Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Greetings from Innsbruck


Monday, August 29, 2011

Our World - Vienna Citybike

This is one of several bike rental stands around Vienna. Like many parts of Europe, it's a citywide effort to encourage cycling in the city and best of all you need not look far to find a bicycle path. There are cycle lanes everywhere and the sidewalks are pretty wide enough to support both the pedestrian walkway and bike path.

With a ticket you can ride one of these bikes for free for an hour and €1 per hour thereafter. I was told that you can even return a bike within an hour after a break of more than 15 mins and then hop on another bike back for free hour bonus. Sounds tempting, right?

As much as I loved cycling around my neighbourhood, I have not plucked up the courage to cycle in a foreign land. The cycle lanes are pretty hectic here at times and you need to constantly look around and be careful of those rough riders. In my hometown, I was used to really quiet cycling and it was a lot more relaxing to bike around with nobody in your way. For an experienced cyclist, this would be a great way to see Vienna.

Have you experienced cycling in a foreign city?

Our World

Friday, August 26, 2011

PhotoHunt - Symbolic

A symbolic statue of a dog spotted at the Mendeleyevskaya subway station of Moscow. It's about a sad animal abuse story.


Malchik was a black mongrel stray dog living in Moscow. For about three years, Malchik lived at the Mendeleyevskaya station on the Moscow Metro. Malchick became a popular station ‘resident’ among rail employees and commuters and territorially protected the station from drunks and other dogs. Unfortunately, he was brutally killed when a 21-year-old woman Yulia Romanova stabbed him with a kitchen knife who was said to have become angry when he barked at her and her beloved Staffordshire terrier.

Romanova was arrested, tried and later it was revealed that Romanova has a long history of cruelty to animals and psychiatric treatment. The horrible incident sparked a wave of public outrage regarding the cruelty treatment to animals and in 2007, a monument entitled "Compassion" or "Sympathy" was erected at Mendeleevskaya station in memory of Malchik.

Animal abuse is so sad and I am deeply hurt and saddened that such things can happen to animals these days. This memorial serves as a symbol of respect to all living creatures and a symbol of protest against inhuman treatment of a stray pet.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Santorini cliffside


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 22, 2011

My World - Fancy artwork

I spotted these figurines on a ladder of an unknown building in Santorini. I've no idea what the sculpture represents but it looks quite intriguing and unique. I really like the look of that installation art work and I couldn't leave without taking a few shots of our statue friends.

It features one figurine stood perched on the ladder while the other two working their way up to the top.

Like this one holding a rose.

That's My World

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today's Flowers - Grocery store flowers

Fresh flowers from Salzburg's Old Town. They seemed too colourful to pass up without taking a few quick snaps of these beautiful blooms. Enjoy!




Today's Flowers

Friday, August 19, 2011

PhotoHunt - Drink

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My Roselle plants are growing very well in my back yard and new buds continue to sprout during the flowering season.

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Roselle is a tropical fruit belongs to the Hibiscus family and the scientific name of this medicinal plant is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

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Having heard so much about its magical properties, I made Roselle juice out of its calyces almost every weekend. It is rich in vitamin C (potent antioxidant), beta carotene, vitamins B1, B2 and B6 (essential co-enzymes in metabolic process). They are also commonly used as a treatment for cardiac, nerve diseases and cancer. I also discovered that long term consumption of Roselle juice can provide a good skin complexion too!

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These freshly plucked calyces are used in making juices and this portion is for one or two servings. It is an easy process. Put the calyces into a saucepan and bring 60ml water to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 mins or until the calyces turn pale and the water is deep red in colour. I prefer to add some honey instead of sugar to my drink.

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There you go, my homemade roselle drink. It's a great home remedy for good health and my perfect companion that never fails to leave me feeling refreshed and uplifted. Cheers!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skywatch - Moscow Onion Domes

Russian Orthodox churches are widely known for their distinctive onion domes. I’ve seen innumerable onion domes in my travels, but no one does them better than the Russians.

Here are some shots of beautiful domes with crosses against the spring skies.

Grand Kremlin Palace

Cathedral of the Annunciation, Kremlin.

