Sunday, September 30, 2012

Almost home


until next time

Almost home, Heathrow, Terminal 3
 Stll at Sheffield Train Station

 Do not feed the pigeons

 St Pancras
(teringat perkakas dlm perut..)

St Pancras scene..

I must tell you that my best holiday was sleeping my way home through Singapore Airlines! Bukan sahaja airliner ni murah dari Malaysian Airlines, it is comfortable, serves good meals, nice assistance from both air stewardesses and stewards.Where did we go wrong again?

Sampai kat Changi Airport I told Nik, let's find a job in Singapore.Kalau kita travel, tak payah nak tunggu connecting flights to KL.Haha.Will beep friends in Spore if they can find me a job there.Or at least one for my sabbatical (sementara Z is in the UK).

It's great to be in the sun again.
It's great to be home.
Well, almost.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Back in Sheffield

Z and her high sch. gf, H. They are doing the same course!
Both parents are so grateful for this coincidence

Uni. students start to pub crawl on weekends

Yang kelakar jug air panas for Nik's tea.We use this utk simpan air tahlil at home

We arrived Manchester from Milan last night on Monarch Air (which was better than Jet2.Ingat tu).From Manchester Airport we caught an Express Train to Sheffield.Travel is easy in UK and Europe.Semua dalam satu bangunan.

Sampai Sheffield, we got on the cab to Z's apt.Dah tak sabar nak balik KL.Sejuk giler kat sini! (I also miss Italy..hahaha..konon!)

To make things worse, I am down with a bad flu (must be that cafe in Milan..I immediately got sore throat.The place didn't look too clean.Kita kena hati2 bila makan salad mereka.Kuman senang hinggap dlm makanan tak bermasak dan org2 Itali ni tak la begitu bersih esp. in big cities like Milan).

Nik always travels with bekalan ubat mcm sebuah klinik.Thank God for that.I duduk bawah duvet all day while dua beranak tu keluar shopping (lagi!).Z says byk lagi barang2 apt perlu dibeli and while parents are here, she tak perlu keluar duit sendiri.Bertuah punya budak! But she has started cooking (mukanya masam masa memasak kat dapor..clearly it's not something she enjoys.Haha.But her spaghetti not too bad and I gave her instructions to cook us mee kari tadi..kari ayam from the can..rebus je mee maggie tu then add curry from the can.Like mother like daughter. Kami mmg pandai memasak! :)) 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Milan in a rush

Sparkling Milan.Unfortunately it closed early

 Some of Milan ladies dressed like this

 Bukan untuk orang gemok..haha

 Boggi in Milan

 red sauce chicken penne

 My salmone penne

 Our Morrocan waiter in Milan who called out to us saying
 I got halal food for you

 Milan at night

We miscalculated again.We had planned to stay the nite in Milan but we got distracted by Bellagio (a pleasant regrets).

So we decided to stay another nite in Como and just do a day trip to Milan after Bellagio.Only to find out it would close at 7.30 pm.But we went anyway.Como-Milan tak jauh.Less than 1 hour on the train.

Milan looked bigger than London..more stylish..every shop was a designer shop (big timers, small timers).Nik found Boggi stuffs and liked them..semua ada parfum, cufflinks, ties, shirts..price reasonable.

I found Risi..sempat bergambar dgn designernya, Alberto.Gf dia Agness (or spelt Agnice? It sounded Agnisi) baik.

Relatives and friends who had been to Milan had been saying bad things about the city but possibly they had cleaned up the felt safe although there was a time when we thought someone was trying to be funny with us when we asked for directions (some parts of the city can be quite deserted). But always talk to young people..they usually are better educated and civil.Many a time, we were assisted by these young, English speaking and educated looking people.Very2 helpful lot they were.

When my journey ends, blog ini akan ditutup semula kepada lalulintas awam. Until next summer, InsyaAllah.

Bellagio Limited

waiting for the ferry to Bellagio from Como

 Bellagio Lake

 More of it

 The town

 By the lake

If only KL has this...

 Must be pretty in winter

 shops at Bellagio

 The shops are all like these

Nice view of the lake from top

This in Como before going to Bellagio.Carlo and
Roberto assisted me in choosing Italian cds
 Seen here with lots of shopping bags

 Full with tourists

not for people with special needs/on wheelchairs

Ahh friends..alas...I made a bad judgment with regard to Bellagio...

If ever you come to Como, DO NOT stay at Como but take the fast ferry (it will cost a bit more but you save an hour on the trip) and stay in Bellagio.Not only it is prettier but there are a lot of things to do and see.Shopping is very very good.Menyesal tak sudah tak google betul2. I didn't have time too in KL..packing pun last minute.
Anyway, you know now..Bellagio is the place to go/stay in the Lake District upnorth Italy.The shops are so cute.Mostly old people own or look after these shops.And boy, have they some character! One chap kedai kasut..he would not allow anyone in his shop...everything is displayed in the window with price tags and all.Haha..funny yah? How much money does he make in a day when customers cannot go past his door?

Then my fav was this souvenir shop (all have leather bags, glasses, etc) which was looked after by two sisters (they looked like they were in their 70s..very sharp and could be grumpy).One lady was boasting about the quality of their leather handbags..but I saw one strap came off! Tak jadi I beli.Then I saw something I liked.I haggled.She got upset..she said if you like, you buy.If not, don't ask for shop is not that kind of shop.We sell quality products.Wough..ganas. A minute later, the strap came off her leather handbag.So much for quality! :) Nik wanted to buy a wallet.The other old woman asked me which colour was good to take home to Malaysia (she was trying to help Nik decide on the colour). I asked are you giving that free, as a gift to my husband? She said Nooo..why should I throw water to the sea?Haha..bahasanya sungguh klasik gitu! I nak ambik gambar, both of them said no.Ketidak, I'm sure you too would love them. Stylo habeh! Grumpy but lovable.Suka nyakat mereka. :))

Como produces silk (byk scarves mcm kat Tie Rack tu and more) but you will find them only at Bellagio...not cheap but nice designs.Just pulun cos' you won't find them anywhere, anymore (at least here it would be cheaper).

