I found my way to be here.. To be exactly at this moment.. Standing in one of the most historical city in the world.. Rome.. The eternal city! Billions of people dream to be in the place where I am now.. It is said there are thousands of way leads to Rome.. As for me to be at this place it costs nothing more than taking the risk, taking the chance and knowing exactly what I want and believe.. believe that it is a gift God has given to me.. I do believe that in life there is no such thing as coincidence.. Everything is happen by design.. I thank God for designing my life to be as beautiful as it is now ^^ and of course I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t because my loving family and friends who had giving me support, helped me and encouraged me to take the chance.. It is true.. Never let chances slip away from your tiny finger.. as they are like water in your hands.. They wont be there forever.. Don’t ever be afraid to take the risk because you might miss one of the most precious moment in your life ^^
I remember my father who used to love to go fishing.. He was good at it.. He always brought home lots of carp which we would gave away to our neighbors since we are not a fan of carp and He often won the fishing competition because he got the biggest carp! Perhaps he still loves fishing.. but with his imperfect walking ability, now he prefer to stay at home all the time.. spending most of his time in bed or watching TV.. He said he doesn’t want to be stared by people who will look at him as a disabled person.. Before he got stroke attack, he was a very positive person.. My dear Father, I am sending you all the positive energy that I have so you can do anything that you want without even bother what others might think.. I wish you to get better day by day.. with every second getting stronger and healthier.. physically and mentally.. Don’t worry Dad! The sun will rise again to take the darkness away..
I am still getting euphoria over my last trip to Paris.. especially when I look back at tons of pictures which I took during the trip. Alone, four days trip, met couples of new friends, miles of exciting walk, lots of surprises! good and bad one but overall travelling alone wasn’t as bad as I thought before..Paris is indeed a beautiful city! I came at the right time where I could finally see the rich colors of autumn foliage again and unexpected winter festival! It was a great trip ever and one thing crossed my mind when I landed in this beautiful city was I wish I can live in Paris but now..on a second thought maybe Rome is better ^^
I booked the cheap flight to Paris around 2 months before, haha.. since then I planned the itinerary but it never got finished..there are so much things to see in Paris and with only four days trip I got confused on the lists.. Really I am not a good planner! I though I can make it on the last minutes.. but then I was thinking as long as I have the map everything will be just fine, hehe.. It was my very first lonesome travel outside Rome.. When I browsed for the travel tips I came across a site called Couchsurfing.. I then decided to surf in Paris hoping that I will meet new friends there.
Since it was a cheap flight, the departure time was very early..at 6.45 am! and my home is far away from the city center so I had to leave home at 2 am >.< I walked alone in the misty and cold night.. but I wasn't afraid! The only worried in mind was I will missed the flight.. or the flight will be cancelled or something.. I took the night bus to reach the shuttle bus to the airport. I was lucky on my way to find the shuttle bus stop I met Ciriana, a kind Italian girl that coincidentally have the same flight with me ^^ We sit next to each other in the shuttle bus and on the plane.. talked a lot and yep I found my first new friend in my trip ^^
I landed in Paris Beauvais Airport and took the shuttle bus to Paris city center. I saw the autumn colors from the bus.. the falling leaves around the amazing architecture.. eventhough it was cloudy that day but I love the atmosphere.. I fell in love with Paris city immediately and wished I could live in Paris..
My first destination was Tour Eiffel! I never imagine before that I could finally see La dame de fer, The Iron Lady with my own eyes.. It stands quietly in the gloomy Paris sky.. I love the colorful park, the fountain, the green grass and the river around the Eiffel Tower. The view was magic. I enjoyed walking in the romantic Champs de Elysees Park with Eiffel tower in the background.. I walked further to the Napoleon Tombs and the famous Hotel Les Invalides.. every step that I took brought me to a new breathtaking autumn view.. I don’t know how can I describe my feeling when I saw this huge lovely park in front of Hotel Les Invalides.. The park was covered by yellow autumn foliage.. fascinating! and the park leads me to Pont Alexandre III, amazing golden bridge which span over the Seine river.. At the end of the bridge there is Grand Palais and just across the street is Le Petit Palais.. with the colorful flowers in the front yard and the crowd… I saw the crowd! when I got closer and closer.. I found out there was a winter festivals! It was so merry.. There were many stalls for food, drinks or souvenirs..There is ice skating rink with so many Christmas decoration, Santa Clause, Deers… and sooo many other cute things.. People were having fun.. children, teenagers, and also old people were gathered there to enjoy the festivals. I bought delicious chocolate filled with cream.. tried one and I ended up buying another 12, haha..