Kazan Cathedral, Red Square

Kazan Cathedral, Red Square

St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Vienna Opera House




Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 15, 2011

My World - Piazza Navona, Rome

A visit to the famous Piazza Navona in Rome is a must for every tourist. For as long as I can remember, this vivacious square is a great spot for people watching and it is also one of the great places in Rome to get a portrait or caricature sketched by one of the talented artists within the square.

There are many beautiful paintings of floral and landscape scenery.

Many dedicated artists try to sell their paintings there to make ends meet.

As an artist, it can be difficult to earn a living even when times are good. I've a great amount of respect and admiration for those who has managed to make a decent living for themselves through their artwork.

Here are some interesting caricatures of important figures or celebrities I came across.

I find it amazingly cool how an artist can take certain features of one’s face and draw them totally out of proportion yet at the same time have the picture resemble that person in some way. Or at least that’s what a good artist can create. Can you recognize any of these funny celebrities caricatures?

That's My World

Friday, August 12, 2011

PhotoHunt - One

Both photos are captured in Santorini.

A view of one boat gliding through the still waters. I love the V-shaped wake pattern and the reflections of setting sun in the water.

And here's one lone dog enjoying the spectacular view of Oia.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Cool Relief on Hot Days


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 8, 2011

My World - Penny Farthing


A high wheeler spotted in front of a hotel in Salzburg. It seems like the front wheel is roughly 4 times bigger than the rear. Fancy riding on it, anyone? It looks cool but dangerous to ride. I can't imagine how anyone could ever ride this contraption without falling off!

Although now commonly known as a Penny farthing, the bike was generally known as a high wheeler in the 1880s when it was made. After the introduction of the safety bicycle with two equal size wheels and a rear chain drive, it was known as the ordinary and later the penny farthing. It was named that because the two wheels resembled large and small British coins.

Each year there is the National Penny Farthing Bicycle Championship ride in Evandale, Tasmania. It is the largest Penny Farthing event in the world.

That's My World

Friday, August 5, 2011

PhotoHunt - Painted

Italy is particularly famous for its frescoes which are painted by many of the great Italian artists of the Renaissance. I've tons of photos that would work for this theme but the first thing that came to my mind was the cathedral I visited in Florence.

Here's a lovely illustration of "The Last Judgment" painted on the dome, in Duomo of Florence.

This enormous work, 3,600 metres² (38 750 ft²) of painted frescoes took 11 years to complete and was executed from 1568 to 1579 by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. I truly appreciate the time, the thought, and the talent that goes into creating it. I also discovered that the painting was last restored in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s, so the colours are remarkably vibrant and the depiction so vivid.

The top level shows Heaven, with Jesus in the center and the apostles on both sides. Jesus is casting the Last Judgment.

The lower part portrays the doomed who will be cast into Hell.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Skywatch - A Calm Evening

On the way back home from work, I was greeted by this heavenly sunset.
A lovely way to end the day. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Blessed Sacrament Chapel



Vatican City

Monday, August 1, 2011

My World - Mengkuang Dam Penang

We made our way to Mengkuang Dam in Penang mainland last weekend.

It will be closed to the public for five years starting from today, August 1st 2011 until July 31st, 2016 for expansion and renovation.

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Many people flocked to the dam to savour the last few days to enjoy the view and appreciate the beauty before it closed. The place is a popular recreational spot and it offers a serene view and a nice jogging track along the dam.

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From here, you can get a good view of the park. Spotted this fella sitting alone on the bank, perhaps reminiscing the good old days before the closure of the place.

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An idyllic walk along the path, one can see the 37ha Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest, forming a majestic backdrop for the dam.

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As we wandered around, we stopped at various points of the trek to take photos. There were bursts of greenery to discover around every corner.

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The flower and the bee (or wasp?) are a perfect match.

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A monitor lizard sat in silence as we passed by.

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The touch-me-not plants scattered along the grassy carpet were a picture of grace.

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In a thick forest of leaves, you will have no trouble spotting creeping vines of wild grapes.

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Along the way, spotted these dogs begging to be photographed.

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As we made our way back, we paused over the lakeside to enjoy the watery view for the last time before the park reopened again in the next few years.

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I enjoyed this park for years and it was a great weekend getaway to bring the kids. We hope to see it up and running again. It is such a great family park and I hope that sitting spot is still someplace sitting pretty when I come back.

That's My Wrold