07 November 2012

Singapore & Europe - Part 2

Continuing on from where I left off in Part 1 of my adventures, after visiting Milan and being extremely disappointed with the lack of luxury branded stores, we left for Berlin. Berlin has got to be one of my favourite European cities along side Venice. However, it's for a completely different reason. Venice is an absolutely gorgeous city, whilst Berlin is full of history and the transport is amazingly efficient (well, it's not hard to beat Sydney's transport, but I was still amazed at how frequent the buses were even during on Sunday where all the shops were closed).

We didn't have anything planned for Berlin, so I decided to hop on the net at the hotel and find a tour. I found a free walking tour by Sandeman and would highly recommend this company. However, it's not really free, as you "have" to tip the tour guide or you'll feel extremely guilty. But you decide how much to tip. The tour guide we had was extremely informative and easy to listen to. We had a few walking tours in Italy, and they had such strong Italian accents and the crowd was so big, it was hard to decipher what they were saying. However, the tour guide we had for Berlin was excellent. She had a loud voice, and she was originally from England! Anyway, if you're going somewhere and need a free walking tour, definitely try out Sandeman. I think they're in other cities too!

The photos below are from the tour. I think those are the only photos that I took in Berlin.
The famous Brandenburg Gate. Did you know that the Quadriga statue on top of the Brandenburg Gate was renamed the Quadriga of Victory (and the person riding the chariot is called Victoria) after Berlins stole back the statue from Napoleon who put it in the Louvre in Paris? The square on which all the people are standing on is called Paris Square after Berlins got back Victoria... Why did they call it Victoria? Because they can now say that they have Victory (Victoria) over Paris (Square)!
Not sure if you noticed in the picture above that there was a friggin Mickey Mouse at the Brandenburg Gate!

Memorial to the murdered jews of europe. The memorial consisted of a crap load concrete slabs of the same width and length but differs in height. What the concrete slabs truly represents, noone knows except for the architect. It's up to you to formulate a theory.
Memorial to the murdered jews of europe - walking through towards the other end. As you can see, some of the concrete slabs are reeeally tall... kind of makes you feel like you're in a maze.


On the other side of the memorial, this is the top of the concrete slabs.
A piece of the Berlin wall that has been removed, painted and placed elsewhere. The lady next to the wall was our tour guide!
Das Konzerthaus located on Gendarmenmarkt Square. It's a concert hall!
French Cathedral on Gendarmenmarkt Square. There's a "twin" cathedral made by the Germans just opposite this cathedral, on the other side of the Das Konzerthaus. This cathedral is slightly older than the Germans, and they were meant to look exactly the same but the Germans decided that they have to be better and so built theirs slightly taller!
Altes Museum (Old Museum) on Museum Island. The architecture of this Museum is very Greek influenced, and I think its so grand and it was one of the buildings that left me speechless.

Altes Museum from a distance

The statue in front of the Altes Museum.
Berlin Cathedral on Museum Island. Another building that left me speechless. Look how pretty it is!
That concludes the pictures from my Berlin tour. We were dismissed from the Museum Island, and had to find our way back or continue exploring the city... Because the bf and I weren't very touristy people, we didn't like being dismissed like that (i.e. not dropping us back at the starting point). We had to walk for ages till we got back to Paris Sqaure. :(

Anyway, we left Berlin for Paris. I'm going to give you a quick run-down of our itinerary in Paris before I spam you with my photos. The night that we arrived in Paris, we went to the Eiffel Tower. The next day, we went to Disneyland (I have a dream to visit all the Disneylands in the world...). And the day after, we had to leave to catch a plane to Glasgow, Scotland.

Without further ado... Photo time!
The Eiffel Tower at night! If you think this is pretty, check out the next picture!
Holy crapballs, the Eiffel Tower is sparkly!!! <3
We caught the lift up. Sydney is 16,962km away - excuse the blurry photo, I used my iPhone to take this photo.
And that's the view right under the Sydney sign!
I think I did a good job in cutting down photos from the Eiffel Tower trip... Next lot of photos is from Disneyland... Not sure how good I'll do in selective photo picking here...

