Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Journey: Europe 2014

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.” 

More than five thousand miles of travel, at least twelve hours of long haul flights, ten airplane rides, too many train, bus and tram rides, and hundreds of thousands of steps (and sometimes sprint) are what it took for me to discover a few cities of the beautiful Europa. So far, it's the best expedition (yet) of my life.
When I was a kid, I used to admire the beauty of the Eiffel Tower. I guess Hallmark have used the structure way too much on their cards which made me dream of seeing it one day. It became a goal of mine to go to Paris and see the very famous Eiffel Tower in person. I have always known that someday I would go visit and tick off an item on my life’s bucket list. It was a matter of when. This year, I got the courage I needed (well, you know, I need to gather that courage as I was not good at navigating. Don't tell me about google maps, cause we aren't friends), booked a ticket, went on a long holiday, used some of my hard earned savings, and used up all the adrenaline and energy to wander and experience a different world of the Continent Europe.

I still remember the first step I took outside of the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam; the first touch of the cool breeze on my skin was absolutely fantastic. Feeling the cool breeze thrilled me more than you could ever imagine.  I had my signature grin plastered on my face while savouring the cool weather cause at that moment, I already got the feeling that I would be wishing for the warmth sooner than I think which happened by the way. And the next steps I took were epic. My journey started with a celebration of King's Day (good timing isn't it?). My sister's family and I went to the fun-fare and celebrated the King's Day with the Dutch - it was definitely a FUN FARE with the cotton candies, pattats and the games. 

Then the next day we were off to discover Belgium and went to visit four cities.  Out of our visit in Belgium, Gent was where I was in awe for the first time. I wanted to stay there for a moment to enjoy the picturesque view and just savour the moment. It was there that I realized how lucky I am to have the opportunity to explore Europe. 

My expedition continued back to the Netherlands to see Keukenhof, a garden full of wonderful and of course, colourful tulips. I've never seen such a beautiful garden before. 

Then on my first weekend, we were off to tick the item on my life's bucket list. I was damn excited to see THE tower. 

That moment alone made me thank the Lord for having this opportunity.But I believe that I was thanking the Lord too many times during my trip. I was in Europe and grandiose churches, chapels and Basilicas were everywhere.  

The fun didn't stop in Paris. Munich, Barcelona and Rome did not disappoint me and even made me consume more calories than what I would have consumed in a month here in Singapore. But do I care, NAH! Screw the calories, I was there to enjoy authentic Sausages, Schweinshaxe, Tapas, Paellas, Pasta and Pizza. Oh well, let's not forget about the Waffles, the chocolates,Gelato, the churros, the Cava, the Sangria, the wines and the beers. I had a total foodgasm with all their food. Gastronomy at its finest. 

Then I ended my journey in Amsterdam where something illegal in most of the countries is legal here. 

I had so much fun, I learned a lot, I've eaten a lot, I gasped a lot, I smiled a lot. It was an experience worth repeating. This isn't everything I have to say about my journey. I would be sharing more about the places I have visited. So this blog site will have a few entries about my Euro Trip. 

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