Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast

Sorry for the lack of photo updates, but i haven't found a computer that will allow me to upload photos, plus i really haven't had time for myself, which is really really nice in a way.

So, anyway, the train from Rome to Napoli was ok...but as soon as i set foot in Napoli, the environment got a lot more scary than the other places i've been at. The people seemed rougher, but i don't know, it's probably because i've heard a lot of bad things about the city.

I arrived in Sorrento, which is nice and quiet in sort of a touristy kind of way. There were orange trees lining the streets, and i wondered if they were free. suppose they're coated with quite a bit of carbon monoxide from the vehicles that runs through the roads..hehe. When i got to the hostel, Lisa had already arrived; she had had quite an adventure, but that's her story to tell. So we went out and chose a random restaurant, which turned out to be terrific! i can't remember what i ate actually, but there were some roast potatoes yang sedap gila..hehe. After that we just went back and slept, since both were so tired from our individual adventures trying to get to Sorrento.

We slept late the next day, and did absolutely nothing, except walking up and down the main street checking out things at the shop. Funny thing happened as we checked out this shoe shop, Lisa was trying out a pair of shoes, and when she decided not to buy them, the shopkeeper loudly said, in his italian accent, "pleeez-ah god-a, bless-a me....don't-ah give me people that-a waste-a my time-a.." kakkkakakaka..dunno la which business school he went to. we left the shop immediately after realizing that he was directing that comment at us. Gemma arrived later in the evening, and we all went to dinner together, but i don't think the food was any good at that place. oh well...u don't try, u won't know i suppose.

from the bus along the Amalfi Coast

We woke up early today to catch the bus that runs through the Amalfi Coast. The view was incredible!!!! Unfortunately, the bus ride made me feel queasy, the roads so small, the bus taking corners like a maniac, and i was quite glad to get off the bus at Amalfi. Amalfi is nice, but it is a very busy town. So Gemma and me decided to take a ferry to Positano, and Lisa stayed at Amalfi. Positano was a lot better, I thought, and the ferry ride was 200% better than the bus ride!!! People just hanging out at the beach, and it's also a quieter town with a better view than Amalfi. We stayed there for a bit before we walked up the cliff to catch the bus back to Sorrento. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, there were no ferries from Positano to Sorrento, which i think is a bit strange.


Ugh i really felt sick on the bus!! We got off as soon as we were within walking distance to the hostel. Thank god for a fruit shop, which smelled really nice and i immediately felt a lot better.

aiight..i'm off. gotta pack, i'm heading back to london in a few days..boohoo!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Arrivederci Roma

I'm off to Sorrento today. I can't believe it's been 2 weeks, and I've gotta go back to London in less than a week! Not that it's not great...i can't wait to see little nephew again. Rome is nice, i spent the whole day yesterday just walking around, from tourist point to tourist point, Palatine Hills and the Roman Forums (i spent almost 3 hours in there), Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo bla bla bla. The fountain was so crowded with people that i only spent 30 seconds there before i decided to look for some gelati. Lucky me, as I was checking my Lonely Planet Rome map, i noticed a gelati place in the map that Lonely Planet claims to be the best gelati in Rome. i went, and ordered the suggested flavour, Honey Sorbet, oh my god...yum!!!!!! sedap gila that I actually went back today to have some more.

After all that walking yesterday, i came back to my hostel room, put my stuff down, and went to join my dorm-mates for dinner somewhere near the colosseum. Great food, great company, 6 individual travelers walking around town at night (laura and lisa from the states, jane from australia, lena from norway, gemma from london, and myself), which i would definitely never do by myself. Rome is bellissima at night! the fountains, the monuments...too bad i didn't bring my D80 to dinner.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning so i could go do the touristy things at the Vatican. The line today wasn't any better than on Saturday, but i proclaimed a state of emergency for myself and cut the queue. hehehehe...not very nice, i know, but i think everybody else was cutting the queue as well! which was why the people at the back never move as fast as they should. Damn cun that basilica. Then i attempted to cut the queue to enter the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, but the line was too long that i decided to skip it. Ah well, i'll come back another day.

okay...gotta go repack my bag, and i'm off to catch my train. I'm actually staying with Gemma and Lisa in Sorrento, so that'll be another cool trip before i have to head back.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

La Citta Eterna

Rome, friends...i'm in rome!! I arrived at this hostel called the Beehive last night. I'm sharing a room with 7 other people this time. It's a nice quiet place and they've got a really fat cat called Ingmar. They serve organic food at the cafe downstairs. I was a bit hesitant at first, but i was too tired to go find other places last night, so i just belasah and had the lasagna with ricotta, spinach and asparagus. mak oiiiii sedapnye!!!! the organic peach juice was also delicious...yum yum!

madness at Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City

so today, i thought i would go and attempt to get inside st peter's basilica, but as soon as i got there, i bailed out. the line went round the piazza man! shite i went round, and tried to get into the vatican museums and sistine chapel, but the line was about 500 meters long. forget it...i'll attempt it another day, wake up at 6am and be in front of the basilica by 7am. hopefully i could make it on monday because tomorrow will be a lot worse with Mass going on.

