The Majestically Beautiful Edinburgh 

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The trip back in December 2016 was my 4th trip to the majestically beautiful Edinburgh. I’ve seen it in all seasons with the exception of Autumn (or Fall as you call it in America). Having been to Edinburgh for both work and leisure, (it was leisure this time), I was unsurprised that my excitement was rather lukewarm. After all I’ve seen it all but if there was any excitement in me, it was more because I’m going somewhere and doing something as part of my Christmas holiday and not simply hibernating and rotting in my London flat.

But what I’ve learnt is that, Edinburgh being a magical place, will take your breath away regardless how many times you’ve been there. That was exactly how I felt as soon as I stepped out of the Edinburgh-Waverly train station.

The fact that I arrived rather late (it was 10pm) didn’t matter. There was more than enough neon lights from the winter wonderland and Christmas market along Princess Street that got me all excited.

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I stayed at the Principal on George Street, which is located within walking distance from Edinburgh Waverley Station. The exterior of the hotel is beyond gorgeous and the service they provided was simply top-notch. They went above and beyond what was expected of them to ensure that my stay was comfortable and that I had everything I needed throughout the duration of my stay.

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As I made the trip on the last week before Christmas, I spent time at the Christmas Market. The cold crisp air, the smell of hot chocolate and cookies wafting through the air and the sound of Christmas carol simply heighten my excitement that Christmas was around the corner.

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The trip may well have been a very short one, but it taught me that no matter how many times I’ve been to Edinburgh, its grandeur and majestic beauty will always take my breath away. x

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South of France Travel Guide

One of the things that I embrace about being single is that my holidays are not tied to school holidays,  half terms and Easter breaks. As a matter of fact, I generally avoid going away during those period because a) everything is more expensive and b) everywhere is crowded.

So upon realising that my last time off work  was more than two months ago, I thought it’s about time that I book a weekend trip to another European city that I have not been – the South of France which is also commonly known as the French Riviera.

Flights 

The flight from London to Nice takes about two hours and the journey from the airport to central Nice, takes about 15 minutes. For this trip, I flew with BA, but I know EasyJet also flies to Nice.

Accommodation

Throughout this trip, I stayed at the Ellington Hotel which is located in the very central part of Nice and highly accessible to the main high street, shopping areas, attraction sites and the train station.

Places I Visited 

Castle Hill is a great place to get the best view of Nice. From Castle Hill I could get the bird’s eye view of Nice – the clear blue water of the sea, the orange rooftops and the long stretch of Promenade de Anglais. To get to the top of Castle Hill, one can either hike or take the free lift to the top. I on the other hand took the Le Petit Train de Nice, which is a neat way to see the city for EUR10.

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Promenade de Anglais stretches for miles! Most popular amongst runners and cyclists but also great for those who enjoy a stroll walk by the beach either first thing in the morning or in the evening to catch the sunset.

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Nice Market is great option for antiques collectors or in general for anyone who enjoys a good stroll while feasting the eyes like me. From vintage cameras, cutlery, paintings to vintage Louis Vuitton, Chanel bags, shoes and scarves, there is bound to be something for everybody.

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Cannes. Yes, the city that is known for its glitz and glamour especially during the Cannes Film Festival. I took the train from Nice to Cannes which took about 20 minutes and it costed me EUR13 return. I highly recommend that you allocate a day to fully enjoy what Cannes has to offer. There is plenty of options from luxury designer shopping along the Promenade de la Crosette, wandering in and out of local shops along Rue Meynadier or hiking up the Old Town for the best view of the blue sea and the harbour.

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Antibes, an old town situated between Nice and Cannes. The main highlights for me were definitely the Picasso Museum and the Marche Provencal (aka Food Market). Marche Provencal is definitely a heaven for food lovers with fresh fish, oysters, bread, pastries, olives and fruits! I pretty much wanted to buy and eat everything and if I had known, I would have skipped breakfast at the hotel before heading out to Antibes.

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The Village of Eze is situated between Nice and Monaco. Instead of travelling alone throughout the trip, I decided to be social for one day and booked myself to a small group tour to Monaco. Check out Tour Azur which I highly recommend given how well they looked after me for the day. The Village of Eze is a charming hilltop town. It’s quaint and tiny but the medieval narrow and sloppy streets open up to hidden squares, fountains and quiet courtyard. Plenty of galleries for art lovers too!

