Sunday, January 30, 2011

Euro Trip - Germany

Honeymoon - Part 6

Date:
18 February 2010

Rheinfall

The Rheinfall

Before crossing the border into Germany, our last stop in Switzerland was The Rhine Falls (Rheinfall in German). The Rhine Falls are the largest plain waterfall in Europe.


We bought the best chocolate I have ever tasted from the souvenir shop here. Yummy!!

 

Black Forest

Our first destination in Germany was Black Forest. It was noon when we reached here... this means - lunch time! We had fish fillet and for dessert, the famous black forest cake which was originated... here, of course!


Germany is well known for its cuckoo clock... mind you, it is expensive!


Since we had no intention to buy any expensive clocks, we explored the town. Black Forest was named by the Romans due to the dense growth of conifers in the forest which blocked out most of the light inside the forest. Even in day time, a lantern was required to light the path. Based on Mr Tan, the fairytale Red Riding Hood and Hansel & Gratel were created based on the condition of Black Forest.

 
The Black Forest

Some snap shots of the snow covered town.


Excuse us... we're from the Tropics... snow is like seeing unicorn to us!

The other famous landmark is Titisee. The lake was frozen but it is not advisable to go walking on it!

The white thing is the lake!

While waiting for the others who were still busy shopping, we made a small snowman! Say hello to Tiny Snowman!

Mr Tiny Snowman says "Yippi!!"

Heidelberg


Heidelberg, the romantic city! We arrived here quite late in the evening... the historical city buildings were already oranged by the setting sun. We took some pictures of the famous Heidelberg Castle and the interesting looking Old Bridge.

What does this sign means? No women and children? No mommy and baby?

The Old Bridge

Heidelberg Castle

Mr Tan proudly said, "To all you Hard Rock Souvenir Fans, you will be delighted to find that there is a Hard Rock Cafe here in Heidelberg." So off we went in search for the said cafe. We walked along the street and enjoyed the view of the old shop buildings. We walked by Heidelberg University and enjoyed street singers singing "Only You"... so sweet~


In the end, we realized that we had accidentally passed by the cafe. When we finally found it, we sensed that there were something different about the items being sold... but we bought a pin and a T-shirt anyways.

Date: 19 February 2010

This morning, our tour brought us to the romantic River Rhine route. No one was up for the river cruise so instead, we enjoyed the view of the river and the ancient castles along the river from the bus. We stopped by a town near Rhine River bank (which I can't remember the name, could be Oberwesel) and bought some stuff at the local supermarket... I bought a lotion since my skin was so dry! Since the labels were in German, and the salesperson could not speak English, it was a gamble - for all I know, I may have bought a bottle of syampoo!


Town of... (Oberwesel?)

Cologne

Our last Germany stop was in Cologne, the fourth largest city in Germany. The architecture and landscape here is very different than the previous towns we visited. It is modern with many people walking the streets, and there is a KFC!


As usual, we went for our compulsary Hard Rock visit (this time with no problems) and chatted with the salesgirl about Heidelberg and the Hard Rock Cafe there.

Salesgirl: There is no Hard Rock Cafe in Heidelberg
Us: But yesterday we went there and bought a few things!
Salesgirl repeated with a (tense) smile: There is no Hard Rock Cafe in Heidelberg
Us: OoooOooo~

Anyway, although the city was very modern, there is one very prominent ancient landmark, the Cologne Cathedral. It is a world heritage site with Gothic architecture. It was built with black marble and reminded me of an older and smaller KLCC!

Cologne Cathedral

As Mr Tan was calling us to board the bus, we were still busy shopping for some souvenirs across the street!Hurriedly we paid for the keychains and....Bye-bye Germany!

Hurry!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Euro Trip - Swtizerland

Honeymoon - Part 5

Date:
16 February 2010

Moving on from Liechtenstein, we arrived in Lucerne, Switzerland in the afternoon.

Lucerne

Before checking into the hotel, we visited the Lion Monument, a stone carving of a dying lion. This monument is for the rememberance of the hundreds of Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution.


After that, it was free and easy time. We went sight-seeing in Lucerne town and guess what? The carnival in Venice was also being celebrated here. They call it Fasnacht. There was loud marching-band music, people in all types of costumes imaginable paraded the streets - the opposite of the quiet Vaduz!


Tiny lions drumming in the parade! Super cute!

The most famous landmark in Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge, bulit in the year 1333. However, in 1993, someone burnt down the wooden bridge and destroyed most of it. It was quickly rebuilt. What a waste!

The Chapel Bridge

One of the paintings along Chapel Bridge

Some views of Lucerne during our evening walk:

Lake Lucerne

Us with a swan!~ Today's fashion: Peanut head! Or serkup opah!

