If you have not heard from me on my latest update about my trip, it is cos I have been experiencing writer’s block since I reach Singapore. Writer’s block is defined as blocks of ice or anything that is blocking your brain from writing. Though I am actually typing now instead of writing. My brain was frozen from the cold and snow during my trip since I came back last week. That is also the reason it was draggy to wake up in the morning since I arrived home.
UK: London and Manchester
1) SKINNY LEGS: First point that came into my observation during my first 2 days in London was most of the ppl there have skinny legs. Mostly the ladies. Then, I found out why. I guessed they walked alot and took series of stairs in the tube and trains station. Imagine you have to walk quite a distance in the stations to change from one train connection to another. And you can imagine carrying your luggage up the stairs not the escalators. I had literally toned my arms during my stay there. I believed that my legs and thighs had reduced in size too that time.
2) GOOD LOOKING: There are lots of good looking and stylish people around in London. Beautiful gals and cute guys. This may sound like a stalker, but I could not stop myself from staring discreetly at them. Sometimes it is not that I did not understand their s-language (slang + language), it was because I was caught up with their beautifully charming eyes and looks. I will just nod when they talked to me but I didn’t really get it. I asked my friend Adri and Roger about this, and their answers were similar… “What? Are u sure?”… hahhahaa well…
3) FRIENDLY: Most of the people in London were friendly and smile easily. Several of them will smile randomly at you once you have eye contact with them. They were helpful too. While I was in the flight from Geneva to London I was told by a Portugal guy who stays in London (I forgot his full name but it starts with letter ‘D’), he said those who smiled at me are probably from other country. They are expected to be more amicable. I am not sure about that as I did not ask their nationalities when they smiled at me. Anyway, I experienced a headache at some point of time when he talked to me cos u know my maximum brain capacity normally is capable to accept only a certain limit of people talking. If too much my brain will crash. I bluntly told him that I have a headache.
4) WEATHER: The weather there is damn blardy (should it bloody or blardy?) cold. For Asians who lived in country like Singapore which is warm and no snow all year round, UK and Europe is definitely a challenge in terms of weather. It is fine if there is no wind, but I still froze like a snowwoman. I understand now why there were people who talked to themselves, cos I did talked to myself when I was alone there. Such as “Urgh..damn it so cold..how can u all live like this?” or “I really need a warm hug now!!”
It was snowing on the 4th day I was there. It was beautiful and at the same time too cold that my Tic Tac kept dropping. Anyway, Tic Tac is the mint. My M&M too seems to be harder to chew.
The cycle tour which I tried for Secrets of London tour was more challenging due to the decreasing temperature in the evening. It was around -7 to -9 deg. I remembered how my face was frozen and I can’t even talked properly.
STOP!! …Letz enjoy a commercial break first… #m&m #happythoughts #definitelynotthis
5) BRAKEAWAY: Talking about the Secrets of London Cycle tour, I had tried this tour with BrakeAway, you can find their website here http://www.biketouroflondon.com/. It was one of the highlights of my London trip. It was awesome cos we were brought to places and streets which the bus tour will not passby. Small streets, neighborhood areas and secluded areas and tunnels. I love the view of this specific housing area where there is a small lake and swans. The tour was more enjoyable when we could ride on the roads since London has specified lane for cyclists. I screamed a lot unnecessarily. The drivers in London are still okay. They followed the traffic signals and road rules.
I love the night view of the Tower of London and the beautifully lit up bridge. It will be great too if you have great companions in the tour. Geert and Maut (father and daughter) from Belgium were with me during the tour. They were so cool and amicable which definitely made a difference to my tour experience. The only challenging situation I encountered was the cold evening as the temperature was around -7 degree according to Chris. My face and feet had literally froze. Chris is the guy who runs the company. He was amicably helpful and knowledgeable, sharing with us on the aspects of London and some secrets of it. If you lost him on the way, don’t worry. He looks like Justin Timberlake. You can spot him right away. I believed that few of my friends thought he is really Justin Timberlake when I posted his photo with me in my facebook. By the ‘Likes’ on the photo, I guess they believed me.
