Archive for the ‘#Travel’ Category
How’s everybody doing? Looking forward to the long weekend I hope! If you have not been following The Chewys closely, we are currently blogging about our 3-week long honeymoon trip in Europe and today, we will be relating our travel experience in Switzerland! You can still catch up on our travelogues about Italy if you have not done so and only if you are interested of course :P
First, let me bring you back to Milan. Mentioned in our previous post that we did a bit of sightseeing before catching the afternoon train to Zurich, Switzerland. Collected our luggages from the concierge at Hotel Bernina and we walked to Milan Central Station.
Hehehe.. Very sweet and thoughtful of misterchewy to help me lighten my load in every possible way :)
Patiently waiting for our train to arrive! After close to 4 hours on the train, we reached Zurich. Omg the feeling was awesome because it was only our 2nd out of 4 countries that we had planned to visit! :D
As I wasn’t feeling well (again) and was craving for something hot and soupy, we had Vietnamese pho at this small eatery called China Vietnam Shop run by an old Asian couple along Militärstrasse. ₣15 per bowl which is roughly SGD21! Freaking expensive but it was really good and I felt better after dinner. Bought bottled water and juices at a nearby convenience stall before walking back to easyHotel where we stayed for four nights.
Day 10 of our honeymoon trip was spent at Lucerne and Mount Titlis! The husband booked a guided tour with Viator online and we registered by presenting our confirmation email.
All ready to set off! There were a few other tourists in the minivan as well but not everybody booked the tour to Mount Titlis.
We stopped after about an hour’s ride because a number of people in the group had signed up to go to Mount Rigi and the tour guide led them to the train station. Alighted the minivan to stretch our legs for a bit while waiting for the tour guide :P
Struggling to keep our eyes open because the shine was shining directly at us @_@
Continued our journey and passed by some beautiful Swiss chalet!
We had a bit of time for sightseeing in Lucerne and we went to see the Lion Monument, otherwise known as Lion of Lucerne which commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution.
Right after this shot, a lady from Switzerland Tourism approached us for our contact to do a short online survey after our trip and we were given Swiss chocolates for that :)
We were given about 30 to 40 minutes to walk around Lucerne’s Old Town but of course we spent more time taking photos so we didn’t get to walk very far.
The Chapel Bridge on the right is aprobably the oldest wooden bridge in Switzerland, spanning diagonally across the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne.
Continued making our way to Engelberg where we would be taking the cable car to Mount Titlis. We were totally awe-stricken by the beautiful view when we got off the minivan! :D
At this point, it began to snow a little! We were so excited!
Here is a view of Engelberg as we ascended via the cable car.
We had to take three different cable cars before we could see and feel eternal snow and ice on top of Mount Titlis. The final cable car to the peak is the Rotair.
Inside Titlis Glacier. Actually, nothing much one. Haha. So we hurriedly snapped a couple of photos and went out.
It was snowing big time when we stepped out! Can you imagine how ecstastic we were?! :D
Silly us started doing jump shots in the snow until one of our tour members told us that the ice flyer would stop operating soon.
Although it was a short walk to the Ice Flyer Chairlift, it was kinda scary because everything was just WHITE and we couldn’t see anything else! The husband almost led the wrong way which was a steep downslope meant for skiers. Ermahgerd! D:
We didn’t take any photos while on the ice flyer because we were freezing and trembling.
Of course, we continued with our jump shots! Not bad right? I still can carry bag and jump. LOLOLOL.
As with all other tours, we didn’t have all the time in the world at Mount Titlis. Our tour guide had briefed everyone on when we should be back in the minivan and we had set a bit of time aside for some winter fun! ;)
We got off somewhere mid slope. There is a huge Omega watch display which looks quite quirky to be seen at Mount Titlis.
Hahaha looks cool but this vehicle is for transporting skiing and snowboarding equipment I think?
The hubby decided to have a go at snow-tubing! :)
There is this travelator thingy so there’s no need to climb upslope!
“Wah! Very fun! I wanna go again!” and so he did. Still a kid at heart I suppose :P
We really had so much fun at Mount Titlis! I think it’s one of my favoritestest places throughout our entire honeymoon trip! I wanna go back to Switzerland! :D
Ending this post with a scenic view captured on our way down in the cable car. Enjoy the long weekend, chewys! Connect with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :)
Howdy chewys! This will be our final post on Italy for our Europe honeymoon travelogue because Milan was our very last stop before we ventured to our next destination! :) We spent a short 2 days 1 night in Milan because it was more like a stopover for us :P
Day 9 of our honeymoon trip saw us checking out of our hotel in Venice in the morning, taking the vaporetto to the train station and reserving train seats with our train pass. We had to wait for more than an hour for the next train to Milan and the wait was pretty agonizing because we had to wait in the cold. Journey from Venice to Milan took 2 hours and 35 minutes to be (quite) exact. We were overjoyed because it was snowing outside when we were about to reach Milan! :D Some evidence of snow behind me, at Milano Central Station :)
After checking into our hotel and having lunch nearby, we took the metro and alighted at Duomo metro station. This is Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), named after the Duomo (Milan Cathedral). If you don’t already know, ‘Duomo’ is a general term for cathedrals in Italy. Yes I was pretty confused myself. LOL.
Duomo di Milano is the largest cathedral in Italy and fifth largest in the world which took nearly six centuries to complete.
We were extremely wary when strangers approached us, offering rice grains to be fed to the birds at Piazza del Duomo. When our friends knew that we were going to Europe, a number of them warned us not to accept anything from these strangers (who are locals btw) even if they claim whatever they are offering to be free. Yeah nothing is free in this world. Basically, these guys offer to take photos of you feeding the birds and subsequently, demand money from you.
Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the kingdom of Italy, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the oldest shopping mall in Italy.
Nope we didn’t buy Prada or Louis Vuitton there, but instead, we bought gelato from Savini! Yum yum! :P But very weird la, we could only test one flavor before buying..
Decided to call it a night and we tabao-ed MacDonald’s back for dinner! Our beloved McD! So long never eat liao! We stayed in Hotel Bernina for one night. Location is very good! 3 mins walk from the central station.
