Saturday, March 16, 2013

1-month trip in europe/london~~ (barcelona, nice, pisa, florence, rome, venice, cologne, frankfurt, prague, munich, london, paris!!)

Some tips for those who join 'expat explore'
I'm joining 'London-Rome 12 days' trip.

I started joining the tour from Barcelona. 
So I can only start to share some of my tips from Barcelona up to Rome~~

I arrived 1-day earlier than the group. 
So I got to explore a lot in Barcelona - a beautiful lovely city!

U only have 1 free day in Barcelona. Which is TOOOOO little. 
But u can try to maximize ur time. 

Dinner was provided. 
We were served with salad, bread and paella and white wine. 
Our tour guide suggested us to join the club/ dance at port Olympic. 
We shared taxi. 
The dance ONLY happens during weekends~~

Go back and get an early sleep. In order to wake up early the next day. 
We stay at ibis hotel. Near to 'fabra I puig' (L1 red line)
Advice to buy 1-day pass (7.25euro) or t-10 pass (9.80 euro). Then u can get to wherever u want. 
In Barcelona. All about Goudi. 
So must go sangrada familia and Hosp sant Paul. (Within walking distance). Then guell park (stop at Lesseps station). Then casa BAtillo (stops at Pg. de Gracia)

Spend a few hours at la rambla. 
Dun go on sun. Most of the shops are close!
Walk the whole street. 
Must visit to cathedral. (And walk around barri gotic)
U will get into 'Pulau de la virreina' market. 

If have more time. 
Stop at 'arc de triomf' 
Walk thru the arc. Walk towards the 'parc de la ciutadella'. It's a nice park~~ (do go if ur time is not enuf!!!)

Then museum Picasso is optional. Not open on MON. And for me. It's quite pricy. Hehe..
So do 'Barcelona football stadium' (quite far from town). U can stop at 'Maria Christina' station. 

Further down. U can come to 'port vell'. Just get there and take a pic. 
It's near to 'barceloneta' station. 
And MUST go to a local restaurant. 
The food and wine are cheap. And no seat! U need to order and eat and drink while standing with the crowds. 
I dun know their language. Jz point to the menu and order my food. 
Can order 1 bottle of wine and share. Cost 5-6 euro. A big bottle 
U got different variety of sandwiches / burgers~~~
The shop's name is 'champenieti'. 
Add: reina Cristina 7. 
Ask the local ppl. They might know when u r near to 'barceloneta' station. 

Do check up the fountain show at placa d'Espanya. (Stop at espanya station). 
Certain days. Certain time. They have musical fountain. 
Do check the time/date available. 
From 7-9pm. Can visit. It's beautiful

That's all about it for a day in Barcelona!
Choose ur priority. 
Dun b greedy!
Might just hang around at the beach. Or shop around 'la rambla'. 
Be extra alert to pick-pockets!!!
Enjoy ur lovely day to Barcelona 


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We leave to French Rivera the next day early in the morning. 

One of the main reason deciding to join expat explore is because of French Rivera. My teacher highly recommended a village to me. 
Because. It's quite costly ad inconvenient to come by ur own. Therefore. I join the tour up to Rome. Then I'll go around all by myself~~

We check-in hotel at ibis budget Nice (etap hotel nice). It's located behind the nice beach (Promenade des Anglais)
and hospital lenval (where Angelina Jolie gave birth to the twins)

We arrived quite late. 
Our tour guide gave us the wrong direction. Ended up. We jz manage to get some burger/pizza for dinner. 
Turn to ur right of the hotel. Nothing much. But look for a shop 'Carrefour express'. 2-3min walk. Same side of the hotel. U can get wine and mineral water in really cheap price. 0.20 euro for a 1.5L mineral water. Look for it. And get half a dozen!! Haha~~

I plan my free day early in the morning after breakfast. 

U have lots of choices for u to decide. 
Bear in mind. Dun b greedy 
Focus on ur proprity!!
Good thing in Nice. 
U can get 1-day pass for buses in town for 4 euro. 
Or 1-way pass cost u 1 euro only~~

Mine is the village called St. Paul de Vence. 1 hour from nice. 
Wait for the bus in front of Hosp lenval. No 400.  (Not covered by day pass). 
Stop at the very last station. 
U'll reach at a roundabout. Go 1-o'clock. 
2-3min walk. U'll find a tourist information centre. 
Get the map and locate urself. 
It's a nice and beautiful village where most painters from Nice had stayed at~~
And wireless is available at the info centre!! Hehe~~
I spent 2 hours here~~

I get back to city centre by bus. 
Then walk around for few hours. 
Get their early to go for 'Cours saleya flower market' at old town (vieille ville)
And they turn into restaurant in the evening~~ quite interesting when u seeing them washing the floor. And setting up the tables. 
Further up. U can reach the port. 
Do explore and climb up the stairs~~

I'm sooooo lucky. 
Now is the time for their carnaval. 
Paying 10 euro for the tickets. And seeing the show. Not very special. But lots of flowers and different ppl in different attires. :p

If u have time. U can spend time for museums. 
But I choose to walk to Russe st Nicholas cathedral. 
It's very nice! Worth to pay a visit!

