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Zurich and it’s wonderful places out of town!

I just compiled all the places that we’ve been to since July and August this year.  Our  German trip is now available to read and part of Zurich.  Please check it out, it is much better to go to the main site so it is easier to browse all topics and places.

Sorry, it takes me ages to start blogging again my past travels and yes I have a lot of backlogs!  Sometimes life gets in the way haha!  More on that once I finished my story about Switzerland and the next is Italy then perhaps a little about Turkey so hope you can wait for that, dear readers.

For Family with Kids… here are the places you must go that doesn’t cost you much. Plus you get to enjoy the playground and the sights rain or shine! Mind you both July and August it was often raining, unfortunately, but this doesn’t hinder to wander around.  Switzerland is the same with New Zealand.  Both beautiful inside and out and more of the outdoors rain or shine!  😉

These places can be for everybody too depends on your mood.

Please click each photo to enlarge it so you will appreciate it.

If you are keen to know more about Switzerland.  Please go to http://www.myswitzerland.com and for the trains go to http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html 

Zurich Zoo, you can get here by train depends on where you are, just ask the customer service or staff at the train station counter.  There’s also a person on standby for people who needs help about going around at the main train station or at each platform.  Do not be afraid to ask, they can speak English and yes friendly! 🙂

Wildnispark Zurich is where you can find Sihlwald forest, “a nature of discovery park of national importance” and also Langenberg Park. They also have a souvenir shop. Wild animals here are free to roam but there’s a barrier so people can also roam free haha! As you can see, bears lived on top of the hill and down below is a restaurant cum coffee shop where you can relax while you can view the bears going down playing down the water, if you are lucky like us this year!  The park itself is so huge and you need comfortable shoes to walk even just half of this place. Good thing… it is actually free!  You just have to pay for your car parking that cost only Chf10 for the whole day! The best way for kids and yes adult jogging with the dog but on a leash to blow off their steam and release some energy so you all go home happy and yes… tired and sleepy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Wildnispark Langnau am Albis, vinneve foto

 

 

Uetliberg is a Zurich mountain, elevation of 870m approximately.  We are lucky that it is near where we stayed at in Zurich.  Because of its tower, this is the best way for you to locate where you are or where is home.  The best way to go here is by train as there is a limitation on where your car can go, hence, you still need to park the car and walk up the mountain.  It is worth it, you get to exercise and see the beauty of Zurich on top!

 

Circus Royal, it’s held every year and near the City Centre. I am not sure if it’s in the same place. You can also ask around the main train station about some events.  We are fortunate to be near these animals, even the tiger is just an arm away!  Beautiful creatures indeed!

Landes Museum can be found just across the main train station Hauptbahnhof even the location is already picture perfect it is near the lake!

Swiss National Day is every August 1st to come and enjoy with the locals, everybody is welcome and you get to choose which venue to go to as every canton they have their own get together with some food stalls and live music with of course fireworks!  As you can see lot’s of children (FYI… refugees were here too!) around and they are waiting for the BIG BANG in the middle of the night.  Every district you can see how they tried to compete with how big and beautiful their fireworks, most of it is done on top of each hill or on a higher ground, taking care of nature around by putting a barrier or a safe place where to do the bonfires and fireworks!

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aug1night,vinneve foto

Restaurant Die Waid or simply Waid Restaurant.  It’s near Zurich City and aside from this Swiss and Asian inspired restaurant, they have one of the best views of Zurich on top!  They are near the forest for walking the dog and for hikers or day-trippers, nature lovers.

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On top of Zurich City

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View of Zurich on top of Waid Restaurant

Guggi Butterfly Garden.  It is actually a simple Garden Centre somewhere near Stallikon.  There is a coffee shop inside too.  Getting inside the mini butterfly garden is free and you will be amazed how tamed they are.  Just be careful when walking as often they are on the floor not moving and we have to “wake them up” so they can fly up to their safe nest or just above you.

 

OUT OF TOWN just 30mins to an hour away bus/train or drive from the City of Zurich.

Turlesee Restaurant and the See (Lake).  Located at Hausen am Albis.  Good affordable foods, great sight, and swimming!  You can get here by hopping to bus 235 from the Triemli bus station.  It is just across Triemli Hospital or better known as Triemlispital.  If you are coming from the City Centre or Hauptbahnhof get to platform nos.#14 to go to Triemli station.

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Turlersee1,vinneve

Wurenlos.  District of Baden in the canton of Aargau.  It is a small quiet town but full of nice sceneries. My husband hometown when he was growing up. It happened that the “Doggie Party” was held here and it was not just for dogs to have fun but for all dog lovers with or without a dog can attend here.  Lot’s of foods to choose from and of course an opportunity to all to meet new friends coming from other places around Switzerland or even other Country like me!

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Wurenlos1,vinneve foto

Saurier Museum in Aathal or better known as Dinosaur Museum in English.  In the municipality of Seegraben in the canton of Zurich. You will actually pass this place at the back if you are going to Rapperswil via train.

Rapperswil- Jona.  Under the canton of St. Gallen.  Located at the upper end of Lake Zurich. Perhaps you didn’t know that the famous views here on top of the Castle, can be viewed on some postcards and not actually in Zurich City itself though it is not that far.

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Knies KinderZoo.  This is also located in Rapperswil so it’s really for the whole family and friends to go to. As the name suggests, it is a zoo for small children but even for big kids and adults can enjoy here.  FYI, some of the animals here were just retired from Circus and gets to this haven to be happy or even raise their family too as some new naughty baby elephants around.  They even have a Seal Show schedules so please check it out first before you wander around.  Plus a very nice Thai restaurant (Himmapan Lodge) was inside this place with a view to behold especially at night like a “date night”.

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Swiss Science Center Technorama it is in the municipality of Winterthur in the canton of Zurich.  For two years in a row, we’ve been here since my son favorite subject is Science.  He gets to do something in the lab and be a scientist for a few minutes. This is a huge center so it can be a whole day being here.  Don’t worry they have restaurants and some vendo machines inside plus a park to play once the children want some break.

