Saturday, 26 January 2013

Lake District

 

So, my blog is full of travelogues. HAHA ): I hope that doesn't make it boring. But anyway, here's the long awaited update from my Lake District trip in early January 2013 (:

Lake district is gorgeous! We only spent 3 days there but I swear I could stayed there for a week! We only managed to do 1 major walk unfortunately, and 1 small one, which is sooo unfortunate! Wish we had time to explore more of the area, but not too sure if I'll be going back anytime soon. I definitely must go back in summer one year though, and do all the epic stuff like rock climbing and abseiling (: *beams*

Day 1

 We took this crazy long 4 hour train ride to Windermere via Oxenholme. Thankfully our train ride was like around 5am so I just slept the entire way haha.

 Our Room @ Walmar's Bed and Breakfast
Comfy quiet room and really friendly owners! (: They were really nice and lent us a few walking maps so we could get started and explore Lake District! Thankfully we didn't buy the maps from the tourist information counter that we passed on the way to the B&B haha (: Plus, they gave us free cookies everyday! Super useful to omnomz on during the day/ along the hike haha (:


So we decided on a walk from Ambleside to Grasmere, which was about 6km long. It was quite a long walk - about 5 hours? Plus, the gradient can get rather steep at times. And I wasn't wearing walking shoes either haha so by the time we got to Grasmere we were rather exhausted. But it was so worth it! It was super scenic and pretty (: Highly recommended! Photos below! (:
For dinner, we decided on this humble looking Italian restaurant on the streets. I ordered lasagna and it was pretty alright, but the experience was a bit o.O because we were the only ones in the restaurant :/ Awkward. No photos of the food, unfortunately haha ):

Then, for dessert, we went to this amazing restaurant called Lucy's on a Plate. You MUST eat there if you ever go to Lake District Ambleside. Our dessert was beyond heavenly. Apparently Lucy's on a Plate is not only a restaurant but a culinary school! You can host your parties there and learn to cook haha (:

 Chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream and warm chocolate sauce
Chocolate overdose! Super super super sinful and good. And it was served on a slate plate! How interesting is that! Highly recommended!!! (:

 
 Smoothie
Needed for detox purposes and to neutralise all that sweetness. HAHA :/
So that's it for Day 1. Epic incident that cut short our day haha but the dessert more than made up for it. Omnomz!


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Day 2
 
Breakfast
This is the full cumbrian breakfast! It was pretty delish! And the fried toast was really quite interesting haha! But too oily for me so we didn't order it the next day.
And yes, we set off again to complete the walk that we failed to complete yesterday. -.- This time with much more success haha (: Photos below! (: Super gorgeous place it is! And the cool/funny thing is that in the midst of all this 'nature' and 'scenery' and such you could actually see the roads winding in the forest? And hear the cars zooming past! Which I thought felt rather queer! But I guess this makes this gorgeous area more accessible as well so yeah haha (: It doesn't look as though the envvironment has been damaged as well!

Oh, another queer thing was that I didn't see any wildlife at all! But I guess this is not really a wild nature place per se, well not at least the places that I visited. Most of it was pasture and sheep and reared ducks even! So no wildlife spotting for me, unfortunately! I don't even think I saw any interesting birds... Or maybe I just didn't look hard enough haha.


 Rydal Water


 Rydal Cave
This was sooooo cool!!!! You could actually walk all the way inside but I didn't want a repeat of yesterday's incidents so I didn't dare venture too far haha.

Multicoloured rocks (slate?) and the turquoise water!


 Mmm we were pretty much exhausted after the walk so we just took a bus home and lazed around (I believe I slept) until dinner HAHAHA :/ oops hehehe.

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Day 3

Last day at Lake District ): Our train was due to depart at 3pm and check out time was in the morning so we didn't have enough time to go on another epic walk, sadly ): So we decided to check out the Stockghyll Force (waterfall!) which was pretty near our B&B (: 


 Ahh, so gorgeous right (: There was actually a bigger waterfall behind this, but it was the long and narrow kind and I couldn't capture it well on my camera so no photo ):


 
On the way back from the waterfalls, we saw this strange tree trunk that was stuffed with coins! I thought it looked pretty deformed and cancerous and gross though :/ So after some googling, apparently tourists stick coins into this money tree for some reason haha...

And yes!!!! I managed to go back to Lucy's on a Plate for lunch/tea!!! This time I was totally mesmerised by the cake collection and greedy us ordered 2 cakes to share hehehe.



 Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
Yum yum yum x 120312321! Uber sweet and thick though!

