Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Born Again

Today, I have finally received my French Birth Certificate. It makes me feel as if I were born again. And it also makes me feel like dancing à la "Bande à part"... 😄😄😄

That's all for now! Details to follow...

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Bleakest January Skies

Every time I find myself living through winter in France, I would always chance upon snow. The first couple of winters I had here, I had the unfortunate experience of having the worst winters that Toulouse had ever experienced in years. This January, according to the reports, Toulouse has seen the bleakest skies again after 45 years. My husband is starting to think I have a curse, or something.

The night of the super blue blood moon... it showed up for a while opposite of this frame... wasn't able to get a good pic.
 This winter has not really been that cold lately. But for the first time today, it snowed. While I am not a big fan of snow, I was able to appreciate it through the eyes of my daughter. She was doing a happy dance when I showed it to her this morning. After a while, she asked me if Santa Claus is coming to bring us presents because it was snowing. Kids are so cute.

Amazed by the snow
Still, I'm glad it didn't snow for too long. Hopefully, the weather will maintain its moderate winter temperature as in the past few weeks... and more sunshine, please!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Year, New Place... New Me?

Hi everyone! It's been ages since I last updated. Here's a quick roundup of what just happened during the last few weeks:
  • Quit my job in Singapore
Shopping vouchers, hand cream (coz I told them my skin usually gets so dry in Europe), and touching farewell notes from colleagues
  • Moved from our nice apartment with a view to stay for a week at an appart-hotel along Orchard Road with not-so-bad view also
Stayed for a week at the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites along Orchard Road, which is just a few meters away from our old place. Here in this pic on my last day of work, and last day in Singapore.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Toulouse Visit 2017

It's been a week since I've arrived in France for the Summer Holiday. I spent the first week eating, drinking, visiting the fresh market, enjoying the first few days of the Summer Sale, getting a hair cut from one of my friends, and hanging out with them!

Place du Capitole de Toulouse at sunset

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Old Town and Around Prague

Up on escapadecapades, my visit to the beautiful city of Praha and some hotel, bars and restaurants review:

The old city bathed in golden early morning light

Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely weekend! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jose Rizal Travels: Litomerice

Up on A trip to the cozy little town of Litomerice, a few kilometers off Prague, one of the places in Europe where Jose Rizal lived. This is also where he met his life-long friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt. Click on the link for the full story.

View of the town square from the Tourist Information Center's viewing tower

 Enjoy the time travel, and thanks for stopping by! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A la ferme

One of the highlights of our first week in France was at a farm called Ducazaux. It was a good place for our daughter to see some farm animals, walk in their mini-forest trails where you can see some fox holes and birds nests. They also have some play areas and a small café and souvenir shop.

The entrance to the farm

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz, France

Up on this year's visit to the Pays Basque in France ...

with an added review on a Michelin starred restaurant.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Mood: The Sunny Sunflowers

We chanced upon some sunflowers growing in the wild on the road side. My mother-in-law made a bouquet with a bunch of other wild flowers. It's so pretty.

We have just arrived in France this weekend. On the road from Toulouse to my in-laws' place, we were greeted by the smiliest, sunniest blooms of rows and never-ending rows of sunflowers. Scroll down for your viewing pleasure...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Driving Around Iceland, Part 5: Reykjavik to Jokulsarlón

(please refrain from using my photos without permission)

As I have mentioned in my first three posts, I am writing about my trip to Iceland in reverse chronological order. And so in this last part of my series of blogs about Iceland, I shall be talking about the first part of the trip.

We were actually coming from Toulouse on the way to Iceland. And from Toulouse, we had to change planes in Amsterdam. We took Iceland Air from there. The flight was quite nice. We had some free snacks onboard and there was an entertainment console on each seat, but you'd have to buy the ear phones, which I found weird.

Some slow shutter, moody shot of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake, taken with an ND filter
We arrived around midnight and so were greeted by the midnight sunset above the Icelandic skies a few minutes before touchdown to Keflavik Airport. Everything was bathed in blood-red outside. It was otherworldly. I’ve never really seen the sunset from the plane before, much less, a midnight one! It was splendid... like a portent of things to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Driving Around Iceland, Part 4: Akureyri and the North

(please refrain from using my pictures without permission)

continuing from my last installment, we were in Borgarnes (the west). from there, we headed up North towards Akureyri, which was about four and half hours' drive. as usual, we drove along the coastal areas. the paths were long and winding. the clouds hovering low over the cliffs, still. there were times when the roads were really zigzagging and steep. it would get all foggy and cold one moment, and then all sunny and clear and warmer the next.

the small city of Akureyri in the North -- apparently, the second biggest in Iceland, next to Reykjavik

Friday, September 11, 2015

Driving Around Iceland, Part 3: Borgarnes and a Bit of the West

(please refrain from using my photos without permission)

First of all, I would like to say that I fell in-love with our hotel in Borgarnes called, Ensku husín. The name of the hotel translates to "English House". Just look at how charming it is from inside and out:

This is the view from the restaurant

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Driving Around Iceland, Part 2: A Day in Reykjavik

(please do not use my photos without permission)

I’m actually starting this series of blogs in reverse chronological order because I want to save the best for last.