6) OLD TRAFFORD and AUNTY MIN: I visited Manchester from London Euston. It took around 2 hrs to reach there via Virgin train. Manchester had been my dream city to visit. Coincidentally, Nazima, one of my favourite friend’s aunt (Aunty Min) stays there and so I had decided to dropby her place at Macclesfield.
Before that, I had met with David Beckham, Rooney and V.Persie at Old Trafford. Got their jerseys all that with their signatures (I just lie) and some nice stuffs at Manchester United stadium. You guys should go there if there is an opportunity. Dropby at the RED cafe to feel the environment where the fans watched the matches in the bar. Do check out their live matches if any. I wanna go for the match between Man-U and Everton but the match was changed to 10th Feb, so had no chance. But according to Aunty Min, gals should not go to matches alone. There will be lots of drunk men. And it might not be safe. Now I am drunk with loaded of pancakes. Just had creamy prawn pancakes with my friend Farah and her fiancé, Raqie Akisan. And my throat is full of it!!
Oh yah talking about drunk big size men. When I was in the train on the way to Macclesfield from Manchester Piccadilly, there was an argument between a drunkard guy and another passenger. They were so loud in all aspects!! What I was afraid of was what if one of them has a gun. I don’t know whether guns are legal in UK as in US. Anyway, luckily the station was a few minutes away. One of the drunk guys had moved to the seat near the exit. The cray thing while I was walking towards the exit, my sling bag had accidentally hit him. I could feel my face started to flush with blood. He was like “HEY..” .. and without any eye contacts I quickly said “sorry sorry..” and moved on to the exit maintaining my “act confidence I am not scared” posture. Well, as I mentioned before I do not own Karate belt. I don’t want to end up in a dead shit.
Special Thank You note to Aunty Min and Mark for the cosy hospitality and spent their time when I visited their place. It was an awesome experience to meet them, talking about many random stuffs and understanding more about UK from Mark’s perspectives who grew up there. Their home was cosy and comfortable that I just felt more homely with someone in a foreign country. Thank you once again Aunty Min!! And of cos to Nazima for introducing me to your sweet Aunt!!
7) ROGER SAVAGE: So, when I went back to London on the Sunday, I finally met with this friend of mine, Roger Savage. We have been communicating since 8 years ago through emails, sharing about alternative medicine practices in Singapore and London. It was nice having to meet him finally. He specifically practice homeopathy and other nutrition treatment.
Special Thank you note to Roger for taking the time to travel and spent his time on a Sunday to meet me though he is staying 2 hrs away from Central London. Totally appreciate his thoughts and effort. Hey Roger, wish you all the very best for the business and applying your medical knowledge to people who are in need!!
8) OTHER ATTRACTIONS: I will just share snippets of other attractions in London. You can find out more by googling or visit there soon!! Had dropby London Eye (I have not visit Singapore Flyer yet), had a lunch date with Kate Middleton and Prince William at Buckingham Palace (they said hi to you all), pictures and many pictures taking of Big Ben (FYI, I still can’t find Ben), the National History Museum, Trafalgar Square (I really want to go there after seeing Adri’s beautiful pic in FB), Piccadilly Circus, SOHO, River cruise, Victoria and Albert Museum and the small streets.
Other interesting places which I love is the Hyde Park, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Madame Tussauds and shopping at Oxford St. Went to these places at the second part of my stay in London after I came back from Switzerland. The weather was so much better during that time with sunshine especially at Hyde Park and Greenwich. It was not that freezing cold compared to the previous week. That is good for me.
Hyde Park is the largest park in London and I love that place cos there were lots of people around with lots of styles and expressions. It was calmly hype and dynamic with people from many countries and races. You know if you travel alone, you just need people to excite your stay in that country if not it will be like eating one piece of pancake. Pancakes is best eaten 2 or 3 pieces. Then you will be without doubt, stuffed with satisfaction.
Royal Observatory at Greenwich was one of the best places too. This was recommended by my colleague, Kavitha. I love taking pictures there and standing on the meridian. I could imagine myself standing in the middle of an intangible line while the earth is moving. I stayed there longer than planned cos I could not read and understand the numbers on the clocks there. I assumed it was still early everytime I check the antique clocks.
