A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sights

visit to a world heritage site


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

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)

animal day

Another early rise and shine in sunny Sydney awaited us and today was a day I was really looking forward to coz we were going to the zoo. Not that I love zoo’s in particular, I prefer to see an animal in it’s natural habitat, but if there isn’t any other option, a zoo will have to do. Throughout the many places I have travelled, I saw a few zoological gardens and many of them aren’t that well maintained. I am afraid to say that even in my home country we could sometimes do better, but I know that this one is one of the „better” zoo’s or so they say. I will have to find that out for myself of course!

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The walk to the circular quay isn’t that far, only about 10 minutes and I am amazed to notice how well located our hotel is. We don’t even have to use the train, everything is within walking distance and that is just the way we like it.

Upon our arrival, we just walked to the ferry boats and booked a ticket through Captain Cook cruises, since they do a deal with a crossing, the cable car and the entrance for the zoo and before we even realize it, we are on the boat and on our way to spot some Australian natives.

The crossing didn’t take that long and when we arrived at the other side about 15 minutes later, we even had to wait because the cable car was still closed. Normally it should have been open but although they didn’t mention of any problems, I guess someone must have overslept. Something like this can happen of course and by the time we took a few scenery pictures we could go up the mountain and had a beautiful view overlooking the zoo from above.

Although it was a hot morning, there were already lots of people up and about, it looked like we weren’t going to be alone and when we went through the gate and saw the map of the zoo, we immediately noticed that we have to hurry if we wanted to see everything.

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Since we were mainly interested in the native animals, that was going to be our main objective of the day and about 3 minutes walking into the park the most cute animal of them all awaited us, the koala. It was still early in the morning and they were sleeping, but still, looking at that cute little fury animal, it made my day!

The funny thing about it is, that although very crowded there was one dad saying to his 3 year old child : „look honey, that’s a koala, the same like the one we have in our back yard!”. It was just so crazy hearing these words, it was like they were talking about a cat or a dog, but I guess when you live here in such a big country where those animals or so common, it feels like a cat or dog to Australians.

After waving goodbye to his cutie, we visited the night life creatures and next on were the African ones, but since there were some road works, we had to go back almost to the beginning and from there we tried the Orang Utang forest walk, which to our surprise, only houses plants. There wasn’t an animal to be seen. This was quite a pity since this is my favorite animal of the whole wide world, but hey, hopefully in a few years time I will be able to see them in their natural habitat and that would be more than amazing as well.

Leaving the jungle, it was already time to have some lunch and than we went on our way to see the rest of the Australians, but like most of the animals they were either not to be seen or sleeping (probably because of the extremely hot weather).

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We tried to spot a wombat and searched for it, for almost half an hour, but he was no were to be found. Last time when we were in Australia we only saw a sleeping wombat, but now he was just totally gone, he knows how to hide himself, that’s for sure. On the other hand, we saw lots and lots of Echidna’s and they are so funny to watch, they really look like oversized drunken hedgehogs. I just love the way they move!

Time is flying when you are trying to find all the natives and like most animals they also love to sleep or hide in the shade, I guess that a warm day isn’t exactly the right moment to visit a zoo, but we had a bit of a time issue, so there wasn’t any way around it.

At 2 PM we were near the seals and watched a show, which was quite entertaining and informative at the same time. I must say that they really know how to handle there native talks and shows coz an hour later we also went for the bird show and this one in particularly is very interesting. There are just so many birds and to be honest, so many different species I wasn’t really aware of and it made me look at birds in a totally different way.

Sadly enough we had to go after the show was over coz we needed to get the 3.45 PM hop on hop off ferry back to the city centre coz this evening we had a dinner date with Ewa, a girl who we met a few years back on our trip through Oz and kept in touch with ever since.

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By the time that we arrived back at the hotel, got a quick shower and another change of clothes, she was already awaiting us in the lobby waiting to get a few friendly hugs from 2 crazy Belgians.

It was so nice seeing her again and it felt like it was only yesterday that we were on the same trip together. I guess when you have that feeling, it means that they are true friends coz it doesn’t happen that very often. I myself, only have this feeling with a handful of people and I guess that they know who they are when they should happen to read this blog.

Ewa took the both of us to Darling Harbour to have dinner at the waterfront and she choose a very nice place where we had some yummy kangaroo steak with kumara mash and some greens. All in all a good choice and afterwards, we even closed the perfect dinner with a vanilla crème brûlée. Even late at night it was still nice and warm for a nice walk back to the hotel and although it was short, I enjoyed every minute of it and I sincerely hope to see my dear friend again within the next couple of years, as long as there is hope, there is life … isn’t it!?

When we arrived back in our room again about 10 PM the dreadful task awaited us of repacking all of our stuff. We had been neglecting it over the past couple of days, but since we are leaving this beautiful country early in the afternoon, there just isn’t escaping it anymore, so before I closed my eyes I made sure that everything was packed and I didn’t forget nothing.

