[ROME] PIAZZA NAVONA

Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651), topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought to Rome in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius. Still pretty much awed by the beauty that lay in ruins all over Rome, scattered amongst the masterpieces that bring in the bulk of the country’s capital in tourism. This is Piazza Navona as seen through our eyes and captured with devices that will never bring out its maximum aesthetic capacity.
20140727-154028-56428199.jpg

20140727-154029-56429955.jpg

20140727-154033-56433678.jpg

20140727-154032-56432662.jpg

20140727-154029-56429017.jpg

20140727-154031-56431806.jpg

20140727-154026-56426527.jpg

20140727-154027-56427373.jpg

20140727-154030-56430868.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 014: CHEONGYECHEON STREAM 청계천

For serenity and peace in Seoul’s busy boulevard, Cheongyecheon’s mini waterfalls, crystal clear stream and quiet walking lanes is where I found clarity for my thoughts.

20140409-152053.jpg

20140409-152110.jpg

Honestly this 8.4 km / 5.2 miles long stream wasn’t as grand as what I had in mind, but still a picturesque sight in the city! Many couples were seen holding hands, strolling leisurely as if they had multitudes of time.

Cheonggyecheon Stream is near to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, Sejong Center, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, and Insadong street (where I had walked from!) It’s also close to major shopping malls like Lotte Department Store.

20140409-152102.jpg

20140409-152117.jpg

20140409-152135.jpg

20140409-152124.jpg

20140409-152145.jpg

20140409-152154.jpg

20140409-152214.jpg

20140409-152223.jpg

20140409-152239.jpg

20140409-152254.jpg

20140409-152306.jpg

20140409-152315.jpg

20140409-152324.jpg

20140409-152341.jpg

 

20140409-152231.jpg

20140409-152349.jpg

Hi there o(*゚▽゚*)o 20140409-152358.jpg

 

Not much wildlife here – I wasn’t the only one snapping pictures of this lonely duck.20140409-152406.jpg

20140409-152415.jpg

20140409-152716.jpg

 

In such a busy business and shopping district, a leisure strolling canal holds a hell lot of appeal. Especially since it’s the best place to go before or after a shopping spree.

20140409-152725.jpg

CHEONGYECHEON STREAM 청계천
110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 태평로1가 ~성동구 신답철교


Accessible from
– City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3-ga, Jongno 5-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseol-dong (Seoul Subway Line 1) – City Hall, Euljiro 1-ga, Euljiro 3-ga, Euljiro 4-ga, Sindang, Sangwangsimni (Seoul Subway Line 2)
– Jongno 3-ga (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 and 5)
– Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (Seoul Subway Line 4)
– Gwanghwamun (Seoul Subway Line 5)

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 010: HAN RIVER 한강

Mission Crossing the Hannam Bridge 한남대교 Accomplished!
With this incredible view of Seoul’s Han River before me, the feeling is indescribable.

P1000884

P1000886

Basically, I walked from Hannamdong (Itaewon district) to the other end of Hannam Bridge, which connects to Sinsa-Dong and Gangnam-Gu.

20140405-114048.jpg

20140405-114055.jpg

20140405-114100.jpg

The closer I got to the bridge’s midsection, the wind got crazy. I swear it’s entirely possible (though I’m not physically small or light) I could have been swept into the sea.

Physical evidence 1: Wind in my hair – just a little bit.20140405-114111.jpg

Evidence 2: Had to close my eyes.20140405-114129.jpg

Evidence 3: Can’t control my hair anymore.20140405-114136.jpg

And now, IT’S ALIVE20140405-114144.jpg

An attempt at a semi-proper smile.20140405-114150.jpg

At this point, my face is beyond recognition from all that hair-whipping. Plus my scarf was threatening to strangle me from all angles.20140405-114202.jpg

20140405-114208.jpg

But truth be told, the view was spectacular. 20140405-114213.jpg

20140405-114221.jpg

20140405-114228.jpg

I spent close to an hour just walking across the bridge (with the rush of cars just alongside on the traffic lane). The pedestrian lane was uninhabited by anyone else besides me.P1000887

How could anyone walk past this scene and not stop to simply stare? Captivated my heart and soul.P1000890

P1000892

P1000894

A total of 27 bridges cross the Han River in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon. This is not a joke – I really want to walk across all 27 of them! By default of travelling via Airport Railway, I’ve already cross Gimpo Bridge and Gayang Bridge, so that makes 3 already.

