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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!

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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! 😉

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 🙂

 

 

Destination: Jordan – religious journey or just a trip?

I am really behind in doing this post but I think it is a better time to do it now since The Kingdom of Jordan is now in the limelight and I want some readers to know how generous this Country to help millions of refugees from Syria.  The other way to show appreciation and to help their countrymen is for more tourists to come and enjoy what this desert Kingdom has to offer.

Some of my dearest readers already have seen my post about the HOTEL in Amman that I reviewed but for some who doesn’t… please feel free to click this LINK.

Now for activities that we crammed up in one day, as my husband has a meeting the next day so we haven’t seen enough and hoping we come back again and finally see PETRA.

Here are our activities that we planned according to location and nearest to each site starting just after breakfast and finishing up just in time for dinner at the hotel.

MADABA TOWN – (Wikitravel.org) A small town in Centra Jordan, located South of the capital Amman.  It is best known for “Madaba map” a 6th-century mosaic depiction of Jerusalem and parts of the Holy Land.

St. George Church – A 19th Century Greek Orthodox church.

MOUNT NEBO – This is where prophet Moses died. I feel lucky that I never thought I can come here in my lifetime but here we experienced it and feel the sacredness of it.  It is an important place for Christian pilgrimage.

Mt.Nebo as seen from the East photo credit:Wikipedia

In the Bible

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land…. Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendents.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day on one knows where his grave is. –Deuteronomy 34:1-6     (words quotes credit to : sacred-destinations.com)

The Stones and the surroundings on top of the mountain.

Then last we headed for DEAD SEA (It is the lowest point in the World at 1,269ft. below sea level) as you can see the landscape changes as we drive further.  

At last! seeing the sea itself is no different to any other beach visually as it is stunning especially on a weather like this but the fact that you will FLOAT even if you don’t know how to swim is amazing!  Some people put some mud all over their face and body before going to the sea, as they say, it is much better to put it on because of the high content of the salt in it. They said the sea has also the ability to cure several diseases especially skin diseases.

File:Dead-Sea-Floating.jpgThe hypersalinated waters of the Dead Sea make it easy to float and almost impossible to sink, according to Wikitravel.  Photo credit to Wikitravel.org

Then finally, we bid farewell to the place and hope to come next time!  On the way we turned back to go to the hotel, we found this lone camel happily munching its dinner.

I hope I inspired you to come and visit the Kingdom of Jordan.  Thanks for reading!  🙂

 

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vinneve photo, most photos are mine unless it stated and credited

 

 

The Souk: Qaryat Al Beri

Have you been here yet?  Please check their website here for more info.

Last Thursday we came here just to do something as most of the roads were closed due to Qasr Al Hosn Festival (will post about this soon!) and we don’t intend to be with so many crowds on the 1st day of this festival so we decide to go the opposite way.  Good thing it is only 10 minutes away from our place.

Here are some of my photos and I hope these will speak volumes otherwise forgive my amateur photo shots as I only rely on my Samsung smart phone.  For me, it is the handy way to make some shots.  By the way… if you don’t know yet, local people are not allowed to be photographed without their consent.  But on festivals, if they are dressed for the event or part of the event and lots of people taking a photo without them saying No then it’s as good as “Yes, hurry up!” be done with it.  As you can see I tried my best to take an empty place to avoid any issue.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  🙂

I only took some photo that interests me so there are more to see so better check it out yourself and enjoy!  Please click the photo to enlarge.

INTERIORS

SHOPS

THE LOUNGE

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THE GROUNDS

AND THE VIEW!!! Beautiful isn’t it? nice to dine outside and so many restaurants to choose from.  So perhaps an idea for Valentines?  ehem!

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Beautiful sunset, vinneve photo

 

That’s Abu Dhabi and more!

Next will post about the Qaryat Al Hosn Festival, still ongoing up to Feb.13th. Please do come if you are in Abu Dhabi so you may enjoy the local culture and everybody are invited.  Just pay Aed10 per person from 5yrs old UP, with 2 activity passes included (you can use for local foods) then lots for Kids activities + petting zoo + camel & horse rides.  For more info please check this LINK.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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Holiday Photos “City Style”

I see it approaching… the much awaited deeply desired… LONG WEEKEND!!  Yipeeee!!     (sourced: quoteshunger.com)

That is the good thing living in the Middle East particularly in UAE as we have so many different EID holidays and it adds up, can last up to a week!

Abu Dhabi is only less than 2 hours drive by car.  Lots of people think that Dubai is the Capital of UAE but sorry it is actually Abu Dhabi, a much quieter and so-called “Garden City” as you will forget this is a desert country!  Unlike in Dubai, it is more of shining towers and night-life and crowds.  Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have their own beautiful resorts too, as they boast both deserts and nice beaches mind you! Incredible isn’t it?  You may think it is all a desert but nope you are mistaken.

If you want to stroll around (preferably at night in summer but it is now Spring so all good not too hot) better have your sandals/jandals or comfy shoes with you as it can be a long walk.  It is easy to get lost in what you see and find something you like that you forget the time or even get lost.

Dubai City, vinneve photos

Dubai City (Burj Khalifa), vinneve

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Marina Bay Walk @night
Souk Al Bahar, vinneve photosSouk Al Bahar, (Market Middle Eastern style) vinneve photos

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Souk Middle Eastern Style, vinneve photos

Dubai Mall @the back overlooking the dancing fountain and Burj Khalifa on the other side, vinneve photos

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Souk inside

Mercato - Italian style shopping mall in Dubai

Mercato

Mercato mall – they have some shows to entertain the whole family as below pics

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Souk inside (above) Mercato (beside) this is an Italian style shopping mall in its unique Rennaisance architecture.

And finally after 2 days of action it is time for us to relax and go home.

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There are still a lot of road works everywhere.  Demands vs Supply.