And we didn’t have to pay thousands of euro for this experience!
After we finished visiting the medieval town of San Gimignano we headed to another town in Tuscany called Saturnia.
Saturnia is probably most famous for her hot springs. And as you know, thermal baths are good for you in curing external and internal maladies or just a relaxing place to just chill out. I was there last year, but I really didn’t want to do it alone (Cart flat out refused to join me) so I was glad to have Hema with me this time!
You could tell that you are getting closer to the place when you see loads of people marching in one direction (not the boyband. Please) with their bathrobes on, next to the road. And if you have your car windows down, you could smell sulphur in the air. One of the unique things about the area.
At the point of time, you could park freely right next at the head of the spring itself, although I’m not too sure how it would be like in the future, as when we reached there, it appeared to have the skeleton of a fence already.
Anyway, being there feels like a big family picnic, what with the crowds of families there, and sometimes you might even encounter someone bringing a full BBQ set with them, which was interesting as I know my own clan would do that, whenever we do beach outings.
The Cascatelle del Mulino is sort of divided into two, the small pool right next to the parking, but if you are brave enough, you could climb down the path to the bigger pool area as what you see above. It’s just that the path is very steep and precariously narrow.
(Sidenote : Cascatelle means waterfalls and Mulino means windmill in Italian. So if you ever encounter the Brand – Mulino Bianco – That means White Windmill)
Since Hema was still recovering, we decided to just stay in the smaller pool instead. It was still quite steep to get in there anyway! Moreover we had to step into rubble to get in the water. And the water current was deceptively strong! If there weren’t any ropes attached at some point, I think that we would all been swept away! Haha! Also, there are deep points in the pool where I couldn’t even touch my feet, so do be careful!
Oh, I think I should also add that there are no changing rooms available here. So I advice you to have your swimsuit already on, or … if you’re like me, bring along a trusty sarong and convert it into a makeshift changing room
Also, don’t bring valuables with you, as it is an open space, so I wouldn’t leave my camera, wallet and whatnots just lying around. Which is the reason to the lack of photos for this post. Well … more or less :p
Nevertheless, it was an interesting experience! The water was nice and warm and felt quite relaxing just to soak yourself in. At the corner of the pool, we saw a group of people with mud on their bodies. And of course, when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do (Even though we were in Tuscany) and we managed to scoop some, put it on ourselves and wait for it to dry and let the magic begin.
Ahh … This is the life. To just relax … let the negativity dissolve away and soak in the goodness and happily chat with random strangers here.
You would have noticed by now that I’m spamming this post with less pictures than usual. It’s only because my camera died on the first day as soon as we reached the bed and breakfast (which is an irony as I charged the battery overnight the day before) and we took so much pictures that even Hema’s camera was dead too by the end of San Gimignano.
It was about to be nightfall, and it was almost time to leave, but of course, we couldn’t go without a memento so this is the last picture of us in beautiful Tuscany together.
RAARRR! Mud monsters are coming to get you!
One last tip, I think is to bring along a large bottle of water with you to rinse away the water of the hot spring, we still had to reach Rome and had to go for about another one and a half hours of driving and I had a headache after that, most probably from the lingering smell of sulphur.
And thus that’s the end of my blog post about about our short vacation in beautiful Tuscany. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them! So do comment and let me know!
For the next blog post, I think I’ll blog about my latest upcycling project
Firenze is the capital city of Toscana (Like Roma is to Lazio) and I was most excited to explore the area (more like stumbling in, but I digress) as I’ve never been there before.
What can I say about Firenze? (Or Florence, I tend to use Italian and English terms interchangeably) While it is a city-center area, it has a different feel compared to Rome. As soon as we started entering the heart of the area, the roads begin to narrow and then is completely cut off and it seems the only form of vehicles that was active then were the 2-wheelers and the occasional cars.
Which means that it was great for walking around safely. And while we were there, even though there were a lot of people strolling around like us, it doesn’t have the same chaotic feel like how it is in Rome.
It was already nightfall when we reached there and not so great for taking photos, it was still lovely for a going for a stroll.
We started by walking on Ponte Santa Trinita and I enjoyed the breeze in my face, accompanied by the lively music from the buskers. And across the bridge, you will see Ponte Vecchio, which we will get to explore later in this blog post.
I also spotted these couple sitting on this oh so very narrow perch and oh so very close to the edge. You don’t see it in the photo, but the bridge is very tall, and I would feel nervous if it were me there!
We continued our walk towards Piazza Santa Trinita where the huge obelisk is.
And look at what I found! Salvatore Ferragamo! SHOES! SHOES! SHOES! Apparently, there is a museum near here showcasing the collections of the famous designer. I would have liked to see that! I probably can’t afford his shoes, but I’m sure that I can see his babies instead! Hahaha!
Speaking of which, did you know that it was in Firenze where one of my favourite designer, Valentino started to get really famous to become an iconic brand today. Like Milan and Rome, Florence is a fashion capital too! Oooh!
And as we walked past the obelisk, we passed through a lot of windows with high end labels. The area It reminded me so much of Via del Condotti, the long stretch of road in front of Piazza di Spagna in Rome which housed a lot of luxury brands, but without the chaotic conglomeration of people.
Anyway, here is Hema, posing with one of her favourite brand, Gucci.
I was peering through the glass to see if any of the bags she bought from the outlet were still in there. Hehehe.
And here is another label that I adore – Dolce e Gabbana. They make such beautiful and feminine designs which will sure to make you feel like a movie star when you put them on.
I don’t know the brand of the dress below, but I like the design and colour combination anyway
And in no time, we reached the Duomo di Firenze. It looks magnificent and majestic – with the black and white stripes. It was nothing that I’ve ever seen before, for a church.
We walked towards the duomo and passed by the battistero (which is like a smaller version of a basilica) next to it. By the way, the golden door that you see below has murals and was dubbed by Michelangelo as “The gates of paradise”
We reached the steps at the duomo to rest our feet a while, while I went to look at the carvings a little closer.
There are SO many elements to see, that it can be quite overwhelming if you try to take everything in. But just take into consideration the amount of work and dedication that was put in making them, and putting them together. It was impressive.
Every scene has its own story depicting an important event.
At it was then when I noticed something really funny!
When you’ve been living in Italy long enough, you’d see that this gesture is actually quite rude (alright, he should have made his hands into a fist but it looks similar anyway!) and I was amused to see it immortalised here.
The whole row had such expressive statues, I think the artist had a lot of fun doing it! Hahaha!
YOU! HEY YOU! FLICK OFF!
GASP! OMG! WHAT DID YOU SAY?!
That was rude! That’s not very nice of you.
NO! I DON’T CARE! *stares* PISS OFF WILL YOU?
HUH? SPEAK UP SON! WHAT DID YOU SAY?
We walked around the duomo and Cart asked us if we felt that it was bigger than, or was the same size as the San Pietro in Rome.
It was quite hard to tell, considering that San Pietro has a huge Piazza in front of it, making our perception different.
We continued walking, and I feel as if I’m walking in history – with all the renaissance style buildings everywhere.
Anyway, where ever we walked, there were little artistic touches here and there. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Another thing that I thought was cute was that a lot of their street signs were decorated too!
Wow! Who thinks of such designs and are able to incorporate them into street signs? So adorable! I’m sure that we would have seen more, if we had more time to roam the area.
At length, we find ourselves in Piazza Della Repubblica and admired the charming nightlife there.
And now, I’ll insert pictures of these sweets for no reason at all!
So colourful! Quick! Without googling it, would you call these Macarons or Macaroons? Hmm.
After our quick stop at the pastry shop, we continued walking to burn our sweets away to which I spotted this :
Shucks! There’s a Dali exhibition? I would have liked to see that too as I love surrealism.
Of course, being night time, a lot of museums were already closed. We managed to see this anyway! Haha! Definitely a replica, but it was something, at least!
I snapped this picture because I liked the name “Beautiful Art Square”
We eventually walked to the back of the Basilica di San Lorenzo and by this time, we were getting a little tired to explore more and continued to the other side to complete our path.
And we reached Piazza della signoria! There are a lot of statues here in this square!
But probably the most famous one would be this one of David by Michelangelo. It’s a replica though, as the real one is housed in Accademia di belle arti some 10 mins walk away from the “Beautiful Art Square”
Next to David is the entrance to the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio. You don’t have to pay to enter but it was just about to close so we didn’t explore inside. I’m impressed that it was still open even though it was close to midnight.
Now that I’ve thought about it, a lot of funny images has been inspired by David! Some of the memorable ones are those boxer shorts I keep seeing in those touristy parts of Rome with David’s bits. As well as how David would look like after eating a lot of Italian food.
But nevermind that we didn’t get to explore inside the museum as next to it is the Loggia Dei Lanzi where you could see a number of interesting sculptures.
Wow, it’s impressive how Firenze has open air gallery where everyone could come and see, as and when they liked.
And at the stroke of midnight, we said goodbye to David and his friends.
Bye bye David!
And at length, we walked along the Galleria degli Uffizi and walking past the statues, I could spot out some names that I recognize.
This is Giotto, Italian Painter and architect. Also a famous brand for coloured pencils in Italy.
Donatello – Italian sculptor (And one of the member of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles)
Michelangelo – Sculptor, painter, architect, poet, engineer … In short, a very very smart person.
We are almost towards the end of our relaxing stroll and I tried to take in as much last minute atmosphere before I leave.
And there was something about the area that made me realise how different it was compared to Rome … all throughout our stroll, I didn’t see any graffiti! Not even one! This is most impressive.