These are just a few places in and around Zurich where you can spend your holidays or time with your loved ones.  Go explore and do not be shy asking around or if you get lost.  I am sure even in the City itself you will get lost in the abbeys of their many alleys!  So many fine dining restaurants some are expensive so beware but some are also affordable so better ask the locals.  Of course, shopping is endless fun as well in the City, especially chocolates and other sweets like these below.  So now I hope you get to see some part of Switzerland from my point of view.  I leave you now and thank you for liking or commenting!  TSCHUSS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Childlike wonder in Zurich!

Finally got the chance to do blogging, yey!  It’s been a long time, I know but I hope it will be worth the wait.  The same feeling with us especially my son waiting for another year just to see his beloved grandpa, relatives, and friends.

OK here are the places for you to know or go to in and around Zürich.  Places that we went to as per locals do and not as a tourist.  It is truly a wonder that this City is surrounded by so much nature and beauty plus a big event that you must come together with a local friend or relatives.

  1. August 1st is the Swiss National Day! – children loved the firecrackers and waited for the FINAL fireworks at midnight. It is like New Year in comparison but of course being in Switzerland it must be systematic and organized. 🙂  Other ages like me can enjoy the live music, foods especially the sausages and people watching!

 

2.  Uetliberg – yes, it is near the place where we stayed at every time. A must see for people who want to see the whole Zurich on top!  Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk as there’s more to see by walking. Berries are ripe for the picking and it’s free from mother nature.  I see some people wearing high heels though, incredible!

3.  Guggi Butterfly Garden – It is out of the Zurich City.  Actually a normal garden center with a coffee shop inside.  It is good for meet-ups with friends, or with kids.  I will feature this next time so please watch this space.  For the meantime, here are a few shots of it.  Enjoy!

 

 

4.  Kinderzoo – This is located in Rapperswil in the canton of St. Gallen. Yes out of Zürich already but not too far away.  It only took us more than an hour by a regional train. One more thing… most of the animals here are now retired from Circus industry.  I will also feature this next time as there is more to see here than just animals. A date night? yes!

5.  Rapperswil town – It is two in one when you go to this town as you get the kids to enjoy the zoo on the other side of the town and afterward stroll around the area to glimpse a small castle up the hill, yes by foot! What a sight! see below photos. I cannot help myself clicking my camera.  I will feature this next time so you can see more photos. Lots of restaurants nearby so do not worry if you get thirsty or hungry and before I forget every fountain you see you can fill up your bottle with fresh water and it is drinkable unless it stated NOT.

6.  Landes Museum – Back in Zürich… went to visit this alone as my son decided to be with his grandpa which is fine with me as this is their time together to bond.  It only happens every holiday only, unfortunately.  I have paid 10Fr for this and it is worth it.

7.  Turlersee – This is out of Zürich but still you never get that far from the City.  There is always a smart, always on time bus coming your way to drop you off to this place.  Just hop on bus 235 (free wifi) either from the Tremli train station or get any tram that goes to Tremli from Hauptbahnhof.  You can enjoy camping, walking the dog, swimming in the lake (see) and of course nice restaurants around the corner.

8.  Wurenlos – A place where hubby also grew up when he was a kid.  Don’t get me wrong this is not just good for photo ops.  They have a small town and occasionally they have some events going on to make this place lively!

And here are some random photos in and around Zurich!

That’s it for now.  I hope you saw some photos that you don’t normally see as my aim is to be different.  I try to show you some sights from local perspectives.  If I live there, if ever, I would like to go to some places tourist doesn’t always go to.  I do not like the crowded area but sometimes you have to bear with it if it’s your first time or you have to go to a certain place.

Thanks, dear readers, and followers! I hope to see you again soon.  You may check my other post that would be great!  It would be nice for you to drop some nice comments too.  Have a great day!  Enjoy traveling… NOW! Cheers!

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Destination: Germany – Frankfurt & Cologne

To all my followers… sorry it took me a long while to post my European journeys.  I am just so busy with some personal matters that I need to attend to since school is about to start and perhaps there will be a new adventure ahead… so watch out this space!

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Just more than a month ago we had the pleasure to finally meet again our friends that we’ve met as expats in Abu Dhabi more than 2 years ago. We had similar stories like every expat have. Share the ups & downs of being an expat and how to live outside your comfort zone. And yes… this is one of the perks to make the friendship alive even after the contract ends. You get to visit them in their home Country which is, in this case, is in Germany. I got lucky as we tour somewhere in Frankfurt & Cologne but out of the City.

It helped a lot when somebody you care about is also with you to join and tour around, it makes the journey exciting! And yes we have boarded a train with 2 young boys in tow but one still in his stroller… her boy aged 2.  Have paid 16 euro for a group of 5.  Not bad.

We first visited this place that consists of several tourist spots in one area. Schloss / Castle and its beautiful views around it.

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So yes I hope the photo above can help you find some spots to go while near Frankfurt City. There’s also a tourist info center beside the Castle.

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This garden is another tourist spot just near the Schloss and it housed another place in their history. See photos below. We admired the grounds around it and thought it’s meant for people to relax or have meaningful thoughts to say to one another.  😉  

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Greeneries near Frankfurt. Vinneve foto

Such greeneries, just 30 minutes away from Frankfurt airport. The kids can play and run around. Not short of fresh berries around you can just pick anywhere for free as it is in the wild.

Now we go to COLOGNE. We didn’t really tour around but spent quality time with our friends. Peace & Quiet. After living for 2 years in a desert I truly missed our home in New Zealand. So a similar scenery is much welcome and appreciated.

Had a nice dinner at the nearest restaurant nearby and met new friends which are great!

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Backyard near Cologne prop. Vinneve foto

I now leave you to imagine and see for yourself a bit of Germany from my photos. I hope I gave you an insight about living out of the City of both Frankfurt & Cologne. Believe me, it’s near the town centre & train station just a few minutes drive away.

Tschuss! 

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EID Holidays on top!

A celebration after Ramadan… it is known as EID (Eid al-Fitr).

 

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JWMM lobby, vinneve

 

We went for a staycation holidays away from home.  This is not the first time though.  JW Marriott Marquis (tallest hotel in the World) is one of our favorite 5-star hotels and it doesn’t disappoint.  Here I will show you why and aside from the lavish foods and many restaurants choices inside it is also very near other attractions and tourist spots.  No wonder when we arrived lots of foreign tourists, not just UAE residents come flocking the reception.  My tip is, it is better you have a membership for this hotel so wherever Marriott hotels you go, you can have a priority service and of course an upgrade if available (mostly they have).

