Getting ready!

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Posted by wendy | Posted in blog, travel | Posted on 03-07-2008

Today was my last day at work!  WHOHOO!Here’s the high level itenenary! None of us are power vacationers so we’ll see how many of these sites we actually hit.Joe calls this the temple, tombs, and palaces tour. We’ll see.Saturday –

  • Transportation : Hop on a taxi, train, subway to the Fraser Suites in Isadong
  • Eat: Gogung : Get some bibimbap!
  • Sights : Walk around Isadong – Knowing Mr, I will be exploring it with Joe.

Sunday : Exploring North of the River

  • EAT : Go get breakfast at Juk 101 for some chicken and ginsen rice porridge
  • Dongdaemum – Great East Gate
  • War Memorial & Museum  – Learn about the Korean War
  • Eat: Whatever that looks interesting hopefully street vendors
  • Seodaemun Prison / Donginmmun Park
  • EAT! (YAY!)
  • Go hit the bars!

Monday – Take me to Myeong-Dong & Namsan

  • Deoksugung – Palace of Virtuous Longivity
  • Myeong-Dong Catholic Cathederal
  • EAT!
  • Namdaemun – Great South Gate
  • Seoul Tower

Tuesday – Jamsil baby!

  • Bongeunsa <- Temple!
  • EAT
  • Seolleung Park Royal Tombs
  • COEX Mall – Kimchee Museum!!!
  • EAT!!!!
  • Hit the bars!

Wednesday – All Gwanghwamun all the time

  • Tapgol Parks
  • Changdeokgung – Palace of Illustrious Virtue <- Palace!
  • Jongmyo & Changgyeonggung – <– Tomb, well kind of like a temple that house the spirits of the kings
  • EAT : Some where
  • Korean Comfort Women Protest
  • Cheongwadae – The White House of Korea (except it’s call the Blue House)
  • National Palace Museum
  • EAT!
  • Hit the bars!

Thursday – Don’t forget the DMZ!

  • Eat
  • DMZ!!!!
  • Eat
  • Hang out near by Isadong

Friday – Say goodbye to Seoul

  •  Fly to Bali!

That was a lot of work.  I hope it’ll work out at the end!  I will post more about Bali later.

Euro Trip 2006 – Part 4

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Posted by wendy | Posted in travel | Posted on 17-02-2008

Previously on Euro Trip 2006 part 3, we were in Dijon drinking wine and snacking on  most delicious chocolate croissant and sad to be leaving to go on our last destination Morocco.

By this time, some of the party member are getting tired of each other. We have spent time none stop with each other for a week now.  And I was kind of starting to miss the Mister.

Anyway, we arrived in Morocco in the dead of night.  The Mister was waiting for us at the airport.  We got in this van and he drove us to the Medina, and well, it was kind of scary.  He took us down to this long narrow alley way and I was not quite sure what to expect.  We booked this Riad sight on seen. But we were pleasantly surprised when we saw the riad. It was gorgeous. The housekeeper had refreshment for us.

Riad

The place was gorgeous.  It had a open roof! We ran around taking pictures.

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The 2nd floor.

Our room

Our Room.

We were all pretty tired.  But the next day, we got up and start to explorer around the house.

We found sound outdoor showers on the top floor! And naturally, we have to take picture of Joe taking an ‘air shower’.

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We decided to take it easy and walk down to the town square (it’s been like a year I can’t remember the name of it, if you know leave a comment.)

We saw lots of interesting things on the way to the square.

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I have more to say about Morocco but I am getting quite tired.  I’ll pick this up some other time!

Euro Trip 2006 – Part 2

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Posted by wendy | Posted in blog, travel | Posted on 16-12-2007

Previously on Euro Trip 2006.

Bid goodbye to the Mr, and off Prague for some fun and beer. For full recap, please click here.

Destination 2: Paris!

We checked into the hotel and proceeded to go to the ATM to get some Euros. This is when I discovered I lost my ATM some where on the way out from Prague airport to Paris.

Not so bad you would think, except, Stacy’s ATM expired so she couldn’t get money and she didn’t know pin of her credit card to get cash. I was fronting her cash in Prague.

But that leave Joe D and the brother right? Well, Joe D lost his wallet in the Prague airport. All the sudden the trip took a bit of a downward spiral. The brother yelled at all of us for being stupid and have to give us all cash. I guess it’s kind of funny, we would all ask him for money like children asking for allowances.

That’s not the worse of it. I had to make the dreaded call to Ireland to tell the Mr. that the ATM card need to be canceled. The Mr was not pleased. Don’t blame him really, that means he can’t get money in Ireland and will have to count on the largess of his family. I am sure he didn’t want to be asking his parents for allowance either. So he decided not to cancel the card, but watch the transactions instead. It was ok, I think the card was just lost but not stolen.

One thing I noticed about Paris was that people spoke very little English. This is like totally different than Prague. So the brother and I went to the store to get a phone card. Gawd, that was traumatic. I keep saying Ireland, and she keep handing us card for Asia, but it all worked out. She was super friendly to us and was just trying to help.

Joe D, the brother, and I just can’t get our act together. I think that annoyed Stacy, because she’s a planner. We get up really late and try to just go wherever we want instead of following a list. We end up just splitting up. Stacy went to see the Monet exhibit and the brother and I went to see the Louvre.