If you think that your dreams still have not come true to meet with Shah Rukh Khan, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga or Iron Man, and you have reached the maximum limit to your patience, I suggest you visit Madame Tussauds at Baker St. Pose as you wish and touch them if you could.
Sometimes you might think that shopping is not your favorite pastime. Probably you might not be like your friends who can just shop everytime you go out with them, (I am referring to my friends Azura Zain and McCall Jezebel Elisa), you will definitely realized it is an absolute opposite when you are in London’s Oxford St.
Oxford St. is something like our Orchard Rd. The only difference is this place is in London not Singapore (Okay, I am talking crap here). Anyway, when Azura told me that I should shop and do buy whatever I want there without the need to think, I replied to her (in my mind only) that “Ah, what the crap!! I dnt believe you”… But well, so beware of that. I ended up truly shopped alot. Primark is one of the best places to shop. There are influx of people from many countries. Check Schuh for beautiful and stylo boots that range from desert to snow boots. I got my desert boots for my snow visit in that shop. You will love the beautiful souveniers shops around the area, and stylish leather jackets. Oh yah, anyone knows how one can keep cow leather jacket and boots? Mine now smell really like cows.
9) ADRI: Met with Adri, one of my cyber friends whom I know her since 6 to 7 years ago through YouTube cos I had asked her about some links to watch free movies. ssshhhhhh…dnt tell anyone about our illegal free movie downloads. She is from Brazil and a mix of Italian, and a chef in London. She is somewhat my advisor when I wanted to make meringue few years ago. Well, I didn’t make it well that my meringue melted before it was even baked.
Thank you Adri for spending the breezy evening with me and bring me around Piccadilly Circus and SOHO. Thank you for the Brazillian snack, Coxinha. Frankly, it was delicious. Wish you all the best for your career and have fun!! I would love to see you again. You are so fun and comfortable to talk to!!
Commercial Break: Letz rock to this kind of song if you feel damn down!! #glee #santanalopez #nayarivera #girlonfire #gleeks
So I thought I might not have much to share about Paris since I was only there for 1 day 1 night. But in fact, I had lots. Nothing about skinny legs though.
1) THE FINGER AND EIFFEL TOWER: My only reason to go to France is becos of the Eiffel Tower. It was not really my dream country but since it is only 2-3 hrs train ride from London, and furthermore near to Switzerland, why not go for it. And one of my main reasons to go there is just to snap a picture with my finger only on the photo with Eiffel on the background, and tag my colleague, Hans in Facebook. That is all. Period.
You know, sometimes you will do anything as far as that to someone who would have the heck to email you crashed airplanes pictures and videos to scare you off.
2) FRENCH PEOPLE: I was told that French people are not that friendly and they will refuse to speak in English though they might know how to. For this trip, the best part is, I experienced the opposite in France.
The first good experience was in the train from London to Paris. The guy beside me, Maxime though initially I don’t feel comfortable with him cos I could not define his looks and character.In fact, he was actually an amiable guy. He was the opposite of what I had profiled him. He looked abit like Russian actually. Anyway, he was affable that he even shared with me on the process of champagne manufacturing. He was on his way back from champagne tasting at London cos he is now managing his dad’s company, Barbichon. He even shared his latest logos design and champagne flavors.I started to feel comfortable chatting with him for sometime. So, it was great meeting with him. Hey Maxime, All the very best wishes for your business and passions!!
Throughout my journey in Paris, I only met with one unfriendly type when I reached the Gare Du Nord train station from London. That was when I asked about direction to my hotel. I had problem reading the roads’ names in Paris. Then, all the while whenever I asked people randomly on the way, none of them seems to be unfriendly.
Though they spoke French with me, they were helpful to point the directions on my map. One of those whom I met even went out of her office and brought me out to find the place which I was looking for. Then, an embarrassing incident occurred in a pharmacy when I was queuing to buy eye drops. I was giving way to an old lady that my backpack hit a glass rack while I reversed and everything dropped. And there goes…the rack broke into pieces like how your heart will break if someone hurts you. And can you believe it that the pharmacists didn’t even show their anger or sarcastic expressions towards me. Instead they kept assuring me it’s okay. Oh gosh it was so embarrassing!! Damn… I will never go back to that place!!
