Showing posts from 2018

The Spirit Of Christmas Remains In My Heart

A few days ago at a Christmas dinner, a lady said to me, "Argh, it was very stressful coming here. In fact, the last few months have been really bad for me. I really cannot wait for this year to be over." Then she carried on and attempted to enumerate the bad things that has happened to her. But I held her hand, tapped her shoulder and I said, "Don't worry, you have made it through (to the dinner and this year). Not quite the latter because we have a few days left before the new year starts but I am confident that she will get through it. What hit me the most during our conversation was when she said that she was going home for Christmas, but she said it will be just as bad. I begged to disagree because to me, going home for Christmas only means that she will spend time with her family- one thing that I have not done in 17 years. But she looked at me without saying a word. Her pain became palpable, I could see it through her eyes. Or perhaps... she was just the

One Day In The Unbelievably Enthralling Ancient City Of Matera

We were not supposed to go to Matera because we had Altamura on our list to visit instead. However, I came across the city whilst I was planning our route from Alberobello to Altamura. The photos I saw online took my breath away that I was forced to learn a bit more about the place. Suffice it to say that Matera became one of those places that we must visit whilst we were in Southern Italy.  The drive to Matera was over an hour from Alberobello via SS172 then SP106 to SP235. Finding a street parking in the New Town was not that bad from what I can remember. From where we parked (the name of the street escapes me), it was only a short walk to one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited- the Sassi di Matera. Matera is the third oldest continuously inhabited city and until the 1980s, was plagued by poverty, illness and high infant deaths. In 1993, it became UNESCO World Heritage Site and since then, there has been an increasing number of tourists visiting the city. 

An Overnight Stay in the Trulli Amazing Alberobello

It took me a week before I could properly say Alberobello, a place I have never heard of before. Thanks to Farrah whose idea gave me the opportunity to visit one of the most unique places I have ever visited. So after four days of nothing but amazing trip to the Amalfi Coast, it was time to say goodbye to its best kept secret,  Praiano .  From there, we hired a taxi (£100 for an hour drive) to Salerno to pick up our car from Avis. We didn't explore Salerno as it was not part of our itinerary but it felt like a big city. We grabbed a quick coffee and sfogliatella at a nearby cafe from the car rental then we headed to Puglia. To be honest, I didn't enjoy the 3 1/2 hours drive from Salerno to Alberobello that much because of the numerous tunnels that we had to go through. They seemed endless and some of them were not even lit. Besides, the route that we took  was not as picturesque as I imagined it to be, hence easily forgettable. It was rather industrial and uninteresting.

A Day In Pompeii: The City Frozen In Time

When I first visited Pompeii in 2009, I was a keen tourist who wanted to see as many famous places as possible just so I could say I have been there. However, my perspective on travelling dramatically changed in 2013 when I visited Venice  for the second time. Since then, I promised myself to be more of a traveller and less of a tourist. I wanted to be that traveller who actually immerses herself in culture and develops a deep connection with herself and the places she goes to. I wanted to travel in a sense that I will still do "touristy" things and take photos of famous landmarks and all, but also make an extra effort to take the roads that are less travelled and take photographs of places that have not been photographed a thousand times before.  I am only saying this because when I went to Pompeii in August, I was actually able to explore the historic place and truly experienced it, unlike the first time I went there.  Pompeii is located near Naples in Southern Italy

The Unforgettable Boat Ride Around Capri Island

I never dreamed that one day, I will be cruising around Capri island in Italy onboard a 40 feet private boat. But just like what I said before, even the things you never dreamed of will come true if you follow your heart. And so in August, I followed my heart and went to Italy for a week with two of the most important people in my life. I undeniably had one of the best experiences ever.  We originally planned to take the boat tour on our last day in the Amalfi Coast, which was the middle of the week. However, when I checked the weather two days before, the forecast was rain. Therefore, we decided to move our boat trip forward and cancelled the boat that we initially booked via Capri Relax Boats. From what I have learned, it is better to book a boat tour at the beginning of your holiday week so that you have more opportunity to reschedule just in case the tour gets cancelled due to bad weather.  We booked a last minute boat tour with Positano boats . The owner, Francesca was