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Summer Fun – Beach time!

DESTINATION:  Calatagan, Batangas PHILIPPINES 

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My birthday present to myself… is coming back to my birth Country of course you must experience THE BEACH.

Looks like Maldives but nope, this is from my province but the place is near my cousin where she settled for life after getting married.  I bet you will spend a lot less money here compared to Maldives!

BEACH 1:  STILTS

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Stilts PH, vinneve foto

One thing I learned from coming back.  I am fortunate.  I must give thanks.

Philippines is not known for doing tourist commercial ads on TV, unlike other Asian neighboring Country.  Actually, most tourists come flocking here just by the word of mouth.  No need to spend millions for tv ads.  I also say, do not judge until you get there and experience it yourself.  The beauty of nature, of people so warm and friendly.

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STILTS front beach, vinneve

The beauty of nature continues to amaze me wherever in the World I may be.  I say it is better you get out of your comfort zone so you know where will you be most happy and decide from there.  Otherwise… you will only see a little of this World. ENJOY!!!

BEACH 2:  LAGO DE ORO

We choose to spent our sunsets in this beach resort just a few minutes walking distance to my cousin’s house.  Beautiful isn’t it?  You can find it anywhere here in the Philippines.  You can also enjoy wakeboarding, banana boat & diving here!

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LagodeOrosunset, vinneve

Beautiful… and I am proud of my province BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES.

Until next trip!  See U all.  Cheers, PAALAM!!

 

 

 

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Destination: Metro-Manila

Very well said.

Some tourist cannot appreciate Manila that much because of what they perceived as chaotic but it is the same in Bangkok, and yes, I have been there myself many times.  So if you could understand the quote above then you will know what I mean.

Manila is the capital of the Philippines.  Having said that… when you arrived at the main airport which is now called NAIA whether terminal 1, 2, 3 or 4 they are actually within the border of City of Paranaque and Pasay City.  Manila actually is approximately 7 kilometers away from these airports. 

Metro-Manila is what you called the Cities and other municipalities around Manila. Yes, Manila is that big! so perhaps some tourist should not take for granted what it can offer.  It is more than just shopping, foods and night life destination.  Here are the places we have been to recently and hope you can appreciate it, I wish to visit Manila and it’s heritage place in Intramuros “the walled City” (my last visit was more than a decade ago!) one day and will post it here for sure, so watch this space.

ANTIPOLO City – East of Manila, Catholic pilgrimage site

MAKATI City – North West of Manila, financial and shopping hub

PASAY City – South of Manila

*Mall of Asia and it’s Bayside

 

*Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel

DAANG HARI & EVIA – Southern part of Manila between Cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Cavite or as LAMUCAR road.  It’s length is 15.1 kilometer

By the way, in case you don’t know yet, here in the Philippines, people put Christmas decorations as early as September.  That’s why we call it the “BER months”.  Weather starting to get a bit cooler especially at night and so the “X’mas spirit” is already in the air so they say when September comes.

Now you know a little bit of Metro Manila not just about Manila.  I recommend the blog site below if you want to know more about Manila and surrounding Cities.  She has been to a lot of places already living somewhere around Manila for sometime now as an American expat along with her family.  Check out her site you will learn more! 

https://www.amommabroad.com/

Thanks for reading and waiting for your comments!  Cheers!!

 

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New Year… new beginnings!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. - Oprah Winfrey

True, right?

Last year was not an exception…

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WINSOME 

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LIFE is like a winding roads…  be brave, be steady!

It is like a water that flows in the river… sometimes you have to go with the flow.

Be grateful.

Cheers to all of us!

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Holidays!! More fun with your love ones!

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I am here.  Where? in  The Philippines.

Christmas season is very much a big deal to all Filipinos and even half Pinoy wherever in the World they may be.  I am fortunate to often experienced it right here!  Families and yes extended families and more friends.  I like the excitement and events everywhere.  I like it that yes this is the season to be JOLLY.

Decorations everywhere….

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Enchanting places….

Happiness overload especially having fun with your loved ones!

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Moa ride, vinneve foto

BUT never forget… 

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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 HERE and part of Zurich  HERE.  Please check it out, it is much better to go to the main site CLICK HERE 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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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!

 

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.

 

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Schloss Frankfurt, vinneve foto

 

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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I now leave you to imagine and see for yourself a bit of Germany from my photos. I hope I gave you an insight into 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!