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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.

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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!

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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??

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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)

last day driving on the long and windy road


View New Zealand - 2014 on Ils1976's travel map.

I was just so glad that the Vodka did the trick coz I slept like a baby and the best thing of all, I didn’t even woke up with a headache. Still a bit drowsy because I am not totally awake yet, I tried to got dressed as quickly as I could coz I was a bit hungry as well (must be the alcohol ??? ) and by the time we got rid of our backpack, it was time to dig in. Instead of the usual cereals with toast and jam and a bit of fruit, this time we even had the possibility to have some scrambled eggs and just like the rest of the group, I wanted a piece of that. Usually I am not into hot food in the morning, but an egg is always an exception to me coz I just love them so much.

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When we were all decently fed, we could leave for our final day. Later this evening, we are going to have to say goodbye to more than 30 people and it is strange that although most of us only know each other for about 3 weeks, friendships can be made and I am even sure that a few group members are going to stay friends for quite a long time.

Although we were scared in the beginning of what to expect, I must admit to myself that we had quite a good group and I guess something like this doesn’t happen too often, especially with about 30 girls, but maybe it helped that we had 3 guys to make sure we didn’t get too crazy.

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It didn’t took too long to get all the bags packed and as soon as everyone was ready, we all jumped into the bus for our last day here on this tour. For the very last time we had yet again more than enough hours on the road but luckily we were also going to have enough stops on the way as well.

Now that we were in the vicinity of Mount Cook, we initially wanted to go and drive to a place where you had a nice view on the mountain, but sadly enough the weather was once again so bad that it wasn’t going to happen. The mountain was surrounded by fog and rainy clouds, so there was no point in going there in the first place coz we weren’t going to see the mountain at all. Like most of the group, I was a bit disappointed as well coz this meant that yet another amazing thing wasn’t going to happen or even worse, couldn’t be seen, but staying here in this country makes me so aware that nature is the big boss in town and she alone decides what is going to happen!

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Unable to do an early walk, we drove through some beautiful landscape for about an hour till we reached Lake Pukaki, which is really beautiful because of the blue tint into the water. A few pictures richer, we drove on again, only to stop again at yet again another lake, to be more precise, lake Tekapo. The colors of the water were beautiful as well, but the most beautiful thing were the hundreds of lupins growing alongside the lake. the views were stunning, but the moment we had our group picture taken, the weather changed on us again.

Not wanted to stay in the bad weather, we all just jumped into the bus for another 2 hours drive.

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It was already way after 11 AM when we arrived at the sheep farm Morelea (which basically means more grass), owned by Stan and Angie. This sheep farm is really big, so it goes without saying that Stan can’t do all the work by himself. Luckily his eldest son Mitchell helps out as well and future plans are that he is going to run the farm instead of his parents, but till that day arrives, he is just another help on the farm.

Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with some yummy scones and biscuits and together with some refreshments, it can be considered to be a very good early lunch. When we all finished eating those yummy things, it was time to go and have a closer look on the daily life on the farm. Since we were on a sheep farm, the main activity besides keeping the grass green so that all the sheep could eat, was shearing them as well.

Mitchell took us all along to the barn where a few sheep were awaiting us. It didn’t took long before he grabbed one and starting the shear it, but although I know it didn’t hurt the sheep, still it looked a bit rougher than when I go to the hairdressers and I started to wonder if these girls and boys don’t get stressed out. Probably not, but still, it can always happen of oourse.

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After the shearing, Mitchell also gave us an explanation of the difference in wool and about 5 minutes later we were out of the barn and into the sun again, ready for another few hours on the road, but not before we first could see a little demonstration of corralling the sheep.

To me it didn’t look all that easy and it even looked like quite a bit of hard work for the dog, but you could also see on the expression of the dog that he loved every minute of it.

It was nice to see all the sheep together, but taking pictures of them wasn’t always easy, especially of the pet lamb Lucy, she is quite a star and acts like it as well, but still, she is so damn cute.

As soon as we said goodbye to Angie and thanked her for the biscuits and scones and so on, it was time already to go back on the road again, We had yet again a few hours drive ahead of us before we made a quick lunch stop in one of the many towns on our way towards Christchurch, where we arrived about a few hours later.

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We first drove towards the city centre, where we quickly drove around the major highlights of the city with a quick photo opportunity at the cathedral which was destroyed by the earthquake in 2010. It must have been really devastating, when you look at the remnants of the church as well as all the empty places in the city where once stood a building but nowadays is just a pile of stones or even a newly "build" parking lot.

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Still it amazes me that so many places are not rebuild, but when Helen explained to us that there are still some light earthquakes, it is understandable. Till this moment, they are still thinking of what to do with the city and how to rebuild it and by the year 2020 they should definitely have a solution.

As we arrive back to the edge of the city centre, it is really time to say goodbye to almost 1/3 of our group. It is a sad „adieu” but with social media and stuff, I am sure we all stay in touch. After driving into another block of streets, we dropped of Kelly from the UK and than it is our turn. Me and Tania are going to stay in the YMCA of Christchurch and believe it or not, it really is fun to stay at the YMCA!

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Check in went very smoothly and the staff was more than friendly but the minute we dropped of our stuff at our room we were on the move again. As we arrived at Christchurch the weather was suddenly so nice, especially when the sun came out, that we wanted to make the most of it, after all, when the sun shines, you have to make the most of it, something we learned of being in this county for more than 3 weeks now.

Since our hotel was nicely situated almost in the middle of the city centre, we went for a nice walk through all the „highlights” of the city. Unfortunately those aren’t that many since the earthquake, but still, it is nice to see that people do survive terrible things and that they do try to do something about it, especially when you look at the many street arts in various streets just to brighten up the neighborhood.

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From all that walking, we got hungry as well and since we were almost back at our hotel, we decided to have dinner in the YMCA and to my surprise it was even restaurant quality for a good price. So in the end choosing to stay in the YMCA turned out to be one hell of a good choice.

Although it was already starting to get dark, we still wanted to go for a run and since we were so closely situated near the botanical garden, this was just the perfect opportunity. Not many people were out there and running on your own in the dark is very good for the soul, for mine that is. I just loved it and it was also nice and warm outside, so all in all the perfect situation.

Once we were back in our room, it was time again to get packing coz we were going to leave for Australia in the early afternoon and to be honest, I was looking forward to it so much. Since the day we booked this trip, I was so excited to visit Sydney again and it goes without saying that I was looking forward to tomorrow.

By the time I closed my eyes, it was already way after midnight, but that wasn't too bad, I was already dreaming of exciting things to come.

Posted by Ils1976 01:14 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes churches buildings people animals monument city friends road tour sightseeing group oceania Comments (2)

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