 

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JWMM floor lobby, vinneve foto

 

In and around JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai

 

 

The room 

 

The view outside the room on the balcony

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JWMM room view, vinneve

Executive Lounge – Tip: Better to include this to your room booking if you can’t have an upgrade as you can also save money by coming here to eat for breakfast, snacks and pre-dinner which is good enough for dinner and lots of drinks to choose from. They also have business lounge beside it for people who don’t want to be disturbed by some guests with children.  

 

 

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JWMM Exec.lounge view, vinneve foto

As you can see there are still some spaces to be filled up.  Never ending developments in Dubai.  More coming bigger and better as years go by.

 

The pool and the view

 

 

Had a great family bonding this Eid. Whether you wanted to relax or escape away from the comfort of your home, there is a place like this to consider.  This is my personal review of this hotel and I hope you like it.  Try it for yourself… soon!

To all my followers and new readers… I will have my BIG Europe Holidays soon and will surely post it.  Please watch this space!  Let’s live and have fun 🙂 Thank You!

 

 

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Destination: Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge:  HERITAGE

We attended a free Science show for kids and their families in Abu Dhabi Theater earlier this year.  I was glad to see that the HERITAGE VILLAGE is just nearby!

I have been here for almost 2 yrs and unfortunately, I haven’t visited this site yet so I didn’t waste the chance to finally visit the place and it didn’t disappoint us. 

Here are some photos and in case you are around visiting the Capital of UAE which is Abu Dhabi and not Dubai, mind you 🙂  I have other posts that you can also browse or read if you are keen and see for yourself how beautiful it is here too!

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Heritage Village1, vinneve foto

I would like to think the liquid pouring in this clay pot is the “black gold” meaning Oil from the desert as Abu Dhabi is an oil-rich City. 

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The view of seashore inside HVAD, vinneve foto

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Abu Dhabi City Skyline, vinneve foto

And some resident inside the Heritage Village as below photos.

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Restaurant inside HVAD picnic rugs, vinneve foto

As you can see, you can have a nice time with your friends and family here.  A quiet time to be by yourself too if you like and some local foods to savor while waiting for the sunsets.  It is a beautiful sight to see, better than the photos here.  I have so many photos but I cannot share it all here otherwise I will run out of space.  So come and visit our beloved Abu Dhabi City now!  🙂  

Thanks for visiting my blog and enjoy some more post here by checking the links below or browse and like as per categories.  Shukran!  

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Beautiful Basel, Switzerland

Here’s my continuation of our traveling around Switzerland with or without relatives. For my long-time followers, you can say this can be my last trip before going back to Zurich then eventually back to the land of the desert where we stay as expats.  For the new readers, welcome to my blog and I hope you will be interested browsing, reading the rest of my adventures around the Globe and some events too!

Basel is just an hour away to/from Zurich and so we had a day out for a change since our going to Frankfurt was canceled because of the unfortunate incident of my friend’s. So what better way to make it up is to plan and book train tickets to Basel. 

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Basel train station, vinneve photo

I just show you around (by foot) through my photos and it is easy to get around just make sure you don’t forget the landmarks going back to the train station.  Tip: Make a photo of some landmark that you will be passing so you will remember the streets, buildings or statues etc. that’s how I do it in unfamiliar places.  😉

This church reminds me of Paris Louvre pyramid.

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Red & Gold bldg around marketplatz, vinneve

The Beautiful bridge over the river Rhine that connects to 6 Countries in Europe.  This is the same river (Rhinefalls) that we are trying to locate when we got lost in the German border.  See this LINK to read my previous post about it and ending into another town in Switzerland you probably never heard of.

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Famous River Rhine, Basel Switzerland, vinneve foto

Do not underestimate this river as it moves very fast! The current is very strong that can power up the little cruise ship above!  If you think you are a good swimmer and wants to experienced how a strong current feels like, then you can rent a floater beneath the bridge.  Swimmers lining up to dry under the sun after the swim.

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Below photos near the river, went to a Park for our son enjoyment and going back we have seen some religious sect dancing and inviting people to join or to donate and a mini Toy Museum and another Museum (History) that unfortunately, we are too late.

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All Blacks Flag NZ, vinneve

Then by accident, as we looked up we saw the NZ All Blacks flag (rugby sport) in one of the apartments in the City Centre going back to the train station. For sure some Kiwis are living there! KIA ORA mate! 🙂

It was a very good family day out!!!

I hope you enjoy reading or browsing as some may do haha!  Thanks and come back for more!  Tschuss!!

via: The Weekly Photo Challenge:  WANDERLUST

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AD Events: MON Festival

via Daily Prompt: Timely

Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Mother of the Nation Festivals

The great weather before it turns to nasty hot so it is timely to finally have this festival just finished a couple of weeks ago and how I wish we have visited twice as we didn’t see it all in just one late afternoon to late night.  Some are tourists from another GCC Country.  Some are locals and expats like us and their visitors.

So many events going on from January to April but I only managed to come to a few and enjoy them.  It seems life is becoming busy for me since I have accepted that I will be here for quite some time to support my wonderful hubby and son.

Here are some photos.  I hope you will enjoy viewing them too but the thrill and excitement were to be there in person.  Anyway… see U again next year!

Please click this LINK to view my post last year RE: Abu Dhabi & MON Festivals 2016 LINK.  Thanks! 

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Beautifully decorated lanterns, vinneve foto

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Mini car route with Nation Towers @backdrop, vinneve foto

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Zorb over the water, vinneve foto

Lots of activities for the children for all ages and some of them are free.  Of course, you just have to go on the queue and be patient!  We went to see a documentary about water in UAE and it was a mini Museum and beautifully presented to people.  My son loves doing his own kite and there are some markets (souq), music/concerts, and lots of restaurants around the Corniche where they built this event.  Last year we went to see a magic show & acrobatics and a Comedy stint but we were late on a schedule this year so we missed it and walking back to the next zone was too far away!  Still, we enjoyed and my son was happy that’s more important than the one we have missed.

