honeymoon day 21, santorini is made up of blue, white and yellow

day 21.

a greek morning

not all is still

at least it started off bearable, just a little disheveled

then this.

uh-uh. not a good look.

we imagined how far the winds had travelled...

as we walked down the countless steps to the pier. We wished the cablecar was in operation, we wished we had seen the donkeys instead of their 'poopcakes' on the steps, telling us they had been here before shuttling people and goods from the pier to the city on these very steps. Where were they then is still a mystery to us now.

does anyone live in these?

deserted. no donkeys, no boats to take us to the caldera. just abandoned buildings and cafes filled with stinking faeces of unknown sources and dust in them - on overturned mattresses and broken tables. I shuttered to think that these will be open for business in the summer, it's actually unthinkable. Unknown to me then, i was also happily clicking away on my lomo, which had ran out of batteries donkey years ago (how apt is that description here!), and returned home with 2 empty rolls of films to develop. Now, all the pictures that I had took are only recorded in my mind. :-(

the lack of activity creates plenty of quality pondering time for the residents there.

the mood was infectious.

i'm happy as long as I have his hands to hold

 We resigned to our fates and made the climb back to the city, instead of wishing hard that the cablecars would start an unscheduled operation.

booze almost always cheered us up

tuck in!

apertifs on the house! Cheers to that!

we found Dog No. 2 in the city center. She was sleeping on the street when she saw us and decided to follow us. She's gorgeous.

I'm always lagging behind during our walks because, 1) I'm easily distracted. 2) I stop to take pictures alot. And while bushyhead walked far ahead of me, Dog No. 2 would always turn back and check that I'm still there behind them.

same view, different feel

Dog No. 2 knows the House Rules without us even having to tell her. She only enters the room when we let her. *I love this picture, by the way*

on our way to get dinner, Dog No.3 appeared and started to play violently with Dog No. 2 - the whole time we were walking to the restaurant.

now we got two dogs hot on our tails.

we went back to the same restaurant we went to on our first day in Santorini. Eventually Dog No. 2 and 3 chased each other down the street and disappeared.

I was quite upset we lost Dog No. 2 and my sweet bushyhead went out in the dark to find her for me. It was not an easy search, she could be anywhere on the island, but he did managed to find her, brought her back and fed her with food he bought from the supermarket.

We gave her some towels and she slept all night outside our room. It must had been cold. We felt so bad that we got her into the room (don’t tell the owner) early next morning and fed her some more. Sweet Dog No. 2 even hesitated before she stepped into the warmth of the room.

Next up, our departure day.

You can follow all the other days of our honeymoon here!  day 1 & 2 (Frankfurt), day 3 (Frankfurt & Switzerland), day 4 (Switzerland), day 5 (Switzerland), day 6 (Milan), day 7 (Padua & Venice), day 8 (Venice), day 9 (Venice & Florence), day 10 (Florence), day 11 & 12 (Florence), day 13 (Rome), day 14 (Rome), day 15 (Rome) , day 16 (Athens), day 17.1 (Athens), day 17.2 (Athens), day 18 (Athens), day 18 part 2 (Athens), day 19 ( Santorini ), day 20.1 ( Santorini ), day 20.2 (Santorini)

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honeymoon day 19, out at sea

day 19.

We woke up before the sun is up, took the train to Piraeus and hopped onto a ferry boat.

There were vendors sellings Greek giant donuts for breakfast at the entrance of the ferry. Vehicles were queuing up to find their cozy spot in the ferry for the next 7-9 hours of sea journey. We went up the escalator.

We booked a slightly more expensive ticket that allocates us seat numbers. The cheapest ticket is really cheap and you are free to find seats where you can and make them yours within the public and dining areas. We thought, hey, it’s a long journey! We want to be comfortable in seats that recline. We don’t want to end up near the toilet or out on the open deck and freeze our noses off. Pay a little more and we’ll be that much more comfortable. Here’s the difference between the seats that we paid for on the left and the free seating on the right.

spot the bushyhead.

We should had got the cheapest ticket.

A couple of smart/ignorant/lucky travelers captured in the picture above paid for the cheapest ticket and made themselves comfortable here. Nobody checks anyway. Just so long you don’t ‘ignorantly’ walk into the Business class at the front of the boat.

