Manly

When I first heard of Manly, I was like whaaaat? There is a place named that? So, I was offered a chance to visit Manly anytime I was in Sydney, about 2 years back. I never got a chance to go until February this year! And that was because I finally had some free time in Sydney! So off I went! Boarded the ferry from Circular Quay and went to Manly. OH MY! This is really a beautiful coastal town! Walked along the Corso and had sushi for lunch. Spent some time trekking along the beach trail. Met an old friend Phil who drove me further to see more beaches. I couldn’t resist the temptation and bought a new swim suit in Manly and swam in a private beach, overlooking great houses and private yachts!

Here are some pictures!

South Africa – The land of beauty

South Africa is so beautiful. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit this country last spring.

It was a 10 days tour and I went to various cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Sun City and Cape Town.

Here are my pictures and I hope you enjoy them!

 Flying direct from Singapore, it took about 11 hours before I arrived into Johannesburg. Upon arrival, we went to Gold Reef City, which is a theme park with underground gold mine tours. The mine was dark and there was minimal lighting there. I tried to be as brave as I could in the dark and I succeeded!

Watching a cultural dance and the same people performed various dances (in different costumes) on stage, depicting the different tribes in Africa! The dances were full of energy, a contrast to how I was feeling that morning (dead tired) after the long flight. I was glad to check into my hotel in Johannesburg and rest for the night before making our way to Pretoria, then to the game reserve the next day.

Before I could go to bed, something freaky happened. That night one of my customer had a heart attack and had to fly back the next day.

I had to make arrangements for the doctor and medics to come over to the hotel before I finally retired to bed at 12am. Then loud crazy thunder took me by surprise and I cowered in fear under the blanket, before giving in to weariness.


The next day, after sending my customer back home, I felt so much better and we visited Pretoria.
 

We went to a curio shop where they sold African handicrafts.

Then we went to a game reserve where we had a chance to be on a open top jeep! They call this a game drive. WILD! I saw wild animals like rhinos, buffalos, giraffes and even lions. It was exciting and made me feel like I was one of the explorers in National Geographic 🙂

She is so pretty. Note: Such a pretty animal must be a she 😉

We drove around the reserve till it got dark. Mmmmm. Lovely sunset.

I cannot get enough of sunsets.

Spent the night in a game lodge. Uber huge room. Wished I was on holiday with Guy, rather than being on a work trip in a work mode. I always do the best I can. One last picture of the game reserve before I leave for Sun City.

We went to Lion’s Park before Sun City.

This is me attempting to carry a baby lion. I did carry a baby lion in Egypt but when I showed my co-workers the pictures, they told me it was no longer a baby! GASP! So this is a real baby lion here.

The baby lion thought my lanyard (used for my tour guide pass) was interesting and it started nibbling on it. OMG.

Sun City is a man made city with hotels and casinos. I thought that Sun City was rather boring (if you don’t game) and ended up exploring The Palace Hotel (a 6 star property) No entrance is allowed to non residents of the hotel and you must book lunch, tea or dinner if you want to enter. I entered with my guide pass and had fun with Linda (my Johannesburg guide)

Linda and me

After spending 2 nights in Sun City, doing more rest and relax, we flew to Cape Town.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME GORGEOUS PHOTOS? Not of me of course 😛 Of Cape Town which is breathtaking every second!

Top of Table Mountain. I was really lucky to have beautiful weather that day. I have heard stories of fog and strong wind and many times, people were unable to visit the mountain because the cable cars cannot operate. The cable car that we took is a revolving one, and there are 3 of these in the whole world. One is in Switzerland, another in Palm Springs, USA and one in Table Mountain!

 I love the blue sky! Lifts up your spirits instantly!

Cottage on Table Mountain

The next day, we went on a Cape Peninsular tour. This is the Cape of Good Hope, it was extremely windy that day. The wind could have blown a baby away!

My guide and driver 🙂

Boulders Beach to see the African Penguins, they were lying on the sand like everywhere. They are wildlife, so it is a totally different experience from seeing them at the zoo. Awesome!