I rushed back before 5pm. And charged my Hp and rest a short while. 
Coz the bus is going to give us a ride to Monaco and Monte Carlo!
If u wanna pay a visit to its casino. 
Wear decent! Haha~~
The bus left sharp at 5pm. Coz bus is not allowed to park longer than 15min. So. Some ppl missed the bus!

It took us about 1 hour to reach. 
Visited to the palace. 
Then hang around at Monte Carlo. 
I didn't enter the casino. 
But enjoyed good meal at 'Le bistroquet'. 
The chef is good. The food is great. And the service provided by them is awesome!
The price is reasonable for a good meal at Monaco!
I ordered 'spaghetti with smoked salmon'. 16 euro. Big portion. 
We didnt order wine. But just water!
Try to get there before 7.30pm. Now. There is a promotion. Provide u some breads/snacks and cocktail with the price of 5.50 euro. We were late for that!!!
Try ur luck!

I almost missed the bus due to this great meal~~
I ran and knocked on the bus. They only opened and let me in. 
Dun worry. If u miss the bus. 
U can get back to town by train. Jz ask the local ppl~~

Enjoy ur stay at French Rivera!!!
Off to Italy the next day!

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We left early to Italy. 
Reach PISA after lunch. 
We got 1 hour spent here. 
Nothing much. Jz take a pic on the building. 
Be creative. 
And the password code the McD toilet is '1e' (ONE e).  U need to purchase the food. Will only get the code. But it's standard code. 

Then we arrived at Florence at around 5pm! We check in 'Plus hostel Florence'. 
Put down ur luggage and LEaVE the room! Coz u are given half of a day in Florence only. 
I get a map from the reception. And rush to 'piazza accademia'. To look at the 'statues of David'. 
Coz in the review. Someone mentioned that 'if u never see the real David. U are not considered that u had visited to Florence'. 
It closes at 6.30pm. 
We were really lucky. 
The piazza is 5min away from our hostel. 
And because its winter. No many ppl. So no need to reserve the ticket. And no crowd. 
We have David for our own for 5-10min!!
Toooooo bad. No pic is allowed. 
Tips: u can hide urself else where and quickly click on ur iPhone/camera. Do it quick before someone sees u and stops u. 
It's magnificent!!
It's gorgeous. 
And the price is 6.50 euro (non-peak. It differs from peak season. According to my tour guide)

We rushed back to our hotel to join the Italian food and wine (Chianti) at the roof top bar. 
I like the cheese and wine!!!
After this. They provide us a local tour guide to walk us thru the Florence. It takes about 2 hours!
It rained!! But we still go!
Worth to spend time with her!
We walked thru the most buildings and histories with her. 
Wonderful!!
Lovely~~

And I asked her where is GROM located. And I get my gelato from GROM. 
My fren highly recommended me GROM. Hehe~~'

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Bye! For now. 
Wil off to ROME. My last stop with expat explore~~~

arrived at Rome by lunch time. 
Check in the lousiest HomeStay at camping village. Very very far away from town. 
And u need to take bus then metro only wil get to the city. And it took us 1-hour. If u r unlucky, u might need to wait for 20-40min just for the bus outside the hostel!!!
It's near to Vatican City though~~ (by bus no 247)

Wireless sucks. 
Room sucks. 
Food / lunch was ok. 
'Ciao Bella' restaurant service sucks til max!!!
Short of ppl. They work as cleaner, waiters/waitress, DJ, cashier, manager. 
And no music is allowed at the bar until 1am. (Told by one of the cery rude waitress)
Come on!! It's a bar!! We need music for us to move and shake with our chianti/ beers!!!!
So. We made our own noise and music!
Some of us waited 1-hour for the coffee to be re-filled. 
I asked to bring us milk. The very rude waitress jz ignored me in front of everyone!
And the food choice sucks and very limited!!!
Go get something from 'paranoma' supermarket instead of having ur dinner here!
Bring ur own chianti! Dun care about them~~ make urself a party with the others as a group! They can't do anything about it!!!!


They showed us how to get to the bus then change metro. 
Then we started our walking tour with local tour guide. 
Awesome city! With beautiful buildings and art of Michelangelo. 
We gathered at 'Spanish steps'. 
Then proceed to Trevi fountain. 
Then go towards templo adriano and then pantheon. 
Proceed to pizza Navona. 
Passing by area sacra. Then campidoglio. 
Walk towards its back. 
We passed thru foro augusto, foro Di cesare and piazza Romana. 
Last stop at colosseum. 
Then we are off for free night~~
We head back to our place. Coz it's tiring. 
We stopped at 'paranoma' to grab some drinks and food for the night. 
Then bye. 

