I made it up to Lion’s Head!

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I did not make any plans for this trip. Was trying my luck to see if there is anybody that has any plans. I can always whip up a plan last minute. I’m always up for activities that requires physical strength when I travel. Sun and exercise, totally do it when I am away from my comfort zone.  Here is a montage of my hike before I start telling my story.

The weather was really good the day of the hike. A week ago or just a few days before I as there, it was cloudy and misty. Temperature was also on the cool side. So with a touch of the sun, it was bearable. Did not sweat buckets. We got an uber from our hotel to the starting point of the mountain a.k.a. the parking lot. It wasn’t that expensive to get there when you are sharing. However, there is no free internet connection getting back from Lion’s Head. You either got to have internet roaming facility or get help from a kind person to share their hotspot. Still thinking if I should get a third party roaming facility.

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The view going up to the peak was incredible. We had to actually hike around the mountain to get to the top. There’s no easy way up, only determination and overcome the fear of heights and falling.

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When they put up signs, you better do as what they say. I thought it would be like ‘oh, it’s here to help support you climbing’. Boy oh boy when I saw it…

You got to be kidding me.

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It came to the intersection of whether you want to climb up using the staples and chains or go around the mountain using footpath. On the way up, I took the footpath trail as I was with someone who was really afraid of heights. Even with that, until a certain point, I had to literally get on all fours to get to the peak. Coming back down, I decided to take the staple trail down. At least I did try both ways. Of course the staple trail was much faster as you are just coming straight down. It is not that tall of a wall to climb because getting down from the peak is also another test of endurance.

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Definitely not for the faint-hearted. I challenged myself good. But you get this fulfilling accomplishment for reaching to the top and enjoy the view. I might add that there are senior citizens that managed to get to the top as well. Determination is the key, also taking your time and don’t rush. Go with your own pace.

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What a lovely view with the wind blowing, listening to the sounds below. I love catching some sea breeze anytime. The time I took to hike up was about 1.5 hours with resting in between and taking pictures as I mentioned that I was with another person. It could be done in less time of course. Coming back down was like 30 – 40 minutes. Getting back down is much faster as most of the time I am just sliding down the rocks. Would I go again? Maybe, if I don’t have anymore places to explore. But for now, I will visit some other place like Table Mountain or Cape Point.

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Till then, stay sane!

Manchester vs My stomach

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I want to show what I’ve done in Manchester for 5 hours.

I totally need to get the videos and pictures out of my phone as soon as possible, else it’s just gonna be a space taken up with nowhere to go. So here I am pinning my thoughts and food journey here. Also a way to make use of this space as I always neglect it.

This is my second time to Manchester but spent my time in Liverpool the last time as many around me said that there’s nothing much to do in Manchester. This time around, I’ve decided to explore Manchester for myself and decide if it is that boring as what I’ve heard. I’ve set my mission now for any places that I visit is FOOD! Did my research through Google a night before. Bookmarked the places so I can visit the next time too whenever I am here again.

Let’s get exploring Manchester city with me!

I started my journey from Manchester Piccadilly train station. According to Google, the first location I wanted to visit was supposed to be open when I started my journey. However upon reaching the place, it is not opened until 12pm. There goes having a bowl of pho for breakfast.

Came all the way here just to take a picture of the Chinatown arc. Yup, gotta visit my roots wherever I can.

Asian breakfast is a no-go, will just settle for an English brunch. It was kinda hard to locate this cafe. I had to walk around the block just to find that the cafe is facing a parking lot building. So much for adventure.

The Evelyn’s Cafe Bar.

I got the Avocado toast with poached egg (GBP 7.50) and a Rose latte with cardamom and honey (GBP 5). They give a good amount of avocado. Such a healthy meal that I couldn’t believe I’m consuming it.

Most of the places close by aren’t open until 12pm. Instead of wondering around the street till restaurants are open, I saw there’s a cat cafe nearby. At first I thought of not going in as I didn’t see a lot of active cats inside there. But there’s this one cat near the window just had me going in. Also I need to kill some time.

It is literally called Cat Cafe. It cost 1 pound per 5 mins and drinks are unlimited. Well, I think normally people would be there for at least 30 mins. That’s how long I spent there. The best place to sit in the cafe is near the drinks counter. That’s where the staff will mingle more with the cats and help to bring the cats around by enticing them with toys. I just like the ambience there, calm and lazing around just like the cats.