somewhere in Appia Antica

anyway, after my attempts to enter the Vatican failed, i sat at the side cafes and ate a whole pizza myself. mampus aku gemuk! but that was counted as breakfast plus lunch, so i guess it was ok. then i went to get an all day bus pass and tried to figure out what i would do for the rest of the day. it was a beautiful day, so i decided to go to the roman catacombs, which was in the southeast of the city. the bus stopped at via Appia Antica, an ancient road built buy the romans that leads to napoli, i think. hehe..I love the gardens! it was quiet, away from the city noise, and of course, there were a lot less people there. so i visited the catacombs, first the San Sebastiano Catacomb, then the San Callisto Catacomb, where about 300,000 bodies were buried, including the popes of ancient times. eeeriee ok..! it was educational nevertheless. It was also my first time meeting an Indian priest, the guide who showed me around inside the catacomb.

the famous ancient roman building

After that i went back to the city, and decided to check out the Colloseum, which was already closed for entry, so i just took photos outside. then i went shopping at the train station. i found a Sephora shop there, and i haven't been inside Sephora for almost 8 years!! excited gila! heheee

I'm tired. need to rest. ciao!!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Assisi at night - Piazza del Comune

Let me clarify. Assisi is only really really nice when the daytrippers have gone, leaving the town quiet and empty. it is like disneyland at night, full of wonders as you step into the little alcoves. It is also like disneyland during the day, with loads and loads of people slowly walking up and down the steeply inclined roads, making me feel like i want to scream my head out and ask them to shut up. hehehehe...selfish tak.

Rocca Maggiore

I attempted to take a hike at the national park of Mount Subasio, but 20 minutes into it, i decided to turn back. knowing me, the estimated 3 hours would become 6 hours, and i'll never make it back to the train station. heheheee. so i climbed up the road to Rocca Maggiore which is within the walls of Assisi, and got a pretty nice view there as well.

Basilica di San Francesco and the mob scene at the entrance

Next i decided to follow the crowd to the Basilica of San Francesco to see what the big deal is. It looked like a pilgrimage from the hill at Rocca Maggiore. Okay....the inside of the basilica was quite beautiful, there was also an underground tomb where San Francesco was buried, but i let the believers go lah. It matters more to them to see the tomb than to me. The queue, masya-Allah!!

ok...i'm off to my train station..malas betul nak panjat bukit once again, with luggage oso this time. argh!! i asked the receptionist this morning whether there was an easier road to a bus station. she said to just take the steep path, it is only 300 meters away from the piazza. i told her nononono....that path is steep. she said defensively, "no it's not!!" her of course la it's not..she walks up and down that road everyday. cheh! berlagak betul. hehehe


okayy...i'm off. ciao!

Hari Menziarah Kubur - Firenze

IMG_0735, originally uploaded by nadi0.

I woke up this morning and went to the leather goods, but they were kind of expensive, at about 65 euros a handbag. Ada pulak this thai stall owner yang tried to sell me a handbag..his selling point was, "this bag, made in thailand, but i print Florence here. 20 euros for you mam." kapla otak dia. baik aku naik air asia gi chatuchak kalau camtu. kekekee

Since there was nothing much to buy, Satchiko and me decided to go visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, on the east side of the city, near the river. We tried to get in yesterday but the line was super long, luckily today there was no line at all. Perhaps it was because we came during lunch hour. Anyway, we got in...and again, I got goosebumps admiring the tombs of Donatello, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Napoleons' family members and many more. Michelangelo and Galileo were actually buried there, but some of the others were just tombs, since apparently Napoleon came and told the church that it was unhygenic to bury corpes inside a church. yeah man!! gross!!

anyway...i left at 4 for assisi, and assisi is beautiful man!!!! this place is like a medieval disneyland, senza the crowd. i wish i had more days here. i guess i'll take the latest train possible to rome tomorrow then. but it's kind of hilly so i have to walk up and down the pavements, and i'm kind of still recovering from yesterday's walk.

ok lah. there's a lady outside this computer place who came in and said, "possiamo giocare?" hmm i suppose that means she wants to use it la kot....ciao! tak sempat nak upload gambar medieval disneyland ni...maybe next time! papai!

p.s. ooooo ok...she asked if i wanted to join her play cards at the tables..hehehe...tak perasan dia bawak playing cards. hehe

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Florence, part two

My final hours in this wonderful hostel room with a computer. I walked for 12 hours yesterday, starting with the morning walking tour, ending with a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo across the river.

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Spent the afternoon looking for the best sandwich in town, as recommended by one of the girls in the dorm, who studied here for a whole semester. Then as we walked around finding a cafe, we bumped into Vivoli, who apparently makes the best gelati in italy. hmmmm's good no doubt, but i dunno, i couldn't really tell the difference by only having one cup, i guess.

Later, i went to the Uffizi Gallery, which was...hmmm...beautiful, but i guess I can't really appreciate without a further understanding of Renaissance Art. I saw Michelangelo's only completed painting, Leornado da Vinci's uncompleted painting, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and many more lah..hehe, not that I could tell the difference between the application of color, usage of light to emphasize the mood, etc etc. kekeke

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Me and friend later walked across Ponte Vecchio to the other side of the river, and tried to find our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, where they say you could see a beautiful view of Florence from. Somehow we went on the wrong track, and found ourselves walking in the suburbs, in a really narrow road with high walls. At the end of it we were rewarded with quite beautiful views, away from the tourists. We reached Piazzale Michelangelo in the end, and the sunset was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

ok lah..i'm packing my bags for checkout. I'm off to Assisi today, much as i hate leaving this really cool hostel. Going to go shopping a bit at the markets in Florence before i depart this afternoon.