It seems that it is a major crime here to deface the walls and when caught will be charged very severely. I appreciated the lack of graffiti. It made the place look more refined and pristine and classier.
We walked towards Ponte Vecchio. Not sure if you could see it well, but someone managed to attach a lock away from the ledge. I couldn’t even reach them with my hands. So how on earth does anyone do that without falling into the river below?
At last, we finally reached Ponte Vecchio. Cart explained that this bridge was famous because there are a lot of jewellers on the bridge. As it was night time, it was closed, but I would have loved to see some bling! I wonder if the prices were cheaper here though, as the shop owners were said not to have to pay too much rent here.
The area used to be owned by butchers but now the bridge is full of jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. But look at the door below, it looks so medieval. And it was not difficult to visualise if anyone wants to do a medieval fair like how it was done in Bevagna.
And that was our little tour in the heart of Firenze!
To end this post, I’m putting up a picture of me in front of the hotel where the Jersey Shore cast supposedly stayed while they were filming their season. Not that I’m crazy about the show (personally, I think it’s stupid) but the idea amuses me.
And here is the end! Next post up will be our trip to San Gimignano – A beautiful Unesco heritage site.
I so do love Tuscany. It’s so beautiful! How can you not love looking at the sceneries like these as you drive down the road?
I never realised how much I love the countryside. I feel so completely inspired by this trip, that I totally wouldn’t mind going on a scooter trip, like how I did to Pengerang and Malacca some years back.
Anyway, today we head to a winery and olive oil maker called Fattoria le Corti which is owned by the royal Principe Corsini family. (Speaking of Princes, I was telling Cart of a *cough* Rome prince *cough* that was in the bachelor some time back)
Just a precaution, it would be best to check opening and tour hours beforehand as we only knew later that there are a lot of places that are closed on Sundays. So don’t take it for granted that places are open all the time! We were lucky that we got the chance to crash into another tour group or our journey would be for naught!
Anyhow La Fattoria le Corti is such a charming looking place. The tour started at 2pm, so we had a bit of time to explore the outside.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen fuel dispensers like one below (Probably when I was a little girl going back to Tekong before it was taken over to become a military base)
Part of the vast vineyards that they own.
See the two orange tractors there? These will carry the packed wines from the holding room opening, as you will see soon.
Oh, and speaking of tours, I didn’t see it from the website, but it costs 7 euro for only the tour and 12 euro for a tour and wine/olive oil taste respectively. Hema mentioned that she went to a free wine tour while she was in Australia, but finds that this one more comprehensive.
Here’s Hema looking excited for the tour to start!
That she couldn’t wait to try the wine samples! Hehehe!
And in no time, the tour started proper. We joined a group of people from Holland and I was quite amazed at how they were wearing tshirts and slippers, while I was still feeling cold, and needed my jacket.
First we were introduced area that was owned by the Corsini family.
And then we were shown the holding area where the wine will be distributed later.
My gosh, the barrels were impressively huge! I can’t imagine how much work and grapes it would take to collect to make all these wine. There were so many barrels of them.
See! You could have a rave party in one of these barrels.
I don’t remember what this machine is, but I reckon it’s what was used to separate the grapes from the stems. We were in such a big group, and when I can’t hear what was being said, my mind goes wandering :p
Next we walked down the steps into the cellar where we saw loads of wooden barrels of wine resting and being fermented.
We were told that each barrel costs a lot of money! I think it was 8 hundred euro each. My eyes almost popped out when I heard it. They use quality wood that will affect the taste of the wine and once aged, the barrels will not be used by the factory any more.
The cellar has a constant 12 – 18 degree celcius temperature and there is a water mister above which is used in case the temperature gets erratic.
Look at all the money! Show me the money!
Next the wine are moved into another container, to aid with the maturing process.
The wines are separated by types and at La fattoria, they specialise in Chianti Classico which uses 80% sangiovese grapes (the other 20% is either colorino or caniolo or both) 95% and 100% which is the most expensive one and is produced in very limited quantities. I think the guide said less than 100 bottles a year?
These containers are made of stainless steel
At this point of time, I wished that we were here somewhere end of September or October when it is grape picking time. I would have liked to see the grapes being harvested and juiced! I’m sure that would be a lot of fun!
The fermentation smell is very strong in here! For some reason I am reminded by the smell of cheng theng. I have no idea why!
And once the wine has aged, 6 months and above, they are packaged and here is where the packaging are made.
And ready to be transported all over the world!
Next is the olive oil tour. Again, I would have liked to see the process from the start – the picking of the olives followed by the pressing. I think it would make it more complete. But again, olives are seasonal too. Oh well!
Anyway, we were shown the containers where picked olives are stored.
These containers are huge! One could fit an adult in here. If there were 40 of them, we could do a Ali Baba and the 40 thieves play. They are each made of ceramic.
In making olive oil, time is of the essence. Unlike wine that takes time to mature, for olive oil, the fresher the better.
These machine processes the olives into oil.
And then filters it.
And then finally weighed for packing.
Did you know that olive pits are collected to become a form of fuel?
It’s a very musty smell though – so it’s not for everybody!
And here is how olive oil was made traditionally!
After our tour, we got to see a view of the garden. It’s gorgeous! Royalties live in the most lovely places. Wouldn’t you love to wake up to a view like this?
This is the villa which is now converted into a bed and breakfast. It would have looked prettier if not for the lack of grass, trampled by wedding guests last week.
Anyhoo! I felt so princessy just looking at the view, that I was inspired to take a picture here (Too bad I wasn’t wearing anything pretty!)
But of course Murphy’s rule says that anything can go wrong at any time – and my phone camera did something funny and suddenly I have this unwanted faded 70s like picture with border effect -_-”
At the end of the tour, we went upstairs to the dining area and got to get a taste of their wine and oil. Here are the types of wines that was sampled.
This is the cortevecchia which takes 20 months of ageing in the barrel.
This is the Don Tomasso which is aged for 15 months in the barrel.
Since Cart and I don’t drink, I have no idea how these wine tastes like or appreciate them. My friend looks very pleased with herself though. Hahaha!!!
Cart and I tried their olive oil instead. There were two types – on the left is the Le corti extra virgin olive oil where the olives are hand picked and pressed within 12 hours. The one on the right is the organic one which is hand picked and pressed within 7 hours. It has won 3 olive slow food award in 2010.
We tried them both with Tuscan bread – which as you know by now, is tasteless since no salt is added to it. I even had to salt the bread after pouring out the oil on the bread. And everyone who knows me, knows that I don’t like too much salt on my food! (I love Tuscany, but I don’t like their bread)
It’s hard to see in the pictures, but the organic one has a darker colour.
In any case, the organic one was amazing! It was intense and rich. Think of the best olive oil that you’ve ever had and imagine the taste more refined and pure by ten folds. And for some reason, when you taste it, the scent comes right out of my nose (sort of like the wasabi effect without the heat) It was most peculiar. I told this to Cart and he said that this was the mark of high quality olive oil.
We immediately bought a bottle for ourselves after this. And that was the end of our little tour! While I don’t drink, I thought that the tour was interesting and I liked learning new things.
Just for fun, I’m adding in some pictures of another winery/castle/bnb. We thought that it would be nice to roam around the area but unfortunately, the place was closed on Sundays and the only living things that we saw were these sour faced pussies.
It’s a very pretty looking place nevertheless.
And of course, being springtime, a lot of flowers are starting to bloom, making the place look so magical – like a page out of a fairy tale.
I’m surrounded by so much beauty!
That’s the end of my blog post for today. Next up will be a post about our trip to amazing Firenze
Today, I’m blogging about the bed and breakfast that we stayed at for the past three days.
As you know, my bestie is staying with us for about a week and a half and for some inexplicable reason, wanted to visit a town called Greve in Chianti which is in the province of Tuscany.
This is probably going to sound really bad, but for the longest time, I can never hear the name Chianti (nor Fava) without connecting it with Hannibal Lecter.
My ears grate now though with how he pronounces it as kee-ahnn-tee. Ouch!
Greve in Chianti is of course famous for its quality wines as well as olive oils. I think it’s a perfect place for wine tours and I’ll blog about our visit to a wine and olive oil maker in a near future blog post
Anyway, as I’ve never visited the area before, I didn’t know where to stay and didn’t want to spend anything more than 100 euro a night. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on lodgings considering that we’d be out most of the time.
The bnb is managed by Il Palagio Winery so we headed there directly after our day trip at the designer outlets, to get our keys.
It can be quite challenging to get there as the road signs are rather confusing, so it’s best to print a road map before you leave as GPS (and even phone signals) doesn’t seem to work so well for me here (one of the biggest reason of my stress for this journey, but it’s a learning experience!)
Il Palagio is next to a castle overlooking a vineyard and when you reach there, you’ll be given a sample of their wines. Cart and I don’t drink, but Hema appeared to be enjoying her Vin Santo wine which she purchased eventually. I think it was about 25 euro for a 1997 batch.
(See how the Tuscan air is doing good things to my complexion? *coughs*)
By the way, it seems that they don’t withdraw anything from the credit card but they use the number as a method of security. We paid by cash in the end.
(This is funny as it says, “You shouldn’t be allowed to walk if your mouth haven’t tasted wine” but the irony is that you can’t walk if you’re drunk)
Tuscany is so beautiful. Green is my favourite colour and I never got bored looking at the shades of green from the kilometers of olive trees and grapevines in the horizon. It is so peaceful and tranquil. And I felt so relaxed, lost in the depths of greenness. Somehow the place reminds me a lot of Cameron Highlands with the background looking like a big green carpet.
