Ah Europe. I miss the days I could book a flgiht/buy a train ticket just a couple of days in advance, hop on a plane (or train) on the Friday of that same week, and in 2-3 hours be in a COMPLETELY different city. As I study and scramble to keep head above the water with all the commitments and insane projects, tests, and deadlines I have in school, I find myself constantly reminiscing about the year that just passed. The time I was on my year abroad in London (read my tips on that here). It has only been only 3 and a half months since i've been back in Singapore, and already the memories from my exchange feel so distant.

Europe in a year. What a wonderful year it was.
From my internship in Paris to living for a whole year in London. I thought being away from home for a year would be too long, and that living in Europe for a year would give me sufficient time to explore the continent or learn more about the region, BUT I WAS WRONG. I could live here my whole life and still be fascinated - just like how after 21 years in Asia, I'm still as excited to go out and explore a different part of the region, and there is still SO MUCH I have yet to see!

Anyway, i thought i'd pay homage to my travels in Europe and come up with a list of 5 cities i'd love to revisit again.
I have been asked countless of times which are my favourite cities in Europe, and I never say just 1 city (the list goes on until I'm sort of telling my life story). So, are the 5 cities below, my favourite European cities (that i've travelled to/toured)? Maybe? But I can't say for sure. There were so many beautiful places I visited in Europe (Italy, Barcelona, Scandinavia - see what I mean about going on and on), and so many OTHER places I want to visit.
These 5 cities could be here because
a) I didn't spend enough time when in the city when I was there and had "unfinished business"  or
b) I want to experience everything all over again, or probably both. All I know is, I enjoyed myself in these 5 cities, and would steal ANY chance to go back!

O N E:  C O R N W A L L

With places like Cornwall, the pictures itself would make anyone want to go there. Seriously though. That gorgeous skies, the beautiful beaches and, cliffs and bluest of water. Everytime I read a cornish blogger's blog, I ask myself "why am I not living in Cornwall?!" Cornwall is so huge it doesnt really classify as one city. I've only been to west Cornwall, and even then I wouldn't mind going back. But i'd love to visit South Cornwall someday, heck maybe i'd jump on a plane, spend a couple of days in London, go to Cornwall and spend 2 weeks there. Someone please buy me an air ticket!
Cornwall is a place I will not hesitate to revisit if I get the chance to be back in the UK.

T W O:  B U D A P E S T

If you saw my post titled Not Enough Time in Budapest, you would have guessed this. Budapest is a city I want to revisit just because there is so much to do, and I didnt get to do all that I wanted to. Also, the Daunbe River is but the most gorgeous thing ever. Walking around the river and looking on to the Buda (or Pest) side of it is something I could do over and over and over again.

T H R E E:  I N T E R L A K E N

One of my biggest regret after my trip to Interlaken was that I did not get to go up the Swiss Alps.
Touristic or not, everyone has done it, and it has always been my dream to visit a mountain, experience what its like to see the snow caps of the alps. Learning about the mountains and rivers during geography lessons have only fuelled my appreciation and love for all things nature. Sadly, I didn't have that much time in Interlaken and it was rather pricy, somehow the situation led to me not being able to visit the Swiss alps.

I'll definitely have to visit Switzerland again someday - and Interlaken would be a stop in that itinerary!
To be honest though, one can never get enough of Switzerland. Its just incredibly beautiful! The landscapes are PHENOMENAL. Mountains, Greenery, rivers, the blue skies, it doesn't get any better than that!

F O U R:  B E R G EN

I don't know why but despite spending the most time in Bergen during my Scandinavian solo trip, but I still want to go back! Visit the neighbouring fjords - another spectacle that one can see over and over again - climb another mountain, I don't have specific reasons why I want to go back, except... I just do? It's a really lovely, chill, city, if it wasn't that cold (and expensive haha!), i'd totally live here!

I must say though, I wouldn't want to go back alone. I'd love it if I had company so that I can try out the different cafés and food options in Bergen!

F I V E:  A M S T E R D A M

Amsterdam...The first city I visited with Jerald, the first city I visited as a tourist, the city that made me fall in love with traveling in Europe! Amsterdam was so much fun, windmills, canals, autumn flowers, burgers, cheese markets, I would relive this experience again and again - I actually do, every time I see an image of Amsterdam's canals.
+ The people in Amsterdam are so nice and friendly, and they are EXTREMELY FLUENT in English - Yay to no language barrier.

Rotterdam is another Dutch city I'd love to visit someday, if I ever do, I'd not hesitate to stop by Amsterdam again!