The next morning, we skipped breakfast and headed to Castello Sforzesco. Since we were leaving Milan that day, we had to do as much sightseeing as we could! ALso partly because most places are closed on Mondays so there wasn’t much to see the day before.
Inside the castle! It opens as early as 7am, while the museums open at around 9am. We paid €3 per person to enter the museum.
Hahaha I was so thrilled to see this painting of Venice! :D
There are a handful of museums within the castle but we only visited one due to time constraint and my limited attention span. Oops :P
We visited Santa Maria delle Grazie next. Listen up, people! If you wanna get up close and personal with Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, you gotta reserve tickets at least 2 weeks in advance. We didnt know that we had to book early so we didnt get to see it :( But we did pay €10 per person to view Da Vinci’s other works. No photos were allowed though.
Caught the afternoon train and we were on our way to Switzerland! More on that soon ;) Read about our travel experiences in Italy if you have not done so!
Connect with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :)
Hello Chewys! This photo cute or not? Hahaha! :P On the 7th day of our honeymoon trip, we left Florence immediately after visiting the Uffizi Gallery. It took about two hours to reach Venice by the intercity train, and we hurriedly got off, extremely eager to explore one of the world’s most romantic cities. :) I really really love Venice and wanna revisit this place with misterchewy in future if possible. A number of friends told me that Venice is sinking?! :’(
The main modes of transportation in Venice include the vaporetto (water bus), water taxi and of course, the gondola. We purchased the vaporetto time-limited tickets which were very much cost effective than if we were to buy tickets on a per trip basis. This is how their water bus stop (behind misterchewy) looks like! One way for entering and the other is for exiting.
On the vaporetto with our luggages! Omg the speed of these water buses is really really slow.. Hahaha. I think we alighted around the fourth stop or so, at Sant’Angelo vaporetto stop because that is a mere 3-minute walk to our hotel. However, the entire place was like a maze and we wasted a lot of time trying to find our way there and pulling our luggages everywhere with us. The husband even tried asking for directions from this elderly dude at a hotel but he said, “Sorry, no information.” Freaking rude! >:(
Of course, we found the place in the end if not we had to sleep by the roadside or riverside in this context. What a relief. LOL. All that exercise certainly whetted our appetite and we quickly settled for lunch nearby.
Nice experience eating outside Ristorante San Stefano, in the fine cool weather with the sun shining down on us! :)
We opted for the set lunch which included starters, mains and desserts at an attractive price and was quite a good deal.
From our hotel, we were able to walk to Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) and we also passed by Hard Rock Cafe along the way.
St Mark’s Basilica.
It was really bleeding cold when we were hanging around Piazza San Marco. The winds were really strong and we stood there feeling very helpless because there was nowhere to hide! I think it was there and then I caught a cold. *Sniff sniff* :(
As it was close to nightfall, and clearly, temperatures had dipped, we promised ourselves that we would return the next day for our gondola ride! :)
Bridge of Sighs. Apparently, this bridge was named as such because prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before their imprisonment.
We sighed too. Venice is just so charming and lovely. Every honeymooning couple should visit Venice! :D
I was actually beginning to feel a little under the weather but I was so enthralled by Venice’s beauty that I refused to leave because all I wanted was simply to bask in its misty and magical atmosphere. Venice has a slow pace of life which makes a great getaway for working adults who need a good break from work (and never go back). Haha.
It was getting darker and colder, and misterchewy had to pull me away so that we could go back to our hotel.
We stayed at Locanda Antico Fiore, a quaint yet gracious 18th century building, for two nights. This photo was taken when we checked out, which explains why our luggages were outside. Earlier in the day when we checked in, Lilia (I think that’s her name, based on online reviews of the hotel) came down the stairs and warmly greeted us, “Ciao! Ciao!” in a cheery voice. We really felt at home that very instant :)
Lilia told us that all the rooms were occupied, so we were given a complimentary suite upgrade which we didn’t complain about of course :P She helped us settle into our room and I must say that it was the nicest room throughout our entire honeymoon trip!
Looks like someone’s home instead of a hotel right?
The bathroom was a little cramped though. Well, at least it had all the amenities we needed.
I love the bedroom! So pretty!
Sorry I must add that I was considerably ill that night :( Was having a sore throat and I felt weak all over. My mum had packed some medicine for me to bring along (she always does that when we travel abroad) and I popped some panadol and lozenges before going to bed.
I forced myself to get out of bed the next morning. Or rather, misterchewy forced me to. LOL. Cuz he wanted to take me to see a doctor but upon checking with Lilia, there are no clinics in Venice. There are only hospitals for serious and urgent cases, and pharmacies for not-so-serious ones.
Even having breakfast at the hotel felt like we were enjoying it in the comfort of our host’s home. Very nice! :)
Our breakfast spread. There was an assortment of bread, jam and cheese. I took a plain croissant so as not to further aggravate my sore throat and I totally spammed on the delicious fruit juice. Had no idea what it was :P
LOL. The husband insisted on taking this photo for me because the building in the background seemed to be tilting towards one side. Pardon the shagged face cuz I felt horrible and the chilly weather only made things worse :(
Took the vaporetto and embarked on our sightseeing journey for the day.
Santa Maria Della Salute (Saint Mary of Health)
This Roman Catholic church was built and dedicated to the Virgin Mary after a wave of plague killed almost a third of the population of Venice in 1630.
More gondolas spotted!
Lunch time! We randomly went into one of the restaurants and had their set lunch. Hahaha really very value-for-money mah :P
I felt much better after lunch!
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
The Last Supper
Whoohoo! We were totally psyched up for the gondola ride! Prices were kinda steep though at €80 (roughly SGD130 based on the exchange rate we got) for a 40-minute trip along the small canal. Definitely a tad expensive but it’s not an experience that you can get anywhere else! Prices are more or less fixed. You can try haggling for the fun of it :P Each gondola can take up to 6 passengers so that’s one way of splitting the cost. ;)
Headed back to our hotel after grabbing a takeaway sandwich for misterchewy because I didn’t have much of an appetite. We only got to stay in the suite for one night due to availability issues. This was the double room that we originally booked.
