Monday, 29 January 2018

Rome 2017 - The Sights

In Rome, as mentioned here, there is a lot to explore. Here are but a few places we visited:

Trevi Fountains
That view :)
If you're going to Rome you must, absolutely must, visit this hidden gem - you'd be crazy not to. we found the fountains at the end of a long day - the way we had planned to. We spent the day walking and exploring Rome and the fountains were our last stop for the day. That was day two of or stay in Rome and from that day on, we somehow ended up by the steps of the fountains every night after.

I'm not sure why but I expected the fountains to be in a park, or a garden or some huge courtyard (somewhere spacious),  much like fountains in the UK but  this was quite the opposite. The Trevi Fountains are situated in a small side street, surrounded by hotels, shops, a basilica and people, lots of people. We took a turn from the main street into a side street and bam - there they were, hidden within the business of Rome. It's so obvious that the area grew around the fountains and that's what added to the splendour of them. Definitely go and see them!!

Spanish Steps
This, as the name implies, is a set of steps leading up to a Church. If you go down the steps, you'll come to a small yet beautiful fountain and lots of shops, a few street sellers and a few horse drawn carriages. The steps were really lovely to look at and walk down and the view from the top was quite something. As is the view from the bottom when you see the full extent of the Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps
Vatican City
Look Up!!
Right, so on the last Sunday of every month Vatican City opens for a few hours and entry is free - that's right, free. We were, conveniently there, in Rome, on the last Sunday of the month and we had planned to go then, but we asked around and were told that if we wanted to go, we'd have to be there for 8am in order to get in around 12pm when they opened....that was so not happening. Also, the Pope was going to visit so as a bonus, we could have seen the Pope. But apparently it gets so so so busy that we decided to pay the entry fee and take a look another day.  We took a bus to Vatican City - one of the few times we actually took public transport. We walked everywhere else!  As soon as we got there we were mildly accosted by tour guides, claiming that but going with them we could skip the hour long line to get in and see things much faster. But we decided to stand in line - experience it all! It was about an hours wait, maybe less but the line of people behind us didn't reduce at any time - there were times where it got longer but never shorter than where we started!
Was it worth the wait - yes.
St Peters Square is beautiful, the amount of time and work that must have gone into making it - one thing I'd tell you to do is to look up when you are there. Look up at the buildings and how they're made, the detail and their finishing, the angels on the ends, standing and watching.

Inside, it's beautiful - as one would expect. The walls are decorated from top to bottom and there is so much to see - so much to soak up. This goes for everything there - the paintings, the sculptures, all the artwork is phenomenal and worth seeing, from the works of Michelangelo to Raphael.

The Sistine Chapel was in the Vatican City Museum at the end and there I found the atmosphere to be serene, peaceful and we spent a lot of time looking at the walls and ceiling. They also must pay someone to 'shhhhh' very loudly because that persons ever so slightly annoying.
If you're in Rome - go.

Coliseum and the Roman Forum
Inside the Coliseum
One of last things we did was to visit the Coliseum. We could see glimpses of the Coliseum from our hotel and the side streets - it's a view I'll never forget. The Coliseum lit up at night is beautiful - and I think it's beautiful in the day time too. My personal opinion - I didn't find it as jaw dropping as I had expected - I had gone in with images from the Gladiator film expecting it to be huge on the inside  and it wasn't as big as I had thought - in reality it's much smaller. It was worth a look because not seeing it would have been silly, but I wasn't that impressed. I think maybe next time I'd take a tour which takes us underneath the Coliseum - where the Gladiators and animals actually lived.
We had walked past the Forum every day since our arrival and so we knew what to expect before we visited it properly - ruins, a lot of ruins and Palatine Hill which overlooked the Coliseum and the Forum.

These are but a few places we visited in Rome - I haven't even mentioned the Pantheon, the numerous Basilicas and monuments we came across. There was just so much to see. And the food. Oh the food - delicious!

Have you been to Rome? Is it somewhere you'd like to go?