Cheers!

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Later I pause and say goodbye.

How many times we put things off?

How many times we say “later”?…

Until we remember, some thoughts

Too late, it could be better.

Reminiscing the old times

Time that we cannot bring back

It’s time to say goodbye…

Pausing, I feel so sad. 

The above poem is my original piece in memory of my mother, aunts, and uncles who matter to me.  Sorry that I am so far away and my visiting wasn’t enough.

In response to the Daily Post: LATER AND PAUSE.

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So I leave you another quote to think about…

“Living is like tearing through a museum.

Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw,

thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering…

because you can’t take it all at once.”  by Audrey Hepburn.

In memory of all my loved ones & relatives who passed away.  Leaving me with good memories.  The ones who really matters to me deep inside my heart, I grieved.  Will see you all in Heaven.

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A simple wish, a trip to ZUG.

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Zug Lake, vinneve foto

In response to the Daily Post/ Photo Challenge: WISH.

Where is Zug you say?  It is in between Zürich and Lucerne /Luzern, Switzerland.

On the way to Zürich by train from visiting my cousin in MILAN, I got interested and saw the beautiful town of Zug.  Since it is very near Zürich just an hour away perhaps by train or less so it is easier to come here.  Everybody in the family had an agenda different to mine so a good timing to have met a sort of family (my cousin’s wife aunts) in another suburb of Zurich and they are so nice to tour me around and granted my wish to go and visit Zug after being lost and crossed the border of Germany without realizing it until too late!  We originally wanted to go to RHEINFALL von Schaffhausen. It was a long drive indeed back to Zurich then to Zug, it feels more of an adventure that day!  It didn’t stop to amazed us as even going to Zug from down to up and around the hill we are wondering why the GPS always telling us to go to a long winding road since we saw the lake and the small town down the mountain or are we up the hill?.  FYI.  Zug is a low tax region.

Anyway here are the photos.  Some tourists tend to overlook small towns but I prefer to travel around Switzerland as a local.  Please check/click my earlier post about LUGANO, LOCARNO AND ZURICH as per their link and some more if you have time.

 

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Zug township below, vinneve

 

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just a few minutes away from Zug town, vinneve

Beautiful scenery everywhere you go in Switzerland.  More to come on my next post. Tschüss! 🙂

 

 

 

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My Desire and the Road Taken… however Against the Odds & it’s Shadow etc.

This is in response/s to the Daily Post/Prompts & Weekly Photo Challenges:  DesireThe Road Taken,  AridAgainst the Odds, Superpower, and Shadow.  

Please allow me this opportunity to express myself and my thoughts thru these challenges and yes it is literally a challenge about LIFE... our life, besides CHANGE is the only constant in life. Please click the highlighted in red above & below to go to another window for my previous post.

Last year I had to choose 3 options where to live for the sake of my happiness and my son’s future.  You may say I am fortunate but yes perhaps having some options are better than none, however, confusing and complicated it may be in the long run.

MY DESIRE, THE ROAD TAKEN, AGAINST THE ODDS and SUPERPOWER

The road we took is different to what my heart desires beautiful as it may seem like the ever famous and colourful beauty of both Switzerland and New Zealand. Poles apart. One my son’s half identity plus the other half and our “home” that we left behind for the meantime, so the family can be whole in UAE.  You see, how can I decide so easily if being happy is not also complete without the other half and against all odds? And so…the latter mentioned, the road taken and the decision is made because… FAMILY THAT STICKS TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER! 😉

IF I have a superpower… I will definitely be flying and live each week or month in each place so I will not feel homesick, feel deprived of my own opportunity or feel guilty about one way or another.  But alas!  I am only human.  In reality, it is impossible as it is not normal and I want some normality in my son’s life as possible.

Switzerland

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Near Zurich, vinneve

New Zealand

somewhere in Hawkes Bay

somewhere in Hawkes Bay NZ, vinneve photo

UAE, Abu Dhabi

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Between the bridges, AD UAE, vinneve

You are probably surprised that there are some similarities with these 3 Countries but yes different lifestyles (Switzerland – Sophisticated; NZ – laidback; UAE – luxurious) and definitely different cultures and values… but one thing is again common it’s FAMILY. 

For people who have never been to the Middle East… who would have thought that an ARID land can turn out to be a mysterious beauty and more?  I appreciated what is life offered us here and are grateful for the new experiences.  It’s definitely different but nevertheless, it’s an adventure of a lifetime!

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My Family, vinneve

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Dubailand – Center of attractions

This is in response to the Daily Post/ Prompt: CENTER.

Where is Dubailand you said?  It is in Dubai, UAE as per the name suggest but it is 20-30 minutes away from the main City of Dubai and just about an hour or so from Abu Dhabi which is the capital of UAE.  For more info here is the LINK.  The works continue and more theme parks are coming.  It is amazing to know that this was once an ARID land.

DUBAILAND TAKE TWO.  Both attractions are much better than last year as per my view.  It is so worth it to travel and have fun for the whole day with your loved ones.

MIRACLE GARDENS

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vinneve foto

There are so many photos to share (click the photos to enlarge it) but it is better that you see it yourself if you are currently in Dubai or nearby Emirates.  I tell you it is worth it.  It’s better to do it now as the weather is still a bit cooler.  Ticket cost in dirhams 40 adult 30 child.

GLOBAL VILLAGE

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Entrance Global Village, vinneve foto

It is funny to see America and Russia side by side from each other.

I have never been to Egypt yet but at least here in Global Village, I can say I have seen the replicas and it looks amazing!

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Indian Village, vinneve foto

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Japan & South Korea, beside each other, vinneve foto

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China Village, vinneve foto

Some Asian Countries that are not there last year is now a participant and they are bigger and brighter.  Inside the villages are stores and introducing their products and every Village has their scheduled (cultural dancing) shows up to 9pm, or so. 