2015 #bucketlist ? ^^

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

20140405-121040.jpg

20140405-121047.jpg

The Love Lockdown

Eiserner Steg Frankfurt Love Bridge

Eiserner Steg Frankfurt

Eiserner Steg Frankfurt 2

Couples lock down their vows over the Eiserner Steg in Germany, which stands proud over River Main linking Frankfurt’s city centre to the district of Sachsenhausen. Another lover’s bridge marked with everlasting passion symbolized by the act of locking with a sense of resilient security and firm, unyielding permanence. The irony of these very metal locks surviving way past expiry of its owners’ heartfelt promises, we may never know.

Eiserner Steg 1

Once you look beyond the riveted steel truss, everything else can be forgotten. The scene of River Main from the centre of the bridge took my heart and mind away, just for a little while.

Eiserner Steg 2

Eiserner Steg Frankfurt 4

Eiserner Steg Frankfurt 5

Eiserner Steg
Mainkai, 60311 Frankfurt,
Germany

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Harbouring Intentions

Sydney Harbour Bridge Landscape

Sydney Harbour Bridge Bloggers

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Strangers of all levels are friends you’ve never met. At the idea of meeting new people I used to panic and worry about letting them come into my life, and for the past year, despite abundances of travel buddies, there are times I’d choose to explore new places alone. However I’ve come to be a bit less anal and picky of friendships. Fleeting memories with anybody are accumulative. I hold true to viewing life as much too short to make enemies, or to foul up your heart with plotting to manipulate or deceive. Be it in the workplace or out in the streets, surrendering your truest intents clears your path toward disarming the most guarded strangers. In short, hold up those white flags and declare yourself harmless. Lately, I’ve been surprised by amazing things that have happened to me.

Sydney Harbour on a Monday morning: the paths boomed with street artists, food vendors, school-kids on excursions, friendly Australians and camera-bearing, furiously-snapping tourists. City-hopping – the nomad meets metropolitan – has come to be my favourite past-time. We caught a bus from our hotel at Hilton George Street to Opera Quays, and enjoyed a long walk to Opera House, the bridge, and back. From the Circular Quays we boarded a ferry to Dahling Harbour, where the Maritime Museum was booming with people climbing aboard a war-time naval ship. Despite the really short stay in Sydney, we caught the city bug. I love the vibrance, the pulsating energy, the drive that makes people wanna come back.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Sydney Harbour Bridge So Blue

[THAILAND] oo3.Scuba-Diving: Underwater Koh Samet

Upon leaping off the speedboat, we dived approximately 15m underwater off the shores of Koh Samet. Watch our dear friend Ice (also the videographer) prod and poke at our video superstar. In actual fact, this scaly friend is our scuba-diving instructor’s personal trained pet – it does tricks upon being rewarded in food and kind.

[THAILAND] oo2.Island Lovin’

Headed for Thailand’s Koh Samui with my favourite travel pals in exactly 3 days’!! ❤
So stoked about scuba-diving, and living the island life in my friends’ resort. Also can’t wait to start partying at the local hotspots on Chaweng Beach.

Koh Samet Thailand

On our last trip to Koh Samet, another offshore party island in the Gulf of Thailand, we spent our afternoons snorkelling, swimming, speed-boating, tanning, scuba-diving, Thai-massaging, getting our asses bruised from bumpy rides on the island lorry and eating the freshest seafood the island has to offer.

Though we won’t be in time for Koh Samui’s famous full-moon parties, my local Thai friends insist that the island’s year round nightlife is insane. I’ll believe when I see it!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Travel-diary: Asians in Munich

Touched down on the third largest city in Germany, the host city of the 1972 Summer Olympics, with the cutest city motto: München mag dich, which literally means Munich loves you.

