Posted by: Sengs | June 20, 2010

Boo-Kah-Rest Part Deux

woke up bright and early next morning for the road trip out of Bucharest to Brasov, a small but pretty town that housed the dracula castle

some house along e way

kids looking at us = us looking at angmohs back home

used to be the royal palace

hollywood imitation?

the church whose walls were riddled with bullets

carlsberg-y tagline?

approaching the castle (which had like, one roomful of
Dracula’s stuff, thats all =.=)

the beer hall where we had dinner. Got performance
sumore!

Posted by: Sengs | June 9, 2010

Boo-Kah-Res – Parto Uno

so, arrived in Bucharest, the capital of Romania after an overnight train. The border check was super freaky i tell you! Firstly, it was 330am at night, and both of us were asleep, suddenly, the guard just knocked loudly, and proceeded to unlock the door from outside (he had the keys) without even waiting for an answer. Then, a bright torchlight was shone into our faces, and groggily, we got up, to be greeted with a outstretched arm and not-too-enthusiastic “PASSPOOORT”. Of cos we “guai-guai” handed them over. I was actually considering a joke in my mind, but i think wisdom prevailed – or else my trip might have ended there and then (with a free 2 night stay at the Romanian Hilton). But in any case, something like that (in italics) went through my mind:

Guard: Where are you going!

Me: Bucharest (what do you think??? You are holding onto my ticket to Bucharest and you are a Romanian guard aren’t you? No no wait, i was hoping this train sort of could actually go all the way to USA and drop me off in NYC)

Guard: Why are you going there?

Me: oh, holidays, touring! (DUHHH!! Im actually a secret agent trying to smuggle firearms across your border and attempt espionage – oh, and if i do see Ionescu somewhere there, i would ship his butt back to Singapore too – that hit and run idiot)

Guard: How long are you staying in Romania?

Me: just a few days (well that’s not really your problem isn’t it! Oh, i might want to stay forever and not go home if i enjoy it too much)

And, after questioning our need for visas (don’t need visas for Europe ok! Singapore boleh!), and intercomm-ing with their office to confirm our visa statuses, they took our passports and disappeared somewhere, and just mumbled something about returning in 5min. Walao, if they didn’t return with our passports, we would be done for man. Thankfully, they returned with our stamped passports and left us be. Nonetheless, not a very warm welcome into Romania i say.

Romanian govt, if you happen to google this, please teach your border guards some courtesy and respect for tourists ok?

Anyway, arrived at Bucharest after another 3 hours or so on the train. It was 6am thereabouts.

O-o #1: A lady ordered a pint of draft beer at a foot outlet (at 6am!)

O-o #2: Wound up at KFC for brekkie, and observed that we were the only ones ordering from their breakfast menu – the rest were eating their 2pc chicken and fries (6am!)

Mic Dejun: essentially breakfast wrap lar. We call it the angmoh
prata with egg, tomatoes and one sausage.

stoned

After breakfast, dove into another mini adventure. So apparently, after much trouble (like almost 45min of figuring out directions, taking bus and walking around), we made our way to our hostel. Upon arriving at the correct address, we found out from someone who stays near there that the hostel was no longer there. WTH!!! So who did we book our hostel with?

Double checking our directions, we realized that we had 2 different addresses (one from hostelworld and one from their website – we were at the address listed on the website). With much grumbling and complaining – we were lugging our luggages around public transports – no rip off cabs thank you very much, we made our way back to the central train station and finally, we got to the correct place.

Speaking to the owner, we found out that the hostel was actually a joint venture between a friend and him some years back. However, they fell out, and the other guy left the country and went back to Germany (both of them are Germans). The problem was that the guy who left was the webmaster for the website, and since then, the hostel has moved but the current owner has no way to make amendments on their website, and thats why the wrong info’s still available – we were not the only ones encountering it.

After settling down and taking a much needed rest, we went out to change our money and went for lunch.

some Romanian traditional dish for lunch

the Romanian main concert hall i think

Did nothing much other than walk around on the first day. Retired early for the night cos we were going to head out of town the next day to DRACULA’S CASTLE muahahahaa….

Honestly speaking, there was really nothing much in Bucharest. The layout of the streets, the temperature, air, buildings, kinda reminded us of Thailand. I could have taken more photos without the locals and told you it was Bangkok, and you would have believed it. Really!

Bucharest – Thailand of Europe.

Posted by: Sengs | June 2, 2010

Sofia, so far…. Day 3

went walking around…. exploring the city proper

this is their erm, opera house or concert hall i think

Alexander Nevski church – symbol of Sofia

just had to do it

attempt at artistry

Chua Chu Kang

some house. or church. or building.

Sofia cuisine – roast pork with caramelised apple on blueberry sauce
with roasted peppers. Pretty good!

pork and chicken on some naan thingy. Pretty good as well
but really salty!

Nevski church @ night

overnight train to bucharest


Next stop: Bucharest!

Posted by: Sengs | May 27, 2010

Sofia, so far…. Day 2

went out for the 2nd day trip, to visit the Vitosha Mountains
took their public tram. People looked at us all the way man
Must be damn hamsum or something =x

supposed to look for this bus, but apparently,
1) the receptionist at the hostel gave wrong directions
2) they moved the bus service away to another stop
3) and it was not that near to the tram station

haolan-ed (lost)

thankfully, some kind auntie helped us out a lot, and spoke to the
bus lady, who spoke no english, and sent us on our way on the right bus
which was even better – taking us to the top of the mountain
(originally, we would have gotten to the mid point, and had to take a cable
car up)

we met this lady (the only other person) in the bus, and she was
going on a hike down the mountain, and asked if we wanted to join
very very friendly and helpful. And because we had nothing to do
we agreed to the impromptu hike (luckily i was wearing boots)

picked up some stick from the forest

and i thought i only had to trek through mud in NS…..

near the bottom

mission accomplished!

went for some authentic bulgarian cuisine after that, was not bad, but wasn’t anything to shout about… just grilled meats, potatoes etc….

