Sunday, June 24, 2007


i see some questions...time for some answers!

how much did i spend for my 2 wk trip?

about 3k++ on air ticket, rail pass and (decent enough) accomodation. if inclusive of shopping expenses...then...hmm...let's not go there. :P

actually, it's possible to tour europe cheaply. hostels r usu comfy enough, and if there's a kitchen u can save on food by cooking your own meals (either bring instant noodles n canned food from home or buy from supermart there). from personal experience, 4 is the best number of pple to travel together, coz 1stly, can save on accomodation, and 2ndly can play card games on long train rides. :) also the 4 of u can implement a buddy system to take care of each other (and belongings). 4 is not too big a group, so moving around is not difficult; neither is it too small a group - hanging out together in a foreign land is much safer with 3 friends than with 2 or 1.

when travelling in france (or anywhere for that matter), if u do buy train tickets, check your tickets at the counter when u buy them. check that the ticket is for the correct number of adults, to the correct destination. it's better to be extra sure (and endure the stares of impatient counter crew and people queueing behind), than find out just before boarding the train that there's something wrong with your ticket (which happened to me, and that was NOT a wonderful experience).

just thot i'd share some tips with ya...if u have any, feel free to share them with me and the other visitors of this blog k? always a pleasure to chat about travel... ;)

What camera did i use?

my pics are taken with Panasonic Lumix FX01...i'm no guru at photography, just pick up tips and skills along the way from experience and by (secretly) learning from the professionals. but i must say this camera can reallie capture the rich colours of beautiful scenaries, and the best thing about it is it's wide angle lens, which allows u to take more into a picture. this feature is especially useful when u wanna take a panoramic picture or one of a big monument or building.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

final chapter: paris

there are many words to describe her. and no words that can really describe her. that's paris. i can't bring myself to fall head over heels in love with her, neither can i say for sure that i hate her so much i never wanna see her again. it's a city full of contradictions. rich people with branded bags and beggars on the streets. bright city lights and dark dingy alleys. snobbish sales people and helpful passers-by. a mystery.

ah, yes, i am but a tourist. of course i'll pay the obligatory pilgrimage to one of the most easily recognisable landmarks in the world. the queues there were much too long to entice me to go up the tower tho...

this is a very nice covered arcade along boulevard montmarte. it's lined with many interesting shops that look like they haven't changed much since decades ago...

a shop selling miniature handicrafts!! aah!

one thing i absolutely loved about paris: laduree macaroons. so light yet rich...heavenly. pop one into your mouth, and u'll forget that u paid 1.30 euros (or SGD 2.60) for that fraction-of-a-second satisfaction. check out their official website.

if u do go to paris, a nice place to visit is the montmartre area (accessible via metro station Blanche or Abbesses), where the movie Amelie was shot. this cafe is the one where Amelie worked.

well well...these entries pretty much sum up (in a very summarized manner) my 2 wk trip to switzerland and france.

*dreams* where to next.......?

cont'd from previous post

chapter 4: lyon

lyon's famous Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere

this is what i like best about lyon. everything u see on this huge wall is not real. yep, it's a painting! so cool right. the people standing on balconies are famous lyonnaise who've done the city proud. check out the little prince and his author...

ah, the bouchon. a bouchon is a restaurant that serves traditional lyonnaise cuisine, which, to the uninitiated taste bud, may not be the most delectable meal. but it is a very interesting and unique experience. the one we went to is called Chez Paul, quite famous i think. our meal began with starterS, with a capital S coz there were so many starters and i didn't quite know what i was eating, cept that there were beans and sweetened beetroot and salad and lots of stuff made from pork. the main course i chose was this dark brownish pork dish that resembled chinese food...tasted much better than it looked. and then there were a whole lot of after meal desserts, including a cheese that tasted so bad i almost threw up after taking one small bite. i remember this sourish apple thingy that was pretty good, but the most memorable dessert was this whole jar of sugar cubes soaked in greenish hard liquor.

looks harmless? well...i thought so too. so i popped one into my mouth, and in an instant started to tear coz the liquor burnt my tongue and the heat rushed down my throat and up onto my cheeks. the sensation was...agonizingly addictive. haha. so i took one more. according to a swiss couple sitting beside us, this little snack aids digestion, which is especially useful after a heavy meal. the kind man advised me not to take too many, in case i, erm, LS.

chapter 5: annecy

my most most favourite place in france. away from the complexities of big cities, alive with nostalgic charm. enchanting.