Hasben - loving the view.. 

Before having dinner with the rest of the group, Hasben finally decided to buy a Swatch watch. He was deliberating for so long and at last, he made up his mind! There were so many watch shops in Lucerne and for the weak hearted, you'll definitely be loosing a lot of money! Also, you can find many souvenir shops here, with loads of variety.

Swatch - born in Switzerland.

We went for a night stroll, bought some chocolates and watched the parade.

Lake Lucerne at night.

A kid throwing confetti at us - naughty, naughty~ Hehe!

Our hotel was in the town center and we could here the music loud and clear. We continued watching the parade from our hotel window... as the festivities subsided, it was bed time!

Date: 17 February 2010

 Mount Titlis

Southwards of Lake Lucerne, is the highest peak of the portion of the Urner Alps, Mount Titlis! It is famous for the world's first revolving cable car. We were actually going up the beautiful snow capped mountains we observed from below... weeehuuuuuuu!

Before going up!

There were 2 types of cable cars that we had to board to reach the top. There was this normal cable car... as usual, it can only fit a maximum of 6 people per car, and the other one is RotAir - the revolving cable car. A group of people can squeeze into one car but not everyone can have the privillage to sit. As the cable car ascends, it will also rotate 360 degrees, giving us the full view of the mountains!

On the normal cable car. Bye-bye villagers!

At last, we reached the top! And.. for lunch, we had maggi goreng tapau! Imagine, eating maggi on top of Mount Titlis! I bet this was a first!

Very windy! Snow particles hit me in the face... Ouch!

Subhanallah!

Have u ever seen anyone pose like this in the snow?

Do you believe me if I told you we went snowboarding? =p

Inside the RotAir complex, apart from souvenir shops and restaurants, there is an ice room, a room made up of ice - obviously! The interesting thing was, there were a few choices of anthems we could play, so we clicked Malaysia.. Tada! - Negaraku filled the room. Our group sang along, "Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku.." Sooo patriotic! I have this theory that they change the choices of anthems everyday based on the visitors' origins as a welcoming gesture.


Every good thing must come to an end. It was time for us to go back down.

Inside RotAir: (Left bubble) Selamat datang ke kereta kabel pertama di dunia yang bergantung berpusing.
Seriusly, we were excited to read Malay here but someone needs to fix the grammatical error.

We made it safe and sound!

We returned back to Lucerne for more free and easy. We window shopped and took some more pictures. There was no carnival today so we experienced a different atmosphere of Lucerne - a quieter one.

Margeritta pizza - not as good as the one in Italy. I missed that one!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Euro Trip - Liechtenstein

Honeymoon - Part 4

Date: 16 February 2010

On our way to Liechtenstein. While everyone stopped for a toilet break, we jumped with joy at the sight of snow!

Vaduz

I have to admit that I have never heard of Liechtenstein before... and everytime I want to write it down, I fear that I spelled it wrongly. So to play safe, I just copy and paste 'Liechtenstein' (like what I'm doing right now) throught out this entry. Liechtenstein is the 6th smallest country in the world. Its military defence is supported by the Swiss Army (not the knife). This Alpine country is bordered by Austria and Switzerland.

Beautiful Vaduz!!

We visited Vaduz (based on Mr Tan, it is pronounced Faduz) the capital of Liechtenstein. Since it was still winter, the temperature was freeezing cold... my hands were frozen. The bright sunlight was just for display - no heat at all. Imagine the temperature at night!!

The souvenirs were a bit pricey...

During our visit, Vaduz was quite deserted. Not many people were roaming the streets... I wondered where everybody was?

Not a single car on the street!

We were the only tourists there, even the locals were MIA... which was a good thing for Hasben and I. Our camera posing was unlimited as there was no one to stare/laugh/pitty us... Here, I present to you... two goofy Malaysians!!

"Look! Superman!" At hill top: Vaduz Castel, home of Prince of Liechtenstein
"Eh.. kiri ke kanan?" Signboards! 
With... leaf-less bushes? 
Notice that they spell 'Telephone', the same way as we Malysians do: T.E.L.E.F.O.N. 
Mr and 'Mr' Smith... with the Alps!

We had lunch outside on a bench. I packed rice that I cooked in the morning before check-out (for those of you who are wondering, yes, I brought along our rice cooker all the way from Malaysia) and ate it with the (you guessed it) sambal ikan bilis prepared by Mama. I couldn't hold the spoon properly since it was sooo freezing cold! After lunch, we got ready for the next journey... to Switzerland!

With our travel group... they made our trip even more memorable!
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