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Ciao amici!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pisa, and the start of Florence

I didn't explore Pisa much. It was raining, so I just headed straight to where the Leaning Tower is - at Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). I wanted to go up the tower, but it's a steep climb at a steep price of 15 euros. So I decided to check out the duomo instead. It was my first time ever inside a duomo, and it was freakishly beautiful! It was still drizzling when I came out of the duomo, so I decided to go find an Internet café and do my geeky stuff.

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inside the Duomo at Pisa

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left to right - baptistry, duomo, leaning tower

An hour later, as I walked out of the café, yeehaa...!! The weather had taken a beautiful turn. So off I went to snap some photos. The piazza itself had 3 main sights, the leaning tower, the duomo and the baptistry. Kind of cool. Lining the street opposite those three buildings is what I like to call the "Campo dei Miracoli di Capitalism," a whole street lined up with souvenirs that probably weren't made in Italy anyway.

I decided to take lunch at a restaurant just outside the west gate. It's called, I dunno, something dei Miracoli. Don't ever go to that place ok!! It was my fault though, the menu didn't have a price list, and I was attracted by the TV they had, since I haven't watched TV in a while. Makan punya makan, the pasta that wasn't so good, I ended up paying 25 euros for that seriously bland meal. Bloody hell betul!! But what to do la right....I ate, so I paid. And I lost the mood for doing anything else, so I headed to the train station and got on the train to Florence.

Florence is nice! I checked into my hostel. It's called Ostello Archi Rossi, just nearby the train station. I was a bit skeptical at first, I've never stayed in a travel hostel before. I asked if they had a single room, but they were all full, so what the hell right, I'll just stay in the 6 bed dorm I've already reserved. As it turns out, my dormmates are great! And the room is cool, it's got a computer with free broadband, and it's a really fast computer too..not like all the free ones I've seen along my journey. Hehehee of course I like la right?? It's the perfect place for me hahaaaha! Can upload photos, check email etc etc. Hee hee. Excited terlebih tak..!!

So I'm now chilling on my bed while the 3 girls who are leaving early tomorrow pack their bags. It was a rainy day in Florence today, I took a free walking tour with the hostel (yes they organize those), then went on another guided tour to the Accademia in the afternoon. Michelangelo's statue of David was spectacular! It was just amazing to stand before it and see the details of the carving. Siap nampak veins semua ok...too bd cannot take pictures. Spent most of the day with one of my roomies who comes from Japan, one very cool girl who's just 2 days older than me, just quit her job and decided to travel. Sound familiar? Keke..

I had a nice day, I am glad to finally meet some people because the trip was getting pretty lonely after 7 days staying in single rooms, moving from city to city. Hopefully the weather will be nice for pictures tomorrow ya!

Ciao Ciao!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

La Spezia & Le Cinque Terre, Liguria.

I arrived in La Spezia yesterday evening. Room clean, but there's nothing much in the town itself. I walked up and down the pedestrianized shopping street just below my hotel, most of the shops were already closed by then. Had dinner at a little trattoria, then went back up to rest for my long hike today.

As usual, bangun lambat today. ahahaha what else is new right? Went to the tourist info center at the train station to purchase my Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre day pass. Siot the Rough Guide 2007 edition, it says that the day pass costs 5 euros. it now costs 8.5 euros oredi! But it allows you access to the park, and also the trains traversing through the 5 towns of Cinque Terre.


So began my journey. I first took the train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, the eastern most town out of the five. Cantik gila!!! Oh ya, from east to west, the towns are; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. I decided to take the No. 2 path, which popularly known as the Blue Trail, since the map said that it was the easiest, and would only take an average of 5 hours (9 kilometers). It was a fairly short walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola, about 20 minuti, and it was beautiful..! The houses on the cliff are so colorful, I stayed there for a few minutes to enjoy it.



Then i was off to Corniglia. The path got tougher here (or maybe I wasn't tough enough for it). It had little climbs and such, but it wasn't too bad. When I got to Corniglia, shit, I saw this long steps before me, and my only choice was to go up! So up i went, all 320 steps to reach Corniglia. The view from up there really made the climb up worthwhile.

I then continued my hike to Vernazza. It took me almost 2.5 hours, despite the guide saying that it would be a "leisurely stroll," penipu betul!! hehehe...nice view of the sea, but mostly I walked through vineyards and wildflowers. Beautiful nevertheless. This portion of the journey I found to be most difficult. And hour into it, i saw a sign that said Vernazza, and I thought, "yay!! i made it!!" I walked for another hour plus, thinking i was heading for Monterosso, imagine my disappointment when the next town showed Vernazza. hahahahaa


In Vernazza I stopped to get something to eat while contemplating whether I should continue my walk to Monterosso. The Rough Guide says that this will be the most difficult leg, 2 hours to cover 3 kilometres, which will probably mean 4 hours and a broken leg for me. The quality of light had deteriorated since it was already 5pm, and I didn't want to be walking in the dark, so I decided to cheat the last bit and take the train instead to Monterosso. Thank god for the Cinque Terre pass!

I'm now in Monterosso, finishing my hot chocolate on a terrace by the beach. Pekat nye hot choc ni..ada pulak manusia stopped by and said that I am a good subject to be photographed, alone, with my gadgets, on the beach. As if I didn't see him typing away on his notebook before that. hahaaaa..he looked like that dude on the cooking channel, the one with the long messy hair and lives out in the country.

