Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our World - St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

When in Vienna, it will be hard to miss the St. Stephen's Cathedral which seems to dominate the skyline in all directions and can be seen peeking over the old town square from miles away. Also known as Stephansdom in German, it is one of the best illustration of late Austrian Gothic. It stands on the ruins of two earlier churches and and further enlarged over the course of several centuries from a typical Romanesque rectangular shape to a cathedral with a three-nave choir, sporting Gothic elements on the facade under the reign of Rudolf IV.

I also discovered that the cathedral has survived two Turkish sieges, religious wars, French bombs in the course of the Napoleonic wars and World War I without too serious damage. It was further hit by bombs at the later stages of World War two and repaired with the financial aid of all the provinces of Austria.

The cathedral is enormous, ornately designed and you definitely need a wide-angle lens to capture the entirety of the landscape. Although I was unable to fit everything into the shot, I like the way this photo turned out.

We spent some time wandering around the area, paying attention to the details of this exquisite place and it was always a thrill to see some horse drawn carriages on the streets. They are a common sight especially for tourists in the heart of Vienna due to its narrow, old time streets.

Here is a closer view of the north steeple of the cathedral. It houses the big Pummerin bell and a lookout terrace. We didn't manage to go up due to lack of time but I bet it offers magnificent views of the surrounding historic streets.

Standing guard near the entrance is the impressive monument of St John of Capistrano.

Aside from the beauty of the medieval architecture, this one in particular caught my attention. I was very amused by the scene above. It depicts a figure of Christ affectionately known to the Viennese as "Christ with a toothache" because of its agonized expression.

As we entered the building, I see numerous altars, gothic sculptures, icons and chapels peering out of the many corners within the imposing cathedral.

Here is one of the 18 impressive altars. I wish I remembered more in detail about this, but there was way too much to be taking in all at once just being there.

This is Pilgrams pulpit, peering out a half-open window.

If you look closely, you'll notice the handrail of the stairway beautifully decorated by interesting symbols: lizards and toads in front of each other, symbolizing the fight of light against darkness.

Equally majestic is the ornate carvings on pillars which I think adds greatly to the exceptional decor.

If you like ancient architecture, the grandeur of the edifice is really going to amaze you, not to mention that you will be taken aback by the impressive artworks which adorn the cathedral.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Skywatch - Singapore River

In the heart of Singapore, the Singapore River is a popular tourist attraction with modern skyscrapers, shophouses, bars and cafes found all around the river bank.

Shortly after the rain stopped, we took a leisurely stroll along Boat Quay and did some skywatching in the late evening.

A scenic view of the Central Business District located along the river bank.

The Asean Civilisation Museum overlooking the Singapore River.

Connecting Singapore’s cultural and commercial districts, the Cavenagh Bridge is one of the city’s oldest bridges as well as its first suspension bridge.

Some visitors paused to enjoy the solitude and lovely views. We could feel the cool breeze that greeted us at that moment which makes skywatching much more enjoyable.

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul


Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 6, 2012

Universal Studios Singapore - Far Far Away

One of the top attractions in Universal Studios Singapore is the Land of Far Far Away, which houses the Shrek 4-D adventure.

Just like any other Universal Studios zone, the attention to detail in the buildings was literally impressive as if I really had landed in Far Far Away.

While I'm pleased that Singapore is getting more tourists dollars, I'm not very happy about the crowds. Despite the long queue, I was hesitant to get in line as this was the ride we mainly came to the park for. I think it took us around an hour to enter the castle.

From the moment we stepped inside, we were warmly welcomed by King Harold and Queen Lilian. A series of fascinating posters of Shrek and gang are also located within the waiting area.

And here we are at the movie theatre, complete with specially-created "OgreVision" glasses, as we joined Princess Fiona and Shrek in their fairy tale kingdom. The seats jolt you at all the appropriate times and you are bombarded with bursts of fine water spray and vibrations to give you the excellent 4D experience. We enjoyed every minute of it and it's something not to be missed if you're in Universal Studios.

Coming out from the Shrek 4-D Adventure, we happily made our way to the Fairy godmother's potion shop where you can find a variety of Shrek memorabilia, fantasy candies, drinks, colorful elixirs and gifts.

There was also a Magic Potion Spin in the world of Shrek but my kids were too big for this.

Fairy Godmother's juice bar is also located in this corner where you can choose a unique concoction of magical potions.

Another cool attraction we enjoyed was ‘Donkey Live’ show featuring Shrek's annoying sidekick, the Donkey. As always, he never fails to amaze and entertained anyone with his quick-witted sense of humour. Hosted by Hook, the show brings a lot of fun and joy to enlighten your day.

Friday, August 3, 2012

PhotoHunt - Ooooo, Path

Both photos were captured at Swarovski near Innsbruck.

A hand-shaped maze where you have to find the path from start to end. Can you find the right path through the maze? Oooooo.....I don't know how they do it but I'd definitely get lost in there.

Here's the path towards the alpine mountain range. I can't help but ooooo and aaaaah at the spectacular view. :)

Sandi's PhotoHunt

Gattina's PhotoHunting

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Skywatch - Good morning

As I left for work one morning, I was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise. A beautiful moment to cherish and enjoy.


Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Shop windows in Vienna


Wordless Wednesday