Checked out the next morning and had quick breakfast at the hotel before departing Venice. Guess where was our next stop? ;)
Leaving you guys with another photo of Venice taken during sunset! Connect with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :D
After four days in Rome, we took an intercity train that was covered by our Eurail pass to Florence, capital of Tuscany. We spent two full days in this beautiful city, which was our second destination in Italy!
If you are interested to know, we got the 1st class Eurail Global Pass which allowed us to explore up to 24 European countries for 15 days continuously.
It was our very first time boarding a train with all our luggages and the entire experience was quite novel. Anyway, our seats were pre-assigned to us upon reserving our tickets at the train station. Reservation fee varies from city to city.
After travelling for about 3 hours, we finally reached Florence! Had quite a difficult time locating our place of lodging even though it’s actually quite near the train station. Not only that, the pavements were so uneven that we thought the wheels of our luggages might fall off from all that dragging around! We dumped our stuff in our room and took the next regional train to Pisa. Journey lasted for more than an hour.
The weather was pretty bad when we reached Piazza dei Miracoli. It started to drizzle a little and it was impossible for us to take photos without getting our camera lenses wet. Seeked shelter in the souvenir shop and thankfully, the rain stopped after a while.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa! :D It costs €18 per person to ascend the tower and only 10 people are allowed to go up every 20 minutes.
We bought tickets at €5 per person to enter the Baptistery of St John, which is the largest baptistery in Italy. It also included free admission into the Duomo.
Bronze sculpture of St John.
Duomo di Pisa. Very very lovely cathedral.
I absolutely love this photo! :D
As we were about to leave, we caught sight of and were amused by all these youngsters doing silly poses in front of the tower!
I guess silliness is infectious because we started to join in the fun as well! :P
Took the train in the late afternoon and by the time we reached Florence, it was time for dinner! We decided not to wander too far from our B&B and settled for Le Fonticine which had been awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars by TripAdvisor.
The food served here was simply divine! I had the Linguine in Cod Fish Creamy Sauce (€8) which is a specialty of Florence while misterchewy had the Risotto with Savoy Cabbage and Duck Sauce (€9). Service was top notch too. Highly recommended.
We stayed at Sette Angeli Rooms for two nights. As mentioned earlier, the location is not bad. However, there is no elevator. And the stairs are very steep! The husband was cursing and swearing under his breath when he hauled his luggage up the stairs earlier in the day. Luckily the reception guy offered to help carry mine up.
The next morning was a beautiful one for sightseeing but we went shopping at The Mall instead! LOL. Kiasu us being very kiasu, we bought our shuttle bus tickets the night before at the BUSITALIA/SITA depot (pickup and drop-off point). It cost us €5 per person for a one-way trip. Boarded the earliest bus at 8.50am and close to one hour later, we reached The Mall! :D
The entire place was so peaceful and quiet, unlike any of those Great Singapore Sales nonsense. Except for the Prada store! See below. LOL.
If my memory doesn’t fail me, Prada opens at 10am. There was already a queue waiting to get in and these people are from you-know-where. I swear my heart did a little cheer when the shutter was finally being pulled up. Haha.
A number of bags caught my eye and I finally settled for just one :P Plus key pouches for misterchewy and myself. I think I took only about an hour for all my purchases?
The next bus from The Mall to Florence was at 1pm so we took our time to check out other brands. Wanted to get a YSL clutch but the color I wanted was out of stock :(
Grabbed lunch at the cafe!
The husband knows that I like hot chocolate and had been feeding me plenty of it for the past few days! Kinda developed a little sore throat after that. >_<
Piazza del Duomo
Santa Maria del Fiore is the main church of Florence.
This is the largest brick dome ever constructed.
Huge clock decorated by Paolo Uccello.
St. Giovanni Baptistery
Piazza della Signoria
Replica of Michelangelo’s David. Prior to this, we saw the actual masterpiece at Accademia Gallery! Needless to say, it was an absolute fine piece of work. Photography is prohibited though.
We didnt enter Palazzo Vecchio as it was about to close by the time we got in.
Popped into Ristorante Dante e Beatrice for dinner on our way back. It’s strange. Ever since we touched down in Italy, I fell in love with tomato-based spaghetti. I used to be a huge fan of cream-based pastas but I found myself ordering tomato-based ones most of the time while in Italy! Not hormones changing right? LOL.
The husband was kinda disappointed with his ravioli :(
Before we eat, must Instagram first! Haha! We were amused that our white wine was served in a small jug.
Night market near our B&B!
We woke up early the next morning and visited the Uffizi Gallery before setting off for Venice. Yes, that is what our next post will be all about. If I had to choose only one city to revisit in Italy, it would be Venice! Connect with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :D TGIF chewys!
The 4th day of our honeymoon trip was also our last day in Rome! The husband and I tried our best to cover as many places as possible. Felt a little sad but we had 17 days to go so it wasn’t really that bad at that point of time :P This is our favorite photo taken that day :)
After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we went to the Vatican Museum but the Sistine Chapel was not open to public due to an ongoing conclave. Anyway the weather was wet and chilly because it drizzled the entire day! Me no likey :(
Admission ticket and audio guide cost €18 per person.
The hubs acting cute and silly. Hahaha.
I hope to visit Egypt some day! Have always found the history of ancient Egypt very mysterious yet captivating at the same time. But then again, I heard that it’s quite a dangerous country to visit.. Hmm so maybe not.
The husband must have benefited quite a bit from listening to the audio guide! My attention span was too short for it.
The famous Laocoön statue
Hall of Maps
This was our very first museum visit but little did I know, misterchewy had planned many more of such visits throughout our trip! *Faints*
Recharged ourselves at a cafe and we shared a bottle of beer over lunch! *Gloop gloop gloop*
Walked to St. Peter’s Square which is located within Vatican City. Many people were eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the new Pope.
This was one of the Altar of Science in Angels and Demons.
We joined in the queue to get into St. Peter’s Basilica. Admission is free except to certain parts of the church. You will be surprised but some churches do collect entrance fees.
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the biggest churches that we visited in Europe!
