Monday, 1 June 2015

#storyofamilomaniac Travel Story

It has been months since I've last updated this blog. I just didn't find anything quite interesting to write about. Probably there were some, but I didn't have the time to write one. T_T But now that I have the time - and an interesting topic -I'm finally updating with a new entry! (This will be a long one so bear with me)

First of I will start by exclaiming - I HAVE FINISHED MY FIRST YEAR!!! It felt like it was just yesterday I touched down at Heathrow Airport and now, I have finished a year of my studies here. And with that comes a celebration. Travelling! Since I am near to the countries that before I could only dream of visiting, now is the chance for me to actually experience the place itself.

First stop, Paris, France. The land of romance. (honestly, I think that most of the tourist attractions in Europe is dubbed as the land of romance. I think) Bad memory - locked out of own apartment, which is rather funny when I thought about it again. Best memory - the ever helpful people that we met on the streets that were willing to help us. And of course, the day trip to Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. Being the Disney fan for at least forever, I felt like I was a kid again when I was in Disneyland, experiencing first hand the world only shown in the TV. Best ride, The Hollywood Tower Hotel - and probably The Haunted Mansion ride too as I love the movie. Of course, the highlight of going to Disneyland is the fireworks show. It was amazing! I shot a video of the show but it was of poor quality so I don't show it here. (Sorry)

The next day was a day for us to experience Paris' history and sights. We went to the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Musee de Louvre and of course, Eiffel Tower. (It's not a trip to Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower) Everything was and looked amazing! It felt surreal to me to actually see these monuments with my own eyes as I've always looked at them through books that I read or documentaries on the TV. Though I have to say, the pictures that I took was not as good as the ones on the postcards but it was decent. Food? We didn't have the time to actually find a decent Paris meal as we were tight on time. But we managed to eat great desserts at the Laduree.

The view from our apartment
The infamous Disney castle

The Haunted Mansion

Cheshire Cat :)

Hollywood Tower Hotel

Random picture taken

Arc de Triomphe

The Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame

Travel crew :)

Next, off to Barcelona! The sights here is mainly architecture wonders made by Gaudi, a post-modernist architect. I overheard a tour guide stating that Gaudi disliked straight lines and 90 degree angles, therefore his designs are very unique! Some examples are the Sagrada Familia (a cathedral which is still in construction until today) and Casa Milla. We went to Park Guell to see more of his creations but unfortunately, we need a ticket to go in and it was sold out on that day. A tad sad, but I was soothed by the seafood paella! I have to say that this might be my favourite meal ever! Have to find the recipe to it and try to replicate it myself, just hope that it turns out decent. Then we went to La Boqueria market where the stalls there sell fresh fruit juices and very good sugar coated almonds!

Casa Batillo

Casa Milla

A random cat appears

Sagrada Familia

Barcelona Sunset

Camp Nou

Rome was our next destination. This is personally my favourite part of the trip apart from Paris as I love the history behind this city - the gladiators and the aristocrats. And of course, living my Lizzie McGuire fantasy since the movie was shot in Rome. First stop, Trevi Fountain. I was heartbroken. Why? Because there are constructions going on - perhaps to refurbish the fountain therefore all I could see was scaffolding. No blue waters shooting out from the fountain and no gleaming coins in it. T_T

Of course, a compulsory place to go to Rome is the Colosseum! This monument is colossal! The architecture was amazing but the history behind it was not all glory - as that was where the gladiators would fight to their death. Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum was just a 5 minute walk away from the Colosseum and here we got to see the first settlement in Rome - Rome's ancient city. The site was huge! We didn't manage to see everything as - again - we were tight on time and there were more places on my list. But it was satisfying (I wish I could go to Rome again to finish visiting everything else on my list).

What we ate the most in Rome was gelato! One was better than the other and it was amazing! The best flavours for me was Ferrero Rocher ice cream. :)
Unfortunate isn't it?

Spanish Steps

The infamous landmark

Milan was the last stop in our trip. There was nothing much to see and do in Milan except for shopping. Thought I would discover my shopaholic side however that did not happen. Wander as long as I may in the shopping gallery nearby the Duomo Cathedral but I can't seem to find anything that caught my eye. The people in Milan seemed to view me and my friends as some kind of alien being - as the waiters in the restaurant that we went and a couple in front of me in a line kept stealing glances towards us and whispering something in their language -  of which if course, I didn't understand.

None the less, it was a great trip! Tiring but satisfying for me to experience the places abroad. I have nothing else to say but Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah for giving me the opportunity to travel and see the world, experience the different cultures and broaden my mind of how vast the world is and His creations.

Fatin Nizam

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