Saturday, June 30, 2012

Olympic Torch In Sheffield

Though a bit late, but a few days ago the Olympic torch arrived its way to Sheffield! 

It was the biggest event in Sheffield in June and roads were closed, and there were a sea of people came out to see what's the fuss all about. 

I've never seen an Olympic torch in real life before, so this is my chance to finally see one. After work, I went out to the city centre and took a few photo's albeit a bit restricted as there were sooooo many people around! Here's a few photo's of the event. Enjoy these snaps! (Most of them are candids anyways..=P)

While we were waiting for the Olympic torch to arrive, we had a conversation with a granny standing beside us. She said that she waited like almost 60 years to see the torch infront of her eyes and was very grateful that the Olympics would be held in London.

When the torch arrived, I was a bit disappointed as there only like 3 groups convoy with the torch holder (I was holding a camera with my right hand and recording a video with my handphone with my left when the Olympic torch arrived..haha); in which there were atleast 10 when there were on the way to the city. There were busses, cyclists and a few others, but yeah, we waited at the end of the line so couldn't get any chance to see the other groups moving along with the torch bearer.

Still, I find it very disturbing for the London's Olympic mascot, Wenlock, to be some kind of one eyed creature. 

What say you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Perodua Kembara Kat Italy!


Tok namanya Daihatsu Terios. Sebijik rupa kedak Perodua Kembara tapi ada cap Daihatsu kat depan..haha.

Kat Italy nang sikda kreta Proton/Perodua langsung..tapi banyak kreta Daihatsu ngan Mitsubishi yang kedak rupa Proton/Daihatsu..especially Viva, Myvi, Kelisa, Inspira ngan Wira.

Hmm..bila gik Proton ngan Perodua nak mendominasi industri automotif dunia? =P

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Italy Trip: The Disaster, The Fun, The Unforgettable- Part 2


Or also known as, Florence- is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is a very beautiful city, and as early as 6am, we got up with the sun shining through our tired faces in the morning, we got up into Roma Termini to ride in one of the fastest train in Europe, Eurostar (operated by TrenItalia) to the province of Florence.

Fast, comfortable and awesome. Those three words perfectly describe our journey as it only took us around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get into our destination. And yes, it is expensive- the train ticket cost us £32, but well worth it. (Lagi mahal dari tiket kapal terbang!)

As soon as we arrived to Florence, the first thing that we did was to buy a map. Without a map you'll be lost and will be without any sense of direction. Our first destination was our hostel ofcourse and as we stroll our way to Via Porta Rossa, we saw a lot of gypsies asking for money, people busking with their instruments, artists drawing their pantings, hawkers selling foods and handbags and ice creams.

The first landmark that we saw in Florence was the Cathedral. It was pretty big and famous for its breathtaking view of the top of the dome- in which you have to pay 15 euro's to pass and with our budget seemingly tight, we had to say no.

We had lunch in an Italian restaurant which sells pizza's and it was indeed a special experience. We had mushroom and cheese pizza, which was totally yummy and in the case of a vegetarian pizza which we ordered, taste totally tomato.

The city itself feels like a city in the medieval ages- there's only shopping lots present and no shopping malls, so it makes you feel like you're in the Sherlock Holmes movie, except that you're in 2012. There's a famous bridge in Florence, called Ponte Vecchio where there's lots of artists painting gorgeous drawings and goldsmiths selling jewelries to tourists. It's a joy to walk in Florence; everything you see is mind blowing and totally inspiring. Such a lovely place Florence is.

The best way to enjoy florence is by renting a bicycle. Florence is a bicycle friendly city where there's roads especially for bikes so its easy for bikers to move around. We wanted to rent a bike in the first place, but in the end we rented Segway, some kind of technological machine that moves when you lean front and backwards with your body. Sounds dubious, but totally fun!

We had to pay 8 euro's to ride Segway (for half an hour), and I had the oppurtunity to "lean" myself around the city and almost had an accident as there were lots of traffic. It was hard to balance the machine at first. But once you get the hang of it, it feels all natural and funky.

Florence's nightlife is much more relaxed compared to Rome, and much more romantic.

We spent the night in Florence dining in at a Turkish restaurant and I had a full doner meat with rice as dinner. After filling our empty stomachs we watched the Germany vs Holland game at one of the restaurants outside and the atmosphere was very lively. We had to go to our hostel early as it was getting cold and rainy because we didn't bring our jackets along.

After spending a day in Florence, our final destination of our trip to Italy was Milan, the city of fashion. Again, we rode on Eurostar and arrived at Milan after 1 hour and 30 minute journey from Florence.

We didn't have much time in Milan, we only had the morning till evening to enjoy what Milan could offer us so we tried to make the most of it. Milan was scorching hot and the first thing we did was eating a brunch at an Indian restaurant. I love the aluminium cans here..its slim- which looks the same as the milo can in Malaysia.

