Travel Thursdays: Monsoon in Kerela

It’s Travel Thursdays and I’ve decided to blog on old travels etc – just because I haven’t got new exciting travels to blog about. ¬†We are saving for it! ūüôā ¬†Kerela is known to be the most beautiful during monsoon season – frankly I was skeptical as to why this was so. ¬†After going during this season I can safely say it is a paradise for PHOTOGRAPHY but that is about it. ¬†I like going out, being on the move without an umbrella and my feet soaked. ¬†So it’s all about perspective I guess!

Tips on where to stay:

  • Marriott Kochi Hotel– simply because you can’t go wrong with a five star in a country which is relatively cheap to your currency! ¬†Our stay a night was equivalent to a 3 star in London or a BnB! ¬†We had a buffet breakfast each morning. ¬†The spread was fantastic. ¬†Hot indian breakfast was made fresh ūüôā ¬†For those of you who are not accustomed to indian food – there was continental and english breakfast too. ¬†But I always say in India do as the Indians do! ¬†OK so I say that in every country! ¬†Why not try to enjoy the country locally? ¬†We go there for a different anthropological feel so we might as well enjoy it!
  • Taj Hotel – We stayed here for a night. ¬†It’s much pricer that’s why just a night! ¬†The style of the hotel was rather Maharaja-Type. ¬†That translates into the olden Indian Kingdom Type of Hotels. ¬†The architecture was amazing. ¬†The food was pretty immaculate too! ¬†Another advantage was that there was a complimentary boat trip around the Arabian Sea to see the Chinese Fishing Nets.

FYI – The floods were shocking!!! ¬†One night a road we went by was completely flooded that our car came to a stop. ¬†The driver sent his son outside to look for an alternate route. ¬†The water was up to an average man’s knee. ¬†Fortunately, we weren’t stranded for long. ¬†We also passed by random villagers who were fishing with their hands in the floods and witnessed a big catch. ¬†A man was flapping around the huge fish!

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This picture shows the minor floods in the daytime.

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My favourite local Kerela food – the Kerela Prata! ¬†It’s a flour based bread that you dip in curry. ¬†It costs about 5 Rupees which is about 5 pence!! ¬†OMG. ¬†SO CHEAP. ¬†Always go to a country where your currency is king! ūüėČ

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Indian Masala Tea that is being ‘pulled’ by the man. ¬†Some countries call this “pulling-tea”. ¬†It’s amazing how they do this. ¬†If it were me I’d end up burning myself! ¬†I was in awe. ¬†We actually let ourselves in the kitchen and asked him if we could take a photo. ¬†I can’t speak the language as this is South India and I know Hindi and Punjabi which are both North Indian Languages. ¬†Luckily, he knew a bit of english ūüôā

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TAJ HOTEL: The hotel swimming pool which looks like an infinity pool.  The sea the hotel overlooks is the Arabian Sea.  It was beautiful!  I actually feel this picture does not do justice to the place.

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The Chinese Fishing Nets. ¬†Apparently Chinese people introduced the method of fishing to people in Kerela. ¬†I saw this from the complimentary boat ride ūüôā

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Sunset view of the Arabian Sea. ¬†It was simply breath-taking! ¬†ūüôā

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The hotel had south-indian cultural dance performances which were interesting to watch. ¬†We watched for a bit but didn’t really understand what was going on.

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My happy feet!! ¬†There was a really nice spa where I indulged in a relaxing pedicure. ¬†I chose a bright color to cheer myself up from the perpetual rain. ¬†But I guess that’s what monsoon is about! ¬†ūüėČ

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The morning buffet range was wonderful. ¬†These were the desserts! ¬†ūüôā

Must-see shopping mall:

  • Lulu Mall – it has recently opened and has major brand names and also has designer indian wear. ¬†I picked up outfits to wear for upcoming weddings!

