Monday, November 29, 2010

Europe Trip 2010

Well I guess I should start somewhere, and what a better way to start my 2010 backpacking blog thread than show casing some of my favorite photos taken from the trip. I'm just gonna show them here, and not explain them yet, that will come in the other blog entry. I know people have been asking to see those photos, and guess what, all the photos are going to be shown exclusively on this blog only! That's the benefit of being my blog visitor :P

Ok, let's start. I never planned to end up in Europe for year 2010. I wanted to go Calcutta instead. But my husband wasn't too enthusiastic about it, and the booking of connecting transportation didn't look that promising nor reliable in India either (sorry India, I promise to visit you one of these days!). And as the rate of the Euro and Pounds were headed south, it was a good time to visit a (for once) English speaking country! Heck, I didn't even bother to plan in detail cause I knew I could always ask for direction if need be, or at least read road signs and understand them!

So I thought I'll go England, cause I well, all my childhood was about reading books and stories from England, you know Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis etc. And I was totally into fairy folks and witches and celtic and druids and we all know there are lots of those in England! So England it was! 

And then I got curious, since I was flying all the way there (12 to 13 hours flight!), to find out how far Paris was from London. Lo and behold! I discovered Eurostar! And that Paris was just a 2 hour train ride away! And before I knew it, I found myself planning a week in Paris as well :)  Best decision ever for my 2010 backpacking trip!

Taking 9 days of annual leave, and with the 2 Singapore public holiday in between, we spend a total of 16 days in Europe! Sure I blew like all my year's bonus money there, but it was worth it :) I saw so much art! Visited so many beautiful churches! Learn so much bloodshed in England's history! And ate so much good food!

 So allow me to slowly share with you my insane journey, probably not for the faint hearted, but fun, spiritual, and life enriching all the same :)

Here is an overview of my trip, (I'll link up the blog entries as I go along)
5-Nov (Friday) - London British Museum
6-Nov (Saturday) - Oxford, Cotswolds and English countryside
7-Nov (Sunday) - Bath, Stonehenge
8-Nov (Monday) - London Natural History Museum
9-Nov (Tuesday) - Paris Pantheon, St Michel, Notre Dame
10-Nov(Wednesday)- Paris Lourve Museum
11-Nov(Thursday)- Paris Père Lachaise Cemetery
12-Nov(Friday)- Paris Place Madeleine
13-Nov(Saturday)- Paris Street Markets
14-Nov(Sunday)- Paris Le Catacomb, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
15-Nov(Monday)- Paris Jardin du Luxemberg, Notre Dame (again), Fragonard Perfume Museum
16-Nov(Tuesday)- London Willesden Green
17-Nov(Wednesday)- London Buckingham Palace
18-Nov(Thursday)- London Walk Historical Building and Bunhill Fields
19-Nov(Friday)- London Tower of London
20-Nov(Saturday)- London Notting Hill

London Food, Lodging and Shopping Information
Paris Food (Eating In, Eating Out), Lodging and Shopping Information

Enid Blyton
Charles Dickens
Jane Austen
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Triangkap Chrysanthemum Farm

Too lazy to write today, so I'll just let the photos do the talking. Here's a view of a Chrysanthemum Farm we visited as part of the Agro Delight Tour.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegetable Farm

On the 3rd day of our stay, we took our 2nd tour called the Agro Delight Tour. I pick this tour cause I wanted to visit some vegetable farms to see what it would be like, and also for RM65 (SGD30) per person, it included a steamboat dinner in the tour! And steamboat was one of those things you should try whenever you're in Cameron Highlands!

The tour bus picked us up at our hotel at around 2:30pm. And we headed to a nearby farm. It was a rather small farm, but there were a variety of vegetable to be found there. We were even given some sample of Cameron Apple as per shown here which tasted like rock melon, and some raw sweet corns to eat. Cameron is famous for it's sweat corn. I had one steam corn almost every day I was there! They are sweet and juicy! And cost around RM3 each (SGD1.20).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm

I've never visited a bee farm before, so it was one of the to-visit place on my list while I was at Cameron Highlands. Besides that, I also love drinking honey. Did you know that drinking quality honey can make your skin really really smooth? Yup, so instead of wasting your money away on cosmetic and skin care, why not try wild honey!

Here are some lovely pictures of the bee farm we visited. It's free to enter, so it's really worth it cause they have the loveliest flowers in Cameron! Check out these pick flowers, they are my favorite there! I wish I could have a garden full of them!

They have some other attraction there as well, but really, the main attraction is not even the bees, but the flowers! Lots and lots of flowers! Here are other varieties found there. Definitely worth a visit!

Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00pm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sungai Palas Tea Plantation

We stayed at the Hotel Equatorial at Brinchang in Cameron, and it's a 15 minutes walk to the Sungai Palas Tea Plantation entrance. But don't be mislead, it's just an entrance/road to the Boh Tea Centre. If you walk, which we did, it's an hour to an hour half walk one way to reach the center, and yes, it's an up hill and down hill walk, with very very very narrow road! Sure you can take a cab or a tour bus there, but then, where's the fun in that :P And so we walked there.

The wonderful thing about the walk is, you get to see scenery along the way, hear birds singing, and walk right into the plantation whenever you feel like it. Do be careful of traffics, and use your common sense as the road is really really narrow that at some part, it's practically a one path road. If you walk there, along the way you can hear conversation from the car passing by that goes like "Look at those two crazy people.....". But who cares?

And behold, at the end of the walk, the spectacular view of the Boh Tea Centre tea house, hanging there in midair. I hear scones and freshly brewed tea calling my name already! If I ever have a house with a balcony like that, I think I'll be the happiest person on earth!

Side track a bit, I just wanted to share that when you travel on your own, the things that you get to experience are far beyond what any tour can offer you. And this photo is one of them, the village playground, overlooking the beautiful valley of tea. We couldn't help ourselves and went and took a ride on those swing. It was one of the free-est feeling one could have! Sure we got a few stare from the villagers who are mostly plantation worker, but after a while, they got tired of us and went back to their chatting, and we continue on swinging around until we got tired, and make out 1.5hours walk back to the hotel :)

Boh Tea Centre
Hotel Equatorial Cameron