Coz tomorrow will follow guided exciting 'Vatican' trip~~

For those who wanna do more and stay more days in Rome. 
I come out with my own walking tour in Rome. 
1) Spanish steps
Can take metro to barberini station or walk
2) capuchin crypts
3) Trevi fountain
4) s. Ignazio Di Loyota
5) templo Adriana 
6) pentheon
7) San Luigi d Francesi church
8) piazza Navona
9) campo de fiori market + piazza Farnese 
10) s Maria in transverse + dinner + chianti + geloti
11) area sacra
12) piazza Venezia
13) campidoglio
**tips:  climb up the stairs at ur right side. Then go up to first floor. Toilet is there! After that, do take pic at the garden. Nice view~~
14) passing thru camlidoglio and go to its back. U will pass thru the forum
15) end at colosseum at night~~

** can skip 9,10. 
Coz keep 'transverse' for dinner. 
U can find cheap authentic food there. 
3-4 euro for nice pizza, pasta and spaghetti. I went to 'bacanole' restaurant. A glass of wine with bread and a main dish (either pasta. Spaghetti or pizza) with the price of 10 euro. Wireless is available. No extra service charge!!!
Food is awesome. 
Give urself a treat especially after a long day!!!


Others:
16) take metro up to 'termini' station. 
 Walk towards snta Maria Maggiore. To check on 'sforza chapel'

17) after that, turn right. Follow the 'via de olmata'. Then turn to ur right at 'Via Quattro cantoni'. Then turn left when u reach the junction of 'Via covour'. Go straight. Until u see the sign of 'st pietro in vincoli'. Turn left. Cross over the road. Climb up the stairs. And then turn right. Then I'll see the church. 
Stature of Moses by michaelangelo is inside the church.  Free entrance!!

18) walk or take metro bus until 'circa massimo' station. 
Walk towards circa massimo. Turn left into 'via Valle Murcia' then 'via s sabina'. U will arrive at San alessio. 
A nice church. 
19) proceed to next building 'piazza cacalleri Di Malta'. There is a wooden doorway that leads to the gardens of the sovereign order of the knights of Malta. 
Look into the keyhole. U'll see none other than the done of St. Peter's basilica, frames by the hedges of the gardens within. 
Do it only if u have more time and days in Rome!
20) walking back to st Maria in cosmedin. 
Take a pic with 'the mouth of truth'
Lots of ppl q-ing up for the pic. 
I jz took it at the side when they changed ppl~~

**Extra tips from ding ding**
If ur tour doesn't provide u walking tour with ur tour-guide. Then u might go by urself with a map. 
U can walk to whole city in a day. 
Get up early. And make sure u reach colloseum by metro before 8am and queue up for the tickets! (It's fine to reach by 8am, coz tourists usually come in a bit later~~). I waited at 8am although I had purchased my ticket jor~~ (I was the first and only person standing in front of the gate. I'm that 'kiasu' huh?!?! Hahaha!!!)
Or else u r gonna waste lots of time for the queue. I'm a bit 'kiasu'. So I always do that. 
Or go get the ticket at the counter next to 'Liberia bookshop'/ largo Della salary vecchia.. 3min walk from colloseum..  It's hidden. Try to find for it. 
Same price for the ticket. No queue. And I bought the ticket 1-day in advanced. So I can jz enter the next day without q-ing for the tickets. Hehe... :p


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Everyone should go Vatican with tour-guide. So u can understand more. 
Although u need a whole day to see thru all sculptures and paintings at the museum. But information provided by tour guide is extremely important for u to understand its history. And the tour guide will point to u at certain arts with special ways. 
It's pretty cool, interesting and awesome!!
[tooooo bad. No pic is allowed at awesome Cistine chapel. But lots of ppl taking it secretly. Including me~~~]

When ur tour-guide told u that u r going to enter the Cistine chapel, do pass the earphone to ur fren to pass it back to her/him. Make a u-turn. Go back in the museum. Or else. U r gonna exit thru the other door~~
Lots and lots of galleries, arts, sculptures for u to go thru one by one. And admiring its greatness and awesomeness!!!!

**Buy 1-day pass at the reception if u are staying at camping village with expat explore. It costs 6 euro only. After the half-day tour to Vatican City. U can hop on the metro station to whether u wish to visit! It includes bus, metro and tram. (Expat explore will try to collect 3 euro for 2 single way tickets. Do tell them u are going to buy 1-day pass by adding another 3 euro, and u can go else where after the half-day tour at Vatican!)

**Extra tips from ding ding**
Pope will show out on every fri 12pm from his window. 
When u stand at the centre of the st peter square facing towards St. Peter basilica (at ur 12 o'clock). Pope's window is located at ur 3 o'clock. Upper floor, second window from outer~~
If u r at Rome on wed. Do visit the pope as well~~ the crowds are crazy!!! U need to squeeze urself to get a closer look and better pic!


After seeing the pope. Go straight (3 o'clock). 4-5min walking distance, u'll arrive at 'ottaviano' station

Before u walk straight. There is toilet and post office at the left corner directly under the bridge (pope's window).  Do give urself a break. And send someone a post card~~ :p
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If u wanna see more arts of michealangelo. U should visit to 'st pietro in vincoli'. There is the stature of Moses~~
Catch the metro B line up to 'Cavour' station. 
Turn to ur right at the exit. Cross over the opposite side. And then climb up the flight of steps. Then turn right. U'll find the church. 
It opens from 8-12.30pm. Then 3-6pm (summer up to 7pm).  Free entrance. 

