Followers

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mount Titlis

As mentioned earlier in one of my posts, I have anemia and am vulnerable to high altitude sickness.

It would be a shame to go all the way to Switzerland and not go up the Alps... even if it was halfway up. So, The Hubs, Rodney and I hopped off the cable car at the Trübsee middle station and headed straight for the Snow Park while the rest of the tour members proceeded up to the summit of Mount Titlis.


The Valley Station


The scenic cable car ride up

We were told that in summer, it's a whole different vista. Instead of skiers whizzing by below you would see happy cows grazing on verdant pastures. Apparently, you could even hear the sound of the cowbells!  I can imagine how delightful that would be!

Skiers zipping  down the slopes below us

Going up, up, up!


TRUBSEE SNOW PARK



Snow tubing was a blast! Imagine hopping on a tube, then flying down the slippery slope to the bottom, then riding the Magic Carpet (conveyor belt) right up and doing it all over again!

The usually unadventurous hubs having fun!

No skills required!


Riding the Magic Carpet up

Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!


Guess whom Rodney met on the mountain?

Nope, he wasn't your classic alpine St. Bernard with his keg of brandy around his neck but he was just as adorable!


Enjoying the snowscape and Swiss mountain air

The rest of the group joining us after descending from the peak

So what did we miss and did the rest get the spectacular payoff they had gone up to see?

Photos from our WhatsApps group when they were at the summit.

The Rotair

At the Stand station, they switched to the Titlis Rotair — a 360 degrees revolving cable car that took them up to the summit. It was a 5-minute ride.


Glacier Cave

A 150-metre-long walkway that descends ten metres below the surface of the glacier at a frosty temperature of -1.5˚C.

I was told that it was miserable in there — cold and slippery!

A stupid boy who was running in the slippery tunnel (seriously, who does that??!!), slipped, fell and crashed onto an elderly man who was a member of our tour group, sending the poor old man tumbling to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt!!

There is a suspension steel bridge spanning two cliffs up there on the summit but our tour buddies passed up on the cliff walk as the sunny weather suddenly turned very foggy and visibility was low.
Some of them were feeling the effects of the high altitude. The air was so thin, they were experiencing nausea and breathing difficulties.
An image of the Cliff Walk I snagged from the internet

While the view up there was supposedly breathtaking (literally), I was glad I didn't take the risk.

A video of Trubsee Snow Park from their official website.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Eiffel Tower

 I spent all my life dreaming of visiting the Eiffel Tower one day.

When I caught my first glance of the structure in the distance under a grey sky one March morn, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. That was when I really knew my dream had come true!

Can you believe that this tower was supposed to be demolished twenty years after its construction?

The  Iron Lady was built for the 1889 World Fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Prise de la Bastille (the storming of the Bastille).
Inaugurated in 1889, the tower was originally designed to be up for only twenty years. Furthermore, the Parisians and artists of that time hated it, describing it as “useless and monstrous”! They even started a petition for the tower to be dismantled.

Gustave Eiffel did not want it to be destroyed, so the tower was given a new purpose and turned into a huge radio antenna. The French military was then able to send and receive wireless messages. One can say the Eiffel Tower was of great value during WWI.


The tower grows 6 inches taller in the summer (due to thermal expansion) and shrinks in the winter!

It has be to repainted every seven years (by hand)!
 7300 tons of iron!

The ticketing office
No sign of the notoriously long lines as expected. Maybe it was because of the shoulder season.

Security is tight at the tower. You have to go through 2 security check points before you are allowed in. The second check is just like going through the x-ray machine at the airport (moving belt with trays where you have to place your bag). Keep a close eye on your bag, The belt moved faster than the people in front of you (while we were there), so your bag may have gone through but you were still stuck behind people and had to wait to get to it.

We took an elevator to the 2nd level of the tower


Click on the photo and zoom in. Can you see the Arc de Triomphe?


Statue of General Joffre

Everything in Paris is stylish!! Even the trees! Notice how the trees are pruned top-to-bottom in a square fashion.