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Now we go to Europe… some I have been and it sure show some great replicas so it’s good for people who don’t have the opportunity yet to go to Europe, though UAE is in great location in the “middle” and near both Europe and Asia (from 3hrs flying time to some parts of Asia & Europe).  Here is the LINK for you to find out the reason some people opt to transit or stay over here both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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France Village, vinneve foto

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Italy Village, vinneve foto

We passed by the African Village and they are currently doing their cultural show but we didn’t stay to watch as we are in a hurry to get my son another “sword balloon” so he can play with his Dad, to one of the yellow tents that are assigned for face painting, balloons, magic shows and mini circus and other kiddie things.  So yes it is really for everyone!

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Turkey Village, vinneve

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There are more Middle Eastern Countries who participate to show their beauty and even Syria is one of them.  Unfortunately with the current events… how I wish people can really see the beauty of it before the destructions and the war.

I hope I inspired you to come and visit.  It is never too late to plan so come and follow me!

Thanks for your time reading and viewing all the photos.  A like and a comment will be appreciated.  I still have some previous travel backlog from Switzerland to post so I hope you can come back next time or better to FOLLOW ME.  Cheers! 

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Glitters in Black Gold

This is in response to the Daily Post: GLITTER

Fortune is like glass - the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken. - Publilius Syrus

True.  Be careful what you wish for, for it may come true… it depends on who you are or who you will become to be when you get what you want in life.  Some become greedy and want more.  Some are just practical and just taking the opportunity as it comes and some just think that their life will never change be it good or “best” here in the land of opportunities.  Come to think of it… this is not permanent.

Life as an expat here in the desert with full of black gold (Oil) can come as a fairy tale to many.  From having lavish brunches, villas that look like a mansion, fast cars & so many benefits that included in salary package that you never had before back home.

Fame and fortune never stays for long. Beware… life is like a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel that goes up and down.  Not all that glitters are gold as what the old saying goes.

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Global village, Dubai. vinneve photo

Perhaps it is best to save some for rainy days.

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Destination: Zurich, another home.

 

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Zurich old town

Now may I continue my blog about our mid-year holiday (sorry backlog) from my husband’s turf this time.  From the south of Switzerland, see this for LUGANO and LOCARNO for the past blog. We head back to our base which is in north central of Switzerland famously known for as Zurich.  Just a few hours near the border to Germany.  Obviously, they speak German here but their dialect is Swiss German which has a softer tone and every City like Bern (Capital of Switzerland) also have their own. I have been to both but will focus about Zurich for now.  Our holiday was not about being a tourist.  We came because we have families and friends there so I will show you around as what the locals usually do and where they usually go.

We came back just in time for Swiss National Day (August 1st) and it became very festive late afternoon to midnight.  The feeling is similar to New Year Eve’s party! so yes there was some food stalls, overflowing of beers, live bands, dancing and fireworks and Swiss lanterns for children to hold on to.  We went to 2 different locations and the one below are the place we have stayed until midnight.  It was a different feeling as I am the only one in the family who is not a Swiss… yet.

 

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bonfires for Swiss Nat’l Day, vinneve photo

Lots of parks around Zurich and this one is just 10-15 minutes away from our place near Uetliberg (famous mountain and park with a panoramic view of the entire city of Zurich and the lake). 

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Wildnispark Langenberg, vinneve photo

 Wildnispark Zurich Langenberg is huge and good for people who loves to walk plus there is a mini zoo everywhere and perhaps judging by the looks of the photo below you now understand why “wildnispark“?  The wild deer freely roaming the other side of the mountain and just a short fence that separating them to us while walking.  Even the bears are just a few metres away from us.  We got lucky they came out from the forest (as last time 3yrs+ ago we didn’t see any of them) and now the mama bear have some baby bears to show off!  😉

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Wild deer on the way to the other side of the park, vinneve photo

Now since I mentioned about Uetliberg, here are some photos from our previous travel. Photos may not do justice to it as I have an old simple digital camera on hand.  Please click this LINK so you will know more about it from their official website.

I have a fear of heights so I didn’t dare to go up on this tower.  My brave son and his grandpa did though although I may say it is hard on the knee for an old man to go up this high using just a stairs… it shows how much his love for his grandson to please him.  Below pics are some of the beautiful sights even on the ground if you don’t want to try going up in the tower.

Do not worry as there are some restaurants from the bottom of the hill as well as up there.  You can either go by train or by car to go to this place.  

It is really better to travel around Switzerland with some locals so you will enjoy some tourist spot but not crowded and something that is not usually on the tourist priority list.  Come and follow me as I still have some more to post about Zurich, Basel and Zug.

For the meantime, why don’t you check and click the link to my other post around Switzerland on this LINK1, LINK2 & LINK3.  Thanks and see you again next time.

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Aesthetic beauty near Taal Volcano

This is in response to the Daily Post Challenge via Daily Prompt: Aesthetic.

“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.”  by Alfred North Whitehead.

Before going up north as per my earlier post under this LINK, we head down to the South of Luzon.  TAGAYTAY is one of my favorite destination in the Philippines.  The second summer capital of the Country.  The beauty of nature speaks for itself.  

Can you see that?  It is the 2nd active volcano in the Philippines see Wikipedia. So many stories about this volcano that killed thousands of people as early as 1572.  Even my late mother told me a gruesome story of what she knows from the story passed from generation to generations.  A volcano inside the lake within a lake. Interesting.

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Taal Volcano, Tagaytay

We visited Museo Orlina as I always love museums and have been to many Countries that are famous for their museums so finally I saw what this can offer.  It is a simple one but it is enough for the family even with kids to explore the grounds and it’s art inside and out. 

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Museo Orlina exterior facing the volcano, vinneve photo

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Museo Orlina garden, vinneve photo

These are just a few to show you.  You better go and see it for yourself to really enjoy the beauty of  Mr. Ramon Orlina art, it is better to see to appreciate it. There’s also some vintage cars in the garage and perhaps not many people know about it as it is hidden underground.  Here you go!

Aesthetic and natural beauty indeed.

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My Daily & Photo Challenges thru our holidays in Baguio, Philippines.

ANTICIPATION of pleasure is a pleasure in itself” by Sylvia Townsend Warner.

This is true.  Just a few days before we go to our holiday back to my birth Country I was dreaming of going here and there. Somehow by day dreaming about it I can almost feel the pleasure of what I hope to expect.  Hoping that it will be better than before. Well, sort of.

