Category Archives: Photo blogging

Family Cruise January 2013 – Voyager of the Seas


February 25, 2013 8:20 PM

harbour-bridge-ship

As you would have known I was on a 12-day cruise onboard Royal Carribean’s Voyager of the Seas. The ship is massive at 15 decks high and carries about 3000 passengers and 1000 crew.

voyager-of-the-seas

Here’s another pic showing tiny people next to the ship.

massive-ship-small-people

And I found myself constantly referring to these signs on the first few days.

floor-directory

The corridors and cabin sizes are what I’d expected – not small but not big either.

corridorcabin

The pools and spas are also what you’d expect. This is one end of the ship.

pool-and-spa

What’s really impressive though are the dining room …

carmen-dining-room

and the theatre where they showed 3D movies, musicals and singers, and a magician and a comedian.

theatre

This 3-storey high promenade with a Starbucks and two pubs, and four duty-free shops was also very nice.

royal-promenade-day

It was gonna be 12 days of a whole lot of eating, drinking and sleeping, and the occasional hop off of the ship. 🙂

Prague August 2012


November 27, 2012 9:12 PM

prague-subway-sign

You cannot take a bad photo in Prague. You just can’t. It’s made for tourists who are lousy photographers and an absolute joy for those who can appreciate the geometry, the symmetry, the narrow alleyways that surprises at every corner, the wide open public spaces and of course the stylised Gothic buildings.

lesser-town-tram

I didn’t plan on going to Prague during my two week trip to London – I would have been content to just explore London, but I’m so glad that Huishan suggested it because I really loved it. I’m more of an urban tourist so a city like Prague hits my sweet spot.

I love looking at the buildings.

boscolo-hotel

Everywhere.

wencelas-square-mall

We were really lucky that the weather was excellent on our three days there.

old-town-square

It made for awesome alfresco dining on the streets.

tyn-church-at-dusk

Or junk food and beer by a food stall.

prague-food-drinks-stall

One good tip that I learnt from Huishan on this trip was to use the TripAdvisor app – they have itemised walking tours and the map works without a data connection. The attractions within the city centre are all within walking distance but be prepared to do a lot of walking and wear comfortable shoes with good cushioning. The cobblestone streets can wreak havoc on your joints otherwise. It’s a good thing that Prague will reward you for your effort though.

charles-bridge

Besides the grand churches …

st-vitus-cathedral

st-nicholas-church

and monuments …

wencelas-square

you also get the aforementioned fancy alley ways …

prague-alley-3

and this quirky little thing called the Lennon Wall.

lennon-wall

lennon-wall-close

On our last day there, and again thanks to Huishan we visited a place called Kutna Hora which was about 2 hours outside of Prague by train.

kutna-hora-train-station

What did we go see? The Church of Bones, or more officially the Sedlec Ossuary. It was a little bit macabre and errie …

bones-bones-bones

but it was infinitely fascinating.

bone-shield

bone-cup

All up it was an awesome trip – thanks Huishan! What did I remembered most about Prague? The good looking people – Czech women, phwoar!

wencelas-square-people

And the oh-my-god-is-it-really-this-cheap beer! No more than $2 for a pint ANYWHERE.

two-dollar-beer

Too bad this place is all the way across the planet because it’s certainly a place I can go back again. :)

Notting Hill Carnival August 2012


October 23, 2012 9:15 PM

notting-hill-station

This was my first time to the Notting Hill area and the Carnival and it was bloody amazing! I went with Huishan and her friend Miriam and I love love loved it! My photos can’t quite capture the entire atmosphere – you are after all missing out on the smells of the food and the sounds of the music, so be sure to watch the short clip at the end of this post. :)

The Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of Afro-Carribean and West Indian culture held over two days and we went on the second day, which was a Monday. To get a sense of how big the Carnival is, one only needs to note the large presence of police everywhere (est. 7000). This is quite necessary as there’s at least one stabbing each year. There was one last year …

Notting Hill Carnival 2011 stabbing: Police hunt knife-wielding thug who fled | Mail Online.

