Sydney Autumn 2016.

Finally, my holiday is here! After my last holiday trip which ended in October last year, i was already feeling tired from work and all the daily stuff.. I hadn’t plan to visit Sydney at all thinking that it’s but another city alike Singapore. But as I was looking at the promotional airfares, I thought hey! maybe i could give Sydney a chance.. and here I come!

I was a little hesitant initially, being aware of the terrorist attack news there lately, but as I had been to Melbourne before (and fell in love with the city there), I thought its fair to give this beautiful place a visit. So true enough, it surprises me. 😙

This was the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, although it was so far away from us but we could spot a few groups of bridge climbers on top of the bridge at that time!

 

We even tried to capture both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House together in a picture.. camera angles are very important!

The Grounds of Alexandria is a farm theme inspired cafe situated in the middle of an industrial area in Sydney. It was more accessible by car / taxis than by foot as we had to  walk a few miles only then to arrive here. It was very crowded too, so do make reservations if you are going there for a meal!

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This was the interior of Central Station, so wished our train stations are like that too haha! Impressive architecture!

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I love spacious places..  and it’s something we do not have here in SG.

This was Leura Garage cafe. Cannot remember if it was a garage transformed into a cafe or it’s just a garage theme cafe. They even serve rainwater as a form of beverage. LoL.

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We took a long distance train from Sydney to Katoomba. Then we bought the day pass @ $40++ /pax which gave us unlimited rides around Blue Mountains National Park! Be warned, beautiful scenery pics coming up.

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Nice? That’s the legendary 3 sisters. 😀

Some hiking was required at some areas since it’s a national park. Btw, it was pretty cold up here in the mountains so it’s always good to bring along an extra jacket!

 

Poor mum, we were pretty worried about her knees not able to take the load of hiking upwards.

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This was @ Sublime Point Lookout.

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Beautiful scenery!

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This picture is proof that we went during the autumn season!

We also spent some time exploring the city and the CBD area, there’s this mix of rustic and modern feel around the city when we saw modern and old architecture located just side by side! The clock tower reminds me of London’s Big Ben.

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Lots of walking about although the train stations are nearby. Besides St James Station is Sydney’s own Hyde Park.

 

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Bondi Beach was pretty accessible. We took a bus there and we had brunch at one of the cafes along the street opposite the beach. Highly instagrammable food as you can see.

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And the instafamous Bondi Icebergs swimming pool is just by the ocean.

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Another highly instagrammable shot. Hehe

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We took to the challenge of doing the coastal walk, enjoying the scenery and of course the sea breeze!

 

Decided to take a cliff shot, although it is not advisable because of the risk of falling rocks or a careless step, I may end up swimming in the deep blue ocean.

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Remembering that this was the last meal that we had on the last day before we caught our plane back to SG.

Last but not least, I would say “Kudos!” to the subway network in Sydney, I must say it was a pleasant smooth experience for us travelling with the Opal cards. I learnt that although Australia is one big country, the different cities uses different transport companies and therefore, just like in Melbourne, use the Myki cards. Melbourne was confusing with the Zones 1 or 2. If you visit Melbourne, you will understand what I mean.

Tokyo 2015.

Finally!! The entry on my last personal trip for the year 2015 is out!

So I was headed to Tokyo Japan once again… this time with a different group of people, my ex-colleagues from the last workplace! We wouldn’t have attempted on this trip if JC hadn’t initiated for this one as we weren’t super close working partners in the workplace. But as I was familiar having been to Japan before, I gamely accepted it, although fully stressed because I knew I’ll be the “tour guide” or “tour leader” for this trip. There were a lot of things to figure out, such as  Japan’s complex metro subway network, intricate map of Tokyo, etc. Those street names although they have an English interpretation of it, they are forever so hard to remember. We even got a lil lost at Narita AP when we were trying to locate the place to get the discounted train tickets from AP to the city and back to AP on the last day. I was lugging a 13kg luggage that contained autumn clothes for my 8D7N stay as well as a 1.5l mineral water bottle (a habit of mine when I visit less developed countries or countries with undrinkable tap water). I could get the distilled water from their supermarkets but I tried to save some money lah! hehe. Anyway, a word of warning though, you will expect to see more pictures of ramen as you scroll down later in this entry. 😛

For the first 2 days, thank God for LY who used his data roaming to get us around Tokyo and even helped us to locate our hotel as due to some hitches in the logistics, we could only have our wifi egg delivered to us on the 2nd night of the trip.

#0: This was our first meal at a restaurant within walking distance from our hotel. Ramen meal was quite cheap and good.

#1: We popped by the Gundam cafe because ET was a huge fan of these robots and it was very near to Akihabara station. P/s: AKB48 cafe was just beside it as well.