3) HARUKA: Like I said, traveling alone will not be fun if we did not meet with people. My trip to Eiffel Tower was more fun and comfortable when I met with Haruka. We stayed in the same hotel. After I checked in and plan to head to Eiffel Tower, I met with her in our hotel lift. She was planning to go to Notre Dam initially however when I told her I am going to Eiffel Tower, she asked me; “Can I go with you to Eiffel Tower?”, and I replied with a definite “Yes of course!!! I would love to if you do!!”
Haruka is from Japan but works in Shanghai. She don’t really eat/make Sushi, if I remember correctly. I prefer Sashimi than Sushi. And so, we spent the time in Eiffel Tower area snapping pictures together. During that day, the weather there was not too cold and the sky was blue-ish. It was beautiful for picture taking. Then, we went separate ways when I need to go to the 2nd floor tower while she went to another tourist location.
4) PARIS TRIKKES: To add hype to my visit in Paris, the City of Love (anyway I was there on eve and the day of Valentines Day. How cute was that!!), I had taken the Paris Trikkes City Tour for an hour. Guy is the guy (are u confused with this rhyme. His name is Guy) who managed and run the Paris Trikkes tour. Do u know what is Trikkes anyway? Nah see the picture below.
The trikkes is motorized so don’t worie. U need not push with your legs to move it. Guy will bring you to the streets surrounding Paris area. Just make sure you follow him close throughout the journey. I realised the vehicles in Paris did not exactly follow the traffic signals. I screamed many times!!
For the tour, you can opt for 3 hrs if you want him to cover more places. For me, I took only an hour as I had no ample time. Though Guy is from New York, he knows the history of Paris so well that I might not need a history textbook which normally was not as appealing as my Geography textbook. So roughly that is one of the best experiences I had encountered in Paris.
Paris Trikkes website: http://www.paristrikkes.com/
5) FRENCH LOAF and PIZZA: Please do try their Pizza and French Loafs. It was so soft that I will definitely aim for that again next time I visit there. One of their specialties is the Nutella crepes (not creeps). Can try that too. The only problem I experienced about eating in UK and Europe is the portion of the food. The portions are normally double than in Singapore. So though it might be delicious, I had no choice but to discard it away which is not good actually. Anyway, people staying on this earth please don’t waste your food!!! Imagine the people in countries that have no food at all. Buy what you can eat only!! WORLD PEACE!!
COMMERCIAL BREAK: Knowing u is like driving a new Maserati down the dead end street…. #RED #TaylorSwift
Switzerland is one of my dream countries I had in mind apart from London. The reason I fell in love with this place was after watching a Hindi movie years back. I saw a field of blooming flowers and a beautiful cottage in the movie. So I told myself I wanna go there one day. Anyway, for this trip there were no blooming flowers. It was full of ice. However, it was still lovely. You definitely could not rid the view of it from your mind like how you could not rid some unforgettable moments in your life. You will love the beautiful outlines of the trees highlighting the blue’ish skies.
I had chosen Interlaken after loading myself with confusion finding out where to go in Switz during my research. And Jungfraujoch seems to be appealing enough to visit. Interlaken is a very calm and cosy place. I don’t think there are any crimes there. I felt safe throughout my stay only that the hotel I stayed was abit antique that it reminds me of Shakespeare-ic scenes in the movies. Unpredictable facial expressions. Antiques furnitures. And Macbeth.
1) SNOWSTORM: Experienced snowstorm while on the plateau and sphinx of Jungfraujoch. In fact it had added colours to my travel experience like how I had enhanced the snowman’s eyes with M&Ms. You know sometimes how “I still want to try it” attitude always play around in my mind. I still searched for the entrance to the skiing location which they had closed due to the storm. I tried to open the door though I was told by a Singaporean gal and a guy whom I coincidentally met while I wanna buy stamp to send postcard to Spore, that they had closed the skiing area entrance. So, they had suggested the plateau instead.