The tower at night
Dreams do come true!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Notre-Dame






Looks like this was the one and only time we got to see the Notre-Dame cathedral before the fire engulfed the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece a month after we returned from our trip to Europe.

 I am glad though that I had an opportunity to see it even if it was just a glimpse in the dark from our boat when we were cruising the River Seine.

850 years of history...

My feelings exactly.

Artwork by the very talented Donna Adi.

Donna's links  - https://www.instagram.com/donna_adi/
                          https://donnadi.com/

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Guess What This Is...

..image credit - arden_nl
Scroll down for answer.













This is a tulip field. Would you have guessed!?

On our way to the Schiphol Airport from Keukenhof in Lisse, we passed fields like this with rows upon rows of tulips.

Sharing this video of tulip fields taken with a drone by Youtuber voomedia.



FUN FACTS

Tulips only bloom for a short period of time. In the spring, growers remove the top of the flower: this is referred to as tulip topping. But how is this done?

Why are tulips topped?
The flowers are not actually important to growers. All they are interested in are the bulbs. The thicker the tulip bulb, the more money it raises. That is why blooming tulips are topped.

The process
Growers plant bulbs in October and allow them to bloom in spring. They then pass through each row to inspect the tulips. This involves checking them all and removing incorrect tulip species and tulips suffering from diseases.

The eventual sale
Once they have been approved, the tulips are topped; this means cutting the flower from the stem. This is done because flowers actually consume a lot of food, and this food is needed to grow the bulb.

The more food a bulb receives, the bigger it gets. The larger bulbs are sold to garden centres and other growers. They then use them to cultivate tulips, which are sold as cut flowers; exactly like the ones in your home!

source : https://www.tuliptoursholland.com/the-tulips/what-is-tulip-topping/

Off with their heads!


It's sad to see a monstrous machine rolling into a colorful tulip field and chopping off these beautiful flowers from their stems, leaving rows of green behind. And an occasionally tulip that is to small to be topped.

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Day 8 - Keukenhof

We toured Europe in the late winter  but luckily for us, our last day was the first day Keukenhof opened its doors. The gardens are open only 60 days in a year from mid March to mid May.

Keukenhof (English: kitchen garden) aka Garden of Europe, is one of the world's largest flower gardens. According to the official website for the Keukenhof Park, approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, covering an area of 32 hectares (79 acres).

There are more than 800 species of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids and lilies!


Inside the Willem Alexander Pavillion


The variety of the tulips in all shapes, sizes and colors is dazzling.


These fringed ones are most unusual!






Flower Power
The theme for 2019 is Flower Power - The Strength of Flowers.




You can't tell from this picture but the Flemish rabbits in this park are huge. They are the size of a Shih Tzu!



Keukenhof's official video


Adorable tulip bags in a souvenir shop in the gardens

Our last group photo with Marios, our driver from Poland.

That really was an amazing trip and I loved every single second of it! I was so high on life during those 8 days that even an injured foot couldn't hold me down!

The 30 of us left Malaysia as total strangers but we returned home as close buddies. During those 10 days (8 days + 2 nights on the plane), we bonded over meals and newfound common interests. We shared big laughs and a couple of misadventures like one big family.

Along with our souvenirs and photos, we brought home wonderful memories we made together that will certainly be relived over and over again.

Ours was a pretty mixed group. We had a lady from Singapore, 2 Indian families, an elderly couple who were in their 70s and 6 sisters-in-law who left their kids behind with their husbands for this trip so they could take a break!


Throughout the trip, we always got each other's backs. When I hurt my foot, my travel buddies were really concerned and took good care of me. When M was in shock after discovering her bag was stolen together with her passport, we calmed her down and comforted her. We worried and fussed over Mr. O (the septuagenarian) when he fell in the glacier cave. Thank God, he was alright.

We came home totally exhausted but euphoric; our passion for travelling well and truly reignited.

In fact, our whatsapp group is already planning our next trip!!


Musings Of A Tired Mummy