Wordless(!) Wednesday

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I want to apologize to everyone who liked or commented on my posts for last four days but I could do nothing. I was away, I had internet connection but the policy of my office could not let me connect to the external server.

I was walking in the fog looking for fences ( for creative-artists-photo-challenge) but ended up soaking the mystic beauty of nature,  a wonderful experience in itself.

Will soon visit you blogs.

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Travelogue: Part1 – from Northern Europe to Hong Kong

Hurray!!!

Here is a series of posts on my Hong Kong and Tokyo trip. In each post I will exhibit a particular aspect of my travel. I hope you will enjoy them. At the end of each post will mention “Points to Remember” who knows they might help someone 🙂

Being a frequent flyer I prefer searching various details before hand and then plan my trips. It is always better to plan and book tickets in advance. If one likes and travel with particular airlines one can get emails on special offers and is possible take advantage of such schemes.  It is also a good choice to check the offer on hotels with airlines tickets.

Anyways this time we plan to travel with SAS (the Scandinavian airlines) as they have direct flight to Hong Kong and Tokyo. For our own comfort we did not book the basic economy tickets and were very glad as the travel time from Stockholm to Hong Kong was 10.5 hours. Also we were able to use the lounge facility at Arlanda airport. But such things are really personal.

The journey with SAS flight SK 963 was comfortable. Food was according to standards (I am not very fond of airline meals but I make sure to drink enough water). We were served dinner and later breakfast.  I like their blanket more than food.  I am going to try to get one such blanket during my next visit to India. There were many entertainment programs on board. Some popular movies and some new releases and even some TV serial episodes. I did not spend too much time on entertainment as relaxing was my main goal on that flight. Mission was very well accomplished. Still I managed to enjoy french movie Sage femme (2017).

The flight was on time and reached Hong Kong international airport at 7:20 am. Weather was good and after regular procedures at the airport we followed the signs carefully and reached the bus station outside the airport.

Towards Hotel: We were advised to book hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. There are plenty of hotels in Kowloon and in Hong Kong island. We took airport transport bus no. A21 to our hotel.

Following the available information/advice on internet we wanted to buy On-loan “Octopus card”, an electronic card which can be used on all public transports and even in convenience stores and some other places. The minimum possible amount on card is HK$150 of which 50 is deposit. Each time one travels the fare is deducted from the card.  The card can be reloaded according to the use. The octopus card service on bus station counter was closed and so we bought 1 way tickets. It costed HK$33 per person. It was the cheapest way to reach the hotel. We enjoyed our ride.

We stayed in New World Millennium hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Our room had spectacular view of Victoria Harbour. I am sure you will love the view as much as I did 🙂

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Points to remember:

  1. If you are vegan make sure you place your order while booking SAS ticket as there was no default choice for vegan menu.
  2. Make sure you get local currency either at airport of departure or at least before you leave airport building. In our case, we took money at Arlanda airport, Stockholm. International credit cards are not accepted every where. On public transport either you pay exact amount in HK$ or use Octopus card.
  3. One can get back the balance on On-loan Octopus card at customer service counter on MTR (Mass transit railway) stations in Hong Kong or at airport express counter against a minimal fee. I would suggest that instead of waiting until last minute to get the refund and rush to the airport counter it is better if you get your balance back at customer counter on MTR stations in city as the queue at airport express counter is an important issue.  Just make sure to have exact change for your ticket back to the airport.

More posts coming soon!!!

PS: I have solved my pc problem from my side with a Jugaad. Hopefully tomorrow it will be back to normal again!

Request for suggestions…

Dear friends,

I hope you all are doing good! In a few days will be travelling to Hong Kong and then to Tokyo, Japan. This will be my first journey in that part of the world. Although it is a work trip I would love to visit few places to get the real essence of these wonderful places. of which I have heard wonderful things and seen great photos.

I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions about do’s or don’t, a must see/visit or avoid places or things or acts.

Every place has a special work culture and social culture. If you have any experience kindly share it with me. If you know about a particular blog or post or site with interesting informations of these two places, kindly leave a link in comments section.

Thank you in advance!

 

 

 

 

A tale of 5 cities: Part 2 – Belmonte Calabro

The second (small) town,  we visited was picturesque  “Belmonte Calabro”, also in Calabria (Southern Italy).  It is perched on a hilltop on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.  It was founded in 1270.  Belmonte was besieged several times but not being a history person with proper historical facts, I would not make any statements on it.

Belmonte can be reached by road through the SS18 State Road (Tirrena Inferiore). The town has a station on the main line from Naples to Reggio Calabria. It’s a wonderful place for a short visit. If you are travel with a hire car you will be able to explore some of the green hilly countryside inland  and  discover traditional Calabrese villages and landscape.

The first place we visited in our trip was Amantea.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmonte_Calabro

A tale of 5 cities: Part 1 – Amantea

The first city  town is Amantea. It’s in Calabria region of southern part of Italy.  “Lamezia Terme” international airport is the closest international airport. Many resorts/hotels provide pick and drop shuttle services for their customers. For those who prefer train, the main Naples-Reggio di Calabria railway line passes through town, train station is well-connected to “Rome Termini” train station (several trains per day).

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Going up to the Castle (Byzantine fortress):

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Lovely cobbled streets:

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Collegiata di San Biagio:

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The Castle campus:amantea_03amantea_05amantea_06amantea_07

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Back in the town:

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We had a well organised 7/9 course Italian sea food dinner at restaurant “Le Clarisse”. We reached the place little after sunset but had spectacular view of Tyrrhenian sea and the food was outstanding, and so the wine selection. It’s a perfect place for special dinner.

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The picture of Hotel Le Clarisse from their web site:

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A place worth to taste gelato is bar Sicoli. I tasted their Pistache flavour. It was amazing.

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The town lies on the Tyrrhenian coast between Paola and Lamezia Terme. It has a very attractive old centre on a hill above the modern town and a long stretch of beach. Off the main tourist trail, Amantea is a nice town to visit for a brief exploration, a short stay on the route south, or a quiet and relaxing holiday.

Main sights

  • The Rocca (Castle). First built by the Byzantines, it was strengthened by the Arabs. The current cylindrical tower is however to the Norman-Hohenstaufen age. It was long besieged by Charles of Anjou’s troops in 1269. It was nearly destroyed during the French siege in 1806-1807. It is now a public structure, but is abandoned.
  • Church of San Bernardino.
  • Palazzo delle Clarisse (17th century). The palace was built in the early seventeenth century as the Convent of the Poor Claires (Clarisse) and has remained a convent until 1806 when the French, as a result of the siege of Amantea, confiscated it along with other church properties and then sold it to the Marquis de Luca di Lizzano who made it his noble residence. The Marquis De Luca lived in the palace until 1977. Following a period of severe neglect and decay, the building was then purchased and restored by the current owner, Prof. Fausto Perri. The Palazzo delle Clarisse now hosts cultural and commercial activities such as concerts, exhibitions and paintings by the masters of the Atelier of Copyists, a highly specialized Italian laboratory with great tradition as well as a restaurant with a beautiful view of the sea.

References:

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic aerial view

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Öresund Bridge:

The Øresund/Öresund Bridge is a combined railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. 

The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects two major metropolitan areas:Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the Swedish city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of the Scandinavian Peninsula with those of Central and Western Europe.

Information source: Wikipedia

For WPC