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Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017: A Reflection

My mandatory foot photo 
This year has gone both fast and slow. There have been times where I've waited for the weeks to pass and others have gone too fast - so a mixture I'd say - good nonetheless. There haven't been many blog posts this year - you'll have noticed that I've been on and off with the posts, less consistent, sporadic and slightly annoying, both for myself and for you as my readers. But I have tried to post wherever I can - honest! I'm hoping that I'll get better with consistency and timing - in both life and blogging :).

2017 has been a big year in the life of F, maybe not so much for That Delete Button but definitely for me personally. Some of these events, milestones, whatever you may want to call them have been blog worthy but because I haven't had much time, I've not always been able to blog about them. So, I'm going to do a mini reflection of the past year instead so you can know what the heck I'm rambling on about!

If I had blogged about a few of these reasons, I think my blog would have been doing a little better. Maybe I'll blog about these things soon!

Things I've done in 2017:
  • Tied the knot: So I got engaged and religiously married in 2016 but had a bigger, more formal-ish wedding in 2017. That's right, we had a few too many parties - too many dates to remember - but I wouldn't change it. That was the highlight of my year - our wedding. It went fast but I loved how family and friends all came together and had fun! I'm contemplating making a blog post with photos of it...thoughts?
  • Malaysia: We travelled to Malaysia and it was soooo good, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur - I have blogged about this so go read it if you want to know more!
  • Rome: another place we explored was Rome. More posts about Rome to come!  
  • Teaching: After doing the CELTA I didn't get a job abroad - the timing wasn't right - but I did manage to do some teaching here in the UK. I taught in two different places and both were different. It's weird how different educational establishments can be so varied in their approach - also the backgrounds of the students matter too! The first time round the students were very talkative and the second time, they were focused but made things fun for themselves! People are quite amazing!
  • Oh and one final thing - my blog turned five this month! Yes, that's right, That Delete Button is five years old!! FIVE!!!
I promise I'll try to blog about some of the things mentioned above soon - let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to know more about!!

What have you done over the last year?  What are you particularly proud of?

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Rome 2017

The Colosseum

Mr F has always wanted to go to Rome – I want to go everywhere and as long as we go somewhere I’m perfectly happy!

Anyway, we went very recently. It was awesome – we were lucky the weather was mild – not too hot and not too cold. Mornings were slightly cold but warmed up nicely as the afternoon came and then it cooled back down a little in the evening – not coat cold, jacket cold. There were a few people with coats on but we wore our jackets – which were quite hastily discarded as the day went on. Put it this way, we enjoyed the gelato!

Rome is rich in history and architecture, full of marvellous things to look at. Lots of ruins,  the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. There's Vatican City with St Peters Basilica and the Sistine Chapel as well as many many other basilicas. Basilicas on every corner and often more than one in a street! So much to see! 

One assumes that given the amount of basilicas there were in Rome, and the Pope, it would be quite a religious environment - yet religion wasn't imposed on anyone. There was no time during the trip where I felt uncomfortable - even among a congregation of Priests hosting a concert! They were really welcoming. Of course each Basilica had a few rules such as being covered up and not taking photos - but these sorts of things have been requested in many buildings I have been to before. It's not something new or unexpected.

I'll do another post with more information about the places we visited but on the whole, if you haven't already, add Rome to your travel list. And whilst your at it, make sure you spend a few days extra there - so if you are thinking of going for 4 days, add an extra one/two days - I don't think there can every be enough days in Rome!

So I leave you now with five tips for exploring Rome - in the mean time I'll be sorting my Rome photos out before writing a bit more about the places we visited!

5 Tips for Exploring Rome:
  1. comfortable shoes - the streets are cobbled
  2. be open to exploring - there are things to see everywhere!
  3. get your walking feet on - if you're going to do a lot of things by foot, your feet will ache after - mine did!
  4. be prepared to fall in love with the Trevi Fountains! 
  5. Eat! Eat their delicious food and Gelato! Super yummy!!
Where have you been recently? Have you been to Rome? 

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Things to Love About Winter

Winter is coming!

The changing seasons are always interesting and it's quite amazing to watch, especially spring and autumn. Autumn brings winter and this is one of my favourite times of the year.

