Posted in travel

Pisa and Milan, Italy with my Lady Friend (Last Part)

So, Finally here’s the last part of my Italy trip blog. I have been looking forward to finishing my blog, its taking so much time since I’m back to work now. My life has never been this busy, but I’m loving it.

Pisa! here we go!. Who haven’t heard about the Leaning Tower of Pisa? I suppose if you love travelling then you surely know what and where it is. As for me knowing that the tower was on our bucket list for this trip, made me super excited to fly!. My plan was of course, to do the customary “save the tower from falling” phot op (who doesn’t do that?).

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tower looks so small 🙂

The Torre pendente di Pisa, world-widely known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa was unintentionally designed to tilt. The soft foundation on the other side of the tower made it tilt the way it looks now. It went though numbers of architects and engineers to save it from falling off. Not to mention it has also survived through the hard times/wars and natural disasters. I’m feeling lucky to finally say I am one of millions who was able to see this magnificient building.

From Sta. Maria Novella train station in Florence, we took the “normal” moving train to Pisa Central station. We thought there was no point of getting the fast moving train since we have the whole day for this trip and Pisa is not that far from Florence. We didn’t book our ticket in advance, we bought it right on the train station. You can pay either cash or card and getting ticket is not a problem at all. The train wasn’t slow as expected, it was better than that. You can even charge your phones and gadgets on board, my mobile internet connection was way too slow, I wasn’t able to use my internet until we got off the train.

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train we took to Pisa
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Pisa, Central Train Station

The train wasn’t busy on our way to Pisa, there was no ticketing staff on board either. All the tickets were validated beforehand. It was going well until a few stops later. Since there are stops where no tickets are required, a few gypsies kept coming in. For whatever reason, the train don’t have any security or staff on board. As soon as the gypsies started coming in, our worries started. These people started asking for money, and there were quiet a few of them, there were more gypsies on board than passengers I would say. To be honest, this made me want to jump out at any stops already. At one point, a guy came close to me and literally checked what was inside my bag!. Luckily all my friends were behind me looking at the guy straight in the eyes. Other passengers where quiet and looked at him as well. The guy walked away, as if knowing that all of us well give a good fight if he starts. There was no help expected from any staff, we didn’t see anybody going around the train for checking.

If you take the normal train, take extra care and be very cautious, I’m not saying that all trains are like this, I believe we were just unlucky that day. Coming back to Florence from Pisa was different, because the train was busy already and gypsies didn’t bother getting in at all. I think they know what time to distract and annoy passengers.

We arrived at Pisa Central about midday, and due to my pregnancy (again) I needed the toilet so badly. There was only one I could use, which was the Mcdonald’s, and whew!! believe me when I say, that was the most disgusting toilet I have ever been during this trip!. I won’t say it was the staff’s fault, because all they did was let people use the toilet for free. (that time anyways). I give the blame to other people who used the toilet!, customers, outsiders, tourist, ect. Because this toilet is the only one in the station people treated it like dump. It looked even worst than a dump, people didn’t care for the next users, no flushing and dirty seats like people were sitting like “FROGS” with super dirty feet!. Wet/flooded floors, scattered toilet rolls and bad smell welcomed me right at the door. If only I wasn’t desperate to empty my bladder, I wouldn’t have bothered! and yes! pregnant me had to sit like a “frog” as well. I might have annoyed an employee because I told one of them that the toilet was filthy. I hope there were more restaurant staff to control “pigs” using the toilet. Anyways, theres a toilet at the leaning tower of Pisa, clean and good for use, its right behind the tower and the church. So if you’re not desperate enough to use the, you can wait and use the one at the Leaning tower.

Other than that, we had to take a bus ride to the Leaning Tower site. The passenger bus is easy to find, its right outside the terminal, you will never miss it. There are quiet a lot of busses that go through historical and tourist areas in Pisa. Transport is easy and not a very long wait. Bus ticket can be purchased inside the train station, all day/family ticket is way cheaper than singles. Me and my friends bought the family ticket (6 of us).

