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…

Monday, 10 May 2004

Florence, Italy 2004 - Cradle of the Renaissance...

"In books I have travelled, not only to other worlds, but into my own..." - Anna Quindlen

(The Statue of David by Michelangelo)

A visit to Florence or Firenze is a must for any art lover. UNESCO estimates that 60% of the world’s most important artworks are in Italy, with over half of them located in Florence. Situated in the northwest of Italy, surrounded by the wine-growing hills of Chianti, the city attracts rapture and frustration in equal proportions. Few can dismiss the image of Brunelleschi’s cathedral dome bursting through the morning mist – a terracotta balloon hovering above the medieval rooftops.

(A day trip to Florence)
(A view of the city)
(The panoramic viewpoint)
(Terracotta-tiled Dome Cathedral)

Often called the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence owes much of her wealth to the Middle Ages. Banking became big business on the back of the city’s profitable wool trade and, in 1235, Florence minted the florin, the first gold coin to become standard currency across Europe. In their turn, these bankers commissioned some of the finest art and architecture in the city. The names Strozzi, Rucellai and Pitti can be found all over Florence but it was the Medici family – who led the city for over 300 years, off and on – that nurtured the greatest flowering of Renaissance art.

(Florence Cathedral)
(Masterpiece of the Renaissance)
(Intricate architeture)
(Many tourists visiting the cathedral)
(Santa Croce of Florence)

Then, as now, most of the action in Florence took place between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, the city’s civic heart. Here, in the historic centre, Dante – forefather of the Italian language – first glimpsed his muse, Beatrice. Here, the Florentine Republic rose and fell. And here, Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities blazed. Florence, for all her timeless charm, is no stranger to destruction. In 1944, all her bridges, save the Ponte Vecchio, were bombed by the Nazis, in an attempt to stall the advance of the allies. In 1966, the banks of the River Arno burst, flooding the city with her muddied waters and devastating homes and artwork.

(Lunch at a local restaurant)
(One of the many historical statues)
(Early morning rain in Florence)
(Opportunity for shopping)
(An apron for souvenir)

Saturday, 8 May 2004

Isle of Capri, Italy 2004 - Spirit of a sweet life...

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Boarding a ferry to the Isle of Capri)

A day tour around the isle of Capri, Campania, Italy. Home of the famous Blue Grotto and Mount Solaro. Visit many museums and archaeological sites on this beautiful island.Only 5 Km of sea separate the Capri Island from the Punta Campanella on the tip of Sorrento Peninsula.

(The island viewed from the ferry)

The simple road network runs along the main axis between Capri and Anacapri with few side roads and can only be traveled by local residents; the island has just been declared a pedestrian zone, especially as a means of protecting the countryside. On the other hand, the narrow streets that thread their way through the island's towns are hardly suitable for traffic. The automobiles of non-residents are only allowed on the island off-season.

(Cable car ride on the island)

Charming local towns, extraordinary hospitality as well as excellent, well laid-out tourist facilities open the islands beautiful to its many visitors from all over the world. Capri's popularity with international tourist is due in good part to its rediscovery by some of the world's most famous writers.

(Waiting for the transport at the hotel lobby)

In addiction to its historic, literary and scenic wonders, Capri can be boast of excellent beaches, making it one of the world's leading swimming and climatic resorts.Getting around in this very beautiful island is mainly done on bike of walking, which in the end it works out cheaper on transport.

(The boats in the Marina)

Song of the Sea

Timeless sea breezes,
sea-wind of the night:
you come for no one;
if someone should wake,
he must be prepared
how to survive you.

Timeless sea breezes,
that for aeons have
blown ancient rocks,
you are purest space
coming from afar...

Oh, how a fruit-bearing
fig tree feels your coming
high up in the moonlight.

Thursday, 6 May 2004

Pompeii, Italy 2004 - A forgotten city...

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world..." - Gustave Flaubert

(An archaeological finding)

A city slipped through time due to the violence of Mount Vesuvius smothering the buildings and its people in molten lava. A visit both amazing and disturbing in equal measure.In AD79, Vesuvius erupted and covered Pompeii with volcanic ash to a depth of about 10 m. Just when it looked as though things couldn't get any worse, Vesuvius exploded and sent a 100 mph avalanche of rock and hot gases hurtling towards Pompeii and other nearby towns. All those who had remained in Pompeii died. The event was recorded by Pliny the Younger, who saw the avalanche from his ship in the Bay of Naples.

