Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beautiful York

I went to York with Angelene last Saturday, and what a sunny day it was =D  We took the train at 8am...painted our nails and then slept through the journey in the train. We reached York 1.5 hours later, happy to know that the weather was nice and good for us to explore around...

Welcome to York!

We walked out of the train station and turned right....and soon I could see the city walls.

at the southern entrance to York, Micklegate Bar

Initially we planned to have breakfast in the train but didn't manage to....we found a place at the city square to have our fried meehoon while listening to live street music =D

had our breakfast

First place to visit was York Minster. It was around 11am when we bought our entrance tickets to go in (thankfully no queue) and Angelene was quite worried that we might not be able to cover the whole York in time....

inside York Minster

colourful stained glass windows


outside York Minster

Treasurer's House

We spent about an hour at York Minster then walked around the Treasurer's House which was just nearby, and then bought our lunch at York Hog Roast. We walked to the Museum Gardens to have our lunch while enjoying the lovely sun =)

our lunch

York Museum Gardens
ruins of St Mary's Abbey

colourful flowers (tulips?)

After lunch we 'strolled' along the river bank and crossed the bridge, walked along the busy streets now crowded with people/tourists/locals....

River Ouse

streets of York reach Clifford's Tower.

Clifford's Tower

It was not long before we decided to have high tea at Betty's (earlier than planned), just an hour++ after we had our lunch....luckily we went early as we had to queue for half an hour before we got a table. Had we not changed our plan and went there at 4pm instead we might have missed our train at 6pm...

high tea at Betty's cafe
Since there's still time to kill, we went to walk along the city walls then to the National Railway Museum near the train station.
York city walls

in the National Railway Museum
the only Shinkansen outside of Japan
spring is here!!!
Soon it's time to catch the train home. Another nice day trip, great weather, great photos and of course great company =D

Exploring Manchester

It's not too late to update about this 'day tour' around Manchester right, although it's about 2 weeks ago?

I have Angelene as my tour guide =D

in front of the University of Manchester

After walking around the University campus we took the bus to the city centre.

Manchester Central Libary

love this pic, 很有英国的感觉

Manchester Town Hall


market stalls

Marks & Spencer!

Primark.....very huge shopping store

my caption for this photo on Facebook is: ALL RISE
hahaha absolutely love this photo (and my own caption) =P
taken at the fountain at Piccadilly Gardens

Walked to Chinatown for lunch, we were deciding between Jap and Thai and finally settled with Thai....
Lunch at Try Thai, Chinatown

Chinatown Manchester
After lunch we quickly took another bus to Old Trafford and the journey took us about 40 minutes. I joined the stadium and museum tour while Angelene waited for me for 1.5 hours (because she's been there 3 times)....and she watched the cricket match in which India won while I toured the stadium =P

Old Trafford stadium

got interviewed =P

players' changing room

Manchester United!!


in the Man U Megastore

It was about 4.30pm and we made our way to Trafford Centre, a huge shopping centre....

food court inside Trafford Centre

super high-classyyyy

Trafford Centre shopping centre (this is just a part of it)!!

Went to ASDA/Wal-mart after that to buy some groceries before we took the bus back to city centre.

Triangle (another shopping centre)


Wheel of Manchester =D

Arndale shopping centre

Dinner at Wasabi

back to Chinatown at night

A fun-filled and interesting day touring the city of Manchester, thanks Angelene for bringing me around =D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roaming the streets of Rome

Our last stop of our Europe trip was Rome, the capital of Italy. We arrived near midnight on 17th March and when we went to the hostel to check in (pre-booked online), we were told that they had mixed up our bookings and there were only one room available instead of two. Luckily the receptionist told us that he could give us an upgrade to an apartment which has two rooms - which of course we agreed! And we have free breakfast delivered to our doorstep too the next morning =D

Room service =D

After breakfast we walked around the city for a bit.....

Welcome to Rome.....

sunny day in Rome
We walked to Termini station in hopes of getting a free map of the city but it took us a while to find a tourist information centre....and we didn't manage to find any! Just then a guy from a tourist agency came to talk to us and somehow we just followed him and went on this hop-on-and-off bus tour.....


colours of Italy


Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II
We toured around on the bus and decided to hop off at Vatican City for pictures. There were so many tourists like us around, possibly due to the fact that the previous day was Italy's 150th anniversary of unification and it's a public holiday (shops closed?)....... 

at St Peter's Square with St Peter's Basilica in the background

the Apostolic Palace, official residence of the Pope

Time for lunch! Found this pizzeria restaurant called Zi was just 'okay' for our taste buds.

Macaroni with carbonara - quite hard and very salty

tortellini in salsa

ordered a pizza to share

fettuccine ragout

After lunch we walked around and tried to find our way to the next destination....why so much walking, you ask, when we had already paid for the hop-on-and-off tour? That was because we didn't think of going back to the place where we hopped off the bus as it's quite far from where we had lunch....but good thing was that we managed to buy gelato.....true Italian gelato!

quite a long queue at Gelateria Old Bridge...apparently it's one of the famous gelateria in Rome!

with our gelato =D

we passed by this place so many times that we just had to take pic with it

VERY VERY long queue to get in the Vatican Museum, so we just took pics outside instead
From the Vatican Museum we walked around the streets and went to this bus stop that we were told we could hop on the bus from.....waited for around 20 minutes and when we saw the familiar green bus, we waved our hands to catch the driver's attention he didn't see us and hence didn't stop!!! And we crazily chased the bus to the next street but to no avail.....what did we pay 20 euros for, to chase the bus?! We grumbled along as we walked back to St Peter's Square.....however this time round we waited at the wrong bus stop (they changed the stop) and we missed the bus AGAIN!!!!

It took us quite a while to go to the right bus stop and hop on the bus.....and then hopped off at the Trevi Fountain.

nice view of Tiber River

the huge crowd surrounding the majestic Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain =D

After loads of pictures we made our way to the Colosseum (didn't want to wait for the bus any longer).

natural colours of sunset + rain coming soon

Just a few minutes after the picture was taken there was a heavy downpour!!! We tried to find cover under a stall with everyone else, then we decided to take the train back to our apartment. There were so many people at the station as well, waiting for the rain to stop. Before going back to our apartment we went to buy some drinks and snacks, then came out again to have dinner at La Vecchia Conca, a pizzeria restaurant. Surprisingly good food (best meal we had in Italy)!!!!

Roman spaghetti (just with cheese and pepper)

can't remember what is this called

spaghetti with....errr....

seafood antipasti....YUMMMMM

That concludes the end of our Europe was a fun 10-day trip with Wei Ven and 2 new friends, Hao Keat and Lee Cil....they had been very helpful throughout the trip, for example with carrying my luggage, planning where to go and where to eat, buying tickets and taking public transport etc.....and my role in this trip was only as the main photographer following them around. Thanks guys for letting me join the trip, hope we will meet again =D