In Angels and Demons, the Camerlengo (Italian for “Chamberlain”) set himself on fire and ran down these flight of stairs upon realization that he had murdered his own father, the Pope.
The media on standby.
This is the Ponte Sant’Angelo which leads to Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel).
Castel Sant’Angelo is also known as Mausoleum of Hadrian. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress because it had an underground tunnel which was connected to Vatican City. As for us, we had to pay €21 to get into this museum.
Guess the hubs was thinking about food when he did this Italian hand gesture which meant ‘delicious’. Haha.
A top view of Ponte Sant’Angelo.
The rain was getting heavier so we seeked shelter at Tartufo House along Piazza Navona.
Our upside down dark chocolate ice cream! :D Tartufo is an Italian icecream dessert usually composed of two or more flavors of ice cream. Ours was also encased in a chocolate shell.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) at Piazza Navona.
Our final stop of the day was the Pantheon.
The Pantheon used to be a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome and is now a Christian church. The Oculus (opening at the top) is the main source of natural light and also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. At the same time, it could have played an important role for prayers to ascend to the heavens.
Tomb of King Umberto I, successor of Vittorio Emanuele.
Main altar of church.
Ending the post with a photo of Trevi Fountain taken on our way back to our hotel. Next post will be on Florence! Remember to check back as we will be sharing about our shopping experience at The Mall’s Prada outlet. Stay connected with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :D
Ciao chewys! Did you enjoy our previous post about the first two days of our honeymoon trip? Today’s post is gonna be slightly shorter because I just wanna focus on our Pompeii day tour from Rome on the third day of our trip! It was really fun and we experienced a bit of snow that day! Whoopee! :D
Back in Singapore, misterchewy booked this guided tour online with Viator Tours because since young, he had been very fascinated by stories he read about Pompeii and its remarkably well preserved ruins. We were told to meet at 7.15am at Piazza del Popolo before setting off. Thankfully, it was just a small group of 5 because I never liked traveling with big groups of strangers.
The journey to Europe’s only active volcano took about 3 hours and halfway through, we stopped for a short toilet cum coffee break.
The chocolate croissant and hot chocolate sold at this kiosk were pretty awesome!
Hopped back onto the minivan and the next thing we knew, we were at Mount Vesuvius, which is infamous for causing the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79AD and has erupted many times since.
Lava flows have scarred the sides of Mount Vesuvius, and are visible on the winding road up to the summit. We took our own sweet time to hike up the crater of Mount Vesuvius.
The mountain is actually quite steep and very uneven. I was panting and gasping for air just five minutes into my way up! Very unfit and I feel like an old granny! Plus, it was so much colder on the volcano and the wind was really strong! We were freezing the whole time.
I think we took about 30 minutes to reach the crater. Hurriedly took a few photos and made our way down. Going up was tough but going down was scary!
At this point, it began to snow! Not sure if it’s snow or hail or whatever you call it but yeah, we were so thrilled because it was misterchewy’s first time experiencing snow! We decided that for every country we visited that snowed, we would buy a snow globe as a souvenir! :D Both of us were smiling like idiots and we quickly continued descending upon realizing that if the snow got heavier, it would be very slippery and dangerous.
Not only was the ‘morning exercise’ very adventurous, it was physically exhausting as well! It was time for lunch and all of us were looking forward to having pizza!
Pizza and beer never tasted this splendid! :)
After lunch, we headed for Pompeii, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The now ruined city of Pompeii was once a sprawling metropolis of shops and residences, restaurants, gyms and brothels.
Gladiatorial Barracks at Pompeii.
Plenty of carvings on the wall tell a story.
This was where and how ‘fast food’ was served in Pompeii!
We walked Pompeii’s main streets just as the ancient Romans did. The stones are still worn with tracks from the drawn carriages that used them nearly 2,000 years ago.
Possibly an entrance to a shop.
Wood-fired pizza, anyone?
Plaster death casts of the victims of the catastrophic eruption that destroyed the city of Pompeii.
I was a little surprised that red light districts existed in Pompeii. Didn’t know they were already so ‘advanced’. LOL. According to the local guide, the ‘Mickey Mouse with a long nose’ on the ground served as directions for men to make their way to the brothels.
One of the rooms in the brothel.
Had hot chocolate again at the same kiosk on our way back to Rome! :D
After we were being dropped off at Piazza del Popolo, misterchewy and I visited Santa Maria del Popolo as recommended by the local guide.
Soon, it was nightfall and we went in search of a dinner place nearby before returning to our hotel. Stay tuned to our next post chewy chewy friends! ;) Connect with us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :)
Whoohoooooo chewys! I have been wanting to share about our honeymoon trip to Europe with all our dear readers! Finally had time to upload the pics and do a bit of QC-ing here and there. We departed for Europe on 9 March, a week after our customary wedding. It was our first time to Europe for the both of us and naturally, The Chewys were super duper excited! :D
Our honeymoon trip was 21 days long and I have to emphasize that it was the BEST 21 days of my life! Our trip was purely free and easy because we wanted that flexibility but planning was a bitch of course. Hehehe the award-winning hubby did most of the research! :P We chose to fly with Qatar Airways and booked our airtix in January. Subsequently, we settled our accommodation via Agoda. Over the 21 days, we visited Italy, Switzerland, France (Paris) and London! :) It was around the end of Winter, coming to Spring, but the weather was still very cold!
Our flight was at night and both our families sent us off at the airport. I was very worried about the two long-haul flights (we transited at Doha) that awaited us because I didn’t think I could get a good sleep on the plane and I hated that backside-on-fire feeling that I experienced before when I went to counties like Japan and Australia etc. LOL. Thankfully, it was still manageable thanks to in-flight entertainment and the cute neck pillows that misterchewy got! :)
We were served dinner AND breakfast! Had a small bottle of red wine each to celebrate the start of our honeymoon trip :D
Reached Italy the next morning! Our first stop in Italy was Rome, where we spent a good four days there. Boarded the Terravision bus from the airport to the Roma Termini train station. Ticket costs €4 per person which is really cheap.