Passing through the festivals I arrived at Place de la Concorde and next to it there is a Ferris wheel, Paris eye! :D Huge and gleaming in the sunset sky.. this is the Paris center! I walked to the bridge of Seine river and then took a night shot of Palais Bourbon and Musee du Orsay..from there I could see the Eiffel Tower laser show.. It was very windy that night but I was happy because the small and handy tripod I brought could work very well even in the strong wind ^^ The next place I visited is Musee du Louvre.. one of the world largest museum and become even more famous because of the Da Vinci Code movie :D This museum was once a palace and built from 1190. The grand glass pyramid in front of the palace becomes the entrance to the museum. I didn’t go inside since I arrived very late at night and everyone says it takes at least one whole day to see all the expansive collection of this museum. So, I save it for later ^^ I felt exhausted that time but I managed to visit Arch de Triomphe where there was a light festival.. the buildings and the trees were decorated with thousand of colorful light.. my night became brighter ^^ and the last place I visited was the Eiffel tower but maybe because my energy was drained out.. I didn’t make good photos that time, hehe..
That was the end of my first day in Paris.. The rest of the days of my trip were even better! Bright and shiny days, blue sky and clouds! I just love the sky! Visited amazing places like Paris Plage, Notre-dame Cathedral, The Panteon, Jardin du Luxemburg, Paris Mosque, Moulin Rouge, Montmarte walk, Sacre Coeur, Jardin du Tuileries and back to Avenue des Champ Elyses.. quite a list huh? Well, Paris is enchanting in everyway ^^ I then met several other new friends, French guy as my host, Russian girl which surfed together with me, kind Marrocan guy who had helped me during my crisis time :D and a very funny Korean guy! Yep.. this is by far the best trip I have ever had. I can’t wait to have another one.. a week from now ^o^ hope the journey will be as great as Paris! Meanwhile I will let you enjoy the pictures ^.^
I finished my work pretty early when the sun still shined so bright and the sky looked very clear that day. I thought what I waste if I just stayed at home at this lovely weather! I grabbed my camera and tripod and soon I was on my way to Castel Sant’ Angelo by train. I drop off at San Pietro Station and took the bus no 64. There are many other ways to get there, if you take Metro line A you can drop off at Lepanto Station or if you happen to be in Vatican, you can just walk to get to this castle.
Castel Sant’ Angelo was built between 130 AD and 139 AD as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. It was then used as a fortress and castle by the popes in the early 14th century, but now, it is a military museum. The castle is fabulously located in the banks of Tiber. On the top of this charming castle, the Archangel Michael appeared with a sword which believed as a sign of the end of the plague of 590 AD. It is the reason why this castle is named Castle Sant’ Angelo.
Castel Sant’ Angelo looked gorgeous during sunset and by dusk. What makes it even more beautiful is the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, a lovely bridge which span over the bank of Tiber that leads directly to the castle. On the right and left side of the bridge, ten statues of angels were placed. Each angel holds different instruments bearing the symbols of the passion of christ. When you walk on this bridge, it feels like angels are guarding you a long your way ^^
The view of Castel San Angelo from every direction is just amazing. I took lots of picture of this Castle and smiled happily every time I saw the result. Visiting this castle is a must and I’m glad I did. Although I didn’t have enough time to enter the castle, I am quit satisfied looking at the angels. So, if you haven’t seen an angel, come to Castel Sant’ Angelo.. you will find ten of them ^^
“It is the singular charm of Rome that, turning a corner, one comes suddenly face to face with something beautiful and unexpected which was placed there centuries ago, apparently in the most casual fashion. Rome is a city of magic round the corner, of masterpieces dumped, as it were, by the wayside, which lends to the shortest walk the excitement of a treasure hunt.” H.V. Morton
I couldn’t agree more with the above sentences written by Morton. Rome is a beautiful eternal city. In my lonesome travel wandering around Rome, I often (too many times) get lost. I am very good at getting lost >< but I ended up unexpectedly seeing another historical sight which is amazing and I wouldn't get there by purpose if I hadn't get lost ^^ or sometimes when I got into wrong bus direction, I just sat down very calm enjoying the view during the ride. I have this thinking if I don’t know which direction I should go and am too lazy to figure it out I just jump on a bus that came first. If it’s in wrong direction, I can always jump off and go the opposite direction, lol. Not a good idea if you are in a hurry :p I figured it out now that actually it isn’t that difficult to know the bus direction, you can see it on the yellow board where the bus stop. So, don’t be too hurry to jump on a bus until you are sure. Unless you wanna spend your time to enjoy the city view, then, do as I did *grin*.
There are many famous tourist spot in Rome, and the good thing is most places are located in the center of Rome and close to each other. So, you can kill two birds with one stone! You can reach several places in one day just by walking! yep, you will walk a lot in Rome so better use comfy shoes, high heels are not recommended! If you took Metro line A you can stop at Flaminio (Piazza del Popolo) station. After getting out from the station exit, you can see the gate which leads you to Piazza del Popolo (People’s square). From here, the long walk starts.