Here are some things I love about Winter:
  • The cold mornings.
  • The frost (and snow) - I know it's  pain if you're driving early in the mooring  - scraping ice off the windscreen isn't always the best start -  but I love the look of frosted trees and grass. It's chilling. 
  • The crisp cold - I love walking in the cold and being able to feel the cold through my nose when breathing in :) aaah that cold crisp air in my airways.
  • Clothes - jumpers, coats and boots, need I say more?
  • Winter means films to match the season like Home Alone and Frozen.
  • Hot Chocolate - with cream and marshmallows please. 
  • The long nights - the clocks changing make the nights seem longer and we get an hour extra in bed!
  • Holidays!! 
What are your thoughts on Wintet?
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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Long Time No See

So I'm not sure if you've noticed - you'll only notice if you are a regular-ish reader, but I haven't been blogging like I normally would. This has been for many reasons including my time management skills and also a lack of motivation. Mostly tho, I've been working a lot more and have lacked inspiration and time. But then we always have time if we make it right? Because time is ours and we decide what to do with it - I've learnt that a little later than I should have...

There I was telling one the girls I work with that she should have a blog and then I thought hold on a minute, I have a blog that I've let slip, maybe I should focus on mine?! Anyway, after that small mental kick I decided to actually finish my most recent blog post .. one that I'd started last month ... and publish it. It's ok - worth a read if you want to know/travel to Malaysia!

So this is me checking in. I have some news but I'm not ready to share it just yet...but it will lead to more blog topics for myself so I'm getting excited about that!

What have you been up to while I've been absent from the blogging world? Have you posted nay new posts? leave me links below or get in touch - I'd live to hear from you!
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Friday, 6 October 2017

Malaysia 2017 - Kuala Lumpur

Our Hotel View
KL was different to Langkawi - it was a busy bustling city wherever we went and there were people rushing around in every direction. You know London or downtown Toronto? That sort of busy.

China Town
The streets were filled with shoppers from all over the world and there was so much choice - designers from everywhere! There were shopping centres and food places that we thoroughly enjoyed exploring. it was busy, fast paced and exciting.

As well as shopping centres, there were many markets that we went to - including China Town and Central Market (Pasar Seni). So China Town was very similar to the markets in Alanya - where people sold replica goods at a discounted price. Mr F had a ball bargaining with the vendors and he was really in his element there - even when he full well knew we weren't going to buy anything, he loved chatting with the sellers and bargaining about price. It was a delight to watch! Everything was crammed in very close in Chain Town and this added to the atmosphere as we went from tent to tent looking at what was available to buy. I'd recommend that you go even if it was just to see it - it's an experience.

Central Market was different in that most of it was in doors in an actual building and the things they sold were different to China Town. They sold more traditional items including clothes, gifts and food. I actually really liked it in Central Market!

Masjid Jamek 
Very close to Central Market is Jamek Mosque - one of the oldest mosques in KL. This mosque was majestic - I felt like Aladdin would have walked through any at minute. It was peaceful and calm, hidden in the midst of the hustle and bustle. It's built where two rivers meet and very well maintained. This was one of my favourite places to visit in KL because this mosque was hidden in the midst of the busy roads. Also, outside the train station, there was a market that sold scarves - ones that I liked and the type I wear - hooray!

Bukit Bintang 
One view from the Petronas Towers
Bukit Bintang, a district in KL, contains numerous shopping malls and it was very busy - outside and inside! There were many different well know shops and designer shops there including Sephora and Coach and many many others!

On other thing we did when we were in KL was to have a 'blind massage' - a massage given to us by a person who was blind/partially sighted. My cousin had recommended this and it's probably one of the best I've ever had. The people were highly skilled and qualified and very very good. They knew exactly what they were doing and we really good at what they did.

Out and  about
I don't have enough time or space to write about all the things we did and the few things I've talked about above are literally just a few. We went on a tour of KL and looked at the buildings,  went to an Islamic Center/Museum and the National Mosque. We went into the Petronas Towers and saw the amazing views. We visited Little India - an area which was ripe in indian clothes, food and culture. We used the trains for everything and walked so much our feet ached - if only I'd had a fitness tracker with me then!

Have you been to KL? Do you live in KL? What are your thoughts? What's your next big adventure going to be? Let me know in the comments below!

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