All in all, I think anybody who visits Liguria should do this hike i did. It was a wonderful experience for me, and think about all the calories you will burn!!! Best thing is to make it the last bit of your itinerary, so all the fat from the gelati you had will go away. hehehe. I saw so many elderly hikers there, and by god, were they all much fitter than me! Thank goodness for my big ass SLR, I would pretend to check my photos when I got tired and felt the need to stop for a rest. heheee.

Hot choc finished. Going to take the train back to La Spezia. bye!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


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Hmmm I didn't do much today. I decided to take a break from sightseeing, woke up late and just wander around. There's nothing much in Bologna other than the food. Even so, they mostly have meat and I wasn't sure if the meat is beef or pork. Last night I stopped by a pizzeria to take away a slice. The one with red onions on top looked really good, but when I took a bite, macam ada prosciutto je...eww. Lost my appetite after that so I headed to an Internet café across the street and spent two hours there. Hehe..I cannot live without internet maaaa...!

I went to the street market today, in hope to find some leather goods as souvenirs. I looked at the stalls and the items, and couldn't help but think that these things probably came from china/thailand, and I could easily obtain them back home at Sg. Wang Plaza. About 70% of the stall owners were chinese and bangladeshi, and yes, they sell the same things you would find at all street markets around the world, and I've been to a few.

I later tried to find the food market which was supposedly nearby my hotel, but I couldn't find it. I saw ladies walking with plastic bags, but I was too lazy to think and form a sentence to ask where the market is. Now that I have the time, I regret not taking a few seconds to think. "scusi, dov'é la marchetta?" was the sentence I was looking for.

Bologna is the first metropolitan city I've seen throughout my stay in this country, since I skipped milan. It's not bad, it's got everything you need, and your purchasing power is quite high, compared to Venice and Como. My hotel room was not bad, it's right smack in the middle of the city centre, but it's also the most expensive I will pay throughout my stay here. But the dude doesn't speak english at all, so a bit leceh la when I need to communicate. Aku belasah je, got my french and italian mixed up and he looked at me like I'm nuts hahahaaa. Well, at least he understood, right?

I'm now waiting for my train to La Spezia, which I hope will be beautiful. I'm planning to take a hike on the Cinque Terre tomorrow, but see how lah. Maybe I'll just hike pakai bus. Nyahahahaa..

Should I buy new sunglasses? Those raybans look quite nice. But they're about €129 each, and I will still have to get them prescripted. When the sun is out here, it's really blinding tau!! (excuse...hahhaa)


Friday, April 18, 2008

The City of Lurve

I'm now at Verona Porta Nuova train station, waiting for my 6.15 pm train to Bologna. I decided to go on the fast train, so I will arrive in Bologna at about 7.30pm.

Verona Verona, what about it? It's where Romeo and Juliet was set in. Once I got to the city center, all the major sights were accessible by foot. From the train station, I took a bus to Piazza Brà. The Lonely Planet book said to take buses 11, 12, 13 or 14. What it didn't tell me was that the buses at the bus station go both way. So hopped on the first bus I saw, and it took me all the way to the other side of town. Hihihi...! I finally asked the driver..he said, "Piazza Brà?? Ooo...non ci vediamo. Uscita blabla bla" and he pointed me to the bus on the other side of the road. That part of Verona I was in look rather industrial and modern than historical, a bit like the area of Wangsa Maju.

Anyway, I finally found Piazza Brà. I dunno whether I wasn't really in the mood (i couldn't find my prescripted sunglasses anywhere in my bags), but that Piazza wasn't that amazing. I decided to check out the Arena, a 1st century Roman Amphitheater. Nothing much either. Just an a huge amphitheater made of stone. And also excessively rowdy teenagers. OK la..maybe if the weather was a bit nicer it would be much better, but the weather was also rather uninspiring today. And where the heck are my sunglasses????? Hehe.

I just wandered around, had a yummy gelati (gelati count: 4) and found myself on another square, Piazza delle Erbe. Decided to stop for lunch. The spaghetti in pomodoro sauce was quite delicious, although I think I could've made it myself. There was a market there, but mainly selling souvenirs. There was a tower nearby, Torre degli Lamberti, which I went up. Wah....the view from the top was simply amazing! I could see the whole of Verona, just like in the postcards on the streets. Next to the tower was a square which contained an underground roman street..impressivo!

The book said another must see is the duomo. It's under restoration, so nothing impressive either. Nearby, I found the Pietra Bridge, which was kind of cool. People just hang out there and chat, enjoying their day. The final must see was La Casa di Giuletta (Juliet's House). I saw the famous balcony, took some shots and left. Too many people crowded in a little lawn. And i'm not one who's a fan of crowds.

Stopped at this little bakery on the way back to Piazza Brà, and had this little chocolate torte which was supremely delicious!! I wish I could stop to take a picture of it, but I couldn't find an empty bench, and I was also afraid that a pigeon would snatch it. So I had to gobble it up la...hehehee..

Then I took the bus back to the station, and here I am, typing this up while having an espresso. All in all, Verona is a nice place, but I probably wouldn't want to live here.