As a traveller in Milan, I strongly suggest on using the subway as it's the best way to get around in Milan. It's cheap and you could buy a day's ticket for just 5 euro's.

My first impression on Milan was-

"Is this..New York?"

It looks almost the same, with buildings and skyscrapers everywhere, but we were nowhere around a shopping mall- as we were walking around at the Milan Centrale. The shopping paradise in Milan is located in Duomo and that was the place where my camera battery went dead. Had a few shots then boom! It ran out of juice.

There were lots of shops in Duomo, but nothing in particular interests me as i'm not really a fashion person. The only thing that interests me was the gelato icecream- you just can't get enough of it! It's that yummy!

In Milan, there were a lot of street entertainers as well and there's one in particular, a guy acting as a small baby, managed to entertain and made the crowd laughed. It was cute and funny as the baby were making some kind of noise and mimics people that made a nuisance of everyone. Here's a brief video of it which I captured using my ipod..haha.

Our final destination in Milan was the Castello Sforzesco, a castle that used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan. We soaked up with the sun and enjoyed the rest of our evening resting down the clean grass infront of a big fountain at Castello. Somewhere near Castello, there's a Malaysian restaurant nearby called Mei Lin; we went there and was left shocked by the price- 13.50 euro's for a plate of Nasi Lemak!

Ok, bye2. Haha. Too expensive as I was totally broke at Milan.

We took the subway back to the train station where we bought our bus tickets earlier- and inside the bus it was roaring with Italian cheers, where the Italian were playing against the Netherlands if im not mistaken.

All in all, it was a fun trip to Italy. We had tons of fun and learned a lot during our 4 day's of adventure. Wished that we had more time and budget to spend on Italy, but all good things must come to an end. I would love to come to Italy again this winter or next summer, as there are a few more interesting places that i've yet to visit, especially Pisa and Venice.

Hope you enjoyed my blog post to Italy. How's your summer been treating you so far?

I've just started working and it's all rainy here in Sheffield.

Ahhh..British summer.

God, I miss Italy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Italy Trip: The Disaster, The Fun, The Unforgettable-Part 1

Update: Added a few more pics and stories! ;)

I've always brag how unfair and prejudice airasia is with their customers. That was before I took ryanair, quoted as the best low fare airlines.

It is. But by best low fare airlines, i mean the best low fare, strictest and unfriendly.

Well, our first flight to Rome was a disaster and one we would remember until years to come.

Mana taknya, by the time we were about to board on the airplane, one of the ryanair worker took a look at our boarding pass, and with a tone of bitterness, she said "Sorry guys you can't pass as your boarding pass is not stamped," Oh shit. That means we've forgotten to check in- (we got pass all the security and departure gates, so we thought that our boarding pass was going to be stamped at the counter just before we board the airplane). Damn. So in panic i've asked "Is there any chance that we could check in and board the flight?"

"Oh yes you could. You have to go back all the way to the visa check counter, in which I don't think you guys have enough time"

Right. Thank you Captain Obvious. Our flight was 6am. And at that moment, it was 5.30am.

Yes. We are fucked.

In my mind- all I know is that our Italy trip is ruined. That's like £200 wasted. Friends, i'm sorry. I screwed up. It's my fault- blame it all on me. How could i've forgot to check in is one of the worst mistakes i've done in my life. I'm stupid. How could this happen?

Everything was supposed to be as planned. Rome. Florence. And finally Milan. Checking in means that we had to atleast fly back all the way from the airport lounge, to the security gates, jump the baggage clearance area and running our breath out to the airport hall all the way to the check in counter. That'll take atleast 30mins back and forth. And that'll be 6am. Goodbye Italy. We can't make it. It's too far. Fuck this.

There were so many things running through my mind during that time. Yes I was mindfucked. Totally panicked; with no sense of direction. How the hell could this happen is beyond me. I can only hope for a miracle. A delay perhaps?

Nah. Would not happen. Not at all.

Without hesitation I grabbed all my bags, and ran all the way to the check in counter. We collided with people. It was like the amazing race. By the time we reached the security area, we explained our situation and the security guard politely gave our way through and to the visa check counter. With a goodluck being said by the visa check counter guy, we ran all the way back again. Now it's 5.45. I don't think we could make it as we have to queue up with the rest of the people to check their baggages again.


We took our chances and queued up at the vip queueing section and thank god they let us through. With minutes to spare, we ran a marathon back to the boarding gates, slipping up and huffed our breath until the very last minute.

We made it.


We reached Rome after a 3 hour flight from Manchester. We had to ditch our sleeping bags and a couple of food since we could only bring one bag in the cabin. In airasia i always bring 3 bag along with me. My backpack, camera bag and some shopping bags. Had no issues.