Enjoyed my trip there as it was different from what I’m used to for a holiday. ¬†It also really made me appreciate the devloped lifestyle that we lead and often take for granted.

xx

B

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Travel Thursdays: A day sight-seeing in London

Hello all! ¬†ūüôā ¬†Although I live in London, there’s so much to it as a tourist. ¬†I have quite a few tips for visitors who plan to travel to London. I keep this list for all my guest and thought it would be worth sharing it for people planning to come here.

I’m a traveller who absolutely believes in maximising the day.

CARPE DIEM! 

Must-do-sights in London:

  • Tower Bridge (aesthetically beautiful compared to the London Bridge. ¬†But since there’s a song named after the London Bridge you might as well see it. ¬†It hasn’t fallen down yet FYI) ¬†Vegetarians – eat at Velo (Vietnamese Food) near the London Bridge (the closest tube station). ¬†It is fantastic! It also accepts the TasteCard which makes it tastier haha!
  • London Eye – huge ferris wheel that should be known as the wheel of fortune. ¬†I wish I came up with that phrase but I can’t take credit for it ūüėČ ¬†Heard it on a tour where the guide was stressing on the ridiculous amount of value it wheels in (ok that was my own pun there! hahaha!)
  • Big Ben – ¬†It’s not that big. LOL ¬†We happened to walk right past it to be honest.
  • Westminster Abbey – where all the kings have been crowned. ¬†Beautiful buildings!
  • M&M World – ¬†My definition of heaven. ¬†It smells great and puts you in a positive mood. ¬†I take all my guest there ūüôā ¬†It’s in Piccadily Circus.
  • Go on the hop-on-hop-off bus and view everything from a higher angle. ¬†It’s best to actually use it as a 2 hour guided tour rather than hop off it. ¬†I’ve done this twice and I preferred using it as a guide as I felt I made my money’s worth. ¬†You can see all the sites from here including St. Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and everything I’ve mentioned.
  • Use the tube, buy an oyster card. ¬†The Oyster Card caps itself – so you can hop on and hop off different tube stations. ¬†This is the best way to cover all the major sites in the city by foot.
  • Westfield Mall – has all the major shops without the push-and-shove in Oxford Street.
  • Harrods – ¬†Use it as a sight-seeing mall where you can take photos. ¬†Go to the ground floor where there is a memorial of Princess Diana.
  • Buckingham palace – ¬†I have been for the changing of guards once but I don’t find it worth while to wait in the crowd. ¬†I would rather watch it on youtube. ¬†However – the palace is gorgeous and you should definitely take a stroll to along Green Park to the Palace. ¬†If only I were invited in for afternoon tea ūüėČ
  • Cool Britannia – Best shop on Piccadily for souvenirs and touristic photos!
  • Walk, Walk, Walk. ¬†People who use cabs don’t explore a country at all!! ¬†Also use that money for extra yummy treats. hahahahaha ūüėČ
  • Tinseltown – best milkshakes in London. ¬†It’s near Oxford Street on Great Portland Street.

Here are some pictures (I just love photos. ¬†I’m sure you must have noticed by now!):

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Westminster Abbey. ¬†I tried an artistic shot but in retrospect it doesn’t look that artistic. LOL

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The lovely Tower Bridge! ¬†And next up… The yummy food there. ¬†You knew that was coming ūüėČ

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Absolutely love this cafe!  The veggie summer rolls were very refreshing. The rice was good Рbut not great. I loved the Banh Mi Baguette.  That was to die for. Like literally.

I would travel all the way there to eat it. ¬†Yes it was that good!! ¬†Ok so if you’re a vegetarian tourist you absolutely must eat a Banh Mi Baguette. ¬†Must. ¬†Must.

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The M&M world. ¬†Ok not like I needed to type that out – I’m sure you could have figured that out… haha!

Hope future visitors exploring London enjoy it! ¬†Any further questions feel free to contact me ūüôā

xx

B

Travel Thursdays: Dublin

B travels.

