Prague train ticket. I asked one of the German tourists here and they told me that it was Reichstags (Parliament Building). The dome at the top was designed by Norman Foster, the world renowned British architect guy who designed the Gherkin building in London. Also, he’s the guy who designed one of the flats that I am planning to buy in Kuala Lumpur. I will report later when I am there in a couple of weeks.
Click below to see the video of Reichstags and its dome.
Can someone translate this for me?
I reached the infamous Brandenburger Tor. Berlin Wall was erected next to this place and during the war, people who was found walking close to it was shot. I cheekily went to one of the tour guide who was speaking in English for one of the tourists group and listened intently about the history. I must tell you it wasn’t pleasant. It was way too morbid for my liking. I scanned around and left. I just didn’t feel comfortable staying there for long.
Just around the corner I saw this rather interesting looking memorial place. It’s next to British Embassy. Apparently, it’s a memorial for children who died during the war. Creepy.
Below are more pictures taken in the historical area of Berlin. I am sorry that I didn’t include the names of these buildings. I simply didn’t make any notes of it but those who’ve been here and knows it, can you please let me know in the comments section. I’ve included pictures of the Berlin tower as well.
I got lost for about 2 hours in the road maze of Berlin before I reached the place that I had been looking for – The Berlin Wall. Although I knew I could’ve easily taken the cab but I resisted against the idea.
Here are more Berlin Wall videos and pictures.
Just around the corner of Berlin Wall is a place called the Checkpoint Charlie. It was the border between the American and Communist sections.
I didn’t realise that the Czezk tourism office was just across the road from Checkpoint Charlie and I conveniently went in and planned my next trip to Prague. I got my maps and other tourist info and walked back to the hotel.
I reached the hotel at around 7PM and I was seriously knackered. 7 hours of continuous walking could seriously affect your stamina. Hence, the bed. No dinner. Too tired
PS: I did wake up feeling hungry at around 11PM. Went to McDonalds and grabbed myself some food then went to bed again
Today the 4th Feb was the last day for us in Tromso. We packed our bags and went down and had our breakfast at the hotel lobby.
The taxi came on time and I went out to put my bags in the boot and while I was heading towards the taxi, I slipped real hard on the snow. The taxi man was concerned because I banged my head against the hard iced snow. Luckily, I didnt hurt myself and but most importantly I was glad that Janet didn’t see it because she would laugh real hard…hahahahahaha
It took about ten minutes to reach the airport and we immediately checked in. This was Janet’s final message:
I will definitely come back to Tromso next year. Here’s why…
Janet and I went our separate ways. I was on my way to Berlin and she was on her way back to London. Here’s our final video message together:
I hate saying goodbyes as it’s very disheartening. Janet walked with me to my departure gate. We hugged yet again and that was the last I saw her. ‘Nuff said. Hopefully, she’ll come and see me in the Far East this summer.
The flight to Frankfurt was ok. I immediately changed my connecting flight to Berlin and the flight took 50 minutes.
I got at Berlin airport around 5.15pm and I was already knackered big time. I got my bags on the carousel and walked straight to arrival area. The distance from the airport to the city centre wasn’t that far but unfortunately I didn’t have a euro to my name so I had to look for a money exchange.
I made the biggest mistake of my life for not having euros on me because it took me 20 minutes to find a money exchange counter and when I had finally found it, it was closed.! Darn.
In the end, I walked to the next cash point and withdrew some money. I reall couldn’t moan as it was all my fault anyway. I should have brought my cash well in advance.
Anyway, the taxi didn’t cost that much. I paid 14 euro to get to my hotel which was right in the heart of the Berlin shopping district….( my favourite, of course :))
I checked in and went straight to bed. Just couldn’t be asked to do anything else. Too tired.
I sort of knew that it would snow in London but I didn’t expect it to be so heavy. This sort of thing would make London go into a total standstill – which it already did HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…
Glad I’m not there and on holiday enjoying my slightly less stressful day….
Below are some of the pictures of the snow in London taken by my lovely friend Iveta.