Do pay a visit to sforza chapel at Santa Maria Maggiore. 
3min walking distance from termini station, 'vittorio emanuele' or 'cavour' station.
Worth to pay a visit on michealangelo works! (No pic is allowed though)
Guided audio available. 
Toilet is available too!!!

Nothing special for porta pia and piazza Farnese. 
-----------

For 'capuchin crypts'. U need to catch the metro A line until 'Barberini-Fontana Trevi' station. And exit to 'via veneto'. 
The church is built by bones of capuchin monks!!
It opens from 9am - noon. Then 3-6pm (close on Thursday). 
Entrance fee = 6 euro
[tooooo bad. No photo is allowed. But it's amazing!!]

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Colloseum and forum is my last stop for Rome. 
I walked 10min from my budget hotel -- hotel conte verde. The room is comfortable. Although the bathroom is a little bit small. But the ppl are nice. 
They served me breakfast early. 
They let me put my bag into the room earlier. 
They gave away their password of the wireless earlier. 
And they opened the chianti bottle for me too!!!!

Off to Venice in the evening. 
For those who wanna go to airport. U can get the ticket for shuttle bus at 'tourist information centre' which is just in front of 'termini' metro station. 
6 euro only for the ticket! (All airport included. Jz ask the counter for the bus stop to get ur bus to airport)
It takes about 45min - 1 hour to reach 'fiucimico airport'
-------

Reach Venice by night. 
Going to mesre town by shuttle bus directly from Marco Polo airport. 
6 euro. Bought the ticket from the machine outside the airport. Then wait at no2. Bus comes every 30min. 
It takes about 10min to reach 'mesre' train station. 
Walking towards my hotel at mesre - hotel piave, which takes another 5-10min. (Do google map the location. And it's easy to find


Venice hotel @ hotel piave mesre
Single room
50 euro for 2 nights. 
Breakfast included (7-9am)
ONLY first 30min free wireless provided. Subsequently 30min for 1 euro!

Hotel is comfortable. 
Toilet is cool. Towels are provided. But no tooth brush and toothpaste...
There is a special tub to wash ur feet (I assume that's the usage!! Haha!)

And mesre train station is just a station away from Venice!
Night~~ have lots of plans for tomorrow~~

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Venice!!!!
If u are staying at mesre. 
Choose to come in Venice by train. Jz 1 station away which takes 10-15min. U can buy ticket over the 'tabacchi' counter. It costs 1.20euro/way~~ (when u wanna go back to mesre from Venice, take the train at platform 10,11. Ask again before u get into the train~~)
When u arrive at the train station. 
Get out and turn right. U'll cross a bridge. U'll arrive at piazzalle Roma. Get ur ticket for vaporetto. 
Suggest to buy 24 or 48 hours. 12hours - 18 euro. 24 hours 20euro. U can use it to reach Rialto/ San Marco and to the 3 islands which I'm going now!! Murano, Burano and torcello islands. 
If u buy single way. It costs u 6.50euro. Not worthy! Unless u will only stay half day in Venice!!

DO NOT forget ur sun block and sunglass!!
Enjoy!!

A bit tricky/ complicated when u first get on the system of vaporetto. Practically it's a water bus. 
U can take vaporetto from railway station/ piazza Roma/ casino/ railto/ San Marco~~ but its quite difficult to find coz the city is a 'mess'~~ but no worry!
Before going for the islands, try to get on vaperatto from piazza Roma or railway station. It will pass by the grand canal all up to San Marco. 
Do stop at railto. Take a pic at railto bridge. Do explore the markets by the side. 
Try the seafood I've never seen before. Haha! If u happen to find lo~~
Then hop on the vaperatto if u dun wanna walk. Or it's time to walk from railto to San Marco~~ it's like 10-15min walk. And enjoy get lost in the city~~


There is no direct vaporetto from Venice to torcello and other island. 
U need to change. 
I take the vaporetto from San Marco to ponta sabbioni by no 14.  Then get down and turn to the right to change to no12 to triperti. (Or else u'll need to wait for extra 1 hour)
Then continue to Burano by no 12. 
Burano is my first stop. 
Then I go to torcello by no 9. 
It takes up to 1-2hours.. coz the frequency for certain vaporetto is hourly~~ therefore, this is only for those who has more days I'm Venice. Or else. Just choose 1 island to go. And definitely not torcello!) Enjoy!!

Burano is a very colorful yet simple island. Worth to pay a pic and thousands of pic will b taken for sure! The best island. I think~~

Torcello island is quite far away. But peaceful, no crowd at all.. More nature~~
(But nothing really special. Mayb it's winter?!?!)

