i’m collecting ❤hearts❤

It has been some time since I pop in here, and woah! Quite a few changes here at WordPress too!

Recently I joined a Facebook contest by Sony Singapore and my humble little picture was Sony’s Pick, and that meant I won some really attractive prizes and have to submit a few pictures and a video of my winning experience in order to win some even more awesome prizes.

I had a very tight deadline because I had to fly off to Paris within a few days after I received the prize, which I had to use to take the video and the photos for the Grand Finale. No masterpiece there since I basically finished these 5 hours before I had to leave for the airport, leaving me just enough time to finish packing.

taken by Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - please click on the image and click on the little heart on the Sony Singapore FB page to vote!

You can also view a little 30-sec video I did with the same camera on the Facebook page, like my nails there?

I’m a bit behind with the votes, got a late start since my flight arrived a few days after voting started, so please help if you like my submission! (I’m number 6, by the way.) In order to win, I have to be the top three with the most votes, after which, Sony will pick a winner. Voting ends 7th Nov 2011.

I will really like a new camera and more spending money!

Cheers!

Pat

honeymoon day 24, how to be popular with the kitties

day 24.

We are  nearly there.

resident dog eyeing the cat biscuits we got for the strays.

our 2nd day up in The Meteora - this time, we took a cab!

more kitties than we imagined

happy kitties

Megalou Meteorou

Varlaam Monastery in the distance

curio on the road

 

outside the Varlaam Monastery - the cat biscuits are proven to be popular with the dogs too

just one of the many wonders of nature - what does this look like to you?

 

Rousannou Monastery

Agios Nikolaos Anapaphsas from Rousannou Monastery. This little one fascinates me! I couldn't keep my eyes off it everytime I sighted it. Alas, we didn't visit this one...

perching on the rocks like the big boys

These litter of kitties were living near the dump outside the nunnery (closed for the day - ha ha). we wished we brought more food

 

we think someone's living inside in there.

a final look at the rocks before we head back down to city centre

just a whole stretch of lazy day for us then...

evening walk

simple...

... but nice!

that’s end of day 24, and nearing the end of our honeymoon! It took longer than I thought to post all the pictures up, but this process has kept the memories fresh for me all these while. One more final one and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m excited about what’s going to happen this later half of the year, keep you posted!

Previous honeymoon scoops!>>> 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), day 21 (Santorini), day 22 (Santorini & Meteora), day 23 (Meteora)

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I love my city

Seriously, there is a sense of pride and unexplained nostalgia brewing just by looking at these pictures of familiar places long ago – the same space and places where my parents grow up in.

Great World Amusement Park

Goodwood Park Hotel

Raffles Hotel, Palm Court, 1920s

Street scene near Cathay Building

Cathay Building

Junction of High Street and North Bridge Road

Clarke Quay 1970s

Mobile Library outside the very much-missed National Library

anybody miss this skyline?

It’s August. Time to remember Patriotism.

*All pictures taken in the 50s unless stated otherwise.

* All pictures from National Archive of Singapore, click on picture to go to their origins.

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{ Replies to previous post }

HiLLjO I’m glad you can out all  those heartbreak and frustration behind you now! We are still persevering (not much choice!)!
bonkasaurus Yep, i still don’t quite understand the steep pricetag on mini apartments… but location like the one you mentioned is great though!

honeymoon day 23, a little footpath goes a long way

day 23.

our B&B in Kalampaka in the morning light

The yummy chocolate and orange sponge cake for me. we had a whole breakfast bar just for the two of us on our first morning.

The Metora rocks out in your backyard.

crossing the railway track. the shortcut to anywhere.

the little small fragile kitty who chased us up a slope for food that we didn't have. Much later in the day, we returned to the same spot with some cat biscuits which we bought, but it was already gone 😦

The Holy Church of the Dormition of Theotokos, built between 10-12 AD, an excellent example of Byzantine Architecture during those centuries.

we love how the little windows cast streaks of light all over the monastery, creating that awe-inspiring aura

one of the many murals inside

and then it's time for us to start out hike up into Meteora. "Follow the little footpath", the landlady at the B&B says. "It's an easy 30min walk up!"

the little brown dotted line was the pathway we took

we believed her and walked up the little footpath with no water nor supplements. It took us an hour to see the first monastery. That says a lot about our physical stamina!