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bus ride outside the train station to Leaning Tower of Pisa

I was actually expecting the tower to be outside the city, away from everything, but no, its right at the heart of Pisa!. With buildings, houses, restaurants  amongst others, this place is mobbed with both tourists and locals. The tower itself is a bellower, church on the other side and baptistery on the other. Being what it is for hundreds of years, having it at the centre of the city makes a lot of sense. Churches are always built right at the heart of any town/city, so the location says it all.

There were a few restaurants around here, again you’ll never go hungry as long as you got the money, and if the restaurant is not full. There are also plenty of souvenir shops you can choose from. I found the souvenir shops here cheaper than Florence. Here’s where I bought my souvenirs for everybody.

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rocking my 3 months pregnant belly in Pisa

 

 

People specially the tourist (including me) went gaga over the “save the tower from falling” photo pose. There were all of us trying to take photos at the same time as a matter of fact, funny! but who cares!, I wish I had a good one but….. never mind 😀 ~ Tip: don’t be shy, take the famous leaning tower pose, everybody does it! you should as well.

The trip went definitely well, we all enjoyed it, happy to finally see it in person. Me and my friends posted postcards in Pisa, but mine didn’t arrived to my grandmother, its okey though, better luck next time. I know some people still love receiving postcards! I’m one of them. We had a lovely meal here, pricey though (tourists price) but lovely and yummy. More and more gelato we had, Italy got me and my friends hooked with it.

Leaning Tower is definitely a must go!.

LAST DAY:

7 days wasn’t enough, Italy has so much to offer!, I would have loved to travel longer but, money was running out!. (I wish id win a lottery one day).

We all took the train to Milan Central Station for our going home day. Three of us were going back to UK already, the other 3 had their holiday extended, going to Lake Como and Lugano, in Swiss. I wish I still had time, but other than money running out, I was going back to work on the Monday.

Our flight was not until about 5 in the afternoon, and arriving in Milan at about noon time means we had a bit of spare time. We had a quick side trip to see some of Giorgio Armani’s birth city, rather than sit and wait at the airport. With our luggages on hand, off we went to see Duomo de Milano (Milan Cathedral). We passed by Giorgio Armani’s famous house turned hotel, he’s original shop and other places. It was nice to see the place where he humbly started building his now world renowned name. But seeing the Cathedral was our main point. It wasn’t that far from the Milan Central Station, I’m glad we took the risk going away there instead of going straight to the airport.

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Milan Cathedral

 

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Milan Central Station

After spending about 30 minutes at Milan Cathedral, we took a taxi back to Milan Central Station. From there we took a train to Malpensa Terminal 1 and 2. We got off at terminal 1, then a shuttle bus picked us up to Malpensa airport, the journey took about 20-30 minutes, and we just got on time to catch our flight back to the UK.

This trip was a good break for me, I do travel with my family more, but having a trip with my friends was something different. I would love doing this over and over again, different place at a time.

I am so looking forward for another ladies trip!, In fact we already have a plan for another one!. Cant wait! but for now….. work, work, work!!

I hope you enjoyed my travel blog… and until next time!

Have a good day all!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in travel

Florence, Italy with my Lady Friends (Part 2)

continuation…… (see part 1)

To avoid missing our train to Florence, we went early to Roma Termini station. I don’t know about the other travellers, but we had quiet not good nor bad experience (somewhere in between). The busy train station don’t have enough seats for waiting passengers, so we helped ourselves on the floor, or sit on our luggages. We had to have meal at a fast-food restaurant just to give ourselves a place to have a decent seat, even at that, we had to wait for other passengers to finish eating and leave their seats. Toilet is not an easy place to find and use as well. I was pregnant during that trip so toilet was my best friend!. I once ran in desperation to empty my bladder, but the lady outside the toilet asked for a receipt from a particular shop and restaurant.? Yup! you have to purchase something to be able to use the toilet for free, or pay £0.50cents. I had to ran back to the restaurant next to where the toilet was, to get my receipt!, and nope I didn’t bring my purse or wallet, because, why would I? I was just gonna empty my super full bladder!. My friends and I had to take turns, because we only had one receipt. But other than that, the train employees were friendly and helpful. So thats one positive side.

