Archive for May, 2009

May 31 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

An Oxbridge Day – Part II

(still under construction) I think this is it… no more additional info. Need to go on with other postings ;)

I’ve been just too lazy to continue blogging despite being home. The body is still aching all over, and sometimes I feel so weak. Should I impose a home-quarantine on myself, in case it’s H1N!? I read that one of the symptoms of H1N1 is feeling lethargic! Luckily I do not have the others, except maybe feeling a bit feverish yesterday.

Anyway, let’s forget H1N1, and continue with my blog.This blog is the continuation of the previous one on that day’s trip.

It was last Monday (25th May 2009). We had arrived from Malaga very late the night before, and we were scheduled to take the Air Asia X flight home very early the following morning. So, we had the whole of that day (Monday) to spare.

Just the night before, the plan of visiting the academic town of Cambridge and Oxford was not finalised. DH (the driver) was feeling exhausted of driving in Andalucia, so we might just spend the day loitering in London (which I was not keen of). Fortunately (or unfortunately – keep on reading), DH decided to rent a car.

So, at 11am, we were on the M11 highway, heading towards Cambridge. I managed to call Siti to arrange to meet her there.

(By the way, just the night before, I received a comment from my favourite cousin’s DIL, who is studying for her PhD in London! Before that, I only knew she’s somewhere in UK with her family, but didn’t know it’s London!).

Anyway, let’s continue with my Cambridge outing.We followed the road signs, and ended up parking the car at the car park behind (and connected to) the Grand Plaza.

Out of the car, we first (like what we normally do) headed towards the “ i ” (i.e. information centre) to look for a map.

We then tried to find the Emanuelle College, where John Harvard (the person who founded the famous Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts). According to DH, there is a simple plague on the college ground that says someting like “John Harvard studied here“.

No, this is not Emanuelle College, but one of the streets in Cambridge:

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The Cambridge University is celebrating their 800th anniversary, hence we saw a lot of this banner:

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(Oxford University  is older than Cambridge!)

We did a lot of walking, walking, and more walking, that one stage, my legs (which had not fully recovered from the extensive walks that we had in Spain) were aching badly. DH wanted to show me the River Cam with its bridges (hence Cambridge!) but he took us the long way :( .

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We came across the “Mathematical Bridge”. Being a mathematician (once) myself, I should be excited but I was in too much pain that I couldn’t be bothered anymore :( .

One of the bridges:

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I took a break to watch people punting. The punt operators are mostly Cambridge University students or others, who are well versed with the history of Cambridge ant its colleges. I didn’t go for the punting ride simply because I didn’t like to be in the boat with no life jackets. I know at most part of the river it was only about neck-deep, but there are other parts that look (by looking at the poles that went into the water) quite deep. Not to mention that the water was cold!

Eventually, and to my relief, we finished our final “round trip” walk and we ended up at the market place:

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I was too tired to even stand up, so I gave 10 quids (pounds) to Ayi  – I asked him to buy some cherries and strawberries. The cherries were a real disappointment, after having tasted fresh and sweet ones in Cordoba.

The strawberries on the other hand were sweeter and nicer than those we’ve tasted before. DH took a shot of this one:

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Some other pix:

Front view:

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Back (across the river) view:

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Soon we adjourned to a park near the bus terminal (the walk there was one of the dreaded ones not because of the distance but because my feet were just worn out!) to wait for my friend Siti. We finally met up at a nearby arcade. We had coffee at the Starbucks there (thank you, Bakh) before leaving Siti and hubby (Bakh) to enjoy their stay in Cambridge.(I found out later from Facebook that Siti and Bakh had a great time in Cambridge. They even went for a punting boat ride!).

We left Cambridge, to see its rival, Oxford.

By the time we arrived in Oxford, it was about 7pm, and most shops were already close. Luckily sunset was only at ~9.20pm, so it was still bright, though my mood was not good anymore.

Anyway, here are some of the pix taken in Oxford:

Soon after we parked the car:

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The list of twin/sister cities of Oxford’s:

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There are more pix at DH’s album (yet to be created!).