Now where the heck are my sunglasses?!!! I hope I didn't drop in on the train from Venice to here. :-(


Thursday, April 17, 2008

I am in a giant maze


I'm now in Lido enjoying a cappucino. Susah betul la weather kat sini. Take off coat, too warm, put coat back on, too chilly. Lido is nice. I don't know why the Rough Guide didn't write much about it. I wasn't planning on coming here, but then I decided I better make the vapporetti day pass here I am. Sam said that no one ever checks your vaporetti tickets here. It's true! Except at the Ferrovia stop, which is near the train station, and that's where loads of tourists are, off the train and on to the vaporetti to their various hotels. So I had to buy one lah. Hehe.

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Venice is crowded. In the morning I had a gelato for breakfast. That was my 3rd gelato in 12 hours...mampus gemuk. Kekeke..but sokay, I think I have done too much walking to burn it off. Then I went to cover the wajib places, a.k.a Piazza San Marco and its surroundings. Nothing much there. I can't be bothered to go inside the basilica. Too crowded!!!!! After that I spent almost two hours trying to find Campo Santa Margherita, where Sam said I could get value for money food. I could take the vaporetti, but it looked so near in my map, so I figured I'd just venture through the alleys to find the place. Terribly difficult, but it was nice to walk and get my bearings. The pizza I had was superb, but it was too much for one person. So I tapau half and ate half, but had to throw away the tapau portion later because it got soggy. So wasted!! Boohoo...!

While having lunch I contemplated on whether I should visit Galleria dell'Academia, where they store the collection of Venetian Renaissance art. A bit malas because in the morning I saw a long queue to get in, and I'm not really a fan of paintings. But it was only 1pm, and I didn't know what else to do, so pegi aja lahh. Trying to work my way out from where I was to the Grand Canal so I could get on the vaporetti was another grand task. When I arrived at the gallery, thank god the crowd was gone and the place was practically empty.

The audioguide I rented certainly made my visit more meaningful. The paintings were beautiful, and I stayed in there for 2 hours, the non-renaissance art fan that I was. Most of the paintings gave me goosebumps, for I don't know what reason. Maybe it was the realization that the people in the paintings exist hundreds of years ago and I wonder, how did they live without Internet? Hahhahahaaaa..

Ok, on to more interesting matters. In daylight, most Italian men look so good. The vaporetti attendant, the police, the gondola guys. I said most, not all. My waiter at this café is certainly not hensem. Well, perhaps he's not italian? Forse, no? Hehe.

I think I'll just stick around Lido for a while and wait for the sunset. It's a gorgeous day, looks like the sunset is going to be beautiful.

A piú tardi!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gelato, Gelati and Shrimp Fried Rice

So....I arrived at 6pm, checked into my hotel, decided not to wash my hair yet because I was super hungry. The hotel is nice, although a bit small...but at least I'm on the island itself and it's a minute away from the train station.

Walked up and down the street but couldn't decide what to eat, so I bought a gelati to alas perut for a while. Hmm..the one I had sama je dengan yang ada kat KL...hehe. I went to an internet café to backup my photos..taik betul mahal. 8 friggin euros for an hour??? This is why I love Malaysia so much. It's my home and I have everything I need...and it's cheaper too.

So lepas berinternet, I walked some more and an Italian dude said ciao to me. He asked if I had dinner yet, I said no, and he said he'll take me to a nice pizzeria. The place looked crowded, so I figured ok la kot. We chatted a bit while walking..then he tried to hold my hand when he wanted to show me what the Rialto Bridge looks like. Ewah ewahh!! I said to him, "I'm flattered, ma no, capisce?" not a minute later he said to me that he forgot that he was meeting his friend Toto. Hahhaaaa...whatever dude!!! Boleh blahhhh..I didn't take offence lah, e non importa, as they say over here.

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Venice is a very lively place. I walked around for a bit more to take some night shots just around Cannereggio where I'm staying..didn't dare walk further because the streets were starting to get quiet. I'm now having shrimp fried rice at a chinese restaurant...hahahaaa..! I was feeling a bit vulnerable, so this restaurant is providing me some sense of familiarity in this unfamiliar place. Actually it kind of reminds me of that chinese place in Oakland, back in Pittsburgh..the one with the chili in oil..yummms! Kehkehkeh...

So that was my day, we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Venice in a hurry.

I'm in venice paying 8 euros an hour for internet so i can backup my photos.

I'm outta here. will update more later...baik aku pi makan gelato. hehehe yummmmms

The search for George Clooney - Lago di Como

I'm now waiting for my train to Venice. A bit of a headache trying to understand the train system here. Apparently there's a regional train, e.g. The Lombardia regional trains, and also the Intercity trains. Like KTM and LRT I suppose. So i bought a regional ticket to Milan, but when I went to the window to purchase ticket from Milan to Venice, the lady said my regional ticket was "no good." Membazir betul. Could've gotten a bottle of water with that money. Hehe..

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Anyway, Como was beautiful, and it was also a beautiful day. I dunno why people still walk around with thick coats and scarves. Beautiful as Como was, i only spent about 3 hours walking around taking photos. The kind receptionist at the hotel gave me a map and circled the nice sites for me, so I just targeted those places.

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The first thing I did was to take the funicolare from Como up to Brunate. It was a 7 minute ride up the hill macam kat Bukit Bendera in Penang. The view of Como from Brunate was beautiful!! After a few minutes and a cappucino, I went back down and started walking around the lake and town. I didn't find George Clooney, but there were loads of senior citizens!! Senior citizens everywhere...the cafes, the piazzas, along the lake, mcDonalds...maybe one of them is George Clooney in disguise.

