Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Consenvoye German War Military Cemetery in France

The Dutchman has been very fascinated about the World War I and II battlefields in Europe, so I have agreed and promised that I will go with him and visit these places again, but one place at a time.


Last year in spring was our first visit together, in the northeastern part of France where the Battle of Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive took place during World War I. He has been to these places with his late father and I guess that funneled the interest and up to some degree a sort of fascination about wartime history in the past.

Dutchman told me that we should look out for the German cemeteries because they are different. So while driving around the battlefields, well, we were actually en route to Argonne, we passed by this low key cemetery on the road. Dutchman was quick to comment that it is a German cemetery, so we have to stop.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Visiting the WWI Ruins of Fort Vaux in Verdun, France


This is Fort Vaux World War I ruins in Verdun, France.

In the spring of last year (2017), Dutchman and I went to visit the battlegrounds of the First World War in France.

One of the places we visited, and in fact we have used as our base, is the city of Verdun in the Meuse valley in the department of Lorraine. For this short extended weekend history trip (4 days), we picked a few important places to revisit and one of them is Fort Vaux, located on the outskirts of Verdun.


I actually found it strange to be sitting on top of a bunker and taking a picture of it when people have died on this spot a hundred years ago. Is this what they say desensitised because of time? Shall I say that time indeed heals all wounds?

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Netherlands: Den Dolder Forest Walk

One of the forest walks we did last year was in Den Dolder.


The village of Den Dolder is part of the Zeist municipality in Utrecht province. Dutchman and I try to check out a different forest every time we do our walks, but there are days when we just go spontaneously. I think this was one of those days. If I remember it correctly, it was a Sunday and we just checked Google Maps and saw that there is a sizable green lush in Den Dolder so we decided to go there.

That's just to give you an idea how we make use of Google Maps, haha.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018, Maritime Museum and Dinner at Spingaren

Last winter season, sometime in December (2017), I think between Christmas and New Years, Dutchman and I went to visit good old Amsterdam. We wanted to check out the yearly Light Festival.


Amsterdam Light Festival 2017-2018.


Dinner at  Spingaren.

We have been to an Amsterdam Light Festival a few years ago and that went down really good for us, hence this second visit, after which we planned to have dinner at this restaurant located on the main canals of Amsterdam Centrum. We call this the grachtengordel where the majority of the 17th-century gable buildings are located.

So we went to Amsterdam with the car and parked it outside the city center at the P&R Zeeburg in IJburg, a relatively new neighbourhood in the Northeast of the city. Parking fees in Amsterdam Centrum are crazily outrageous, it is going now at 7.50 Euros per hour (!!!), and thanks to the P&R parking, it is by far the most cost-effective and efficient way to travel by car to the city at 8 Euros only for 24 hours (price may change in time). From the P&R in Zeeburg, we took the tram to Amsterdam Centraal Station which was less than 10 minutes. Not bad at all.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Ben Tre Mekong Delta Day Tour: Houses, Vietnamese Lunch and the Chicken Situation

So we have come to our most awaited part of the day trip.... the lunch. Yummy!


Lunch at this open-air restaurant in the middle of a network of moats and the bushes.

Although we had some snacks at the coconut candy and fruit cafe earlier, I was actually dying to eat lunch. Hungry! We were promised of course a local Vietnamese lunch, and Vietnamese is one of my favourite cuisines in the whole world, so I am very much looking forward. I cannot wait.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ben Tre Mekong Delta Day Tour: Village Walk, Traditional Weaving and Trike Ride

Our third stop of the Ben Tre Mekong Delta Tour is a combination of sorts...


Walking on the streets of a village in Ben Tre to the weaving place.


Ah, an exciting trike ride! =)


This is the boat ride from the candy/fruit cafe to the village where we got off.

We were picked up by the motorised sampan boat in the candy and fruit cafe in the middle of nowhere Mekong Delta marshland and were dropped off at this village (I have no idea of the name). The village reminds me of the villages in the countryside of the Philippines, however, they were different. You know, similar yet very different.

We had a little walk and saw some of the daily life scenes in Ben Tre.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Ben Tre Mekong Delta Day Tour: Coconut Candy Workshop and Tropical Fruits Cafe


Tropical fruits treat in Mekong Delta.


Our second stop for the Ben Tre Day Tour is a little coconut candy workshop and fresh fruits cafe located in the middle of nowhere marshland in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

It was actually a very nice surprise to visit this lovely and secluded place. You are one with nature here and there are no direct neighbours. We travelled by motorised sampan boat from the Brick Kiln factory and arrived here in 20 minutes. Taking the boat is the only way to reach this candy workshop and cafe, and that's quite special I think.

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ben Tre Day Tour: Brick Kiln Factory and Entering Mekong Delta River

During my visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam together with family members a year and a half ago, we were able to take part in a day tour to Ben Tre province.


Brick production is part of Ben Tre's thriving small scale economies.


The Mekong Delta life.

Ben Tre is approximately 2.5+ hours away from Ho Chi Minh City and the province is home to the famous Vietnamese river called Mekong Delta. Like many others, we are curious tourists who want to get away from the city for a day and see Vietnam's lush countryside. We were also looking forward to doing the Mekong Delta riverboat cruise thing.

It is a whole day promised activity with hopefully interesting stops and places to see!

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Taiwan: All the Street Food at Jiufen Old Street!

I initially thought that I will be going to Jiufen (Jioufen) for some out-of-town Taiwanese village and culture sightseeing. It wasn't the case though.