On the first day, we had lunch at Dachau Station, KZ-Gedenkstätte,
in which our Döner (kebab) came in colossal proportions!

 photo DSCN2621_zps50863817.jpg

 photo DSCN2617_zpsca9538c2.jpg

 photo DSCN2618_zps901d5c7d.jpg

Our stop where we touched down at Dachau, Germany’s longest running Jewish concentration camp.  photo DSCN2622_zps29146051.jpg

Heading back into the town center of Marienplatz is easy when you’ve got a Captain who’s very familiar with the topography.

 photo DSCN2836_zpsd48e9721.jpg
This fountain reminds me too much of Singapore’s USS!
 photo DSCN2837_zps544156d0.jpg
 photo DSCN2838_zps331c1cd9.jpg

 photo DSCN2840_zpsede1c8e4.jpg

Having my mandatory gelato…after a long walk at Dachau. An immensely refreshing treat for the summer. Am definitely coming back for my winter gelato brainfreeze.
 photo DSCN2841_zps9ed7be32.jpg
Have I ever mentioned that Nuts and Baileys is my new favourite gelato flavour?

Also bought myself fresh raspberries and strawberries for supper!
 photo DSCN2844_zps6dc523ea.jpg

As with all European cities, I find their architecture very fascinating.
 photo DSCN2843_zpsbd1edc9c.jpg

 photo DSCN2845_zps99c43f8c.jpg

 photo DSCN2846_zps810e6a81.jpg

 photo DSCN2847_zps6efe050c.jpg

This is the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in the heart of Marienplatz.
 photo DSCN2850_zpsb42c1910.jpg

 photo DSCN2852_zps1579ad90.jpg
Every day without fail at 11 a.m. (12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts stories from the 16th century to crowds of tourists and locals.
 photo DSCN2853_zps97cd3de3.jpg

 photo DSCN2854_zps6cec8eaf.jpg
Each story lasts 12-15 minutes, and at least 500 people were gathered in the square to watch the spectacle with us.
 photo DSCN2857_zps16488095.jpg

 photo DSCN2858_zps1f2ef54a.jpg

 photo DSCN2859_zpsb2eb2bcb.jpg

 photo DSCN2860_zps75a8d3e4.jpg

 photo DSCN2861_zps115844e0.jpg

 photo DSCN2862_zpsef09b861.jpg

Munichers are famous for PORK KNUCKLES and really, it’s truly a mouthwatering treat 🙂
 photo DSCN2863_zpsbf423df4.jpg
The more famous pork-knuckle makers in town
 photo DSCN2864_zps7cee77a2.jpg

Was accumulating photographs along the way, and I’m really surprised I managed to snap so many…
 photo DSCN2866_zpseca9d1f0.jpg

 photo DSCN2868_zps3e4f68a1.jpg

 photo DSCN2869_zpsd3b67eb9.jpg

 photo DSCN2870_zpsfab2da66.jpg

 photo DSCN2871_zps1474ab98.jpg

 photo DSCN2867_zps3b060982.jpg

Have no idea why the Caucasian men in this one became the main focus. Naughty camera.
 photo DSCN2872_zps5a452b25.jpg

 photo DSCN2873_zpse1fb690c.jpg

 photo DSCN2874_zps1bf7ecbb.jpg

 photo DSCN2875_zpsc638c2d7.jpg

This pretty much sums up our afternoon, lazy walks in the Munich summer heat, mindlessly appreciating the amazing architecture in the city.

Travel-diary: Naviglio grande Milano

Traveling is indeed a discovery of the self –
I’ve learnt that shopping is no fun when there’s so much sightseeing and exploration to do!
While everyone else was at Serravalle (designer outlet), I took to exploring on my own.
Armed with a fedora, and a city map and my batman suit, I was determined to find the famous Navigli in Milan!

photo (28)

But alas, I got lost a couple of times, during which I slipped into the nearest cafe, ordered up a shot and asked for directions. I just love Italian coffee.

This is Robert, who introduced himself as Robin and called me Batgirl.
He seemed amazed I was on foot, and proceeded to point me in the right walking direction.
 photo DSCN2401_zps284125d7.jpg
 photo DSCN2396_zps0fc82c95.jpgThis vintage bar and cafe is amazingly well-stocked and polished…with several Spanish film stills on the walls.
 photo DSCN2399_zps9b520c38.jpg
And thus I ordered the drink that I came to fall in love with: Caffe Shakerato!
This beau is a combination of fresh espresso with sugar and loads of ice, made to froth by vigorous bartender skills.
Was it just me or there was a tinge of Moscato in it?
 photo DSCN2402_zpsab0cc33d.jpg

