A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Ils1976

the long flight home

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Although I slept fairly well, when I looked at the time, it was a little after 4 AM, so this meant that I still had a bit of time left to close my eyes, but all of a sudden I hear Tania shouting that it is time to wake up.

Still completely out of this world because of lack of sleep as well as the medicine I was taking, I jumped out of bed. To me it felt like I just closed my eyes, but apparently I slept better than I thought coz it was already a little after 5 AM, time to wake up indeed!

First I was surprised that I didn’t hear the alarm clock going off, but as soon as I was standing on both my feet while trying to open my eyes properly, Tania mentioned that something went wrong coz her alarm clock didn’t went off.

In other words, it was a bit of luck that she woke up, otherwise we had missed our flight, but on the other hand, who invents these inhuman hours for flying anyway!!!???

We got dressed in speed mode and as soon as we splashed some cold water in our faces to make sure we were quite awake, we grabbed our bags and were on our way to the reception of the hotel to hand in our key cards.

Luckily we weren’t that late and as soon as we found our taxi, I noticed it was raining quite heavily, so it seemed that we chose the right day to fly back home again.

The taxi ride itself took about an hour and although I still feld a little bit sleepy, I couldn’t close my eyes, unlike Tania who seemed to had more trouble with it. But can you blame her, it was still the middle of the night and the wipers of the car going back and forth were certainly no help at all, at a given point I just stopped looking at them because I was a bit afraid to become hypnotised!

As soon as we arrived at the airport, we said goodbye to our friendly but quiet driver and than the search was on to find the right check-in, which on this early hour wasn’t too big of a problem.

They weren’t open yet, but we made sure we got in line behind a few other early birds and about 15 minutes later, we finally saw them arrive and half an hour later we were rid of all of our luggage and the search for a bit of food could finally begin.

Hungry as we were, we didn’t really wanted to opt for fast food in the morning and to be honest, there is not so many to choose from besides burgers and pizza, but at long last, we saw a French bakery and after a bit of looking around the decision was made, an almond croissant and a cup of Earl Grey Tea was going to be our choice of the morning and although it wasn’t the yummiest one I ever ate, it certainly was the most expensive one, boy, they certainly know their prices!

With a bit of food into our system and a bit of time on our hands, we just walked from store to store till it was time to board and this time, believe it or not, our flight was on time.

Unlike our arrival into the country, this time we were seated back in economy again and as soon as I found my designated seat, I wished for that business seat again. It is strange how quick you get used to something like that! :)

During our flight, I had not only the company of my best friend Tania next to me, but also a friendly woman from the UK, who went for business to Asia for the last half year. After take off, she and Tania started talking to eachother while I on the other hand wanted to make the most of this 7 hour flight and tried to finish my blog.

While we were on our trip, I don’t exactly had much time to write every evening and now with all of our adventures still fresh in my mind, it was now or never.

I don’t know how I did it, but during the entire flight I did nothing else but type and type and for a moment I thought I was going to become one of those rabbits with a Duracell battery in its behind! Okay, I know this isn’t exactly a right comparison, but now that I had a bit of inspiration, I might as well make the best of it.

When we finally descended into Dubai, my blog was as good as finished.

I was surprised to notice that those 7 hours went by so very fast and I didn’t even had a quick powernap. Unlike most of the people on the plane, I was quite awake and I was starting to think that maybe they had put something extra into my orange juice!

Not really thirsty but hungry as hell, the both of us went on the lookout for something to eat. Like usual, there was of course lots of fast food thingies and bakeries, but for some reason we didn’t immediately found something to our liking.

After checking out all the eateries, we finally decided to give the "Giraffe stop" a try. They had all kinds of things like sandwiches, soups and sweet things, but once I saw that they also had oatmeal with honey, I was sold and together with a big mug of tea, I was a happy person again.

Since we still had a bit of time to kill at the airport, we decided to do what all tourists do and went from one aisle to the another while stopping a few times at different shops, but after a while even that gets a bit boring and in the end we just went to our designated gate and waited till it was time to leave for Europe again, more specifically Amsterdam.