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Posted by Ils1976 05:29 Archived in Australia Tagged skylines people birds boats walk city friends sights reptiles mammals oceania Comments (2)

escape from the horror that is rain!


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

Strangely enough I slept quite alright, but in the middle of the night everything became so quite that I suddenly woke up. It seemed that the rain had finally stopped and with a smile on my face I went back to sleep. Little did I know of course what was going to happen in the next few hours and believe it or not, a little bit after 6 AM, it started to rain again, my god, does it ever stop ????

Lots of us wanted to do the heli-hike excursion to Fox Glacier and secretly I already knew that it was going to be cancelled, but there was still a chance that we could walk up to the glacier, sadly enough not in this weather though. If it kept on raining in the morning, even the walk up was going to be cancelled and now that it started to rain again, all hope was gone. The one thing that went through my mind at that moment was the fact that I hated rain!

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I don’t mind so much that it rains on other days, but one of the reasons I really wanted to come to NZ was for the Tongariro crossing (cancelled), Fox glacier (cancelled) and now my only hope is set on Milfourd Sound. Knowing my luck, this is going to be in the rain as well, I am sure of it. I really don’t know what I have done to deserve this but hey, that’s destiny for you I guess?

As we meet up with the rest of the group for breakfast, it is soon enough clear to everyone that we aren’t going to the glacier, after all, it is really raining cats and dogs and the conclusion of everyone is to get the hell out of this miserable place. Nope, it doesn’t look like I am going to have happy memories of Fox Glacier, it really is a pity.

When everything is loaded into the bus, it is time for us to leave and we all wanted to get out of here as soon as possible but because we left earlier than planned, Helen and Craig had to come up with alternatives. Not that this is easy with such weather, but hey, at least they tried to cheer us all up.

About one hour into the drive and a few floods later (I am not exaggerating, we quite literally had to drive on the other side of the road), we arrived at the information centre of Haast. This was the ideal stop for a toilet break and it also had a small interactive museum about the fauna and flora of the region we were in. Of course we couldn’t stay there for days, so after about half an hour, we were back on the road again only to stop again at one of the many road cafe's we came across.

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With a delicious chai latte in the hand, we were on the move again, only to have another stop about half an hour later. We were near the Thunder Creek falls, which is supposed to be a very beautiful place and the home of a fairy. According to Helen, she is called abcde (spoken abcidee). This fairy rewards only the good people at the fall. If you look closely at the waterfall for about 12 seconds at a fixed point, something magical is going to happen. And although it rained so hard that it was difficult to concentrate, I finally got rewarded,, so it seems that I was a good person after all. For the more sober people amongst us, the optical illusion is the fact that the mountains seemed to move. Am I now a bad person by telling this ???

Suddenly it started to rain even harder and we had to make a run for it, I am so glad that we were leaving for Queenstown today, coz they promised us better weather on the other side of the mountain and in a way that was true coz once we left them behind, we were sort of rid of the pooring rain.

I guess it must haven been about 2 hours later when we arrived at the little town of Wanaka, which is also known for its lake. At the moment we arrived, the sun was shining so bright that we all got so excited and happy at the same time. It had been a few days since we saw this round yellow thing and some of us were even wondering how it looked like.

This stop was also going to be our place to have some lunch and what is not to like when you can eat with such nice weather. Me and Tania tried to find a spot on a terrace to enjoy the sunrays but as soon as we got our food, dark clouds were hovering over the city, please go away!!!!!

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Sadly enough they wouldn’t go away, but luckily we had eaten already and as soon as we left the terrace, it started drizzling again. This is always a bad omen and by the time we left an ice-cream parlor (what is a person without a dessert), it was raining cats and dogs again. It clearly was written in stone that today was going to be a shitty day!!

Back on the road again, we only had a few hours of driving left and we arrived at Queenstown with the sun in our backs. That yellow thing that is sometimes hovering high in the sky was finally back and as soon as we checked in to our room, me and Tania went into town to have a look around.

Tonight we had a free dinner and since tomorrow we were going to do some adrenaline activities (especially Tania), we wanted to have one last good meal. Since we both like Mexican food so much, we decided to go with it and tried out a cute restaurant which looked very good. We even ordered a margarita as an aperitif, because after all, if we were going to die tomorrow, we at least had one last good meal together.

A little tipsy, we went back to our room again, but not before we had one last stop at the Ferg bakery for a dessert. The choice of the day was lemon Meringue and one thing is for sure, it was delicious.

The perfect ending for a dinner, after all, it could be our last!

It is already way after 9 PM when we started to organize our stuff we needed for tomorrow and after a long hot shower it was time for me to hit the sack. It was going to be an early night coz tomorrow morning Tania had to jump out of an airplane. I on the other hand could sleep in and that was just what I needed because it was going to be a stressful afternoon all together.

Posted by Ils1976 03:53 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes waterfalls mountains people rain water lake road tour sights group oceania viewpoint grey_weather Comments (4)

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