When we finally reached our bed and breakfast, I think we were all enamored when the caretaker showed us around. The place is so lovely with its rustic charm that I immediately took pictures in its pristine state. It was beyond my expectations. Poor Cart had to carry all the luggages in from the car himself while Hema and I snapped excitedly. Hahaha!
Check out the gorgeousness!
This is what you see as soon as you enter – a dining table and then a working kitchen, fully furnished with everything you need – cutlery, plates, cooking utensils, basic condiments, etc. (You may want to stock up on some things yourself though)
At seeing this, I was so inspired that I insisted that we prepare dinner the next day to eat in (there is a supermarket in the area) and enjoy a relaxing evening there. We just had gnocchi and frittata, but it was nice spending time together with my hearts.
(This post is not sponsored by Coop and Ferrarelle by the way)
There is a circular staircase that leads to the living room. Unlike the bnb in Milan that was warmer, this room is significantly colder due to the rather bad weather when we reached there. But I reckon it will be very refreshing during the warmer seasons.
Interestingly, I didn’t find any Italian channels on the telley and instead saw mostly German and French programs. I suppose this is a sign that a lot of the tourists that visit are mainly German and French?
Next as you walk in past the kitchen is the bathroom with a shower space which is big enough to fit Cart and the standard toilet, bidet and sink. I didn’t find any hair dryers although, I don’t think that it’s included.
And here is Hema asking me to take a picture of us in the bathroom. And me in an expression, asking myself, “Why?” My friend is so eccentric (like me)
And here is our bedroom where Cart and I spent our two nights! I so love the choice of decoration. Very country!
The room is so sweet and cosy and inviting. And I especially like the addition of a cylindrical pillow. It’s called bantal peluk in Malay, but I’ve no idea what it’s called in English. Essentially you use it to hug when you sleep and I’m definitely going to get one to bring back to Rome when I’m back in Singapore. Not going to care if I get strange stares at the customs.
Oh yeah! You’re also given 3 different towels each – I explained to Hema that the smallest one is for the crotch, followed by a face and hands towel and the largest one for the body.
We didn’t have a window so it was very dark when you turn off the lights. So I was very confused when I woke up at about 8 am but not seeing any sunlight. But there is a door where you could open a latch and see anyone at the front door and exit there if you like.
Normally, I need time to adjust when I’m sleeping in a bed that I’m not used to. Perhaps it is the Tuscan air, but I felt so at home and so comfortable that I fell asleep with no problems (also being tired from the long road trip helps too … hehehe)
And here is Hema’s room! She has a lovely view of the vineyard and I imagine that it will be so beautiful when September comes, when the grapes are ripe for the picking.
We snapped these on the second day we were here, when there was a bit more sun out.
And here we are looking gleeful at our bnb discovery! Hehehe! Hema said that she’d come here again with her hubby.
And this is how the front of the bnb looks like. Not sure if you could see it in the picture, but there is a swimming pool to the left although swimming is the last thing on our minds as it was really cold at the point of time we were there!
Oh! Before I forget, there is wifi connection here that you could use and we used it to research the places we could visit on our smartphones – although I’ve banned Cart from bringing his laptop with him! He’s a game monster -_-”
After staying there for the past three days, I was actually quite sad to be leaving the bnb. It is so charming and relaxing just to be there and I really hope that I’d be back there again.
Here is a video of the bnb! You can definitely see how excited I was to be there. Hehehe!
Next blog post is about Tuscan food! Or our trip to Firenze! Depends on my mood
It was my first time organizing a vacation getaway with my entire family. I wanted to head to a location that was a little more cooling compared to hot and humid singapore but yet, not too far away on account of my parents.
This was the highlight of the trip for me there
And thus, I thought of Cameron Highlands! It was so beautiful! My only regret was that we didn’t stayed there longer because initially I thought that there was not that much things to see there. Apart from tea plantations and the cooler weather. what else could be there in Cameron Highlands?
Plenty. I found out later. Oh well, I suppose that this could be considered as a recce, yes?
Anyway, let me recount our journey.
We left late Sunday night on an overnight road trip. So imagine the 7 of us, plus the driver all cramped up into one MPV driving all the way till the next morning. Groggy!
By the way, the guy in white there are the traffic police. There was one road section where there were so many people who got fined. At least 5. It was such an interesting scene for me.
We stopped at pitstops along the highway that looked like these :
Here there are huge cafeterias, huge toilets and a big prayer room. Its quite different from the pit-stops in Italy on account of the hot cooked meals that you can get at any time. I think I should blog about this in another post about the differences. By the way, if you’re interested, you can see different angles of the pitstops during my Vespa Club road trip to Malacca and Pengerang.
We drove up to Kuala Lumpur and our driver stopped by this interesting place. It was the Istana Negara, which directly translated means National Palace. And it was the first time that I’ve ever seen a guard on a horse before. Mum was remarking at clean the space was (aka crap-free)
By the way, if you looked on the floor, there is a red painted semicircle to which I understood later that it was the boundary for tourists to stand at. My family didn’t notice this and mum started to pat the horse even. We were lucky that the horse wasnt too uncomfortable. She could have had her hand bitten! Yikes!
After a long and groggy drive later, we started to drive towards the base of Cameron Highlands. The sceney looked different to me as compared to urban Kuala Lumpur, the scenery looked more jungly and in no time we reached the Lata Iskandar waterfall!
Its not the biggest one in Malaysia, but it was still pleasant to see and soak your feet in. I could see kids swimming and playing around.
But one of the things that I didn’t expect to see was the aborigines. Along the roads were huts that looked like these.
And in each huts will be an Orang Asli, or the aborigine selling their crops like freshly plucked petai. Our driver informed us that the Orang Asli were very good at knowing the properties of the different crops. Once he’s eaten this herb that made anything that he ate for a few hours later on taste sweet. Cool!
Masala tea, with its spiced goodness, mixed with creamy milk made the tea so delightful that I didn’t care how much calories it contained. The only place I know that serves Masala Tea in Rome is the Indian restaurant that Cart and I went to last November. I’m not sure why its not more popular in Italy.
It was such a lovely weather. Sunny and breezy. But because we were higher up, it was a cooling 24 degrees. Like air conditioning! And coupled with the beautiful scene in front of us, I was just enamoured.
Isn’t this gorgeous? Tea plantation as far as the eyes can see. So much green that it looked like a carpet. With humans the size of little dots here and there. I just stand there and be emo all day.
But we had to continue on our journey and at long last, we finally reached the bungalow. Its quite interesting seeing the black and white decoration, isn’t it?
I booked the bungalow online after researching for different accommodations. Due to my family being a big group, I had preference for an apartment over hotels. But I have to say, that trying to do reservations with many of the owners on the list was a pain because they don’t even list emails and hardly anyone even responds when I try to call them up! Oh gosh.
Greenhill apartment, the place where we stayed, wasn’t my first choice, but it was decent and comfortable enough for my family.
Apart from what was listed in the site, there were also slippers provided (important), and toilet paper (very important) but I’m a little disappointed that there were no towels (extremely important) I mean for 480RM a night, which is not a small amount, I think it would be expected. Its interestingly cheaper to stay in Milan and yet have all those AND food in the fridge to boot.
I’m not complaining by the way. Its just an observation
I am amazed at how cool the place was. Check out how frosty it looks like in the window. We are in Malaysia for goodness sakes! An equatorial region like Singapore, where its hot and humid (lets forget momentarily that we are in the highlands) My sister was already wrapped and huddled in her jacket.
My family looked and went around excitedly in the apartment opening and testing this and that, then rested after the agonizing 100 million hour road trip and in no time, promptly fainted till the evening.
It was probably too late to visit any attraction so we went to have dinner first. We ate at this place called the Restoran Sri Brinchang for Indian food and my family ordered so much food that each person (it was 8 in our group) almost had two portions of food. It was so scary. I was afraid that we would not be able to finish the food (I just hate to see food being wasted) But amazingly … they were all able to finish it. My mind just boggled.
After our dinner, we visited the Brinchang night market. I love night markets or pasar malam, as it is called here. There are many booths which sells a plentiful of things like clothes, freshly made street food as well as freshly harvested crops, trinkets and jewelry and many other things I dont remember to write.
It was just like any other night markets in Singapore, with only one exception. It was much much cooler (as in the temperature) here so much so that even Cart said that he was feeling chilly at one point.
The thing that I found odd was this :
I didn’t think that it was THAT cold to justify these strawberry (Cameron Highlands is famous for its strawberry too) earmuffs. Its super cute though. But the biggest irony is that my brother Spai and I saw someone wearing full winter clothes – winter jacket, a scarf, gloves, hat but he was wearing slippers! Huh?
I saw my mum starting to go crazy buying boxes of teas and my sister buying a nice jacket. I don’t know where my dad and brothers ran away too while I looked longingly at the freshly made vegetable fritters, but I was already feeling so full from dinner.
I ate some the next day though (at another location) and this stuff is seriously very very very good. There were three varieties – Fried mushrooms, Fried flower buds and Fried Broccoli. It was super crispy, unlike any fritters that I’ve ever had. One bite and my mum was running off to buy some mushrooms so that she could try to make it herself as soon as she got back home. My favorite would have to be the fried broccoli though. I wonder if I could replicate the taste too. I should have bought some kentaki batter powder while I was in Singapore
By the way, check out this clip of this interesting toy we saw at the night market :
The next day, we headed towards Mount Brinchang. Mount Brinchang is the highest mountain in Pahang (the region we were in, in Malaysia which coincidentally, is where Genting Highlands is part of too)
Anyway, I think that this was the highlight of our trip. It was so gorgeous but oh so perilous to get there. The driver had to drive very carefully and honk regularly as the roads were narrow, plus there were no fences or barriers at the sides and I could hear someone gasping every time we turned. It was very high up you see, and the idea of the car falling down was very scary! I was sitting at the back though, so I couldnt see anything.