Carrot Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts
I'm a huge fan of carrot cake, and this one did not disappoint! Loved every bit of it, but unfortunately we had a really hard time finishing both the cakes because it was kinda sweetness overload haha ): Unfortunate!!! But I left happy that I got to eat more amazing stuff from Lucy's on a Plate muahahahha. How to end a trip on a sweet note indeed!

So yep, that was a brief and picture laden summary of my Lake District trip that I took before term started! (: Had an amazing time, and Lake District is definitely one of the placese you should visit if you ever have time to spare in UK! I am a huge fan of walking, hikes and nature so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The views and scenery are really worth it (:

Yay, looking forward to my next trip! (: Maybe during reading week? (: Or Easter break! Excited!!! :D:D:D Hehe, to sleep now I will though! Write next time! x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Prague (Day 3)

OMG, I am so backward when it comes to blogging. Here's (finally) my Day 3 of my Prague trip last December (ancient, I know). So today I decided to make a trip to the famous Prague Castle. The weather I remember was horrid that morning. It was kinda snowing, but the wind was so strong so the snow/ice-bits just kept flying into your face relentlessly. But, thankfully, the sun came out really bright in the afternoon! So yay :D

So, time for the photo spam and the occasional remark (: Enjoy!

 It's a pretty long walk from the Metro station to the Castle, passing many quaint houses and cafes along the way. You can't get lost, it's just one road (:

 Pretty Christmas Decorations adorning one shophouse! (:

The majestic exterior of the St Vitus Cathedral

Interior of the Cathedral
Ornately and spendidly decorated no less...

 Interior of the Prague Castle
Truth be told, I thought the Prague Castle was rather anti-climatic. -.- Perhaps it was also because quite a lot of it was under renovation when I visited. But there was nothing really spectacular that I saw in the Castle. We only visited like 3-4 rooms?


Pretty and colourful small houses at the Golden Lane
 Many of these houses used to be inhabited by rather queer people, like Kafka and Madame de Thebes (who was a prophetess who apparently got killed by the Gestapo after foretelling the end of Nazi Reign).


 
I can't remember whose house this was, but it was probably some film maker...


Then, I decided to walk from Prague Castle to the John Lennon Wall because I'm a huge fan of public art/ grafitti in this case. And I passed by the Vtlava River and was greeted by so many swans and ducks!!! Photo galore! They are sooooo cute!


My favourite shot! :)


Apparently, there is a bridge of love padlocks here too! Albeit a smaller bridge but from afar I actually thought they were christmas decorations hahaha

After getting hopelessly lost, I finally found the John Lennon Wall. OMG I was so irritated I walked around the same place at least 10 times. Then decided to ask someone (should have just done that earlier, stupid pride.)



And I proceeded to take tons of photos. These are just 3 of the 100031023123 that I have of the wall of graffiti. I think someone should do a time lapse of how this wall changes over time! ): And I sort of regret not bringing a marker to leave my mark on it as well hahahahha.

Lunch at this random restaurant

I proceeded to walk to the Dancing House after that, just to take a look and take a few photos that I could call my own, haha. OMG I swear during this trip I just kept walking. Like public transport didn't exist. My feet were so sore by the end of the day I remember on the first day I just sat beside the bathtub and soaked my feet for like 40min. LOL.


Soooo pretty!
 
Dancing House
So after about 30min of walking, I finally reached this queer looking building to take a photo of it haha. The building really stands out because of Prague's generally old architecture. Pretty, yes. (: And you guessed it right, after this I decided to WALK again to the metro to take the metro back. BAD IDEA. The metro was like wtf 40min away?!?! I was totally dying. HAHA ):


In the evening, I joined a couple of friends to watch a Czech orchestra perform a few classical pieces. It was decent, and cheap and I quite enjoyed the peformance though the chairs were rather uncomfortable. Then again, I think it was like around GBP3 and it was held in a hall like place in a so I shan't complain.

Then, I had my BEST meal in Prague for dinner! Definitely worth a mention and SO CHEAP AND GOOD!



Czech Beer
Which I randomly decided to try. It was alright, I'm no beer aficionado so it tasted pretty much similar to every other beer I've drank so far hahahaha :/

I can't remember what this was, but I remember it being sweetened with honey and absolutely delish!

 
Vanilla Ice Cream with Raspberry Compote
So good! And I think it was something like GBP1.50???