Boarding went once again very smoothly and instead of a friendly woman sitting next to me, I now had a weird but yet at the same time, kind of an interesting older gentleman next to me, but while I was so interested in finishing my blog, I didn’t spend time in asking why it took him hours to read his booklet on how to use a watch … am I glad I don’t own one! :)

3 hours into the flight I finally finished it and as a reward, I treated myself with a few interesting movies. The first one I saw was “The Hundred foot journey”. It was hilarious and told the story of an Indian family who moved to France to open a restaurant in a very small town. I really liked this one and it had been quite a long time since I saw such a good one, I can really recommend it!

After skipping dinner, I saw another movie and this time I had chosen the Australian movie „Tracks” which tells the true story of a young woman who crossed the Australian desert. She started her travels in Alice Springs and walked all the way on foot to the Indian Ocean together with her trusty dog and a few camels. All I can say about this movie is that it is a true tearjerker and if I thought that my first choice was a good one, this one was sublime! It really was a good movie!

Time was flying once again coz by the end of my second movie, there wasn’t even time anymore to see another one. With only half an hour to go, we were as good as home again. I tried to close my eyes for a while, but it just wasn’t working. I was not tired at all, which was kind of strange coz I was already up for more than 20 hours now.

Upon our arrival into Amsterdam, it seemed to take forever to get out of the plane and even longer to wait for our bags, but in the end they arrived and that was the most important thing.

As soon as we went through „arrivals”, it took a bit of searching to find my brother and mum but once we noticed them at the other side of the hall, we could finally say hello to each other again after more than a month. Although I love to travel, in a way i was glad to see them back again as well. I just can’t help it, that’s what you get when you are a family person I suppose!?

Not eaten very much during the flight, me and Tania wanted to „celebrate” the end of our adventure with a typical dish of the Netherlands called a „kroket”. It took us a bit of searching because it was already quite late to find something to eat, but we managed and a few minutes later, after our order, we could finally set our teeth into some greasy junkfood.

The perfect ending to an already memorable trip!

With this bit of delicious junk food into our stomachs, it was more than time to drive back to our homes. After driving a bit more than 2 hours we arrived in Schelle, the hometown of Tania and after a quick hello and goodbye to her parents, we were on the road again, only to arrive at our place about half an hour later. It felt so good to be back home again, but on the other hand, a small part of me was also sad that this trip was over.

Not really tired yet, I talked to my mum for a few hours and after a very hot bath in the wee early hours, I finally closed my eyes at 3 AM while dreaming of more exciting travels to come!

Posted by Ils1976 06:27 Archived in Belgium Tagged people sky home airport shopping city clouds friends plane asia movies Comments (4)

visit to a world heritage site

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What a bliss it was to have a good night's rest and even to my surprise, the medicine really kicked in. I have to admit that it was a short one but still, better a few hours of sleep than nothing at all.

Not totally cured yet, but already feeling a little bit better, I was more than ready for another day of sightseeing.

Today we booked a daytrip to the old town of Malacca, which is said to be a World Heritage Site, so this basically means that there is heaps to see, but by the time that we arrived at the place around 11 AM, I was a bit disappointed.


For some reason, I expected it to be a more authentic town, but this one didn't seem to be all that special, to me that is. I can be wrong of course, but the old buildings I saw were nice, but not all that spectacular and I guess the town is more interesting for its history than for its buildings.

One thing however was peculiar. The market place was filled with some kind of riksja, but instead of a normal tricycle, these ones were all decorated with bright colors and fluffy dolls. Especially the once with a "Hello Kitty" were popular and we saw almost a dozen of them riding around. This truly was a funny sight and to me this will be an everlasting memory, more so than the buildings itself.

During this trip, we were lucky to be with only 3 persons and joining us today was a young guy from Melbourne, which is kind of funny since we seem to keep on bumping on people from our favorite part of the world.

While we were in Malacca, we got some free time till about 3.45 PM and together with having a quick lunch this was just ample time to find all the historic buildings, but still, we managed to find them all, so that wasn’t such a bad thing and even Joe made it back in time since he was already waiting in the minivan. With everyone back in time, we could leave again for the trip back to the big city, which was about a 2.5 hours drive away.