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Our train was on time. Finally we were able to sit properly. We took the fast train which left our ears popping the whole time 😅 but the journey was quick! so no complain at all!. Train was clean and non smoking so it was a smooth journey. When you are taking trains or buses, never forget to show your ticket to the train staff, and make sure to validate them before the ride. Train companies will charge you a whooping £50 euros at the least if you lost your ticket, it can be more than that depending upon the situation. So always take note of your ticket and keep it safe.

In a matter of an hour or so, we arrived in Santa Maria Novella station, Florence. At last the smell of Michelangelo and the Designer brand Gucci’s Birthplace! was in the air. Getting a taxi from there was not a problem, taxi rank is just outside the terminal. The apartment we rented was located at Via Ventisette Aprile (27 April), about 3-5 minutes taxi ride away. The owners didn’t speak English at all, they had to call someone to interpret, most of our conversation were done through gestures and mind reading, I guess. Some Italian words sounds Spanish, so that helped us understand each other for a bit. They were nice people, only they don’t speak English at all.

There were restaurants, pubs and mini shops outside the apartment we rented. Before you book an apartment make sure to read reviews online first. We already know that by night time, there will be noises coming from the streets, but it didn’t bother us, because we’ve read reviews already. Having a restaurant right downstairs was a good help, we feed our starving selves when we arrived. I found the Chinese restaurants cheaper in Florence than any other, so if you love Asian foods, you know where to go. But then again, when you’re in Italy you have to eat Italian foods, so go and get it.

After we got served with massive brunch we head our way out to explore Florence. I loved every corner we went through. The old city looks so pretty!. As we were getting close to the town centre, the smell of leather got stronger. There were plenty of souvenir shops everywhere, leather goods and other stuff you can buy as presents and for yourself. There were coffee shops and restaurants everywhere, so you’ll never go hungry as long as you’ve got money.

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One of the biggest attraction in Florence is the Duomo de Firenzi (Florence Cathedral) located at Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). It is one the most beautiful churches I have ever seen!, it looks so beautiful, my jaw just dropped. The dome of the cathedral remains the biggest brick dome ever constructed. There are coffee shops and restaurant around the square. If you feel like staring at the cathedral for as long as you like, order some hot drink/foods and sit outside, I have seen a lot of people doing it, if only I had time to sit around I would have done it. The entire cathedral won’t fit into my camera lens, but the pictures still looks stunning. The main tourist attraction includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile, all in one area. Don’t dare miss checking the inside as well, once you’re there you have to get in. Going inside the church is free, but if you want to go up to the top of the dome, there is charge. By the time we were there, it cost around £8 euros, it might have changed already, but just to give you an input.

FYI: whenever you need to use the toilet/empty your bladder, you need to go to a restaurant or cafe’s. Some of the resturants charge €0.50cents just to use their toilet, others you can just sneak in and do your business for free. I haven’t seen any public toilets.

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check out those tiny people at the top of the dome, you can climb up to have a 360 view of Florence and the nearby mountain views.

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We spent the rest of the day roaming around the Florence town, markets and the shopping area. Our mini travellers were getting tired already so we decided to walk back to our apartment.

Second Day:

The plan was for all of us to go to Venice, but because I was three months pregnant that time, I decided not to go. I didn’t want to get too tired from too many train rides. The trip to Venice takes about 2 hours by train. While my friends was having so much fun in Venice, so did I in Firenze!. I wandered around the old beautiful city.