Looking at both Cambridge and Oxford on the same day, I think Oxford is more spacious (with wide side streets) but unfortunately it was less tidy – with litter here and there.

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May 29 2009

Posted by under Diary,Friends

Back To Reality..

After 2 weeks of being on the road, and visiting places, I’m back home now. The body is aching all over :( . No, I do not have fever nor cough, so H1N1 is out of the questiong! ;)

We touched down at LCCT Airport at 5.15am, and by 8.10am I was already in the office! I wanted to recover from jetlag ASAP, so I thought instead of resting (read: sleeping) at home I should just go to work. Furthermore, it was the last Wednesday of the month – monthly staff briefing time!

So, I survived the day. There were also a couple of meetings, but I have to admit that during the afternoon meeting/discussion, I dozed of a couple of time. Many times I was physically awake but my mind was floating somewhere else! I heard at one time my friend S saying “she’s jetlagged lah…”. :)

I was supposed to have a meeting with clients at 9.30am yesterday and guess what? I only woke off at 10.30am! What can I say? I sms-ed another colleague who was at that meeting and apologized. So the whole of yesterday I was “out of commission” – no work, no blogging, nothing!! Waking up at 10.30am doesn’t mean getting out of bed at that time!

I think I was “back to normal” only later in the afternoon.

Today I’ll be going back to office (where my Internet connection is very slow and unstable – via Maxis broadband). There are a lot of tasks to do, and this Sunday I AM working!!

I’ll continue to blog later tonight – IF I am up to it. I need to finish my blog of the recent trip. In the mean time, here’s a photo of me with my long time friend, Siti Haslina. The last time we saw each other was in 1979!

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We finally met up last Monday in Cambridge!

Argh… I need another holiday to recover from the recent one!

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May 26 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

An Oxbridge Day

Yesterday was our final outing day.

We rented a car at Stansted Airport, and at 11am we were heading towards Cambridge.

After a tour of the academic city (ON FOOT!) we met up with my old friend whom I’ve not met for a good 30 years!

When we left Cambridge, it was close to 5pm. We decided to head towards Oxford, and after zig-zagging through some English farm areas, and eventually decided to go back to the motorway (for faster drive) we arrived there just after 7pm.

We arrived back in the hotel at 11pm!

Now it’s 5.30am Tues, and at 6.30am we will go to Stansted Airport to return the car and catch our flight back to Kuala Lumpur, yeah!

We will arrive back in LCCT at 5am Wednesday morning, if everything goes well.

That’s all for now!

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May 24 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Greetings from Andalucia – V

Inside the Nazari Palace (14th-15th century) at Alhambra:
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May 24 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Greetings from Andalucia – IV

Along the highway from Cordoba to Granada.
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On the ring road bypassing Granada for Alhambra.
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Early morning queue at Alhambra – each day only 3,300 tickets can be sold.
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Our tickets!
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Pics at Generalife Gardens, where the Moorish Sultans of 14th-15th century relaxed and did their gardening.
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Islamic themes everywhere.
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The ‘waterfall stairway’.
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View of the Alhambra Red Fortress from Generalife Gardens, overlooking Granada old town.
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May 23 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Greetings From Andalucia – III

We arrived in Cordoba late yesterday and today we visited the Mezquita (Mosque). It was a mosque built on a church ground but eventually it was conquered by the Christians whom turned it into a church again.

I was so fascinated by the place, see exterior views, complete with Islamic motifs.
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DH and I spent over 1 hour inside Mezquita. We saw the original Mihrab:

In front of the mihrab.
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Close-up of mihrab
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Quran scripts above mihrab.
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Dome above mihrab area – note Quran scripts.
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I am not going to write much, so just enjoy the pix:

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Must have been a gorgeous mosque once.
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The Catholic mass area inside the Mezquita.
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At one point a British lady greeted me. She said being a Muslim I must feel sad to see the mosque being turned into a church. I answered back “Not really… “. I told her that’s history, and it’s too bad that the Muslims lost the war then. But being the conqueror, the Christians had every right to turn it into whatever they like. I’m actually grateful that they didn’t demolish the mosque structure and now the world acknowledges the beauty that the building has, including the architecture of the Muslims!

