London Part 1: Old Favourites

NOVEMBER 2008… London was second on my list of European destinations to visit. But in fact, I had wanted to visit London as much as I did Paris. As luck would have it, these two cities are a mere 2-hours-odd train ride away from each other, so I happily bundled them together into the same… Continue reading London Part 1: Old Favourites

Starry Starry Night

An Asterina starfish on the aquarium wall at the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco.

“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight…” Like a twinkling star in the dark blue sky, this little fella makes an unexpected appearance, warming the hearts of those who chance upon it.

Only that this star resides not in the sky, but plastered on the aquarium wall at the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco. Say hello to the little Asterina Starfish. Though its presence is not the most welcomed in marine aquariums, it is most welcomed on my camera screen.

Read more about my trip to Monaco in:
French Riviera Part 3: Monaco

French Riviera Part 3: Monaco

JANUARY 2008… Our last stop was none other than Monaco, the next major destination on the French Riviera after Nice. Monaco is an independent city-state bordered by France, but there are no border formalities between them. At just 200 hectares, Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world (after the Vatican City) and the most… Continue reading French Riviera Part 3: Monaco

French Riviera Part 2: Medieval Wonders

JANUARY 2008… While planning a trip to the French Riviera, it’s definitely not enough to just visit the major cities such as Nice, Cannes or Monaco. The gems are often those found along the way and a self-drive is the best way to see it. Doing a self-drive on the French Riviera is quite easy… Continue reading French Riviera Part 2: Medieval Wonders

French Riviera Part 1: Nice

JANUARY 2008… The French Riviera could be mistaken for another country altogether if one did not pay attention in Geography class. What’s the difference? For one, being much farther south than capital Paris, the sun shines throughout the year. More importantly, it’s on the coast and you get to see the Mediterranean Sea! An unexpected… Continue reading French Riviera Part 1: Nice

The Romance of Travel

The Eiffel Tower in Paris.

If the Eiffel Tower could walk and talk, it could have been the protagonist in a drama. One with many twists and turns, a story of rags to riches, a tale of rising from adversity. Ok maybe I exaggerate…

You see, the Eiffel Tower was almost never born. There were protests over its design and many questioned whether it was even possible to build a tower so tall. Even when it was brought into this world, there was a limit put on its lifespan – a mere 20 years. Fortunately, it escaped its fate of being dismantled with a new job transmitting radio and television signals. Gradually, people warmed up to it and the tower is now a symbol of Paris.

Today, millions all over the world flock to see the Eiffel Tower and clamour to have a picture taken with it. At 131 years and counting, the Eiffel Tower still stands tall overlooking the city of love and romance. Not bad for a metal tower that was meant to be a temporary exhibit.

Read more about my trip to Paris in:
Paris Part 1: City of Lights
Paris Part 2: Hidden Gems

Paris Part 2: Hidden Gems

JULY 2010… While the sights mentioned so far are prominent and unmissable, the Sacré-Cœur or Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a different story. For starters, it is tucked away out of sight from the main road. I probably wouldn’t have found it if not for the friendly Parisian who led me there.… Continue reading Paris Part 2: Hidden Gems

Paris Part 1: City of Lights

JULY 2010… It would seem preposterous to try and introduce Paris because, com’on, who doesn’t know Paris, right? Home of the Eiffel Tower, city of lights and the land of romance. But what you might not know (or noticed) is that Paris has a very low-lying cityscape, with buildings in the city centre no more… Continue reading Paris Part 1: City of Lights

A Gaudí Double Take

Chimneys on the rooftop of Casa Milà, Barcelona.

Like masked warriors getting ready for battle, they stand sentinel waiting for their next order. Guarding their charges with their lives, they spew hot air at enemies that approach. Wait… What?

“They” are actually chimneys on the rooftop of Casa Milà, an apartment building in downtown Barcelona, Spain. Born out of the imagination of Antoni Gaudí – the master of Catalan Modernism – these chimneys would not look out of place in a museum.

In fact, all the structures on the rooftop have been “disguised” in one way or another. So, next time you head there, be sure to take a good look at the staircase exit you entered from. Otherwise, you may not find your way back out! Just kidding…

Read more about my trip to Barcelona in:
Barcelona: Gaudí’s Playground

Barcelona: Gaudí’s Playground

NOVEMBER 2006… My Barcelona trip was dominated by one name, Antoni Gaudí. I have chosen to dedicate this post to him, not because he’s the only attraction in Barcelona (he accounted for 60% of my itinerary maybe), but because he left me with the deepest impression. Park Güell, a public park designed by Gaudí. A… Continue reading Barcelona: Gaudí’s Playground