Took a train to Repubblica station and found our way to our hotel! Anyway, a single trip on the metro costs €1.50 regardless of distance. If you are planning on more than four trips on the metro in a day, you should buy the one-day pass at €6 from the ticketing machine.
Pretty amazed by the gigantic door that we had to get past in order to get to our hotel! :P
As it was still too early to check into our room, we left our luggage at the reception and went out to explore some places nearby. I think we really sounded like tourists because we went, “Wah! Wah! Waaaaaah!” at practically everything that we saw. Lol. But really la, the architecture is such a vast difference from that of ours.
Fontana dell’Acqua Felice is of walking distance from our hotel.
On our first day, misterchewy wore only a short-sleeved t-shirt and sweater. He didn’t complain that it was too cold but from the next day onwards he wore at least 3 to 4 layers of clothing everyday! :O
The husband was so excited and dragged me to Santa Maria della Vittoria which was just next to Fontana dell’Acqua Felice. Apparently, a scene (or more) in Angels and Demons was being shot at this church. We went in at the wrong time because they were having Sunday mass and we quickly sneaked out. Of course, we returned the very next day.
Our tummies were making alot of noise, so we went in search of a place to settle breakfast. Empire Pizza was a stone’s throw away from our hotel and seemed fuss-free by the looks of it. Plus, the boss was very very friendly!
The boss was really nice and asked if we wanted a photo together behind the counter! Heh.. Why not? :P
The husband wanted to see the Triton Fountain but sadly, it was under some kinda restoration and we got to know about it only upon reaching there :(
We moved on to Spanish Steps where we were conned of €50 (roughly SGD80) by an ‘overly friendly’ Italian guy. Our moods were kinda ruined after this incident. Oh wells, long story but lesson learned is that we should never ever talk to strangers. Don’t even make eye contact with them. We thought about it after a while and was thankful that we encountered such a nasty incident on our very first day in Europe because it taught us to be more vigilant and aware of our surroundings for the rest of our honeymoon trip.
We took the metro and alighted at the next stop to get to Piazza del Popolo which is basically a large urban square.
When in Italy, eat gelato! :P Our Tiramisu and After Eight combination tasted heavenly, especially in the cold weather!
Passed by the Spanish Steps again. We weren’t in the mood for photos previously.
After dinner near our hotel, we decided to head back early since it was only the first day and we needed to rest after so many hours on the plane. We found the elevators that we encountered in Italy were really interesting with an element of creepiness. LOL. Must watch the video with sound! This was taken while going down but it’s the same la. Hahaha.
We stayed in Hotel Everest Inn Rome for four nights which cost us slightly lesser than SGD90 per night, inclusive of breakfast.
There is free wifi but only limited to the reception and dining area. Just ask this friendly dude or whoever is at the counter for the password.
Our room was quite small considering that we had two luggages with us. Other than the size, we were happy that our hotel is just a mere 3 minutes walk to Repubblica metro station. Staying near Repubblica station proved to be very convenient because all the attractions were along the same metro line, except for Colosseum.
On our second day, we went to the Colosseum which is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of Rome.
Admission costs €12 per person inclusive of entry to Palatine Hills and Roman Forum. We got the audio guide for Colosseum at €5 each. Explanation is very detailed and lengthy but my mind drifted away after some time.. LOL.
The Colosseum is built of concrete and stone and is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Besides that, it is also the largest amphitheatre in the world. Gladiator combats were held at the Colosseum and it could house as many as 50000 spectators. We were marvelled by the grandiosity of this magnificent ancient Roman architecture.
Beautiful view of Arc de Constantin.
Was very amazed by this! I wonder if it’s really magic or some illusion thingy? Haha.
We proceeded to the Roman Forum which is filled with architectural fragments and archeological excavations.
I think we spent close to 2 hours at the Roman Forum but we didn’t manage to cover the entire place because it was too huge! And I kept complaining that I was gonna die of hunger.
So.. Lunch it was! I think we were ripped off by the food truck guys. Two sandwiches cost us €15! Should have asked about the price before we ordered. There was a cafe nearby selling pastas and pizzas for around €9 on average too. Plus, you get to sit and enjoy your food.
Trying to enjoy our lunch while shooing away the birds by swinging our legs at the same time because I accidentally dropped a piece of sausage. Our lunch was already very pathetic and this had to happen. LOL.
After our quick bite, we went back to Santa Maria della Vittoria via the metro because as mentioned earlier, there was Sunday mass the previous day. Guess what? A young girl around 12 years of age (we think) tried to pickpocket misterchewy’s wallet while we were trying to board the train! Thank goodness he was alert and he shouted and gave her a kick! Omg that was only the second day of our trip.
We visited many many churches throughout our Europe trip and all of them are very beautiful!
Our last stop for day two was Trevi Fountain. We should have went there early in the morning because there were soooo many people there in the evening!
See what I mean?! I couldnt get a nice picture without all these ‘extra’ people around me. Boohoo.
The black haired guy is Pierfrancesco Favino, who starred as Commander Olivetti in Angels and Demons!
Ok here’s a short video clip that misterchewy took for fun! If you google “throw coin in”, the first suggested search that will appear is “throw coin in trevi fountain”! Throwing a coin into Trevi Fountain ensures a return to Rome! And yes, I was very happy about it! :D :D :D
That’s all for now! Next post will be on Pompeii! Connect with us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :)
Yippee! It’s Friday, chewy chewy peeps! As promised in my previous post, I will be sharing our Genting Adrenaline Junkie Challenge experience in greater detail with all of you! I had also mentioned that I was actually quite nervous about having to go through all the thrill rides, especially when we also had to perform additional tasks while at it! Oh wells, a challenge has to be challenging. A few days before the trip, curiosity got the better of me and I started googling ‘genting adrenaline junkie challenge’ to see if I could get any info from the web. And I did! One of the more informative blog posts was written by Malaysian blogger and celebrunner, Runwitme and reading her story certainly got me even more excited, and yes, more nervous as well! Imagine having to blow a balloon while you are on the rollercoaster?!
The husband looked a little perturbed. LOL. I don’t know why. Probably as afraid as me?
Btw, this is the view from our room. Took a couple of shots before we went down for breakfast :)
Breakfast buffet was at First World Cafe.