(Temple of Apollo)
(Ancient Roman Temple)

Until Mount St. Helens erupted in 1981, everyone thought Pliny's account was fanciful, but his description of a black cloud hurtling towards Pompeii is now regarded as the first attempt to describe pyroclastic flow conditions. Most of Pompeii still remains hidden beneath the now farmed volcanic ash but those parts which have been excavated have revealed important information about Roman road building.

(A bronze statue in Pompeii)


Pompeii.
0 sad Pompeii!
0 dead Pompeii!
Silent are thy streets;
Heavy is thy winding sheet of ashes.
In the old time the sky was blue above thee.

Tuesday, 4 May 2004

Naples, Italy 2004 - Neapolitan way of life ...

"To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice..." - Elizabeth Gilbert

(The majestic Mount Vesuvius)

From the Neapolis founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C. to the city of today, Naples has retained the imprint of the successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This makes it a unique site, with a wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.

(Naples with Mt Vesuvius in the background)

As one of Europe’s most densely populated areas, Naples is a real working city, with the sight of ramshackle pastel houses with washing strung over the narrow roads more common than impressive palaces or monuments. However, Naples and its surrounding areas offer some amazing highlights for visitors. Pompeii or Herculaneum, former Roman resorts buried by Vesuvius in 79AD offer a unique insight into Roman life. Plus Naples is also the starting point for one of the most amazing coast lines in Europe. The journey South to Amalfi, along hair-pin bend twisting roads offers beautiful, if not hair-raising views, with imperial mountains dominated by Mount Vesuvius leading down to cliff side villages perilously perching over an azure sea dotted with brightly coloured pleasure boats and fishing vessels.

(Twisting hair-pin roads serving the city)

Naples may not have the wealth and splendour of more Northern cities, but its people make up for it with a wealth of high spirits, and the streets are always filled with their passionate voices - until the silent hours between midday and 2 pm when the whole town seems to take a much needed 40 winks out of the sunshine. Naples is the home of wafer thin pizzas with the classic Neapolitan topping of locally produced mozzarella, tomatoes, anchovies, garlic and basil. Southern Italians have one of the world’s most healthy diets, with locally harvested seafood, olive oil, wine and fresh green vegetables on every menu.

(A city tour hop-on hop-off bus)

Dejection near Naples
'
The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might,
The breath of the moist air is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds', the birds', the ocean floods',
The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.


(P B Shelley)

Saturday, 1 May 2004

Rome, Italy 2004 - Tales of Romulus and Ramus...

"The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts..."

(Romulus and Ramus)

Situated on the River Tiber, between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome (Roma) was once the administrative centre of the mighty Roman Empire, governing a vast region that stretched from Britain to Mesopotamia. Today, it remains the seat of the Italian government and home to numerous ministerial offices but is superseded by Milan, in the industrial north, for business and finance.

(One of the Ancient Wonders of the world)
(UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

Ruins dating from Rome’s glory days lie within an area known as Roma Antica (Ancient Rome) and include the monumental Colosseum and the Foro Romano (Roman Forum) – a crumbling legacy of pagan temples, broken marble and triumphal arches. Buildings from the Renaissance period are concentrated within the centro storico (historic centre), situated between Via del Corso and the Tevere (River Tiber). Here, a labyrinth of narrow, winding, cobbled side streets opens out onto magnificent piazzas presided over by Baroque churches, regal palaces and exquisite fountains.

(At the Colosseum)
(A street entertainer)

The romantic Piazza Navona with Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza di Spagna and the sweeping Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain immortalised by Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1959), all lie within walking distance of each other. Modern life continues amid this theatre of breathtaking monuments, as thousands of years of history are animated by more recent innovations – sophisticated boutiques, rowdy pizzerias and a merry-go-round of cars, buses and mopeds. Across the river, to the west, lies the Vatican State – home to the Pope and spiritual centre of the Roman Catholic Church. South of the Vatican, one finds the bohemian quarter of Trastevere, packed with trattorie and small wine bars. Further south still is the Testaccio district, renowned for nightclubs and live music.

(A poster at the Museum)
(A painting at the Museum)

I was in Rome in January 2003 and visited Venice, too...