In Ireland do as the Irish do! ¬†Wear a leprechaun¬†hat, just because you want to. ¬†Walk around in green the whole day because you want to celebrate St. Patricks Day but are just a few months late. ¬†Just.. HAVE FUN! ¬†That’s what we did!

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Just because I am a serious person who takes life far too seriously. ūüėČ ¬†HAHA! I actually try to adhere to the aphorism “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s not like we’re going to get out of it alive anyways.” ¬†I’ve met some people who are far too gloomy and make the sunshine seem grey. ¬†Really not my sort of thing! Try to put LIFE in LIFE and LIVE. ¬†I did that in Dublin. ¬†Walked around like a looney and had tons of fun! Ok, so many people assumed I was drunk. It happens when you try to be high on life.

Dublin is a bustling city with surrounding beautiful nature.  I was there on a family trip with cousins, aunts, and my husband.  It was a nice mix of company and ambience.

We stayed at Louis Fitzgerald Hotel (4 Star) and very reasonable priced from¬†lastminute.com. ¬†I would highly recommend it as the rooms very comfortable, there was free wifi and it was air-conditioned. ¬†However, my cousins would disagree as they argued with the manager (long story). ¬†So I won’t get into the technicalities of that as it had to do with noise control. ¬†We were a tiny bit noisy. ūüėČ

Places to see in Dublin:

  • Main city centre (very much like London actually)
  • Ha’penny Bridge over the Liffey River – beautiful for pictures. ¬†There are many love padlocks here to¬†symbolise¬†undying love of a couple. You can put one too! Though I didn’t!
  • Trinity College – pretty college to stroll along. ¬†It’s near the city centre so you can simply walk there. ¬†We met a friend from that college to show us around.
  • Temple Bar- the bar that holds a¬†Guinness¬†World Record of 114 hours and 30 minutes of guitar playing. ¬†You go DAVE! ¬†Yes, so we went there to see this famous bar. ¬†It was bustling. ¬†I don’t drink but it was worth seeing the¬†atmosphere.
  • Day tour from Dublin – I highly recommend to do one! You get to experience nature like never before.

We did the Connemara Day Tour.  We left the hotel really early as we had to be in the city centre at 6.30 am.  This is an early start, especially for someone like me.  I stress about waking up early.  All my university classes were always late as I simply could not do early mornings.  Therefore, if someone like me is highly recommending waking up early, it must be completely worth it.  The tour lasts 12 hours in which you pass through Galway to make your way to Connemara.  A boat tour is also included in the tour package of around 38 Euros per person.

This was the breath taking view of Connemara (the place where the romantic movie PS. I LOVE YOU was shot):

ImageIt resembled a beautiful postcard.  The photography-freak in me could not help but keep clicking pictures.  Some on our DSLR camera and some on my iPhone to whatsapp my family and friends who were missing out.  The view was really breath-taking.

We stopped in Galway and were free to roam around for an hour in the small town.  We grabbed something to eat and were back on the coach.

All in all, it was beautiful. ¬†I even saw a beautiful sunset! ¬†I love sunsets – there’s just something about the sun setting that gives me peace. ¬†The beauty it exudes lights up the sky and then in a moment it’s dark. ¬†Sunsets are mystical in my opinion. ¬†There’s just something about them that I can’t describe as words do not seem to do justice to it.

ImageThis was taken on my iPhone and was edited with just one filter on Instagram.

Like any holiday, it becomes a memory that is etched in your heart.  The adventure that it entails is a story for one to always tell.

Dublin was a wonderful memory!

xx

B

Travel Thursdays: One day in Bratislava (Slovakia)

Before going to Vienna,  I had googled nearby cities/countries that would be worth a visit without wasting excessive time getting there.  Bratislava seemed to stand out due to the fact that it was just an hour bus ride away.  I never imagined going to Slovakia.  Yet the explorer in me screamed YES, WE REALLY SHOULD!

For just 12 Euros per person we got return tickets to Slovakia.  A different country without passing through immigration seemed puzzling.  On the contrary, when we travel from Singapore to Malaysia we pass through a strict immigration process.  This left me a bit dumbfounded.  As a precautionary step, I still took my passport with me.  You never know when you need your passport.