The day was scorching hot, but I had myself covered from head to toe due to bad scratching. I don’t know if it was due to my pregnancy, or the warm weather, but my skin was itching so bad. I remember not being able to sleep at night because I can’t help but scratch everywhere. So if you’re on your early pregnancy right now and experiencing itchiness like theres no tomorrow! you’re not alone. Thanks to my friend who encouraged me to stop by a pharmacy which was close to the apartment to ask for help. The pharmacist was good in speaking English, so there was no hard time explaining. He gave me the best ever anti itch lotion safe for pregnant women. The lotion was called A-Derma Exomega D.E.F. Sterile Emollient Cream (yup I had to put the name because it really helped me, but  please ask chemist/pharmacist/doctors first).

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check out the EATALY restaurant, isn’t that genius? (eat-taly)

I walked on the streets of Florence alone like a pro. I was enjoying my time, thought I should go and check out some of many museums. First I went to Galleria dell’ Accademia, famous for Michelangelo’s David sculpture, but it was crowded (already early morning). I moved on because I wasn’t into waiting long lines that time (blaming my pregnancy blues). As I was walking through the streets I passed by the the Medici Chapel, I decided to go in since it wasn’t loaded with people outside. The chapel itself owned by Medici family has long history. It is home to the tomb of Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici and Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici. It features the very beautiful Cappella dei Principi designed by Matteo Nigetti, the Lantern, and Michelangelo’s unfinished project, Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy).

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Cappella dei Principi
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Cappella dei Principi

I’m an easy to please person, so whenever I see simple but beautiful things I do appreciate them respectfully. I do love seeing and going to historical places, I will always check out museums and galleries everywhere I go if given a chance. This museum wasn’t busy yet when I found it, maybe because I was a bit early. I enjoyed my time, plus they have loo/toilet inside, which was handy.

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New Sacristy/Medici Chapel

After Medici museum I went on strolling around the town. I passed by an authentic designer shop, along a narrow cobblestone road. Don’t get me wrong, though I’m not rich and can’t afford to buy very expensive designer bags, I love looking at them (girl thing). I moved on anyways and dropped by a high street shop to get me a nice pregnant outfit, not maternity dress but something a pregnant woman can wear. I must have looked like a local coz some tourist asked me directions, which mostly I had no idea. I sat down a restaurant to have rest, because honestly, touring and walking around is too tiring. I wasn’t too hungry. I ordered chocolate bread and a drink (hot drink) but there was a misunderstanding. I was given a bread and espresso 😅. I wanted to return the espresso, but I dint bother, I didn’t even touched it, I bought water on my way out. I used the restaurants toilet which charged me £0.50cents (how is that). I paid because I couldn’t understand what the toilet guard was talking about, the only thing I understood was, I had to pay £0.50cents.

Got back to the apartment just in time my friends arrived back from their Venice trip.

Third Day:

Our very much and  most awaited “Discounted Designer Stuff Girly Shopping Day!”. Yup! if you happen to be around Tuscany area, there is a designer shopping outlet you can go with big discounts!!!. I mean authentic. The place is called “The Mall” its about 40-45 minutes away from Florence. The bus terminal is at the back of Santa Maria Novella train station. It was not easy to find because you actually have to walk round the back and cross the street to find it. Thanks to the souvinir shop worker at the corner of the train station, who showed us the right way to go.

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Bus to The Mall from Florence Santa Maria Novella

There are loads of designer shops to find here, though i havent seen an LV shop, but most of the others are here, you name it they got it!. We went to the Prada shop first, you have to get a ticket number before you get in, and keep it safe for payment transactions. Once you pick something you like to buy, you just let any sales agent know the item and the ticket number you are given from the entrance. You will get your items once paid at the cashier with cash or card. The staff dont speak much english, but they do take time to communicate. I bought myself a Prada purse costing £280 euros, which costs about £500 euros outside.