Sadly enough this was also the end of our blitz visit to Malacca and when you come to think about it, we spend more time driving to and from the place than that we actually stayed at the old city itself. Go figure!


On our way back, our driver told us that if we wanted, we could choose another drop off point other than our hotel and since we still wanted to visit the big shopping mall with the indoor theme park, called Times Square, we made sure we got out there, but not before we first dropped of Joe and saw him walking inside the hotel safe and sound.

We were up next and about half an hour later (more or less), we arrived at the right spot as well and said goodbye to our driver.

From the outside you have no idea how big it really is, but once inside it really is huge and while we just randomly started walking, we first wanted to go and look up the theme park, which we found a few minutes later. First I thought it was just a normal roller coaster but when I saw that it was going overhead, I lost my appetite of going on it. Speed I like and I can handle, but things that go over my head (literally), that is just a big NO - NO in my book and the only thing I could do was just watch and hear the screams of the people sitting in the speeding karts.

On our way down again, we wandered along many shops and with still a bit of Malaysian ringits in our pockets, we went for one last massage. While Tania opted for the foot therapy, I myself went for the neck and shoulders one and I must say that it was a whole new experience for me.

Most of the time the massages are firm but doable, but this one, it really did hurt and in an odd way I loved it. After almost 45 minutes of sitting with my head in some kind of plastic thing, I was completey of the planet but at the same time, it also felt really good. When I talked to the guy performing the massage, it turned out that my shoulders were really blocked and although not knowing it, I somehow could really feel a difference. What is it that they always say … no pain, no game or something like that??


After so much "relaxation", we went further down to find a local food court and tried some more noodles, which this time were spicy but doable. Maybe I am getting used to the food. That can be of course, but I guess, they just put less peppers in the meal.

One look at our clock told us that we needed to head back to our hotel, it was already getting late and since we still wanted to take a few pictures at the twin towers, we opted for going back by monorail, which on itself is quite an experience.

By the time that we had walked to the towers and back again, it was already 11 PM and we still needed to pack all our stuff. This was going to be a late night that’s for sure coz by the time I finally hit the sack, it was almost 1 AM and we needed to get up at 5 AM, talking about a very short night!

Posted by Ils1976 06:22 Archived in Malaysia Tagged landscapes churches people monument shopping city friends road tour sights group viewpoint Comments (2)

behaving like a real tourist coz that's just what we are!!!

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I don’t know what happened overnight, but unlike the previous night where I had the best sleep ever, tonight, I probably had the worst night of my entire trip. I couldn’t sleep at all, my nose kept running, my troat was constantly hurting and I got the shivers. I am no doctor, but even I know that I probably had the flu. How things could progress so very fast, I don’t know, but I felt utterly miserable. 

One good thing though, I still managed to eat something, but I kept on sweating and sweating, even when I was inside an air-conditioned place, that’s not normal. Just to be on the save side, I took some painkillers and something for a running nose, which I bought yesterday evening, but still, I felt like a zombie.

Tania opted to stay in the hotel and do nothing and relax, but that is not how I wanted to spend my last days, so instead I just tried my best and wanted to make the most of it, after all, today we planned on visiting the Batu Caves and I really don’t wanted to miss out on that one.

Before we left for the caves, we had one quick look at the towers for some more pictures, but with dark clouds hovering above them, we hurried back inside the towers and just took the metro all the way to Central. From Central we had to take another train towards the caves, where we arrived about half an hour later and by the look of all the tourist busses, we were definitely not alone. I guess when in the neighborhood, these caves are a must to visit!


While we walked towards the entrance of the caves, we came across some cute monkeys who were eating some mango and small bananas but with such a huge crowd of Asian tourists, who were bugging the little monkeys with there selfie sticks, I suddenly felt the urge of taking the stick from them and poke them as well. The nerve some people have!!!

A little bit further down the road, we finally found the stairs towards the cave and I must say that I knew that there were going to be around 272 steps, but still, it is quite impressive if you look at it.

On our way up we were constantly reminded of the monkeys running around and although they still look very cute to me, some of them became very angry and attacked a few people. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but heard it on my way up and the only thing I could think of was … good monkey! I can understand that you loose your temper around so many tourists!