I was excited to see the Old Town of Slovakia. From Tripadvisor, I knew there wasn’t much to do. ¬†That’s precisely why we chose it. ¬†As I pictured quaint lanes of Bratislava would be perfect for our third year anniversary. ¬†It was just so different from our past two (Brussels and Zurich).

The lanes were as quaint and picturesque as I had conjured up in my mind.

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We walked around for a bit and thought we must find authentic food to feast away on.  Although saying that, vegetarian food can be tricky while travelling.  There were friendly waiters throughout the lane who ushered people into the restaurants.  One menu caught our eye as it seemed perfectly divine.

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Potato Battered Cheese Cutlets. OMG OMG OMG!

I was so excited to try it. ¬†I was even more thrilled when it arrived at our table! ¬†I’m such a foodie tourist, it’s almost funny. ¬†Food can¬†definitely¬†be a highlight of a holiday if its worth photos and commentary!

Here it is:

ImageMy husband was equally taken in by this. ¬†We couldn’t wait to indulge in the cheese.

And there is it:

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¬†The cheese was oozing out… It was divine.

The food was the highlight of my trip. ¬†I would love to eat these bites of heaven again sometime in life. ¬†ūüôā ¬†After our lunch we strolled around the whole town. ¬†It’s a small town and it’s suited for pedestrians. ¬†We walked into a church which was not comparable to the churches in Vienna but was still nice.

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After our stroll around Bratislava Old Town, we walked back to the coach station and hopped back to Vienna. ¬†It was a no-fuss travel. ¬†I highly recommend this to all travellers who like to cover different countries and appreciate different architecture and well, FOOD. ūüėČ

xx

B

Travel Thursdays: 3 Days in Vienna

Beautiful– that’s definitely a word that encapsulates the ambience of Vienna. The city resembled a postcard. It was surreal. ¬†I felt as if I was walking through a magazine with edited photographs!

We stayed in Pentahotel after thorough research on trip advisor. We wanted a good nights sleep with a budget price. In addition, it was accessible to a nearby train station.  However my only complaint would be that it was a half an hour walk to the city center and this was misrepresented to us.  We were told it was a 10 minute walk Рunless of course the guy was sprinting in a marathon.

Here’s a picture of the hotel:

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Picture of our room:

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It was contemporary and clean.  I was definitely happy with it.

Some postcard-type of moments in Vienna: (FYI- These pictures are all un-edited!)

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Schonbrunn Palace

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The Belvedere

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A different angle of The Belvedere. It was just breath-taking! ¬†And the walk there also took my breath away. ¬†It was so far! ¬†DO NOT TRUST AUSTRIANS when they say it’s a 5-10 minute walk. ¬†I am really skeptical as to what speed they walk.

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A random church that we passed by as we walked and walked.

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The Hofburg

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Stephansplatz at night!

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Inside St. Peter’s Church. ¬†Divine!

Places I recommend:

  • The Belvedere Palace- we almost didn’t end up going which would have been a real shame. ¬†It is simply gorgeous as you can see! ¬†You must go there to get a feel of Vienna.
  • St. Peter’s Church – sometimes people feel if they have been to one church they have been to all. ¬†Fair enough. ¬†But this church had gorgeous architecture. ¬†It’s something worth visiting.
  • Schonbrunn Palace-¬†I absolutely loved the flower carpet. ¬†It was gorgeous! ¬†The colors were vibrant adding to the picturesque beauty of the whole place.
  • The Imperial Palace (Hofburg). ¬†It’s a huge square which has the Spanish Horse Riding School as well. ¬†A beautiful place to walk around.
  • Stephansplatz – the ultimate place for tourist. ¬†You can get souveniers and good food there! ¬†It’s best to go here at night to feel the city-life of Vienna. ¬†We go lucky as the 13th night was the Fashion Night of Vienna. ¬†There were street dances to entertain the crowd and freebies given at every corner. ¬†It was fantastic!