We had lunch at the Gucci cafe. The food was so nice and the price was reasonable, knowing its a designer cafe. I loved and enjoy the food, and then after I checked out some nice sunnies. Well sunnies got sold at £95euros, with a tag price of £180euros or more outside. I could have shopped for more discounted items, but no!. Valentino shop was just at the corner, but because we got tired walking around and choosing what we like (only girls will understand) , we head home. Too many discounted items to mention too by the way.

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yummy foods from Gucci cafe

Fourth Day:

Leaning tower of Pisa and Milan day. I’ll blog about it next.

The night before we head back home, we went to Florence’s famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. The medieval bridge served as the centre of commerce during that time. It is said the the word “Bankrupt”  originated here. During the medieval times, sellers use tables to show and sell there goods. If the sellers or business owners can’t pay their debts/tax, soldiers would destroy their tables, which is known to Italian as”banco” and the other word “rotto” means physically destroyed. The event was known to be called “bancorotto” which sounded like, in Italian “Banca Rotta” which means Broken Bank. So there you go! it is so sounds a lot like Bankrupt.

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Ponte Vecchio Bridge at night
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view from Ponte Vecchio Bridge

If you have sweet tooth try the Italian brand’s chocolate crepe, Venchi!. its so yummy it was addicting. We treated ourselves with this yummy dessert on our way back to the apartment after the Ponte Vecchio bridge tour.

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Have a nice day all!! and will be back for the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Milan blog soon!.

Cheers! See you again beautiful Italy!.

Posted in travel

Rome, Italy with my Lady Friends (Part 1)

Because tonight I can’t stop looking at my travel photos, I decided to blog it up!.

I was three months pregnant when me and my friends went to see one of our Dream Destination country, Italy. We had a busy trip and went to different places. First things first, Rome was the first city we visited.

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We had an early flight to Fiumicino Airport,  and from there we hired a van to our rented flat, 35-40 minutes away. After a lot of talking and dealing with the price, the driver charged us €50 euros. Considering there were 4 adults, 2 children and loads of luggages, €50euros was such a good deal, compared to hiring 2 separate metered taxis. Other than hiring taxis to, and from the airport, we relied on public transport. Buses and train tickets are easy to get (ignore the long lines at times). For more details about the convenient public transport in Rome, you can check out Roometoolkit dot com. FYI, please read transport instruction before you go specially for first time travellers!. Every city has different instructions, so read and learn first. Never waste your money on taxis for sight seeing and going around. Personally, I would recommend using public transport or hop-on, hop-off tour buses. Expect a lot of walking as well, because tourist spots are mostly walking distance from each other, so walking and more walking is super highly likely!. Don’t be naive, wear your most convenient shoes! walking around Rome is so much fun!.

Another thing to keep in mind is to always be aware of your belongings, specially during peak season. Rome is totally jam-packed with tourists during high season. Locals have warned us to never leave our things unattended, pick pockets are pretending to be one of the tourists. So be aware all the time. Rome has so much to offer and too many good things to see, you might/will forget to watch over your shoulder.

Our rented self serving apartment was 10 minutes walk to the Vatican City, and the nearest train station. The owner was right outside the apartment waiting for our arrival. We arrived later than planned, due to a marathon happening that day (8.am-ish). He didn’t speak too much English, but definitely one of the best apartment owner I have ever encountered. The place was clean, friendly and very “homie”, in fact, we didn’t want to leave at all!. Claudio (the apartment owner) prepared us presents when we arrived! oh plus wine and nibbles! (can’t get any better than that!). We went to grocery, cooked our own food, and had unlimited of everything! (do I have to mention coffee?). We had to eat our lunch out, but breakfast and dinner were served at home (yep! so feeling at home).

FIRST DAY/ARRIVAL DAY:

After we got our things sorted, and fed our tummies, we headed to Vatican City right away. The cloudy and cold day news turned out sunny and bl👀dy warm!. I could say we almost fainted from roasting (imagine me and my friends wearing winterish outfits). See pic and feel free to laugh at our “fashion victims” moment.

