Category Archives: Travelogy

Traveling opens the mind, allowing one to explore unimaginable possibilities and tempting risks. Dare you take the leap?

The One With A Ginjinha – Syrupy Cherry Tipple In Lisbon

It was a chilly long ride back from Cabo da Roca, and my stomach was rumbling. Afterall, it was way past eight at night, and this hungry boy could have eaten a cow.

But no deal. My new friends, Komei and Charlotte insisted that we should have a go at the famous local cherry, syrupy drink called ginjinha. And there was no better place than to have it at the birth place of the tipple, a tiny postage-stamp-sized bar at Baixa called an unimaginative A Ginjinha.

A Ginjinha at Lisbon, Portugal

The owner smiled as we approached and was quick to point out that they were about to close shop, so whatever that we were about to have, we are to have it quick. So we dutifully doled up our Euros and, slightly unnerved by the ancient poster of the drink’s 19th-century inventor (a cleric named Espinheira), we toasted to each other’s good health and gulped in down.

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The One With Chocolateria de San Gines – Authentic Spanish Churros in Madrid

During my grand Europe tour in January last year, I had but one night and one day in Madrid. Back then I couldn’t wait to get out of Madrid; I was still reeling with the devastation of losing my iPhone to pickpocket the night before.

It was only after I have bought the earliest available train ticket to Barcelona that I decided, hey, I had a couple of hours to kill. So why not take in some local delicacies?

That was how I ended up at Chocolateria de San Gines.

Chocolateria San Gines

The location was not that reassuring. The cafe was located behind a church, still within a tourist zone (read: pickpocket heaven), so I wrapped my jacket tightly around myself and walked in.

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The One With Hotel Amanjena – A Moment Of Sex And The City

It’s only fitting that, after a marathon of Sex and the City movies back-to-back last weekend that I blog about my very own Sex and the City moment in Morocco.

For the uninformed, the second movie of the highly successful stories of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, while was about Abu Dhabi – the “new” Middle East – the movie was mostly shot in Morocco, spread over a couple of cities. When I planned my trip to the North African country last year, many of my friends thought it was in honour of the movie.

Truth to be told, I had no idea until a few days before I was to leave for my holiday.

How uninformed I was! So while at Marrakech, having some off hours free in the afternoon, we decided to visit Hotel Amanjena, the beautiful palace-like hotel where Sex and the City 2 was shot at.

Hotel Amanjena at Marrakech, Morocco

The hotel was located some 10 km away from the medina of Marrakech (where we were staying at), and apparently no metered taxi will venture that far out. So we booked one. And upon arriving, the kind English-speaking concierge told us that we had better book the taxi for the return trip, for none will come this way. And so we did.

Was the hassle worth it? You bet. Upon knowing that we were from Singapore, the concierge wondered if we were “mystery shoppers” (the hotel was, apparently, operated by some company from Singapore), and proceeded to offer us a complimentary tour around the sprawling complex.

And what a sight it was.

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The One With La Sagrada Familia – The Greatest Catalan Icon Of Our Time (Really)

One of the definite highlights from my Europe trip last year was definitely the awesome La Sangrada Familia, the last work and arguably the most impressive of all Gaudi’s work. I didn’t knew it at that time, but the whole structure is like a giant chocolate cake dropped from heaven right onto Barcelona.

Consider this shot taken from a vantage point at Park Guell later that day:

At Park Guell Of Barcelona

The cathedral was so out of this world, you couldn’t possibly miss out that misshapen structure on the skyline of Barcelona.

(And yes, I know I look damn cool in this photo, thank you very much, hehe)

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The One With Reflections At Essaouira – The Wind City Of Morocco

Essaouira - The Wind City Of Morocco

The crystal clear azure sky opened up, as if God was smiling down on us. Palm trees swayed in the light breeze, slightly dampened from the rain earlier that morning. Shrieking sea gulls soared high ahead, calling out to each other across a sleepy souq slowly awakened from its wet slumber.

That was how I remember my first (and only) morning in Essaouira, the wind city of Morocco.