We caught the train and this is the Disneyland stop... LOOK AT THE MICKEY MOUSE SYMBOL ON THE SIGN!!! I get so excited easily...
*squeal* DISNEYLAND!!!
Disneyland Paris' 20th anniversary!
Me in front of the castle... My hair looked so brassy... eww..
Big Thunder Mountain... I'm proud to say that I was feeling brave that day and WENT ON THAT RIDE!
It's a small world!
Walt Disney Studios
Me on the Studio Tram Tour. If you've been to the one in Anaheim, don't bother going on this one. This sucks in comparison.
Our deliciously expensive massive hot dog.
And that concludes our adventures in Paris. Next stop, Glasgow, Scotland! All photos taken were from our tour around Scotland - Stirling Castle, Glengoyne Distillery, Loch Lomond, and places in between.

Entrance to Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle walls
Stirling Castle's walls and weird pillar decorations - the statue things at bottom of the pillar are actually of people's heads. But quite a few have disintegrated.
Great Hall - I believe this was where the King, Queen and their guests had dinner and was entertained.
The King and Queen had a strange obsession with unicorns... There were unicorns EVERYWHERE!
Queen's bed chamber. Notice the luxurious bed.
LOL @ the King's bed chamber.
King's Bed Chamber... seee? UNICORN!
That is where the king and queen used to stroll about. It was the royal garden. It is now a public park.
This is a loch... No idea what loch is it though. I kind of fell asleep on the bus when the tour guide was talking about it.
Highland cattle! She was so cute!
Baby highland cattle!
Last highland cattle picture.. I promise!
A picturesque view... Have quite a few similar photos coming up.
Another picturesque view
We were so lucky to have such amazing weather. This is Loch Lomond.

A panorama view of Loch Lomond.

We then had a tour of Glengoyne Distillery. We were given a glass of Glengoyne whiskey at the start of the tour... didn't like it very much, had a sip and was like Nope! Not drinking this! But the tour was interesting. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos during the tour because it's an OHS thing... something about the area being extremely flammable.
On the way back to the hotel... Thought it was hilarious...
I even took a close up shot...
The day after the tour, we went shopping... all day... And the next day, we left for London. There are two touristy places we visited in London - The Tower of London and Kensington Palace. We had tickets to another palace, but it was out in woop woop and the train lines that were part of our trip was down for repairs, so we gave it a miss. Likewise, the photos I have are all of the touristy places we went to.

Tower of London!
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...

I thought this was hilarious.... Look at the centre of the picture...
All the horseys and the knights that were involved in the wars/battles at The Tower of London
Amazing view from one of the buildings at The Tower of London
Execution tools!
These engravings were done by prisoners. I thought they were really well done...
Look at how much wall this person took out!
Another view of the Tower of London
And another... this time with Lions! RAWR!

There was an "attraction" that I was most impressed with at the Tower of London, but we weren't allowed to take photos. It was the Crown Jewels.. The size of those diamonds on the queen's crown and jewellery are GINORMOUS! And all that gold servingware... mmm... Definitely recommend a visit to the Tower of London!

Kensington Palace. Was such a b*tch to get to because they shut the train line to Kensington Palace down.
A ceiling in Kensington Palace... It really wow-ed me.
We didn't take many pictures inside Kensington Palace because we didn't have a tour guide, and had not much knowledge of the royal family, and as such had little understanding to what we were looking at. As a result, we went through the Palace in record time... Spent most of the time in the souvenir shop, where I bought a book about Queen Victoria.

After London, we went to visit the bf's relative near Canterbury. It was about a 2 hour bus ride away. Unfortunately, all our socialising was done during dinner, as they had work the next morning and we had to leave before they finished work to catch our plane back to Singapore.

We then spent about a week in Singapore, where the bf bought a 40" Samsung TV, which he then proceeded to worry about bringing it back to Sydney, whether or not they'll charge him excess baggage and whether it'd arrive in one piece (which it did, and he wasn't charged any excess baggage). We also did quite a lot of shopping, especially in duty free, before coming back to Sydney.

Anyway, I'm going to abruptly end my post here because my laptop is burning my legs and I'm pooped! Hope you enjoyed my posts about my trip to Singapore and Europe. Would definitely recommend visiting Europe and Singapore to everyone!

4 comments:

  1. Wow that memorial is so creepy :/ glad you got your new tv back okay!
    x

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    1. It is a tat... Could seriously lose your sense of direction if you took a few random turns.

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  2. Replies
    1. Unfortunately not, I didn't get the chance to. :(

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