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So that was Como, in about 3 hours for me. If I had more time I would've gone to Bellagio, which they say is less infiltrated with tourism. Oh well. I didn't plan to spend that much time in the Lombardia region anyway. I'm skipping Milan today, lazy lah..the most attractive thing that I could afford there would be the duomo, but I guess I be seeing plenty of duomos soon anyway. I'm heading straight to Venice, so I could find the hotel before it gets dark and get some rest because right now my feet feels like it's about to come off.

Ah, the ticket man has come to check my ticket. Now I can relax..I always get so nervous before they come, just in case I boarded the wrong train and find myself in Berlin instead of Venice. Tragic tak if that happens..I think I'll sleep for a bit now. First thing i'm going to do when I get to venice is to wash my hair. Urgh. Oily oily..

Ciao tutti!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lucerne and Como

I woke up on time today, thank goodness!! snowed today in Lauterbrunnen, but as I got to the train station which is only 20 minutes down the valley, there was no more snow. It was mad freezing though! Went to sort out my tickets to Lucerne and then to Como at the ticket office. It's quite amazing how you can get all these necessities sorted here despite the language barrier. With my little bit of french, all I said was, "s'il vous plait, un billet pour Lucerne, un billet pour Lucerne to Como. What time and how much?" I guess that was enough to communicate.

The Golden Pass from Interlaken to Lucerne was different from the one on sunday. I suppose it was due to the weather. It was mainly misty but still picturesque, like those sceneries you might see in Lord of the Rings. Somewhere in 2/3rd through the journey, around Brunig, it was snowing like it's christmas. 30 minutes later, no more snow. Weird gila. At one particular area, the houses at the bottom of the hill looked like it was already spring, then when i looked up a bit, the houses up there had snow all around them. Imagine if you were staying there and you had a cousin up the hill, and you go, "hey's the weather up there? Looks like a dreadful winter from down here. Wanna warm up at my place?" hahaha.

Lucerne was freezing cold as well when I arrived. Then it started to rain pulak. I could only imagine how it would look like on a sunnier day. Went to one of the cheaper streets to get some souvenirs a.k.a swiss chocolates. I had to get myself one of those sigg bottles since they are so cheap compared to KL. Also got a swiss army knife, although I'm not really sure what I would do with it. Kekekee...i took some pictures, whatever I could get without getting my cameras wet. I walked around for a bit to find lunch i could buy for less than 10 francs, since that was about all the cash I had left on me. Found a little stall that sold a sandwich and soda for 7.50. It was tomato and mozarella. Sedap gila sandwich tu...!! Or maybe i was just hungry.

A half hour later, I felt like I needed to use the loo..went to look for one at the train station, and oh my, it costs 2 swiss francs to get in???? Bleh makan lunch ok in KL. Because it was so freaking expensive to take a piss, I felt obliged to stay in the toilet for several more minutes than needed. Then i sat down for a bit at the vanity desks and took some time to reorganize my backpack, since lugging around 1kg of chocolates was starting to take a toll on me. People who get the chocolates later better savour it to the last bit and remember my trouble lugging it around for 3 weeks ok!!!!! Kakakaaa...

It was drizzling by then, so I decided to kill the 1.5 hour i still had at the train station. A train station is called "bahnhof" ye murid2...hehe. Somehow, with all that time, I still managed to get on my train at the very last minute. Of course so kecoh when I got to my compartment and there were four really old ladies already in there who had to rearrange themselves so I could get my bag in. I noticed one thing about the Italian trains - bau dia lain macam sikit. Hehee..

The ride went in and out of mountain tunnels. It was amazing at one point before a tunnel it was completely snowing, then as we emerged at the end suddenly the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the grass green. Twilight zone habis!! As the train travelled further south, the weather became more mediterranean. Somehow, the houses look more ghetto-ish, the people get ruder but they look more fashionable than the ones up north. Must be the italian genes..Hehe..

The train stopped in Chiasso (kiasu?) for about 15 minutes for immigration checks. So easy. The officers just went from compartment to compartment to check our passports, then they had the police dogs sniffing for illegal items.

The ride from Chiasso to Como was only a few minutes, and guess what? I managed to miss my stop. Hahahaaaa. Bodoh betul aku ni. When I got to the exit, a hoarde of chinese tourists were coming in and they wouldn't let me pass through. The train moved before I could get off. So I had to wait until I reach Milan so I could take the train back to Como. My fault, I should've gone and waited at the door as the train approached the station. hehe...padan muka! A kind man helped me explain to the train officer about my situation. With the little italian that I capisce, I found out that he's from Bologna. I didn't understand much else.

So i reached milan (damn people just smoke everywhere!), and after 15 minutes trying to figure out where to buy a ticket, I got on an express train back to Como. Nak cari hotel lagi satu hal. No taxi would take me because they told me it's so near. Anyway, I'm finally now snug in my room. It's very clean, and it's just like what I imagined budget hotels in Italy would be like. Bukak tingkap, ada balcony with a complimentary view of some back alley. Hahaha...i'm now enjoying a kebab and some baklava. Ada pulak kedai halal kat tepi hotel ni.

My few hours so far in Italy have been rather difficult. Not many can speak english, so I really had to remember what I learned many years ago.