 The magnificent ocean. WOW.

Too cold for swimming though.

Seal Island to see the seals! Wildlife again, how amazing is that?!

My awesome lunch at Fish Hoek 🙂

V&A Waterfront, a huge shopping complex by a wharf!

By the wharf!

The next day, we went to Green Square Flea Market for some shopping!

Bought a handmade bag from this person (from Zimbabwe) at 400 Rand (appx. USD60)!

Stellenbosch

Looking through the pictures makes me feel like going back again. I hope you enjoyed yourselves here!

See you next time!

Gold Coast Fun!

This is not a new post, just an update to my Gold Coast post because I just went 2 weeks ago and these are some fun pictures. By the way, I cut my hair and now I look like a boy. Yayy.

Gold Coast has always been a family destination and more than half the group are children and wow, you start to feel like a kid yourself 🙂

Ps: Hover over pictures for description

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Tata!

Australia – Melbourne, my favorite city

Yes, so Melbourne is my favorite city in Australia. Sometimes, I wonder why I like this place so much. I suspect it is the fond memories of tours there that make me smile. Without further ado, I am pleased to share my pictures with you 🙂

Once I stayed in a farm with a nice couple called Timmy & Suzanne and we did farm activities together. I fed the sheep, the horse and played with their dogs.

 This is my room in the farm.

Timmy starting a barbeque for dinner 🙂

Suzanne is in the kitchen preparing other dinner stuff, I love this kitchen, it is like my dream kitchen. 

The next morning, I went to a steam train station, choo-choo. This is the train conducter!

Then we went to Ballarat Wildlife Park. It is pretty fun feeding a kangaroo 🙂

Sleepy koala and me

Lavender Garden. Lovely sniffing!  


We went to Phillip Island in the evening and I snapped this spectacular scene before sunset.


Sunset then the fairy penguins came out to shore! Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take pictures of the penguins as they are extremely sensitive to flash photography.

The next day was spent at the Great Ocean Road. We had to drive for 5 hours from the city before arriving there! The Great Ocean Road is AMAZING. Love the blue sky and magnificent ocean! The whole journey there and back took 12 hours and it was a long day!


My nice customer and me

Next day, it was shopping time at Chadstone Shopping Centre! Wheee!

Had sushi for lunch! Yummyyy!


Back to the city, this is where I spent my nights – Citigate on Flinders Street.


Flinders Railway Station is an icon of Melbourne city and this is located across my hotel. The junction on the left leads me to Swanston Street, the heart of the city!
 

The lights are so beautiful.


Starbucks and the cabs in Melbourne! Don’t they look like NYC cabs? Heh.


Buskers in the chilly autumn night. Brrrrrr.

Walking along the Yarra River


The Yarra River. WOW. If you were standing there, taking this picture like me, you will feel what I mean by wow. I only wished I had a better camera for this.

Melbourne never bores me, even though I have been there thrice. I cannot wait to go back again, to create more memories there.

See you next time peeps!

Australia – Adelaide & the burning heat

Last January, I went to Adelaide and it was a summer never to be forgotten. All I remember was the heat wave and bush fire that took place while I was there.

Temperatures rose as high as 45 degrees Celcius (which is about 113 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun set at 8pm everyday, making the heat last longer.

I took so little pictures which is really unfortunate, because the heat was really making me very uncomfortable.

Living in Singapore, near the equator, where the amount of daylight I get a day, is approximately 12 hours, 365 days a year, the idea of having long daylight (sunset at 8.30pm in NY or 10pm in Norway) is indeed foreign.

Enough of talking, lets look at the pictures (roll over to see description) 

Hoped you enjoyed!

Cheers!

Australia – Gold Coast & the children’s smiles

Australia is the place that taught me how to speak. I do not mean speech that one uses in daily life but more so, speech that commands attention. When I hold that microphone on the coach, I become a guide. Not the best I would say but at least I do the utmost I can.

Gold Coast is located an hour away from Brisbane, the largest city in the state of Queensland. This state is sunny all year round, though there is slight rain during the winter months.

