A Travellerspoint blog

I am wanted!

“The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift—that’s why they call it ‘the present’."

sunny 15 °C

I have finished 2/3 of my journey and still have two weeks to go, but I am already missing this trip. I LOVE doing this, and I could do this forever. I wake up whenever I want, wander around doing nothing constructive all day long, hop on a tram or metro going to random places and get lost, sit down and read in a coffee shop every other hour, get a gelato and just sit on the stairs under the sun to watch people, stop and take 30 photos of the same cloud, then feel proud of myself for finding my way home. In the evening, chat to the nice people from the hostels, party till dawn a few times and not have to worry about hangover, because there is nothing specific to do tomorrow. LIFE IS GREAT. (And you are jealous!)

It was my first time traveling to East Europe, among the places I've been to, Dubrovnik is definitely my favorite, sun and sea by day and King's Landing by night. (I met a lot of Game of Thrones' fans by the way). My least favorite place would be Prague. It is a beautiful city, but sorry to say, I would never go back to this place because of its people. They say French in Paris are rude, wait till you meet Czech. Except from the staff from the hostel and my tour guide from the walking tour, I would say all of the locals are extremely unfriendly, it's like hitting a jackpot if you talk to a Czech and he smiles back to you. It's not just one or two rude people, it's the majority of them. They are reluctant to help, don't bother to talk to you, and if you ask them a question, they always give me a you're-a-fucking-idiot look, and it's a sin to ask for ketchup for my fries. PEOPLE DON'T DO THAT! It's offensive to ask for more than what is given to you on your plate. Da!!!!!!!!

I had a major confrontation with a tram woman in Prague. I got this 24-hour travel pass and forgot to validate it before I got on the tram. A woman came up to me and asked for my ticket, and I just showed her my unvalidated ticket. She went "No stamp!" I was like oh shit, and naturally explained I got here just two hours ago (which was not true...but it just came out) and didn't know I had to do that and tried to get my ticket validated from a little machine right away, and that woman just grabbed the ticket from my hand and ordered me to pay 800 korunas (35 Euros) fine because I didn't have a valid ticket...I was shocked!!!!!! I tried to get away with it by saying things like I just arrived in the city, this is the first tram ride blah blah blah but she didn't even bother to look me in my eyes, she just went "It is your problem". WTF, yeh maybe it's my fault not having my ticket validated but it's not like I didn't have a ticket at all, and isn't a local supposed to explain local rules and help tourists to get around? I didn't have that much money with me, she asked me to get off and go to a bankomat, I was like, "alright...listen....." and I jumped off the tram right before it left the station and dashed, and didn't even look back....... I am a criminal now......... If I could do it again I would turn back to the tram and give her my middle finger!!!!! I totally understand that it's her job to check people's tickets and she probably has the authority to fine people not following rules, but the whole bad attitude and lack of humanity pissed me off big time. It takes many years of history and culture for a place to impress, but it takes one person to ruin it. Too bad!

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But clubbing in Prague was fun...at least I had some good memory :)

The tragic ferry accident back home made me very sad, and I couldn't help to believe that life is really fragile. We must seize the moment and enjoy life. I'm so convinced that I'm doing the right thing now

Posted by doleesi 18:12 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Love and war

"The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon"

sunny 20 °C

Perhaps I have been travelling for almost a month and have been cut off from the real world (no work, no news, only sightseeing)... I realize that everything I feel and think inside my mind has been amplified, it's like walking on the street in an invisible cape which no one could see me, but the acoustics bounce back and forth inside myself so intensely, whenever I see an art, or a sunset, or even a doggie on the street, my feelings go through my whole body. So weird. May be that's the thing about travelling.

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I was all after the Before Sunrise romance in Vienna. So naturally everything I saw there was just ROMANTIC! But then when I saw The Kiss in person, I was mesmerized... Stillness filled me for a long while. I couldn't help but wonder, how would one feel to be obsessed by a man, it must be overwhelming. I would love to feel it ❤❤❤(and I have to agree The Kiss is so much better than Mona Lisa)

And then I went to the Prater, where Julie and Jesse kissed the first time in Before Sunrise

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I magically felt love is all around me, even the sky loves me.... Yeh I am that silly now. Already was a hopeless romantic, now I'm worse, I guess no one could handle me :)

But then of course in this mode of amplified feelings, I was also more depressed than I would have wanted after I went to House of Terror museum in Budapest. It is a place that exhibits the sad history of Hungarians under the dictatorship of Nazis and Soviet Union. I refused to go at first because I didn't want to see horrid on my trip but everyone I've met recommended it so ok I decided to go. CHILLING!

