Sunday, January 05, 2020

Greek Holiday: Boat Trip to Skopelos Island

Travel Period: June 2017

Back in the summer of 2017, Dutchman and I holidayed in Skiathos which is part of the Sporades group of islands in the Greek Aegean Sea. We mostly spent our holiday in Skiathos but also did little trips to the nearby islands.

One of the trips we did is a boat excursion to Skopelos and Alonissos Islands.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

One Night in Rome

Travel Period: December 2018

What would you do if you have one night to spend in Rome?

Bernini's Barcaccia fountain on Piazza di Spagna.

Hmm, it would be difficult to choose because there are so many great places to see in the city...

I was in Rome for work and was planning to have dinner in the nearby suburb or at the hotel I was staying in. However, the hotel's restaurant was exclusively booked for an event. I also learned that they have a shuttle bus that goes to the city center which includes a re-tour ticket of the metro. Things seemed to have fallen into its place for me that night. So I bought the shuttle ride and in half an hour I was on the way to the ancient city.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Playing Tourist in Amsterdam

About the same time last year (1st week of January 2019), I went to Amsterdam to see an old colleague. We were colleagues at a research slash consulting firm 13 years ago. Goodness, I feel old having to mention ex-colleagues from double-digit years. She moved back to Sweden when her contract ended and I was even at her apartment during her going away party.

She messaged me on where else, Linkedin, that she would fancy a catch up in Amsterdam as she is visiting for a work-related trip. I then took the opportunity to stay longer in the city and played tourist. Of course, as part of the package, I took pictures along the way.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Hello Stranger! 2019 is almost over!

Life managed to take an auspicious turn on the road, so here I am back again =)

What can I say? I have been super duper busy in the last 6-7months that I didn't really have the time to come in here and give the usual blogging love. I really feel bad about it. And very guilty. However, as bad as it is, we all must make decisions and set priorities.

Before I give you an update of what I have been up to, let me show you my Christmas tree!

I wanted a silver tree this year but I couldn't just let go of my gold ornaments so I made a truce to myself and settled for both silver and gold. I bought some of the glass and silver ornaments at the Monschau Christmas market.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Xiamen, China: Buildings and Dinner at traditional Chinese Restaurant

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Xiamen, Fujian, China

On my last day in Xiamen, I decided to do a bit of joyriding in the local bus transportation of Xiamen. My end destination is the business part of Xiamen where the modern and tall buildings congregate. The bus was definitely the best, easiest and cheapest way to navigate and see Xiamen.

At the business district, I stopped at Xidi Street, also known as the Coffee Street for some coffee and green tea cheesecake. Here is my post: Xiamen - Checking out Xidi Coffee Street

I also explored the surroundings of Yundang Lake on foot and caught sight of the famous Bailuzhou Park which is an island on Yundang Lake between Hubin North and Hubin South roads. I very like, in particular, walking around and seeing as much of the local daily life scenes.

When it started to get dark, I took the bus back to Siming. I have memorized the number of the bus that goes back to Zhongshan Street, but to make sure I struck a conversation with a local, even though I am 90% sure the local I am going to ask does not speak English. But I was prepared anyway.

So I approached this young guy in his early thirties at the bus stop. He smiled at me when I walked to him and said in Chinese, "Bus Zhongshan Lu?" and pointing to my map the location of Zhongshan. He quickly understood and told me in broken English that he is also taking the same bus. Ah, lucky me hehe. Bus fares in Xiamen are cheap. They were going at 1 Yuan for one-way within the city (back in end 2016).

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Monday, April 22, 2019

Xiamen, China: Checking Out "Xidi Coffee Street"

China is a country about tea. It is where tea comes from originally. I have recently read that after water, tea is the most widely drunk beverage in the whole world. Not surprising at all when China has more than a billion people. Well, I drink tea myself and billions of other people in Europe and Asia.

Ever since the trade went global, as well as the still on-going economic revolution of China, many young local Chinese have hunkered for something new and hip to waste their time and money on. This something new and hip has deep roots in the western world civilisation: Coffee.

Enjoying a cup of double espresso and matcha cheesecake.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Skiathos North Scooter Adventure Ride and Xanemos Airport Beach

The island of Skiathos is small and is just perfect to navigate around with a scooter (or a motorbike).

You get rewarded with views like this when you explore the island.

Because we both do not have a motor license, we were only able to rent a scooter up to 50cc.

Skiathos, however, is a quite hilly island so we had some troubles scaling up the steep parts. A 50cc scooter cannot handle a steep incline with a second person on the back. Helaas, I had to get off and walk for the few meters. We cannot let the scooter choke to death. Even if I diet, I will still need to get off, haha.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Last Dinner (at Taverna Hellinikon) and Evening Night Out in Skiathos

This is our last dinner in Skiathos Old Town.

Skiathos Old Town and the island itself is lovely and very much a highly recommended holiday destination for us. We have enjoyed our stay here. The car-free Old Town is very pretty and traditional, filled with inviting boutique style stores and open taverna seating on cobblestone streets. Skiathos holds up to the standard of a charming Greek town on a Greek island.