No pictures yet for today..i'm on wi-fi via my pda. Nyesal tak beli macbook air heheee..If my entries seem long-ish, it's because I wrote it along the way while riding the train today.

Ciao tutti!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sejuk nak mampus hari ni

I planned to wake up early (7am) to go up the mountain (and get an early bird discount while at it), but of course tak jadi...i woke up at 9am, and goddamn it was cold outside!! My hands were about to freeze, so I found the shop near the station, bought gloves and a chocolate for breakfast, for CHF17.00 (that's about, i dunno, RM60?) - ok i found out throughout the day that shops at the train stations are always overcharging for items. Need to go a bit further from the town area. For example, a bar of chocolate in Interlaken costs CHF2.90, in Lauterbrunnen where I'm staying, it costs CHF2.30, and further up in Wengen, it costs only CHF2.00. hehehe, thank god i didn't buy that CHF5.50 shower gel yesterday.

So anyway, the weather sucked today, and even at the train station, the agent said that i wouldn't be able to see anything up the mountain, and if I really wanted to pay that much money to go up. I had a feeling that it wouldn't be worth the money, but when else am I going to come here again? So up I went....and then it started to snow.

It was about a 2.5 hour train ride up, I had to change trains at several places. The last train took about 45 minutes, and the ride was mainly in tunnels, with a couple of stops, should anyone wish to hop off for a bit and take pictures. I didn't bother, because I truly couldn't see anything beyond the fog. And when i arrived, guess what i saw, first of all?

Bollywood everywhere, Jungfraujoch.

Hahahaa...jauh2 aku jalan, bollywood jugak aku jumpa. apa daa....hehe. Over there, I went to the Ice Palace, Ice Plateau, etc. Unfortunately there is no vista because of the snow, but the place is still pretty cool (literally).

Ice Palace, Jungfraujoch

After warming myself up a bit with some coffee, I got ready to go out into the Ice Plateau. I've never been in a blizzard, but I'm guessing that's probably what a blizzard would feel like. A kind Thai offered to snap a photo for me:

freezing my ass off

Lepas dah puas, I went back down, and just walked around taking pictures...didn't get any good ones since it was raining pulak down in the valley, except for one very colorful cemetery. hahaha...

Cemetery in Lauterbrunnen
Ok, I'm gonna go off now. Rest for tomorrow. I'm trying to upload more pictures to facebook, but this hostel's computer restricts Active-X installations, and i'm too lazy to select the pictures one by one and wait for them to upload. Flickr as well. Later la ok.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Golden Pass to Interlaken

Montreux, Switzerland

fuhh....what a long, gorgeous day!! I had to wake up at 4am to catch the 7.20am flight to Geneva from London Stansted. But from the moment the plane lifted off until this very moment, the view was endlessly breathtaking. (ok well, I did manage to catch up on sleep when the aircraft was too high above and all I could see were clouds..hehe).

From the airport, I took a train to Montreux. The journey followed along Lake Geneva..and wow!! Roy had told me that Switzerland is a very beautiful country, but i never quite got what he meant until i saw it for myself. Check out the pictures tomorrow, because words to describe the beauty definitely escape me at this point.

At Montreux, I switched trains and got on a panoramic train (Montreux-Zweisimmen). The difference between the normal trains and the panoramic trains is that you could see that they take a little bit more effort in keeping the windows clean, and the windows are so huge, it goes down to your ankles!! All that so one could properly enjoy the view. For 7 swiss francs, you can actually go to the ticketing office and reserve a seat, which was what I did. The stress started when i found a middle eastern couple (and very large sized too hehe) on my lovely window seat, and the dude didn't want to move. no need to delve into our argument, but i got my seat back in the end, as reserved. So i spent the almost 2 hour ride pretending to cough and sneeze to kick them out of my seating area..but of course to no avail. Hahahaa...i enjoyed the journey nevertheless, although by the end of it i couldn't wait to hop off the train because i felt so bloody cramped.

At Zweissimen, I changed to another panoramic train that took me to Interlaken. Interlaken is full of tourists from all over (like me oso la keke). Then I took another train to get to my hostel in Lauterbrunnen, which is in the Jungfrau region. It's 20 minutes from Interlaken by train, about 800 meters above sea level.

After 12 hours of dragging my luggage around, I finally reached Valley Hostel. So relieved...berat jugak bag tu!!! I got a single room for a decent price, but i've got to share the toilet and bathroom. The room was surprisingly nice, although it's only about as big as our average store room at home.kekeke..and the closet is outside the room, which i suppose is a good thing because otherwise i would have to manouver myself around the really small room. It kind of reminds me of the attic room I stayed in once at Colmar Tropicale a few years back.

I'm now on the train back down to Interlaken to find some dinner, and then I think I'll just go back and retire for the day lah. I feel so tempted to just sleep, but I only had a sandwich to eat earlier and now I'm hungry as hell.

The one thing i don't quite like about this country is the smell of cow dung that seems to have integrated with the air around here. Oh well, malaysia bau belacan, india bau kari, switzerland bau taik lembu. Ok la kot..haha. Speaking of which, i was looking for shower gel at the shops. Even the teeniest ones cost like CHF2.50, dammit, i should've bought some from tesco yesterday. In 2 days' time i'm sure I'll start smelling like cow dung as well.

till next time..ciao!

p/s: damn, the rosti margherita was so tasty! Shredded potatoes, sliced tomato, oregano, swiss cheese, baked. Must try when get home.

