Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 6: Switzerland - Interlaken - Jungfraujoch

Some 11,000 feet above ground lies Jungfraujoch - top of Europe. We took an optional tour to visit another side of Switzerland. So bright and early, we set off to Interlaken and up towards Jungfrau.

Taking the train up the mountain

And I experienced falling snow for the first time! I know damn suaku.

So thrilled with snow falling on my head

One of the best meal we had so far in the trip - Rosti with sausage

So after the sight-seeing, the eating, the goofing around, we headed back to Interlaken to do some 'serious' shopping.

This is where Dylan went 'berserk' and signed the most expensive thing in his life (*ahem* more expensive than my proposal ring)

Of course, after frittering away our money, have to stock up on bread at their grocer Migros. Yes, days and days of bread ahead for us... ...

Coming to Switzerland, one must try their Swiss Cheese fondue. Perhaps, I'm not a cheese person or that the cheese tasted bitter with the red wine added. To make things worse, it was fondue in 3 forms - Cheese, Meat and Chocolate.

I wondered how can chocolate fondue go wrong? At that point, my stomach was screaming for laksa, mee goreng and nasi lemak. I miss home food. :(

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 5: Switzerland - Lucerne - Mt Titlis

Finally after a few days of visiting cathedrals, museums and gorging lots of magaritas pizzas, I felt relieved that we're embarking to another country, learning a different culture and of course hoping to eat better food.

I am particularly intrigued by Switzerland as it is ranked one of the wealthiest country, has its own currency, breath-taking panaromic views, the Swiss Alps and of course the swiss made watches!

Their Easter bunny looks so huge

Go Switz must act atas and only drink Evian

Once you stepped into Switzerland, it's like entering a winter wonderland. Every angle is picture perfect.

Even the river looks so inviting, you want to jump into it despite the chilly weather.

Going up Mt Titlis on the world's only rotating cable car.

We're 10,000 ft above ground!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 4: Europe - Italy - Milan

To immerse ourselves in the European lifestyle, we decided to try their cappucino during our stopover to Milan. Surprisingly, it tasted nothing like our bitter kopi-O. It was aromatic, smooth and perfect in a cold weather.

So this is very much Milan - one huge open space and a few buildings. After visiting some of the brilliant architectures in Italy, Milan didn't take our breath away. Or perhaps we were already itching to open our wallets to spend spend spend! that we couldn't even bother to appreciate another cathedral.

Not even the street performer impressed us... ...

Designer brands were limited... ... I wandered around and bought 2 jackets from H&M before convincing ourselves we should at least pay a visit to their gothic cathedral.

I didn't manage to find the A&F boutique that housed only male assistants who looked like models from a magazine cover that C was telling me about. That was my regret.

People giving their prayers by lighting a candle... ...

After 4 days of Italy and churches, I am relieved that we'll be exploring another country.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 3: Europe - Italy - Venice

When I saw Venice, I am reminded that Italy regarded water as their wealth. Venice is a water city in itself - built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. During the olden times, most of the transportation or travelling was done on water. Many believed that Venice will sink due to the infrastructure that is sitting on water, with centuries of clay slowly eroding day by day. I've heard that when I was 20, and I am still able to visit this enchanting city. On another note, when there are high tides, people require wooden planks stacked around the city to move around.

Venice is famous for its ornate glass-work, known as Venetian glass. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skilfully made. Where else to witness exquisite skills but the glass factory. Strictly no photos allowed inside due to copyright infringements.

This glass factory delights visitors with live demonstrations of the ancient art of glass blowing and has a showroom where you can purchase Murano glass pieces at mind-blowing prices as well.

We ended the trip on a gondola ride to experience the life of the Venetians, although I didn't get to hear the gondolier singing to make it all look more romantic.

Day 2: Europe - Italy - Pisa - Florence

Next morning, we headed off to Pisa. What else to visit than the all famous Leaning Tower? It was said that during the construction, it was built on soft ground, hence the weight caused the structuer to be slightly tilted. But that didn't stop the Tuscanians from completing the structure.

If you noticed, the 3rd level onwards have been adjusted to balance back the structure. Truth be told, it was said that it was a Chinese who thought of a solution to prevent the tower from falling when it should have a couple of years ago.

Some of our cheesy attemps to look like we're trying to support the falling tower.

The air felt so cool even under the basking sun. Superb sights, superb weather and of course great photos all thanks to the DSLR, everything looked like it was out from a postcard.

Had magarita pizza for lunch before heading off to Florence - a city declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO and home for many of the famous artists.

Italy is famous for their hand-crafted masks. Every piece is delicately painted, including the hefty price tag.

No chance to open wallet yet so let's take a photo.

Fantastic view of the Arno river at sunset

We concluded that Tuscany cuisine was not to our taste bud despite the all acclaimed Florentine steak that the tour guide was raving about. We were more looking forward to Venice - the water city.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 1: Europe - Italy - Rome

The last time I went on a package tour, I swore to Dylan that I would never go on one again. But having to travel to Europe with a clueless husband and multiple luggages makes everything seemingly possible again. So after the long awaited trip, surviving 14 hours of flight, we land into one of the most beautiful city of Europe - Rome.

First stop, the iconic symbol of Itlay - The Colosseum, originally known as The Flavian Ampitheatre. It is also famously recognized for holding gladiator fights and slavery executions re-enacted in the Gladiator movie.

Notice the tiny little holes? It was said that the internal structure was made of premium quality material to hold the stonework. Hence, parts of the structure were extracted to re-use elsewhere.

Even if you're not a Catholic per se, one would certainly have to visit The Vatican City - home of the Pope. We were awed by the architectural intelligence that existed way before blueprints were invented. Every nook and corner of the building were so meticulously measured and designed that if you stand at a certain spot in the middle of St Peter's Square, you would see only one pillar at every angle.

Savouring yummylicious Italian gelato in the icy cold weather...

Next up, we adjourned to Trevi fountain. It was heard that the Italians regarded water as fortune. So almost everywhere, you can see mini fountains to symbolize their abundance of wealth around the city. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder, it is believed that you would return to Rome. Two coins will lead you to a new romance, three would lead to marriage. I tossed a coin and sincerely wished to return to Rome one day with my love one in good health.

We spent one night in Rome before heading to Pisa and Florence.