Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The five villages that make Cinque Terre

Being able to visit Cinque Terre was almost like a dream come true. I remember seeing this picturesque location all over my Instagram feed and am grateful to finally be able to set foot there. When it comes to exploring picturesque coastline in Italy, the first two that is most likely to come to mind is Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast. I unwillingly opted out the latter from my Italy itinerary, as it was off the route (Bummer! However, shall save Amalfi Coast on the next when I travel the south of Italy). As you might already know, "Cinque Terre" translates to Five Lands. It is made up of five main villages & together they make up the Cinque Terre National Park which is also known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is perched along the rugged cliffside of the Italian Riviera and in each town, you will find colourful terraces, steep winding streets, tasteful calamari(s), countless fishing boats that bob along the harbour. The entire place is just postcard-perfect; undeniably pleasing to the eyes. 

A little guide based on my trip (there are many other options & what is written here is just a suggestion):

How we got there
We took a 3 hour train ride first thing in the morning directly from Florence to Cinque Terre. 

How we travel around the 5 villages
The best/fastest way is by train as each village has a small train station. Riding these trains between towns would be the most efficient way of getting around the town.  I'd recommend getting the Cinque Terre card which gives you unlimited access to all 5 villages but if you only intend to visit 1/2 places in a day then a single ride ticket which cost would suffice. 

Ride the train from Riommaggiore to Monterosso where you can make all local stops and explore towns in the middle - Manarola, Corniglia, or Vernazza. The towns are only few minutes away from one another which makes exploring a lot easier. 

Where to get your ticket
It can be purchased there and then itself! 

We only managed to explore Vernazza, Riommaggiore and Monterosso as time wasn't on our side but these 3 places has already showed me so much of what Cinque Terre has to offer. Nothing like being able to take in a 360 view of all that is around you. More visuals down below that will speak for itself! 

Vernazza, a favourite town to many. Hiking is a popular thing to do while visiting this area and the trail from the first hill of Vernazza to Monterosso gives you the best view back over the town as can be seen in the above picture. We did not hike during our trip but we took an easy route from Vernazza just to witness this breathtaking iconic view of Vernazza. Simply ask around and the kind Italians will direct you there.

Riomaggiore, the southern most town on the coast which is also the closest to La Spezia (the main city where people often change trains to arrive in the area.) It only has one main street and there is a trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola, a popular stroll and the easiest one which is also known as The Lover's Lane.

Monterosso, the only town with a rocky seaside leading through to the quaint town. This particular town is renowned for its colourful umbrellas lining the coast which makes the entire Monterosso a spectacular view. Bare in mind that this particular town is almost always packed with sunbathers/tourists that flock right to the beach. Not to mention, it's the only town with the most restaurants, cafes and shops which draws the crowd. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hotel Edouard 7 Review

In collaboration with Hotel Edouard 7. 

(The former residence of Prince of Wales)

Paris, a city that holds a special place in my heart. Being able to visit Paris once more is already a luxury, what more the opportunity to stay at the luxurious Hotel Edouard 7. The hotel is ideally located at the heart of Paris, few metres away from the Opera Garnier opera house, the view of which can be enjoyed from the balconies of all the rooms on the famous Avenue de l'Opera side. I love how the location of the hotel makes everywhere so easily accessible; simply stroll down the Avenue de l'Opera and you are only 5 minutes way from the Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries or the garden of the Palais Royal (all of which that you should at least visit once!) This trip to Paris was all about unwinding and having a breather, indulging in our room that features a combination of French elegance and 19th century elements with ultra contemporary furniture. 

Nothing beats waking up to the view of Parisian buildings that I can't get enough of + the joy of having breakfast in bed in your pjs. 
View from our balcony.

Our absolutely comfy bed that I was so reluctant to wake up from.
Just take a moment to appreciate the aesthetic bathroom that is covered with purely marble. 
The entrance of Hotel Edouard. 

Not to mention, the service that was provided by the staffs was top notch that it definitely left a smile on my face. Simply from the smallest gestures - the warmest greeting as we arrived the hotel to offering us a hand with our luggages and even the walk through in our room. Needless to say, I'll definitely be back one day!
It's been a pleasant stay, Hotel Edouard 7! Heartiest thank you for having me x

For more information:
Website: http://www.hoteledouard7-paris.fr/
Address: 39 avenue de l’Opéra 75002 Paris Opéra
Tel: +33 (0)142615690

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The mountain at the heart of Innsbruck, Austria

Nordekette; Jewel of the Alps

Stroll through the city of Innsbruck, look up, and there you are, surrounded by the peaks of Nordekette mountains; truly the kind of view I'd long to wake up to every morning. It was only till the very last minute that we decided to have Innsbruck added to our itinerary and this place definitely did not disappoint despite spending minimal time there. We booked a car through Blablacar, a ride sharing service catered for long journey and headed to Innsbruck from Salzburg for a day trip (it was priced at a decent rate so if you're ever looking for a long distance ride, this service serve as a trusted option!

The mountain at the heart of Innsbruck can be reached in just few minutes from the city centre of Innsbruck that provides you with a 360degree view of the alps that left me breathless. We took the furnicular up to Hungerburg, Seegrube and lastly Hafeleker, which lies at an impressive 7,401 ft that  offers a spectacular vista that left me a lasting impression. It was truly a magical moment when I got to witness one of the best sunset up at the peak of Nordekette before we took the last ride down back to the city centre. I'd say it was worth the suffer in the cold just to capture the very last moment of the sunset and watching the sky gradually transitioning from pastel tone to pitch darkness. See it for yourself from the visuals down below!

14830038918_36f7e55749_tss heart_zps7bf206ac-2