It didn’t took long to get up to the cave and when we finally arrived at the top, I was surprised that there was actually so little to see, I expected more temples inside, but I guess that the locals build them and breake them back down again coz it was literally almost empty, but still, one heck of an impressive cave that’s for sure!


Just on our way down again, we saw a sign as well at the entrance to the "Dark Cave", which of course caught our attention.

It turned out that you could do a guided walk inside the cave for about 45 minutes and see an unique spider. Not that that was on my wishing list for the moment since spiders are the one thing I am more than afraid of, but hey, I was keen on seeing another cave, so we went for it.

Since the other group had just left, we had to wait for a while, but that wasn’t too bad coz I was a bit tired and this meant I could rest for a while, after all, I still wasn’t feeling well, but I guess this was going to last for the next couple of days, I just had to make the best of it.

After waiting for almost half an hour, a young girl by the name of Juliana came to the both of us and told us that she was going to be our guide and together with a young man from Germany and one from Japan, we formed a group for the next upcoming hour.


Once inside the cave, Juliana gave us some detailed information about the caves in general, the forming of the rocks, the insects and other creepy crawlers that live inside the caves and lots and lots more. I think she got all of our attention and from time to time, we even had a stop and a moment to take a few pictures. All in all it was a fun time inside and in some ways even better than outside coz at times we could hear the rain falling down on the rocks so, we had a natural umbrella, what is not to like!

When our tour was over, we tried to find something to eat and found something at a local Indian thingy. We ordered some vegetarian noodles and although we specifically asked not to make it spicy, by the time it arrived, it looked yummy but flames came out of my ears as well, this was just not normal.

I still suspect the cook of doing some extra hot spices into our dish coz the young men eating next to us were laughing at us when we made all those funny faces. Oh well, it is like live entertainment I guess and in the end there is no harm done, but still, damn, that was spicy!!!

Back outside the restaurant again, we went on the lookout for something to get rid of the spicy taste and the supermarket next door had just the right thing, a lemon / vanilla ice cream on a stick. Yummie in the first place, nice and cold and the most important thing, the spicy feeling was gone. The best dessert of the day!


Since there was nothing else to do, we just went back to the centre of the city and more specifically towards Petalin Street. Yesterday we promised our massage girls from the Philippines that we were going to come back for a real massage and once promised, we have to keep it up, so, I guess about an hour later, we walked through the door awaiting a moment of bliss and even an hour later I was sure of it.

It really felt good and while having my massage, Brenda noticed that I had a fever and told me that she was going to give me the right medication for my cold.

While Tania was having a pedicure, me and Brenda went off to the pharmacist, which was basically just a small store in a Philippines mall and with a bit of explanation, I got my medication called Bioflu. She said it helped on Beth as well and since I saw some improvement in her cold, I knew it had to work for me as well. it better, coz I felt so miserable and that was not how I wanted to spend my last day here in KL.

As soon as Tania’s pedicure was done, we went outside again, had a bite to eat and afterwards while it slowly began to get darker and darker, we just walked back to our hotel, only to arrive back in our room after 10 PM.

Time is constantly flying and by the time we said goodnight, it was already pretty late, but I wasn’t really aware of that coz I fell asleep in an instant.

Posted by Ils1976 06:07 Archived in Malaysia Tagged art shopping city friends cave sightseeing asia wellness Comments (6)

good morning KL!!!

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I must have been more tired than I thought, coz I only woke up because Tania told me it was almost time to board. When I last remembered closing my eyes, we still had a 2 hours wait ahead of us, so I really must have slept. I just hoped that I didn't snore to much!?

Still not quite awake yet, I walked like a zombie to the entrance of the gate, but for some reason it still wasn’t open yet although it said that we needed to board. After more than half an our waiting, there was still no movement and I guess this now officially meant that we were delayed. Not that we could do more than just wait, but after waiting a few minutes more, we suddenly hear Tania’s name through the speakers and about a few minutes later even my name pops up. What the heck is going on here???

Worried that there might be something wrong, overbooking or something worse, we head towards the flight attendant like they said we had to do, together with about 10 other people. This was not good, not good at all!