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Monaco. This has to be the highlight of my trip. Monte Carlo definitely lives up to its name – fame, money, champagne and designer goods, but it was the Principality of Monaco that stole my heart. The small city-state overlooking the blue water of the Mediterranean is where the Saint Nicholas Cathedral (where Grace Kelly got married and was buried) and the Prince’s Palace are located.

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The French Riviera has now become one of my favourite places to visit in Europe and I have a feeling that whilst this was the first visit, it will not be the last. x

Bamberg and Wurzburg, Germany

Hello everybody,

I know I have been rather quiet for quite some time. As cliche as this may sound, so much has happened since the last post.

I managed to have a mini breakaway in Germany at the end of May, visited my family in Kuala Lumpur and most recently, my birthday in London.

To kick off, I thought I’ll share some of the highlights from my trip to Bamberg, Germany.

Enjoy! x

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Ski Trip – Kaprun, Austria

I have always wanted to give skiing a go, but was never organise enough to plan it well in advanced. As such, season in, season out, a few years down the road, I still have not hit the slopes. *roll eyes*

But this year I was very determined to make it happen and finally booked a ski trip during the first week of April. I know…it’s a late and one that is towards the end of the season. But better now than having to wait another season, I thought.

Oh boy, I sure am glad I did it!

I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t particularly over excited nor was I very nervous.

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I didn’t put such high expectations on myself. I thought I’ll start small and hope for the best. I’ll be happy if I could stand more than falling my bum.

I opted for a group lesson. The instructor was good, skilful, attentive and clear when giving us the lessons. Unfortunately, at the start of day 2, I hurt my ankle badly and I had to stay off lesson. What annoys me the most was that the ‘injury’ was caused by the boots and it wasn’t that I fell or doing any stunts. These were definitely the bane of my life for the week! 11139377_10153309166172271_3652371305290218167_n

Because I missed the group lessons and they clearly progressed during the days when I was putting my feet up, the ski school compensated me with two private lessons. Hurray!

I definitely progressed quicker but was knackered as hell after every lesson. As you would imagine, having a private lesson means that the instructor has only me to focus on which was great! However, after going up and down the bunny slopes learning how to make snow ploughs, to stop and making turns for two hours, I was ready to not move ever after each lesson.

After two 2-hour lessons at the bunny slopes, I hit the blue run. I was feeling rather nervous initially but my confidence progressed as I start going down the slopes, slowly. Having a very attentive instructor guiding me along the way helps tremendously. 12993373_10153309166417271_4888343622355506894_n

On the last day, feeling rather accomplished that I learned something new within a space of a week and with the lady who helped me making it happen. 🙂 12991119_10153309166127271_3869102585871179561_n

 

NYC – The City That Does Not Sleep

YellowcabsWhen I discovered that British Airways was having a promotion and it would cost me about £350 for a return flights to NYC, I thought it was destined that I should visit the Big Apple this year. After all the last time I was there was in 2009 – way too long!

empirestatesAs this was my 6th or 7th time in NYC, it didn’t take a lot of planning. I kinda know what I wanted to do and which area I wanted to stay at. The only thing that I did a quick research on was food. I mean, good restaurants keep on mushrooming and there are always new ones popping up, so I need to catch up with the more recent ones.

timessquareI was there for a week; from Saturday to Saturday which to some may be a little too long to be in NYC. I on the other hand, had a great time and felt that I did not have to rush through anything. Time was definitely in my hands. No matter how many times I’ve been to NYC, I will never get tired of the Central Park, the bustling Times Square or the Times Square building standing tall.

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After all the walking one definitely needs to refuel the energy. I absolutely the food in NYC! Buttermilk pancakes are a must!

pancakes_granolaAnd who would have thought that southern fried chicken could actually made its way to the big city.tipsy_parson

Being asian, I do crave for a good serving of crispy fried squid and a bowl of piping how pho. Yum!squid_pho

After all that food, (obviously I didn’t eat them all in one seating), I thought I should also do some cultural things. The two museums that stood out the most for me are The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). If you are going to visit the Met, I suggest you allocate a day just for it as it is massive!

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In case you thought the stairs look familiar, that’s because it was featured A LOT in the famous series Gossip Girl. MOMA

And I my trip was around end of November time, many of the department stores have started doing up their Christmas window displays – which are all very lovely and I can’t really choose which one is my fav!

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You see what I mean? So christmassy!