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That's some serious shit... Torture chambers, brainwashing propaganda, concentration camp, I actually went into the actual prison cells in the building. Really gave me a heart attack. But after all, I'm glad I went there, it made me treasure life more, perhaps next time I feel life is hard I should think about what these people had been through and I should be grateful of just having a home to myself, a bowl of hot rice for dinner and not forced to worship some stupid leaders or something.

Apart from that, Budapest is awesome. Everyone says the city is so photogenic in every angle and honestly expectation fails me the first day I arrived. But then in the evening...perspective changed and I could really appreciate the beauty of this city. It is just so so bloody wonderful. Love it.
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In a few days I'm gonna meet up Miss Noisy and we will rock Germany~~~ yeah! Can't wait!!!!

Kisses..!

Posted by doleesi 19:05 Archived in Hungary Tagged budapest vienna Comments (1)

Adventure to the East, East Europe.

semi-overcast 17 °C

Du-bro-v-nik, Dub-rov-nik, hm, Ly-jub-li-an-a, Ju-bli-a-na. Urgh.....Zebra, no, Zegrab, na, Zagreb.
I went to these places that I hadn't even heard of in my entire life, had no idea where they are, didn't know what language they speak, didn't know what currency they use, didn't know what to expect. I just googled East Europe and loads of amazing pictures showed up and I thought...rather than going to Switzerland and seriously harm my wallet, I should go East. And my decision was so right.


Croatia and Slovenia, countries you seldom heard of rather than their soccer teams (which I hadn't heard of actually, Queen of Gambling told me), they are actually amazing. Amazing landscape, architecture, history, and amazingly emotionless people. Yeh people are so emotionless it was actually amazing. (when you ask for direction, they reply: GO STRAIGHT, UP AND TURN LEFT without even moving their eyeballs, they act like as if I just killed his dog or something, hospitality is not a big thing here I guess)....anyway...

I went to Croatia all because of this view,

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saw it, loved it and decided to go. After my decision, I actually found out one of my friends and one of my coworkers also planned to go, it wasn't that unpopular after all. It was a nice change from Italy, everywhere is clean, loads of banks, everyone speaks English, everything just worked...But, there is always a BUT, I lost my passport first day I arrived Dubrovnik, CLASSIC! These things never happen to me usually, I am always alert, and almost never lose my stuff, a hair band or a pen may be, but a passport! Something must be wrong, perhaps I used up all my beginner's luck in the first week. I was so grumpy and almost decided to give up (after bed bugs and stuff) and TeamGB insisted to help me go back and find the cab. And within 30 mins, my baby returned to mama. SO LUCKY the cab was back at the place I got in and because it was a gold Mercedes cab, it was not difficult to spot. Yeh so, this is what I meant by daily challenge. I bet every traveller must encounter some of these incidents, just that mine was so concentrated in ONE trip. Bad luck is OVER!!!!!ROAR!!!!!

This unfortunate episode didn't really ruin my mood, because Dubrovnik is unbeatable.

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I was so happy by just staring at the endless ocean, counting the fluffy clouds, swimming in the crystal clear water of the Adriatic Sea, looking at the sunset...there is really no words to describe what I felt when I saw the ocean. Now I figured how nature could affect people's well-being, and I believe I become a better person just by standing near the sea. :) perhaps I am happier now, or more generous, or less judgemental..... Well I just hope it works this way.

Ljubljana is another feel. I knew absolutely nothing about this place and it turned out to be a very nice surprise. There was nothing really major to see, but the small capital is tranquil and charming. And at night it is like Disneyland. I'm so glad I went there... Just left today, after staying two peaceful nights....just still not 100% sure how to pronounce the name, ha!
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First impression of East Europe is awesome, looking forward to Budapest and Prague.

Will be around Vienna these two days (yeh, not East Europe, I know), laters! xx

Posted by doleesi 18:06 Archived in Croatia Tagged croatia dubrovnik slovenia ljubljana Comments (0)

Prego

sunny 30 °C


Hi ya! I have been too busy enjoying my travels and tackling all my daily challenges that I have given up my blog. The last two weeks have been really overwhelming...Florence, Siena, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Dubrovnik, Zagreb. So many things happened I have no idea where to start...but let me try

Florence: my favorite city of Italy by far. Even though I ALMOST got ripped off paying 8 euros for a scope of gelato. An amazing city in every way, it is impossible not to get inspired in such a cultured atmosphere. The architecture, the renaissance art, the stories of the greatest artists on earth, the music (it sounded better even they played just Beauty and the Beast...and they really liked Disney music), the food, oh my god THE FOOD (I will get back to this later), the kind and passionate people, especially guys ^o^, the countryside scenery, the food, oh wait I said that already, the gelato...everything was perfect.