I was seeing myself RELAXING and just overlooking this beautiful surrounding, eating warm freshly made strawberry taho, (silken tofu with syrup either with strawberries or the original vanilla caramelized brown sugar plus a sago. Taho is rich in protein that you can find a vendor where there’s a gym nearby and of course around residential areas mostly in the morning) see this LINK for a photo, sweet purple yam (Ube), and other fruits, smelling some fresh air… 

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Then suddenly I have to wake up to the realization that, hey! it’s a holiday and so more people abound everywhere and we cannot do anything about it unless we go to a secluded spot where few people can go but alas! we chose to be in a famous place for tourists and families so yes, here it is folks.. people everywhere!!

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crowds @Mines View Park, vinneve photo

Going up north to BAGUIO after X’mas I thought will be a good idea but no, people are still in holiday mood and tourists go to the same place that I want to go too!  It’s been a long time since I have been in these places and while the bus was CROSSING the bridge I found some interesting view.  Happy children playing, swimming, FLOATING in the little hole that’s left of the lake or river I am not sure of as it is now being reclaimed.  Nevertheless, it is always nice to watch outside the window and see the landscape that I already forgot and some interesting people along the way as our bus trek up the winding road to the mountains.

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kids swimming, vinneve photo

While walking to go to Mines View Park, I have noticed this tree that was UNSEEN by many.  An art delicately carved into it seems to express its freedom. I guess not many people are looking up to see it but I did and took the opportunity to capture it though may not be in the best light to show it.

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Art tree, vinneve photo

Lot’s of interesting photos of old houses tucked behind some bushes and even an eerily looking abandoned house that INVITING you to look what’s inside if you dare!

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abandoned house?..vinneve photo

Anyway… at least something that is worth my time and effort to finally come to these places though it’s crowded, it eased away from the uneasiness when the family is around enjoying the AMBIANCE and seeing them happy, cherishing the moment together till the next holiday to come.

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On top of Mines View Park, vinneve photo

Thanks for viewing!

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Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

via Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

I always see a quote “FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE” somewhere, anywhere.  But what if the place you thought was a happy place is not within your reach at the moment though you can choose to be in that happy place but would it be really a happy place without someone to share it with?

THIS WAS MY HAPPY PLACE.  Sometimes it is not that easy to stay if you are alone and your obligations place somewhere else.

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AKL City, vinneve photo

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PIHA, AKLNZ, vinneve

Current Place: A place for an adventure, Luxuries in life, Opportunities & feeling ambivalent at the same time.  A mixture of everything.  Still finding my place…

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pinterest.com

 

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Locarno, warmest town in South Switzerland

Finally,  I am writing this late post now from previous travels last July and August as I have been so busy the past few months and so I can only participate in some quick and easy Photo Challenges, see previous post on this LINK and this LINK and so on, if you care to know more then you will make me happy if you all like it.

LOCARNO, is located in South Switzerland under the canton / region of TICINO just like LUGANO (see the LINK 1 & LINK 2 previous post to learn more)…  It is obvious that from the name itself it sounds Italian and yes, they speak Italian on that side of the border.  It is very near Italy as I make way traveling to MILAN as per this MLINK1 & MLINK2 I hope you would like those posts too!

Since we have a very long family vacation so it is a must that we rent a house to cater big families and that means 3 families in one house! Yep, must be a big house indeed.  But unfortunately, in Locarno, it is harder to book in advance for 3 families and we only get good for 2 families.  Just us and the parents in law, cheers! 😉

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View from our veranda

And now without any further ado… here are some beautiful photos we took while there.

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Veranda view while having breakfast, lunch or dinner. Vinneve photo.

You can see another angle of this church at the edge of the rock on my other post thru this LINK.  Feel free to check on it while you are here.  Click the photos to enlarge it.

If you are in Locarno you better visit ASCONA.  It is a small town under Locarno.  Some of you will probably have seen this place if you are fond of watching movies in cinema and thinking like “I wanna go there!” just like me haha!

Look how nice the place is for tourist though I am not sure if the residents will like it since it may be too crowded for them but good for the economy!  A long time ago, my parents-in-law said that people who visit here MUST wear formal clothing for dining or just strolling beside the bay view or browsing some antique and art shops in every alley.  Good thing they have changed it now to accommodate the modern generation as you well know nowadays, some tourist are just happy to stroll around in short shorts etc.  But never fear…I am always ready for that as I know Switzerland can be unpredictable.

I hope you have enjoyed some photos and thanks for your time reading and/ or browsing! Please be with me for the next post (when I have the time) about Zurich as we finished traveling from the South to go to North of Switzerland and around the City of Zurich. You can see most of our travels from the Category: Travel and Leisure OR browse my other categories for older posts.  Come travel with me slowly but surely 🙂  Thanks heaps!  Ciao!

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Milan: Duomo, Castle Cairoli & Beyond

Milan is known for being a shopping destination and all fashion enthusiasts know about this! See this LINK to read my earlier post about it… But there is more than just shopping in Milan. There are a lot of yummy foods around but I am not a food blogger so I cannot describe in an eloquent word all the foods that I gulped, sorry.  I am more excited about traveling!  Yipppeee!! 🙂

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Duomo, Milan Italy, vinneve photo

First of all…let me remind you, it will be crowded especially if you go in the month of July and August like I did.  But if you don’t mind the crowds and are looking for some SALE and good weather then you will come at the right time. 🙂

Intricate details of Duomo. What is Duomo means? well according to my fave Wikipedia, it derives from the Latin word “Domus” means house or as a cathedral it means “house of God” or domus Dei. 

 

Found some interesting places while walking around near the Duomo.  All these streets and roads lead to a Park, Museum, and some restaurants hiding behind some alleys.  I even met a new friend that helped me find my way when I seem lost (perhaps it was written on my face how lost I was haha!).  Well, at least there is somebody new to visit again next time around aside from my cousins.  It pays to walk around I tell you. 😉

Seek and you shall find… 

Castle Cairoli (Sforza Castle or Castello Sforzesco) some called it as it is near the Metro (Cairoli station). I have been here many times and everytime people can’t stop clicking their cameras.  If you have a wild imagination you can imagine the life in the 14th Century! see below how it looks like before.  Amazing isn’t it?

Wikipedia.org

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=306503 .  See LINK.