A Goody's restaurant in the ferry.

look at the variety of coffee concoctions the Greek has.

one of the island ports the boat docked at

here's our stop!

waiting to be let out into paradise on earth

hello? We are at Santorini!!!

It took us quite some effort and time just to reach Fira, where our home for the next 3 days is, on the island. We took a bus from the ferry terminal to the city centre, where we can count the number of people in it with our ten fingers. We were helpless there and tried to ask for direction. Finally we found a woman who could speak a little English and thought that she should take a cab to our accommodation. Our bags were heavy (even though I had left a chunk of our shopping back in our hostel in Athens) and neither of us had ever been on the island, so we took the advise, got on the cab and got off it 3 minutes later.

Not that it was an ill advise, but given our situation then, we could had got lost for more than 30 minutes there had we tried to find the place on foot. We were just glad that we could get our backpacks off our back and soak in the sight in front of us.

Mill Houses, the place we stayed at

our own little private corner on Santorini

The staff in charge of the place (who insisted that he isn’t the owner) fetched us from the gate and brought us to the reception. While trying to catch our breaths, we found out that he could had picked us up from the ferry terminal and brought us here. Why didn’t we call him?

We forgave ourselves pretty fast for all that lost time trying to find our way back at the city centre because we were so pleased with what we saw from then on.

complimentary bubbly and Dog no.1, whom we were told is the 2nd most famous dog around the area. She came all the way from Oia, on foot. We were not too sure if the Most Famous Dog came with her - we never met that one, or she followed somebody here. Nonetheless, she had travelled far.

at sunset, we set out for food. Bushyhead got caught up with his flood of mails in his inbox, despite the glorious view. Dog no.1 ready to begin his escort service with us.

island life.

recommended by the staff at Mill Houses.

why cut down a tree when you can have it inside the tavern you want to build on?

al-fresco dining indoor.

Dog no.1 waiting outside

she stayed with us the whole time we were having our meal. I guess she knows the consequence of her doing that is that I will be smuggling food out from our plates.

eggplants! my favourite! Tzatziki! Double yum!

After the meal, Dog no.1 was gone. I saw her wandered up the alley beside the tavern and we saw this as an open window to shake off our friendly escort.

We went back to our room, and while bushyhead showered, I went out for a nice night walk.

i enjoyed my night walk. The island was mine to explore, Alas, everything was in pitch-black. I was lucky I didn't fall off the caldera.

I found a beautiful kitty that I thought bushyhead would love

then I saw more kitties.

I got back, told bushyhead of all the kitties I saw, and that was enough to make him get out of the room and wander around the premises a bit with me.

the kitty that bushyhead lured into the room.

We let the cat out eventually when it started scratching the door. Unfortunately, Dog no.1 came back, saw the cat with us, turned ferocious and chased it out of the compound. Poor kitty, we hope she’s alright. Later we heard from the locals that in winter, everybody went away and no one was on the island to feed the animals, consequently, the dogs eat up the cats. T_T

 Follow all the days of our honeymoon!  day 1 & 2 (Frankfurt), day 3 (Frankfurt & Switzerland), day 4 (Switzerland), day 5 (Switzerland), day 6 (Milan), day 7 (Padua & Venice), day 8 (Venice), day 9 (Venice & Florence), day 10 (Florence), day 11 & 12 (Florence), day 13 (Rome), day 14 (Rome), day 15 (Rome) , day 16 (Athens), day 17.1 (Athens), day 17.2 (Athens), day 18 (Athens), day 18 part 2 (Athens)

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honeymoon day 7, where did these people come from?!

day 1 & 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6

day 7, we depart the Italian fashion capital after a complimentary breakfast at the hotel for Venice. Along the journey, we stopped by Padua – 30 min away from Venice.

We arrived into Padua train station, dropped our bags at the baggage storage and then discovered that the tourist information counter was closed. We ended up getting lost in Padua without a map nor any inkling where to go. We survived, though with little success, on bushyhead’s sense of direction with the help of his phone.