Last stop at murano island. 
Must enter the shop which demonstrate how they make the glass! Very skillful and unique. 
This island is full of colorful and special glasses~~
It's quite big. Can jz explore and walk around with gelato! I personally recommend 'pistachio' flavor!! Damn nice~~~

** some vaporetto provides toilets!!
Entrance for toilets in Venice mostly cost u 1.50 euro!!!!


Venice is a very simple, yet complicated. Haha!
Because the direction points u to 'Rialto', 'San Marco' or back to 'p. Roma'. So jz follow the direction and u won't get lost~~ that's called as simple. 
No one ever open up map when they are in Venice. Coz the city is soooooo complicated. Soooo many small, short roads and bridges and canals~~ but its a lovely to get lost. ESP at night~~
No one can avoid NOT to get lost in Venice. Enjoy the city. Enjoy the life~~ :p
威尼斯是个错综复杂却又是简单的城市。
她的路多到像蜘蛛网一样的复杂。可是却没有人打开地图。
她的指标都指向'Rialto' 和'San Marco'。所以。别怕!
就算迷失在这漂亮的城市,也是不错的感受〜〜〜
有谁不曾迷失在城市呢?
有谁能够不享受这无比美丽的迷失呢?!

** extra tips from ding ding. 
If u ever visit to lido. Do look for 'Buddha bar restaurant'. 200m away from the station. 
The wireless password is: soulkitchen7368. :p

Day time for the next day before I leave to Frankfurt. 
I visit to palazzo ducale (doge's palace), st mark's bell tower / campanile and st mark's basilica and its museum. 

I pay 16 euro for the doge's palace. This gothic palace was home to the rules of the Venetian republic. And wander across the Bridge of Sighs and into the cell where u can see and sigh at the final view experienced by condemned prisoners in their final hours. 
Opening hours: 9am - 7pm

For st mark's campanile. Pay and the lift take I up to 100m. To view over the city and surrounds. 
It gives u fantastic view (although it's quite pricy. 8 euro)
Do block ur ears if u happen to be up there when those bells start swinging~~~ enjoy!! Can go up during evening time. Stay longer til dark/7pm. To get the day view and night views~~

St mark's basilica is free for entrance. It only opens at 9.45am. 
But u need to pay for the museum and others. All up to ur options and budgets~~
Take a pic on the square when it's empty. Either early in the morning or night~~ I personally prefer the night view with lights!! It's soooo romantic~~ u are seeing couples with kisses and hugs. They walk hand-in-hand. And avoid to take the roses from the ppl. Or else it will cost u a bit of ur euro~~
Enjoy!!

**extra trip: watch out for the cover and service charge at the restaurant in Venice. Do ask before u choose to dine-in. :p


* tricks: if ur pass for vaporetto has expired. Dun really need to get a new one. Coz most of the stations, u dun even need to get in by pass~~ but, it's up to u to do it onot lo~~~

Flying off to Frankfurt Hahn by Ryanair. 
Ryanair is very very strict with the 1-luggage policy. Do check it properly before u go the airport. Make sure the size and weight of ur bag is within its limit~~

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Off to cologne early in the morning by bus. My hotel free shuttle send me to Bus terminal. Bus leaves by 10am. 16 euro. It takes around 2hours++
My host comes to pick me up at the train station. Contact him by email and SMS! Reply pretty fast. 
Nice guy. And his place is nice and cheap!! He rents the place shared with a china guy. Its underground his room.. Hehe~~~ (got to his place by Airbnb)

Tour around cologne by walking. 
U just need to buy one way tram ticket to 'Heumarkt' station. It costs 2.70 euro. It takes around 5min. Then u can walk to Grob st Martin church before u reach Kolner Dom cologne cathedral. 
If u don't mind some exercise. Do go to south gate (outside the cathedral). Then pay the entrance of 3 euro to climb up the stair and have a view of the city. 
Lots of stairs. It's really tiring. 
So. Up2 u whether u wanna take up this challenge or not~~ do it before 4pm (it closes early during winter)~~
Evening time. Do walk on the bridge towards the other side. When u walk on the bridge. U will definitely notice lots of padlocks of love. Can bring one colorful padlock with u if u bring another half of u!! It's sweet thing to do. 
Then can choose a nice restaurant or bar. It's not expensive at this area! U can get steak within 10 euro~~ hehe~~ enjoy. :p

Can travel to more centre area for bars and restaurant by tram. 2 stations further. 'Rudalfpltaz' station. 
If u r ambitious. Can go up to Dom tower. One of the highest tower in Europe~~


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Wake up late and jz laze up a bit. Coz will only leave to Frankfurt at 2pm by 'sprint bus'. Jz need to wait at platform no 4. (U will see eurobus, DON'T get up the bus!)