There’s a Park and I warn you that it may be a long walk.  Be prepared and have your bottle of water, a towel if you like to work out your tan or simply walk and walk.

There are some more photos but I think it is better for you to see it yourself to really see the beauty of each building and places.  Now I leave you a quote, hope you like it.

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quotesgram.com

After Milan… I went back to my family waiting on the Southern part of Switzerland to continue our family holidays for the month of July and August 2016. Hope to see you next time reading my post about LOCARNO.  For LUGANO see this LINK to read about it and another LINK here.  Otherwise see below (scroll down) “Related” topics for more post.  I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for your time! 

Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

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Photo Challenge: H2O in the Middle East

via Photo Challenge: H2O

This is in response to the Photo Challenge: H2O

I thought it would be nice to showcase some beautiful places I been to with water background.  I have read it somewhere that if you dream about water it can symbolize obstacles or deep depths of whatever you are going through right now.  But it is matter of you overcoming it and a fight to win!

I would like to show you some beautiful places around the Middle East with a body of water “H2O” around them.  Let me know what you know about these Cities by commenting.  Cheers!

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Al Ain Zoo, Abu Dhabi UAE. vinneve photo

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Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi fronting Yas Viceroy, vinneve photo

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DUBAI, Marina Bay, vinneve photo  

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DOHA, Qatar. vinneve photo

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Would you believe this is the DEAD Sea? It’s in Jordan. vinneve photo 

Unfortunately… I didn’t get any sea view photo from my previous travel to other Middle East destination.  Sometimes the weather (humidity or sandstorms) doesn’t permit you to take some nice photos!  So I leave you a nice quote below …

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pinterest.com

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Shopping destination: Milan, Italy

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, vinneve photo

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Exterior of the “Galleria”

Oh, MILAN !! What are you thinking when uttering this words?  Yes, shopping!

It’s a shopper’s delight, a fun and exciting place to go to especially in the month of July-August as I happened to find out by chance.  I always pay a visit (brief holiday) to my cousins living in Milan while I am in Europe, but it turned out it’s a strike two!  Yahoo!   🙂

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Yes, Indeed!!  from pinterest.com

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II.  A 18th Century structure, and yes! expensive restaurants and famous stores are inside.  It is easy to get to this place because of the METRO (Red/Green/Yellow lines subway) and so cheap compared to Switzerland, but of course, depends on where you are staying. Also, it is near the Duomo.  For me, I have to board a bus first then go to the Red Line. It will cost you as little as 1.50 euro for a day if you use it within 2 hours then you can even return home for just that single ticket including the bus, just don’t forget to scan it on first boarding.  For me as I have to go several times it’s best to buy a 24hrs which cost 4.50 euro for 24hrs. Like Switzerland, Milan Metro is also reliable and fast.

Of course, expect heaps of people around you and so this is not for weak heart or people who get dizzy easily because even in the early morning it tends to be overcrowded.  Also the fact that it is so hot at times!  You must have a bottle of water with you before you embarked yourself into a shopping spree.  It was up to 70% SALE on most items of all branded clothes in all department stores as far as your eyes can see.  So you can get a bargain from 3-8 euro only for basic shirts and blouses for most of Ladies & Men’s clothing etc.  This is a good bargain and the best gifts for X’mas for your loved ones.  Actually, buying clothes in a souvenir shop around are more expensive!

There is one sadness of it all, though… for every 5-10 steps, there are some beggars around asking for help.  Some are young and I wonder are they trapped and cannot go home?  Or is it just another stint and after dark, they are partying? haha!  Sorry can’t help to be cynical sometimes as it can happen you know.  Seriously, I cannot control my heart for feeling sorry for them (Oldies) and the last-minute I see I almost got drained of coins (I got heaps of them! Feel guilty of shopping without giving you know!) which are very important to have when traveling in a foreign Country not having English as their first language.  I happened to be a victim of not having a coin when I arrived the last time and yes, a handsome Italian student came to the rescue!  Otherwise, I will be in trouble bursting my bladder.  There you go for a tip.  🙂

Of course… Milan is not only for shopping.  Lots of architectural building and Museums and a Castle to see plus the Parks and yes foods!  Family in Switzerland loves Italian food by the way.  They are very grateful that Italian came to migrate and bring their dishes.

Before I go I’ll leave you another funny picture quote!  

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picturequotes.com

Next stop, Sightseeing around Milan on my next post.  Then back to Switzerland in Locarno so hope you stick around and wait for those.  

Grazie!

Photo Challenge: Edge. Sasso.

via Photo Challenge: Edge.  Sasso.

Madonna del Sasso.  Located in South Switzerland Orselina above Locarno, in the region of TICINO.  A famous place for pilgrimage, where in the year 1480 the Virgin Mary had appeared to the vision of Brother Bartolomeo d’ I vrea and was built 7years after that.

For more story behind this church,  please click this LINK  sitting at the edge of this sacred rock mountain.  Sasso means rock.  

 

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Madonna del Sasso-Orselina, vinneve photo

 

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Mt. San Salvatore, Lugano Switzerland

There is a cable train nearby to go up the mountain just a walking distance to Novotel Lugano where we have stayed before moving on to our holiday house with the whole families (mother in-law’s side).  You can click this LINK  from the previous post to know more.

Some men preferred to go UP by this cable train “Funicolare” one way and descend either with their mountain bike or by foot.    They must know what they are up to so Goodluck as it is really steep!  I do admire their strength and bravery!

To know more about going to this place please click this LINK.  There are some mountains you can also visit but we prefer this one at the time thinking we have our little boy with us.  

 

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On top, it’s worth it! vinneve photo

 

THE STREET VIEW ON TOP, LUGANO

 

Next stop… LOCARNO another beautiful place in South Switzerland Region of TICINO. See you again next time!  Ciao!

 

 

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Destination: Lugano, Switzerland

LUGANO is the largest town in the region of TICINO.  It’s in South Switzerland.

It is well loved by Italians who works and holidaying in this region.  It is a little more than an hour away from Milan via fast train.  You can check my previous post as you can view in this LINK about the hotel review closer to this town.  We finally went on our way to our final destination (holiday house you can rent but need to book early)  which is a beautiful house located on top of the mountain overlooking the gorgeous lake and spent weeks in bliss.  For more info please click this LINK.  I hope you too can discover the beauty of Lugano and you will not be disappointed.  