After more than an hour’s walk across 3 train stations, Porta Ticinese was right in front of me!
The tremendous satisfaction of getting exactly where you wanted to go is amazing.
This, is Naviglio grande Milano!
 photo DSCN2427_zpsecde894d.jpg
 photo DSCN2429_zps933c6ed9.jpg
 photo DSCN2430_zps53dd4398.jpg
The Naviglio Grande was a canal dug to quicken city development projects via transportation of engineering essentials for the architecture that were to be built over the 12th/13th Century. In 1386, construction of the Duomo di Milano began, riding on the networks of water transportation.
 photo DSCN2431_zpsae851bc4.jpg
 photo DSCN2432_zps27f3d624.jpg
 photo DSCN2433_zps276c55c3.jpg
 photo DSCN2434_zps617f42d4.jpg
 photo DSCN2435_zps06004e80.jpg
 photo DSCN2436_zps93f06221.jpg
 photo DSCN2438_zps7cd1be79.jpg
Breathtaking, isn’t it?
 photo DSCN2439_zps0f6ed4b7.jpg
 photo DSCN2440_zps044ce2ab.jpg
 photo DSCN2451_zpsc1b4b0b9.jpg

Entered the Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio,
as well as every other Basilica encountered at Navigli.
 photo DSCN2441_zps3266f141.jpg
 photo DSCN2442_zpse3f6e2ad.jpg
 photo DSCN2443_zpsd2b4867e.jpg
 photo DSCN2444_zps50104e2b.jpg
 photo DSCN2447_zps9c1d0bf1.jpg
 photo DSCN2450_zpse52d661a.jpg
 photo DSCN2445_zps4b16bfc3.jpg
 photo DSCN2453_zpsa0df24e6.jpg

The view from the other side of the Basilica
 photo DSCN2452_zpsa1917934.jpg
And then I was hungry! Most shops along the route were evening pubs. Managed to find a bakery/pizzeria selling piping hot foccacia
 photo DSCN2454_zps1c7ccc88.jpg
 photo DSCN2455_zpsba432afa.jpg
 photo DSCN2456_zps88ed0bf4.jpg
 photo DSCN2457_zpsaa8a4e39.jpg
 photo DSCN2458_zps23a6d2b3.jpg
 photo DSCN2459_zps0715bb6e.jpg
 photo DSCN2463_zpsd48be6cb.jpg
Mine came with olives, turkey ham, lettuce, parmesan and Emmental cheese~
 photo DSCN2462_zpsa6988185.jpg
That revved me up for more walking.
There were actually passers-by who tried chatting me up, asking me where I was from yada yada, and these seemed to happen a lot in those narrow alleys that I had to cross.
One has got to man-up when exploring alone, to pretend that you know the place like the back of your hand.
 photo DSCN2465_zps57cfc6d3.jpg
 photo DSCN2467_zps5a54b104.jpg

These European two-seaters! Do people purchase these cars for the sole purpose of man-and-dog?
 photo DSCN2464_zpsccbc116a.jpg
 photo DSCN2468_zps44d2ec06.jpg
 photo DSCN2469_zpse69f040a.jpg
 photo DSCN2470_zpsc4f01651.jpg
 photo DSCN2471_zpsa432c37d.jpg
 photo DSCN2472_zps7ec2c336.jpg
 photo DSCN2473_zps3b66c9ec.jpg

Before I knew it, I was done with my lunch and had walked the entire north and south Navigli.
It was a lot like Venice, definitely less tourist-infested, and less of the pomp and grandeur that the canals in Venice came with. And also, summer meant that mosquitoes were breeding to their hearts’ content.

At the end of the Navigli trail, I thought hey, I’m definitely getting better at memorizing streets and navigating with maps 🙂

From Milan to Venice

Fresh off a 12-hour flight to Milan,
we hopped onto a three-hour railway tram into Venice.

