All posts filed under: Travel

Travel Plan

Can you believe it’s almost the end of September. We have had such a busy year, and we really haven’t had much time to travel. Don’t know about next year. I guess we will have to worry about it when it comes. We are going to China at the end of the year. It will be a very short holiday, but exciting! Since we won’t have a lot of time, the plan is focusing on two cities, Beijing and Shanghai. I have been to Beijing many times when I was much younger. However, I haven’t visited the city for probably more than 10 years. I kinda miss it a lot lately. It’s time to see the ancient city again. Great Wall No one will travel to Beijing without seeing the Great Wall, one of the Wonders of the World. It was built from Qin Dynasty to Ming Dynasty to defend the cities from invaders. The view is always spectacular. Because it will be winter in China, I think we will give up on the idea …

Vanuatu

When you are based in Australia or New Zealand, a short trip to one of the Pacific islands seems like a no-brainer. I constantly hear friends or colleagues organising trips to Fiji, Bora Bora, Rarotonga, New Caledonia and so on. We have been to Rarotonga few years ago, and we loved it. It was simple and relaxing. When we wanted to have a getaway trip this year, we decided to give Vanuatu a go. Vanuatu is officially called the Republic of Vanuatu, inhabited originally by Melanesian people who are one of few groups of non-Caucasian with blond hair. The French had very strong influence back in 1768 on the island. We still could find nice French wine there during our trip, which was a nice surprise. Among all the islands, we decided to stay in Efate. It’s the main island of Vanuatu. We booked a villa facing the beach. A tropical island holiday is completely different from a trip to Europe. There is not much to see in terms of history and culture compare to …

Day trip to Canberra

We had a day trip to Canberra a while ago. It was also my first time to visit the Australia capital (What took me so long?). Since it was just one day, we had to get up super early to catch the flight. But it was really worth the effort. We booked our meeting in early morning which gave us about half of a day to wander around the city. Canberra is the largest inland city, and it was built to be the capital of Australia. I think that’s why most of the population in Canberra work in public service. The city was really neat and tidy. Since we were in Canberra, we had to visit the old and new Parliament Houses. Otherwise, how can we say that we have been to the capital? Unfortunately, there was not much action in the Parliament that day. All we saw was empty rooms and many other tourists like us. ūüėÄ Save the best for last. Cartier had exhibition in the National Gallery of Australia around that time. …

Indian Summer – Varna

It was my third trip to Varna, Bulgaria. Somehow, I started liking this city more and more. Maybe it started feeling like home. I wanted to know a little bit more about this place each time. It was in September. At this time of the year, the weather in Varna usually gets cold. However, we did have few days, sunny and warm, just like summer. They call it Indian summer or gypsy summer. I kinda like the name.¬† I can’t remember how many times we walked pass this beautiful cathedral,¬†Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. You just can’t miss it. Whenever¬†we went to the city centre or meet some friends for coffee, we always walked pass it. Well, it is located in the centre of Varna. It’s the second largest Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Bulgaria. It was built in 1880 based on the model of Peterhof Temple in Saint Petersburg, and it was officially opened to public in 1886. The domes were covered in copper tin, and it was renovated later in 2002. The …

Pompeii

I think everyone heard about the story of Pompeii, more or less. I will not repeat here in details. In short, the Roman city Of Pompeii was buried by Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic ash, hot lava, and debris in A.D. 79. That’s also the reason that the ancient city is preserved so well, the street, the buildings, even bodies… Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748. The city was very well developed before the volcano eruption. When visiting the archaeological site, we can see well preserved villas and houses. Stone streets are wide. The archaeologists discovered art, artefacts, household goods and so on, which proved Roman civilisation. Pompeii was last place we visited in this trip. It was easy to travel from Sorrento to Pompeii. The train will take you to the site. The archaeological site is very big. It is impossible to visit every single street of the city in one trip. So we booked a walking tour. Everything is very well organised. When we arrived at Pompeii train station. The guide was waiting for us. She …

