Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sights of Rompin

From my archive: some of my favourite sights when I was in my hometown Rompin, sometime ago. Probably because of the coastal area, I've always loved the scene of swaying palm trees, the sandy beaches, the blue skies and blue ocean. One of the reasons why I like to go back to Rompin, the atmosphere feels different because it is more laidback, and somehow charming with a blend of Rompin old town and new town.

On the way to Rompin town via Pekan - Nenasi - Lanjut




Bridge at Nenasi with the boats docking. When I reach here on my journey, I know that Rompin town is not far off, probably another 20 minutes or so.
When we were little and travel back to Rompin from Kedah or Kelantan or wherever we may be, my parents always makes it mandatory to stop and stay a night at this rest house - now called Puteri Inn

This is the landmark for Bandar Rompin - watermelon! Unable to get a good shot as this was situated at the junction.





Another thing Rompin is famous for is the udang galah because it is near the Sg Rompin. About RM45 per kilo for Grade A type udang galah. 
View in front of Tok's house
This is me inside looking out the scenery just from the front door

Close-up of the scenery - with this kind of scenery, you would feel relaxed and feel green

Nasi dagang wrapped in daun simpul only in Rompin! As opposed to most nasi dagang Terengganu which is wrapped in banana leaf

Nasi dagang with lauk ikan tongkol



Rompin old town where mak used to live with her family when she was little until the shoplot burned down (left side of the road)

Best roti canai in town, still soft even after a few hours. It was reported that Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan came here to report and cover about the roti canai, many many years ago


Cape Sounion, Greece

I was very inspired by Cape Sounion when I wrote this blog. So here goes..


Therein in Cape Saunion lies a temple which was dedicated to Poseidon, the God of sea by offering gifts, prayers and sacrifices to avoid misfortune. One can't help but feel that the people of Greece really love their ancient Gods and value the rich history that makes Greece what it is today.

Our journey to Cape Saunion started around 5pm in the afternoon on a hot summer's  day. The journery  by coach took about 1.5 hours out from the city. It is a pleasant drive with scenery of beautiful people, houses, and the sea....the sea is the best view of all, as it is clear blue, fresh and slightly cold as it is just the beginning of summer. The sea follows us all the way from Athens to Cape Saunion. On the way, we saw many people parked by the roadside to take a swim in the sea, some are private beaches, some are public beaches, the Greeks do love their sea.

From far the temple sits atop a hill overlooking the Aegean sea
As we inched closer to Cape Sounion, we could see the hill with the temple on top. The bus driver obligingly stopped for us to take some pictures while the guide was giving us some background story of the temple. Even from far, it is beautiful. We continued on till we reached the foothill. There was an entrance fees of 6 euro. Then we climb up the hill which has a breath taking view below where there's a resort and a private beach which would be full come summer. For now its idyllic with just the occasional visitor.

 
Breath taking view of the Aegean sea as we climb up the hill to see the temple


The Temple of Poseidon
It was said that this temple was where Zeus stayed during the day and at night he would travel back to Athens to preside over. I can see why Zeus wanted to stay here during the day. The air is fresh and breezy, the view is breath taking with maybe a 100 foot drop down the sea and the sun set is just magnificient. I don't know how Zeus traveled and I would imagine being a God, he would be able to fly or in a blink of an eye just traveled back and fro Athens and here just to catch the sunset. The Greeks believed that the gods are immortal, could change shape and can travel anywhere instantaneously.

Don't know what is this phenomenon, but looks like the cloud is eclipsing the sun as it inches down to set

 
We waited till sunset to enjoy the view

The trip to Cape Saunion is one of the most memorable trip in Greece. Not because the temple was so magnificient but because of where it is situated made you feel like you are on top of the world - here to enjoy God's creation. Historically, the temple also served its purpose as a watch tower over the sea for invading troops as it has a vantage point for lookout.

Greece: The Land of Gods & Myths

Ok so this is a really overdue post for me. This trip was done in Summer of 2012. I may have some facts incorrect but these are my personal recordings.
So Greece. When I was there, the economic situation that hit Greece was at its peak. Eeverywhere i go around Athens, a lot of the shops were closed. People were jobless, it was a hard time for Greece. Nonetheless, tourists still flocked to Greece.
What strikes me most about Athens is that there are ruins everywhere. The city is a living ruins of days past. Its an amazing feeling to walk around in the living museum, as though being part of history. Some pictures below are just random as and when the tour bus stopped on our first outing in Athens, Greece:

Olympic stadium


Athens Archeological Museum


On our way to the Acropolis Museum

Fridge magnet is a must...only Euro1 each

Acropolis Museum


Acropolis of Athens

A ruin at the Acropolis Museum






Shops around Athens

Greek stuff on sale - herbs & spices

Odeon of Herodus Atticus

Yours truly in front of the Caryatid porch of the Erechteion, Athens



View of Athens city from the top


Athens is a lovely city and I had a good time absorbing all the sighs and history of Athens. My only regret was not reading up more about it as there were so many interesting history about Greece...




Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Beautiful Red Rocks of Sedona

Sedona is about 2 hours from Arizona. The drive down to Sedona was idyllic and laden with cactus filled hills.It was a nice enough drive from Phoenix to Sedona, enjoying the rocks and the twist and turns of the road. But then we were in a rented Camaro, so I guess it enhanced the driving experience:)

Me and the Camaro
Weather was chilly -4 degrees celcius that day in Sedona. I was totally under dressed since before I left NYC for Arizona I'd checked the weather forecast and it was about 12 to 15 degrees celcius. I only had with me a light jacket, some thermal, light socks and flats. But what to do, have to brave out the weather for this amazing scenery. As the saying goes, "there is no bad weather, just badly dressed people". Guess I failed to literally heed the saying "always prepare for bad weather" :p

Just before we reached the city of Sedona, we stopped by Bell Rock Plaza for some information and a spicy prawn fried rice lunch at a Thai restaurant there. With full stomachs we were ready to take on the weather and explore the sights. First stop was the Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. It's interesting to note that all this land used to be underwater and when the water rises, the wind begins to erode the rocks after thousands of years shaping it the way it is now. The red colour is rust from the rocks exposed to sun and wind over the years. 

It was an easy one day tour which you can do on your own discovering the various rocks formation around Sedona such as the Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, Snoopy, Teapot, Cathedral Rocks, etc. Of course if you want to spend more time hiking or biking then you would need a few days to explore all the rocks.

Next trip I want to make is to the Grand Canyon which is about 2 hours away from Sedona.


Left: Bell rock
Right: Courthouse Butte



Steamboat rock
Overlooking the steamboat rock
Gorge nearby the Steamboat rock

Gorge near Steamboat Rock

We drove up to where the Sedona airport is, which is on top of a hill to get this scenery. Below is Sedona town.

Cactus!

Cactus again!
Climbing up to get a good view of the rocks

Panoramic view from the vortex near the Sedona Airport


I'm on top of the world!

Cathedral rock - this is situated inside a national park. There is a $10 entrance fee per car

Entering the town of Sedona

Nice walkway mall situated next to the Moving Pictures Museum which also has an information counter

Further down the road from Sedona town, en route to Flagstaff, there is a nearby stop at the Dairy Queens which had a few American Indians from the Navajo tribe that have set up their tables to sell their crafts. There are various galleries that dotted along Sedona roadside but this ones seems that we are actually contributing directly to the tribes. Amazingly this woman looks Asian - perhaps Chinese or Filipino, rather than an American Indian Navajo

A Navajo style Christmas ornaments hand painted by artists living in the nearby reserve land
 

Monday, 30 December 2013

Wonders of the World: Niagara Falls

Overview of Niagara Falls from the USA side
Left: The American falls overlooking Toronto
Middle at the back: Horseshow Falls
Double rainbow effect caused by the waterfalls 

Backdated entry for me on Niagara Falls. We were there end of August. Weather was nice since it was still summer season. I took us 10 hours drive from New York City all the way to Buffalo, New York, which is up North near to Canada.

We arrived late evening, so there was nothing much to do around the city. They had a casino and shopping mall but other than that the city wasn't really much. We wondered around and found the International Food Court & Shopping. So had a vegetarian pizza for dinner and found some interesting souvenir items:)

Veggie pizza was ok

In middle of Niagara city at night

There was also the one and only halal cart in the city. Food was good and price was reasonable. There were also some other Indian restaurants that had halal on their menu but we didn't manage to check that out.


The next morning, we took a guided tour by Gray Line which include the Niagara Falls tour on the USA side (since we don't have visa to go over the Canada side).

First stop was Cave of the Winds Boardwalk, which the Bridal Veils Falls is situated. We had to take an elevator down to reach the Boardwalk.

Suiting up before we hit the Cave of the Winds Boardwalk and Hurricane Deck
Behind me is the Bridal Veils Falls


Hurricane Deck - where we go to take a shower:)

Drenched under the falls

 
 Next, we went to the Prospect Point Park Observation Tower where we took elevator ride down to board the Maid of the Mist Boat to go thru all the waterfalls.
 

While waiting to take the elevator down, we were looking at this view of the bridge to crossover to Canada side. Malaysians need visa to go to Canada and from what I heard, the process is quite a hassle. But the view of the falls is more beautiful on the Canada side. Down below, people lining up to get on the boat.
Prospect Tower Observation Deck - view from below

Maid of the Mist Boat ride departs from both the USA and Canada side. Across the water, boat departs from the Canada side



The American Falls - view from the observation deck



All suited up on the deck of Maid of the Mist boat. We are about to take the ride near the falls

The first fall we encountered is the Americas Falls. None of the daredevil dared to go over this falls because of the huge rocks below ensuring nobody will survive


The Horshoe falls, in the shape of horshoe. Shown here beginning of the curved falls. We had mists of water all over. Luckily we were suited up if not we'd be drenched. A lot of daredevils went over this fall since it doesn't have any rocks below, but there is a whirlpool below. Some survived, some don't.

video
 

Looking at Niagara Falls, one just have to wonder at the power of God in creating such a beautiful, natural phenomenon. Although not the tallest waterfall, Niagara Falls is still amazing nonetheless. A must see if ever you are in New York state.