Rosti Margherita

Friday, April 11, 2008

blue skies, clear days and mild temperatures

IMG_0091, originally uploaded by nadi0.

spent the pas couple of days hanging out with baby nephew and his parents. gi shopping sana sini...i bought this really cool world travel adaptor that comes with a usb port. i knew i should've brought my phone usb charger instead of that bulky plug...hehehe. I also bought this really cool microfibre travel towel that folds down to about the size of my hand.

i went to Picadilly Circus, Lilywhite's was on sale, i got a couple of cropped pants for about 10 quids. That's what i absolutely love about this could get so much for your dollar.

adios for now.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Camden Town, Covent Garden, Avenue Q

IMG_0255, originally uploaded by nadi0.

I went to Camden Town today. The markets were good, though you could get most of the clothes in Sungei Wang. The food stalls were even better! I walked around for almost 1 hour before i settled on chinese. Damn...i will definitely go back and have that cheese nachos i saw at the mexican stall. Yummers!!!

I then went to shop for some travel accessories around tottenham court road, oxford street etc, although i didn't last very long since i got tired weaving through the hoards of people. what's up with some of these people anyway? do they really have to run everywhere? I was walking on one of the pavements near Covent Garden today, and one big sturdy dude totally hit my shoulder..dia tak nampak ke dia jalan mana? bodoh betul.

Speaking of bodoh, in one of the tubes to Camden Town, there were 3 loud kids who kept shouting "MILF!!! MILF!!" Then a couple of chinese girls boarded the train and they shouted, "CHILF!! CHILF!!". Well, if MILF stands for "Moms I'd Like to Fuck", i guess CHILF would mean......? Stupid redneck fuckers.

After shopping, I went to chill out at Covent Garden and watched those street shows. Damn good. Shortly after, I met up with ayol and ta, to go see Avenue Q some where near Leicester Square.

Avenue Q, was funny as hell! It's like Sesame Street, but it covers grown up gotta see it for yourself if you have the chance..kelaka gila!

That was my day today.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vanity Fair, Thai & Coffee

The Long Acre, originally uploaded by nadi0.

At 3pm, I finally had the willpower to leave little nephew, and stepped out to make my way into the city.

Went to the National Portrait Gallery today to check out the Vanity Fair Portraits exhibition. Interesting and beautiful photographs indeed.

Met up with old friends at bond street for some delicious thai food for dinner, and then went for coffee to gossip, "makcik glamer" style. kah kah kah.

I'm knackered now. zzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, April 07, 2008

green adidas in london (Day 3)

green adidas in london, originally uploaded by nadi0.

i seriously feel a bit oddly dressed as i walked among the Londoners today. Why did i ever buy those green Adidas? black would be so much cooler in london. kekekeke...oh ya, now i remember, isetan had them on sale for RM100 a pair a long time ago.

Well, today, after i played with shazrai until noon, i decided to go to the museums in South Kensington. The Museum of Natural History was hmm...i dunno, i didn't go look at the whole thing. Pusing2 a bit in the mammals section, and headed into the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Damn, the photos were awesome!!!

Check it out here. My favorite piece is a shot titled Meerkat Moment by Shem Compion from South Africa.

Then I went to the Science Museum. Couldn't be bothered with the rest of the museum, i just headed straight to the Museum Store and checked out the gadgets there. kekeke..

After that I realized that it was 4pm and i hadn't eaten the whole day, so i went back to Ealing for some lunch. There was this burger shop i found near Ealing Broadway...Sultani Flavours (?) damn the chicken fillet burger was awesome!! Then i went shopping for some necessities, e.g. a really nice short sleeve top, when what i really needed is a sweater (all i brought from home were my usual collared t-shirts hehehe). i guess i'll go find a sweater tomorrow then. hehe

so that was my day, you can check out more pics from today on my flickr, as usual.

oh gosh, i'm watching this sad documentary on tv called the Elephant Man, about a dude in china with elephantitis. :-(

Sunday, April 06, 2008

London - Day 2

It's snowing in London, originally uploaded by nadi0.

So far I haven't done anything yet today. I woke up to the excitement of snow falling, a rare occasion in London, and the first snowfall for shazrai. Excited gile that little boy. hehehe...the aunty quite excited also, not having seen snow in almost 8 years.

Anyway..i think will just chill around at home and play with the baby.

Kawan2 yang ada kat sini, I'll call you girls soon ok!


Friday, April 04, 2008

london baybeh...!

297, originally uploaded by nadi0.

rilek rilek....

i'm not there yet...this is a picture from 2006. :-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

at last....

..i don't have to force myself out of bed tomorrow to go to work. yay!!

i will definitely not miss the running around getting people's access IDs sorted. i will definitely not miss the questions from the C&Cs (contractors dan customers) in the mid-mornings as i walk into the office: "when am i getting my ID?" "did you check with security whether my airgate pass access has been extended?" "can i get access to the shared drive?" get lost and sort out your own mess. woohoo!! well, don't get me wrong though. i only worked in that hellhole of a project for 2 months before i lost my patience...the rest of my tenure in the company was quite great in comparison.

i'll definitely miss my friends though. i don't think i'll be able to get over this great bunch of people, ever.

good night!!

p/s: i am so looking forward to being unemployed for the next 2 months.