I found the next place through one of the list in an article. They recommend their Korean Fried Chicken. Now this is not a Korean restaurant. But I’m down to trying what is recommended. It is called Common.

The fried chicken was already a given. As I was flipping the menu (only 2 sides by the way), I was intrigue by this dish – popcorn cockles. It has been a long time since I ate cockles. Since it’s under the ‘snacks’ category and was mentioned as the best bar snack, not that I have any to drink, I ordered it without hesitation,

Korean Fried Chicken – GBP 5.50
Popcorn Cockles – GBP 5

I guess I never learn about eating Asian food not from an Asian restaurant. The fried chicken wasn’t that bad. It comes with kimchi and gochujang. However still not quite there. The fried chicken is not crunchy enough. As for the cockles, it was way too salty and sour for me. Half way through, I was just mixing a mouthful of chicken followed by a mouthful of cockles.

Came to Piccadilly Garden and had to take a picture here. It is a nice place to hangout but the main focus of this picture is …

PRIMARK! Somehow I still can’t figure out why is Primark such a big thing. I get that the price is really cheap but then how much clothes and items do you need from Primark? Maybe in the future I’ll change my opinion about this.

Moving on.

The next location pop out in my Facebook as a recommendation. I got to get my tea time the English way with an Alice in the Wonderland theme.

Richmond Tea Rooms

The Alice Tea set for GBP 7.25. 2 scones and a tea of your choice.

Honestly I thought that I need to spend at least 10 pounds in here. Let me tell you, 2 scones are way too much for me. Like seriously. Especially after all that eating. But those clotted cream is so good. So good to clot your artery as well. haha. The place is very cosy with different tea rooms. I’ll probably go there again.

So much food to eat but so little time and space in my stomach. Total cost for an afternoon of food spree – GBP 36.25!

📍 Locations 📍
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar
44 Tib Street, Manchester, UK

Cafe Cafe Manchester
103 High Street, Manchester, UK

Common
39 to 41 Edge Street, Manchester, UK

Richmond Tea Rooms
Richmond Street, Manchester, UK

Till then, stay sane!

I was Rome-ing in Italy

I had the chance to be in Rome!
It was coming to the end of summer, hence making the weather super nice. Nice enough not to get too burnt or get too chilly to put on the layers.

Being in ancient city just gives me pleasant vibes. Breathing in the thought of me standing there and what could it had been thousands of years ago. This is the kind of feeling that I get while traveling. This is also why I love to travel to different places. To see and feel and be in the presence of the vibe they give.
2 main attractions on my list as a first time visitor to Rome.
  • Colosseum
  • Trevi Fountain
On my way to the colosseum, there are some ruins along the way.
Don’t ask me what is the history of the ruins. I don’t research any of these historical sites as I am not very much interested in them. I just particularly like how the structure is being constructed and even after when they all crumble. Even if I was told about the history of the place, I might have already forgotten about it.
The Colosseum
Being a cheap tourist at this point, I did not opt to go inside the colosseum. On top of that, there were a lot of people queuing as well. The time I had was not enough for me to queue and go on a colosseum tour. I mean, being a first time visitor, my aim is just to get the touristy shot to tick of the list. Perhaps next time when I have the chance again, I would enter the arena.
The Trevi Fountain is not that far from the Colosseum if you fancy some walking. It is a walkable distance with a fine weather. Walking or biking around the city is how one sees the city.
When it comes to touristic spots, it is not surprising to see a sea of people trying to get that perfect shot (of not having any other people around). Here is to why I always have my travel companion around, for me to get that shot with minimal humans.
And when you can get help to take a picture or two or three or more for you,
you try to get that perfect shot.
I learnt a new tip of photo taking if the shot that you want could not all fit into the frame, use panorama shot.
Still can not avoid the crowd but still alright.
When will I be back in Rome again?
‘Nuff said!
Till then, tata ~

No regrets for Paris this time

I was able to redeem myself this time in Paris.
When I was in Paris last month, all I did was stayed in the hotel room and went to a mall nearby with the free shuttle bus. No wine, no city tour. I was disappointed with myself after leaving France, telling myself I should just visit the city no matter what. Staying in the hotel room the whole day is not really that rewarding for me since I am here to see and explore what the city has for me.
This time around, I managed to get my French wines and heading out to the city. Instead of going to the Eiffel Tower and some of the more famous spot downtown, A couple of friends and I went to Montmartre, slightly out of the main city area.
From the hotel, we took an uber to reach to our first stop – Basilica of Sacre-Coeur.

