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Surprisingly! Azerbaijan

Not many people know this Country, they called “The Land of Fire”  unless you’re aware or good in history or geography like Mr. Hubby. Anyway, it’s never in our plan but yes surprisingly this place is AMAZING. So many things to discover!  If you for some reason can’t go to Europe, this is an affordable & nearest destination to be coming from the Middle East or Asia and AustralAsia or for us… we ticked all these boxes!

This is one of the best option when it comes to budget and travel time as it’s only 3 hours flight from Abu Dhabi.  Yes we came back just for a visit (school holidays) as hubby still working here.  It didn’t dissapoint us as this is our quick family bonding since March.

Azerbaijan is in Central Asia actually but the feeling when doing sightseeing is like you are in Europe! Amazingly I can see some similarities of every cobbled alleys to Italy and Switzerland. Their strip of boutique stores & hotels are similar to Paris as well as their hilly leafy side roads. Their building structures are both European and Russian influences as this Country used to be part of USSR. There’s more that surprises me is that majority is Muslims but they’re more open as if you are in Europe itself (within reason, no short shorts of course!) Sure, there are some women in their abayas but mostly they come from the neighboring Arab Countries and they also love to visit Baku according to some.  Their money is called Manat while in the UAE is Dirhams. So we always convert whatever we buy into dirhams to differentiate each and we found that some items like foods are a little cheaper in Baku than Abu Dhabi. Taxis are also cheaper but it’s not metered you need to haggle (just like in some parts of Asia!) or better ask the hotel reception or a local how much is the usual fare to and fro and agree with the driver before you enter their quaint cute violet cab or a converted normal car to a taxi. There’s Uber of course but we won’t be staying longer so if within 3-5 days we are ok to go and pay the usual taxis everywhere. They are either stationed outside hotels or tourist spots otherwise you can easily hail them anywhere. If you are planning to stay longer than 10 days asked the hotel or anybody to help you register otherwise you will be banned to come back here. I find that some tourist go Countries hopping because Azerbaijan is in the middle bordering Georgia, Armenia & Kazakhstan.

Baku City is surprisingly beautiful both old & modern architectural design adorned the City. Lot’s of historical sites within the City as well as the developed huge Milli Park where locals and tourist like us enjoyed strolling by day and night as there’s a huge modern mall and some themed Park fun activities for kids to enjoy! They have a very  long stretch of  bayside to stroll.  At night the Park becomes vibrant and lively with full of different colorful lights and landscapes and yes it’s relatively safe as long as you have your wits with you! It is interesting to discover Azerbaijan particularly Baku City. You must come to experience this yourself. Do not be afraid to explore other Countries you never heard before. Besides, there’s a blogger always there to discover it first so better check any information so you’re not totally ignorant about it.  I did, but I’m still surprised about this beautiful place, not to mention the Summer weather is so good. I can tolerate the peak hours heat and when the night falls it’s cooler that you may need a scarf or shawl otherwise it may be too cold for comfort especially strolling along the bay facing the Caspian Sea.  It can get very windy!

Stay tuned for more information on my next posts. I will feature every spots we went to and their significance. Thanks for the likes and comments if you have done so. Please click the FOLLOW button if you want to know more of our adventure Life as an expats, repats & travel addicts!

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Hotel review: Novotel Lakeside, Queenstown NZ

 

 

backside of hotel fronting the lake, vinnevefoto

This hotel serves like a second home to us almost every year visiting Queenstown since living in New Zealand and before we leave last 2015. Now back home of course we visited first our favorite place & stayed in this hotel. It’s good for families though we saw a lot of groups filling up a big tourist bus. The hotel is fronting the lake, playgrounds & the Park. If you are keen to walk thru this Park there’s a way to Botanical Park so it’s a long walk indeed but full of beautiful nature and fresh air.

Restaurant, Parks and the Lake, vinneve foto

The bedroom and the views.

NovotelLakesideQtwn, vinnevefoto

Balcony viewNovotel, vinneve

Just a walking distance to a lot of tourist spots and restaurants.  It can get pricey so better book early as comes peak seasons this hotel can get full. If you are a member of Accor like we do they give you free welcome drinks and can enjoy it beside the fireplace.

