Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trivia Tuesday #1 - Van Gogh Museum

We are ardent fans of art galleries and museums. When we travel, we try to make a point to visit one or two famous ones around. 

I find museums very intriguing; a place where you can see things you have never seen before and these things hold a lot of history in them. They also tell you about the about the country and its people and culture too. 

Some museums and art galleries allow photography as long as it is done without the flash. However, there are many that prohibit any form of photo taking and video recording. 

During my recent trip to Amsterdam, I visited the Van Gogh Museum - an art museum in Amsterdam dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. It is located at the Museum Square. 

Before going I had checked online if photography was allowed. There was nothing official on its website but some forums have reported that it is allowed to snap pictures in the museum as long as you take extra caution on the usage of the camera flash. 

Excited to see great masterpieces of Van Gogh, I was all set with my cameras. I went in happily snapping away - one picture after the other whilst being extra cautious with my flash function. Unfortunately, after a couple of captures of the paintings, the museum officials came to me and informed me that photography is not allowed in the museum. I was disappointed of course! 

Vincent Willem van Gogh the Post-Impressionist painter

However, I did manage to snap some before the warning. I guess those will suffice to help me remember the greatness of Van Gogh's works. 

And here are some of them.....

3 in a row of Van Gogh's flower paintings

The Iris



The almond blossom

 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Marhaban Ya Ramadhan


Allahumma Sallimnee Li Ramadhaan Wa Sallim Ramadhaana Lee Wa Sallimhu Lee Mutaqabbala (Kanz-ul-ummal)

“O Allah! Safeguard me for the Month of Ramadhaan (by making me see the Month of Ramadhan healthy and fit),and safeguard the Month of Ramadhan for me (by making the conditions in it such that I can take maximum benefit from it) and accept it from me.”

Wordless Wednesday - Pot Consumption


#IAmsterdam
#CannabisStore

Thursday, June 4, 2015

#throwback Thursday - Pompeii on My Mind Still

This is the continuation of my earlier #throwback entry.

So we lost Abe at the train station. And what were we supposed to do now?

At Napoli Station...before we lost him

The train was packed with people heading for Pompeii. I tried looking up - trying to search for stops on the train line. I saw the line had many stops but somehow the stop we were heading to was not there. 

My next question was...did we get onto a wrong train? Couldn't be; I was very sure we were on the correct platform. I tried calling Abe again on his mobile phone. It rang continuously and Abe wasn't picking up. Double whammy! Darn....

In that packed train, standing next to us were a group of Chinese students. They too had that lost look on their faces. Then suddenly we heard two ladies explaining to them, "No...no Pompeii. Wrong train. Get down next station." 

Ahhh...that explained why our stop was no where found on the train line map!

We got down at the next station and was told to take Napoli - Sorrento train. I tried calling Abe again. Still no answer. Told Nissa to send him a text saying we took the wrong train and now waiting for the next train to take us to Pompeii. 

I was concerned if Abe knew which stop was for Pompeii. Nissa said, "Let's just keep our fingers crossed." 

Every morning before we kickstart our adventure, Nissa would run the day's itinerary with her dad. I know at times her old man would just doze off before she could finish her briefing. She complained to me but I told her she had to be more creative at capturing her dad's attention. 

Luck had it when the next train arrived, it too was packed to the brim. There was no way we could squeeze in. So we had to wait still.... in the cold. 

Pompeii Scavi Station
The next train didn't arrive in another 15 minutes. And when it did, we were glad to be on it. It took us about 30 minutes to get to our stop - Pompeii Scavi.

Nissa asked me what's my plan B. What if Daddy wasn't there? I had no answer to her question. Told her to keep walking to the entrance of the archeological site and to look out for her dad.

As we came out of the station, we scouted around the area to see if Abe was there. Still no sign of him.

Told myself to keep calm. Abe could be totally oblivious when he's with us, but we knew that when he's on his own, he's pretty sharp and independent. 

It was a good 10 minutes walk till we spotted someone waving at us. All so calm and composed, he wore his usual smile. It was Abe alright. He had arrived earlier than us for he was on the train which we didn't manage to get in.

Nissa asked her dad how come he didn't pick up our call or return our call. 

Smilingly he said.......

Guess lah apa jawapan dia.......

She could smile again after the lost & found adventure
Some adventure that was. Anyway, it was a big relief when all ended well and we were so glad to be reunited again!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - The Eye Catcher

Cool riders in the street of Ghent Belgium caught on speed lens. Don't you wish for a low tricycle like this? Saves you the gas money and helps to keep you fit too!



#JustCan'tKeepMum

Love Locks No More

City officials in Paris have dismantle the wire mesh panels on Pont des Art on which hundreds of thousands padlocks of expressed love and affections latched by lovers from all over. Authorities say these statements of love have gotten a tad too heavy for its elegant ironwork.

When we were in Paris a few years back, we didn't make it to this Bridge of Love. But we saw similar locks on Pont Alexandre III - the bridge that connects the Grand and Petit Palais on the right bank with the Hôtel des Invalides on the left bank. 

Pont Alexandre III

Padlocks found on the lamp post on Pont Alexandre III
I must agree that these love locks kinda spoil the beauty and ecstatic state of the place. Some have even labelled it as vandalism as it damages the looks of the city and at times tarnishing the image of its heritage sites.

  As a visitor we must think about being sympathetic and respectful of the country's cultural heritage....so "love locking" should be done else where or in a different way.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

#throwback Thursday - Pompeii on My Mind

Hiatus again.

Life as a freelance is picking up again. Been to a couple of back to back meetings over the past few days. I can feel my bones cranking up again. It's been a while...heh heh

Browsing my picture folder, amongst the many pictures taken during our trip to Italy last year, this particular one has a pretty good story to tell.

It was our second last day in Italy and we decided to go to Pompeii. Got our tickets and from Roma Termini we boarded the Intercity train to Naples. From Naples we had to take a commuter like train to Pompeii.

Train ride was smooth all the way. Seats were comfortable and the two hours journey from Rome to Naples was certainly a pleasant one. 

After arriving at the Napoli Centrale station, we headed to the Circumvesuviana train ticket window and got tickets for Pompeii Scavi - the stop for Pompeii. We were told to take our train at the lower level platform. So with the rest of the eager crowd who were also heading for Pompeii, we headed to where we were directed.

There was a bit of a wait for the train and it later became pretty crowded at the platform. We heard the announcement of a train arriving, but it was in Italian and as it was very noisy and crowded, I wasn't too sure what was said.

Then came the train. The crowd rushed forward towards the door. Both Nissa and I were pushed in together with the rest of the people. Unfortunately, Abe was pushed out from the crowd and by the time he got to the door, it closed right before he could step in.

And the train moved.....

Both Nissa and I could only stare at each other in that crowded coach. Nissa remark was, "Mom we lost our banker..."

I replied, "Ohh gosh.."

to be continued.....

TELEPASS - yup that's what happened to us. TERLEPAS keretapi!