 

view from one of our many rest stops.

our first monastery - Agia Triada - did you see it in James Bond For Your Eyes Only?

we have an updated schedule of all the monasteries from our B&B landlady. There are certain days where a monastery is not open to the public. And on this day, it was supposed to be open, but due to some reason, they decided to rest for a whole week...

after an hour's hike and 140 steps up the carved stairs to Agia Triada only to find that it's closed, no wonder bushyhead decides to sulk.

a low point. "The road is long..."

Agia Triada from afar

we picked ourselves up and walked the zig-zag road (road!!! another option we didn't know we had. deja vu?) to the next monastery - Agios Stefanos, the only convent around

 

As luck would have it, Agios Stefanos was on a long lunch break. It was freezing and windy at the top of those rocks. We were hungry, thirsty and tired from the hike. We were also resigned to our stroke of bad luck. So we gave up, called a cab and returned to town, hoping the next day will be a better one..

It was a fantastic day "hovering in the air", nonetheless!

we asked the taxi-driver to take us to a restaurant with good food, and he brought us to the city centre where the taxi headquarters is next door, to this restaurant on a slope.

the interior... homely!

our late late lunch

a happy bushyhead

the city centre. I like to walk off a huge meal, so we walked round the town to find kitties to feed. 🙂

but luck really wasn't on our side that day...

so we went back our B&B and spent the evening with delivery pizza and a hungry resident doggy

i love the balcony, if only it was not so cold!

having our take-in dinner at the dining room table set by our lovely landlady especially for us

Thank you for taking the time to go through all the pictures! You can follow all the other days of our honeymoon by clicking on these links:  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), day 21 (Santorini), day 22 (Santorini & Meteora)

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 { replies to previous post }

frizztext Thank you for dropping by!

jacqueline Well, another weekend is coming! whoopee!

Whitney I think Jamie Beck did a great job bring these photographs to life!

Karin and Leslie *Fresh Out of Lemons* 🙂

Shannon of Happiness Is… and jaclyn @ thelateafternoon Never underestimate Pooh and gang’s words of wisdom! haha, and yes! Those are amazing! I can just keep watching them!


everyday.closeness

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 

“Pooh?” he whispered. 

“Yes, Piglet?” 

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. 

“I just wanted to be sure of you.”

from Jamie Beck's blog : From Me To You

Going home soon for a night of home-cooked food, I’m always looking forward to a night in with my bushyhead, even if the food is overcooked/burnt/bland.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
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{ Replies to previous post }

Sewon Exactly! Without the ups and downs, it’s just a boring straight line! 🙂

Shannon Eileen Those doggies will melt anyone’s heart, I suppose! I miss them!

jacqueline aw.. thank you for your sweet comment, Jacqueline!

Colleen / Inspired to Share Oh I hope you get a chance to visit soon! I’m sure you will love it!

Sarah I think all aerial pictures are nice! They are kinda magical, aren’t they? To imagine all the people living in the lands below, and all the wonderful and unexpected lines and designs that are on them, which we would normally never have seen them on ground.

nuelene Agree! Thanks for dropping in!

Georgianna I hope I can it there someday! So where do the bus tours start from? Is there any public buses instead? I’d rather try traveling on my own than follow a tour group! (That’s the thing about being a non-driver, I want to go everywhere, but I don’t drive!)

honeymoon day 22, i wish you doggies well

day 22.

Leaving Santorini on this day.

Dog No. 1 came back.

we took our breakfast outside, and shared them with the dogs that we have grown really fond of.

this makes me wonder, what life is like for the animals on this island - living life like a vagabond, not knowing what each day brings nor who they are going to meet. Each day IS a gift, no matter which way you look at it.