We finally reached this clearing and my brothers immediately remarked, “Silent Hill!” Silent hill is a game you see, where you could only see for about a 2 meter radius and any further than that, will be too misty to see. And you have to fend for yourself against zombies and other undeads.
Creepy game notwishstanding, I admired the scenery. The mist gave it a dreamy effect and the jungles reminded me of the floating mountain out of avatar. There was even a couple doing their wedding photography here.
There is a wooden bridge here, that makes it easier for travelers to walk through easily but we still had to be careful as there were quite a few boards broken here and there. Not to the point of Indiana Jones series though.
Its so gorgeous that naturally, I start to camwhore. Unfortunately, I have a wierd husband who did this as I took a picture. Well, I’m adding it to my blog
Anyway, check out a short video I took at the top :
I’m not sure if you could hear the monkeys towards the end of the video, but during our trip there, we could hear monkeys going whoop every few minutes or so. I don’t think that they are going to start rapping anytime soon though.
I really didn’t want to leave the place but there were so many other things to see and visit. So reluctantly, we left and we headed to a couple of farms and botanies. There are quite a number of farms that we went to, so I’ll just group them all together.
Our first farm stop was the family run, Opah Strawberries and Jam. Doesn’t my dad look really small surrounded by these huge cauliflowers? My family looked super excited roaming around the area, pretending to be farmers or something.
I liked seeing the strawberry nurseries, with the flower buds and the tiny berries starting to turn red. I’m not sure if there were a strawberry picking area because the farm seemed to be enclosed. But there was a small kiosk where you could buy strawberry jams and sauces as well as have tea and scones too.
We then went to a place called the Multicrops Central Market and there were loads of varieties of potted plants here ranging from cactuses as well as flowers. There were also souvenirs being sold here too, but I think the highlight of the market were the potted plants.
This bamboo looking plant shaped like a pineapple was a cool thing to see. And there were miniature stacked ones for sale for which I was extremely tempted to buy. It would be nice to put on the coffee table. But I had the feeling that it will be immediately confiscated long before we reach Rome.
Immediately next to the market is a gardening area called Uncle Sam (Sam? Samy? Samoorthy?) Where you could buy more potted plants as well as herbs and fruits. Cart was looking around fascinated, trying to find any European herbs. And indeed, he found some rosemary!
Whereas, I looked around for more unusual fruits. Like this Buah Cinta that my dad is holding.
Directly translate in Malay, this means Love Fruit. But I’ve no idea why its called that. Do you fall in love when eating this? Is this a fruit that you’d love to eat? I’ve no idea. It tastes a little like unripe apple to me.
And we also visited this place called the Rose Center at Kea farm. Unlike the previous two farms, you’d need to pay 5RM to enter. But this place is huge and filled with many different varieties of roses and flowers. My brother Haikal was feeling adventurous enough to go up the steep staircase to try to reach the other end of the farm.
By this time, the rest of my family were not looking forward to trekking, and retreated back to the car. But since we already paid for the entry, I just wanted to get my money’s worth so Haikal, Cart and I pushed on and I saw a very pretty scene.
There was a friendly gardener there and he told us of the different varieties and colours of flowers and proudly showed us the sunflowers that he planted. They were so pretty. I wonder if I could plant the same flowers here in Rome. I’d probably kill them though :
But the displays were a little haphazard, things werent arranged properly, more like stuff that someone just chucked away here and there … And ehh? What is this??? A gameboy???
What is this doing here??? (notice my use of multiple question marks showing how stunned I am) If this is considered old enough to be displayed in a museum, then I am super ancient.
Nevertheless, check out this short video of something I find quite interesting in the musuem :
By the way, at this point of time, there was a group of rambuctious children running around the area. You could probably hear it in the video. Louder than monkeys! I was feeling a little nervous when they started to clang around. Its not my museum, but I wouldn’t want to have anything broken here. I just couldn’t bear to see it.
So we left. And headed toward the last stop in my itinerary – the Boh tea factory.
For me, this was the biggest reason for going to Cameron Highlands. Unfortunately for us, having spent time at the farms and gardens, it was getting a little late. We managed to get there safely, (the roads were as perilous as getting to Mount Brinchang) but it was starting to be night time.
Thus we were not able to see the famed Tea shop and I couldn’t get my Boh tea boxes *sad* In any case, you might want to take a look at the pictures of the plantation here, they are very pretty.
Me : Vorrei regolare qualcosa a te (I want to give you something)
Friend : Cosa? (What?)
Me : Boh! (I don’t know)
Friend : Cosa boh? (What? You don’t know?)
Me : *shrugs* Boh! (Dont know!)
Friend : Vafancu-
And we can go on and on till probably my friends will get super annoyed with me
Anyway, luckily for us the supervisor allowed us to take a look at the factory to see the machines as well as his crew a work. It was such a strong smell of tea outside the factory and inside, it was even stronger with the acidic smell of freshly crushed tea leaves. It took a while for our noses to adjust.
The place was very loud! So it was hard for me to pay attention to the supervisor as he was explaining the different steps. It was interesting seeing the machines move from one segment to another nevertheless, being crushed, the aired, then dried. We were shown how the tea looked like in each process.
And that was the end of our itinerary! What a fulfilling day! We managed to see so many things! I was feeling high from happiness and I think that the rest of my family had fun too. My mum kept saying how blessed she feels to see God’s wonders and was scribbling in her notebook at all the places that we visited (I see potential blogger here)
And it was almost time to drive back home. At this point of time, Spai was still going on with his Silent Hill re-enactment. Only this time, with the player restart mode, no weapons, only a lighter. Its so misty!
But I still was not satisfied! I wanted my Boh tea! And I forced the driver to stop at a shop along the way, where I bought like 10 boxes of Boh tea and several boxes of masala tea. My mum bought more and together between us, we could hardly close the back door of the MPV so we had a couple of items on our laps and our feet even.
I felt so uncomfortable! But I’ll suffer this temporary discomfort because we cannot find these in Italy. The important thing is that I got my Boh! Mmm! Boh ada ummph!
And then, finally, it was time to drive straight back home. I kind of pitied our driver who had to drive the entire journey back non stop and we reached back Singapore at about 4am and I looked at the Woodlands Immigration all full of bikers checking in to go to work.
But all in all, we definitely enjoyed ourselves. What a pity that we didn’t get to spend more time there. Because I’d love to go back there again! Longer next time round. Lets take this as a social experiment gone well
And just for fun, I’m putting in a picture of this slipper I found during our trip to Mount Brinchang.
Some poor baby is going barefoot. I also found a discarded used diaper. But even that’s too much for me to put up in this blog.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my other journeys :
I enjoy attending conferences and listening to different ideas. Some months back, I attended a barcamp in Rome but I thought that it had a long way to go in the organization. Coupled with the fact that there was a TEDx in KL as well as in Singapore, I was feeling quite jealous.
But luckily, I found that there was a TEDx in Italy! It was all the way in Como though, that’s about 700km from Rome so I persuaded Cart to join me. Jerrick decided to join us too when I told him that I would be heading to Milan. And we were all excited about our trip.
November finally arrived and the day before the event, we departed after breakfast and started on our roadtrip!
As it was autumn, Cart and I both were enjoying the scenery and colours of the tree leaves – gold, red, green. It was really lovely. And slowly, after some hours, we saw the landscape start to change.
Since we were heading towards to north, where it is colder, it became foggier and foggier. I was fascinated by how misty it was.
And finally at length, after about 6 hours, we finally reached the motorway exit and paid the toll. For those who are interested to know how much the toll costs from Rome to Milan, its about 33.70 euro
From this point onwards, we had to rely on Cart’s gps function on his E72 since we are both not too familiar with the area. It was quite challenging because for some reason gps did not recognize some of the streets that we wanted to go to. And many times, wasn’t clear at which road to turn to because gps didn’t show that there were multiple lanes. That frustrated the both of us.
It took some tries to get to the right path. Nevertheless, we finally got to central Milan and I observed that there were several nuances in the architecture which gave it a different feel compared to Rome.
For example the roads looked quite different. I’ve yet to see a brick formation like this one below here anywhere in Rome.
As well as the bus stop which could be different because they are run by different services. Indeed in Rome, the public transportation is run by ATAC while in Milan it is run by ATM. This was odd to me because I’ve always assumed that it would be the same throughout the country.
The first thing that you see when you enter, is a table with a basket of condiments and food ready to be used. And right beside is a fully usable kitchen with cutleries and cooking utensils all ready in the cupboard. And there was a fridge stocked with the basics, like milk, a large bottle of water and juice ready.
And walking through, the room actually didn’t feel as cramped as it looked like in the website. And it was surprisingly roomy, with loads of places to store our things.
On every bed, there were towels and slippers each. The beds used foam mattresses instead of spring which could take a little getting used to, but nevertheless it was comfortable.
Walking up the stairs was the loft where Cart and I slept in. And it was surprisingly warmer than the room below considering that the heater wasn’t really turned on. It wasn’t bad for us since it was autumn and the temperatures are cooler, but I cannot imagine how it would be like for guests coming in during the summer.