The buffet line was quite miserable but we weren’t complaining because it’s not like we wanted to stuff ourselves with food before going on all the thrill rides!
After a quick breakfast, we adjourned to the Genting International Convention Centre (GICC) for our briefing which started at around 9.30am.
There were 19 pairs of participants and each pair formed a team. The hubs and I belonged to Team 18! And we had to paint our faces omg! I was like, “Don’t draw so big ok!”
All of us had to step forward to ‘claim’ our map. Basically, it was kinda like Amazing Race. All 19 teams had to complete the nine stations/rides located in the indoor and outdoor theme parks. No skipping of stations was allowed; we had to get on the ride, complete the task, get the station marshal to sign on the map and collect a piece of the jigsaw puzzle before moving on to the next stop. All our routes were different so we didn’t have everybody rushing to the same place at the same time.
All hell broke loose the moment it was announced that the challenge had officially started! LOL! We were given two hours to complete all rides and return to the GICC.
Whoohoo! The Chewys are just about to unleash the adrenaline junkies in them! Hahaha. Some of the photos in this post were taken with my Sony compact camera, while the rest were taken by some of the RWG people. ;)
Our first station was the Spinner! We were lucky because it’s situated just in front of the entrance of the outdoor theme park. Only one of us had to sit on the Spinner. Both misterchewy and I were given a card each and we had to count the number of stars! It sounds easy but it’s not! Didn’t take photo of the card but it was madness! I think I counted until I saw stars!
Spot the yawning dude!
We had to total up our number of stars and shout out the answer but our answer was wrong. Hahaha! And we were made to sing twinkle twinkle little star at the top of our lungs as a forfeit!
Our second station as drawn on the map given to us was the Corkscrew. This was one of my most dreaded thrill rides. My legs turned into jelly and I think my face turned pale as we approached the ride.
Each time I sat on a roller coaster, this is my most hated part.
And this too! Lol. Ok la not that I always go for such thrill rides anyway.
Guess what?! Only one from each team had to go up on the ride while the other was tasked to drink 100Plus from a milk bottle. LOL! The hubs displayed his heroic side when the marshal asked, “Who’s going to sit?” and he shouted “ME!” without any hesitation :D
If I had to come up with a caption, it would be “sucking while corkscrewing”. Lol! Was that what the organizers had in mind when they paired this task with this ride?! Anyway, all of us had to finish the bottle of 100Plus before the ride ended. So just imagine all the girls sucking really furiously. Omg tough job.
Oh yay! I was the first to finish the entire bottle! The marshal was really strict. We weren’t allowed to leave even a single drop. Hoho. The hubs did great too! He looked really refreshed after the ride, don’t you agree? Hahaha :P
Our third station was the Flying Coaster. I can’t remember if I had tried this ride before but it did seem a little less scary than the Corkscrew.
We were given two tasks to do before we could go up on the ride. First, we had to find 10 ‘flying’ words in the puzzle given to us. We only managed to find 6 until the marshal told us the words could be broken up too, and then we found the remaining 4 very quickly. -_-
For our second task, one of us had to memorize a tongue twister in 20 seconds. There were a few tongue twisters printed on cards and were laid face down for us to choose. After memorizing for 20 seconds, we had to pass it to our partner, take the Flying Coaster together, and repeat the tongue twister to the marshal.
However, the ride had to be closed for 20 minutes for maintenance check so we were all made to hula hoop for at least 10 seconds. As you can see, misterchewy is a better hula hooper than me. LOLOLOL. I was the one who memorized the tongue twister and it went, “I saw a saw that could out saw any other saw I ever saw.” I had to memorize under pretty stressful conditions ok!
Next up, we headed to Snow World at the indoor theme park! I think during the 2010 challenge, the participants had to finish a cold drink and ice cream at Snow World. I also said that I would rather do this 100 times than having to go through the thrill rides. Read on to find out what happened..
We were supposed to carry a tube up and slide down. When we reached the bottom, we had to pick an ice cream flavor as shown in the above photo. If you and your partner picks the same flavor, one would have to go up, slide down and draw again, until you get a different flavor.
The first time, misterchewy and I got chocolate. So he offered to carry the tube up and slide down again. Draws chocolate. Up and down. Chocolate again omg. And then finally vanilla. ARGH.
Our next task was to finish the 5 (4 chocolate and 1 vanilla) cups of ice cream in 45 seconds! IMPOSSIBRU.
We were made to finish all the ice cream before we could proceed to the next station. Boohoohoo! I had a love-hate relationship with ice cream that day.
The Flying Dragon is also located at the indoor theme park. The indoor rides are very mild and suitable for kids.
Guess what. We had to solve Sudoku and everyone took really long to solve it! Also had to solve two mathematical questions each before the Flying Dragon ride and tell the marshal our answers when we got down.
Deng! Deng! Deng! Deng! Space Shot! I tried this before at Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Movie World in Gold Coast so I have somewhat more experience than misterchewy. Haha! But I was still having cold feet before the ride D:
The station marshal flashed us some names which belonged to the Genting mascots and we had to memorize them before the Space Shot ride. I was quite confident that I could remember “Tabby, Allie, Bennie, Geno, Joe” but the moment I sat down and started to tremble, I forgot everything. “Geno.. Beno..” Wrong already la.
Almost wanted to cry when we were slowly taking off!
Forcing a weak smile but I was like NO I wanna get down now!
Ok the ride was really quite scary and we agreed that the second drop was scarier than the first. We made it anyway! :D We had a time penalty of 40 seconds I think because we couldn’t remember the mascots’ names. Lol.
Our task for the Pirate Ship station was quite a funny one. Within each team, we had to decide who would be sitting on the fourth or last row. The one on the fourth row would be blindfolded and had to help his/her partner draw his/her lips with a lipstick!
Not very obvious on misterchewy because we chose an orange lipstick. But it did give him a sexier look. LOL!
Oh yeah~ Oh yeah~ Our 9th and final stop was the Sungei Rejang Flume Ride! Both of us had a piece of napkin pegged to the collars of our shirts. Our task was to keep the napkins dry! Very easy because we could just zip our jackets. ;)
We rushed back to the finishing point which was the GICC Hall.
