Tenerife – A Magical Island

Summer 2015 has finally began with a family holiday in Tenerife, Spain. As many of you might know, unlike other ‘normal’ British holidaymakers, Spain was never a top destination on my list and by this, I don’t mean any insult to the country itself (it is a rather beautiful place actually.* emphasis added*)

From above, soon after the captain’s safety announcement for landing. I was captured by the amazing landscape of the island and its stunning coastlines. On our way to the hotel, I cannot help but to admire my surroundings in the back of the taxi, especially those gigantic palm trees along side of the road, the green shaded leaves contrasting the red roof of that typical Spanish houses. So tropical and picture perfect.

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Tenerife is a wonderful island with plenty interesting sights perfect for all types of holiday makers. My family, especially my dad who loves visiting different sights, had once again, decided to rent a car to see the entire island. Although I am aware that most holidaymakers prefer chilling by the pool and making the most of their ‘all inclusive package deals’. ( I don’t blame you!). For me, I felt that the opportunity to visit various parts of the island was too good to miss. While there are excursions that you can book directly from the hotel, I would recommend hire a car for its convenience and that the map/road signs around the island were fairly straight forward.

El Teide 

One of the sites highly recommended by the locals, the lady at the hotel reception could not stress enough for us to visit. According to Wikipedia: Mount Teide is a volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Its 3,718-metre summit is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. Although I do admit that the drive around the mountains were pretty scary and narrow, at one point it certainly felt the road to the El Teide National Park was endless and kept reminding myself not to look down. But I promise, once you reach the destination, the view was magnificent!

By the foot of El Teide, you may take a cable car which takes you to the summit. By this point, I had almost forgotten how high we climbed in the car and was curious enough to purchase a ticket to see view from El Teide. Unfortunately, me being my usual self and not wearing the appropriate footwear and clothing, being the only one wearing ballet flats and a dress amongst a bunch of hiking fanatics in their fancy hiking gears. I couldn’t do any actual climbing so I rested by the entrance area near the rocky patch and enjoyed myself there.

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El Drago

the thousand year old dragon tree, it was another hidde  treasure of the island. Located far away in a little town called Icod de los vinos. You may find great wine and lots of souvenirs at a much cheaper price compared to other parts of the island .

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FB_IMG_1435068878474Los Gigantes

possibly another breathtaking view of the cliffside near the west side of the island. By the time we reached there was at sunset and the view was magnificent! I certainly fell in love with everything on the island.
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Summer 2014, you are wonderful.

Summer 2014 has been wonderful so far, I’ve been on various trips which can be counted as some of the amazing experiences of my life so far. Besides all the travelling, I hope to receive my driving license before I move back to uni, as I found myself preoccupied with a fairly intensive driving course and having passed my driving theory test not so long ago! PHEW. so fingers crossed.

In my spare time, as you probably know I hopped on the train and commuted frequently to Cardiff. HOW I MISS THAT CITY. As I am trying to find out the perfect place for afternoon tea, Pettigrew Tea Rooms is located in the beautiful Bute Park at the city center by the Cardiff Castle (some pictures of the park can be found HERE). It has been rated the top tearoom in Cardiff, so being a foodie like myself couldn’t resist the temptation. Last week I also discovered an organic food/bar called Milgi. Being a huge fan of healthy and organic products, I stopped by on a Friday night which was surprisingly busy for a bar of its size on City road. What I loved about the place is that not only it has the eco-feel reflected in its interior design as well as the mugs/cups of the drinks it serves but also it’s a relatively quiet place to enjoy drinks between friends and family as opposed to the main stream pubs/clubs which are pretty rowdy on weekend. Places like these are hard to find these days.20140724_161608_副本IMG_20140801_215043_副本

Sunrise in the Sahara Desert

My trip to Morocco has came to an end, it was surprisingly wonderful and I had some of the most unforgettable moments of my life.

My family and I took a trip from Marrakesh to Zagora, a place close to the Sahara desert. It was an extremely long drive, we saw many interesting things during our journey: the constant change of the landscape – from forest to rocky ragged mountains, to ancient villages in the valley to sandy grounds. I definitely felt the increasing temperature as we drove closer and closer to the desert.
We arrived at the desert at sunset after an hour and half camel ride to our ‘hotel‘ of the night, that being the camps provided by the local. I’ve never been a fan of camping nor have I ever camped in my life, admittedly I was pretty wary of the idea of spending one night in the desert. To my surprise, however, the camp site was well kept, four beds were provided in each with washing facilities plus a toilet that flushes (sometimes we take these things for granted). The evening ended with a rather exceptional meal (probably much better than what you would normally expect the locals to provide in the desert), the main dish was one of Moroccans’ favourite – Beef Tajine served with Moroccan bread! ( beef stew with potatoes/pepper/courgette/olives). Then… we danced the night away around the camp fire! 

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Sunshine in Rhodes, Greece

 Just came back from the sunny Greek island that I previously mentioned, I had an amazing time and cannot wait to blog all about it!

Rhodes (Rodos) is an amazing island, very close to Turkey which explains the theme of its building and culture being somewhat different from previous island that I’ve visited. It’s full of history, having found that out in a museum I visited; rather truly amazing to see the changes of the island throughout different period! Any cultural lovers are highly recommended to visit.

OLD TOWN

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So we spent every morning wandering around old town, it’s surprisingly big and can get easily lost if you don’t have a map (which we didn’t at the time but thankfully a kind local shopkeeper gave us a map of the old town). As some might already know, one of the sites worth to see is the Grand Master’s Palace, I will post some picture of its interior design in the upcoming post.

overlooking to the Harbour
Overlooking to the Harbor

I found the locals are super welcoming, I visited this local cosmetic boutique as I wanted to buy some handmade soap. Yanni, the owner who kindly guided us to his favourite coffee shop in one of the small lanes of Rodos,  there we had the BEST Freddo Cappuccino ever!

IXIA BEACH 

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Ixia was the place where we stayed, I really liked the location as it is close to Rhodes Town (approx 8 euros by taxi and 2 euro by bus). This spot is also perfect for watersports as shown in the picture above, there were ALOT of windsurfers and during our second day, the waves were huge!! Oh, and of course, another amazing feature about Rhodes, Ixia?

THE PERFECT VIEW OF SUNSET
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the perfect ending
the perfect ending.

Magnificent isn’t it? I don’t think the pictures do the justice. My first sunset pictures, it was breathtaking! We actually ended our last day in Rhodes on the roof top of our hotel with Champagne, salmon pasta whilst over-watching the sunset, couldn’t ask for another perfect end to our holiday!  

 

Discovering the Welsh life – St Fagan’s

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IMG_0652IMG_0663It’s a pity that I haven’t visited this place sooner during my time at Cardiff university. St Fagan’s, ah I remember the days when I visited with school on a Welsh trip, this place is a perfect spot for family day out, educational tours for discovering the ancient Welsh life. I think it’s the biggest open air museum in Wales, and of course the best thing about this place to visit is that it’s free, besides the travel expenses which I paid £3.00 catching the bus from Cardiff Central station.

It is indeed a wonderful place especially on a sunny day, as you can see, there are picturesque sceneries almost everywhere you go. For nature lovers or photography fanatics like myself, this  is heaven.

 

 

The Colour Festival 2014

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The Colour Festival came to Cardiff last Saturday, it was great fun! I’ve always wanted to take part in Holi festival ever since I studied Hinduism, it’s a great spirit to have fun with paint powders with friends and family and a great end to mark my final day of university.