#2: The weather was cool at air con temperatures but it was sunny in the morning and afternoons.

#3: After a super long working distance, we arrived at the Tokyo Metropolitan Building where we caught a glimpse of the beautiful skyline of Tokyo at no charge. The waiting in queue was what we had to endure after we finally found the building.

 

#4; This was the Ramen museum where they showcase all the types of ramen that is available in different parts of Japan.

#5: Cant remember where this ramen was from. But I didn’t quite like the texture and type of the noodles being used. It was thick like what we have over in Singapore – Mee Pok noodles. HAHA

#6 Kumamoto ramen which I did not get to taste when i was in Kyushu. How ironic that i am having it only now when I visit the ramen museum in Tokyo.

#7 A group pic of us outside the Ramen museum!

#8: We went to Disneysea! My 2nd time there and i wasn’t bored at the thought of going there a second time!


#10: The highlight of this trip! Although LY gave this a miss, but the 3 of us totally enjoyed it and sweated it out. We went for a mountain hike at Mt. Takao which was only about 500 m above the sea. But as we weren’t too prepared physically for this challenge, we made it still. Yes!

#11 That was the view of Tokyo midway up the mountain. Thank God for keeping us safe!

#12 I was in good exercise gear although my bag was quite heavy after carrying this thick sweater as I thought it might get windier or cooler uphill. But i was wrong. Probably the hordes of japanese warmed the entire climate over there. HEHEHE.

#13 Ramen after ramen.. and ramen again!
  

#16 Rainbow bridge and the waters that linked Tokyo up with this reclaimed island called Odaiba. It was raining hence the picture looks foggy like that. The rain made us all wet and cold but the shopping was good!

WE LOVE JAPAN!!!

Ok.. there weren’t as many pictures as expected since my handphone was spoilt.. I didn’t bring out the DSLR because I wasn’t going to be carrying it around everyday when all the walking would have exhausted me totally. But I am glad this trip was a success! Feel free to ask me any questions by leaving a comment below as I will try my best to answer you on your questions about this trip. And before i end this post… again…

WE LOVE LOVE LOVE JAPAN!!! 

xo, thedarktraveler

Japan 2012 Vol. 2!

So as promised in my last japan post.. I’d handpick a few snapshots that I think capture my heart quite abit (ok well, I did upload afew of them on instagram to test “response”, haha!)

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#1 I am glad I insisted on pressing the shutter button when I snapped this lady staring/glaring at me. I was alittle stressed after putting the camera down as if this lady was annoyed at me snapping at her without getting her permission. The priceless expression on her face is what I called, “The Moment”. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. =D
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#2 Can’t remember how i got this shot, but I was literally snapping away at strangers walking beside/away from me.
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#3 After numerous snaps of strangers, this lady capture my attention becox of the strap around her neck. I’m glad I found a Nikon fan in the midst of a busy Nakamise street. =D

#4 I couldn’t have gotten this shot if I hadn’t carry the 85mm lens that day. I was kinda regretting that I wasn’t able to get full shots of the tokyo tower because I did not lug along the other wide-angle lens but am thankful still. =D
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#5 I like the colors of these houses.
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#6
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#7 Snapping my little bro is easy, at least for once, it is not another shot of a stranger =P
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#8 At nara deer park.. The baby deers are really cute!

Now a total of 7 8 best shots at the moment, please enjoy the other pictures in the album link and do give me your honest comments! When time allows, I will upload more of those that I like the most in this trip.

♄ loves,
the dark traveler

Japan 2012 here I come!!

So yes yes, i am finally able to cross
Japan off my bucket list. I was so eager to
share what I had gained / lose in this trip before going but
unexpectedly when i came back, I was so lazy to put everything down
into words. SUMIMASEN! đŸ˜„ (oops, it means ‘excuse me’ in
japanese, i can’t remember whats ‘im sorry’ in japanese,
hehe)
I was even more lazy to edit the pictures that I
had took but fortunately, most of the pictures came out in pretty
good exposures and settings. =D So after delaying for sometime, i
had managed to upload all my photos in my google plus account and
here and there in Facebook, even to the extent of accidentally
deleting one of the albums in my SD card! BOOoo. So without further
ado, let me share with u the album titled “Tokyo streets and
strangers” via this google plus link, pls enjoy =) https://plus.google.com/photos/112942645831858050961/albums/5814701992264531969?authkey=CIGp0a688cD7IQ
I know it’s my usual practice to shortlist a few pictures that I
feel its “snapped at my best effort” / “having the right feel and
atmosphere” but well, please bear with me.. I will find time to
update this post if possible. =P

xo, the dark traveler