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Date A Boy Who Travels

Date a boy who travels. But really? Who wants a boy who think of little else but holidays and trips, all the time? When conversations always turn to cheap travel deals, new holiday spots, and yet another dream of taking a holiday? Why date a boy who lives frugally and saves hard, only to splurge it on air tickets to far-flung places of the places.

Well, humour the boy who travels, just for a second.

You might not be impressed by his practical clothes nor tattered backpack. Neither by his many weekends to out-of-town places and day trips. He might not have a flashy car bring you around, or a big watch to impress the people around you.

But behind that earnest smile and those twinkling eyes, lies a curious mind that will want to know you as you are, right now, and can take you places, right after.

The Parliament of Hungary

The Parliament of Hungary

Date a boy who travels. Don’t laugh at him when he exclaim in delight at common things at ordinary places. Take a closer look at that fern of a tree which has stood its ground for hundreds of years. Pray with him at the temple which has guarded the settlement over generations of villagers. Share his packet of fried beans found only at street markets at that part of the world, and no where else.

For he who travels has long developed a deep sense of appreciation for all things around him, big and small, new and old.

The Acropolis: A View of Lykavittos from Acropolis

A View of Lykavittos from Acropolis, Greece

And that includes you. Be lighthearted and be your true self, when you are with the boy who travels. He will share your beauty, forgive your flaws and love you all the same, just the way he did with many others he has met, all over the world.

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The One With Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Raca in Portugal is the most westerly point of Europe. Which means, from that vantage point, you see nothing but sea in every direction. On my one-hour bus ride from Sintra, I imaginedthe kind of sunset a horizon like that would command, and my heart surged.

I love sunset.

And then I realised that I had no idea where to alight. I mean, my non-existent navigation skills not withstanding, I know I was on the right bus, but where do I stop? At the town nearest to the sea? Or anywhere I can see the beach? So I summoned all my courage and asked the driver, whom replied in halting English that we will stop at Cabo da Raca, and he will tell me when we have arrived.

But my watch was telling me in mere minutes the sun would set for good. Time was running out. I was cursing at everything – at myself for not planning this better, at the bus which was going much too slowly in my opinion – and then suddenly we were there.

I alighted at Cabo da Raca.

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The One With The Woman At Vantage Point

The Vantage Point of Fez

It has been a long time since I last blogged about my travel.

I couldn’t remember the turning point, when this blog changed from a random collection of my thoughts and writings into a string of food review. It is very “me-too”, isn’t it? I miss the therapeutic effect of blogging; of writing words, conjuring puns, crafting punchlines.

It’s like shopping, without money spent.

So I thought I’ll start with my behemoth collection of my travel photos. How about featuring shots which really spoke to me?

The photo above was taken at Fez, Morocco. When I saw the woman sitting there, carrying her baby, lost in her own thoughts while staring into the distance, I was enthralled. What could possibly be in her mind? What could have happened to her that motivated this trip all the way up to this vantage point?

Perhaps she was escaping from her day-to-day life. And it struck me that, at that very moment, I was, too.

The One With ABBA World At Powerhouse Museum

ABBA World Sydney

During my recent trip to Sydney, I was dragged to the obscure Powerhouse Museum for the ABBA World exhibition. Like, right after I got off the 9-hour flight from Hong Kong, one hour shuttle trip to the airport, and dumping my bags at the hotel reception.

ABBA World Sydney

You would think I am a big ABBA fan. Well, technically I am a fan of their songs. I loved how their hits spanning some 35 years were made into the spectacularly entertaining musical Mamma Mia! But of the group, I was shamefully under-informed.

Here are a few things I didn’t know of ABBA.

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The One With Animal Porn From Morocco

Birds and fowls. Morocco was full of it. From the ancient medina of Fez, the gorgeous coastal town of Essaouira to the bustling commercial town of Marrakech, a pair of flapping wings (or two) was never too far away.

And of course, the occasional gentle camels, dead or otherwise. These mammals were gorgeous. Unless they belch in your face.

Here are some animal porn from my ten days in Morocco.

A line up of different-coloured cocks.

A Line Up Of Cocks

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