The chicken in London

Desperate for seeking a radical change, I travelled to London on a 4-day trip with just a backpack filled with warm clothes, wild adventures and youthful vibe with a mission to simply enjoy the glory of being alone.

It was not difficult to fall in love with the city, especially that UK is particularly close to my heart.The city appealed to me from its army of flowers, to the grandeur of the lakes to its fashionable people.

My quickie visit to London is in its own way extraordinary.

World-famous Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, double decker red buses, and if you are brave enough, standing for hours just to neck a craft beer in bars and pubs – all tantalizing combination for an ambitious full day itinerary in this city.

I was no exception to feel the drama.. Her Highness Queen Erl of PH has been to London to visit the queen. Remember Maria spreading her arms wide as she sang “The Hills are Alive” from that movie Sound of Music? Well, it was pretty much the same moment when I landed in Heathrow. Except that I was not singing and I’m not on top of a hill. But it was like “The hills are alive” moment were I am very close to screaming with excitement.. i did look silly but I don’t care! I am finally in London. Here’s my ‘Ambitious’ yet fun-filled trip in London.

London will always hold a special place in my heart.

Full English Breakfast – fit for a queen.

Beer tasting when in London

Fish and Chips – this is not to be missed.

The Houses of Parliament is one of London’s most iconic building. Big Ben is the huge clock located at its north end.

Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.

The iconic Tower Bridge which I thought was the London Bridge when I was a kid.

Just like the yellow cabs of New York, the famous Red Telephone Box is London’s signature.

I love taking door photos specially the most unique and appealing ones. This is one of the beautiful doors I have seen in the streets of Notting Hill.

A book I bought from a second hand bookshop in Notting Hill district. In Pursuit of the English is a first-class novelist’s account of the lusty, quarrelsome, unscrupulous, funny, pathetic, full-blooded life in a working-class rooming house. It is a shrewd and unsentimental picture of Londoners you’ve probably never met or even read about – though they are the real English.

I am a fan of the film and looking for Paddington Bear at Paddington station was sort of an adventure.

Again, film-inspired. Notting Hill and Portobello Market was a suggestion of the lady who I sat next on the plane

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Just a few of my favorite things all in a single moment. Sunset, birds and London.

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Braving the tube like a local. London subways were never a problem for a first-timer like me.

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London Eye – the famous giant Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London.

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Enjoying the daffodils.

Camden Town – one of my favorite places to be out and about. With its mix of of eclectic, intriguing and unique experiences from its line a street of shops, bars and restaurants, this colorful neighborhood captivated my heart.

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That girl who chose to travel

She has the inner desire to explore and see the world.

She embraces her life today but still plans for the future.

She is sophisticated but still edgy. She is open-minded. She sometimes doesn’t make sense.

She saves up for another adventure.

She is often times dreamy because she is plotting her next destination.

She wants to break-free but knows where she’s going.

She refuses to party but wants to go out. She is up for something new.  She feels the need of that thrill of experience.

She gets involved with different activities. She gets sunburn but doesn’t seem to mind.

She knows what she wants and knows how to get it.

She is unpredictable. She is random. She is spontaneous.

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My Paris Diaries: A walk through Montmartre

Claimed to be an artist’s haven in Paris, Montmartre is the atelier of many artists including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh to name a few.

It is an incredibly unique and interesting village popularly known as the bohemian hub of Paris with its quirky bars and cafes, splattering vintage shops and independent galleries.

The steps towards the Sacre Coeur Basilica (the white dome church) were narrow and steep but when you reach to the top, the magnificent view of Paris and its surroundings were worth the pain.

You can find mills in corners, its narrow streets, art galleries, striking graffiti and countless cafés and restaurants serving good qualify food.

It is a place hard to miss on a first visit – especially for an artist.

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Sacre Coeur Basilica

the famous Pink café

the famous Pink café

houses in Montmartre are lovely to look at

houses in Montmartre are lovely to look at

artist at work

artist at work

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Montmartre neighborhood

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windmills in Montmartre

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the famous cabaret in the district – Moulin Rouge

My Paris Diaries: Corpses and crows

Walking around the graveyard may be a strange thing to do when visiting Paris for the first time. However, it was fun to leave the touristy area and head down to explore Paris’ largest cemetery – Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise (Pere-Lachaise Cemetery).

An odd experience for a morning walk on the cobbled pathway, but also a place of interest where you stumble across few famous graves. Those of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edit Piaf, Frederic Chopin and many more were buried in this graveyard. Even regular people have fascinating epitaphs and monuments.

The place is huge and not well marked therefore finding a specific grave was a challenge – map always helps. Jim Morrison’s grave was difficult to find.

Background:

Pere-Lachaise Cemetery – Established by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery is the world’s most visited cemetery. The name has its origin from Louis XIV’s confessor, Pere Francois de la Chaise.