My small qualm about the bnb was that the bathroom was a tad bit too small. Poor Cartcart cant move about much while showering.
And the bnb can get a tad bit noisy since it was right next to the road and very close to the railway tracks. I didnt hear it much though because Cart and I were dead tired from the road trip and practically comatose the entire night through.
Oh! Another thing is that there was no wifi! And the only way we could connect to the internet was to use the ethernet cable provided. Its tough with 4 internet obsessed people scrambling to use one internet point (we should have brought a router) but nevertheless, it was cozy place and hopefully we’d definitely stay here again the next time we were in Milano
But no time to rest! After dumping our baggage, we headed out to the metro to meet some of the Singaporeans in Milan. I was keen to meet them and hear what they think about living there.
Unfortunately, we were quite late. It didn’t help that it took us a while to get used to the metro lines because it was a little confusing. Even with just 4 lines I was feeling befuddled. I cannot imagine train lines in the UK or even Japan where they have 16 lines (and even more!)
Nevertheless, we got to the bar where the meeting was safely, and I managed to meet the group. It was really lovely to get to know them.
Like Patricia! I finally got to meet Patricia! She’s right there at the left end. We’ve been talking to each other in the facebook group and so far is the Singaporean that I know of that has been living in Milan the longest. I enjoyed listening to her point of view about getting a job in Milan and of her life there.
The rest are mostly students studying in the Milano university and I met a lovely young lady. She was recounting about how tough it was finding a long term job, and many companies prefer to recruit interns for a short term basis.
And there was one guy below here who is taking a course on designing cars. He reminds me so much of my blogger friend Herry. I dont think they are related though.
And not too long after, Jerrick and his friends Joey and Martha arrived. And after a quick chat, we said our goodbyes to the rest of the Singaporean group and headed back to the bnb.
I was already stoned at this point of time and voomp! I fainted on the bed in exhaustion
The next day, Cart and I got up early to head to Como where the Italian TEDx was hosted. Como was about an hour drive from central Milan and again, we had to rely on the gps to take us there.
It was such a chilly but pretty day, and I could not help but to see the beautiful landscape and the autumn colours all around. But we were both nervous as the time was starting to run out, and gps didn’t give us a clear indicator to go to. And we missed the right roads for at least 3 times!
At long last, we finally reached the Politecnico di Milano with just 5 minutes to the start of the talk. Phew! We made it! We quickly got our passes and picked our seats and soonafter the talks started.
By the way, this picture I stole from Luca Mascaro. I’m adding it in because 1) its a nice picture and 2) this is proof that I went. See that me! I’m the one in the green top
Speaking of nice pictures, I am quite amused to see people with their fancy DSLRs and whatnots. Though I do seriously wonder if all of them put it up on sharing sites like flickr or just use them for their own purposes.
In any case, the conference was a very interesting experience. All in all there were about 15 speakers in total each ranging in different topics with most of them in Italian. I’ve still got a long way to go to becoming more fluent in Italian and while I can understand like 50% of the words that they said, it was still like a jigsaw puzzle to me. Thus there were many areas where I was confused and couldn’t see the big picture.
Nevertheless, for the ones that I could understand, I thought it was very fascinating. Like the talk from Tan Le with a device that can read our brainwaves.
During our break time, Cart and I had time to explore around the area for abit. There was a silk and design school nearby and I thought that the students here are so lucky to be able to go to school with such a lovely view of the hill. And then I spotted something interesting!
Oooh! Vespa hand warmers! My first time seeing one!
Being more up north, and bound to be colder, even scooters have their own mittens. This would definitely be useful for warm and toasty hands!
And then we went back to the conference for the rest of the speakers. The TEDx conference ended at about 5.30pm. And all in all, I enjoyed the talk although I do hope that the location will be rotated to move around different parts of Italy. The past two years its been held in Como and I’m definitely looking forward to TEDx Roma or somewhere closer
Anyway we headed off towards Lake Como to meet up with the rest of the group. Unfortunately, because it was autumn, night falls at about 5pm. Thus, it was already dark when we left the polytechnic.
Nevertheless, I fell in love with Como immediately upon reaching there. I can see why George Clooney (he still owes me coffee) loves this place too. Because its so charming! There was a large lake, with shimmering lights across it. And though it was a little like Bracciano, you can tell that the inhabitants take pride in the area – it looked very well taken cared of.
I just wished that it didnt get dark so soon. I take better pictures in daylight and all the while I was wishing that it was like Secondlife and we could adjust the environmental settings and turn it back to day with a click of the mouse.
Oh well! What to do!
And with this, I need my boat-ride kick and am probably going to get a bumboat ride or something when we get back to Singapore.
I see a building with A VOLTA on top of it. This is probably a monument for Alessandro Volta, the developer of the electric cells. He’s born in Como! I didn’t know that! Something new I learnt today. But this building reminds me of a silly joke that Cart told me some while back.
Once upon a time a father asked his son, “How did your test go?”
And the son replied, It went fine, but I couldnt get the right answer for “What is the first name of the inventor of the electric cell, last name volta”
And upon hearing this, the dad looked incredulous and angry. He stormed, “How many times do I have to tell you, its JONTRA!”
ANYWAY! We had a quick walk around the square and I see a number of men in green alpine hats carrying musical instruments and I got curious to know what was going on. And there were more of them as we walked towards the duomo.
Cart told me that these men were helpers to the duomo, much like the Swiss guards for the the Saint Peter’s square in Rome. We didn’t spend too much time in there though as there was a mass going on and Cart was uncomfortable at the thought of me wanting to take pictures inside.
As the four of us were quite peckish, we adjoured to find a restaurant. I dont know about the others, but it gave me the Clark Quay feel with the rows of restaurants next to the river.
We chose a random restaurant for our dinner. Its a nice looking place with a lovely decor.
Unfortunately the food to me was bland and forgettable, and something happened there that made me feel very queasy. So … I’m not putting up any pictures of it.
But I guess to be fair, the only thing I liked from the restaurant was the classy menu design.
I didn’t really have a good impression of the food in Como but nevertheless, the beautiful view of the lake made up for it and we spent the rest of the evening taking a stroll and enjoying our gelato before heading back to the bnb.
I think I am enamoured with Como. Even the touts were milder here, and they go away when you shake your head at them unlike their more persistent Roman counterparts.
The next day. It was already our last day there. Woah, time passed by really fast and we only had half a day left in Milan. So rushed! Nevertheless, I was in he mood for dressing up.
Actually, that was just a farce to camwhore … *coughs*
I felt a bit unsatisfied that I didn’t even get to see the major monuments in Milan. At least the Duomo. Who goes to Milan without seeing the Duomo?! Joey and Jerrick had already seen the duomo while Cart and I were at TEDx and both wanted to go shopping
I was feeling a bit torn. But we’d probably be back here *crosses fingers* next year, so alright. Shopping it is. And so, we said our goodbyes to the bnb and to Milano.
Bye bye Milan! Bye bye random planted flowers! Bye bye road bricks! Bye bye bus stops!
I was sad to leave Milan and all its charms. And Milan must have been sad to see me go too, because not before too long, the weather started to get bad. Silent hill bad.
Drizzles started to turn into rain and it was super misty outside. I asked Joey and Jerrick if it was the same for them back in UK, and they replied no, it never got to this thick
Anyway we headed towards this place called Serravalle, which is about an hour drive from central Milan. Its a designer outlet like Castel Romano, only bigger in size and housed with more brands.
I saw brands like Prada, Ferragamo, Bulgari, Ferrari and more.
We went into many different high end stores. I wasnt feeling it till we went into Dolce and Gabbana. I didnt care much for their clothes but when I laid my eyes on this, my heart just melted.
This is the limited edition 2009 Fall/Winter collection. And this is the most beautiful shoe I have ever seen in my whole life. that Its so gorgeous! I would put it in a glass case and worship it every morning.
Its so beautiful! And I’d love to have it. But its bloody 700 euro even after a discount from 1400 euro … I cant afford it
Cart must have seen how upset I felt, so he went off to buy a bag for me in another store, “It might not be the same thing, but I hope you’ll like it” And I do! So sweet of him
And not before too long, we had to rush to send Jerrick and Joey back to Malpensa. Cart was very worried that they both would miss their flight since it was getting close to 2 hours before their flight so he drove them there directly and we said our goodbyes.
By the way, something that perplexed me was that for an airport that was supposed to be “Milan Airport” was no where near Milan! It took another hour to get there! Oh my gosh!
And then it was our time to back to Rome. Seven antagonising hours from Malpensa to head back home. Really male-pensa (head ache) I had to continuously shift around to avoid back aches and kept looking at Cart to make sure that he doesn’t fall asleep on the road. It was midnight when we finally reached home and by then I think we both fainted even before reaching the bed after the long journey.
This is probably the most tiring one that I’ve ever taken so far, even more than the vespa club road trip to Malacca, even more than our flight from Dubai to Singapore. Nevertheless, I had a lovely time and would love to go again, longer the next time so we could finally see the different sights of Milan.
Lately, I’ve quite a number of emails asking me about travelling to Italy. Its wierd, because I’m not such an expert at travelling, but I’ll try my best to help and answer these frequently asked questions
*puts on glasses and taps on whiteboard*
Ok here goes!
Now that you’ve decided to visit Italy, Rome in specific …
When are the best times to visit Rome?
Italy, as well as the rest of Europe, has its own charms in each seasons. Because Singapore is of an equatorial climate where the temperature is usually consistent the whole year round, winter could be interesting for those who’s never experienced it before. Or summer could be great because the temperatures then would be quite similar to Singapore, moreover it could be an experience to hang out with the Italians at the beach.