The photos speak for itself.  Enjoy!

Strolling along the pavement  towards the middle of the town, viewing the lake.

It is better to ride this little train to make a quick tour around so you know your whereabouts and decide where to get off.  We board it just across Novotel Lugano.

More to see and admire around the town and the Park nearby.

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View from the holiday house

It rained for a few days and we have seen a beautiful rainbow even doubles!

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Lugano, vinneve foto

Perhaps you can say… this is the “Lake house” 

 

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vinneve foto @lakehouse

 

There are some shops of course for shopaholics out there!  as well as many restaurants around town and even on top of the hill.  The alleys on top of the hills are similar to Italy (very narrow) and it takes a good driver to maneuver around the steep hill and zig zag roads so please be aware.

Next post will be about some FUN  in Lugano for all types of travelers!  

So see you again next time,  Tschuss! 😉

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Daily Prompt: Complicated & Confused Switzerland vs. New Zealand

via Daily Prompt: Complicated

via Daily Prompt: Confused

Now that our long holidays are over… a piece of advice from some relatives and friends keep on bugging me and it is so hard to choose.  Really it is not that easy!

How can you choose between the HOME you come to love and missing so much and the other ONE that is very similar in looks yet far different in characters, values, and life but family wait?

Yes perhaps some of you who come to really know both Countries will find it hard as well to choose like me.  Both have their own merits and demerits.  It is almost poles apart in geography and I find it is indeed CONFUSING and/or COMPLICATED.

Perhaps I will wait until I get a sign from above?.. WISH.

NEW ZEALAND

SWITZERLAND

So now I leave you the quote below… Up to you if you agree.  Feel free to give some nice comment and let me know how you well know these two beautiful Countries and which one will you choose and why?

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My Daily Post Challenges in Switzerland

I am currently away on holiday with the family and visiting relatives from one Country to another, and I thought it’s better for me to do some unique way of joining the Daily Post Challenge.  I have some good themes that I specifically chosen and will connect to our holidays.  I hope you will approve and enjoy some photos and makes you dream and start to wanderlusting beautiful places on Earth.  It is never too late.

July 30th Admire – Please click the link about the place for more info.

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Zurich on top of the hill of LINDENHOF where it all began…

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Paintings from the outside walls of Fraumunster Church

July 28TH Unstoppable – These are the photos from our journeys via Regional (more stops) and fast train (express) and then finally to final destination in Zurich, Switzerland.

July 26th Shared Journeyswith families or VIP are the best!

July 25th Sanctuary – for me a place that makes you feel at home.

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Locarno, Switzerland

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July 24th Clock

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St. Peter Church

July 22nd Cherry on Top

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@Zurich

There isn’t any cherry on top literally BUT it made our holidays more especial by celebrating a birthday even it means eating a cake three times within a month as we celebrated it with relatives in 3 different places.   

July 21st Carefree  

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Birds have freedoms too!

July 19TH The Things We Leave Behindare the places that marks some happy moments into our holidays.

July 19th FEASTyour eyes with some burst of colours everywhere

July 14th STORM

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After the STORM in Locarno

We spent some family times in Locarno and though the storms came you can still see the beauty of the place.

July 13th Journey  

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Our late afternoon train journey from Locarno to Zurich

We are continuing our journeys and exploring the beautiful Country of Switzerland.

Thanks for your time!

The Door’s Castle

This is in response to The Daily Post:  The Story Behind a Door.

 

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Larnach Castle, Dunedin New Zealand

We were here in June 2014.  Just me and my small buddy which is my son.  Had a great tour around the grounds and the castle but yes in every castle there is a story behind a closed door.  So much history and it’s up to you which version of the story you prefer.

If you like Paranormal then click this LINK to know about what is happening in this beautiful small Castle in  a breathtaking surrounding.

If you just want a normal/ regular tour and history then click this LINK.  Surely you will not be disappointed and perhaps if New Zealand is on your bucket list then you would not want to miss this chance to go to Dunedin and  see for yourself the famous castle.  The more the merrier so you can also enjoy strolling around the grounds with your friends or loved ones. I tell you, there are so many photo ops in this location. Ehem! Peter Jackson? 

If you just want information or other FACTS then click this LINK.  What else? but my favorite Wikipedia.

At the end of the tour… stroll around the garden (top hill) and appreciate the simple beauty outside.

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At the hill, garden, Larnach Castle Dunedin, NZ

 

Thanks for your time!  Until next time 🙂

 

 

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Arts at the (Emirates) Palace

PORTRAIT OF A NATION was on display when we decided to visit the Palace finally!  I was excited as the last time I tried to visit we didn’t get in without any prior booking to a hotel or one of their many restaurants.  I guess there was an event going on that time and/or fully booked and cannot accommodate an additional guest without permission. So here we go and see how luxurious it can be to visit and admire the Palace from top to bottom and how nice it will be to dine here, though I warn you to bring a bigger wallet if you get my drift?  Anyway… why not splurge once in a while since you are here in the luxurious Abu Dhabi emirates!

FYI for Abu Dhabians or visitors … there will be a new photography exhibition about retracing the footsteps of the Bedouin women and the journey is retold through the arts.  Please visit: womenheritagewalk.com  Or just go and visit the Palace from May 31st to June 14th.  

There are some great details that my poor old camera cannot capture so bear with me.

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The Ceiling!

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Different soil from the 7 Emirates

We saw a lot of interesting artworks on display but I cannot post it all here.  It is better to see to believe and you will appreciate it yourself.

THE GROUNDS OF EMIRATES PALACE

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Beautiful landscape & fountains surrounded with high rise buildings!

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Comfy seating outside

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So many lights!

 

 

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Enjoy walking with your loved ones beneath the lamp posts!

Thanks for viewing and see YOU again next time!  🙂

 

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Daily Prompt: Whisper

This is in response to The Daily Post: Whisper.

“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper.  Life’s always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a SCREAM…”  by Oprah Whinfrey

Missing you a lot…. wish it is easy.

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This is TRUE.

So I better end this with….