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QtwnGondola, vinnevefoto

I have so many photos but I cannot put it all in as I need to save my space for later.  So this is it for now.  Thanks for reading and checking out my blog, appreciated.  Cheers!!

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Traveling to Fronalpstock & Einsiedeln, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Fronalpstock cross1, vinneve foto

I am fortunate to be included in this family escapades from a new friend that I’ve met 2 years ago on a Swiss National Day. We kept in touch and now I’m back in Zurich.

Fronalpstock is under the region of Stoos-Muotatal, SCHWYZ.

The journey only took us just more than an hour and though the weather didn’t cooperate it was still a success for us getting where we want to be, had fun and getting to know more about each other.

Fronalpstock playground, vinneve foto

Farmhouse down below gondola to Fronalpstock, vinneve foot

Fronalpstock view, vinneve foto

As you can see, the beauty of nature is unmistakable. Fortunately, the weather cleared a bit for a few hours while our children played and after a while had our picnic lunch eaten. One thing I can’t do was to reach the top of the mountain with another cross planted on it while you can enjoy the view. I have a fear of heights! At first I wasn’t aware while busy taking photos then I was suddenly cannot walk anymore seeing how steep it was and you can roll your way down the mountain side! So yes, I retreated and just checked our kids that was in the playground.

After awhile, having our fill of natural wonders, we went back to the cable car or gondola and a funicular to descend from the mountain. It’s a bit expensive 75Sf for my son & I but yes it’s worth it.

Then on the way back home we went to visit the place Einsiedeln under its own region name EINSIEDELN-YBRIG-ZURICHSEE where the famous and beautiful monastery Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey was built/ established in the 10th century.

Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey, vinneve foto

Einsiedeln monastery, vinneve foto

Benectine Abbey, vinneve foto

Wishing water fountains, Einsiedeln, vinneve foto

It was a great day trip for all of us despite of the weather (on and off rain). If you are happened to be here somewhere in Switzerland or Zürich, I do recommend these places that the whole family can enjoy and of course even singles too!

I hope you enjoy my post and more to come while I’m still here. Please click the FOLLOW button so you can have an update from me going around the beautiful Switzerland 🇨🇭 . Tschuss!!

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Sunsets in 3 different World of mine

This is for the Weekly Photo Challenge : RISE/SET

You live in the image you have of the world. Every one of us lives in a different world, with different space and different time. Alejandro Jodorowsky 

I don’t know why but I don’t think I ever have a sunrise photo in my lifetime which is a pity! Perhaps it’s because I am a “night owl” than an “early bird”… but this one thing I know, wherever you are in the World, whether it’s sunset or sunrise, you make the life more colourful as long as there is LOVE and PEACE in your heart and yes, keep dreaming (but do something about it) to reach your goals!

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pinterest.com

Image result for sunset than sunrise quote

pinterest.com

 

 

 

Now presenting the three homes in my life through it’s sunset setting. Enjoy!

The Philippines, Batangas province SUNSET

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friends&sunset, vinneve

United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi SUNSET

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AD, vinneve 

New Zealand, Auckland SUNSET

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AklNZ, vinneve/Jun

Cheers! Thanks for reading or browsing… 😉

 

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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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Moa2,vinneve foto

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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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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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Atop Green things & more!

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenges:

ATOP

IT IS EASY BEING GREEN

My collections of photos of the places I have lived in the past and present.

THE PHILIPPINES

vinnevefotos

Picnic Grove, Tagaytay PH, vinneve foto

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on TOP of Sky Palace/ Peoples Park, Tagaytay PH, vinneve foto

NEW ZEALAND

A view from Skycity AKL

Mt Eden (extinct volcano), Auckland NZ, On top of SKYTOWER, vinneve foto

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Piha Auckland NZ, vinneve foto

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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on TOP of sand dunes LINK pls click, desert AD,UAE, vinneve foto

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@rooftop facing the Grand Mosque, AD UAE, vinneve foto

Thanks for viewing and LIKING!  A comment will be appreciated too.  Cheers! 🙂