At last,  i left around 11am+ to find a decent restaurant for my lunch before I'm off to Frankfurt~~but ended up. I had my lunch in McD while waiting for the bus. Enjoying free wireless. (Using my host's no. Coz no PIN code was sent to my Hp no. He is kind enuf to send back the code for me. Hehe...)
Bye. A nice town to visit to~~

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Arrived at Frankfurt am around 4.30pm. My hostel is 5min away from the hbf train station. 
Lots of restaurant and bars nearby. 
After check-in, quickly get the map and info to get some spots before it turns dark. 
Walked to 'Romer' area. About 10min walk. It's the centre of the city. Lots of beautiful building and churches for photo taking. Then walk towards zeil shopping street. 
Then walked towards 'Bethmann park'. A Chinese garden in the middle of Frankfurt city. :p
On the way back. U can see the crowds walking at zeil street. 
Can try some sausages here~~
Do take a night view at Romer before u head back or go to bar and restaurant. Do go back to hostel yet if u are not tired. Coz most bars/pubs are near to zeil street~~ :p

Wake up at 4am. To catch euroline bus to Prague. 
This journey takes about 6-7hours. 
Prague is one of my dream place to visit to~~~ :p
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Arrive at Prague around 12pm. 
Look for my hotel - ostas hotel,  Which is around 5min away from the 'florenc' train station/ bus terminal. And I will leave to Munich after 3 days from the same place. 
That's the reason I choose this hotel. Although it's 10-15min walking distance to old-town square and astronomical clock. 
Wireless, towel, and shampoo are provided. The room is quite spacious. 
Get a map. Start to plan for my 3-day stay at Prague. One of my dream place. 
It's almost 2pm after shower. Therefore, I decided to just walk around the old-town square to get myself familiar with this beautiful city. 

**VERY IMPORTANT tip for girls~~
DON'T ever wear high heel walking in Prague!! U will know y where u are there~~ :p


U can spend half day to a full day joining the walking tour next to astonomical. Lots of options for u. It takes 2-3 hours. And u just need to tip the tour guide by the end of the tour. This is the best way to know about the history for Prague. 

**tips: try to wake up early one of the morning. Around 8am. To get to experience the old-town square without tourist. Then further down 5-10min walk. Cross the charles bridge while there is less ppl in the early morning. It's best time to cross the bridge and take ur time for pic session~~
Then walk towards Prague castle. 
For me. Not worth to pay 300 czk for the ticket. Coz the best building is st vitus cathedral. And u can enter without the ticket. And u can take the pic outside either. Unless u wanna know more history regarding Prague castle. Then go ahead with the ticket!
U need 2-4 hours spent in the castle. If have more time. Can walk towards Petrin tower to look at the city from high. (I didn't go!)


Walking tour will start at 11am everyday. 
Start from old town square. Then talk about Mozart and Baroque, then walk towards new town / Wenceslas square. 
Lastly. They will bring u to Jewish kquarter and museums. And end at charles bridge.

After the trip. U can buy a ticket to visit Jewish quarters. 
Ticket price is 300ckz  including cemetery and most synagogue.  EXCLUDING old-new synagogue. So if u wish to visit this synagogue. U can just buy the ticket on its own. It's quite good to know more on Jews history in Czech Republic. Just for those who is interested. 

U can so try up Thai massage here!!
It costs u ONLY 8-10euro for 1 hour. Especially after a long-day~~ u can see the services in all streets~~ :p

Lastly. Get to the restaurant a bit away from the old-town square for cheaper local traditional Czech food. Such as 'svickovas na smetanec' (marinated beef with sauce) and 'knedlo vepro zelo' (roast pork with dumplings and cabbages). 
U can get it within 200 czk with beer~~
The cheapest food u can find here is Chinese food or pork. So u nees to decide for yourselves! I personably went for local Czech food, of course~~~
My tour guide suggested me a restaurant. The price is affordable (within that range). The name is 'restaurace u parlamentu' near to 'klementinum'. Corner shop in green color~~ (address: valentinska 8 / kAprova 6 / Praha 1. +420721415747) without service charge!!
The food is delicious!! Must-try!
Can try its dessert. Not expensive too~~
And I OSo tried at 'restaurant u-tempura' yesterday for the pork~~ yummy!!  It's located 50m away from the 'powder gate' at ur right side.. (before chinese summer palace restaurant). There is always a guy holding the menu looking for customers, coz the restaurant is hidden inside the street, NOT obvious~~ but the first restaurant is superb with cheaper price~~ :p

** tips: dun ever order water/aqua or cola. Coz the price is the same for these drinks and beer or wine!!! Just a glass of wine. Won't make u drunk. And u are going to have it with pork or beef~~ it's marvelous~~ 
I'm drinking alcohol like drinking water in Europe~~ :p

Notes: lots of clubs and pubs at night. Open until 4-5am. U can rest in the evening after a long day of walking. To enjoy their wild night life especially fri and sat night. 
And it's legal for those who aged more than 18 years and above to be a sex worker. And prague is labelled as european bangkok.. so u know it well then~~
Plz be OPEN-minded and to experience/ enjoy!!!
Come on. We are in Prague. We are in holiday!!!

-----
Get up early and leave to bus station. To catch euroline bus to Munich~~ (bought some bread and milk to bring on bus as breakfast. It's 5-hour journey)
Bye my beautiful Prague!

Arrived at Munich around 12pm. 
Met up with a fren of mine who stayed here as tour guide. 
Soooooo nice of him. Tour me around the city. 