Come to think of it, the mosque was originally built  on top of an ancient church! And the Turks (Muslims) turned a church into a mosque! How would the Christians feel then? Tic for tac? While we are at it, now many abandoned churches in Great Britain  are turned into mosques.

We had a halal lunch at an Arabic restaurant – El Sultan Restaurant. Very nice setting but a bit cramp.
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Please read this interesting article: CLICK HERE

We are only going to Granada tomorrow. Wish us luck in getting the tickets to Al-Hambra there! we were told that the tickets can easily be sold out and tomorrow is Saturday!

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May 21 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Greetings From Andalucia – II

Sunflowers of Seville:

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Yesterday we spent some time getting lost in Seville. It’s an old city and big too! We went round and round the place until our feet ached like never before!

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A mosque turned into a cathedral.
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Right is original mosque minaret.
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Balcony at minaret, and statue of Mary.
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Even getting out of the city was very tricky.

Anyway, we spent the night just outside Seville.

We visited Merida, a town that has the most Roman ruins. It was blazzing hot, so I was frowning most of the time. I had not recovered from the long walk in Seville just the day before.

Here are some pix taken on the way to and in Merida:

Portugal border is closer than Merida.
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Nice Autovia.
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Ancient Roman bridge at Merida.
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Temple of Dion.
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Town Square.
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Later today we are going to Cordoba (where Mosque Cathedral is). Chances are we will have very limited Internet access (read: have to pay, and they are not cheap, even if it’s at 4 Euro (RM20?)  per hour. I’d rather spend the 4 euro on other things!). This morning  Internet access is free (but very slow and intermitten).

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May 20 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Greetings From Andalucia – I

Last Monday we arrived in Malaga (Andalucia) from Brussels.

We spent a night at a hostel in Cartajima, a “white village” near Ronda. It’s in the mountains of western Andalucia.

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Yesterday we had our first Spanish breakfast of “Chocolate y Churros” in downtown Ronda. The churros is very similar to “cakoi” that we normally buy back home (at pasar malam too), but here it’s dipped into thick chocolate sauce/drink – yummy!!

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After touring Ronda, we headed towards Gibraltar. Had a great (brief) time in Gibralta. I was happier there because I carry more British pound that Euros!

The Jabal Tariq (Gibraltar) in the background:

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In England?
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Last night we crossed the plains of wheat, maize and sunflower (but not flowering yet) to spend the night in Arcos de la Frontera.

Today we are heading towards Servilla. Will continue blogging from there later tonight if I can get Internet access.

Till then, my thoughts are with my family and friends back home. I miss tosai and nasi lemak. I also miss my lunch of ikan bakar with air asam at Kompleks PKNS!!

More pix later..

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May 18 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

Europe in a Few Hours!

OK, OK, we cheated. We didn’t visit Europe, but the Mini Europe instead.

The place is so small :( . I prefer Tobu World Square to this Mini Europe. I know Tobu has all the attractions of the world but even if we zoom into Europe alone, Tobu has better display. Tobu has Al-Hambra,London  Tower Bridge, Versailles and Vatican City, and Mini Europe doesn’t! The models in Tobu are better spread out, and there are very accurate scale models to go with the buildings. The model buildings in Tobu look more alive with these model people!.

(I visited Tobu World Square with my Indonesian friends, Yudi and Rarar while we were attending the 7-week e-Learning training in 2004 in CICC, Japan).

I can’t remember how much I paid for Tobu World Square, but today I paid E13.50 for the entrance into Mini Europe.

Pix, as usual, later…

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3 Comments »

May 18 2009

Posted by under Diary,Trips

What About Lillies?

More pix from the Keukebnhof visit last Wednesday. These are the lilies they were preparing for a display to be opened the following day! They claim that it’s the biggest Lily display in the world:

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