Dog No. 1, 2 and 3 walked with us out to the carpark to send us off. Dog No. 2 and 3 were fast friends, poor Dog No. 1 feels left out, sounding out her protests and jealousy by barking at the 2 playmates every once in a while.

Dog No. 2 has a special place in my heart and it still tugs at my heart to say goodbye to her. I didn't blame her at all when the moment our mini van drove away, she and Dog No. 3 spotted 2 other tourists metres away and started running to them. (Those 2 girls must had been scared to see 2 grown dogs running toward them) At least the dogs had waited till the engine started, like they knew somehow, that this is goodbye and we needed a proper farewell.

Santorini (Thira) National Airport

boarding the plane. I love how this no-fuss, aero-bridgeless boarding seems to carry back the Romance of Travel.

flying into Athens. - Do you ever get tired of the aerial view from planes? I'm still fascinated after all these while.

This image will feel like a big jump in time, because it is. The day after the planeride was a combination of different transportation rides. We took the subway back into Athens city, collected our left luggage from our previous accommodation, hopped on a bus and got lost for a while looking for the main train station. After that it was a long uninspired train ride where I doubted myself if we got on the right train because it was hours and hours of darkness outside and the journey took longer than expected.

No one speaks English and everything is in Greek and appeared outdated. The train we were on arrived way too late. I was sure the connecting train left, but I wasn't sure if there was any arrangement for anoter connecting train. (The train station was smacked in the middle of nowhere... or maybe it was too dark to make out anything... ) Not knowing what we were waiting for, we just kept on waiting anyways. That was really all we can do!

Well, then we managed to arrive… into METEORA!

Once again, we didn’t expect how quiet the little city would be, nor how misleading the directions to the guesthouse we booked really is. It says it’s just behind the train station, but from where we were, we really couldn’t tell. Long story short, it really was just behind the train station, just that we took the long way round where there are proper paved road. That seemed like the obvious thing to do. We just didn’t know then, that we were supposed to step onto the railway track, cross it in the dark and get to the back of station where the neighbourhood is.

I may seem like I’m complaining a lot, but i really enjoyed all the little ‘misfortunes’ and ‘unforeseen circumstances’. These are what made the trip OUR trip.

I don't know about you, but a proper dinner is really important to me no matter how tired I am

These were really not the best...

... but these were what I needed to properly end the day and look forward to the next, plotting the places where we can explore!

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), day 21 (Santorini)

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{ Replies to previous post }

jillian m. {coffee, light and sweet} Well, we did want to bring her home! She’s so sweet! But I doubt that our warm Sunny Singapore weather is best for her! 😦

Sarah We have never had animals like that following us around anywhere, ever! It was a pleasant surprise to have the lovely company. I’m extremely honored that the dogs chose us too! haha.

jaclyn @ thelateafternoon Yes! I think anyone who arrives into Santorini and not see the standard blues and whites will really be disappointed! – except that there is no way that would ever happen!

Margaret Hi! I hope you managed to get my message on your blog!!

Georgianna 🙂 I hope you enjoyed our little trip, Georginna!

Libby, Vintage Aplomb You really should!

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 20.2, atlantis by accident

day 20.2

So we made it down the hill, filled the cute car with gas and drove across the island to Oia.

We heard it’s a lively town, and boasts of magnificent sunset view.

But we didn’t know where to go. It should had been pretty straight forward – just follow the sun! But we weren’t sure, everybody else was on holiday. We put our trust and faith in a group of school children who kept giggling and pointed in different directions. And we were caught in a maze with plenty of distractions.

we could see the sun setting...

but we just couldn't get near enough

what is too many locks

chasing the sun

We were hungry from all that climbing earlier, and it seems that the sun is already setting. We saw a pretty little bookshop called Atlantis Books – the only store that was open. We asked the girl from the bookstore if there’s any place open for dinner and I wanted to linger a while longer at the bookshop, she looked at us and just goes, oh i know a place, but this is not the place for you to be at now, you have to go now! We’ll talk in a while, but now, go, go, go! The sun is setting!