As soon as we took the elevator one level down, we were asked to give our boarding pass and guess what, we got another one back saying … BUSINESS CLASS!!! Yep that’s right! Instead of worrying that we couldn’t leave on this flight, we suddenly got upgraded because they overbooked too many people in economy. How I suddenly love Emirates, that’s for sure!

Believe it or not but we felt like the luckiest people on earth and with a big smile on our faces we went back into the elevator and couldn’t wait for boarding to begin.

It must have been a couple of minutes later when they suddenly announced that the gate was open and for once in our entire traveling life, we could go on board with the first people and sit in front of the airplane in luxurious seats while sipping some real expensive champagne. How I love my life at this moment!!!

As soon as we got seated, they waited on us on hand and foot and if we wanted something, seconds later you received it together with some real nice goodies as well.

Now this is what a call a flight of a lifetime coz that is just what it is.

As we went further into the flight, I tried one of the cocktails, more in particular, a „rusty nail” and I must say, that really did the trick. I planned on watching the movie "Transcendence" and afterwards wanted to go to sleep, but the "nail" part of the cocktail made me close my eyes even before the movie had ended. I must say that I didn’t mind one bit coz in the end I didn’t like the movie so much, it was quite a boring one.

For the first time ever I slept on an airplane, and like a baby I might at. I guess when there is a chance to recline your seat into a bed that helps a bit more than sitting all cramped next to other passengers.

When I woke up it was almost time for breakfast and we were still about 1.5 hour into flight, so while enjoying the rest of my luxury stay here on this plane, I watched an action movie called "November man" with Pierce Brosnan and this one I could watch till the end, so not boring at all this time around. And no "rusty nail" as well!

Half an hour later we gently landed into Kuala Lumpur and it is save to say that no matter what, this experience will keep to me for the rest of my life. Thank you Emirates!

Since it was still very early in the morning, getting from the plane to customs and picking up our luggage was just real easy and everything went like clockwork. Something you couldn’t say when it comes to getting out of the airport.


Now that we had flown business class, we wanted to arrive at our hotel in style and instead of taking the airport train to the center of the city, we just wanted to take a taxi. Or putting it in other words, we were a bit too laisy to walk around the city with all our luggage, even after a goodnight’s rest.

Finding a taxi wasn’t that big of a problem, paying was something entirely else. Unlike Singapore where you can pay even chewing gum with your credit card, KL is totally different. Everything needs to be paid in cash and even when they talk English to you, you have to listen twice, sometimes even more when you actually want to understand what they are saying, but for the rest, nothing wrong with the country.

As soon as we got some currency in our hands, we tried to take a taxi for the second time around. What a little bit of cash can do to a person. In a flash we are on our way towards the centre, which is about an hours drive away. 

Our hotel is situated near the Petronas Towers in the shopping triangle of the city and although we love to shop, the first thing we did upon our arrival is head for the swimming pool and relax a little bit more, went for a swim and by the time we were dried up again, it was already after 3 PM, the ideal hour to go and have a look at the twin towers, the main sightseeing here in the city!

We're not that far away from them, but because of the hot temperatures and the humidity, we are sweating like pigs if I may be so rude. This just isn’t my kind of weather, but hey as long as it doesn’t rain, I am not going to complain too much.

Come to think about it, during our trip we underwent so many different types of weather that for some reason I know now why I am constantly running around with a cold. Now that we are here in KL it is even worse because the AC is like stepping into a freezer and once outside again, the temperatures are simply put, bloody hot and humid. 

These differences in temperature are just too much for me to handle and I begin to notice that my troat is hurting, I only hope that I don’t get too sick.
After shooting some pictures at the twin towers, we tried to find a metro station and believe it or not, after walking and searching for more than an hour we finally found it.

Lucky thing we ate something as well during our search because one thing is for sure, now I know why there are so many taxi’s driving through the city. If you ask me, they should better invest in good signs because the network system is really good and cheap as well, but you have to find it or otherwise we are just too dumb to notice the signs, which are still not present!!!

When we did find the metro, we took a single token to Chinatown and the nearby market and just like Paddy’s market in Sydney, you can find all sorts of souvenirs and fake brands here. Not that we were so interested in buying stuff, but walking through it, is already fun in our book.

