Itsukushima Jinja

The best of timing ever was island hopping to Itsukushima Shrine 厳島神社 at Miyajima. 

It was the only day of clear and blue sky with sunny sun in the week of cloudy and wet weather. 

There are free roaming deer too. One of them tried to chew on my mini plush charm. So be considerate and do not any how feed them. 

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Summer in Taiwan

This is my second trip to Taiwan. The first was just staying put in Taipei as a base and visited other areas using buses.

This time round we got a tour guide, Jacky Kao and we crafted a custom travel itinerary for our 8 day discover Taiwan. He drives a 8 seater passenger vehicle which for 5 of us is extremely spacious and plenty of luggage space.

Normally, it will be super hot summer weather but we are blessed in a sense of missing typhoon passing which resulted in torrential rains that dropped the temperature to a pleasant 22-26 degrees except in the mountains which as a whopping 12 degrees. Luckily we are well prepared for cold spells.

Taipei 101So generally we have overcast, cloudy or rainy days. Checking landmarks for us can be as simple as passing by or jumping out of the car for 5 mins, snap and go. Again with lady luck, the weather accommodated us by stopping the rain briefly or start to drizzle right after our little hops.

We visited the mountains and farmland areas, eaten great food from our travel down to Kaohsiung and back to Taipei. There was a stayout at a rustic place where we were reminded of our kampong days where chickens and pigs roam freely. They even had baby pigs just born less than a week old and super cute with their tri-color markings.

Food and more food. Of course we must have bubble teas and night market eats. We also had fresh seafood and local noodles.

Steamed Fish Local Roasted Chicken Sweet Potato Balls Flower Crabs Claypot beancurd

We also have a different type of breakfast. Porridge in the morning, something different from the American breakfasts. The local snacks especially peanuts are a delight that we got many varieties to bring back besides the all famous pineapple tarts.

Yum!

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Mount Fuji with Pink

Counting back, it’s nearly a year that I had my solo trip to Japan. The unforgettable journey of seeing the pink flowers with Mount Fuji as the backdrop. 

This happens during late spring. Pink color moss phlox near Lake Kawaguchi area and it’s a festival. Visit  Shibazukura Festival for more information. 

When I visited last year, the weather was cloudy and rainy. So chances of a clear view was low. The last segment train ride was an old line and the station had a good view of Mount Fuji. The bus ride was peaceful and smooth. 

At the venue, besides the wonder of flowers, Mount Fuji was like in a hidden white blanket. The cloud swirl about with the windy weather. So Mount Fuji was being unveiled. It was surreal feeling. 

A great spot to visit for seeing Mount Fuji in a different view.  

     

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A Touch of Germany

A three day short stop of our 2012 Europe tour and I finally get the chance to see the famous black forests of Germany. We rented a car and drove in from Strasbourgh to Schiltach.

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As the season is still spring, we see lots of greenery while still feeling cool. After so many days of European food fare (being Asians), we were delighted to discover that our accommodation at Zur Alten Brucke got deep fried chicken wings! For the record, we had 2 rounds during out stay.

No photo for the chicken wings but there’s still the delicious pork chops and of course the all important German beer.

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The town area quiet and peaceful, great for evening walks to explore about and chill out. The effort to wake up for sunrise paid off for the wonderful lighting with mists of the morning swirling to the skies.

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We departed on the third day interesting encounter at toll gates… it does not like our credit card. Fortunately, the car behind was wise enough to know that we were stuck and had to reverse and switched lanes to a cash counter. Next stop Nice & Monaco.

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Spring – Tulips @ Keukenhof

This is the first of the catch up posts. Flowers of all colours are blooming at Keukenhof once more. So here’s a collection of wonderful tulips that we can only see in Spring time. This year, the gardeners even planted a Miffy. Photos taken in 2012.

 

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Blog Revival

Just looking back yesterday, I have not been updating this site for 2 … YEARS!

Life has been kind of hectic. Still… there are travels stories to share and so I shall play a catch up of where I had gone to in the past months.

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Amsterdam – Revisit 2012

Amsterdam Canal View

Sunny morning of typical canal view

It has been about 1 year since I blogged after I looked at the last post. This post is very fitting since I am covering back Amsterdam… again to my great delight 😀 What is new is that this time round, the season is spring, a first for me.

Zannse Schans in SpringTouring in Amsterdam is a revisit of many places, first was the windmills. We took a bus from Amsterdam Central, direct to Zannse Schans and stopped right at the entrance, much better than taking the train and barge. It was cloudy and rainy in the morning and weather took a better turn in the afternoon, becoming warmer and sunny. We also saw ducklings swimming about and they certainly drew a crowd following them abouts.

Queen's Day @ Museumplein

All orange!

Back in city, we can see the crowds building up for the Queen’s Day holiday tomorrow. A big crowd from afar singing; pubs decked out in orange; mounted police patrolling. Tram and bus service stopped heading to centre of the city.

Queen’s Day came out as bright and sunny, and Dutch folks were out to make it a grand day. The vondelpark is very crowded with many people in orange. The park is now a big marketplace, as anyone can open a booth to sell anything. Sale items came in many varieties from clothes, accessorites, shoes, toys, hotdogs, cakes to dancing, playing volin, piano, rock bands.

Next day we went to the kitchen gardens and Keukenhof revisit was well worth the effort. The tulips are in full bloom in all sorts of sizes and colours, a feast to the eyes. Our cameras snapped non-stop throughout the walk of the park. Even the cherry blossoms are in flower and I get to see sakura petals flowing.

Keukenhof Flowers

Flowers in full bloom

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