There are three main streets, if you want to visit Piazza di Spagna first, you can take the left one and walk through the street. Walking in this area is worth it because there are many interesting shops inside the artistic building on your right and left side. You may also passed through a beautiful church along the way until you arrive at Piazza di Spagna. The first thing you see at the bottom of the Spanish “hardly seen” Stairs (because most of the time people are occupying the steps, lol) is the famous Barcaccia Fountain or Fountain of the Old Boat. The fountain is beautiful and you can drink the water because it comes from the Aqua Virgo, the same water source for Trevi Fountain. Then if you take the steps, you will find Trinità dei Monti, a white glowing church at the top.
The next place to be visited is Pantheon. Just walk straight from the front of Piazza di Spagna going through Via Condotti to reach Via di Corso, the main street in the center. For shoppers it could be a real temptation as you walk through this street with so many branded shops. As you walk further, you can see the sign that leads you to this ancient Pantheon. You arrive at the right place if you see a building with large granite Corinthian columns under a pediment and if you go inside, you can see the concrete dome have a central opening to the sky so you can see the sun lights goes through it.
From here I recommend you to try the real Italian Gelato at Giolitti. They have the best gelato in the world. Sorry for being exaggerated but the taste of their gelato is so delicious. You shouldn’t leave Rome or even Italy without trying it. It’s a sin *grin*
From the Pantheon you should return to the main street of Via di Corso and you can go to Piazza Navona in the left side of Via di Corso. It’s such a romantic place where in the center you can see the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers.
You haven’t visited Rome before you visit the infamous Fontana di Trevi. It’s very close to Piazza Navona. This fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and most famous of it’s Coin Throwing myths. If you throw the coin into the fountain, one time it means you will return to Rome. If you throw the second coin it will cancel the first one and if you throw the third coin it means you will settle down in Rome ^^ So, which one would you prefer? Unfortunately when I visited this fountain, it is under renovation. Well, that’s ok because I can return anytime to take the picture, just hoping that the renovation will be finished before I leave Rome.
At this point, maybe you will feel tired already but I guess the excitement will push you to visit one more spot before going home. The last destination after Fontana di Trevi is Fontana del Tritone which located in the Piazza Barberini. The fountain has a base of four dolphins that entwine the papal tiara with crossed keys and the heraldic Barberini bees in their scaly tails. After visiting this fountain, it’s very easy to go to your home since this fountain is located next to the Barberini Station, Metro line A.
Yet there are more places to be visited, not to mention, the famous Rome (Italy) landmark, Colosseo, but I guess I will post it for another blog entry ^^
It’s been one month since I left Korea.. I am now in Rome, alone but safe and sound. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to my beloved husband.. knowing that he will be alone broke my heart even more. Of course there was no turning back.. after all of the difficulties I passed to be here.. I flew away leaving my second home. The forehead kiss from my husband was our goodbye before we are apart. For the first time ever, I am miles away from him.. the longest journey of my life.
I arrived in Marco Polo Airport, Venice at 10 pm. I heard about all the bad things in Italy regarding safety, the pickpocket and even a luggage can be stolen. Before landing, I pray to God to protect me from all of the bad thing of this country and bad people inside it. I had so much worried that I planned to stay in the airport waiting for the sunrise and leave but the airport is small and not so comfortable for a long stay so I decided to take the airport bus to the Venice Mestre. I took the 11.40 pm bus and arrived around 11.55 pm. The last train schedule to Trieste was at 12.30. I arrived on time! I had to go underground first to moved to the platform where the train will depart. There is no elevator! Only Stairs!! There was a man helping me though to carry those heavy luggage down and up for 5 euros, not bad!
It took 2 hours until I arrived at Trieste Center Station, lucky for me since it is the final stop, there is no underground. It was a bit cold that night and it reminded me that I left my winter jacket in the airport bus >.< I went out from the station and there was a man carrying his huge backpack asked a direction to me.. He’s not Italian but he speaks Italian very well. I thank so much to him because he’s a very nice guy helping me to get a cab and talked to the driver to take me to the guesthouse. Anyway, I arrived safely in the guesthouse provided for me and thank God I made a right decision leaving the airport because I slept so tight that night in a very comfortable room ^^
I met wonderful people at ICTP, they were all very nice helping me in every way. After finishing all the administration stuffs and most important getting the money *grin* I took a train to Rome again continuing the long journey with so much burden (including heavy luggage). Luckily in the Termini Station in Rome, a good friend picked me up. We didn’t know each other before but this kind-hearted friend picked me up helping me with my luggage and took me to my new House in Olgiata. I love this place not only because the house itself is very nice but also the sky above it is so beautiful. This great view welcomed me in my new house, my new home ^^ God has granted my wish, he protected me from all bad people and sent me kind hearted people.. Alhamdulillah.. and the journey is not end yet.. it’s just begun :)
Summer is here for sure! The heat is too much.. even for me who came from a tropical country! I can really feel the global warming effect these days *melting*
Anywho..there is a good thing about summer.. the heat provide a perfect temperature for lotus flower to bloom. Browsing in the internet..I found a lotus festival in Buyeo.. It was held for four days only from July 26 to 29. Me and 2 of my forever travel mate (the trip would not be perfect without them) were heading to Buyeo on sunday by bus. We took the bus at 1 pm from nambu bus terminal and arrived at Buyeo intercity bus terminal at 3 pm. We then took a 5 minutes taxi ride to Kungnamji, the lotus garden.