During our walk we ended up in Petalin Street and not much later, we even noticed a massage parlor, which we didn’t let pass. We wanted to try a manicure and since the ladies Beth and Brenda were so nice, we promised them to come back tomorrow.

By the time we had dinner in one of the food courts in Petalin Street, it was already pretty late and once back at our room, we just had a shower and went straight to bed. It was quite a relaxing day and that is just how the ending of a holiday should be.

Posted by Ils1976 05:53 Archived in Malaysia Tagged buildings airport city friends pool sightseeing relaxing Comments (2)

a sad goodbye

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Our last day here in Sydney was another early one, which obviously wasn’t that big of a surprise. We still wanted to go for one last morning run and since we were leaving late in the afternoon, it was better to get up early and enjoy the magnificent views of the early sunshine at the harbour for one last time and still have lots of time to do other stuff.

Although we left the hotel for a run at the same hour as a few days ago, there were more people up and about, but I guess that had something to do with the beginning of the week, after all, it was already tuesday. Some peole still needed to go to work!

When on holiday, you easily forget which day it is, so sometimes it is lucky that we have a bit of media with us that can tell us the exact date and day, otherwise I would be completely clueless about everything.

Once again we had a nice run and while I was waiting for Tania to come back, I suddenly realized that I loved Sydney so much that I wouldn’t mind one bit staying here for the rest of my life. Of course, when you visit a country during a holiday you can see only the beauty but still, even with daily hassle, I wouldn’t mind living here, so maybe I should apply for a green card, wouldn’t that be a nice idea!?

Wishful thinking I suppose and as soon as I met up with Tania after her run, we walked into "the Rocks" to have some breakfast at a cool looking bakery which sells whole meal scones and together with a self-made lemon ice tea, it is a nice enough start of the day. Bring it on I would say, but not without a shower first!

Being here in Sydney, we had a goal of all the things we wanted to do during our 4 days stay and the last one on the list was visiting the Imax theatre. Although they predicted rain and thunderstorms, it was still a very hot morning and it is actually a bit of a shame to spend time inside a theatre with such lovely weather outside, but if we wanted to see it, this was as good as time ever.

The movie which was on display at that particular moment was called „the hidden universe" and although it was interesting to learn more about stars and planets, I must admit that by the end of the 45 minutes during movie, I almost fell asleep. This had nothing to do with it being a bad movie, I guess I suddenly got so tired of doing so many exciting things over the last couple of days that my body just needed some more rest, either that or the fact of being in a dark room had something to do with it!

By the time we got outside again it was really hot and since we’ve got one ice cream free when you buy one, we decided to go and get one, we love freebies, or almost freebies that is!!!

After one last walk through Darling Harbour and China Town, we slowly made our way back to our hotel, making sure we passed along many shopping streets and souvenir shops to spend our last foreign currency and with tears in our eyes, about a few hours later we had to say goodbye to our beloved Sydney and were on our way towards the airport for our flight towards Melbourne.

Checking-in and getting through customs was really a breeze as was boarding the plane, but than again, it was only a 1 hour 35 minutes flight. Before you knew it, we were already landing again. Somehow I wish that all the flights were like this one, but I guess that would be just too easy.

As we arrived in Melbourne we still had lots of time on our hands and the first thing we did was grabbing something to eat. After walking for a while that seemed harder than we initially thought because due to our late arrival into the airport and in the end we just went for a small margarita pizza close to our gate.

We still had a couple of hours to kill, but since the shops were all closing or already closed, the only thing we could do was updating our blog a litlle as well as walking through the same gate a couple of times. Back and forth, back and forth ... till we got tired of it!

Since that wasn’t so appealing coz I guess we looked a bit like a few caged animals in a zoo, we went for the next best thing, which were basically the massage seats near our gate.

With still some small change in our pockets, we gave it a go and to my surprise it was really good as well. Too good maybe because after sitting there for a while I suddenly got so tired that I just fell asleep. I was just so damn tired but then again, it was already after midnight and we still had a few hours to go before our flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Posted by Ils1976 05:43 Archived in Australia Tagged airport city friends plane movies oceania Comments (2)

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