But personally for me, I think the best times would be April-May for Spring or September-October for Autumn. During these months, the temperatures are not too hot, not too cold. A comfortable 22-25 degrees and it does not rain too much during these times. Moreover the colours and vibrancy are very interesting to see.
Which airline do I book with?
The best times to book for airline tickets would be to book about 6 months in advance. The earlier the better because it will be a higher chance that ticket prices could be cheaper.
So far the best rates that I got from Singapore to Rome two ways is 1.3k SGD including taxes via KLM and Emirates. But sometimes it is helpful to wait till when there are airline promotions like the SIA’s yearly promo because prices fluctuates depending on the day and month that you book so its a gamble. So don’t feel too bad if you find that the prices go down the next day. But you could also try to do a search through Zuji to see what the average rate is like.
If not, you might want to try to wait till the last moments while booking or try lastminute.com. This is because there could be a chance that someone could cancel their booking and you could get a flight ticket for way cheaper although there will be a big risk that you wont get the dates that you want. Thus only use this option if you’re not on a schedule.
But in any case, you might want to take a look at tripadvisor for tips on where to stay. In fact, I used this website to give me some hints on where to stay for our trip to Milan. What’s nice about this website is that the lodgings are rated by real people who has personally visited these places and most of them give their unbiased review.
For instance, I was considering on doing a short vacation in Cameron Highlands and while doing my research, I stumbled upon an online advertisment and looking through the site, I thought that this could be a nice place to stay. From the pictures, it looked so lush and charming
Unfortunately, there were so many bad reviews about it online, now I’m thinking twice about visiting it. Thus apperances can be deceiving! It is also useful to do an in depth search online through blogsearches for other personal experiences.
On the other hand, you could support my friend Eu Chai. He’s travelled around Italy extensively made a website with a list of lodgings.
By the way, one thing to take note of, is that the average rate for a night in a hotel is at least 80 euro a night. So if you are on a budget, I’d suggest that you try a bed and breakfast. I like bed and breakfasts because its a flat rate and you could divide the cost by how many people are in your group.
Lets say a bed and breakfast room costs 120 euro a night, and there are 4 people in your group, you only pay 30 euro per person! I think that’s a good value if you’re not too fussy about your accomodations. Personally for me, I prefer B&B’s anyways, its a better value since I’ll be spending my time exploring rather than just staying in all the time. Just make sure to keep your valuables safe.
OR if you’re in a serious serious budget, you might want to try youth hostels or even couchsurfing. Couchsurfing basically means that you can stay at someone’s house and sleep on whatever spare space they have available like the sofa or the floor. It’s not glamorous, and you would have no privacy, but on the other hand, its a good way to have an in depth view of a local’s way of life.
No guarantee that you can has kittens
Although, by doing this method, it is very important that you need to do this with the utmost discrepancy. Check the person and see if this person has a high rating and experience doing this. You wouldn’t want to risk staying with a psycho.
How do I get around in Rome?
Now that you’re already landed in Rome, and you are ready to move around. What do you do?
The easiest way is to take the taxi. Its very convenient, although I don’t really recommend it so much because it can be quite pricey. Even with a legit taxi, one way trip alone from the airport to your lodgings alone can cost about 50 euro. Moreover there are too many horror stories where unlicensed taxis totally cheat off unsuspecting tourists.
On the other hand, while public transportation takes longer, its more affordable. The train connecting from the airport to the city centre costs about 5 euro. And when you’re in the city centre you are free to travel with busses and underground train tickets going for 1 euro one way. But there are also tourists tickets that you could purchase for unlimited rides. Just always remember to validate your ticket just before boarding.
Another way that I really like is by taking the open bus. With this bus, you could have an overview of all the monuments in Rome for about 15 euro and when something catches your fancy, you stop and explore. This ticket is valid for 2 days which is more or less enough to explore the main monuments!
Speaking of which, I really should take the Duck Tour when we are back in Singapore. I know I’m Singaporean, but now I’m curious to see how its like!
What should I visit in Rome?
There are heaps to things to see here in Rome! I advice you to plan your route and schedule in advance because it can get quite tiring to try to visit all in one go.
Here, let Diana Ross give you a preview of what you could visit! There are an amazing amount of monuments in there! See if you can spot something familiar!
If not, here are some places that you must not miss when you are visiting Rome.
1. Saint Peter’s Square
San Pietro is a monumental building where the pope lives. Its so large and tall that you could stack up at least 50 humans to reach the top. And if you are lucky enough to head there on Sunday morning, it would be fantastic as you could see the Pope in action during a mass. Click here to read my blog post on Saint Peter’s Square
2. Castel Sant Angelo
And when you’ve already visited San Pietro, you should visit this too. Castel Sant Angelo is a fortress which has a long pathway which is connected directly to the Saint Peter’s Square. If you are here during August, the caretakers has interesting night activities. Click here to read my blog post on Castel Sant Angelo.
3. Piazza Navona
If you’ve watched Angels and Demons, you might remember the scene where the assassin tries to drown one of he cardinals in one of the fountain in Piazza Navona. In real life, it would be impossible though because the fountain is so shallow all he needs to do is to stand up!
But in any case there is a vibrancy here, with the place full of artists, drawing as well as performance, there is always something to see.
The Vittorio Emanuele monument, also lovingly called, the typewriter by the locals here is a building to honour the first king as well as the unknown soldiers from the first world war. It is also the location used in the amazing race season 1, episode 6. Yes, I am such a geek!
So when you are there, its just a straight walk towards other interesting sights such as the Colosseum and the fontana di trevi. Don’t forget to throw a coin there so that you’d come back to Rome! <rant>Not like this stupid movie with loads of actors pretending to be Italian and this actress takes a coin from some non-existent fountain of love in Rome (wtf?) so that she’d get a boyfriend … or something</rant>
But if you are up to it, why not hang out with a local for a drink or dinner or whatever. Singaporeans in Italy and Malaysians in Italy (or any other group where you come from) We are a very friendly and outgoing bunch and you’d get another perspective of Italy which is beyond the touristic manuals. It could be interesting!
I want to go shopping! Where can I get the best deals in Rome?
The best times to go shopping in Italy is during January and July! Because this is the sale season! Woohoo! During these times, items can go from 30 – 50% off. Only thing is that it is older stock though. But if you’re like me, who cares right?!
These are a couple of clothes I got from this year’s summer sale! You could also save more if you visit an outlet. One of the most famous one is Castel Romano. I think its not really that acessible since its kind of out of Rome so I didn’t see any connecting public transportation but if you’re looking for deals on branded items, this is the place to go.
What are some of the food that I should try here in Rome?
This is a tough one because of my religious belief, there are some food that I cannot consume and have to be prepare by myself.
But nevertheless, while in Rome, there are some food that you MUST try like pizza and pasta and gelato and Italian coffee!!! There are so many varieties that you’s have a lot of fun finding out the combination that you will like
And here are a few of the places that I absolutely love :
For a whole pizza, I really love La Gianicolense. There are heaps of other fabulous pizzeria, but to me, this place is faboo! I try to nom every single bit of pizza.
And for pizza al taglio, where you can choose your pizza by weight, my very favourite would be Eligio (Viale Villa Pamphili 46). Everything is freshly made, and you can taste how flavourful each slice is. Mmm!
There are sooOOo many gelateria in Rome, but I think the place that you must try would be Tony Gelateria on account that while the place looks modest, the gelato is orgasmic. Every friend that we’ve introduced to here absolutely adores it, once they’ve given it a try.
Its not so easily accessible (actually all 3 of these places aren’t so accessible since its not in the city centre, but I really think that its really worth going to. Call it a food pilgrimage if you may.
And coffee? I don’t really have any preferences so far, but Illy and Lavazza are the top brand coffee here and you cant go wrong with any bar using that. And there are so many types that you might want to try them all! (just not all at once) One of my favourite coffee so far is the Marocchino.
This is made of one part espresso, one part steamed milk and a bit of cocoa powder or chocolate syrup on top of it. And its really really good.
But most importantly is, what ever you do … DON’T go to Macdonald’s or Starbucks (yes, the bugger is opening in Rome in 2011) and the likes … I WILL KILL YOU. And what’s the point anyway when you can eat that in your own home town?
Yikes! Okay! Any other advice you could give me?
Like any other experiences when travelling overseas be it in Italy or any other parts of the world, always keep yourself as well as your valuables safe and close to you. Most part of Rome are nice, but there are a number of touts in the city centre – Taxi touts, rose touts, even restaurant touts. So you need to be vigilant.
Lets see if you can spot this blackboard during your trip to Rome
To avoid being cheated, sometimes you need to be fierce and stand your ground. But in the worst case scenario, find out about your country’s embassy contact. But I really hope that situation doesn’t happen.
You might want to learn a bit of basic Italian phrases. While many areas in the city centre knows English, generally people are warmer when you speak their native language. This bbc website is pretty good.
Oh! And please please please wear comfortable shoes. Rome’s city centre is full of cobble stones and it just doesn’t make sense to be wearing high heels. Screaming feet in pain is not sexeh.
Just ask Victoria Beckham’s son.
Wait wait, the most important tip is to have fun! Take your time exploring and absorbing the area and well … take loads of pics
So there are some of my tips. It is not the most complete, but I’ll leave it here for now (I’m also quite tired and my butt is aching from typing for 4 hours straight) But in any case if there are anyone who needs more help, or have any suggestions, please feel free to comment in the comment box below and if you find this article useful, do forward this post to your friends
If you liked this post, you might enjoy my travels posts :
Surpassing my initial apprehension, with all of them having an Italian heritage, some of them having ancestors from Sicilia, Sardegna and others, they were genuinely interested in learning and sharing. So there were many questions that I would have liked to ask them. But its just too bad that I feel rather shy when meeting new people.