Our map and completed jigsaw puzzle! Yay! :D
With our fellow Singaporeans!
We were treated to a buffet lunch before the prize giving ceremony.
The most happening team!
Best Singapore team!
Best Malaysian team!
With two of Genting’s mascots! Ummm.. Can’t remember their names! :P
Ending off this post with a group shot. Hope you guys enjoyed reading about our Genting Adrenaline Junkie Challenge experience! :)
Once again, a very big thank you to Resorts World Genting for the kind invitation!
Wassup chewy chewy friends? A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Resorts World Genting to participate in the Adrenline Junkie Challenge 2012. Resorts World Genting is located in Malaysia. We stay in the hotel near Kuala Lumpur. We search Expedia for great hotel deals. Oh boy, I was really thrilled because I could bring a partner along! Also, our transportation, accommodation and meals will be fully taken care of! In my mind, I was thinking, “OMG! I have always wanted to go to Genting with misterchewy!” Now that the opportunity has been presented to me, how could I pass it up? :P BUT, there was a slight catch. This part of the email was enough to make my heart thump really quickly. “You will need to go through the exciting thrill rides at the theme park plus additional tasks while at it. Kindly note that, you partner must take part in the challenge.” *GULP* We are not exactly adrenline junkies or daredevils! Anyway, all photos were taken using my old Sony compact camera because I didn’t think it would be a wise idea to lug my DSLR around at the theme park.
We were told to board the coach at Singapore Press Holdings (Toa Payoh) at 12pm. Guess what? There were only 8 of us! 3 bloggers and their partners, plus two Lian He Wan Bao readers.
Genting appeals to me as one of the couple getaway destinations because it is not too far from Singapore (about 7 hours coach journey. Lol), a one or two night stay should be sufficient, love the cool weather, and there are indoor and outdoor theme parks! :D We were really excited the minute we got on the coach but I also started to worry about the challenge because we had to go up on all the thrill rides in order to complete it :( Oh wells, let’s not worry too much for now! :)
Passports chopped! Wheeeee~!
Stopover for lunch! We already had ours with the in-laws before they sent us to SPH, so we sat somewhere and filled up our indemnity forms.
After what seemed like eternity.. We finally reached GENTING HIGHLANDS! :D :D :D It was around 7pm and we got there and I was freezing because I wore shorts. More comfortable to wear shorts on the bus mah. Hehe.
The PR folks from RWG, Oprah and JQ handed us our room card keys and Genting t-shirts that we had to wear the next day!
Walking to First World Hotel. My last time to Genting was many years ago but I could still vividly remember certain things.
We were told to deposit our bags into our rooms and gather at the lobby so that JQ and Oprah could take us to our dinner venue. This time, I made sure I changed into a pair of jeans! :P
Dinner was at Coffee Terrace. We had to walk a little bit to get there but at least it was way better than the First World Cafe. There is an ice cream promotion for the month of December, which explains the cute ice cream balloons hanging from the ceiling. Haha :P
We were pleasantly surprised when we stepped into the restaurant. Coffee Terrace seemed like quite a nice buffet place!
I think all of us Singapore bloggers went to whack the Japanese section first. Sashimi and sushi galore! :D
After a very satisfying dinner, Oprah and JQ very kindly showed us around the Visitor’s Galleria just next to Coffee Terrace.
With fellow blogger Cindy Kho (extreme right) and her friend, Charlie!
After that, it was pretty much free and easy for everyone. Since we had to endure a 7-hour journey here, we couldn’t just head back to our hotel so early right?! The husband and I decided to walk around and check out the indoor theme park :D
I jokingly said that we should go on one of the rides as a form of warming up exercise in preparation of the next day’s challenge!
Us in the front carriage of Euro Xpress! Of course not scary one la. But we pretended to be really scared and screamed all the way. LOL!
Checked out the casino next. Was quite surprised that nobody stopped me from taking photos. I’m assuming it’s ok?
It was just look look see see, we didn’t gamble. Anyway there were quite a number of smokers there so we left after a while.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! ;)
Our room was located at First World Hotel’s Tower 2, on the 25th floor. When we were at the lobby, I asked misterchewy, “Our room is at which Tower ah? Tower 3 is it?” He replied, “Tower 3? You build yourself ah?” WIN. Bully me :(
When misterchewy learned that we would be putting up at First World Hotel, he kept telling me about how small and cramped the rooms were and that there wasn’t sufficient space in the toilet for people to move around comfortably. However, he was quite impressed because the room was spacious with a couch beside the TV, and a bath tub in the toilet. Turns out that we were given the Superior Deluxe room :D
Stay tuned everybardy! We will cover Genting Adrenaline Junkie Challenge 2012 Part 2 in our next blog post! :D
Thank you Resorts World Genting for the invitation!
Heyhey chewys! We have finally come to our fourth and final Bangkok blog post! I was feeling kinda emo on the last night of our trip because time passed way too quickly. We had so much fun in BKK, eating shopping and sightseeing! Next time honeymoon how? Sure emo until very jialat one. LOL. We wanted to get the most out of whatever remaining time we had left in BKK so we chose to check out early and leave our luggage with the conceirge. Decided to forgo hotel’s buffet breakfast as well, so that we could hunt down the famous Bangkok boat noodles. Word has it that everyone should go to Victory monument for the best boat noodles! :D
It was really coincidental that we bumped into our cab driver whom we had hired to take us sightseeing on the second day of our trip! This time, we told him that it was our last day and we just wanted to try the boat noodles at Victory Monument. The hubs asked him what are boat noodles called in Thai and he replied, “Kway Teow”. Hahaha seriously? :P
Victory Monument! I’m sure it will look more stunning at night. :)
Not exactly what I would like to see before a meal! But anyway that’s how we knew we were on the right track. Our online research tells us that the boat noodle shops are located along the canal.
We walked past a number of boat noodle shops and weren’t sure which was the one everyone was raving about. That was until we saw some Thai workers clad in orange, and we knew this was it! Beatrice Tan also blogged about her experience at this stall but I first got to know about this place through J2Kfm’s blog.