Our last day in Iceland was spent walking around Reykjavik (the capital city) with my Icelandic friend giving us a free tour and bringing us to a very nice and famous restaurant. It's a welcome respite to just take a relaxing walk around the city on our last day of touring around Iceland as we had been driving all over the country for the past days, all the while hurrying to see places few and far between.

First on our list was Hallgrimskirkja.  Like most Icelandic words, the pronunciation is entirely different from how it is spelled. I didn't understand which place my friend was referring to at first when she mentioned it, until she explained how certain letter combinations are pronounced a certain way, totally unlike the spelling.

Those linear columns are reminiscent of the spectacular basalt rock formations at the Reynisfjara (more about this later on)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Driving Around Iceland, Part 1: Teaser Post

To the uninitiated, Iceland frightfully sounds a lot like some piece of land filled with a lot of ice. Well, it's not true at all. There are actually more ice in Greenland (its neighbor country, a bit higher in latitude) than in Iceland. Although, it is true that I specifically went there to see the ice, I went during the summer so I only had the chance to see them on mountaintops and cliffs, and melting on glacial lagoons, thankfully. Yes, glacial lagoon, you read that right! More about that later! :)

I shall be posting about the Ice in Iceland lastly in this series of posts because it is the part of my trip that is the most amazing of all. And I really like saving the best for last. For now, I just want to present the itinerary of our crazy driving trip back and forth Reykjavik (the capital city) -- going down South towards the Southeast (Jokulsarlon) and back again towards the West (Borgarnes) and then the North (Akureyri) and finally back again in Reykjavik. I have to admit, we didn't plan this trip well enough. We did not do a lot of research and just followed the suggested itinerary of our Travel Agency blindly.

You can see our crazy itinerary on the left side, and our driving path in blue on the map. We have actually spent almost 18 hours on the road, according to Google maps. It didn't feel like that at all because we had plenty of stopovers at gorgeous sights along the way! :)

But it was not such a bad trip at all. Contrarily, I would say it was my best trip of all, to date. Iceland is just Amazing with a capital A. It has landscapes that boggle the mind and make you feel like you are in another planet. I mentioned this to my Icelandic friend, whom I visited while I was there, and she said in fact that the landscapes are more amazing in the highlands. Regretfully, we only visited the coastal areas, which have paved roads. We didn't get a proper vehicle for rough roads and the highlands, unfortunately. She said the landscapes there are quite like the ones on the moon that there are actually astronauts training up there to get a feel of what it would be like on the moon. Is that Amazing or not?!

So I leave you hanging for the meantime, awaiting my series of posts featuring one of the most magical sights you will ever see in this world... Ciao for now! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

La Ferme aux Grives

December for me is all about reminiscing about the best experiences of the year that is almost about to come to an end. and so this December, i'm starting a blogpost about the best experiences i've had this year. and what better way to begin this than by talking about food.

the best restaurant experience i had was of course back in France during our family visit in the summer. my in-laws took us to this nice restaurant called La Ferme aux Grives in a small ville called Eugenie-les-Bains, in the South of France, not far from where my in-laws live.

the restaurant was set in the middle of a lovely garden, at the edge of a huge farm, and is owned by a two-Michelin starred chef, Michel Guerard.

the ancient stone house that makes up the restaurant of La Ferme Aux Grives

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saint Vincent de Paul

one of the fondest memories of my university life was taking the mass every Sunday at Saint Vincent de Paul's chapel.

i was already not a religious person at the time, but i have always enjoyed good singing. the SVP chapel had a really good choir. and i really liked Saint Vincent de Paul's birthday because it means school holiday. :)

last time i was in France, i took the chance to finally visit his ville-natale.

A small church at the center o the small ville

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Best of Tuscany Part 4: Chianti, Arezzo and Cortona

From Siena, we spent almost two hours driving through the scenic SR222 route. it's basically a road that traverses the whole of Chianti from Siena to Firenze. If you look it up on Google, or click the link I have here, you will see that it is quite famous for the scenery.

Driving along the famous SR222 -- the scenic route that cuts across the Chianti Region between Siena and Firenze

From Chianti, we actually headed back to Siena for one last night. And the next day, we drove to Cortona. one of the best parts of our Tuscan trip was staying at this lovely hotel in Cortona called Relais Borgo San Pietro.

A beautiful place to have an apéro -- my favorite prosecco and hubby's Spritz

We also took an afternoon to visited Arezzo because i've always wanted to visit this chapel which is the setting for the movie, The English Patient. remember that romantic scene with Juliette Binoche? i was quite surprised to find the Basilica di San Francesco quite small. It was charming, nevertheless.

The last part of my Tuscany Trip takes us to The Chianti RegionArezzo and Cortona. These posts can now be found by clicking on the links that take you to my travel site,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Best of Tuscany Part 3: San Giminiano and Siena

Of all the places I've visited in TuscanySiena is my favorite. There is just no boring corner in Siena. Everything around is a feast to the eyes. It's probably why it is the site of some famous movies, including James Bond, Quantum of Solace's horse race scene. It definitely is one of the loveliest places on earth. Read the full Siena and San Giminagno experience on

The pines, the vines and the olives... I really am in Tuscany!

I wouldn't mind visiting Siena again. :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Best of Tuscany Part 2: Pisa and Lucca

From Firenze, we headed off to Pisa, to of course, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Since everybody's been telling us that there's not much to see and do there except see the tower, we decided to spent half the day there and then head off to Lucca. Read the full story on

The very famous leaning tower