I is cheeken. A dead cheeken
Anyway! Bevagna is a very charming little town in Umbria which is about 2 hours drive from Rome. And much like our trip to Terminillo, the roads were filled with interesting roadsigns as well as vineyards and olive plantations. Umbria, by the way is a famous for its greenery and also their quality of wines and olive oil.
Another thing about it that reminds me of Malaysia is that to pass through different regions, we need go through a toll gate, and just in case you were curious to know what an Italian toll ticket looks like, here is one.
And just in case you were curious, it costs 3.40 euro which is enough to buy me a nice pack of patatine.
And right after going through the toll station, I saw a sign called Bastardo. I kid you not!
I’ve no idea why any village would want to call their town Bastard. This town could probably be friends with this little town in Austria. Hopefully Cart and I could stop there one day to see how the scene there is like
At long length, we reached Bevagna.
At first look, it was such a charming little town! It looked very similar to Leonessa, with the rows and rows of charming little buildings along a narrow stretch of road. There were quite a fair bit to see along these little shophouses and I was sorely tempted to get this adorable broom made of straw (Not the drinking straw :p)
I love every little detail that they put in every nook and cranny. These Bevagnans seem to take pride in what they do. Like flowers in vases on almost every table I see.
I find it very charming … as if I’m in Europe
We had a quick meet with the mayor who welcomed us, and off we headed to see the different sights of Bevagna.
One of the first places that we visited was an old church which was built at the end of the 12th century. Woah, that’s really old. Its amazing that something so historical could last and still be standing till today. Something interesting that I noticed was that there was a metal beam across the church.
If you look carefully in the picture, you’ll see Assasin’s Creed getting ready to swing.
Ok, I’m kidding! The truth is, there was a strong earthquake some years back and the beams were constructed to strengthen the build. I hope that it’ll hold. Its a shame that a number of historical buildings did not make it during the earthquake of Abruzzo last year.
Like all prayer houses, its very peaceful inside.
But what lies beneath could have a more sinister meaning … as this looks just like a scene from Phantasmagoria. You cant even escape from the window above it. I tried. Its really tiny.
We then headed to the Francesco Torti Theater who is a scholar by the way, not to be confused by the well loved Roma Soccer player Francesco Totti. This theater was opened in 1886. That makes it over a century old. Woah.
It might not be a huge theatre as it only holds 251 people, but my gosh, how beautiful it looks like. The seats are so plush, and the bannisters were golden.
And oh my, even the ceiling were beautifully painted. The artist responsible for this was Mariano Piervvittori. And he envisioned the arts as dancing muses.
We were so inspired that even the students felt moved enough to do an impromptu performance. One was reciting some verses from Shakespeare, one was playing the piano and another even sang opera.
After admiring the lush theatre, we then then headed to an ancient Roman thermal buildings. It was built towards the 2nd century AD, so its pretty old! The mosaics were interesting to see, but pictures aren’t allowed here. Nevertheless, I’m sure there could be something that could be found through google.
Actually, I’m looking forward to experience and enjoy a genuine working Roman thermal bath. I’m not sure where I could find it though. Hopefully we could find one in time
After seeing the thermal bath mosaics, we had a lunch break. And by this time, I was so famished! Walking does bring the appetite!
We stopped by a museum where there were a feast waiting for us on the table, lovingly home cooked by a group of Italian aunties.
All of the food were prepared using ingredients that are found in the region. I especially liked their sweet and sour onion, their parmiggiano cheese which tastes uniquely sweet as well as their Farro.
Farro is a type of wheat that remains crunchy even after boiling. And you could prepare them in many ways, like a sort of salad.
I was so enamoured by my farro that I had to say something to the Italian aunties. Even with my lousy Italian. She was happy anyway and began to teach us the recipe.
Cart was so inspired that he made a whole bowl the next day. Its easy! Maybe I’ll show you in a future blog post
After our lovely lunch, we were raring to continue exploring. And then we were informed that we will be seeing a feature 3 traditional artisan jobs were featured.
Turns out that once a year in Bevagna, starting from the 17th of June, there will be a medieval fair that the entire town will participate in. For the next 10 days, the entire town will recreate how it was like during the dark ages. So anything modern like lights and roads will be covered or removed.
Would be interesting to have a look see during these times. Its like a giant medieval cosplay! And I’ll go in my sarong since thats what Malays probably wear during those times :p
In any case, the first artisan job that we saw was how paper was made in the dark ages.
Life of a paper starts from cloth and fabrics being donated by the town’s people. Its put into sacks and then weighed.
Following which, it will be cut into small pieces with a sharp machete looking device. I was amused when one of the students were remarking about how dangerously fast the man was going. For sure its something that takes practise like a chef chopping skills.
But for some reason, it reminds me of the days when my grandparents were still living in Pulau Tekong – which was an Island in Singapore before it was taken over by the military. I remember how my uncles would get rid of the coconut husk with a device that looked something like that. But now that I think about it, what a dangerous chore it was if they weren’t careful!
Anyway, the chopped up cloth are then placed into boxes where they will be smashed to a pulp with this wooden device. Traditionally it was generated by the river current. But as there was no river to generate it, electricity is used instead. The device is still the same since the dark ages though.
And its pretty hypnotising to watch.
After that, the pulp will be mixed with a mixture of water and salt to be softened even more. And when its ready, it will be shaped with specific moulds as seen right next to the guy here.
And then finally be air dried and probably squashed even more for a thinner paper. The paper is then given its final touches to neaten them and then finally decorated if needed.
The whole process for traditional paper making takes about a month. And even longer for this lovely Mona Lisa watermark paper. If it took a month for paper to be made, would their newspaper be oldpaper since they don’t carry new news?
Then we headed to see how candles are made in the dark ages.
The first thing that I detected while going near the candle maker was how the area smelled so much like honey. And indeed, the candle maker explained how they collected honeycombs to extract paraffin wax for the making of the candles.
What’s interesting to me was that there were different shades of yellow for the candle since the colour is affected by the types of flowers being extracted due to the seasons. Dark yellow for winter and lighter yellow for summer. And the way that he twists the candles is pretty interesting too. Kind of like making epok-epok.
Check out the clip below.
And we had a bit of time to see a traditional herbalist
This is I guess is a apothecary during the dark ages.
And there were a plentiful of dried flowers and herbs, giving the shop a lovely fragrant smell.
That and the glass jars and all, doesnt it totally look like a scene out of Harry Potter? I’d like a be rich spell please
And finally we saw how silk threads are made traditionally. Unfortunately for Cart and me, we stayed a while to buy the candles and when we popped out of the shop, the group was gone. It took a while for us to find them again. So we missed a good 15 minutes of ‘how silk is made’ explanation.
Oh well. Serves us right -_-
But in any case, we did get to see how the threads are traditionally spun in the original machine using human power. According to the lady, it takes about 9 hour to completely fill the spools. Hm. I think I wouldn’t mind it if I had cable tv in front of me or maybe an internet ready netbook. Of course people in the dark ages dont have that
Here’s a short clip of the machine in motion.
It looks interesting. And you know what? Even spiders are motivated enough to make their own spindle. Check out this intricate spiderweb I noticed this just at the door.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that without us realising it, we’ve come to the end of the tour and we said our goodbyes.
As we were both old fogies, Cart and I ended feeling quite tired.
Nevertheless, it was such a nice day. And we look forward to visiting Bevagna again during their Medieval Gaite Market. Anyone wants to come with us?
Oh. And do wear sunscreen.
I spotted this out at the bus where the students were taking
Italians sure do love their coffee don’t they? They even have a coffee maker installed in the bus!
The day before, we spent the afternoon with new friends Margaret and Sathia and with the new mummy, Lynn. So that makes it an early mummy’s day celebration, huh?
Anyway, on mothers day, Cart and I has been spending afternoon in Eur. We’ve been spending time here for a couple of weeks now.
Eur is a very interesting place. It was started by Benito Mussolini to celebrate the 20 years of facism. The exhibition never took place due to world war two, but nevertheless, it was completed in the 60′s to what we have today.
Its not hard to miss the architecture in Eur. Its rather opulent and grand here despite it being far away from the city centre. Regardless, its actually rather accessible to get to as its just a walking distance from the EUR Palasport subway.
This is a church at the end of Viale Europa. Sometimes there would be a fair at these steps. Just last week there were people selling pots of beautiful different coloured roses here. And by the way, with it being spring season now, roses are starting to bloom beautifully. Which would be a fantastic time to start going to the rose gardens in Circo Massimo.
Not too far away, there is a big lake which is called the Parco Laghetto where Cart and I have been Eur Laghetto to do some exercises, courtesy of Roma 12 which is hosting this free for all event every Sunday till the end of June.
There isnt a lot of people participating so far, but I’ve been telling almost everyone I know in Rome, and hopefully there will be more in due time
Which is what actually happened yesterday. Usually the area where we exercised was very tranquil. Even with the large traffic coming in and out, it was still roomy. This time round, I was surprised to see so many people. Kids running around. Parents crowding around tents getting food and freebies. People walking around with food in their hands. And a deejay blasting through all the cacophony.
Of course the first thing that came to my mind was, “Where did you get that pizza? Is it free? I want” And I demanded Cartcart to teach me how to say it in Italian.