Ahh I was totally stuffed to the brim and stuffed with happiness and satisfaction after the meal! We only paid about GBP7 per person, which was super worth it! What a way to conclude the day! :D So, big travel tip, don't eat at the touristy areas! Meals are so much cheaper and better outside (:

Corte Di Angelo
Nadrazni 116/61, 150 00 Praha 5

So that concludes my Day 3! Update again next time! I should be writing my essay now but I felt like taking a break from academic writing haha (: xx

Friday, 18 January 2013

2012 in songs

(in hopefully chronological order)

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger Kelly Clarkson
This is Home Switchfoot
Everything Michael Buble
Just Haven't Met You Yet Michael Buble
Everybody Ingrid Michaelson
For You Angus and Julia Stone
We Run the Night Havana Brown
Rumour Has it Adele
I Won't Give Up Jason Mraz
93 Million Miles Jason Mraz
Never Gonna Leave This Bed Maroon 5
Payphone Maroon 5
We Are Young Fun
Chasing the Sun The Wanted
Alphabeat David Guetta
Too Close Alex Clare
Skyfall Adele
One More Night Maroon 5
Good Time Owl City
Try Pink

Wow, everytime I do this list, I realise 1) what atrocious memory I have 2) how amazingly long the past year has been! To think this music list actually made me reflect on 2012 more than any other thing has... Songs ringing in my head/ music is really an integral part of my life....

Anyway, I think I really have "accomplished" quite a lot last year. There are, as always, a few things  I wish I could have done better/ I wish I did but who cares, I'm still here, having the time of my life studying and doing what I love and being surrounded by amazing people. Bring it on man!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

What I Did in Singapore

Omg I just looked through all the photos I took in Prague, and my, was my hair hideous!! I am so glad I managed to go back to Singapore to fix my hair and cut away all its untamable horridness. So, yes a good part of my back to Singapore trip was spent being vain and doing what I could not afford to do in ultra expensive London. Hey, I'm a girl after all hehe.

So, while waiting for my hair to grow longer so I can perm it and not look like an aunty, I decided that to have my virgin highlights. I have long wanted some sort of bright red/pink hair (red is my favourite colour of all time!!) and so I decided to book an appointment with Salon Vim at Somerset 313 after reading and hearing a lot about how good they are with colours. So, here's my unbiased and unsponsored review.

After some discussion with Ivan, my hairstylist, who is very friendly if I may add, we decided on half hidden red highlights followed by Salon Vim's specialty Redken Cocktail Hair Treatment. It took a patience wearing 2.5 hours, despite being told less than 1.5h would do haha, but I think the result was super worth it! I really liked the end result, as the pink highlights are subtle at first glance, but very much more obvious when your hair swishes/ gets displaced from its flat original position/ is tied up (: Perfect for people who want an epic hair colour but don't want to look too epic :/ HAHA. I realise that this is super high maintenance though. I cannot get by without blow drying my hair anymore, cause then the peek-a-boo highlights won't be neat D: Oh, and I have an amazing amount of split ends now. Either I have never noticed them before and the lighter colour of my hair now makes them more obvious, or this highlighting has damaged my hair super a lot. D: Either way, WHAT SHALL I DO ABOUT IT? ):

Le dying of boredom.

So my verdict: Since this is my first experience highlighting my hair, I have no other salons to compare this to, and while my experience here at Salon Vim definitely met my expectations, I wouldn't dare say that this would be the best place to have your hair done per se. I'll probably give Salon Vim another try or two, especially when my hair has grown out this summer and I'll finally get to do my hair perm (:D), then review again (:

Now time for the photo spam. OMG I couldn't resist. The reddish pink is seriously too pretty for me to not take vain pictures of myself and my hair. Muahahaha. Continue scrolling at your own risk.


End result! :D



 Picture spam! But you can see from the last picture how the highlights are super much more obvious when you lift part of my hair up (:

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Hehe, if you ever wanna go (especially during this summer), let me know and we can go together and (both you and) I can get an extra 5% off muahaha because I signed up as a member thinking that I will probably go back again this summer (:

Alright, end of vaingirl93 post. Back to work ): Ciao!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Movie List

My 5 favourite movies of all time, as of 9/1/2013
(not listed in any order of preference - that would have been so hard)


1. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
One of my favourite favourite books turned into a movie directed by the author himself. Stunning. And starring everyone's eye candy Emma Watson? 'Nuff said.

2. Little Children by Todd Field
An intense drama starring extra marital affairs, middle class parenting and the threat of a roaming ex-sexual offender. This movie had me on my feet and I couldn't stop thinking about it for days (and thankfully I watched it at home so I could pause it for a break near the end where it was just getting too intense.) Definitely worth a second watch.

3. Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock
The first horror movie I've watched fully I think. Thankfully it was goreless, unlike many of the horror movies now, but still haunting and really scary. Or maybe psychologically thrilling would be a better description. Anyway, there is so much packed into this movie. Every scene is ingenious and meaningful. You must watch this more than once. 