and one this year …

BBC News – Notting Hill Carnival 2012: Man critical after stabbing.

notting-hill-cops

notting-hill-bobbies

Another good reason for the large number of cops? It’s a very posh area. I think the rich who pay their fair share of council rates and taxes probably expects this level of protection.

me-in-notting-hill

Some streets were even cordonned off – I guess this lot here pays the highest rates. Heheh.

cordoned-off-streets

We got there around 11:30am. At first we didn’t know which way we should go as the carnival area was quite large, but then we heard the booming bass from one of the carnival trucks so we headed towards it. That was our first glimpse of the massive crowd, and also of the carnival dancers.

parade-crowd

parade-crowd-3

We didn’t have to wait long for the street parade to start.

carnival-dancers-2

Though, this being England it started to rain a little. But that didn’t dampen the mood.

carnival-dancers-rain

Though this guy here looked a little miffed. Hahah!

sea-of-people

Generally everyone wore a smile.

dancers-tourist

smiling-float

smiling-guys

smiling-dancer

notting-hill-tourists

Even the police. Huishan had a photo taken with one of them. They were all really friendly.

notting-hill-police

We followed the massive crowd for a while before nicking off to some side streets where Huishan and Miriam bought some strong punch …

strong-rum-punch

And I bought a large can of lager. Happy days. And no I didn’t get Fosters. WTF were these people thinking??? :P

omg-fosters

Shortly after, we rejoined the crowd …

colourful-dancers

and headed towards the main road where the parade was passing through.

parade-puppets

carnival-float

The smiles were infectious and the music was infectious. Yup, it was a very joyful affair. :)

happy-dancer

funky-dancers

About 30-40 minutes later, we decided to get something to eat. Or rather, I smelt jerk chicken everywhere and I MUST HAVE IT.

yummo-jerk-chicken

To wash it down, there were no shortage of places selling beer.

liquor-store

I even bought one from these two dodgy guys pushing a shopping trolley full of it.

beer-trolley

Here’s proof. Hahahah!

me-buying-beer

Yup I had an awesome time. And to think when I bought my ticket to London, I didn’t specifically planned to be there for that weekend. That made it even more wonderful that I got to experience it. :)

free-shot-of-rum

Ok, here’s the clip (4:42) to give you even more of a feel of how the day was. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the awesome drum group.

Leeds August 2012


October 8, 2012 9:11 PM

kings-cross-station

On my fourth day after arriving in the UK, I caught a 2-hour train-ride from Kings Cross, London out to Leeds to catch up with Lynn Mei. She’s a long time friend from my high school days in KL (Form 1 and Form 2). I thought I hadn’t seen her for at least 10 years but after reminiscing over old stories, I realised that we did see each other just a few years back when we were both in KL at the same time which was a rarity.

pie-mash

This was my first meal there – diced steak pie with peas and mash, with a pint of lager. £5. Bargain. :)

leeds-king-edward-st

After lunch, Lynn Mei took me for a quick tour of the city. It’s v. pretty. I like it very much.

leeds-city-markets

These golden mailboxes were to commemorate the extraordinary success of London Olympic athletes who hail from Yorkshire, of which Leeds is a part of – 7 gold medals in total.

leeds-golden-mailboxes

I can’t remember which arcade is this. So nice though. I think we ducked through here to go to a bar that was hidden away in an alley.

arcade-walkthrough

And speaking of bars, after a quick stop at Lynn Mei’s apartment to drop off my bag we went off on our bar crawl. It started at around 4 or 5pm and in about 7 hours, and I think we covered 5 or 6 places. Lotsa drinks were consumed. Even if Lynn Mei didn’t touch any of it. She’s pregnant you see. I think she enjoys it vicariously. Heheh.

Me and Lynn's hubby, Chris

This is the drinking group of the night – me and a bunch of Yorkshiremen. :)

lynn-and-friends

Dinner was at a nice tapas place and after that, more drinks were consumed! One of the nicer places that Lynn brought us to was Friends of Ham. It was decked out like someone’s living room. It was really cool.

friends-of-ham

Another was 51% Bourdon – yeah, those are ALL different types of bourbon whiskey.