Bustling Jiufen Old Street with lots of street food and markets.


A very popular street food in Jiufen, the Rou Yuan (Taiwanese meat roll).

When the shuttle bus (from Klook) dropped us off the parking lot, not too far away from the centre of Jiufen village, I wasn't really expecting to receive the massive interest of this village. It this a tourist trap? Why a large parking area for tourists? Why can't the driver just drop us off in the village?

Before anything else, check out these Jiufen Views.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Taiwan Day Trip: Jiufen Views


View to the Shenao Fishing Harbour and the peninsulas from Jiufen.


Yours truly had a little walk around Jiufen =)

My day trip to Jiufen was really all about the food I ate and saw. I will post this on my next entry because, as usual, I took a gazillion photos. I cannot help myself, haha.

While walking around the village, I managed to have tea at one of the less popular tea houses. The pretty and popular places have very long lines with intimidating waiting times. Firstly, I do not have the luxury of time to wait, and although I really wanted to sit nicely in these lovely traditional tea houses, I decided to just check them out quickly and then move on. Secondly, the tea houses were just too busy, too touristy. Well, I realised after.

This casual tea house though was indeed casual, but it offers great views of Jiufen, its surroundings and beyond, so I am happy with that.

The food pictures will follow soon in my next entry! They are mouthwatering =)

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Taiwan Day Trip: Shifen Old Street and the Waterfalls

When I was in Taiwan the other year, I searched for a quick day trip outside the Taipei City and came upon Jiufen, a town in the Ruifang district of New Taipei City.


Shifen Waterfall.


Shifen Old Street and Railway.

I found the day trip from Klook and took the shuttle bus option from Ximen to Jiufen with a stop in Shifen. This was just perfect I thought because it will give me the freedom to go around and explore on my own which is very important to me. I am not very fond of tour groups and being led by someone on a day trip.

New Taipei City is the area surrounding the Taipei City basin. They are different and should not be confused. New Taipei City used to be Taipei country but when it overtook the population Taipei City and became strong economically it reached its city status but cannot be named Taipei City, hence New Taipei City.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Karpathos: Chilling Out at Agios Nikolaos Beach


Chilling at this cool beach bar on Agios Nikolaos.



This beach is a runner-up favourite for Dutchman and moi mainly because of the resident beach bar here that has a nice chillout factor, and oh, the music! Especially the music, it is exceptional, it has its own DJ turntable set and really plays very good beach chillout, and sometimes, upbeat party music.

We wanted to come back here but we ran out of days since we were also checking out other beaches. We also wanted to spend time in between the days we were out at the pool of our aparthotel. The golden rule is that the holidays must remain relaxed, not rushed and should not become a list of activities and sightseeing.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Some Random Karpathos Scenery Photos


Just some random photos we took during our first scooter ride on the island.

Driving around with the scooter gives us a sense of freedom and being one with nature and the island. It is the perfect way to discover a not-so-large island. The ride took us from Pigadia, the town capital of Karpathos to the southern part of the island near the airport.

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

My Daily Life in the Netherlands #007

I have a huge backlog to report! Since March up to May =)


The mark of spring, Cherry blossoms in Utrecht.


Visited the city centre several times.

So we will pick up where we left in March (end of winter season) up to May (also the end of spring season). Thus, this is going to be a very LONG POST with LOTS of pictures. That's a warning, hehe.

There’s been a lot of stuff going on in my life, personally and professionally...

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First Impressions Pigadia, Karpathos: First Night and Dinner at Ratatouille

Karpathos is a new Greek Island for us, and Dutchman and I were quite excited about this new holiday island destination.


Each summer holiday, we enjoy a new Greek Island to holiday on, although we have a few islands in mind to go back, such as Lesbos and Crete, we are still enjoying picking a new one each year. We have really fallen in love with the Greek Isles and its become a personal holiday tradition for us.

So we are happy to have found our summer place, but it doesn’t mean we are not open to other places. We are, for example, eyeing enchanting Spain. We used to have this idea of buying a house in the south of Spain when we retire. We have bunked the idea though, but lately, have entertained it again.

No one knows the future, and for now, we are enjoying our yearly summer beach trips to Greece.

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Saturday, July 07, 2018

Favourite Beach in Karpathos: Achata Beach

We all have our favourite spots during our travels right? For this summer holiday in Karpathos, our favourite beach on the island is Achata Beach.


Achata Beach (also called Ahata Beach).

Dutchman and I have specific decision-making factors in electing our best beach for the holiday. Although Achata Beach did not tick all the boxes, it was the closest there is in meeting our best beach criteria. The only box that Achata Beach was not able to tick was MUSIC.

Now I understand that some people prefer the natural sounds of the crickets (they abound in Greece) and the constant splashes of the waves against the shore, but Dutchman and I love to have some cool music in the background whilst relaxing and enjoying nature, preferably coming from the resident taverna.

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Friday, July 06, 2018

Olympos Village Panorama Pictures

Kalimera!

Sorry for the snooze, I was on holiday and I tend to plug off when I am travelling, although I do try my best to update my social media accounts, just that I haven't been that very successful to be honest, haha. We all have our priorities to maintain a balanced life =)


Arguably, Olympos is the most scenic village in Karpathos.

The panorama view of the ancient mountain village is perhaps the postcard-perfect picture and iconic image representation of the whole island. It's a must place to visit and experience when holidaying on Karpathos Island.

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