I'd sell nasi lemak at Bellagio next summer,to pay for my silk and leather handbags/shoes and expensive villa to stay.This place is a heaven on earth.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Something about the Italians...

Italian pizza is not the same like the ones we have at home

 Battery kong..gambar mcm rumah hantu! Another Italian restaurant

 near our second hotel at the Plaza

grilled vegetables

breakfast at our 1st hotel

Nayli would say handchem! (Pietro)

I must thank my friend in Rome, Antonella who had been advising me about many things to make my visit to Venice and Como (and soon Milan) a pleasant one.We met online (the Malaysian Consulate in Venice was not that helpful although someone without a name did respond to some of my queries).It was Antonella who helped me most.She even took the trouble to call up my hotel in Como to know which train station was closest to the hotel.I had wanted to book somewhere further sense of geography at all!

The Italians I met had been most friendly and hospitable, despite us not understanding each other's language.In Como, most people can speak English but there were many who didn't so we spoke like duck and chicken and got by. :)

They are also very beautiful and handsome lot.Nice skin.They talk loud but have a great sense of humour.

They eat well..fine dinings are everywhere.Strangely they like to play English songs (old songs).I suppose to create that romantic nostalgic environs.I wish they had chosen nice Italian music (in KL at some of our fine dinings, we do!)

Something about the Swiss people...

..they are very Islamic!

Very gentle people..non racist..have much respect for pedestrians.My god, I could not believe it..even when we were not on pedestrian walk..drivers/motorists stopped and gave way.There was a time, a guy on a motorbike..he was speeding..he had the opportunity to just go but no! He stopped and waited for us to cross...we were still far away from the pedestrian walk.Amazing people!

Taxi drivers did not cheat on the meter (even those in Como did not too).As an Asian (a Malaysian in particular), I wonder where we went wrong and how Swiss went right.

I read somewhere how people who arrive early at work would park their car furthest away and when asked why, they say it's to give those who arrive late the space so that they do not have to rush and pant huf huff.

Malu kita, kan?

Greetings from Mendrisio, Switzerland!

 *Foxtown, the factory outlet in Switzerland

 taklah murah..but!

 Lindt, as you have not seen it elsewhere

We walked from the station to Foxtown cos' taxis were hard to find

Destinies are from God.We never planned to cross borders but Nik was asking the lady at the reception ada ke factory outlet in Como.

Surprise, surprise, she said 20 mins away..but in Switzerland.Naik taxi 100 euros pergi balik.We were willing to do it.But Nik asked about trains.Mak stop away about 5 mins to Chiasso, then change trains to Mendrisio (which is Switzerland already..kena bawak passport tapi kastam tak periksa pun..tapi satu mamat Afrika dah kena cekup.Maybe random).Naik train gini tak sampai 50 euros untuk 2 orang (pergi balik.So kita jimat 50 euros.Kali 4: RM200).

Then from the station, jalan kaki pi Fox Town, factory outlet yang jual semua branded items.Aiyooo...ini mmg rezeki ...

Fashion is a season behind so harga pun 30% off.Kita pun mcm org kaya beli Bally, Prada, silk scarf itu ini..and hey, Lindt chocs yang takda jual kat mana2..and I got to drink Lindt choc drink..mak oiii..choc pekat OK? (bukan serbuk chocolate).Ya Allah, terima kasih.Can I come this way again? :))

Mawar, betullah..I nak migrate tinggal kat Lake Como and buka B&B, jual nasi lemak.Org Turki dah kontrol kebab chain kat sini (halal).George Clooney mesti suka nasi lemak I.Haha.

Lake Como ni betul2 di tengah2 antara Milan dan Mendrisio.Sungguh convenient!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lake Como

Two buskers on a street in Como

 Pindah hotel..this one right in the middle of Como
(bilik not as nice as Palace but location is superb)

 Lake Como in the morning from my Palace Hotel room

 artistic tak? The Duomo Cathedral at the Plaza,
kurun 13 atau 14 (medieval)..but typical of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, no?

 a corridor at the Palace

 Como busker

 at dinner this evening

 Como in the morn from my window

 didn't buy anything from the street market.Pekan Ahad Raub lagi interesting.Byk barang dari China

from my Palace window again

 Lake Como in the evening (my window view)

 part of the hotel we are at (it was a villa hundreds of years ago but no ghost, said the receptionist when I asked)

 The Palace Hotel (I like)

 Lake Como and half a moon

 A restaurant by luck (nak pi tempat lain, tutup.Dapat yang ini)

 fish. spaghetti, seafood and salato

 half a moon, cloud, mountain.And lake.

 cantik juga

 George Clooney ada villa kat Lake Como

From the boat I was in

We took the fast train from Venice's closest train station to Milan (about 3 hours.Make sure you choose 1st class coach cos' selamat dan they serve drinks onboard).From there (Milan Centrale) we changed train to Como to get to our hotel by the lake (lake view!)

Lake Como ni over-rated I think..but Hollywood stars ramai ada villas kat sini.It has many lakes but the one hour tour we took tak la secantik Queenstown in NZ I thought..the only difference it's easy life, not too commercialised.Slow moving.Relaxing again.But I still prefer Venice cos' my city tu got everything in one: shopping, canals, arts.

Besok we have more exciting activities but let it be a surprise as I pun terkejut sendiri. :)