Former TravelPod Member: syeung

Joined: February 13th, 2013
From: Mauritius lives in Sydney,Australia
Languages: English, French

Europe » France November 18th 2016

Geo: 48.8566, 2.35097 This is it. It's finally come, the last day of the tour where all of us will be together. Met some great people on the way from NZ, USA, Singapore, South Africa, India and of course, a couple of Aussies.We started off the day by visiting the castle of Versailles in the morning. I've always wanted to visit it. This really is a grand place. The Hall of Mirrors was the real highlight. We saw various bits of the castle where the king lived, slept and dined. So much information was given to us that I can't remember it all! We also visited the garden. Despite being winter and not much was there to see, it was still quite impressive. It occupies a vast area and I could just imagine how colourful it ... read more
Inside Versailles
Hall of Mirrors
Versailles Gardens

Europe » France November 17th 2016

Geo: 48.8566, 2.35097 Usually a road trip means lots...not this time, it was pretty much a 7 or 8 hour bus ride to Paris, including stops. We left Lucerne really early and got into Paris around 4.15pm, beating the evening peak hour traffic.After a relatively short turn around we all had dinner and got on the "Bateaux Mouches" which literally translates to fly-boats to have a river cruise on the Seine river by night. Paris by night is fantastic. Probably the best of the whole trip. We got to see various monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame lit up by night. We were late for the cruise though, because of the nightmare Paris traffic. One thing that hasn't changed from 18 years ago is the traffic in Paris. It's still the same.I ... read more
Paris by night
Notre Dame de Paris
The Seine by night

Europe » Switzerland November 16th 2016

Geo: 47.0457, 8.30824Today, despite being a long day will be short and let the pictures do the talking. We climbed up Mt Pilatus. The view from there was absolutely breathtaking, words cannot described the scenery. It snowed as well, so there were a lot of white. I still can't get over the view, and it's all about the view.After that, we went to a village nearby for a horse carriage ride. Again, views of the mountains were breathtaking. A bit boring compared to what we just had but there were still some good views.We had some free time in the afternoon, where we did some shopping, Casagrande was the place we went to and it was packed. What surprised me even more was the staff speaking Mandarin to Chinese customers!Anyway off to Paris tomorrow, early start ... read more

Europe » Switzerland November 15th 2016

Geo: 47.0457, 8.30824So we left Florence early today as Lucerne is a fair way away. Not much happens during bus trips, in fact I fell asleep, so there is really nothing much to tell.On the way to Lucerne, the scenery was magnificent. As good as the scenery from Innsbruck. Driving in the Swiss Alps with the snow capped mountains was indeed a magnificent sight. We went through the Gotthart Drive which is a tunnel that is 17kms long.We did a little detour on the way to Lucerne, we went to a small town of Altdorf. What's there? That's where, according to legend, William Tell shot an arrow through an apple sitting on his son's head. It was a quiet town and we saw the statue of William Tell. Quite an impressive little town with the snow ... read more
William Tell

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence November 14th 2016

Geo: 43.7687, 11.2569We got into Venice around 3pm. It was quite warm and not wasting any time, we went to the Piazza di Santa Croce and saw the impressive basilica there. After going there, we went to a leather shop, Peruzzi, where we were given a leather demonstration. This was the real stuff and I was able to get myself a nice wallet. Browsing through the markets out the back, Winnie bought herself a nice scarf.We met a local tour guide at the Piazza della Signoria. By then the sun had gone down and it was freezing.On the local tour, we saw various landmarks, such as the Ponte Vieccho and the various statues. There is the statue of David which Michelangelo carved. Only it's a copy. The original is in a museum but there is a ... read more
Bell Tower
Neptune status
Ponte Vecchio

Europe » Italy » Lazio November 14th 2016

Geo: 41.9023, 12.4581Wow. That's how to describe it. Wow. As a Catholic, it doesn't get any bigger than that. We were privileged enough to get into the Vatican City before anyone else. The tour started off with various pieces of art through corridors depicting various historical Christian events. There were paintings on walls and ceilings, canvas drawn on tapestry and glass mosaics.After winding through various stairs and corridors, we finally made it to the Sistine Chapel. Wow. Michelangelo's work on the ceiling was fantastic. To capture so much detail and do it upside down, I have new found respect for all artists now. Unfortunately inside the Sistine Chapel, no photography is allowed so there are no pictures.After visiting the Sistine Chapel, we went to visit St Peter's Church. Because it was a Holy Year this year, ... read more
Inside the Vatican City
Mary holding Jesus

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome November 13th 2016

Geo: 41.8955, 12.4823Veni, vedi, vici. We came, we saw, we conquered. And I think the food conquered us as well. More on that later.The morning was spent walking around Rome. It is really a beautiful city. It's like stepping back in time with all the ancient buildings still standing and the cobblestones pavements. I felt like I was in one of Asterix's books, especially the one titled "Asterix and the Laurel Wreath". It depicted public fountains and we saw them. We walked through these little alleys and just when we think there'll be nothing there, out came a spectacular square and its significant buildings.Our local guide took us to some of these and the first building we visited was the Pantheon. This was magnificent. It was so grand inside that it did not feet in one ... read more
At Spanish steps
Rome walk
The Pantheon

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome November 12th 2016

Geo: 41.8955, 12.4823Good bye Venice, city of canals and off we went to Rome. It was quite a long trip. In all, we left Venice around 8am and got to Rome at around 3.15pm. Would love to say what happened on the bus...but bus rides are long and boring...and nothing much happened. There was some great scenery though, including a few villages on top of hills or mountains.During the evening, we were taken to see the Campidoglio. Basically that is Capital Hill for Rome. It was designed by Michelangelo and I was impressed going walking in there. As we entered up the steps, we were greeted by these two magnificent statues on either side at the top. Once past those statues, the square opened up to three magnificent buildings on either side of us and in ... read more
She-wolf suckles Romulus and Remus
One of the statues greeting us
View of campidoglio

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice November 11th 2016

Geo: 45.4345, 12.3384Today we left Innsbruck for Venice. Leaving Innsbruck though was quite the spectacle. Leaving the snow capped mountains was a surreal experience. On the road out of Innsbruck, the snow capped mountains were everywhere we turned. Whilst it was raining for most part on the way out, it snowed at one stage and our bus drove through the snow. It was simply amazing to see the white stuff on the road, in the mountains, in trees and even on the windscreen of the bus.A few hours drive and we were in Venice. What I saw in movies about Venice and its canals, I was now seeing in real life. The architecture as well of all the buildings of Venice was magnificent. Unique but beautiful.We took the water taxis - the world's most expensive taxis ... read more
Venice - Rialto bridge

Europe » Austria November 10th 2016

Geo: 47.2627, 11.3947Oh boy Innsbruck, what just happened? I'm writing this and written the previous blog half drunk. So I'll probably have to go back and make changes later on.The night started innocently enough. The trip to Innsbruck was spectacular. On the way in, there were magnificent views of the snow capped mountains. Our driver, and I almost told him to, was tempted to turn off somewhere to go to a ski resort but our guide kept him on the straight and narrow.After our arrival to the hotel, we went straight for a stroll around old town Innsbruck. When it's old town, it is old town. The buildings were old but magnificent. We saw the Golden Roof of Innsbruck. And it really is golden with its tiles made out of gold.The world's largest Swarovski shop is ... read more
Old Innsbruck
Old Innsbruck
Swarovski store

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