51%-bourdon

The last stop of the night was an intimate bar/lounge called Smokestack. It was very happening but too bad we were too tired and too boozed up to boogie. So we bought some kebabs and called it a night.

smokestack-bar

We needed the rest for the next day was gonna be Leeds Festival. woot. Before we headed out for a quick breakfast and a bus ride to the festival grounds, Lynn prepared bottles of liquor for those of us drinking and that we were going to bring to the camping grounds. She’s a real pro at it. Those bottles of water aren’t really. Heheh.

lynns-bootleg-booze

Lynn had a tent set up by one of her friend’s friend for the duration of the festival. The tent will be her resting station – she wasn’t going to actually camp. Although I’m gonna be there for day 1 of the festival only, Lynn’s gonna be attending the whole 3 days of it.

leeds-festival-tents

This being England, people were prepared for rain and the resultant soggy mud. Some of their wellies were pretty snazzy.

leeds-festival-people-2

The main stage was crazy packed.

main-stage-up-close

So some chose to hang back and brought their own chairs. Clever.

leeds-festival-main-stage

And there were also a few parents with their kids which I thought were very cool. This mum was sensible to give her daughter ear muffs. It did get really loud in some places.

baby-festival-goer

My three favourite discoveries of the day were 1. Yorkshire Pudding …

yorkshire-pudding-stand

which consisted of pulled pork and chips, smothered in grazy and mustard and all contained in a little pastry bowl. Good stuff.

yorkshire-pudding

2. Turbonegro, a Norwegian punk rock band.

turbonegro

and 3. Money to encourage people to pick up used cups and to bring them back for recycling/waste collection. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Some people have stacks of the cups. At 10p each, you can make quite a few quid.

good-idea-recycling

The day was finished off by a 2.5 hour set by The Foo Fighers …

dave-grohl-foo-fighters

and fireworks.

end-of-day1

We got home around midnight and we were all exhausted. The next day I would be catching the 12pm train back to London.

I arrived in Leeds at around 2pm on a Thursday and I headed back to London on a Saturday and I enjoyed every minute of it. Catching up with Lynn Mei after all these years was amazing enough but for her to show me such an awesome time there was pure joy. Thanks so much again Lynn Mei! :)

main-stage-people

My temporary hood in London


August 21, 2012 9:25 PM

I’m currently holidaying in London, and soon Leeds and Prague. As always when I go on holidays, I’m taking lots of photos. To start off the series of posts for this holiday, I thought I’d show you what it’s like near the place in London that I’m living at – the place that Huishan’s landlord has graciously let me stay for free.

The area is Clapham South and this is what it looks like on the streets near the house.

clapham-south-street-2

clapham-south-street

This is what the kitchen and meals area look like in the house. It’s very classically Victorian and I like it.

kitchen-meals

kitchen

This is the entrance to the local London Underground station.

clapham-south-tube-station

Most London Underground platforms look like this.

clapham-south-train-platform

This is the local Tesco (a supermarket chain).

clapham-south-tesco

And whilst grocery shopping there today, I realise that alcohol is half of the prices in Australia if you convert the GBP to Australian Dollar. Mind you, these imported beers did not have to travel far to get to the UK but I don’t think the difference should double the prices of what we pay in Australia.

tesco-beer

That is it for now. More photos to come. :)

U2 360 Tour, Subiaco Oval


December 19, 2010 11:46 AM

u2-360-stage

The stage looks close by in this photo but in actual fact, it isn’t. It only looks that way because the thing was freaking huge. This was 13.5 minutes befores Jay Z would come on stage.

jay-z

The closest we got to Jay Z. Pretty awesome for a warm-up act.

bono-adam-clayton

Bono and Adam Clayton on the big screen.

I wasn’t a U2 superfan but I’m glad that Sel convinced me to go. Now I can say that I’ve been to a U2 concert and I can see why people rave about them. The production was mega and it was super impressive.

Although, and it’s almost sacrilegious to say this but I enjoyed Jay Z’s music more. :P