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But the one thing that made my stay super awesome was the hostel and other travellers I've met. I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with all these different people, but in order to do that I really have to brush up my geography and common knowledge...or else i would ask another guy from Armenia "is that an african country?"" no, it's North of Iran", "so are you muslim?"(someone should have popped up and slapped my head), but it was so much fun understanding how people live in the other side of the world (for example, I didn't know that Isareli party hard in Tel Aviv). It felt magical when someone else with a completely different culture, speaks a completely different language has gone through some similar mental or emotional states and that they understood what I have been going through at this point in time. The connection was amazing. As Paulo Coelho says in the Alchemist, the Soul of The World allows us to understand anything on the face of the earth, because it is the language with which all things communicated. Having said that, we all speak English :)

(I haven't spoken any Cantonese in three weeks lar! Yau d gwai chu)

Rome: NIGHTMARE. dont get me wrong, I like Rome.

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Just didnt have much luck. I got bad bed bugs bites the first night in Rome. The irony was, I was safe from bed bugs first 9 nights staying in hostels, and the first nice newly renovated B&B which cost almost 110 euros a night and I got bitten. A big WTF! (And no one has ever told me Italy has flies?!?! I have never seen Anthony Bourdan dining alfresco and constantly waving his hand at the annoying insects. What can I say, European bugs like me)

Italy totally blew my mind. A huge contrast between the cultured atmosphere in the North and the intensity in the South, I couldnt believe the rubbish-filled city of Naples is actually part of the beautiful Italy, and then you'd find yourself in heaven on the island of Bari just an hour away from Naples. Legendary!
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Turn on: Italian food, gelato, system in chaos, nice facial hair of northern Italians :)
Turn off: bed bugs, rip-off tourist traps :(

Grazie. Italia.. I will be back.

Posted by doleesi 05:59 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Lost in translation

overcast 28 °C

Venice is a huge maze, a massive Disneyland packed with thousands of tourists in a medieval setting. Walking around in Venice without getting lost is a huge challenge. Even with the help of the google map, you still get lost a lot. (just because the map looks like this, thank you very much) 3UploadedFile0.jpg

It was very frustrating the first day here as I thought I was heading to a place and ended up completely in different direction. But I really enjoyed it! With a gelato, walking down a tiny tiny alley lead you to a majestic church, which is not even on a guidebook. They say "Good things happen just around the corner", is very true in Venice.

I particularly enjoyed randomly jumping on and off the water bus and got to deserted islands, getting away from the hectic tourist crowds. I was really amazed there were so many cool buildings in the area. I got to an island called San Giorgio at dusk, standing in front of a stunning church and there was absolutely no tourist around, the grand atmosphere there just made me feel so small and kept me silent.
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I also enjoyed the renaissance art, particularly liked Tintoretto's works... It was really strange when I saw this 15th century painting about Piazza San Marco (the landmark everyone goes to when in Venice) 90_3UploadedFile1.jpgI couldn't help but wonder how would the architect and the painter felt if they knew after almost 600 years people are still impressed seeing their work...And you know what, men from that era wore very nice leggings :)

Next stop: Firenze! Looking forward to see more nice beards.

Ciao

Posted by doleesi 03:41 Archived in Italy Tagged venice Comments (0)

Kicking off

semi-overcast 26 °C

Day 1. Milan
This trip is about revelation. The first mental lightning struck me as early as I was on the plane - I have to be richer. Flying economy for 12 hours, with an one year old kid screaming every 15 mins at 150 dB killed me. Someone should invent a device to stop children from crying or screaming on the plane, or just ban them from traveling...

Apart from the flight, day 1 was awesome! Two highlights of the day: saw a dead body (for real), and got pissed the first night with many new friends from around the world :)

Apparently an important cardinal in the Catholic Church passed away and the funeral was held at the Duomo. I passed by the landmark in the afternoon and it was cordoned, crowd gathered and said prayer together, I didn't understand a word but I mingled in and immersed myself in solemnity, it was special. Later in the evening I got back to the church, wanted to take a look inside but, to my surprise, I saw a body, until then I realized the body was laid in the cathedral for people to pay respect. I am not sure if it's the body or the church or the prayer, my heart sunk.
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Back in the hostel, party was on! I met a lot of nice people from all around the world - American, British, Polish, Aussie, Kiwi, Venezuelan, German....and I was the only representative from Hong Kong (no one could tell, probably because of my red hair) it was fun to hang out with these people and listen to their stories. We are from different culture but actually a lot of our beliefs are very similar. A great night to kick off my journey.
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Milan has left me a good first impression of Italy - a lot of graffiti (love them), people are nice and helpful, cute guys EVERYWHERE (Seriously, the guy helped me with my SIM card looked 90% like Bradley Cooper, and all of a sudden I forgot how to change a SIM card...huh? How? What is it?Can you help me?! Turn off the phone? How?! )

As my roommate said: I came here for the nice facial hair! Yes indeed!

