Thursday, 19 December 2013

Hong Kong Pt 1

The flight from London to Hong Kong was 12 hours in total however it was glorious since the plane was half empty. As a result, I was able to sleep however my legs were crammed into the space between the window seat and the side of the plane (I didn't want to block off the aisle access). I believe that I slept for a total of 8 hours.

I have been to Hong Kong many, many times and I never really liked the place. It was too noisy, too humid, too crowded, etc etc.

4th January 2013

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I have been to the Avenue of Stars so many times it is actually ridiculous. Nonetheless, I wanted to visit as I didn't have too much on my agenda for Hong Kong (I am not a big fan of shopping).

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Friday, 29 November 2013

Minnamurra to Kiama

Back in July, my coworkers and I were meant to head down to the South coast to visit Kiama. However plans went astray and that trip never eventuated. Fast forward to November and I no longer had interest in spending time with those individuals and decided to make the trip myself.

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It was a 3.5hour trip from my home and I left somewhat early. It was a pleasant train ride and I ended up listening to Taylor Swift's "Red" album on repeat whilst in my limbo stage; I am unable to sleep on public transport however the closest that I can manage is this stage where I am only semi-aware of my surroundings.

I got off at Minnamurra and commenced the coastal walk down to Kiama (well past it).

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I met an American couple who were also completing the walk and they ended up following me, albeit around 2km behind. We had a lovely conversation. I also met a gentleman on a bicycle who was also lovely.

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Cathedral Rocks

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Bombo Headland Quarry

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It was really difficult to walk at the Bombo Headland Quarry and I actually slipped into a puddle and soaked my left shoe. The landscape was quite different to anything I've seen.

The Bombo Headland Quarry is of one of the most significant geological sites in New South Wales. The rock type and its formation features have technical significance at a national level. The Bumbo Latite Member is also of international scientific significance as it was formed when North and South Magnetic Poles were reversed, which is important for intercontinental paleomagnetic correlation of Late Palaeozoic rock sequences.

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I was more fascinated with the rainbow rather than the actual spurt of water.

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It was a very easy walk, it was just a little long as it was roughly 17km in total. Sometimes I feel like I am a little desensitised to the beauty of the coast. I guess it is because I live so close to it and I also see it so frequently that it frankly becomes a little boring. There are moments when I think it is truly gorgeous (such as the second photo at the mouth of the river and the ocean) and on some level I think it is gorgeous, but I guess I don't really appreciate it so much anymore which is a shame. Grass is always greener on the other side.

Versailles & Last Day

1st February 2013
For our last day, we headed out to Versailles which was a very short train ride from Paris. It was an overcast day and everything just looked so gloomy.

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There was a moderate amount of tourists and most were from mainland China and all were under the age of 10. Was it a school trip? Or did everyone have enough money to skip school. All I know is that every single kid had their own DSLR and designer bag and just snapped a photo and walked off. Take a photo and walk. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. There was a LadurĂ©e store upon exiting the palace and every < 10 year old child left carrying at least €100 worth of goods. 


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Versailles isn't a place that is nice to visit in winter as all the statutes were covered up with plastic tarp which detracted from all the gardens. It started to sprinkle so we ran into a random cafe and had an amazing hot chocolate. It really felt like it was melted chocolate with a tiny drop of milk. We had a lot of coins so, embarrassing as it was, we counted out all our coins.

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Necklace Sunbear got me. I wanted a necklace that I could wear all the time (i.e in the shower too since I am too lazy to put on jewellery). This isn't that sort of necklace. Some say that it is okay to shower with it, but I am a little hesitant.

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Love Temple

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We returned to Paris and had another decent dinner.

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Pretty terrible French Onion Soup.

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2nd February 2013
I was leaving on the Eurostar bound for London. It was my last day in Europe and my last few hours with Sunbear. It would be an understatement to say that it was a very, very sad morning. I was dressed like a hobo for complete comfort since I had the 2.5hour train journey followed by a 12 hour flight to Hong Kong. I had my hiking bag and my daypack and Sunbear had his massive backpack. We went to a nice restaurant for brunch and we were instantly judged by the wait staff and everyone seated at the tables. At first, the waiter only provided us with a drinks menu (I guess they thought that we were too poor to actually eat there). They were also so incredibly rude and we weren't allowed to take up two tables (a four seater so we could place our bags on the chair) since it was going to be busy. But we also weren't allowed to leave our bags in the corner out of everyone's way. When we arrived, there were only 5 people seated in a space that could cater for 45 or so. When we left, there were maybe 8 people. Moral of the story: don't judge people by their appearance. We ended up spending around €70 ($AUD 110) between the two of us. Take that. After we ordered, the wait staff treated us a little nicer. Just a little.

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The trip to Paris Nord was so sad. I guess I thought that there would be chairs there but instead, we resorted to crying at the Eurostar entrance before immigration and ticket desks. I also had some issues with my ticket. For some reason, my ticket wasn't included in the email and I had to line up at the counter. Naturally, there were 8 people in line and 2 of the slowest employees on the planet. Sunbear befriended another employee who brought us to the front of the line and I made it to the train with 5 minutes to spare. Our final goodbye was so rushed since I was running to the immigration desk and then on board the train. And that was the last time I saw Sunbear, 2nd February 2013. If everything goes to plan, we will be meeting up late next year and he can hopefully take me around Switzerland.

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My Overall Thoughts
Paris was lovely and it is a city I would love to have more time to explore. Although, the experience was a little tainted since I was sad since it was my last city in Europe and my last moments with Sunbear.

Would I re-visit?
Yes

And that concludes my blog posts of my trip around Europe. In hindsight, I should have stayed an extra week or so as I would have been able to visit Portugal and Spain (two countries that are at the top of my list). But next time, next time. Next stop: Hong Kong.