It was really a good holiday. ¬†Our second day in Vienna was only half a day as we hopped over to Slovakia to celebrate our anniversary. ¬†Slovakia deserves an entire blog post as well ūüėČ ¬†I’ll be posting up some stuff real soon!

xx

Travel Thursdays: Future Travel Plans

Travelling is simply fulfilling.  It makes you feel alive.  It makes you get out of your comfort zone and have a different ontological experience.  It is a must.

Our next destination is Vienna!  Stay tuned Рwill be posting all about it in the next few weeks.  For now if there are any suggestions, or must-sees do drop me a comment!

xx

B

Travel Thursdays – Plights of Flights

Cover of "Bon Voyage!"

Cover of Bon Voyage!

This week instead of a country review or my wanderlust adventures – I’ve decided to post some travelling tips which I find very helpful. ¬†These tips address the plights that arise with flights. Combat problems associated with flying, yes, truly a first world problem.

Tips for future globe trotters:

  1. Sleep enough before a long flight.  Jet-lag is inevitable so try to combat tiredness before boarding the flight.
  2. Your skin tends to get very dry on long haul flights (I tend to break out) -moisturize yourself in the plane. ¬†A spritz spray might be a good idea. ¬†I use Jane Iredale Antioxidant Hydration.¬† It works well for me. ¬†I order it online from Beauty Time Therapist (it’s cheaper with free delivery!) ¬†Spray your bare skin a few times during the flight. ¬†If you have make-up on, I’d suggest mineral make-up to ensure you don’t clog your pores. ¬†In addition, the Hydration spray is suited for mineral make up and is able to¬†penetrate¬†through your make-up to your skin.
  3. Keep a packing list saved on your computer.  Or print one out everytime you travel.  It relives stress and the problem of forgetting to pack something is eradicated.
  4. Keep a bit of different currencies with you. ¬†You never know when you need it, and you won’t lose out on exchange rate. ¬†I’m not saying 100s of dollars, but keep the petty cash after a trip and don’t convert it back. ¬†This is exceptionally true for my Europe trips.
  5. Keep a ziplock that contains your liquids (less than 100ml) in your handbag. ¬†It’s easier than having to search through your bag prior to security. ¬†You know its waiting to happen so be prepared.
  6. When shopping abroad, use your debit card. ¬†The exchange rate is the best rate on it. ¬†I’ve come to realise it’s better than exchanging money. ¬†However, if living in the UK make sure to alert your bank that you are travelling – otherwise your card gets flagged for fraud. This will leave you stranded!
  7. Overcome jetlag by trying not to sleep on the plane even if it “your night”. ¬†Try from the first day to fit the new clock. ¬†That’s the only way to maximise your trip!
  8. Be consistent with Multi-Vitamins. ¬†It’s essential. ¬†Stay hydrated on the plane. ¬†Walk in the plane and make frequent trips to the toilet. ¬†it all sounds logical but it’s imperative. ¬†Not doing so causes DVT and other illnesses.
  9. Travel with a laptop. ¬†Transfer pictures of your holiday daily. ¬†Memory cards get lost/damaged – be pro-active! ¬†To be honest, I’ve learnt this from my husband as he’s in control of photography, photos and technology.
  10. Turn 3G/Roaming off.  The bill will kill you even before your shopping bills arrive.  If you go to a certain country often, getting a local pre-paid sim card would be practica.  You could top up to retain the number from online.  Find out from the provider. Save money where you can!

These are my golden 10 rules of travel. ¬†You can add to my list from your experience! ūüôā

Happy Travelling!  Bon Voyage! X

Travel Thursdays: Singapore

Best to know about a country from a local-cum- tourist, someone like – well me. ūüôā Being Singaporean I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for my country. ¬†Frankly, I don’t know where I belong due to my history, but it’s safe to say I am Singaporean. ¬†Travelling has its perks, but it definitely comes with a price to pay. ¬†An individual’s sense of belonging is lost – and for me, I find my belonging to any country questionable.