One other country I loved that i'd want to visit again include CROATIA. Croatia is my ULTIMATE FAVOURITE European country. But I couldn't identify ONE city to revisit, plus, if I ever do go back, I would definitely want to see other parts of Croatia that i've never been to! The nature, clear blue waters, food and PRICE POINT is AMAZING in Croatia.
P.S. If you've never been to Croatia - just forget about the cities listen above and just go. Save up and go to Croatia! You wouldn't be disappointed!

Sadly, a return flight ticket to Europe would cost $1000 and my limited university student budget isn't going to cut it, so for now, it's more of exploring the neighbouring cities, seeing more of Asia learning the different cultures, visiting exotic places in South East Asia, and exploring the place I call home. Hopefully soon enough, I can make such a list for Asia!

Ah, selecting pictures for this post got me all nostalgic about my year abroad.
Explore, dream, discover indeed!

5 European Cities I'd LOVE to RE-VISIT!

29 October 2015 Europe

I from the bottom of my heart LOVE the city of Amsterdam. Amsterdam (in my opinion) is a city that represents freedom. I probably can't say I know the city well, but from a tourist point of view, I would MOST DEFINITELY want to go back again.

Thank you Amsterdam for the blue skies, strong winds, beautiful canals, perfectly lined boathouses, friendly genuine people, and the best weekend vacation I have had.

'Till we meet again.

Enjoying the Last Bits of Amsterdam

4 September 2014

One complain Jerald has about travelling with me is that "plan my food places". In my defense, I don't PLAN where to eat, I merely go online, do a little research and plot these food places on the map as OPTIONS. We usually don't end up going to the places I plot on the map anyway, but well, our food experiences in Amsterdam were pretty enjoyable!

After settling down in our AirBnB, it was roughly 10 pm when we decided to try our luck in the streets hoping there would be a restaurant or 2 still opened. And lucky for us, we found a small restaurant - Torino - serving fusion food nearby. It was a cute little restaurant, mostly older clients (who i would like to believe live in the area and are good friends with the restaurant owner - like we see in the movies), but the interior design was really amazing, considering it was not a renown restaurant. Lighting was pretty bad for photography, but Jerald and I got a soup, Orange sauce Chicken and Salmon + Mushroom Spaghetti tossed in olive oil. I was pretty 'meh' about my food, but Jerald loved his spaghetti. The Chicken in Orange sauce was not bad, it was just more of an acquired taste.

Alkmaar Cheese Market
It was nice to see the way the carried the cheese to the main area for sale. Those men lifted the cheese stacks up like they weighed nothing. I couldn't even lift one off the ground on my own (and I would like to think i'm quite strong!) 
They were selling Pancakes as well as fries (or what the dutch call Patets) at Vlaamse Friet. We got one each to try and they were not bad :) We had our fries with Curry Sauce but really, there were so many other options!

Bagels and Beans 
A breakfast chain around Amsterdam. Heard a couple of good reviews on tripadvisor, but didn't expect much because somehow franchised food shops sometimes do end up pretty mediocre. It could be that I was really hungry, or for the fact I down played my expectations, but this was GREAT. 
Jerald and I got a savoury BLT w hollandaise sause as well as a sweet Banana and Cinnamon bagel. We had a great time hiding out from the rain while waiting for the rest of the market vendors to fully set up their stalls. 

Other interesting food we found in the supermarket can be found below. And I cannot even begin to explain what they were. Didn't try any of them but I must say i've never seen such food in asia/ever in my life.

The 2nd evening in Amsterdam, we wanted to hit up some local dutch food stalls. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and we realised, just like france, many food places were closed. And those that were open were unfortunately full and we couldn't get it without a prior reservation.
After being rejected by 3 different dutch restaurants and walking up and down the same street 3 times, we settled for Indonesian Food. 
Read online that Indo food in Amsterdam is pretty decent, plus we get a little reminder of asia/home! :)
We ate at Kantjil & de Tijger. Once again, nice lighting and atmosphere for a dinner place, but not good for photo taking. Trust me, we had a pleasant meal!

De Carrousel - Not my favourite, but Jerald like his pancakes. That being said, I love how they had a huge carousel in the middle of the cafe!
Unfortunately, on the last day we were in Amsterdam, it got pretty rainy. Wanted to take away burgers from Lombardo's to Vondelpark for a picnic, instead, due to the limited space in the café, we stood at a corner under a shelter munching on our huge ass burgers and hiding out from the rain. 
BUT, the burgers were great and it was worth it. 

Places we wished we visited - Restaurant Café in the Waang
In the evening they light up candles all around the restaurant, doesnt it sound amazing? Unfortunately, its pretty expensive, and we were never in the area during dinner time (or rather always starving by the time we feel like having dinner we would rather not take another step). 

Food in Amsterdam - Part 3 of Amsterdam

2 September 2014

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