4. Thelma and Louise by Ridley Scott
 One of the few dramas that have left a lasting impression. Rock and roll road trip by two women bored or confused about their relationships and who want to take control of their lives. Some excellent cinematography here I thought, and the feminist slant was well embedded without being irritating and lame.

5. Inception by Christopher Nolan
I love sci-fi movies, and books, and surprisingly this list of my 5 favourite movies only contains 1 sci-fi movie :O! Great concept, great visual effects, and Leonardo DiCaprio 8D

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Random list that I decided to create. I really love movies. I love being transported to another world for 2hours. It's like reading a book but since everything is already played out in front of you, your brain saves the hassle of imagining and visualising... Good or bad I guess But anyway... Unfortunately though I have a really short attention span so I usually end up zoning out/ falling asleep in many of the movies I've watched (which yes were unfortunately not good enough to capture my attention : P)

So... here's to a new year of many more great movies! :D And much more time to watch these great movies hehe xD

Alright, to bathe I shall. See ya x

Monday, 7 January 2013

Prague Day 2

I love travelling alone. You can do whatever you want at your own (usually more leisurely) pace :) Anyway, on day 2 I decided to go on a day trip out of Prague to Kutna Hora, a UNESCO world heritage site. I followed a tour group (Sandemann's tours) cause I didn't want to be aimlessly wandering around heritage sites without actually knowing/understanding what I was look at.

 
We took a train to Kutna Hora; it was about 1.5hours away.

 


Yep, so the main attraction of Kutna Hora is actually the bone chapel (otherwise known as the Sedlec Ossuary). Apparently this Czech woodcarver was given a job by the Czech government to organise the many bones and skeletal remains that have piled up due to the Black Death and the Hussite Wars, and he created this macabre structure of an entire church interior made out of the bones of more than 40 000 people. It is really pretty gorgeous and elaborate in real life! We had this slight bio lesson here too, cause one of the participants in the tour group studied the human anatomy/skeleton before, so she taught us how to like estimate the gender and age of the skulls based on how the skull looked like. Quite cool :D



 
Skulls everywhere. People even threw coins as offering(?)

 Huge chandelier made out of skulls and bones in the middle of the church.



 
He even created the Schwarzenberg coat of arms with bones!


 Upstairs there was a room filled with paintings each depicting a scene in the bible.
Thought it was quite cool

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Next stop, the huge gothic St Barbara's Cathedral. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners, which is quite appropriate since Kutna Hora was historically a silver mining town. This cathedral is HUGE, like maybe the size of a small HDB shopping mall :/ But as with most cathedrals, all you do is look around and marvel at the elaborate stained glass and architecture so it wasn't that interesting to be honest.





Lunch was at this 'traditional' czech food restaurant that the tour group brought us to. Evidently, the restaurant has partnered many tour agencies as there were other tour groups having lunch inside as well. Upon seeing that, the inner cynicism in me quickly made the conclusion that the food probably is going to be overpriced and would suck. This is probably one of the limitations of joining a tour group.

Exterior of cafe

What I ordered: Beef with jam and whipped cream and bread dumplings
It was decent, but then again this was my first time eating Czech food and so I had nothing to compare it to. Before the dish came I was very curious as to what the 'dumplings' would look like. Being Asian, dumplings to me would mean xiao long bao and other assorted dimsum, and I read on wikipedia that the traditional food of the Czech included dumplings, and of course I got quite a shock. HAHA but now I know their dumplings just mean pieces of either bread or potato.

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After lunch, we walked around the city center and to be honest I was dying from information overload and the ridiculously chilly weather so I just followed blindly and I didn't really listen to the tour guide anymore haha. Took a few pictures of the pretty quaint neighbourhood though. I really like the architecture! Haha. In any case, after this trip I resolved to understand one day what the different styles of architecure were. Cause the tour guide kept telling us that this building was gothic, and the other building was medieval but I seriously cannot tell the difference HAHA :/





So after that we took a train back to Prague city center where I walked around the Christmas market with a new-found Malaysian buddy. The christmas market is really just this giant tourist trap with overpriced food and souvenirs haha, but I guess the atmosphere was festive and jingly and happy xD


Super expensive chocolate coated fruits, but I gave into temptation to buy one anyway. It wasn't bad, but I promptly got scolded for wasting money :PP



Alright, a very belated merry christmas and a happy 2013 to all of you! :DD I totally suck at keeping my blog alive. This was meant to be posted 2 weeks ago??? Will blog more, promise! Even though school is starting and my schedule this term is craaazy~! Have loads of fun anyway guys xx