It was freaking hot.. the temperature reach 35 degC! The lotus garden is huge but I hardly saw blooming lotus flower. My friends’ mom said the best time for lotus flower to bloom is in the morning so maybe we were too late. I hardly saw people too! That was a rare thing happen in a festival where it usually flooded with people. Maybe at that time people prefered to stay in a room with air conditioner. Since we were outdoor already, we tried to protect ourself from the cruel sunlight by hiding in the tree shades..but sometimes we were forced unwillingly to walked under the sunlight..crossing through the lotus garden..looking for a blooming lotus flower. After a while we sat under a big tree to took a rest.. It felt very different when you were in the shades.. It was like the temperature dropped 10 degC especially when breeze touching your skin softly..it was heaven in the hell of summer! *grin*
After having enough cooling we then took more pics before we left the garden. It was 5 pm when we arrived at Buyeo bus terminal but there was no seat for 5.40 pm bus so we got the 6.30 pm bus. The bus terminal is very small and there is no waiting room. We were fortunate to find lotteria accross the bus terminal and how happy we were being in a room with AC. We sat there waiting for bus and arrived at home in 2 hours. We ate chicken twice for dinner! fried chicken near nambu bus terminal continued with samgetang.. I guess the heat had increase our appetite lol!
Ouch~~ I woke up this morning with pain in the back of my neck, a cramp in my abbs and pain in my back.. I played hard and dirty yesterday! I went to this Boryeong Mud Festival at Daechon Beach. It was a free and fun field trip with all other student of my institute. The Mud Festival is held yearly and this time is the 15th mud festival which starts from July 14 and will end next week on July 24, 2012. It is the 4th biggest festival in the world. I guess people loves to get dirty and that makes this festival famous *grin*. Before we went to the festival, we first visited a coal museum in Boryeong since it is only 15 minutes away from the beach. The museum was ok but not necessarily to be visited if you don’t have the car to go there,hehe..
It was cloudy that day and good because I didn’t have to put on sunblock ^^ besides, rain and mud is a good combination my friend said,hehe.. The beach was full with foreigners and only few of Koreans.. They made me feel so small because they are all so tall and big and covering my sights.. I made myself muddy in the jail where the staffs splashed a bucket full of mud to your body.. over and over again..After I got dirty enough I played slides which was sooo stiff and then I got into a dirty pool full with mud.. Lastly I “cleaned” my self in the beach.. I didn’t take much pics since I was busy playing in the mud,hehe.. What a dirty weekend I had but it was fun ^^
My passion for night photography started on one freezing night of winter early this year when my friends took me to a place near Seongsu bridge. Ever since then, my friends and I always keen on searching places for night photography.. mostly bridges because Seoul has lots of beautiful bridges at night. I said beautiful at night because on day time you will not see anything special about these bridges since they just look like regular bridges, hehe.. but when the lights on and the skies turn to blue on magic hour.. the bridges at dusk looks amazingly beautiful in photograph.. if you know how to shoot them correctly ^^ It will be good if you can have colorful car trails on your picture. Never missed magic hour for night photography..I am sure it is called magic hour because it will lasts only for few minutes.. magic doesn’t last forever right? *grin* and the skies above you is magically beautiful at that hour ^^
The tips for night photography is right combination of long exposures (5 to max 30 seconds) and small aperture (f=14 to max 22) to get a clear view of the landscape and bright lighting with sparks if there’s light source, also to get continous car or train trails or whatever trails that you wanted.. the longer the exposure the better! and for that camera setting, you will need tripod. Hmmm.. am I sound like a pro? kkkk.. well, I am not! I am just an amateur, there are lots of thing that I should learn about this night photography but the thing is there is no one who teach me ㅠㅠ I should learn by myself. I want to learn HDR photography. The night photography will look even better with HDR. I admired Sungjin Kim, Romain John and Exnucboy1 for their great artwork of HDR photography. I should learn from them someday *grin* I haven’t suceed yet with this HDR because I don’t have the software to combine the pictures into HDR picture ㅠㅠ I once tried using picassa but the result was not good. It will be my homework to learn this HDR photography and it’s post processing.
Here are some of my pictures.. not bad for a beginner, eh? ^^