Sorrento, Italy

With two suitcases and backpacks, we decided to book a limo from Salerno. Sounds luxurious, right? Actually pretty economical in a way. To our surprise, the price was very reasonable, cheaper than a Taxi. There was no direct ferry or train. It saved us a lot of time and hassle. It was actually a very efficient way to get to Sorrento from Salerno. The driver did show up 10 minutes later, but I guess it was acceptable. He spoke fluent English, and he is very knowledgeable. We chatted all the way to Sorrento. He told us quite a few interesting facts about the area. One particular thing is the mist. We had it on the day when we travelled around Almafi coast. We thought it was fog in the morning, but it lasted whole day. The second day was the same. He considered it was caused by pollution. They had been having it quite often recently. We chose Sorrento to be our last base for this trip in Italy. It’s convenient to travel to Pompeii …

Poistano

I’m sure whoever travels to¬†Amalfi Coast w miss Poistano. It’s a jaw-dropping beauty. Wherever we went, people stopped to admire the view and say “Gosh, soooo beautiful!” That is true, though. It is THAT beautiful! When our ferry approached Positano,¬†everyone was busy taking photos. Lonely Planet says “Positano is the Amalfi Coast’s most photogenic town”. I totally agree. Just look at the colour. All you need to do is clicking. You don’t need photoshop or anything else. The whole town is like colour palette, white,pink, yellow, orange. So please to the eye! Same with any other towns and cities we visited in Italy, Positano has had its rise and fall. Like Amalif, it was destroyed by a tsunami. It had been attacked by pirates in 15th century. In 18th century, it became a major port and trading hub for a short time. Due to poor economy, most of the residents moved to US during 19th century. From 20th century, it started to attract a lot of tourists after a road was built to connect Positano …

Alamfi, Italy

From Salerno you can take ferry or bus to travel around Alamfi coast. We went for the ferry. It was the best decision. The view was spectacular, so I highly recommend it. Today’s Alamfi is a beautiful small town on the Alamfi coast, but super touristy, cafes, souvenirs shops, Gelato shops, restaurants and more and more shops. However, in the history, it has been a place with super maritime power. Its history can be traced back to 6th century. At some point, it had a population of more than 70,000. Unfortunately, a tsunami destroyed a big part of the city, and it has never been the same again. Amalfi cathedral¬†is located at the heart of Amalfi. It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral that is dedicated to Saint Andrew. The present cathedral was built in 13th century alongside the old one which was built in the 9th century. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Amalfi. His relics are kept in the cathedral crypt. The crypt is decorated with frescoes and sculptures. There is a bronze statue …

Salerno, Italy

After an amazing day at¬†Tropea¬†(click the name to see the post of Tropea), we hit the road again. Next stop, Salerno. Travelling by car from one city to another in Southern Italy is easy. The motorways are really good. There are a lot of tunnels from Tropea to Salerno. However, we noticed the driving style is a bit of a worry. A lot of drivers basically were floating between lanes. They like to cut corners when they turn. They also cut you off when they change lanes even when the speed is 130 km per hour. So just watch out when you are on the road. Anyway, it took us more than 5 hours to get to Salerno. We drove along the coastline and stopped in quite a few places to see some small towns. Eventually we changed to motorway and went straight to Salerno. Compare to some cities we have been to in Italy, Salerno is a decent-sized city. It has a very long history, started probably from 194 B.C. The first medical school …

Modica, Sicily

Modica, as a city, was built in 1360BC. It was a Roman and Greek City back then, and it is a UNESCO Baroque towns in Sicily now. The town is famous for its chocolate and its mixture architectural styles of Sicilian Baroque and Medieval. The way the town was situated is very special. It was built around steep valley. The Upper Modica, the older part of town, is on top of the¬†Monti Iblei. The Lower Modica is built along the valley bottom, which is also the newly built part after earthquake. Two parts of the town are connected with heaps of steps. We so much wanted to spend more time there. Unfortunately, we only had time for a quick visit at the¬†Chiesa di San Pietro (Cathedral of San Pietro). However, the church itself is certainly worth checking out. It’s at the lower Modica. It was restored after the earthquake in 1963. Therefore, the church is a baroque style church. The outside is simply beautiful with 12 statues of Apostles. Inside, it has the frescoes made …