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fist day in Rome!

 

We continued anyway like it was normal to wear coat under a warm sunshine. I was happy to see though that it wasn’t just us wearing the right outfit on a wrong day. The views made me forget I was roasting inside, I was definitely having fun while walking around. More of my amusement was when we reached the Via della Conciliazione street, otherwise known as the road to the St. Peters Basilica, wide and crowded, but the view of the big dome stands out!. Thanks goodness by the way!, everything went cooler as soon as we were inside the St. Peter’s Basilica.

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I tried my best to take a picture of the big Dome with fewer people as possible, it was actually busy that day.
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St. Peters Basilica grounds.
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Don’t forget to look up when you are there to check those bigger than life statues.

The Vatican City, is a must see place when in Rome. It doesn’t matter if your Catholic or not, religious or not, as long you you happen to be there, don’t miss it. The architecture and sculptures around the Basilica are magnificent!. The bigger than human sculptures on top of the buildings were astonishing.

As for me who grew up in a Catholic family, my main purpose of going there was to visit Saint Pope John Paul II’s graveyard (my favourite pope). Secondly to see some of Michelangelo’s many sculptures particularly the Pieta.

The first thing I found close to the entrance of the Holy Door was Michelangelo’s Pieta. Mother Mary holding her dead child Jesus in her arms was incredible. For a good few minutes I was like imagining Michelangelo putting it to shape, what was he thinking at that very moment? and how was he able to make something that went way down in history? how can someone be able to make such a perfect creation (what a genius!). It was almost hypnotising. I was the happiest when I finally saw it. The Pieta is the only sculpture Michelangelo signed himself, the rest of his works were left unsigned (intriguing eh).

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Pieta is covered in thick acrylic glass to avoid people going near it, and to prevent more destruction.

Next thing I looked for was Saint Pope John Paul II’s graveyard. I actually didn’t have to walk any further. If you are standing in front of the Pieta, Pope’s graveyard/chapel is on the left side. I can’t even describe the feelings I had as soon as I saw his name carved on the stone. It was a very touching moment, I was in tears, so as most of the visitors. Though I wasn’t able to see him alive, I’m glad at least I was able to pay tribute by visiting his grave site. Pope John Paul II will always be my favourite Pope, inspiration and a good example.

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Pope John Paul II

We also went to see the Vatican Grottoes where the tombs of the former popes are buried. Admission was free but taking pictures was not allowed. It is located at the basement on the right side of the Basilica. The Basilica itself is so big, we had to ask the securities where the grottoes is located.

Because we didn’t have enough time, we were not able to go inside the Sistine Chapel, I heard it has one of the best architectural designs and no one is allowed to take pictures for copyright purposes. The  place was almost closing after we toured around the St. Peters grounds. Sistine Chapel is one of many reasons why I should go back to Rome/Vatican City.

SECOND DAY:

As early as 6 in the morning we all started gettingt ready for our next sight seeing. We took the train to the Colosseum first. During the holiday season, no early hours is early enough for queuing. We arrived before 8 in the morning. It was too late for us already to get in line to buy tickets at the gate. So much earlier than 8 in the morning is needed to be the first in line. You could buy tickets at a shop close by, and go for the quick entry, but the very busy and crowded lines turned us off. Even if you have the fast entry ticket, during the peak season you still have to wait until other people comes out to prevent overcrowding inside. I failed to see one the most historic place of brutal gladiator fights, execution and sometimes a simple entertainment area during the medieval times. Buying tickets online is one of the best option (only buy tickets on reliable websites). I now have 2 of many reasons why I should go back to Rome!. Although we were not able to see the inside (so as many other tourists), the outside view of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum were more than beautiful enough to see. We had photos taken here there and everywhere!.