-end of day 2-

Posted by: Sengs | May 23, 2010

Sofia, so far…. (Day 1)

Day 1 (2nd day actually – first night checked in an KOed):

Took their day tour to the Rila Monastery and some cave.

on the way there (approx 2 hr drive)

arrived at some park leading up to a small cave first,
before heading to the monastery

climbing climbing

came to this small cave and was supposed
to climb thru. Folklore has it that only the
pure in heart are able to go thru it. I think
it was more like only the non-severely obese people can

really tiny…

…but i made it! Hooray to cardio and healthy eating

came out and had lunch at a nearby restaurant. Prices here
are ok. Singapore prices. Bulgarian Lev and SGD is almost equal.
This is apparently a bulgarian traditional salad. Shopska Salata.
Pretty yummy. Shredded cheese on top, melts in mouth

Rila Monastery

another shot

thought the monastery corridor looked
pretty good from this angle (and it’s still a functioning
monastery btw)

had some bulgarian donuts before going back
to the hostel for the night. ahh the greasy chocolatey goodness

headed back to the hostel, had the free dinner provided by our hostel (though it was some really dry pasta), before streaming the champions lge final on my laptop. Inter was always going to win la. Jose is just too good.

– end of day 1 –

Posted by: Sengs | May 21, 2010

Greetings from Sofia!

Haven’t took many pics yet, as i arrived pretty late. But will update soon!

Got stuck at the airport for a while. I think they have never seen a Singaporean enter Bulgaria before… lol. Scrutinised everything. In the end, i had to take out my driving licence, student card, irish immigration card before they finally chopped my passport and let me in.

Well I have reservations about traveling in eastern eu. Looks dodgy to be honest. But at the same time i’m excited to be taking the road less traveled. I’ll be more careful and alert.

See you guys back home in a bit!

Posted by: Sengs | May 19, 2010

Wales

elllo stockholm! wales and liverpool. Supposed to have gone to Stockholm but thanks to Mr Eyeinfnwjdqndjqwbdwkenwldijwdwhbefwkjndfwkej, our plane was disrupted (Lisbon trip also! stupid volcano!)

So, in a last min eureka moment, I jioed Ulric to go to Wales instead. We would take the ferry from Dublin port to Holyhead in Wales (a 3 hr, very crowded journey). Accommodation was booked at the very last minute too.

Dublin Port

Going into the ferry (it looks more like a cruise ship!)

on the deck

found a really chill place at some corner of the ship
plugged in my laptop and football mngr all the way!
I must say that ferry is a really comfy way to travel, though it takes a while

Better than shittyryanair. Hear that, O Leary?

We had this verbal agreement with the owner of this B&B for a night’s stay
And after we arrived, the owner REFUSED to even open the door to us. Walao
we had to spend the night at the ferry terminal. Idiot. If you ever go to Wales,
avoid “The Haven” (what irony)

walked around the town centre when first light hit, and came to this church

deserted street lol

We walked into this internet cafe, where the owner was kind enough to allow us to use the internet for free even though the shop hadn’t opened for the day yet. Looking through the internet, we found a place to stay for the night yay! but we could only check in in the afternoon, so we went to McD for brekkie first – but what i really could do with was a hot shower + bed.

gone

after brekkie, we took a taxi to our BnB at a countryside. By far, the best budget accommodation
i have stayed in. And with a view to boot. I was telling Ulric: “right place, wrong person la”
Our room was in the attic

and oh, did i mention that they had absolutely the best hostel/BnB toilet ever? it was so clean and dry, and there’s someone to clean up everytime after a person goes in to shower, so that it is clean and dry for the next person. How cool was that!

totally KOed (i know we arent supposed to sleep on travels,
but the non sleeping night was too much, had to KO for 3 hrs

after napping, woke up, took their bikes
and went to explore the Holyhead countryside

one of the views

cycled to this beach

ice cream! ^^ (i just realised that i look damn unglam here =x)

thats me!

cycled back to the BnB

playing around with the camera

Had dinner, and crashed early for the night… too stoned. Made a decision to head to liverpool next day, instead of Cardiff, because it was much nearer.

Posted by: Sengs | April 12, 2010

On Exam Hiatus

till end 2nd week May!

(might blog some random mindless entries if im bored revising)

Posted by: Sengs | April 7, 2010

P.S…

I guess by now you guys have seen that i seem to be wearing the same thing in all my shots…. a disclaimer. That’s just the jacket ok. It’s freezing! I do wash & change the stuff i wear inside.

Just in case 😉

Posted by: Sengs | April 7, 2010

Kilkenny

2 days after arriving back in Dublin, went on a day trip to Kilkenny, a small town 2 hrs drive from Dublin (had to make use of my term break right….). Rented a car for the trip

In some pub having lunch

Kilkenny Castle. It was pouring!

Another view

in the grounds of Rothe House

;p

some church

outside the black abbey church or something like that – supposedly
most famous church in kilkenny

inside the church

All in all, Kilkenny town center in itself  didn’t have much to shout about. Quite disappointing actually, maybe the main attractions are out of town. We drove to some cave but it was closed.

Or maybe I was just spoiled by USA haha.

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