Entrance: Free

Hours :

6 Nov to 15 March Mon-Fri: 08h00-17h30 Sat. : 08h30-17h30 Sun. Holidays: 09h00-17h30

16 March to 5 Nov Mon-Fri : 08h00-18h00 Sat. : 08h30-18h00 Sun. Holidays : 09h00-18h00

There are many famous people buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Some of them are:

  • Antonio de La Gandara, painter
  • Guillaume Apollinaire , Poet
  • Jean-Pierre Aumont, actor
  • Honoré de Balzac , writer
  • Henri Barbusse , writer
  • Paul Barras, statesman during the French Revolution
  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, musician & more
  • Gilbert Bécaud, singer
  • Vincenzo Bellini, composer of operas
  • Sarah Bernhardt, actress
  • Georges Bizet, composer
  • Alexander Brogniart, architect
  • Ettore Bugatti automobile manufacturer
  • Gustave Caillebotte, painter
  • Maria Callas, Opera singer
  • Jean-Joseph Carriès, sculptor
  • Pierre Cartellier, sculptor
  • Jean-François Champollion, Egyptologist, decipherer of hieroglyphic text
  • Frédéric Chopin , composer (although his heart is entombed in a pillar in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw, Poland)
  • Colette, Writer
  • Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, painter
  • Thomas Couture, painter, teacher
  • Edouard Daladier, statesman
  • Jacques Louis David, painter
  • Eugene Delacroix, painter
  • Gustave Doré, graphic artist, lithographer
  • Michel Drach, film director, producer, screenwriter
  • Paul Dukas, composer
  • Isadora Duncan, American-born dancer
  • Paul Eluard, poet
  • Max Ernst, Surrealist and Expressionist artist
  • Jean de la Fontaine, poet and writer of fables
  • Théodore Géricault, painter
  • Stephane Grappelli, Jazz violinist
  • Samuel Hahnemann, creator of homeopathy
  • Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, painter
  • Jean-Baptiste Isabey, painter
  • Allan Kardec
  • Rene Lalique, artist in glass
  • Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian anarchist, revolutionary
  • Constance Mayer-Lamartinière, painter
  • Amedeo Modigliani, painter and sculptor
  • Molière, Dramatist
  • Yves Montand, actor
  • Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter, and poet. Morrison moved to Paris in March 1971 with the intention of concentrating on his writing and to quit drinking. He died in Paris on July 3, 1971, in his bathtub at the age of 27; many fans and biographers have speculated that the cause of death was a drug overdose, but the official report listed “heart attack” as the cause of death.
  • Anne de Noailles, writer
  • Charles Nodier, writer
  • Victor Noir, journalist
  • Édith Piaf, France’s most famous singer
  • Christian Pineau, Resistance worker, statesman
  • Camille Pissarro, “Father of Impressionism”
  • Francis Poulenc, composer, member of “Les Six”
  • Marcel Proust , writer
  • Mlle Rachel, (Élisabeth Rachel Félix) Swiss actress at Comédie-Française
  • Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, painter
  • Norbert Rillieux, inventor
  • Georges Rodenbach, Symbolist poet and novelist
  • Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer
  • Georges Seurat, artist, founder:pointillist style of post-impressionist
  • Simone Signoret, actress
  • Alexandre Stavinsky, notorious embezzler
  • Gertrude Stein, American writer
  • Alice B. Toklas, American writer
  • Marie Trintignant, actress
  • Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, Dominican dictator
  • Charles Henry VerHuell, Dutch Admiral
  • Oscar Wilde, Irish writer
  • Richard Wright, American writer
  • Achille Zavatta, circus operator and famous clown

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jim morrison

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oscar wilde1

oscar wilde

a french artist

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When in Wein – a quickie Vienna exploits

6  Wein – the german name for Vienna – is a city of contrast.  With timeless buildings to elaborate statues, preserved churches and picturesque view yet modernized society with convenient trams, trains and buses to high speed wifi and fashionable locals.

Vienna is truly more than just sausages.  It s the home of Mozart, Adolf Hitler, Sisi and many more iconic names that made world history.

My brief stay in Vienna was rather torturing – I craved for more.  It is like the kid’s expression after stealing his lollipop.  Two days is just not enough.  I need to come back to check out more of this place.

LANGUAGE: Widely spoken is German but lots of people can speak English.

Danke Shoen – means Thank You in German.  I pronounce it as Donkey Shawn.  Works all the time 🙂

TRANSPORTATION: Reliable timetable but the station signs, street names, building names, etc are in German.  I cannot pronounce them but since they are in alphabets, it was a lot easier.  24-hour pass can be purchased at 7.50 Euro plus 2.20 Euro to get to the airport.

CURRENCY: Euro.  Currency Exchange is everywhere

FOOD/DRINKS: My 10-Euro was enough to fuel me.  Sandwiches can be bought for 5 Euros.  A bottle of water is around 2 euro.

Top Tip to go out and about: Hop on and hop off buses are available but the cheaper alternative is to take a one day pass and hop on hop off on trains and trams.

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