 

I heard that during Summer or when the weather is much better, the view of Paris is way better than this.
While we were freezing ourselves with the wind and drizzle, why not have a cup of hot wine for 5 euros.
The owner was so lively and entertaining while we were getting our drinks. Not bad for a cold weather. Definitely woke us up after that.
While we were standing outside of the church, of course there would be some people hanging around the area trying to sell some souvenirs or some scams going on. Yes, Paris is very famous for different street scams.
The scam group found near the church was those asking you to sign for some donation thing and then would ask you to ‘donate’ a certain amount. Nope, not gonna fall for that.
However, here comes the interesting part where the phrase ‘Pigeon Effect’ was coined.
The moment the police car showed up, they were like pigeons scattering away from the scene. Less than 30 seconds, the area was cleared. By the time the police arrived at the scene, no one was left in sight. I must say though that the policeman in Paris are really well built and handsome too. Why don’t we have that in Malaysia?
After the police left, the scammers and street sellers were back again. It is like a cat and mouse game.
Let’s get inside the church.
We head down to the street to find the street art. One of the highlights of Montmartre. But first, let’s head to the shop that has some sculptures made out of just chocolate. I am just there to get some macarons.
Maison Georges Larnicol
Got mine for 7 euros.
Another main objective was to get some crepe in Paris. There isn’t a particular shop that we wanted to go to. Just exploring the area to see what would fancy us. Check out some of the prices as well. You can have a savoury or sweet crepe.
We stumble upon this shop that looks quite old school. There wasn’t a queue or anything fancy about it. Just walked in after seeing the chef was cooking something delicious through the window.

 

Le Tire Bouchon
 
The whole wall and ceiling were just covered with notes upon notes, as well as money notes of different currencies. Simple yet gives out a cozy feeling.
 It is never too early to have a drink. The bimbo in me did not know that this is actually a french beer.
 We have ordered 3 different types of crepes, all savoury though.
The Classic (DIY) – ham and cheese
The Special – ham, cheese, mushrooms, tomato sauce
The Tire Bouchon – potato, bits of bacon, raclette
Remember the dish that I mentioned early that we saw the chef was cooking through the window?
We asked the person in charged what was that dish and if it was in the menu. Apparently it was their own food. Little did we know, the person in charge / owner brought us a plate after we finished our crepe. I for one thought that he was only joking when he said he would bring us some.
It was so delicious. We even got a refill and extra sauce with bread on the second round. We cleaned up the plate real good.
A picture with the person that brought us the stew. Such warm welcome we got in the cold.
Inside this shop were 3D paper light arts. The exhibition starts at 7pm. We got there too early. Actually, we just came across this shop while walking after our meal.
So pretty
Next, we were on our way to find the Wall of Love. Try to spot your language.
More walking before we call it a day.
Oh! I have yet to watch the movie. The entrance fee to get into Moulin Rouge is at a minimum of 127 euros. Let me just keep that trip inside for another day.
It was indeed a fulfilling trip this time. Did not waste my time away in the hotel room. Glad that I was invited to go on this little adventure to see a different place in Paris.
Here’s a short short short montage.
Till then, tata ~

What is there to do when you’re in Kenya

Hello from Nairobi, Kenya!
Wanted to go for the safari in the national park, however was advised by the tour guide that the timing wasn’t right as it has been raining for the past week. The animals that we want to see will be hiding aka lions. I mean that’s the point of going to the safari right, to see the true wild in the sort of wild living.
The tour we ended up taking cost us 35USD. This includes the entrance fee for the following and ‘tips’ for the driver. The whole tour took us about 5 hours.
  • Giraffe Center
  • David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
  • Crocodile Farm (has a tortoise farm and ostrich farm)
The ‘tour guide’ that we had is from the animal sanctuary that we visited. The driver just brings us around while showing us what is what and telling some stories as we drive by.
We went to the Giraffe Center first. The entrance fee is 1,000 KES (foreigner price).

