Thursday, 9 April 2015

Today’s Travel to Tulip Country

I'm ashamed that I couldn't think of a better title; cheesy alliteration is cheesy. It's six in the morning and I'm supposed to be getting ready for my flight at ten. I'm a little low on creative juice right now so please bear with me.

So I told you all last March that I will be spending my Easter/Spring holidays in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I am actually really super excited about this, not only because I get to go to a new country to add to the list of countries I have visited, but also due to our trip's itenerary. Only a few days ago, I found out that not only we are going to go to Amsterdam as a family, but also we are visiting Brussels in Belgium for a day tour! Wonders will never cease - I'll be adding two countries to my list now!

The our general itenerary is like this:

Today - Flight from Cairo to Amsterdam-Schipol, arrive, check in hotel, do some sightseeing in the evening

Friday - Visiting the Rijksmuseum, Friday prayers in a Dutch-Turkish mosque and taking a cruise in the canals

Saturday - A guided day tour of Keukenhof, a place where lots of tulips are grown in the Dutch countryside

Sunday - A guided tour of Brussels from Amsterdam, including a 3 hour bus trip, visiting the Grand-Place and other Belgian landmarks, return to Amsterdam on the same day

Monday - Flight back home to Cairo

Mind you, I don't exactly know the details in terms of schedules. I trust that my parents know what and where we should be going, because it was really their idea to visit Amsterdam in the first place. I kept suggesting to go to St. Petersburg, Budapest or Vienna but my mother really wanted to see tulip flowers in full bloom in spring. Turkey is another tulip country, it was the country that originally passed on the flowers to the Dutch anyway, but having visited the country twice already, my parents would like something else for a change.

I have all my stuff ready and packed. I printed a sheet of Dutch phrases ready just in case, even though many Dutch people can speak English. Maybe I should print a French phrasebook too, because I haven't polished up my French in a very long time. Hopefully, I will write up a great big article or two about this vacay with lots of pictures just like Antalya for y'all to enjoy. I won't be able to take my laptop with me. Although I'm a little hazy about our activity schedule, I know it will include a whole lot of sightseeing and walking about so I have no time for blog updates there. I will, of course, remain available via social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram providing that the hotel has a free and reliable WiFi connection.

I believe that this whole trip will be a blast, just like the trips I had before or maybe even better! I pray for a safe flight for today. See you after five days!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

New Posts for March and April on WordPress!

It's been ages since I updated here on Blogger...

I feel kind of guilty now, because I did promise in the past to give equal treatment to both my WordPress and Blogger blogs. I was supposed to simultaneously post anything on both sites, but laziness got the best of me. Sorry :(

I think from now on, I'll have to change my tactics, because posting the same content on both sites is really time-consuming. It's not just a matter of copying and pasting, but also changing the format, HTML, tweaking the images - it's all just too much!

I will treat this blog as a "secondary" blog where I will post stuff, just not as regularly. I will also announce updates of any important news and WordPress posts here to redirect as much of my audience to my WordPress site. Over there, non-bloggers will have a better way of keeping up with my blog because they could follow via e-mail. Google did not put in place anything other than just a Google Plus account.

Without further ado, if you are not a visitor of my WordPress blog, here are the things you missed for March and April:

Yes, I have realised that today is the 31st of March. This is the first and last post for this month. For the sake of not letting one whole month fly by without a post, I decided to make sure to have something typed up and served for this month and to explain a little about my disappearance.
As I have mentioned in my previous post in February, I am a busy man. I have many commitments in school and life here and I can't afford to forgo these commitments for the sake of this blog. I have set my priorities, and my blog isn't something that will directly determine my future, such as whether I will be entering the university of my choice, or whether I'll be getting better grades...(READ MORE HERE)

5th April 2014

72 Hours in Antalya: Now Officially My Favourite City in Turkey! (Part 1)


Last February, I travelled to Turkey for a very short but satisfying holiday to the southern coastal city of Antalya! Before going, I didn’t know that there were so many attractions to offer to tourists. I thought people only came for the beaches, since it’s way down south and all. I’ve visited Istanbul and Bursa in 2010 and we were mainly visiting historical and cultural attractions there. After having visited the famous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, I thought that it is a second-class tourist destination compared to Istanbul. How wrong I was! In fact, Antalya amazed me with its wealth of activities and hisotrical landmarks all wrapped up in a picturesque location, making it a perfect four-day getaway for our family. Since I am a huge history geek and an architecture enthusiast, there were so much for me to marvel in this lovely little city which stole my heart. Read more to know my full itinerary and the best places to visit in Antalya!

7th April 2014

72 Hours in Antalya: Now Officially My Favourite City in Turkey! (Part 2)

The following is a section of the middle of the article:
While we as a family were on our way out of Kaleiçi to the tram station, we chose to walk a different street from where we walked yesterday. We ended up in front of this mosque right here. We stopped because someone had to go to the bathroom. It was not yet prayer time.
FYI; I didn't actually remember the name of the mosque. I didn't see a sign bearing the mosque's name in the photo, nor did I remember seeing a sign at all. After doing some (unsuccessful) Google searches and loading Antalya on Google Earth, only then I found out that the name is İmaret Mosque.
The mosque looked a little modern to be an Ottoman-era mosque from the 17th or 18th century, so I think it is more recently built. This mosque, like any other mosques in Turkey in general, share common Ottomaneque features. A central dome, usually tiled blue, and a sharp, piercing minaret that looks like a tip of a pencil is present in the traditional look for any mosque in Turkey. Sometimes I wish we have more of that architectural style in Malaysia...

Yesterday and the two days before yesterday I posted about my little escapade to Antalya, Turkey. I must be the luckiest globe-trotting expatriate in the world that month. Within less than a week after returning from that holiday, I travelled to Cyprus for a week-long expedition trip organised by my school! Luckily for me, I had already written about some my experiences for my school’s newsletter, so why re-invent the wheel right? Here is what we all did back then: (CLICK TO READ MORE)

During our 3 day hike, I decided to sing songs to pass time and forget about the pain and exhaustion we were going through. For some reason, the song “All About That Bass” came up in my head and stuck, so I decided to make a parody of it based on the whole camping and hiking experience. The lyrics of “All About That Pace” are truly based upon what we all had gone through in the trip. We did actually get lost on our first day and thought it was like hell on Earth, but the Gold Team had an even worse time by getting lost more often than our Silver Group! (READ MORE HERE)