I predominantly love the radiant multicultural aura that Singapore has. ¬†Everyone feels welcomed in a country like that. ¬†Although, I’ve always come across negative comments about the country being a concrete jungle. ¬†There is truth to this, as land is scarce and population is growing. ¬†Thus, to counter this problem the government built high rise buildings. ¬†Large sky scrapers surround the country which is a distinctive feature of the country as opposed to countries like Australia and USA which have an abundance of land.

A question of whether the weather plays a role in your holiday is an important one.  Singapore is located on slightly north of the equator which makes it a hot country!  Being an island the level of humidity is pretty high as well. I guess geography lessons paid off somewhat.  Tropical countries make a good holiday though.  You can bring out your summer dresses, flip-flops and sunnies and start your day exploring.

If you love a fast-paced city life, Singapore is a holiday destination that is perfect for you!

Shopping malls are open till very late at night and 24-hour food joints are found in every corner. ¬†Do try ROTI PRATA (flour based bread) which is an Asian Indian speciality. ¬†It’s typically served with fish curry but there are vegetarian options and dessert options too. ¬†I can’t believe I went without mentioning food for an entire paragraph. Maybe my diet is working and my brain is avoiding topics related to food. ūüôā

Anyways, I love shopping and window shopping (it’s a cheaper option to be honest though the level of satisfaction is questionable) .

So here are a few tips on shopping in Singapore from a shopping expert (myself of course!)

Malls I recommend (click on the links to see store listing): 

Ion Mall: new mall that has recently opened

Vivocity: huge mall with a cinema as well

Somerset 313 – shops and one of my favourite restaurants : Marche

Do try a Rosti! It’s delicious! After eating it there years ago, I’ve tried making it at home too!

 Cheap shopping of souvenirs and clothes:

-Bugis Street (opposite Bugis Junction Mall) You can reach there by MRT- alight at Bugis station.

Sight-seeing

Sentosa – the luge ride is fun! Stay for the fountain show too

Supertrees (new addition to Singapore. ¬†I went last week at night and was mesmerised by it. ¬†It’s located in Gardens by the bay)

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Took a few pictures for my blog!  The beauty encapsulated in the picture is a fraction of the beauty it exudes in real life.  Breathtaking.

Marina Bay Sands – A hotel that is recently made. ¬†It has a gondola rides in it that replicate Venice. ¬†It’s also beautiful to make your way up to Kudeta restaurant which overlooks Singapore’s city. ¬†I’d recommend for you to make a trip up there at night as the night-view is spectacular.

 Mode of transport:

-MRT – the train system is fantastic. It’s fast,convenient and punctual. ¬†The tube system should learn from Singapore! It’s cheap too.

-Taxis: the flag down rate is $3.20 which is very reasonable compared to most countries.

If you are making a trip there and need further advice, feel free to contact me!

Bon voyage.

X

B

One night in Brussels

The great advantage about living in London is its location. ¬†Location is everything when it comes to travelling! ¬†My husband and I hopped on the Eurostar and reached Brussels in just about two hours in time for us to break our anniversary there. ¬†The plan was pretty last minute last year – as our first year anniversary was in Switzerland (that was more planned). ¬†However, he couldn’t get leave so we just wanted to make the best out of the situation. ¬†When life give you lemons – make¬†tequila!¬†

We stayed in Radisson, simply due to the fact that it was opposite the¬†Eurostar¬†station. ¬†Subsequently, it would save us on the cost of a taxi and the inconvenience of having to drag our luggage around. ¬†Surprisingly, I travelled light. ¬†(Even a¬†day-tripper¬†usually results in a big bag. I’m just not a light traveller!) ¬†Radisson had above average ratings on tripadvisor which made us choose it to be honest. ¬†I was astonished in my first few Europe trips at the fact that many hotels do not have AIR-CONDITIONING! ¬†Without a good night’s sleep, it’s impossible to enjoy the country. ¬†Luckily, this was not the case here. ¬†I had a very comfortable sleep! ¬†In case you’re wondering what I got as a gift for my anniversary – you can see for yourself!