The next day, I joined his tour to neuschwanstein which is about 2-hour away by train. 
A very nice place to visit. It's all about castle, swan and 'mad' king Ludwid II. 

I bought 'bayern' ticket and went to Salzburg. Which is about 2-hour away by train too. This ticket costs 22 euro. And 4 euro extra for another 1person (max up to 5 person in a group). 
Mayb it's winter. I dun find it interesting for me. Therefore I left the place after 3-hour of exploring. 
If u are fan of 'sound of music'. U should visit!! :p

Last day in Munich. I bought a day pass. 5.80 euro. 
I took the train to visit Olympic park and BMW museum. 
Then I rushed back by 10.45am to join the free walking tour around the city. Our tour guide is very excited about the tour. And she is good. U just need to too her by end of the tour~~
Meet up at marienplatz (Mary's square). Started with a bit of introuduction and history~~ By 11am, the clock at the new town hall will start to ring. Total time of 10-15min. Started with bell, then an out-of-tuned music box. Then the 'dolls' turns for the performance. Another music box. Then a 'dance' and it will end when the 'bird' chirps for 3 times~~ (this clock only performs at 11am, 12pm and 5pm). 
Then we took a group pic inside the new-town hall. 
After this, we walked towards the first church -- bastian stein. (Twin towers of the chathedral). Also known as 'church of the devil'. It took ONLY 20 years to build this church. U can hear the story from the tour guide. And someone or the devil left his footprint inside the church~~ :p

Then. We proceed to 'odeonsplatz'. Look at the 2 tigers at the square. Mouth of the one facing to the church is close. As the other one facing to the royal residence is open! Which means 'say nothing against the church but voice out ur opnions to towards government'. 
Then we passed by royal residence. (I paid the entrance after the tour. Ticket: 7 euro with audioguide provided )

History of Hitler and his first march was told~~
Then we passed by the 'rich' streets filled with all the branded shops at maximilianstraBe. Then to hofbrauhaus. One of the original royal beer was served. Local music was played. So go in a grab a beer and experience the life of Bavarian~~~ (if u just want to order beer without food, choose the table without) :p

** when u walked by the royal residence. Do TOUCH on both golden head of the tigers, they bring u good-luck. :p

After hofbrauhaus, we passed by the victual markets, which is a day market where sells all kinds of food, raw meats, fresh fruits snd vegetables, etc... There is 'beer Garden' here. Jz grab a beer and sit down. And get ready to meet all kinds of ppl from all parts of the world~~ :p

Lastly we ended our tour at St. Peter church. The oldest church in Munich. 
Do pay 1.50 euro and climb up the bell towel. It gives u the perfect view of Munich city~~
Lots of stairs to climb though. Be prepared!! :p

There is other trips/options for u when u visit to Munich. 
U can join the 'dachau trip'. Half day tour to concentration camp. 

One of my friends highly recommended me to go Stuttgart by train, it'll take u another 2 hours from Munich. But it's for shopping!! Lots of branded factory outlets with surprise prices~~ do research on it if u r very into branded stuffs~~ :p (I'm never a shopping guy, so NO for me this time~~)


If u are soooooo crazy about car, especially BMW. U must visit to  BMW museum. Do ring them up for a special tour on the cars and its process. Limited number of people are allowed for a day. And they don't take you directly from walking-in!

For technology, do visit Deutsches museum. It's a station away from marienplatz station. (Get off at Isartor station)
Entrance fee: 8.50 euro. 
It shows u the high technology. And I don't enter. 

Walk around English garden in the evening. 
Can see people surf as well  and others normal activities at the park. Jogging, playing footballs, walking with dogs, picnicking, and the list goes on~~

'Oktofest'!!!
All about beers. 
Non-oktofest period. Bavarian is crazy about beers. All drink like water. Can u imagine when it's oktofest?!?! Do come at that time and enjoy this crazy festival~~

-------
Off to Munich by monarch flight~~
Then to Baker Street by bus. 
Welcome to London~~

Thx to my fren. I got to stay at Hilton hotel in London. :p

I arrived at Luton airport by monarch airline. Then I get to the town -- Baker Street by easybus, which took me another 1 hour. 
Then I got to the hotel by tube. 

** tips for tube/ transportation in London. 
U either need to get urself Oyster card or day pass (travelpass). 
If u need to travel more than 4 times a day, then advisable to buy travelpass which costs 7.30pound only. If u use Oyster card, every single way will cost u at least 2.10pound whereas travelpass covers for unlimited ride for a day!
Some of u plan to do walking tour for certain day, then u can choose not to buy any card/pass for that day. 
**note: off-peak, for weekday, it is after 9.30am. 
Weekend and public holiday - whole day! (Off peak costs u 7.30pound for 1-day travelcard; whereas peak travelcard costs u extra 1 pound ONLY~~~)


First day, my fren showed me around central London, including covent garden, Trafalgar Square with national gallery and national portrait gallery, way to st James park and Westminster, house of parliament and buckhingham palace, London eyes and so on. 
Then we had our dinner at Chinatown. 
Then I went for musical 'les miserable' by myself. Coz the tickets were sold out. And I Pre-booked before I came to London. And it was Saturday. The tickets all were selling like hot cakes. 
**NO worry. Lots of choices for musicals. Only those popular will be sold-out. 

