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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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Malaysia 2017 - Langkawi

This is what to expect: hot climate, friendly people and excellent food.
Our trip was split up into two different places, one was a more relaxed country side and the other was a busy bustling city, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur.


Monkeys came to say Hello
Langkawi was beautiful. It was peaceful and calming and serene and just so lovely. I liked it because it wasn't too busy but equally, it wasn't too quiet. We stayed in a chalet and the feel of the whole place was welcoming and friendly.

The people in Langkawi were especially friendly and this definitely makes any stay more positive. The resort we stayed at was very accommodating. We were on the coast in a rainforest and that meant we got to see monkeys! Real life, wild and slightly intimidating, brave and also reckless and very greedy monkeys. Nevertheless, we didn't have any trouble/negative encounters with these monkeys. There was a time where I saw a monkey sat on a bin that was made of stone, legs wide open on the edges and then yanked the lid off, tossed it to the side and, well, the monkey rustled through the bin very happily.

There were so many things to do in Langkawi and we did mostly everything. There were a few things we were unable to do because of timings but we did manage to cover nearly everything that was available to us.
Crocodile Cave 

Things to do whilst in Langkawi:
  • Go island hopping on a jet ski. This was amazing because - well we went fast but we could stop to appreciate the views whenever we wanted. It was also a lot of fun!
  • As well as island hopping, you can also go on a boat tour and also tour the islands.
  • Mangrove tour: Appreciate nature even more by going on a mangrove tour - we did meet some people who decided to give this a miss but I'm really glad we didn't. On the tour we got to see monkeys, coral fish, bats- we walked through a bat cave, crabs and many more that were in their natural habitat. We went Eagle feeding and that was exciting because see you to see the birds directly above you!
Bird in a bag
  • There was a wildlife park we went to which was fun and would be ideal for a family day out. There were areas where you could touch the animals and feed them, and at one point, a bird hijacked our food bag - I'm not kidding. The bird jumped onto Mr F's shoulders, and then fell, deliberately, head first into the food bag. He put the bag down and the bird climbed out with a full mouth. This was a little scary but also fascinating - the bird must have been scoping for the right moment!!
View from the Cable Car
  • Langkawi Cable Car/SkyCab: This is a major attraction in Langkawi and lucky for us we lived round the corner from it! It's in Oriental Village - a place with food and shopping and a few museum/exhibitions too. The views from the cable car were fantastic and we were lucky as the it was a clear day. It was windy as we got to the top!! The Sky Bridge is also with the cable cars and this, again, has amazing views!
  • Whilst we were in the cable car, we saw a beautiful waterfall! There are a few hidden waterfalls in Langkawi that are stunning.
    Eagle Square 
  • I would highly recommend going to the Night Market at least once whilst in Langkawi. We found out about the Night Market by looking at the map we were given! Each day, there is a market in a different part of town in the evening. Here, you can buy local food at super reasonable prices and also clothes. I was more into the food and let me tell you, it was delicious! I was so busy looking at everything that I only took one photo! Something I regret to this day. There was so much going on and the smells were amazing! They cook it right in front of you and everything was so fresh! You must take a look yourself and try the food.
  • Eagle Square and Pantai Cenang: Eagle Square houses the famous Langkawi Eagle about to take flight. Pantai Cenang is a beach and just behind the beach is a street, like a high street, where there are many food places and shopping areas.
  • One final thing I would recommend is going to the fruit farm. There, we saw fresh fruit growing and we also got to taste some too!
There are many other things that one can do whilst in Langkawi - including shopping in the local busy streets, going to the Batik museums, beaches and also visiting mosques! I just don't have enough blog space to write it all!

Have you been to Langkawi or planning to go?

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Journey to Malaysia 2017

So one day after our wedding, my other-half and I got on the plane to Malaysia. We started off the journey absolutely knackered and that's the way we stayed for the next day or so. When I say absolutely knackered, I say it because we had a few days worth of mini events that happened before the wedding day(s). My family had come around mid-week before the wedding and people had been popping in during that time anyway. It was so good to have the family round. There aren't many times that we see everyone - weddings and funerals are the two main occasions that bring people together. I much prefer weddings.

Anyway, these days consisted of food, lots of laughter and late nights and alhamdulillah, everything went well.

Our journey started with an early morning start (like seriously early) and we made our way to the airport. How we even made it to the airport I still do not know but it turns out that, together, we aren't too bad at timings and making plans come together - even if they are at crazy times in the morning when people normally sleep. Alone, I'd definitely have made it to the airport but it would have been a struggle for me - I don't do mornings, not going to lie.

Foot Selfie in the Airport
We got to the airport in good time and were ready to board the flight that would get us to Malaysia...eventually, via Dubai. It was LONG but not as long as it could have been - if we were flying to Australia it would have been a whole lot worse.

The flight to Dubai was as one would expect. The plane had that slightly unpleasant plane food smell during meal times but otherwise, all was as it should have been. It took off later than planned and that meant that by the time we landed in Dubai and made our way to the next plane, it was time to board...perfect.

When we were boarding our next flight we actually met some people we knew - turned out they were on the same plane as we were the whole time! It was super weird seeing them sitting there on a different continent and even weirder when they told us they were on our flight. Freaky!

Oh well, all I could think was Malaysia here we come!!

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