Interestingly, we read from various blogs that nobody ever leaves without eating a few bowls of boat noodles in a single sitting because the serving is very small. Most people order at least 5 bowls and probably another 5 when they are done with the first 5. LOL.
We didn’t want to be too ambitious, so we ordered 4 bowls to be shared amongst ourselves for a start. We were also served with two metal cups of crushed ice, so we thought we had to order some drinks by default. Haha.
Here are some facts about Bangkok boat noodles. Apparently, boat noodles are not called boat noodles for nothing. Bowls of noodles served in thick and savory broth were originally sold and served from boats along canals and floating markets. Other than dried spice and herbs, a little bit of pork blood is also added to further enhance the taste of the broth. If you have read our post earlier this week, and wonder how does this differ from the boat noodles we had at Chatuchak market, I think I kinda prefer the latter although I like the novelty of these being served in small portions at Victory Monument. The flavor of the broth was intense, but not as full-bodied as the one we had just the day before. It was also slightly saltier (which explains the need for free bottled water on each table? Idk..) in my opinion.
One of the waiter seemed to be ‘peddling’ some of the fried stuff and asked if we wanted any of these. Asked him what were these and he was smiling sheepishly at us. Actually none of them spoke English. Oh wells. Found out from J2Kfm that these were Salt & Pepper Crispy Pork Rinds. Something to go along with your noodles and if you like fried cracking stuff, you will like this.
Lo and behold! Both misterchewy and I managed 9 bowls in total. We probably could stomach a couple more bowls but we had to think ahead, for lunch! :P
Clearly, the husband gave his stamp of approval. Everything totalled up to SGD4, including drinks! Cheap right? :D
Now here’s the details:
Sutyot Kuetiau Lua Payak
Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Took the BTS to….
Mahboonkrong (MBK) Center! Time for some serious last minute shopping! Actually, I had never felt so stressed shopping before. Had to constantly keep track of time and we were brisk walking from shop to shop, machiam GSS going to end soon. Hurray! We managed to get our Paul Frank iPad covers! :D
Back in Singapore when we were planning our itinerary, I thought it would be nice to go to Siam Ocean World at Siam Paragon. However, it did not materialize in the end because I kinda feared that it would be too kiddish for us and we would be bored out of our wits. Maybe we can bring our little Chewys there in a few years’ time :P
The cab driver who dropped us off at Victory Monument earlier recommended Ban Khun Mae Restaurant. He mentioned “Khun Mae” in short. Hubby Chewy was very eager to try their food and after shopping at MBK, he pulled me into an Apple store and approached the customer service people behind the counter. I was trying not to laugh because the Thai staff couldn’t understand him of course. We didn’t know how to pronounce “Khun Mae” properly and any slight variation in pronounciation could lead to an entirely different meaning all together, or it just doesn’t mean anything at all. Suddenly, one of them exclaimed, “Khun Mae!” and everyone went, “Ahhh Khun Mae!” LOL. It was hilarious!
We got one of them to write down the name of the restaurant in Thai, along with its address so that we could ask for directions along the way in case we got lost. And with that, we managed to find Ban Khun Mae. Nice to know that the restaurant had been awarded Certificate of Excellence for the year of 2012 by TripAdvisor! It had to be good right? *Rubs hands in glee*
Ban Khun Mae is kinda like a family restaurant and it has been around since 1998. It is located in the heart of Bangkok, in the area of Siam Square. Prices are wallet-friendly and you get to enjoy authentic Thai food in a casual and comfortable setting.
Hahaha. Fourth consecutive day of stuffing myself with food food food! I got chipmunk face alreadyyy..
Since this was gonna be our last proper meal in Bangkok, we had to order the Tom Yam Kung (170 baht). The soup was spicy enough to tickle our taste buds and the ingredients were really fresh.
We were eager to try the Deep Fried Squid Seasoned with Garlic and Pepper (220 baht) when it was served. However, it was a little disappointing. Both misterchewy and I agreed that it was somewhat tough to chew. The tentacles part was pretty alright though.
We felt that the Deep Fried Marinated Chicken wrapped in pandan leaf (120 baht) was well done. Juicy, tender and fragrant best describes this dish.
I think this was our one and only Mango Sticky Rice (150 baht) that we had throughout our Bangkok trip, which is kinda sad. LOL. The mango was really sweet! Who would have known that mango could go so well with coconut and rice? :P
The bill amounted to less than SGD30 for the above dishes and two fresh coconut drinks. On a random note, I look quite small here. LOLOLOL.
Ban Khun Mae Restaurant
458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road,
Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330
Tel. (662)250-1952-3, (662)658-4112-3
Daily 11am – 11pm
Started to emo again after lunch because it meant that we had to go back to our hotel soon to collect our luggage. Boohoohoo. Passed by Krispy Kreme and after finding out that misterchewy had not tried it before, we immediately joined the queue and bought two Original Glazed donuts :D Yummyyy!
Krispy Kreme! When are you ever gonna come to Singapore?!
At the airport checking our boarding details!
For the benefit of those who are wondering, misterchewy and I arrived with a half-filled luggage on the first day and we went home with a full one and an additional hand-carry which we had packed into the luggage before we flew to Bangkok. We bought mostly clothes at Platinum Mall but we didn’t buy alot also.
Deng deng deng deng! I was searching high and low for Luk Chup since day one but only spotted it at the airport! I wanted to buy more but it was the only pack left D: Basically, these are a type of Thai dessert made from mung bean flour and are shaped like various fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, banana, cherries, mangoes and chilies. It has a unique sticky texture and is very sweet! Bali Thai used to sell them but I can’t find them anymore. Heard that these can be found at Golden Mile!
Me and my favorite Thai dessert were reunited! And I’m gonna eat you~ Nom nom nom :P
Some of my last few shots together in Bangkok after checking in our luggage and before boarding our plane.
Goodbye land of smiles! We look happy but actually I was really reluctant to leave Bangkok! Sob sob.. But nevermind, we are about to start planning for our next trip which would probably be our honeymoon after our customary wedding! YAY! :D :D :D