there was a street market on my 1st day in annecy, and i told myself, this place is so beautiful, i simply must buy something to bring home! so glad i found this hand-made miniature tea set for 6 euros:

chapter 6: Nice (and Cannes and Monaco)

how nice was Nice? well, the beach was nice, so was the old town. but there's a lot of construction going on in the main streets, making them very dusty and messy, which was a huge disappointment. apparently they're building a tram system in the city, but (according to the lady at our hotel) they stumbled upon some archaeological findings in the process, and construction had to be put on hold indefinitely. so, if u're planning to head to Nice, maybe u should wait till the construction works are completed.

never knew the sea can really be so blue...

visited cannes the day after the last day of film fest 07...hoped to catch a glimpse of some stars but didn't...

monaco. perfect holiday destination for the rich and filthy rich. for the non-rich like myself, could only afford a day trip there. grand prix was 2 days ago when i was there...a walk along the narrow and winding race track and it was obvious why monaco is one of the toughest places to race.

something interesting about monaco: because the city is built on a hilly region, lifts are a mode of transport. for example, step into this public lift and it'll take u to a street called boulevard de belgique. so fun! almost like something in a futuristic sci-fi flick.

last chapter: paris.

to be cont'd...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

zurich. luzern. interlaken. lyon. annecy. nice. paris.

had no idea so much happened while i was away. nevertheless, am happy that everything seems to be getting back on track...

thanks to some of you for your interest in my holiday photos! :) haha i took so many...think there're about 700 plus pics? quite impossible to post all of them here, so spent a bit of time selecting my favourite few to share...

as described in my last post, switzerland and france are beautiful in very different ways. switzerland's beauty is natural, breathtaking, refreshing, welcoming. alpine peaks, pristine snow, green hills, blue blue skies, peaceful lakes...the picture postcards aren't lying, switzerland IS that beautiful, if not more beautiful when you see her with your own eyes.

france, to me, is stunningly and proudly beautiful, her beauty very much historical and man-made (lavish churches, magnificent monuments, well-groomed gardens etc). of course, she possesses natural beauty too, like the pebble beaches and blue blue seas of Nice, and the picturesque Lake Annecy.

personally, extravagance is less appealing. i prefer beauty that is unpretentious and amiable. like a girl-next-door. but who am i to pass judgements? i'm just an insignificant passer-by... :)

oh well. picture time!

chapter 1: zurich

being the 1st stop, zurich wasn't as boring as some people fact, i love every bit of it! :) lake zurich was lovely, the streets were adorable, churches were splendid...and even the weather was wonderful!

took a cruise on Lake Zurich and went to a quaint little town called Rapperswil (pronounced "rappers-vil"). it's known as the town of roses, and there's a pretty rose garden which, i can imagine, will be glorious when all the roses are in full bloom. unfortunately, when i was there only some roses have blossomed...

haha...just had to try and take some artistic pics when the setting is so perfect.

had a taste of some serious cheese fondue on the 1st nite in zurich. hmm...not quite the scrumptious fare i had expected, but still pretty good! fresh bread dipped in hot melted cheese on a cold breezy nite...heavenly!

if u do visit zurich, check out cafe conditorei schober. it's a beautiful place that serves REAL hot chocolate. one of the best i've ever tasted. which is why i didn't feel the pinch even tho one cup costs CHF7.50 (which is 8 plus SGD).

chapter 2: luzern

out of the 3 places i went to in switzerland, luzern has to be my favourite.

dinner by the river...

from luzern, took a day trip to mount titlis (thank u evelyn for recommending it). being surrounded by swiss alpine splendour is not just a feast for the eyes, it's an emotionally moving and unforgettable experience...

our very own Mr Snowman! made with snow, coins and 2 pens! haha...other tourists asked if they could take pics with honoured.

chapter 3: interlaken

day trip from interlaken to the world renowned jungfraujoch. how the swiss actually built a railway track to the highest peak in europe is something that impresses and amazes and puzzles me.

taking the train up to jungfraujoch was a reminder of one of life's important lessons: sometimes, it's not just the goal that matters, the journey there is just as valuable.

sent a postcard each to Mr Snuggie and Yuanyuan to tell them "wish you were here..."

on the way back to interlaken, went on a little adventure of our own to find the huskies...

next stop, lyon, france.

Friday, June 01, 2007


greetings from paris!

switzerland and france are both beautiful places...but in very different ways. will share pics and stories from my trip when i'm back! it's only been about 2 wks, but i reallie miss singaporean food...i want chicken rice, fried rice, nasi lemak, wanton mee and hokkien mee............

meanwhile, hope everyone's doing great and "see" ya on air on tue!