Posted by doleesi 10:30 Archived in Italy Tagged milan Comments (0)

Il grand tour Europa. Day 0.

rain 30 °C

This is it, I am leaving for my Eat-Play-Love adventure tonight. (or Play-Play-Play to be exact, not sure about eating that much, and I am considering to be celibate......hm...anyway...) When I left office and waved goodbye to my colleagues this afternoon, I had an overwhelming thrill charged though my nerves, and while I walked down the overpass from the immigration tower to Wanchai MTR station, I ALMOST wanted to cry...because, NO WORKING for six weeks!!!!!!!!! WOHOOOAH!!!!!!That's a record-breakingly long vacation. (and I secretly laughed at those office ladies who had that TGIF/ ready-to-get-pissed faces, because you know what, my weekend is 43 days longer than you all!!!!!!Take that!)

Packing was a nightmare, and for a moment I wished I were a man. How do other female backpackers pack their stuff into a shoe box, I wondered, while my 25-inch luggage almost exploded?? I had an ideal plan since I bought this backpack with wheels, so I could use it both ways - as a backpack especially when I wander around the European cobbled streets - but reality strikes - when I put the bag on my shoulders, I spent 30 second struggling to stand up, unfortunately I was just sitting there on the floor like an idiot - it's too heavy for me. As Miss P would say: "Fail.com".

After I checked in my 19.6kg luggage, I leisurely strolled to the lounge as usual, and picked up all the travel magazines there. I especially like The Sunday Times Travel as their photography standard is awesome. A lot of times, when I saw some really good destination shots, I would cry out a little bit inside, wishing I could go there.... Tonight I saw this amazing pic
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AND THIS TIME I AM GOING THERE!!!!!!!!!!! How cool?!?!?

Okay, time to board. See you all in six weeks. Wish me luck xx

Posted by doleesi 04:34 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

Jesus Christ!

overcast 36 °C

OK, this time I'm gonna chill, and go with the flow without over-planning everything (Repeat three times in my head every time I am obsessed with my excel file...)

Today, while I am randomly browsing attractions in Milan, I reckon Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper is one of the take-my-breath-away things to see in the city. I am not a sophisticated art fan but I enjoy wandering museums, soak myself into art and then feel great about myself being cultured. So yes of course I am going to see this world-class painting.

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accidenti!!

The tickets for Sept 1 are sold out ALREADY! And no tickets are available until the end of October. JESUS CHRIST!
What a shame I am going to miss it. But then I feel good for a bit because I realize I am not the only maniac who over-plans everything, there are a lot of them out there :)

So now I know, no planning doesn't really work for me.

I came across this while I was doing my research. Cool eh?

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Ciao~

P.S., "accidenti" (ah-chee-DEN-tee) means "crap or damn" in Italian, I learned it today and think I'm gonna use it a lot!
P.P.S If you know you are going to Milan in three months, book now at this website

Posted by doleesi 02:24 Tagged italy milan the_last_supper Comments (0)

Call me "travel blogger", maybe

overcast 35 °C


23 days before my grand trip, I started this first-time-ever travel blog, to give myself some purposes to the trip, and to try out my dream job -- being a travel writer.

I probably suck at writing (my German boss might be secretly nodding) and my blog would probably bore you to death, but hey, my mom would know where the hell I am and she would be pleased. (Mr. half-handsome suggested that I should write more about sex here so that my blog would become best-selling overnight.... will think about that)

So the planning is 60% done - finished up my itinerary, bought my luggage + 4 padlocks from Taobao (Yes, 4! no one could steal from me), booked most of my flights and important train connections, looked up places to stay yada yada yada......Mr. H sitting next to me at work was amazed by my MASSIVE excel file recording EVERYTHING of my trip but I have to admit this is no where near the most thorough planning by far, I could really go control-freak-crazy and be able to tell you something like walk out from the customs the ATM is on your right, the airport bus stop is 250m ahead of you, take bus no. M1617A where the bus stop is at the third aisle of the terminal and the bus is orange. it costs you $19.2 and exactly 46 mins to arrive our hotel. it leaves at 15:17........
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This time I am really carefree. For now.

Last night I was thinking to download a couple of books to read on the road....Fifty Shades of Explicit Porn would be a bad idea, and I would probably finish it before I leave for Europe, so I tried to look up some spiritual (aka self-help for desperate women) titles and now I have these on my kindle:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- A New Earth AND The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- The Seven Spiritual Law of Success by Deepak Chopra

YOU ARE LAUGHING!! Yeh, I can't believe I would read these either. But I'll try, and then return becoming uber-enlightened, rising above and beyond :)

Laters, baby!

Posted by doleesi 17:23 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

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