 

After the Colosseum, we headed to another world famous Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain). We had quiet a hard time looking for this place, and the signage that didn’t point to the right direction didn’t help either. There were beautiful sights along the way, one of which was the Sephora shop!. Girls being girls, we had a mini retail therapy. After we satisfied ourselves with girly stuff, we continued looking for the fountain!. Thanks to fellow tourists and the water sound coming from the fountain, we finally found it!. The fountain itself was surrounded by tall buildings, between the junction roads. As expected, the place was crowded but nonetheless, it still looks spectacular!. Have a go and see it yourself! it is so much prettier in person than in pictures and movies. And if you want to make a wish, they say use 3 copper coins? well theres nothing to loose (other than your coins). Don’t ask me what coin to use if you have no copper, coz I don’t know either!, I even forgot to make a wish myself when I was there. Anyways, I had so much fun looking at the fountain and loving it!. I could sit there all day watching the people go by, of course with my fave coffee in hand (I’d like to say coffee and a book, but I’m not a good reader).

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After I got captivated by the beautiful fountain, were back to walking again. We walk through the streets, until our feet took us to the Spanish steps, Piazza di Spagna, and the Trinita Dei Monti church. If you’re wondering where they all at, they’re all in one area. We took our time to appreciate the beauty of the place. Our mini travellers were having fun as well. If you love designer stuff and have much money to spare on shopping, this area is the place to be. Designer shops are everywhere, but no we didn’t shop, we just let our eyes droll and mouth water. While we were there, we took the opportunity to taste Italy’s famous ice cream! gelato. My personal verdict? don’t dare not try it!. Gelato is an ice cream only Italians know how to make it taste different from any other. By the way I have sweet tooth 🙂

The day passed by so quickly, we all got tired at the same time happy and contented. There was so much to see but not enough time. We only had two days in Rome so we made the most of it. Rome will always be one of my favourite travel destination. I like how friendly and happy the people were. I found Italians approachable and charming. And not to forget, foods were so yummy, a bit pricey, but you always get what you pay for. Try seafood spaghetti! yummylicious indeed!.

ON DAY 3:

The third day was for another City to see, we booked our fast train tickets online to head our way to Florence!!. We had so much fun as much as we had in Rome, but we went to different towns/cities while based in Florence, but its gonna be up on another blog, because I don’t want this blog to be too long.

P.S I consider this trip as me and my baby’s first trip abroad together! 💪🏼

Have fun! and I will be back to Rome one day! Cheeeeerssss! until next blog!.

 

 

Posted in new blog, travel

My Baby’s First time to Fly

My family lives on the other side of the world. When hubby and I found out we were having a baby, we came up with a plan that we will take the baby to my home country, Philippines. The main reason was for my big family to see my first born specially my grandmother.

The ideal age for babies to travel on a plane is at least 6 months. We waited and hoped everything goes well specially the baby. It wasn’t only the baby that I was worried about, the flight was going to be at least 17 hours all the way, plus stop overs. Whew!

Fast forward to the happy arrival of our baby boy. My parents came over one month after I gave birth. Their supposedly one month holiday turned five months, because I asked them to stay until my baby turns 6 months. After all, the last thing I would do was to travel alone  with a screaming baby on my hand inside the plane.  They gladly said yes to everything. My husband can’t travel going as the holiday was for five weeks, he was only allowed to have 2 weeks off his work at that time.

Finally my baby received all the immunisation he needed at 6 months. Check ups and more checks ups we went, I made sure everything was okay. To add to the long  list of my worries, baby contracted diarrhoea a day before we fly, at the same time started teething.

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on board flight to Istanbul

DURING THE FLIGHT:

I made sure the flights I booked was his sleeping time, afternoon going and night time coming back. Planning the journey back to the homeland was exciting and stressful at the same time. It was also my first time to go home in five years.

All my fears of travelling with a baby started building up when we got to the airport.  We were not able to get the front seat where the bassinet is located. But the staff made sure my Parents, Baby and I get the best seats as possible, 2 empty seats beside me and across the aisle were my parents. It was comfortable enough that my baby was able to sleep soundly in between the 2 empty seats.