Louvre was huge. I really enjoy the room with all the giant statues. Surprisingly it was not crowded at all. The line for the Mona Lisa was super short. I guess they just started not allowing people to take pictures in that particular wing. The guards are very serious about it. I saw them make people delete their digital photos. Wow! I guess they are serious!

Here are some photos from the day.

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The Side of Winged Victory you don’t often see. :)

Wings

The other places we went to was the Paris Zoo. It’s got to be one of the saddest zoo I have ever seen. It was probably because it was getting late and the animals are in the barns or what not. I enjoy our train ride all the way out to the suburbs of Paris. They had exotic cats as shown below.

Le Cat

I saw a lot of relics in Paris! I have always been fascinated by the notion of relics. I have always wanted to do a tour of Europe and see all the relics. This is a good first step. The relics are encased in such beautiful boxes. The Mr. think they are creepy but I think they are beautiful!

Relic

We also saw a circus. But didn’t get a chance to go because we were on our way to meet up with Stacy to go out for a nice meal.

circus

We met up with Stacy at the Eiffle toware as it was being lit up. It was gorgeous!

tower

Oh yes, the high light of the trip! As we were going back to the hotel from the Lourve, I saw this at the store by the metro.

yarn!

Though Paris was really nice, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s because I lost my ATM card, or maybe the Mr was not there with me. I much preferred Prague. Also the sticker shock of everything from Prauge to Paris was huge.

Euro Trip 2006 – Part 1

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Posted by wendy | Posted in blog, travel | Posted on 15-12-2007

One thing I always wanted to do is blog about our trip last year to Prague/Paris/Morocco. I meant to do it and I can’t never seem find time to do it.

Today, I made a resolution that I will do it!

With any travel blog I write, this is going to be a long one. So grab a cup of hot coco and enjoy.

The Plan

My friend Stacy and I have always wanted to do a trip together. We talked about going to Paris, and few month later I promptly completely forgot that conversation.

Stacy is different, she’s a planner! She reminded me on the awesome European vacation that we talked about. She drove the vacation really.

First it was me, her, and the Mr. but somehow my brother got added in the mix. And then the brother invited his friend, Joe D. Anyway it was all very very complicated. Since none of us have met Joe D (other than the brother) before it was going to be an interesting experience.

We decided to do a 3 country tour, Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris and Dijon), and Morocco ( Marrakesh). We were super excited!

The Trip

Destination 1 : Prague

We landed in Heathrow airport and I bid my goodbye to the Mr. and advised him to not to visit any painted ladies.

You see, the Mr decided to take this time to go home to visit his family and see his friends and meet up with the rest of us in Morocco.

It’s the first time for a full year that I have not been to Ireland since the Mr and I got together. I felt bad for boycotting Ireland, but I got to see the rest of the world!

Ah, lots of firsts in this trip!

Stacy, I, Joe D, and the brother took a limo to Gatwick to go to Prague. We asked the Limo driver to take us to a chipper [sic – I really meant to say chippy, thanks Paul the resident English Expert] . (When in Rome!)

So he took us to this nice chipper ran by Chinese people! I had kidney pie (from a package, I picked wrong) while rest of the guys have assorted fried goodness.

Everyone looked good after a long flight!
At the Chipper

Then is off to Prague we go!

We landed quite late in Prague and had no clue where to go. We ended up in the square where the famous clock is. It was around 9:00pm or so, and we saw all these people gathering around. We had no clue why they were there. So we also waited with the crowed, and nothing happened. We were confused.

The next day, our guide told us that the clock does a little show thing every hour on the hour for centuries. But people who lived around there started to complain. So it is turned off after a certain time. I don’t feel so bad, because all those other tourists didn’t know either!

The guide was quite good and took us all over town. She was really nice to us, and explained a lot of the history of Prague. I got super excited when she took us to see the Golem. I had no idea the Golem lived in Prague!

The guide seem surprised that I was excited to see the Golem. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I learn about Golem from a Simpson’s episode and was excited to see the real thing. Maybe she thought I was confused between Golem and Golum (from Lord of the Rings…)

The next day, we all went to Prague Castle and the brother and I climbed this tower. Let me tell you, it was an interesting experience. I should have heeded this sign.

Steps

As we were going up, people coming down were giving us encouragements. I am glad we didn’t give up. On top the tower, we saw an angry teenager, mad at her parents for not telling her about the 287 steps. It made me laugh. What a mean trick to play on your kids!

It was all worth it. The view was fantastic!

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Prague will always hold a special place in my heart. It is the first country in “The Continent” I ever visited.

You would think I go to the Continent a lot since the Mr is from Europe. But the closest that I have gotten is Denmark. And as the Mr. gleefully pointed out, Denmark is actually made of many tiny little islands and only connected to mainland via Jutland. And we didn’t go to Jutland (at least not that I can remember, remind me if I did Amber!)

In addition, it’s the first time I have ever been inside a synagogue. It’s very different than any religious places I have ever seen.

I would totally go back to Prague again.

All right. that’s it for today. I’ll talk about Paris and Morocco some other day.