2) KC AND HIS FAMILY: While I was persistently looking for the entrance and the plateau accompanied by an eerie music background, I bumped into three tourists who looked like Japanese. Without wasting my time, I approached KC, Elizabeth and their mum to ask for directions (cos I was starting to feel so eerily scared). They are from Malaysia and KC works in Singapore. Anyway, bumped into KC several times including at Interlaken West that I told him with confidence; “There must be a reason we met again here. So, why not we exchange our contact no. and FB.” .. and so we did. Hope to see you soon randomly here!! Meanwhile, all the very best for your creativity works in designing!!
3) OLIVIA and CHRISTINA: At the plateau, the storm was so strong that I could imagine myself swept away by it straight to Alaska like how a yacht is drifted away by the wind. I met Olivia and Christina, students from Beijing who were there for foreign affairs scholars related activities. They were so energetic and courteously friendly that I forgot about the storm. It made my plateau visit fun-ner. Wish them good luck in their world exploration and enjoy!!
4) SLEDGE TO THE EDGE WITH SANJAY AND SINI: It was fun-ner after that when I joined a couple, Sanjay and Sini who are from India but are working in Kuala Lumpur. They actually stayed in the same hotel with me and had bumped into one another several times. Sanjay suggested that we walked from Eigergletscher station to another nearest train station, Alpiglen, instead of boringly sitting in the train. Finally, Sanjay suggested we should try to sledge too. Okay, actually I would love to try sledging or skiing but sometimes I thought I have problem with sense of control. I could imagine myself flung into the mushy sushhy snow and will not be found forever that you guys will miss me. Oh yah, you need to go to their ski school first for the basic lesson if I am not wrong. But that takes like two days. I thought of trying also the sledge where there are normally 2 creatures pulling you through the snowy hills, but I was afraid they would eat me up if they turn hungry.
Anywayyy…the sledging, screaming, sliding and falling lasted for three hours instead of one hour. We had lost our way cos we could not find the platform for the Alpiglen station. I had even shouted for the train to stop while it was on the way but it did not. We ended up proceeding our sledging to Brandegg station where the slope is the most steepest throughout the journey. The feelings of sledging was so much better and loaded with satisfaction compared to the crazy roller coaster ride!! Both I still need to scream though. Thank you to both Sanjay and Sini for their openness inviting me to join them for the ride and adventure. Wish you have an enjoyable venture to other places in Europe!!
So, whenever you have the opportunity to explore Switzerland, do have the fullest fun there and embrace the gust of breeze and panorama of the landscape. Though it might look so icy, it might not be as cold as in UK or France. The minimum you will experience is, it will freeze your hands and feet especially if you wear Desert boots instead of snow boots.
Oh yah abt the food, just make sure when you order anything with a salad, ask whether the portion of the salad is more than the main item such as chicken/fish or whatever. I was starving so badly (Ich habe hunger in German), I had ordered grilled chicken with salad, thinking that it is like in Singapore/Asia. However, the meal was actually like this. Full of salad in the middle and small grilled chicken surrounding it.
The pasta’s sauce there is kind of sour, so I didn’t really like it. And I can’t wait to have spaghetti when I return back to London.
Oh yah, this is the duck noodle I found in London. It is like the best chinese noodle I hv ever eaten. Huge pieces of ducks and delicious handmade noodles. I hv been searching for ducks since in Singapore. And now I found it .. of all places in London!! WOX at Spring St. It is halal. So no worries!!
Letz get back to Switzerland, remember to get yourself a watch in Switz!!! It is like a town full of Swiss watches!! It ranges from any budget you have but still worth it to buy there. If you are rich enough buy the higher range ones. I saw Hamilton watches!! They are so huge round types and I bought…no I didn’t buy those. It is over my budget. Hah!! Finding a watch is like finding someone whom you love. Though there are lots of fancy ones, you believe that at one point of time you will find something that appeal to you more though it might look simple. And yes!! Bammmmm…got it !!
