My Easter holiday traveling lasted for one week started from Praha to Budapest. We actually got 4 weeks vacation but since I get 4 essays need to be handed in after Easter holiday, traveling for more than 7 days is just too much to ask.
We got six girls travelling together this time so staying in the hostel isn’t a problem for me at all as long as there’s none we don’t know and we get our own bathroom. My friend Mabel found a very nice hostel named Sir Toby, the room is spacious and clean. When we opened the door, it actually wowed me. Receptionists are so nice and helpful. They printed out their own map and recommended us some cool places and restaurants to go. And the breakfast is fantastic! You even can make your own pancake and eggs!!! (Only 5 euros per person! All you can eat) I could say it’s my best hostel experience ever! They also had some activities take place at the bar located on the basement, but we were all like pooped out everyday so we didn’t join any of them, it should be fun though.
After leaving Turkey and going back to Leeds for one day rest, I directly went for the second destination of my Christmas holiday: Spain. I stayed with my friends who I met in Chicago 2011: Fernando and Miriam for several days. (Fernando didn’t tell me that Miriam got pregnant until I got there!! Really happy for them!!!!) Since they still have to work until 22nd, I almost spent the first two days by myself.
As we planned in advance, we headed back to Fernando and Miriam’s hometown Zaragoza to celebrate Christmas with Fernando’s family. We arrived Zaragoza around 4 pm, and the dinner won’t be started until 8:30. Fernando and Miriam just showed me around to give me a rough idea about the city and kill time. Zaragoza isn’t a tourist city, it’s actually with more than 2000 years of history. The city used to be governed by Muslim for a period of time hence the arabic element merged on its architecture still can be seen.
We arrived Fernando’s parents house around half pass eight, his father waited us outside and gave me a warm welcome as soon as he saw me.
On the table of the living room served some sparkling wine, dried fruits, nuts and traditional spanish sweet: turron.(Christmas only!!!)
So my luck lasted for only one day. The weather have became worse since my second day in Istanbul, not the raining cats and dogs kind but just bad for taking pictures.We headed back to the old town area for visiting the Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia at that day.
From the name you probably assume that the Mosque is blue but the Mosque was named “Blue Mosque” because of its blue tiles on the interior. This mosque is the only one with six minarets in Istanbul compared to others who are only with 2 or 4.
Believe it or not, I am in Istanbul and with my dearest sweetest friend Steven!!! :D Totally bubbled over!!! We’ve been talking how fun it will be if we hang out together in Istanbul for a while and finally I make it!! Lots of my friends went to the Netherlands,Belgium, Germany, Scotland or France for their winter break, but I mean since I’ve been to more than 5 countries in the Europe, now I kinda feel it’s all the same for me. It goes like this: Cathedral -> Baroque architecture -> Cathedral -> Museum… I really need something exotic that could wow me.
The first impression Istanbul gave me is people, people and PEOPLE!!! At the beginning I was like”OK, I am totally fine with it since it would never happen in Leeds”, then I kinda felt it annoying when every time my shoulder was nudged. It seems that people make no attempts to doge bumping others’ shoulders. I finally understood why Steven always says that he need a flamethrower when he’s in a hurry, as you know that percentage of procrastinators will be higher when flocks of people are everywhere. :P
My journey actually began at the second day of my trip. Before it started, we kinda made an agreement that no matter how greasy, how fat the food is, we’ll eat it, we must taste as much authentic turkish cuisine as we can . As the past experience showed, it’s impossible to discipline yourself and go light while traveling coz sometimes you might have the desire to discover authentic cuisine or be tempted by street snacks, so our day was more like: eating -> eating ->sight-seeing -> eating -> sight-seeing -> eating…
Here are some of the turkish food I had eaten these days.
Way to beautiful, a town that worth a visit in the UK. Photo credit to my friend Sean.
(Taken at Durham Cathedral)
After 4 days in Paris, we took TGV from Paris to Bruxelles after wonderful meals in Benoit. It was a rough trip for us, first the train from Paris to Lille delayed for 40 minutes so that we didn’t catch up the original one from Lille to Bruxelles. When we arrived Bruxelles, we’ve already pooped out. The worse thing was that we had to find out the hotel. The layout near gare du nord is all in a mass, we could hardly find out the road shown on the google map. What scared us the most is the red-light district, we had no choice but passing by and it was the weirdest moment ever. Men there just looked at us like we are prostitute! After like an hour desperate walking and asking, we finally got there!! All the information we collected is from use-it, it is a non- profit website that provides travel info for young people. I think it contains all the information you will need in Belgium. So if you are planning to go, you may find something useful there.
Here’s to Moses, a lovely cat who passed away at age 6 last month due to renal failure. I enjoyed the time being with you in Chicago Mos! Gonna miss you buddy :’(
First I have to apologize for the lateness since I have gone to Whitby a month ago and I was in the middle of some trifles those days so that this post couldn’t be written until now. It’s just weird that whenever I try to start writing this post, there were always something drags me out of it.
Trying Amorino ice cream is other mission that I planned to accomplish in Paris. I heard their gelato when I was here in 2010 but I just didn’t have the time to try. You just order the size you want and the staff will “customize” one for you. In Amorino, you can choose as many flavors as you want. The staff will then make a beautiful ice cream rose on the cone. Although the flavors are not that intense as the one in Berthillon, it’s just a fabulous treat for my eyes. Definitely the prettiest ice cream ever!!I even felt sad when I finished it (ps. I know my flower isn’t that pretty since I was in a hurry to Benoit for lunch so that I failed to think of the color coordination)