Our last dinner on the island was spent at Taverna Hellinikon

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Skiathos: Another Day at Vromolimnos Beach and Dinner at Kohyli Taverna

Perhaps our favourite beach on Skiathos Island...

Dutchman and I went here twice! And that's a lot because there were many nice beaches in Skiathos. We liked the small and cosy location and the vibe of the beach. There is a trendy beach bar cafe and restaurant which owns a row of rental parasols and sunbeds. We love the music flowing from the bar cafe to the beach.

What can you ask more on a summer beach holiday?

Oh yeah, food! Of course.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 15, 2019

Beach Hopping in the South of Skiathos and Dinner at the Infinity Blue Restaurant

Another summer day in Skiathos Island.

Infinity Blue Restaurant sits on top of a cliff.

Dutchman and I had no specific plans for the day except for dinner. We were eyeing to eat at the Infinity Blue Restaurant near Kolios Bay. We decided to check out the beaches with the rental scooter. A mini island road trip with the bike =)

The island is very small. You can reach the other side of the island in half an hour with the scooter.

The popular Koukounaries Beach.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, March 09, 2019

My Daily Life in the Netherlands 010

I quite feel guilty about this blog. What do they say? Promises are made to be broken? But then again I do not mind posting late. Seriously, I actually feel the pressure of the mountain load of backlog posts I have. I really want to post more often, but.... *sigh* At this moment, it is what it is.

So back to my 10th edition of My Daily Life in the Netherlands. It is winter season!

The Dam Square and Dam Palace in Amsterdam taken in December.

Lots of dinners at home during the cold months.

The culprit: Real life gets in the way. Always. The Dutchman and I are also in a very busy period now with the house. It will only get busier because the house will be delivered in 2 weeks time. I am very excited! But I can also feel the enormous stress building up. Just thinking about the tasks at hand is overwhelming. Because we are not selling our current place (we plan on renting this out), we will have to do some renovations on top of the work that we will be doing for our new house. Plus we both work full time with demanding jobs. Luckily, we do not have kids. A blessing in disguise? Haha.

This blog will suffer for sure. I am already missing it, seriously. I used to post regularly, like almost every day. Nowadays, I am super drained when I get home and I just can't focus on blogging. But I love blogging. I love journaling a part of my life and posting the pictures I made... so I will definitely keep doing this when I have the time.

Nevertheless, here are some snapshots of my winter months: November, December, January, and February.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Photos of Skiathos Old Town from the Hills

Skiathos Old Town is one of the prettiest Greek town island centers I have visited. It is very charming and welcoming, and it is also quite hilly with great vantage points for views.

Moi on top of the hilly old town of Skiathos.

I took these photos in one of the hot summer afternoons on the island.

I have just finished dipping in the pool and laying down on the sunbed to dry. The Dutchman lays beside me, very much engrossed with his new book called Judas, a real-life story of a high profile criminal in the Netherlands as told by his sister (whom he threatened to kill...). From time to time, the Dutchman dips in the pool too, to freshen up and take a breather from reading.

Both of us take advantage of the summer holidays to read. I normally read at least 2 books on the 2-week holiday while Dutchman has a big stash loaded in his e-reader. I might just buy an e-reader when I get used to the idea. For now, I love the feel of the book in my hands.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Grillhouse Aura George and Skiathos Old Town at Night

One of our dinners in the Old Town of Skiathos...

Grillhouse Aura George.

Dutchman and I were craving for some mixed grilled meat for this particular evening.

We've seen these row of tavernas in the Old Town near the harbour. These are al fresco restaurants on a pedestrian street on the corner of the church with access to the harbour through a small slope street. This area has a good view of the water and Bourtzi Island as it is situated on a hilly part that overlooks the boulevard and the harbour.

Octopus being dried on the harbour.

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Skiathos, Greece: Day on Agia Eleni Summer Beach and Dinner at Salt & Pepper Restaurant

This is one of our favourite beach chill days in Skiathos.

Agia Eleni Summer  Beach.

Lounging the whole afternoon until early evening on Agia Eleni Summer Beach in the Koukounaries and then followed by a nice dinner at Salt & Pepper Restaurant nearby....

Ah, I reckon, just a normal day in the Greek Isles =)

Dinner at Salt & Pepper Garden Bar Restaurant.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Evening in Skiathos: Harbour Walk and Dinner at Taverna Akrogiali in Paraliakos

This is one of our evening walks in Skiathos and dinner on the harbour.

Dining out during the summer holidays is something I always look forward to. It is like a treat. For this reason, I pick nicely situated restaurants with a good ambiance. Sometimes I check Tripadvisor for suggestions based on ratings and reviews. In the Greek Islands though, not all restaurants have their own websites, although the popular and bigger tavernas do have their own website or at least a Facebook page.

But based on experience, we just tend to hit the town center and choose which one we like randomly. If I am craving for something in particular, then I would scan the menu first to make sure the place offers what I want to eat that evening. That simple really.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

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