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playtime with Lolo (grandad) on the plane

I gave him his milk during take off to help him cope with the engine noise (he is bottle feed). But surprised to my surprise! my baby was laughing while the plane was taking off! he thought the engine sound was funny!. It was such a relief to see my baby is having fun, something I was not expecting 😀

Teething and diarrhoea never seemed to bother him at all, he turned out to be a happy traveller. On the other hand he made his toilet business quite seriously, sometimes he even looked as if he was laughing at mommy every time mommy cleans his wee bumbum 😀 (I’m not complaining at all!).

At last after 4 hours, the flight to Istanbul arrived! not to mention one of the best landing I have experienced. Next thing was, we had to deal with the 9 hour lay over. We never planned of going out due to the luggages we have had on hand. We waited at the airport for our next flight to Manila which will take 11 hours straight.

I was expecting my baby to fall sleep right away during our wait for the next fight, but “NO” he enjoyed looking around and talking with the other passengers (he’s quite talkative and entertaining), playtime never stopped and he didn’t seem to get tired, but me and my parents already were. He managed to sleep for only 30 minutes out of 9 hours! plus popped here there and everywhere 😀 (nope not complaining part 2!).

Flight to Manila:

At long last! the wait was over, the flight to Manila was on time and everybody was happy. As expected right away my wee baba fell asleep!. During this flight he also had an uncontrollable stomach movements, he blow up one time that I needed to strip him down, and clean him vigorously (vigorously? I can’t think of any other word :D). Thanks goodness! I was travelling with my parents! 6 hands was so much better than 2!. I did brought more than enough changing clothes, wet wipes and nappies due to his situation. Most importantly I gave him a lot of water to keep him hydrated. After all that he was going through, he remained a happy traveller. Yes he cried a bit, when he got tired and could hardly wait for his food. Swollen gums? teething problems? nope! bonjela was just one shake away!.

While on Holiday:

So finally baba was able to met most of the family. He enjoyed the crowd so much! (Filipino family ties is big that goes on and on and on and on), he seldomly cries. Great-grandma who was too excited to met him didn’t want to leave him at all. He also had his first swimming experience which he loved so much. Family was all over him, always queuing who watches him next, who feeds him next, who gives him a bath….so on and so forth! 😅 Life was so easy for the mommy. 😄 But then again holidays are never long enough….. back to reality…..

Flight Back to Scotland:

Finally time to go back home, hubby followed us to Philippines two weeks before we fly back to Scotland.

This flight was so much easier, we changed airlines as well. We were able to get the baby bassinet on both flights, from Manila to Dubai, and Dubai to Scotland. After a 5 week holiday, diarrhoea was finally gone (of course) and the two front, up and bottom teeth were already showing.

The flight from Manila to Dubai was a rough one, we hardly used the bassinet as we had to hold the baby everytime the seatbelt lights were on! Well most of the time they were on. (nope not complaining part 3). There is nothing we can do when the bad weather takes over. Hubby and I were tired as %^%@. Other than that, kudos to the pilots and flight attendants who made sure passengers were okay.

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Bassinet all the way to Scotland 🙂 Yasssss!!

The second leg of our flight was the easiest one. After a 3 hour stop over in Dubai, flight back to Scotland was ready and on time!. All 3 of us were finally able to sleep more soundly. And mama’s arm was able to rest at long last!. Baby got goodies from the airline as well as gifts for being a first time flyer!

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my wee traveller

All in all, I would say my baby’s first time flight was a good one!. This wee man is going to be a traveller as he grow older. I’m glad he was able to cope up with everything he was going through during this trip!. More travels and fun times to go!!!.

Lastly, I would strongly suggest having a companion is the best option if you’re travelling with a baby. You don’t know how badly you would need a helping hand until you are there!.

Thanks! and until next blog!

Have a good day!