In any case, exercise first! Initially I was embarrassed to be exercising in front of all these people. But what’s the point of going all the way here with the intention to exercise and not do it in the end right? So I’ll just grin and exercised anyway. Its not like I knew any of them
There were some kepokians and people who stared but nothing bad happened. Cart and I went around to have a look see after we finished.
Hey look! Its the fake Mickey and fake Minnie! I call them fake because they are a lot slimmer compared to their American counterpart. Could be all the healthy pasta they are eating! The last time that we’ve seen them were in a carnevale in Castelli Romani in February
We then walked to a corner where we found this :
I find the Italian road naming system interesting. I wonder why this is called the Japanese Passage. Were there any Japanese influence here? But to be fair, there is even a Singapore street in my neighbourhood way before I started living here.
Not too far away, there is a bridge where there will usually be a man doing a puppet show or a street vendor, selling trinkets like toys and such.
This guy was wierd though. He played smooth criminal on his CD player and all through his performance, he just jiggled his puppets on the table. Why? Funny meh?
In any case, I dont know about you, but this place gives me the Central Park vibe. Yes, yes. Even if I’ve never ever stepped a foot in the States, but still … :p
There are lots to see here. From all sorts of little creatures like colourful lizards.
To a family of ducks
And you could see a family of people feeding pigeons
As well as the occasional grass monsters lying down or reading in the grass. Camoflaging as a human
Oh! And there is a cute little train here that goes around the lake which is more for kids, but also useful for people like me who are lazy to walk around too much to explore around the area
But in any case, I dont know about you, but with the lake and this train totally reminds me of the amusement park that I built in Roller Coaster Tycoon. Anyone remember this game? Sometimes, when I’m feeling evil, I’d pick up my customers and drop them in the lake
Speaking of lake! I saw a number of people kayaking, and boating around. I love kayaking since I first gave it a try in school. I had a blast with my girlfriends kayaking in Thailand and was looking forward to my next session. This could be a place where I could go kayaking next time.
Apart from that, there were pedal boats, sail boats and dinner on boats for two. I looked at Cart and he immediately said no. He wasn’t looking forward to having flies as the third party. Guess I’d have to scratch the idea of a romantic dinner on a boat for the two of us
Anyway I spotted this banner outside the boat rental area. I pointed out to Cart and said, “Woah, that guy looks like a movie star!” And then I looked closely and was pleasantly surprised.
Did you know that this place is actually a spot where Federico Fellini filmed a movie? Federico Fellini is a famous director who probably best known for La Dolce Vita. I shouldnt be surprised though since its beautiful here.
That makes me quite jealous of the people who are living in the area nearby. Big houses. Rich people. How nice would it be to live next to a big park like that, yeah? Being surrounded by so much greenery. Granted that Cart and I live right next to a small park ourselves, its not bad but I’m going to continue to try to be a world superstar. Or something
Another thing to be jealous of these people is that there is a Giolitti here! Giolitti is a gelateria and this brand is very well known in Italy and is considered to be one of the best ice cream here. Even better than Tony. Its slightly more expensive compared to a regular gelateria. But tasting it, you could even tell the difference in how smooth the texture is. Cart even snootily said, “Its worth paying extra for”
Oh well, I’m not complaining since he’s treating me!
I’m not sure if this picture goes into this blog-post, but I thought that it was interesting.
Its a stand where you could seek for help. You press a button here and the carabinieri or the police will be able to assist you. Its probably useful for when your phone or phone signal dies yeah?
Oh, I just remembered something! There is no graffiti on this stand?! That’s the most amazing thing of all! Normally juvenile delinquents love to scribble stuff over things like these. I must have struck lottery or something. ‘Cept I don’t play lotto
Eur sure is gorgeous. It might not be a touristy destination. But if you have an afternoon to spare in Rome, this would be a lovely place to spend time in.
To end this blog post, I’m gonna put up a picture of me lying in the grass
The initial plan was to head out to the Mount Terminillo to see the snow but the weather in Rome has been rather bad, hence we headed to Castelli Romani instead.
It was interesting going through the roads. There were layers of snow everywhere. Since we were outside of Rome, it was colder and more prone to snow.
By the time we reached there, the main roads were closed and I saw a number of traffic police wardens giving fines and towing vehicles away. And then I saw a number of booths being set up. It looked as if there was a pasar malam about to start.
I was very curious by this point of time. What was going on?
But there was no time to stop and investigate as we both did not want to be late for lunch. Italians are very iffy about their food times. If you go to a restaurant at 3.30pm or later for lunch, big chances is that you’ll be turned away.
Hohoho! Big diamond! Imagine if there were anyone having a diamond ring as big as this!
In anycase, we were lucky that even with the large amount of patrons in the trattoria, we had a table. And it was really crowded. The waiters were running around serving the patrons, some looked quite tired.
So we camwhored while waiting for our food to arrive.
Here I am posing with my mini-hat. I bought this while in Singapore just for fun, not knowing when I’d wear it. But I’m wearing it now since its the last few days of Carnevale. When else would I wear it after all? Its cute how people tend to smile and wave more when I’m wearing it. Hehehe!
As a sidenote, I saw something similar to my mini-hat in a shopping mall in Rome. It was almost 50 euro! Woah! I liked it, but I couldn’t bear to pay that much money for it!
Cart camwhored too
Eventually, our food arrived and it was interesting to see how our table was decorated. With the red flower shaped place mat, and the heart shaped napkin holder.
I was admiring the napkin holder and that’s when I saw some words printed behind it. Rubato alla Trattoria dei Cacciotori. And I asked Cartcart what Rubato meant.
And he replied, “Stolen from”
We had a good laugh out of that.
Soonafter our food arrived. I had my beloved Piccantine ai funghi porcini and Cart had his Ravioli.
And then Cart had his artichoke while I had my verdure cotte in the background.
Cart absolutely LOVES artichoke and he’d buy 6 pieces of fresh artichoke at one go in the market. And for one week he’d make fried artichoke, artichoke in fritata, pasta with artichoke. Oh my god. I don’t mind artichokes in small doses but I’m starting to have a phobia of these things.
Anyway! On to the desserts
Initially I wanted tiramisu but since they ran out of it, I settled for this Torta Della Nonna. It was good! I loved the lemon cream in my cake.
And no, I didnt share with Cartcart
Cart can keep his Creme Caramel
We left the trattoria after having our espresso and thats when I saw what was going on. The booths were fully set up and there were loads of people in costumes walking around. There was a carnevale festival going on! Oooh!
Its not as festive as the ones in Rio De Janeiro but it was still very cheery and happy-fying anyways. I loved looking at the different colours which was in contrast to the cold chilly afternoon.
Everyone was having fun, smiling and playing with each other. There were heaps of confetti pieces everywhere. On the floor, on people, being strewn in the air.
And there were so many people wearing costumes both young and old. I spotted out this group of costumers wearing a Cleopatra outfit, an ancient Roman soldier, a princess and Pinocchio … Hmm … So tempted to pull his nose off
There were also several cute outfits that I spotted out, like a really adorable Hello Kitty baby! Daphne would love that! Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to snap them. But I did got a couple of shots.
This is Po from the Teletubbies! (By the way, its interesting that the Italian version of Teletubbies, they speak properly, not in baby language)
Here is a cute little chicken about to lay an egg
And this is a totally fake looking Minnie and Mickey mouse with fake pooh in the background. Could be a copyrighted issue.
They were a hit with the kids anyway, with kids asking them constantly to play and dance with them.
And there were countless of kids throwing confetti and spraying foam from cans. I’m not too fond of the foam things. So upon spotting them, I quickly swerve and manouvered away. I don’t want to get my outfit messed up.
But these kids are having fun spraying it on their friends. Their cheeks a bright pink from all the running around. There was one boy who made a foam beard on himself even. He looked like a young santa claus
I was a little confused though, as I saw a couple of policemen confiscating the foam cans from a couple of kids and pulling out the nozzle so that it doesn’t function anymore. The ironic thing is that there was a small booth selling it just next to the policemen. So is it illegal or no?
Anyhow, there were also a few sideshows. Cart and I spotted a small parade band, a South American musical performances and this acrobatic act.
It was ok. I mean, after being used to seeing Chinese acrobatic troops, I’m a little harder to impress
At the end of the road where the festivities ended, Cart and I naturally camwhored.
For some reason, my sister thinks that we look very married in this picture. Maybe its because we *are* married
We later drove to Nemi just for a quick look see since it was along the way. Cart feared that it would be like during the Ferragosto period and would have absolutely no space for parking.
Fortunately, it was fine, and we found a spot at the entrance.
I was still fascinated by the stacks of snow everywhere. The different seasons is something interesting to see. The same spot looking different at different times of the year.
Lake Nemi is still as pretty as the last time that we’ve been there. I liked looking down to see the different buildings and farms which is built in a concentric manner around the lake and the cars going by the roads. They were so tiny from down there! Like the size of ants.
Having a bit of time before it was completely dark, we walked up to an area where you could see the lake better.
It was really nice to see the area decorated with valentine’s day decorations. There were balloons and pinks at every turn and corner. Its so secondlife!
We walked down the bridge and thats when I saw a familliar face. Its the same kitty I saw the last time we were here with Jerrick!
Its impossible to take a clear shot of the cat since she’s always moving and wriggling. And she is still as claw-y as ever. Here she is molesting my chest and clawing my coat
But its probably because of the cold. I’m tempted to just kidnap her but she looks well fed and taken cared of, so I’m sure that she belongs to someone.