The next day, it was sunday.
we woke up pretty early.  had a good chat with breakfast, then we decided to take tube heading towards 'notting hill gate' station for weekend market - portobello market.  A long walking streets, with lots of shops. But it starts around 10.30am til late noon, i supposed. Lots of antiques, clothes, etc. Should pay a visit if u are here for the weekend.
After that, We went to hillsong church by tube until 'Tottenham court road' station. Follow the exit towards 'the dominion theatre'. Then u'll get to the church once u are out from the exit. 
Thx God. It was one of the best service I had ever attended. Thx to my fren again~~ :p
After this, we had our burger nearby. Then we went to British museum, which is 2-3min away. 
U can easily spend 3-6 hours in the museum. :p
It was pretty cold. Therefore we only went out to take pic on London eyes at its night view then quickly got into a Mexican restaurant to have our dinner. 
That's the end for second day. 

My third day in London was great!!
According to weather forecast. It was very likely to be snowing~~
But it was march. Stil praying hard. 
And indeed, it snowed! 
One of the heaviest snow in march for the past 27 years. 
Planned to walk around buckhingham palace that side, due to this snow, I hide myself inside national galleries instead. 
Then I check-in another hostel after lunch~~ :p
I bought day pass for today. Therefore, I went to st paul church, London tower, tower bridge, Camden town for dinner and souvenir shopping. Then night, I went for 'phantom of opera'~~~ :p

I joined the walking tour the next day. 
It started at 11am. Waiting point at 'green park' station. (Exit to buckhingham palace, then u'll see a stature. Just need to wait there. Someone will hold an orange umbrella!)
This walking tour took about 2 hours. It's free of charge. U just need to tip the tour guide at the end of the tour. 
This tour started from buckhingham palace, then walking towards Trafalgar Square. Then end at Westminster. :p

Supposed to go to Paris at that night. Due to snow/bad weather. Need to stay extra day in London. 
Therefore, I decided to wake up late and walk around Hyde park. Coz it's near to my hostel. 
Then I walked towards buckhingham palace to join the crowds to see the show of guard changing. Nothing that amazing. But I'm super free and no plan for that, that was why I went and I waited for 1 hour just for this!!
After that, I walked back to Hyde park, towards 'science museum'. 
This museum has 2 floor for medicine which interest me the most. But I sat there for 1-2 hours just to enjoy its free Internet and rest myself lo~~
Then I walked back to my hostel after dinner. Then leave to 'Victoria coach station' to catch my bus to Paris at night. (Megabus)


--------




Due to lots of reason. I only have 1 day at Paris!!!! (Flight delay during first day, bus delay due to bad weather!!!) just wonder whether I can make it to Eiffel Tower onot. :p

Travel around with metro day pass. 
I'm joining the walking tour which will start at 11am at 'st-Michel' station (RER B or M4). 
I visited to 'arch of triumph' after breakfast. Stopped at 'Charles de Gaulle etoile' station. 
Then I left to 'cite' station (M4) which is 1 station away from st-Michel. From there, u can walk towards 'saint Chappell', palace of justice. Then notre-dome cathedral. Do all these before the walking tour, coz the tour guide is going to tell u the history about these buildings. But near in mind, the queue for 'saint chapel' is freaking long. So I dint get to enter~~ :(
** tips. Free entrance for the toilet outside the cathedral. :p

The walking tour started at the fountain of st Michael at 11am and 1pm everyday. It takes 3 hours. 
From the fountain. We will walk to notre-dome cathedral. Then walked pass by saint Chappell and palace of justice. 
Then we will walk along the river/canal until the 'new bridge' (pony neuf) and then 'bridge of love'. Lastly 'bridge of art' which is situated next to louvre museum and miser d'Orsay. 
Then, we ended our tour after history of Napoleon and Eiffel Tower~~~ :p

I walked towards 'arc of triumph'. And u will pass-by a famous shopping streets with branded shops. Grabbed a quick lunch. Headed to Eiffel towel from 'Charles de Gaulle etoile' station to 'Bir-Hakeim' station via M6. Then follow the sign, u'll arrive at Eiffel towel in 3-5min~~ along the way. U got a few pretty good view for Eiffel. 
The queue takes 1-3 hours. Depends on time and season. We were lucky. Queued for 1-hour. But, it was snowing. The top floor was close!! We only got to get up to second level instead of top level. 
Suggest u all start to queue around 4-5pm. Then by 7pm, u will reach the top. Take some pic before it turns dark. 
Get urself down to the 'food court'. Chairs available with warmer corner for u to kill time while waiting for sunset. 
If u are lucky. U get to see the sunset with nice pic~~
By 7.30-8pm. U can quickly take some pic on the nice and lovely night view from top of Eiffel Tower. 
By the time u get down, u get to take pic on the lighting Eiffel~~ :p
Enjoy ur trip in Paris.

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