These are only baby giraffes. They are about a few years old. We get to feed them.
And if you’re daring enough, you can get the giraffe to ‘kiss’ you. Well, you just need to put the food palette between you teeth and it will ‘kiss’ you. Nope, I’m not gonna have giraffe saliva all over my face.
Here with the giraffe caretaker that told us a bit more info about the center. There isn’t much to do at the center other than just feeding the giraffes.
For our next destination, the visiting hours is only between 11:00am – 12:00pm. Got to David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage just in time for the visiting hours. There’s no entrance fee, however they have a sign that says a contribution of 500 KES is required before entering. What a way to put it. 
There was already a crowd when we reached. The first group of elephants were already roaming the viewing grounds. They are the younger ones compared to the second group.
A group of caretakers will be feeding 2 big bottles of milk to the elephants while there’s one guy will be introducing the orphanage and each elephants, their name and their stories.
This Maasai was standing in front of the gate before heading in to the orphanage.
Apparently he’s not part of elephant orphanage. How’d I know? He asked for tips after we took some pictures with him.
Got to the Crocodile Farm – Nairobi Mamba Village. Mamba means crocodile in Zulu. The main highlight of this is to hold a crocodile.
The belly is cold and soft, almost like a jelly. I squirmed when I first held it.

“Trying not to drop it”
Better lighting here.
The tortoise farm is only just beside the baby crocodiles den. It’s only just one enclosure for the tortoise.
We had a guide with me. Else, there’s no way we can get to hold the baby crocodile. By baby, they meant 5 years and below.
Last place to see is the ostrich.

Yup, only 2 here. The main attraction is the crocodile. Also our guide told us that crocodile eggs are good for men. Even told us if we are interested in the eggs after the tour, we can ask him. Hmm…
After all these animal visitation, we went to a place for souvenir shopping. Just adjacent to it is a fruit and vegetables market. It’s definitely a tourist spot. We just got our souvenirs and left. Was already mentally tired and we’re leaving that night.
The next time I’m back to Nairobi or even Kenya, I want to go for the safari to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Maybe see some action going on. Blood pumping and heart racing kind of action.
‘Nuff said.
Till then! Tata~

Cathedral Hunt in Barcelona, Spain

I don’t know how I should start this post. The trip to Barcelona was months ago, in March. So let’s just go straight to the point.

Public transport especially the train is my go to mode of transport to get around the city. I like seeing how the trains look like, and also people watching the locals? It’s all about getting the vibe of the city by doing what to locals do, sort of, somehow.

From the hotel, took the train to the middle of the city where tourist are just a stone throw away. I just drop a stone and there, I can find a tourist – me!

This is Plaza de Cataluna.


Where pigeons are not scared of humans.

Wanted to do the effect of the pigeons flying away in a group, but it will only happen if you run really fast like this dad.
Hung around to take some pictures and footage. Proceeded to walk to Barcelona Cathedral. 

Somehow I like the architecture in Europe. Also, it’s really a nice walk when the weather is cool. Oh, how I miss to see blue skies.

One thing about me sightseeing is that I don’t pay entrance fee unless what’s inside the building interest me a lot.

Why? I don’t know how to appreciate art in the way it should be? History is not my cup of tea. Even if somebody were to tell me the history about the building or place, I’ll just keep a mental note.

Anyway, here’s Barcelona Cathedral.

Got to get that tourist shot just to tick off from the bucket list. A prove as well to say that I’ve been there? Not often you get to see me (my face) in the picture.
Next stop, La Sagrada Familia.
A few train stops away, you will meet this historical and magnificent church that is always under reconstruction.
This should be the front of La Sagrada Familia as I can see a long queue to get into the church.

The back view gives a different look.

Just around the corner, lies a nice garden or park where the locals (mostly elderly or of older age) hang around to play a leisure sport. I was trying to figure out what is the game about. Nothing was conclusive.

The atmosphere was full of serenity. If only I had a bit more time to spend here.

A view of La Sagrada Familia from the park.

Made a short video of me heading to La Sagrada Familia. First ever attempt to do some video.
‘Nuff said. Till then!
Tata~