Bought a bus ticket from ryanair to go to Rome city centre with just 4 euro's and by the time we reached Rome, everyone was buzzing. It was hot, unlike UK, in which it was breezy and cold.

I was quite surprised that there were a lot of bangla's selling stuffs here in Rome. Most of them came from Malaysia as their first destination and as we caught up at the Colosseum chilling, a bangla came and said,

"Hey, kamu Malaysian? Cakap Melayu laaa!"


Took our sweater off and the first thing we had to do was to search for our hostel. We got a free map from the airport but the map wasn't that clear enough so we asked the local people on how to get our way to Via Calatafimi, and the local people pleasantly told us the directions. The hostel which we stayed in Rome was Two Ducks Hostel. Weird name huh? It was situated in the heart of the city and it was alright. Our hostel in Florence was much better and cheaper, but yeah, Rome is very expensive for accommodations.

To our surprise, we had to pay tourist tax as we paid for our accommodation fees. Hmm. It's 2 euro's per person and if you're staying in a hotel then you have to pay 10 euro's a person! Whoops! (On our way to our rooms, we had the opportunity to ride on a very old school lift like in the movies!)

Anyways, after putting all our luggages, we had lunch and our first tourist stop was at a fountain infront of Basilica church (massive building..totally love the big organ). In Rome, the best way to enjoy the city is by taking a tour bus and we took the 110 bus for 18 euros for 2 days. It's unlimited and we could hop on and hope off anywhere we like, so it was quite a good bargain and the trip was totally fun and relaxing.

Be aware of pickpocket though when you're travelling in Rome, especially in Roma Termini as a friend of mine was pickpocketted when he was waiting for his train. Luckily enough he didn't put any money in his wallet and found his wallet just not too far off from the place he was waiting.

Italy is famous for it's gelato icecream (in every city in Italy, we tried all kinds of gelato, and the best place to eat gelato was at Rome! Fantastic prices, and cheap too!) and right after we finished our bus tour we took a walk around the city and enjoyed some delightfully delicious gelato icecreams for 3.50 euros each. There were a lot of flavours and my favourite was Ferrero Rocher and Orange Chocolate. Yums!

Rome's nightlife is spectacular. The lights are everywhere and totally beautiful- especially the Colosseum and the Spanish Steps. To enter the Colosseum we had to pay 12 euro's and the ticket enables us to enter 3 places, in which if im not mistaken, the other 2 places are the Rome archaeological site (forgotten the names) but we only went to the Colosseum as we were totally tired after much walking. There were a lot of people offering us a tour guide which let us cut the queue for the ticket straight away. That could cost you atleast 25 euro's and seriously, it's not worth it. Waiting in the queue only takes approximately 15-30minutes at most.

The Colosseum is breathtaking- it's big and I was impressed by the level of detail built by the Romans for the Colosseum. Sad that there were bits of pieces breaking down, but still it was truly eye catching.

The Vatican City, initially we thought it would be as big as we saw it in the movies, but it's actually quite small. There's a museum located near the Vatican church but we had to queue and pay to get in. With limited budget and utter laziness. We call it off.

From aerial view, Vatican city is very, very beautiful- love the arc shape around the cathedral. There were a lot of water fountains here in Rome too, which you could drink, from the invention of the aquaduct.

Our final destination in Rome was the Spanish steps, situated at a popular shopping Piazza's in Rome, Piazza Dei Monti.

The Spanish steps is very popular for tourists to hang out during the evening and nights to enjoy a drink with other tourists/friends. There were a lot of artists too, drawing sketches of people and I must say I was totally awed by the details drawn. Other than that, there were a lot of couples kissing at the Spanish steps as we sit back and enjoyed our view of the sunset in Rome.

While we were hanging out, there were some artists offered us to draw us in a group. The price was fairly good for a very outstanding artist, if I could recall it was somewhere around 30 euros and we were baffled by the fact that if we were drawn, who would take the drawing back home then? With ryanair one bag per cabin policy, i don't think the drawing could pass the security checks..haha.

A short visit to Hard Rock Cafe finalized our night in Rome as I bought a shirt for my dad. Good thing that I could pay using my debit I was running short of cash!

There were a lot of other destinations that we went in Rome, but the three main top attractions that you guys should visit, (if you're going to Rome that is)- the Colosseum, Vatican City and the Spanish steps.

Rome was amazing. We had 2 fun days in Rome and love every bits of it. I'll totally go to Rome again if given the chance- it's that mesmerizing.

In Part 2 i'll blog about our trip to Florence and Milan. Stay tuned!!

P:S// Italy is a country full of scooters. Scooters everywhere. In contrast with Amsterdam, where it was bicycles, in all corners!!! (Harga minyak kat Italy mahal..lebih kurang RM15 seliter...woo)

Bile lagi nak blaja bawak moto ni..warghhhhh!!!!
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