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To match my new Burberry Collection, I got my nails done in Burberry print! ¬†That was one of the highlights of my trip ūüôā

Moving on to the actual country, and tips for future travellers…

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These pictures speak a thousand words and summarze my one night stay in Brussels. ¬†I almost always have pizza at least once in Europe. ¬†I guess being Vegetarian can get tricky in some European Countries. ¬†The Pizza is a safe delicious bet ūüėČ ¬†On the same note of food (why do I always seem to highlight food in all my holidays? ¬†That was completely¬†rhetorical.) – the waffles were amazing. ¬†They were everywhere – but I would¬†definitely¬†recommend it! ¬†Also – we tried a waffle on the stick. ¬†I’m not putting up a picture of that as it wasn’t as good in comparison. ¬†Indulge in waffles and chocolates as its Belgium is infamously known for making people fat. Ok, so it’s not but I think it should be!

The main piazza is the Grand Place. ¬†It’s the central square of Brussels which is etched with gorgeous architecture. ¬†It’s the most popular landmark for tourist. ¬†Enjoy the surroundings, walk a bit and soak the atmosphere. ¬†We went searching for a Hard Rock Cafe which was meant to be at the square itself. ¬†However, we were told it has not opened yet! ¬†What a pity! ¬†Unfortunately, ¬†I couldn’t expand my collection of Hard Rock Tees from this city. ¬†If you go – please send me one ūüôā

What is Brussels famous for besides chocolate?

Manneken Pis. It’s the little Manekin up there pissing. ¬†Frankly, the hype pissed me off. ¬†It just sounds absurd, but after my research that was apparently a must-see. ¬†Frankly, I did not think much of it. ¬†I much prefered the waffles. ¬†But since it was all around the same area (the piazza) – we walked to have a look at what the fuss was about. ¬†There’s a story to it! ¬†Well, my inquisitive nature insisted that I googled it before going. ¬†There are many stories linked to this. ¬†My favourite marks a little boy saving the kingdom from a huge fire by his urine! ¬†Imagine the tank loads of water he had to drink before this act. ¬†HAHA!

Enjoy your travels while I’m in Singapore for my Mom’s 50th Birthday Celebrations. ¬†I leave tonight! ¬†Can’t wait! X

Travel Thursdays – Barcelona, Spain

Hello everyone!¬† Hope you all have been wonderful.¬† I had a great day yesterday – reconnected with a friend that I haven’t met in 13 years.¬† Geet was a school friend from Singapore, one which I spoke to every single day for a few hours as I sat next to her in class.¬† She’s in London for two days and through technology, namely FACEBOOK she messaged me for a meetup.¬† Was heartwarming.¬† It’s always so nice to see people from the past in the present who then make it to your future (well if you want that is).

Anyways, over scrumptious lunch at Cafe Concerto (which I highly recommend to all shoppers at Westfield,London) we were talking about our 13 years.  Inevitably, being a person I could connect with, I shared my sorrows and my joys.  My joys included my travels.  Traveling is the joy of my life.  Well one of, but a great joy definitely.

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Beautiful Barcelona! The lights of the city definitely add sparkle to my little bubble.¬† I loved soaking in every bit of it.¬† ūüôā

Where I went & what I recommend there:

WALK WALK & WALK SOME MORE.¬† I recommend that highly in all my Europe trips.¬† Have a very comfortable pair of shoes, as your feet are going to need it.¬† You will never come across the small artisan shops in alleys by any other means of transport.¬† Thankfully, I did not sprain my ankle or anything (sounds absurd, but I sprained it in New York last year.¬† It was tragic but at least it didn’t stop me from exploring.¬† I rented a wheel chair as I could not move.¬† I will blog about that soon, as it gave me a different perspective to life).¬† But anyways, buy a day tripper, or 3 day tripper for the metro, grab a map and begin your journey.¬† It’s the only way. Really.