I love getting lost!

this will be the first of our many encounters of what we now refered to as "the abandoned city - did we miss the evacuation signal?" during this duration of our winter honeymoon in Europe.

there was barely anybody around, and of course, that made bushyhead very pleased!

we stopped for lunch

i still think i had the best italian meal here

bresaola pizza

St. Mark's Lion Column

Torre dell'Orologio astronomical clock dating from 1344

arriving into the largest square in italy, Prato della Valle, after exploring aimlessly for the past 1 hour

by the small canal that runs round this small island that bushyhead is standing on

countless statues bordering the square

sculptor at work, though i prefer my grimmer take that involves a torture devise

this poor guy not only had his wings clipped but also have to bear the weight of a giant stone book on his face

Basilica of Santa Giustina

nativity scene. every year it's different. and it involves moving mechanical parts and sunrise/sunset simulation! it's quite amazing

we started to see signs of life here....

in fact, a lot! where did all these people go to when we were getting lost in the afternoon! It was like a whole different city altogether.

shops are open.. where they were previously closed. nobody told us the siesta lasts a whole afternoon!

red carpet on the waling street! glamorous people started pouring into it... this city itself really is as different as night and day!

We hurried across the city to get to the train station with our jaws open to catch our next train to Venice. We still couldn’t believe that the city came alive after a whole afternoon trying to figure out where everybody was.

 

arriving into our Venice apartment after a long boat ride and snaking through its many alleys. Door was locked and we have to try a few calls before we reach the landlord, who told us to get the keys from the bar beside us

our room was on the 3rd floor and it opens up to this stairway that leads to a small kitchenette. t's also here on this stairway, with an exact image like this that was the last i saw before i slipped and fall with my overweight backpack while we were checking out 2 days later

out for dinner

we decided to have our dinner here at the smallest hard rock cafe in europe.

We went strolling round Venice’s alleyways for a considerable while after dinner.. only because we couldn’t find our way back to the apartment. It was drizzling wet and cold, but i thoroughly enjoyed its quiet, lonely maze at night.

Next day, we set off intending to lose ourselves in Venice! Stay tuned for the next post! Do drop me a message too, I love discovering your messages in my comment page!

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honeymoon day 4, i was queen for a day.

day 1 & 2

day 3

day 4. a long drive between seasons.

ow-ow says

We woke up to a home-cooked breakfast and though i’d seen it before, but the scenery outside grischa’s house is always breathtaking, no matter the season nor the hours of the day.

 

lights in the dark

after breakfast

snow is melting

remnants of playtime

soon, we hit the road, following the detailed route that gregor has carefully discussed with grischa the night before. objective: to see the real Switzerland!

 

leaving the village

 

just an idea of how the scenery changed as we go from Zurich to Lugano and then back up again

taken from inside the car and with extra awe

awe-struck

The St. Gotthard Tunnel. it runs from German-speaking Göschenen to Italian-speaking Airolo in Ticino to the south of Switzerland. At 16.4 km long, it is the 3rd longest road tunnel in the world and 19 min for us to get out and see a seemingly different country from the one we 'exited' from.

taking a walk through lugano, where temperature dipped lower than what was in zurich

i don't know much about art or architecture except i know what i like, and whoever made this has a sense of humor

we missed Befana’s Day by a few days when we were there. instead of santa claus, we see witches like this one hanging outside some of the houses in southern switzerland and later, italy. to find out more about this tradition, click on the picture!

it may be just a bus terminal for daily commute, but the modern design makes this stand out more than the buildings around it. you'll never lost your way with an eyecatching landmark like this!

stopping over at this hidden gem of a town

we wandered and wondered where everybody else was

maloja

i'm amused by how this house looks under the snow, aren't you?

my second lunch here at Hotel Schweizerhaus. the last time i was here, we were sitted outside under a glaring sun and now we can't wait to get in ('cause we were really hungry!!)

it got dark and foggy

what seems like water droplets on my window are actually frozen droplets

i could pluck them like gemstones

the 2 tiny specks? people on the frozen lake

visibility got better once we passed the lake. i brightened this picture up so that you could see the pretty lights that line up to another village

up the mountains we go and soon this is all we see

end of road trip! we met grischa's parents for some tea at this posh spa resort

and it is here where bb discover the best fries in the world

home again.

someone looks surprised!

it’s 12 days after Christmas, Three Kings Day in Switzerland. According to this website,

The day before the „Three King’s Day” the Swiss bakery shops are full of „Three kings’-cakes”. This is a sweet bun or teacake containing sultanas. It’s made from a number of separate pieces of dough baked together. The cake can easily be pulled a part and one of the pieces has a tiny plastic king in it, so the cake is eaten carefully.