The sun, beach, theme parks, shopping and food are great things to just make the holiday an enjoyable and pleasurable one. I must say that I love the fact that the Aussies speak English! After spending time in the Mediterranean countries, I really appreciate communication with the correct language (not that I do not like Turkish or Arabic, just that English is also more effective) Heh.

Now, I am going to attempt to put pictures from 2 different trips into 1 blog post and let them do the talking instead.

Morning coffee after an 8 hour red eye flight at Eagle’s Street Pier

Then it was time to head to a farm!

Koalas! Sleepy all the time.

Lambs?

These baby goats are so adorable!

Sometime after this trip, I went on another one to Gold Coast but it had a visit to a resort. Named Tangalooma Resort, this is a place away from the city.

There was sandboarding there.

And this is me, waiting for the people to finish playing. Haha.

Shipwreck Cove was breathtaking.

Never forget the theme parks in Gold Coast. I must admit that I am not a big fan of theme parks with adventure rides. In Movie World, I took the Scooby Doo Coaster and almost died. OMG.

The ride was an indoor roller coaster in the dark and I did not know! I assumed it was a haunted house ride or something! No pictures indoor unfortunately. I did manage to take another picture of another roller coaster though.

This ride is called Superman Escape and people are willing to queue ages to go on this ride!

Dreamworld is another fun place!

They have a farm within the area, rides for the teenager, the adult and also rides that cater to the young ones. Guess which one I went on, when I got so bored?

Yes. I took a little teapot ride. And it was not fun. It was swirling so fast and kept changing directions so suddenly, I felt I was going to puke. No more rides for me, not even the kiddy ones. Boo.

I love my job 🙂

And my cheeseburger with a bacon add on (you can never get this in Singapore because our Mcdonalds’ is halal, no pork is allowed)

And the chldren’s smiles.

Love them all.

Come visit the Sunshine State, if you do get a chance too!

Cheers peeps, till the next time.

India – Incredible with time

I went to India in the January of 2007.

It is a big country and has definitely so much to offer. I went to the south, to a state called Kerela. Famous for its backwaters and Ayurvedic therapy, it is a place known for rest and relaxation.

It was about 30 degrees celcius there and 6 degrees celcius in the North, when I got there in January. Such a vast difference in temperature, goes to show how BIG this country is.

It was a work trip with my other colleagues. So we arrived at about 9pm at night, and had a quick dinner before going to bed. Dinner was sumptous, but I was tired and could not eat much.Dinner on the arrival night

Bedtime

Next morning, we woke up at 3am, and left to Kanyakumari, the most Southern point of India for the sunrise. YAWNS.

We arrived at 5am, to a relatively busy street.

Street of Kanyakumari at 5am

The sunrise was subtle and slow.

Slow sunrise

Once the sun had fully risen, the village was busy. People were moving around in mini motor cars, rushing and speaking loudly. I could never imagine that I would be in the midst of all this. Children rushed with their mothers, pulling at their dresses. Babies were carried on one side of their mother’s hips, and water cans on the other.

Mini motor car

With school children

At the flower shop

The first day was long and exhausting. I hoped for a better day the next.

Day 2, we had a visit to the backwaters of Kerela. Backwaters are created from river and sea water that flow into low lying land. When there is no backflow, the water remains and becomes known as backwater.

  Backwaters

Me

Then, we went to the beach. There were a group of boys playing on the beach, and they all thought I was male, because I had short hair. I found out, that in their homes, their sisters and mothers all had long hair. Therefore, they were confused about me!

With the boys

We had a chance to stay on a houseboat and cruise the backwaters that evening. The sunset was spectacular, and the sunrise next morning was breathtaking. While cruising, we passed by some farming villages.

Houseboat

Farmer

Sunset

Sunset (as above) & Sunrise (as below)

Sunrise

Next day, we went to visit a spa and to learn about the facilities there!

Spa

Other fun things I did on this trip are as below:

Coconut fun

Water pumping

And shopping is always fun! I bought some shawls and decorative items!

Shopping

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my journey to India with me!

See you soon!