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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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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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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!