 photo DSCN2130.jpg

 photo DSCN2114.jpg
 photo DSCN2104.jpg

 photo DSCN2115.jpg

 photo DSCN2110.jpg

 photo DSCN2111.jpg

Grabbed lunch at the train station
 photo DSCN2116.jpg

 photo DSCN2117.jpg

And off we go
 photo DSCN2121.jpg

 photo DSCN2123.jpg

Our stop: Santa Lucia
 photo DSCN2125.jpg

Buon Giornata, Venezia
 photo DSCN2131.jpg

 photo DSCN2133.jpg

 photo DSCN2136.jpg

 photo DSCN2139.jpg

 photo DSCN2135.jpg

 photo DSCN2140.jpg

 photo DSCN2141.jpg

 photo DSCN2142.jpg

 photo DSCN2144.jpg

One of their prime, very beautifully hand-crafted, tourist rip-offs
which are too elegant and gorgeous to look at to be of much practicality. photo DSCN2150.jpg

 photo DSCN2151.jpg

 photo DSCN2152.jpg

Big on Masquerades photo DSCN2154.jpg

 photo DSCN2153.jpg

 photo DSCN2155.jpg

 photo DSCN2156.jpg

 photo DSCN2157.jpg

 photo DSCN2158.jpg

Dinner at Trattoria
 photo DSCN2160.jpg

 photo DSCN2161.jpg

 photo DSCN2162.jpg

 photo DSCN2163.jpg

Mr Keith Chow, Milan buddy!
 photo DSCN2165.jpg

Yes just take my breath and heart away
 photo DSCN2178.jpg

 photo DSCN2179.jpg

 photo DSCN2180.jpg

 photo DSCN2181.jpg

 photo DSCN2182.jpg

 photo DSCN2183.jpg

At one of the many bridges over the canal
 photo DSCN2185.jpg

 photo DSCN2186.jpg

 photo DSCN2187.jpg

 photo DSCN2188.jpg

 photo DSCN2189.jpg

 photo DSCN2190.jpg

Italy – the start of my gelato frenzy
 photo DSCN2191.jpg
 photo DSCN2193.jpg

 photo DSCN2195.jpg

 photo DSCN2196.jpg

This is how they entice people to stay the night at their B&B
 photo DSCN2197.jpg

 photo DSCN2198.jpg

 photo DSCN2199.jpg

 photo DSCN2200.jpg

 photo DSCN2201.jpg

 photo DSCN2202.jpg

 photo DSCN2203.jpg

 photo DSCN2204.jpg

 photo DSCN2205.jpg

 photo DSCN2206.jpg

 photo DSCN2208.jpg

With Paolo Sarpi
 photo DSCN2210.jpg

 photo DSCN2211.jpg

 photo DSCN2212.jpg

 photo DSCN2213.jpg

 photo DSCN2214.jpg

 photo DSCN2216.jpg

 photo DSCN2217.jpg

 photo DSCN2218.jpg

 photo DSCN2219.jpg

 photo DSCN2220.jpg

 photo DSCN2221.jpg

 photo DSCN2222.jpg

 photo DSCN2223.jpg

 photo DSCN2224.jpg

 photo DSCN2225.jpg

GONDOLES – great way to spend a lazy afternoon drifting down the canals of Venice
but just beware of the speedboats
 photo DSCN2226.jpg
 photo DSCN2227.jpg

 photo DSCN2228.jpg

 photo DSCN2229.jpg

 photo DSCN2230.jpg

 photo DSCN2231.jpg

More Gondoles
 photo DSCN2232.jpg

 photo DSCN2233.jpg

 photo DSCN2234.jpg

 photo DSCN2235.jpg

 photo DSCN2236.jpg

 photo DSCN2237.jpg

 photo DSCN2238.jpg

 photo DSCN2239.jpg

 photo DSCN2240.jpg

 photo DSCN2241.jpg

 photo DSCN2243.jpg

 photo DSCN2242.jpg

Heading back to Milan at sunset…
 photo DSCN2248.jpg

 photo DSCN2249.jpg

 photo DSCN2254.jpg

 photo DSCN2255.jpg

 photo DSCN2256.jpg

 photo DSCN2260.jpg

I must have left my heart behind…

[THAILAND] oo1. ISLAND AND THE CITY (Bangkok – Ko Samet)

The minute our home-bound aircraft took off, I missed Bangkok already.
Even with my infected tummy hurting so badly from seafood poisoning,
the land of a thousand smiles can’t shake me off.
Thailand, I will be back!!

DSCN1000

The amount of insane things we did on this trip was kept to a minimal
We capped it at scuba-diving, really.
Continue reading “[THAILAND] oo1. ISLAND AND THE CITY (Bangkok – Ko Samet)”