I found out from Karen (Dominic’s mum) whom I met in the train towards Bern that Switz is actually consisting of the parts where it is French and other parts German. Interlaken is the German area. The people there took time to respond to your smile (or sometimes you might not get a response at all). Note:Maybe not everyone is like that. There is this guy who looks like Zac Efron, the lead actor from High School Musical. However, this guy is taller and with broader shoulder. He helped to carry my huge luggage though I told him it is okay since it was quite heavy. He insisted to help. And when he was on the way out of the train, I took the opportunity to bid goodbye and thanked him however he only smiled slightly like he is unsure whether to smile. So maybe, I guess it is the environment they are brought up in. Like how we are brought up in an environment that reminds us “Don’t talk to strangers!!”
To conclude my Switzerland trip, the views was the best perspectives of the landscapes I had ever seen. If ever I have the chance to go Europe again, definitely Switz will still be my favourite.
Conclusion to my Random Conclusion
My favorite or reliable drink in UK and Europe was tea with no milk. There, it tastes better and refreshing. I guess it is nicer if it is drank in cold season. I could also survive with just breakfast comprises of tea and a bread, no need to have anything for lunch except for my M&Ms, and for dinner just chips and fish/chicken slices. I was not hungry. Yeah I know, many people said that if it is cold you will get hungry more but according to my scientist colleague, Kavitha, she said that it has something to do with metabolism that will increase in cold weather that caused my appetite to reduce. hmmm…. probably I would agree cos once I reached Singapore, my mum had cooked my favourite dish upon my request Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi (Chicken cooked in coconut milk with small spicy chillis) which I had eaten 3 plates of rice in 3 hrs. So, maybe it has to do with the weather. You guys should try this dish when you visit Asia.
And I realised that my hair is softer after I return from the trip!! My face texture too feels better. So, whoever with hair problems, maybe you should visit UK and Europe during winter. Or you can spa your hair and face in the freezer (Pls dnt try!).
If you are lost in the middle of finding a building, it is still fine but please avoid losing yourself during transit or train trips especially if you are traveling alone. Their inter state trains travel perfectly on time so no space for mistakes or lateness. I had made sure my plan was perfectly implemented. Could not afford to be lost when I am alone, but if your mind is lost when someone is talking to you that is still fine.
Plan properly and do extensive and intensive research on the places you want to go. Hotels’ locations are very important especially if you need to travel to the train stations often. Use satellite map and street view research to ensure that the area looks safe and not hidden away from main road. Sometimes, you might need to spend $20-$50 more than your budget for lodging as long as it is a safe place, clean and near the train stations. As mentioned, trains that travel within states in UK and Europe departs very punctually on the dot. I am not referring to the tube/underground trains. So, punctuality is vital.
Ask your friends who have been to these places for better picture of the country. It helps. Thank you note to my friends for the suggestions and ideas sharing on the perspectives of the places. A million Thank you to my friends and all; Hernani, Azura, Jezebel, Marsh Marshita, Roger Savage, My Boss, Kavitha, Aunty Min, and Kate Middleton for all the advices and suggestions. Totally appreciate it and it was so helpful for my plans.
To wrap this write-up like how musics would end with raps, check out this song. It is one of my favourites. Believe in whatever we would like to attain in our life!! Though we might not achieve it immediately, there will definitely ways to attain it next year, years later… or simply tomorrow. #Believe It #Cimorelli
With that, Thank you all for checking out my write-up. Remember to embrace the fun, and the challenges you encounter in life. Appreciate your favourite people!! Adieus Amigos!!
There is always a reason we meet with an individual in our life. Never ever deny or refuse though you try to question it at times. One day, you will find the sense of it.
Appreciate every moments and the people you meet in life. If you think that you dislike the place you live, try to explore other places. Surprises happen!!
With lots of pinkish and blueish love,
Princess of England…
All Rights Reserved including Pictures © Siti Sulianah/S.Sulianah
Hotel Reviews, check out my tripadvisor.com as SnixySwift
The Hotels that I listed below are the ones I love most during this trip. I will highlight only those that are worth it and which I like during my stay.
LONDON – Ibis London Shepherds Bush
LONDON – Eden Plaza Kensington
LONDON – Ibis London Euston St.Pancras
MANCHESTER – Thistle Manchester City Centre, The Portland
PARIS – Hotel de l’Europe
INTERLAKEN,SWITZERLAND – Carlton Europe Hotel