About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Ireland and Iceland - Back to Nature Tour

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..."

(Vatnajokull Glacier Lagoon, Iceland)

For the start of our travel in 2018 we picked two awesome countries to visit.

Hubby and I joined other frequent travellers for a 10-day tour of Ireland and Iceland. In South Ireland, we visited Dublin and Cliff of Moher in Liscannor. In North Ireland we visited Belfast and the Titanic Centre. In Iceland, beside Reykjavik City tour, we took the South Shore Tour and Golden Circle Tour to cover most of the amazing attractions in our Iceland bucket list.

Both Ireland and Iceland are not exactly known for being cheap destinations but they offer stunning scenery, off the beaten paths and hidden gems, quaint towns and friendly people. Given such a short duration, it was quite a challenge to visit all the exciting and interesting places listed in the packed itinerary but Alhamdillah we covered almost all.

Ireland & Iceland
(12 - 22 February 2018)

Day 01: KL-Abu Dhabi - Dublin
Day 10: Dublin - Abu Dhabi - KL

Will update my travel blog if time permits...

Sunday, 25 February 2018

South Ireland - Dublin City Tour

"Take the world nice and easy. And the world will take you the same..." - An Irish Proverb

(Stanta Wall of Dublin)

Day 01: 12 February 2018 (Monday)
Route: KL/Abu Dhabi

The group gathered in KLIA three hours before departure. The 7.35 pm Emirate flight EY411 to Abu Dhabi was on time.

Day 02: 13 February 2018 (Tuesday)
Route: Abu Dhabi/Dublin
Hotel: Westgrove Hotel, Clane

Performed our prayers before our 2.10 am flight EY045 to Dublin. Arrived at Dublin International Airport at 6:45 am. Met our local guide, Mr. James and Mr. Gavin, the driver. This was our second visit to Dublin. We were in Dublin in May 2017 during our 20-day tour of the United Kingdom where we took a ferry ride from Holyhead, Wales to Dublin, Ireland and enjoyed a full day tour of the city.

Dublin is the capital of and largest city in Ireland. Located in the province of Leinster on the east coast of Ireland, at the mouth of the River Liffey and bordered on the South by the Wicklow Mountains. We started the day with a bus tour around Dublin and later went for a walking tour and visited some highlights of  the city.

(Colorful buildings along River Liffey)
(James Joyce Bridge)
(Rory O'More Bridge)

We visited Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe. It was once a royal hunting ground. The official residence of the President of Ireland is situated in the park. Attractions within the Phoenix Park include Farmleigh House, a former home of the Guinnesses, Ashtown Castle and the Dublin Zoo. There is a Papal Cross which sits in the Phoenix Park. The huge cross is a permanent memorial to the September 1979 Papal visit to Ireland of John Paul II. The Wellington Monument is a granite obelisk in the Phoenix Park.

(The residence of the President)
(The Wellington Monument)
(The Papal Cross in the background)

The walking tour started with Dublin Castle, the seat of the United Kingdom government's administration, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of the castle dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland.

(The majestic Dublin Castle)
(The lay-out of Dublin Castle)
(The entrance to the exhibition hall)
(The Castle Clock Tower)

Set high in the walls of some newly constructed public housing on the corner of Bride St. and Golden Lane are eight terracotta plaques depicting scenes of A Voyage to Lilliput of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. Jonathan Swift was dean of the nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral.

(Terracotta Plaque of Gulliver's travel)
(Jonathan Swift's Voyage to Lilliput)

Christ Church Cathedral or, more formally, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the elder of the capital city's two medieval cathedrals, the other being St Patrick's Cathedral.

(Christ Church Cathedral)
(Also known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity)
(A glimpse of St. Patrick Cathedral)

Trinity College
is recognised for academic excellence and a transformative student experience. The historic campus is located in the heart of Dublin city centre at the meeting place of the retail and cultural districts.