-Walk to Gaudi sites. Gaudi was a famous architect that has splashed his work all around Barcelona.¬† It’s gorgeous.¬† If you are not an architect enthusiast (like me), I’d suggest doing all the “free sites”.¬† My husband and I went to Park Guell which has Guadi’s old home in it.¬† His mosaic type of architecture can be seen throughout the park. It was very nice for photos! (I love photos for their memory and aesthetic value).

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Sagrada Famila– a Gaudi site that is very famous.¬† So much so that the metro station that is located there has the same name!¬† It is permanently in construction.¬† However, we just saw it from the outside as we were not interested to go inside. So I can’t comment on the inside but the outside was not very appealing to me. We walked to Casa Batllo and appreciated its beauty from the outside as well.¬† Being a smart traveler is about choosing where your money goes.¬† Don’t spend for the sake of it – then you’ll never travel for God’s Sake ūüėȬ† Travel on a budget – then you’ll end up seeing more of the world.

Magic Fountain.¬† Another FREE site.¬† Basically a rule of travel is being thrifty.¬† If you are too lavish, chances are you will not travel frequently as it will burn an enormous hole in your pocket.¬† I usually research on TripAdvisor as it gives a realistic view of the country through travelers’ eyes.¬† The Magic Fountain was magical, ipso facto.¬† The Fountain danced to the music and it was all so glamorous. I loved it.

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РPappabubble located in the gothic area.  A candy artisan shop that demonstrates how candy is made!  Another free event which is really interesting to watch and eat (you get samples at the end!) Warning:  Shop is very tempting and no matter how much you restraint you will end up buying a bag of artisan candy which is far too sweet.  We ate only half in the next month and discarded the rest in fear of diabetes, just FYI.Image

Yeap!¬† It’s really that beautiful.¬† The candies in the shop were so colorful and attractive.¬† The high ratings online were justified.¬† Our long walk in the Gothic area to get to a little candy shop all made sense.¬† I loved it!¬† The foodie in me was excited and thrilled at the same time.¬† ūüôā

-We went to Barcelona FC.¬† I’m not a fan and uninterested in football, as a result I can’t say much!

EAT CHURROS with HOT CHOCOLATE.¬† It’s more important than eating TAPAS in Spain.¬† Do not leave Barcelona without it!¬† They can be found almost in any small cafe.¬† Cost about 3-4 Euros for heaven in your mouth.¬† You must.¬† If you could eat one thing, it should be churros.

Vegeterians – always find a Hard Rock. Their burgers are yummy and you really can’t go wrong with nachos and potato skins.¬† In addition, I’m a hard rock fan and I collect their tees.¬† So every country I go to, I buy a Tee.

– Shop at Desigual.¬† It’s originated in Spain – it can’t get cheaper.¬† If you find the fashion weird then obviously don’t.¬† It’s a bit strange, but that’s why I like it.¬† Though, I can’t do too many colors at one go but I do like some of their fashion range.¬† I ended up buying a beautiful overcoat!

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Yes! I kept admiring it, I couldn’t help myself.

РGo to a Spanish Beach.  I love beaches. Enjoy Spanish Music while sitting in a beach. We got off at the Barceloneta Station and walked around 20 minutes (my point about walking re-emphasized!) and there it was.  It was a pleasant day and we enjoyed the weather sitting, talking, and eating while listening to Spanish music.

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This reminded me of a scene from a movie!¬† ūüôā

– Lastly, I’d say walk the streets of La Ramblas. And walk some more!¬† Walk in fruit markets. Watch live dances on the street (very entertaining, the performer while spinning on his head removed his shirt) Talented way of stripping, I must say! If you are Sikh (like me, there’s a gurdwara in La Ramblas itself. Make sure to stop by!)

Enjoy being a traveler while you wander streets of Barcelona!¬† That’s it for now.

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