Who ever gets the king is allowed to wear a golden crown which comes with the cake. At the same time this lucky person is allowed to boss about the family for the day.

So Brigette made everybody a cup of tea and we all sat down round the table to partake of this tradition.

my chosen bun

and guess what, i'm the queen for the day.

after which, gregor brought out his projector and he showed us the travel photos they took on their own honeymoon… those were really fantastic photos! the magic of slide film cameras.

I had never watched a holiday photo slide with somebody to tell us what each picture was about. it was so personal and it bound the whole room together for that whole duration the projector was running. and it does feel like we were there in the pictures when it was taken.

We have one more day in Zurich, for updates on my next post, click on the image below!

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christmas thoughts

Christmas came late for me this year. Usually around 2 months before Christmas, I’d have felt the change in the wind. The festive mood made up of synthesizer-made Christmas carols, the increase in population (seriously, where did all those people come from? Where were they the rest of the year?), Christmas light-ups and fake snow, I’d barely contain my excitement thinking what Christmas gifts to get for friends. I love that shopping rush and also that self-imposed headache getting prezzies for people!

This year I’m spending my first Christmas as Mrs Bushy H., yet I still have absolutely no inkling of what it’s gonna be like. We are so busy, Christmas just seem so far away to really start a conversation on. There are always more immediate matters to attend to. Is this really what being ‘grown-up’ amount to? We have no time to really think about what Christmas is all about and what traditions passed down the generations mean? I just read a post from my favourite blog Under the Sycamore, really, everyone should read it. It’s about what Ashley, the mind behind the blog, wants to teach her children to celebrate the meaning of Christmas and to acquire the gift of giving by showing them by her own examples and getting them to learn them by their own actions. I always want to start my own family traditions and reading her blogs have given me the inspiration to not only create traditions, but also give meanings to them. I’m worried that, if I don’t have time to think about these things now and practise them through my own actions, what kind of example would I be giving my future kids? I’m worried that pure everyday slothfulness will get in the way of imparting precious values during their short impressionable growing years. I’m worried commercialism will get to them first, simply though the gaps of our busy lifestyle. It will be my greatest nightmare when my future kid ask me when is Santa Claus coming.

I am brought back to this one day during my childhood in Sunday School while I’m doing this post. I dreaded Sunday School when i was young because I was shy and joined the church later than the other kids in Sunday School whose parents had been there even before they were born. It was hard for me to make friends and even harder for me to participate in all those active extrovert stuff in class in front of people I know but don’t talk much to. I had given my fair share of excuses not to attend Sunday School, I’d rather sit in the adult Mandarin congregation with my mum. So imagine if on that one day I missed Sunday School, I would had missed the teacher telling us the Christmas story and drilling over and over again into my young mind that, Jesus is the reason for the season, Jesus is the reason for the season. Few years later, I would see that statement outside the departmental store CK Tang and I smiled to myself that the big ‘secret’ is out and people was then reading it across the massive banner. And every year during the Christmas season, I’d remember that – Jesus is the reason for the season.

I hope, in the future, our kids would know that simple truth and do more than what little I’m doing… mostly what I’m NOT doing. If He gave His Life for us, what can we give to other people who needs more to carry on His legacy?

* * *

That said, it is now my guilty pleasure to show you how I would also dream of a white Christmas every year, but never gets it. This is the way I’m getting myself excited about those imaginary ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ and that wintry honeymoon not so far away after Christmas.

1. Woman’s Boots from Bearpaw

2. Pins and Needles Cozy Bow Beret from Urban Outfitters

3. Bunny Earflap Winter Hat from bellz82@Etsy

4. Raccoon Hat from Urban Outfitters

5. Tiny candy pompom snow2 from dadaya@Etsy

6. Love the back of my hand bow gloves in gray from Ruche

7. Limited-edition (STARBUCKS)RED Jonathan Adler Ceramic To-Go Cup from (RED)

What are you doing for Christmas?