Trinity College houses the famous Book of Kells and the Long Room, an exceptionally gorgeous library. It was great to stroll in the campus and see the students go about their daily routine.

(Visiting the Trinity College)
(Roaming the ground of Trinity)
(The Bell Tower at College Green)
(The Library and the famous Book of Kells)

Today’s lunch was at Al-Khair Pakistani Restaurant next to the Dublin Mosque and the Islamic Foundation of Ireland. Dublin Mosque was formerly a Presbyterian Church constructed in the 1860s in the style of a 13th-century English church. In 1983 the building on the South Circular Road was bought by the Islamic Foundation of Ireland and converted into a mosque.

(Al-Khair Restaurant)
(The Dublin Mosque)
(A small but cozy eatery)
(A long queue, waiting for our orders)
(Delicious Chicken Bryani, worth the long wait)

We performed our prayers at the mosque before we travelled back to the city centre for a shopping spree at Nassau Street. While strolling the streets of Dublin we came across an interesting mural, the Setanta Wall.

(Strolling along Grafton Street)
(A street busker showing off his talent)

The Setanta Wall
is a mosaic wall just off Nassau Street by Belfast artist Desmond Kinney. It represents parts of the story of the ancient Irish mythological epic Táin Bó Cuailnge and the life of its hero, known as Cúchulainn. This wall is one of Ireland’s most fascinating art found outside of galleries, scattered through its city streets.

(A beautiful modern artwork)
(A great mythological epic)
(Strong colours and reliefs)

After a tiring day in the city, we travelled about 40 km and overnight at Westgrove Hotel in Clane.

South Ireland - Liscannor Cliffs of Moher...

"Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important and you'll capture it perfectly..."

(The Cliffs of Moher in the background)

Day 03: 14 February 2018 (Wednesday)
Route: Dublin/Liscanor – Cliffs of Moher /Dublin
Hotel: Westgrove Hotel, Clane

Westgrove Hotel is a modern and elegant 4-star hotel nestles in the County Kildare village of Clane about 35 km from the capital city of Dublin. It is easily accessible to all local Kildare amenities and Kildare Shopping Village Outlet.

(The Westgrove Hotel, Clane)
(Early breakfast at Assagio Italian Restaurant)
(The hotel library with books on loan)
(The Piano Lounge on the First Floor)
(The lounge and waiting area)
(A table set-up for a wedding at the Banquet Hall)
(At the lobby)

This morning we travelled by bus to Liscannor, 278 km from Dublin. Had lunch of Fish and Chips at Liscannor Cliff of Moher Hotel and performed our prayers in the hotel before we visited the Cliffs of Moher. The weather was sunny but windy.

(A long journey to the South West coast)
(The coastal village of Liscannor)
(The remains of Liscannor Castle)
(Blue water of Liscannor Bay)
(The Cliffs of Moher Hotel and Restaurant)
(A heater to warm the dining room)
(Keeping warm, feeling ravenous)
(Fish and chips, wonderfully sumptuous)
(Chocolate Lava cake for dessert)
(Ready for onward journey to the cliffs)

The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare. They run for about 14 km, rising 120 m above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and, eight km to the north, reaching their maximum height of 214 m just north of O'Brien's Tower, a round stone tower near the midpoint of the cliffs, built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, then sinking again.

(The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre)
(Exhibition hall, cafe and souvenir shop)
(The Cliffs of Moher)
(The cliffs and the sun on our backs)
(A good view of the cliffs from here)
(O' Briens's Tower in the background)
(A long walk to the tower)
(We have the tower to ourselves)
(A panoramic view from the top of the tower)
(The other side of the cliffs)
(The view from the top)

From the cliffs, and from atop the tower, visitors can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway, and Loop Head to the south. The cliffs rank amongst the most visited tourist sites in Ireland.

(An unforgetable experience)
(Walk with care along the coastal path)
(The end of our Cliffs tour)

(Leaving the cliffs and back to Clane)

We overnight again in Westgrove Hotel in Clane.