How ever she knows we were looking for the sunset remains a mystery, but maybe all tourists came to the then-‘abandoned’ city of Oia for one reason – to see the sunset that everybody talks about. We followed the direction of her finger and sprinted.

we were just in time

the colours that were cast around the dipping sun were a dream!

even the stones reflected the brilliance of the colours

and then it was gone

can you see the reflection of the sunset?

even after the colours of the sunset became muted, the natural colours of the island still remains

We went back to Atlantis Books and ended up spending loads of time in it – bushyhead was playing with the resident cat and I was going through the massive collection of books for something to read. ( You can read about how Atlantis Books begin here.) In the end, I picked A Month in the Country and got a cute stamp it it too. The lady was looking after it for the winter is Charlotte Koster – an amazing artist who did all the woodsigns and wordings in the bookshop. She also did some really amazing sand sculptures and designed one of the suites for the 2008/2009 season of the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi. You can see her work here.

After Charlotte so kindly directed us to a nice family tavern for dinner, we left the bookshop. We were half-expecting the bookshop to disappear magically the moment we turned our heads. We know this is not Hogwarts, but we believe this place definitely exists in a realm of its own!

warming ourselves beside the coal burner!

ending the night outside our room with a drink... and Dog No. 1 (not shown in the picture)

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 )

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honeymoon day 20.1, sunshine after the rain

day 20.

On our first night in Santorini, I was very much aware that it had been raining all night and I was wishing for the rain, rain to go away, but when my chant didn’t work in the morning when the first light started to peek in, I knew there must be a reason behind it. I opened the window blind, and this was what I saw.

Two giant rainbow arches that stretched their way all the way to Oia. The rain was mist-like and the sunlight was constantly moving behind clouds, so that its rays were glowing across the waters and the lands. I took a few quick photos, fearing that this sight will disappear, before I went back into the room and dragged Bushyhead out of bed to see the sight.

And then, breakfast was sent to our room, we ate while waiting for the sun to slowly push his way through.

sun after the rain

We spare no time at all, once the rain stopped, we were out the door!

bus stop.

we were told that buses were scarse during winter, and so we rented a car! I'd learn to drive if Singapore imports this !

ok, the wind combined with my choice of clothing made me look puffy

one of the red beaches on the island

After a disappointed drive to Akrotiri (it was closed for maintainance), we arrived at one of the black beaches.

Santorini dogs do not hesitate to follow tourists around. They seem to be able to tell the difference between tourists and locals.

quick lunch before more walks

complimentary dessert from the restaurant... however sweet the gesture is and we really appreciated it, we didn't like this.

my last minute purchase from Athens H&M. cheap, good and comfy. All I brought was winter boots and they were just too much for Santorini.

foot was still swollen from the fall in Venice.

we begin our hike up to Ancient Thira

 

there has to be a better way to get up there... we just didn't know it. Thanks to our guidebook whose only option for us is this.

it was a long way up, for our fitness level

And when we finally reached the top, we saw this:

what?! We could had drove! We rented a car!

What’s worse, the place was 5minutes to closing, after we took 45 minutes – an hour just to make our way up on foot. Opening hours are not mentioned in the guidebook, anyhow, the attendant was kind enough to allow us some time to quickly make our way inside the site, take some pictures and much later, offer us some water from his private stash of supplies.

this was where we could had drove up from.

the way we came from

well, at least we survived it

at the back of our minds, despite the view and fun photo-taking, we knew what was coming and we didn't look forward to it.

the walk down.

My cheap, good and comfy shoes from H&M just weren’t built for these pointy rocks!

Day 20 part 2 coming right up! See the best sunset and the coolest bookshop ever in my next honeymoon post! 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 )

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{ Replies to previous post }

lisa s I hope your bed has found itself some pretty skirting already! Mine will need more for sure!