pawsome, random ramblings

gimme a pawfive

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This little furboy is turning five today the 24th. He is quarter past his lifetime. Still 1.6 kg tiny, yappy and agile as a monkey.

Two months ago I watch in horror as a greyhound picked him up using his mouth and did not let him go to what seemed almost eternity. I was desperate as I hear him squeal. Miraculously my wee furboy got out of that ordeal physically “unscathed”, well, apart from some bruising. The greyhound’s teeth did not sink nor squashed his tiny frame and internal organs. As the vet said, he was very very very lucky. We were both very shaken though. Since then whenever another dog is near, regardless of the size, my heart would beat fast and my “pawmom protective” instinct goes on red alert.

But we have moved on and I am determined to continue to have little adventures with this fluffball.

Life may have shock me with its twists and turns,

moments you want to smile, instead felt forlorn

this heart undulated to the rhythm of near despair

but just as when I was breaking up into static

I found you, this cruel life’s loophole

a brilliant attempt to entertain

evoking mischief, but all winsome

blissful treat in the end

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wanderwoman

WanderLost in Grecian Atlantis

Some journeys can only be travelled alone.

– Ken Poirot

The last but not the least blogpost for the year and safe to say my 2017 favourite. Not only because I got to visit one of the country at the topmost of my eternally-long-travel-wish-list but also because I finally ticked off solo traveling.

This trip did not only pushed me out of my comfort zone but also pushed me out of the zone of other’s expectations. Although I have been always someone who can be out and about alone, solo traveling was an uncharted territory. Solo travelling made me reflect more and got me (re)acquainted with myself. You see when I am with someone or with my dog, chances are my attention is with my companion. Being on my own and on a foreign land forced me to look beyond what’s right in front of me, tried new things, and looked at people discovering strangers to be incredibly interesting.

It takes a lifetime for someone to discover GREECE, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her – Henry Miller

ATHENS

Athens, the eye of Greece. Visiting the world famous Parthenon in the Acropolis is a must, and I highly recommend getting lost exploring the Plaka. It was my first joining a food tour and it was fun discovering the city including places and food I would have not dared delve into on my own.

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It’s easy to understand why Zeus and his fellow Gods choose this part of the world as their base. As they sit on their throne above Mt. Olympus they can look down at the dazzlingly blue Aegean Sea sparkling with the myriad jewels we call islands, scattered as far as the horizon, it is a view fit for Gods.- unknown

SANTORINI

What else is there for a wanderer to say about Santorini. Words nor any photo will ever describe this picturesque island. The cliffs, the blue sea, the sunset and whitewashed houses, are not entirely unique to this island, but somehow a totally different experience. Dazzling and romantic all in one. Simply blissful. I was lucky to have joined a tour group headed by an archaeology major. From how the island shed its original and official name Thira to its now famous name, to the guided visit to the excavation site stirring one’s curiosity. It was amazing how this island’s claim as the lost Atlantis really do sound convincing.

Fira – the capital of the Island

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Bell tower of Virgin Mary Church in the village of Megalochori. The oldest village if I remember the guide well enough.

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Dining and swimming in the Black Beachimg_2662

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This is how the grapes are planted in the island, it thrives through the volcanic soil. How does grapes (tomatoes and capers) survive and taste good in spite of the scarcity of water and harsh weather? “the island is simply blessed by the gods” is all our tour guide could say.

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A visit to the ancient Akrotiri displaying a Minoan city destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 1613 BC.

Who is not familiar of the blue dome Santorini post cards? they are from the village of Oia, where sun-worshippers gather to watch the sunset.

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MYKONOS

If Santorini is the super model island of Greece, Mykonos is the great glamour island that happily flaunts its stylish nightlife. Although I can attest, partying basically starts as soon as you wake up especially in the south beaches. Nope, I was not one of the insatiable revellers. I went all nana and read two books during my stay where some pages of which I spent in the  middle of hardcore-beach-bum-party-youngsters (and youngish alike), on a bean bag under a beach umbrella with a cocktail or two facing the water under the turquoise skies.

When you decide to have a break from beach partying or bumming (like in my case!), head to west side of the island, the tiny capital Hora (a.k.a. Mykonos Town).  Lose yourself for hours in the enchanting labyrinth of narrow pedestrian streets bedecked with bougainvillea and lined with picture-perfect, tiny churches, restaurants and boutiques.

Do not miss the dining experience in Little Venice with the traditional windmills in view.

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DELPHI and METEORA

A quick stop in Delphi archeological site and marvelled at amazing cliff-top monasteries in Meteora. 

You know you’re in Greece when you feel a unique, indescribable, out of this world euphoria being there and a deep sadness when you’re leaving. – unknown


xoxo

TheWanderer

28 August – 8 September, 2017

wanderwoman

Pisa don’t lean on me

There’s nothing much to say… it’s a bell tower… basically an architectural project gone terribly wrong. Beautiful and a disaster still threatening to happen.

 

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the peeking tower of Pisa =)

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the experimental pose….the reality of tourist mayhem =)

 

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xoxo

TheWanderer

August 2016

 

random ramblings

serenus

 

Happiness or sorrow — whatever befalls you, Walk on. Untouched, unattached. -Buddha

Four decades later, she is still a work in progress. With heart (mostly) in her sleeves, fire in her soul and a massive mouth she cannot control. She is unapologetic of her existence. Fearlessly loyal, yet effortlessly let go of anyone and anything that weighs her down. She believes she deserves more what the universe thinks she deserves. To move, cross oceans, see places and meet people. The best, the most honest, the purest of love. Not only to be loved by others, but to be loved by herself. 

 

pawsome

pawcutie pawtootie

The more people I meet, the more I prefer the company of my dog

It has been three years since I found this pawcute fluff bear and life was never the same. For one, I am never literally alone, he follows me even when am having a personal time in the toilet (don’t ask me why I don’t close the door on him as I also don’t know why I simple just don’t hehehe). I sleep on the edge of my queen sized bed as he likes sleeping in the center somehow positioning himself where I can hardly move fearing he’ll get squashed or worse…wake him up!

Two years ago we left kiwiland and moved to the land down under (although New Zealand is way down under Australia, maybe I should not use this phrase for this instance?). His airfare cost  four times mine that someone told me I should just get another dog when I settle in Oz. That sent revolting shockwaves all over my body. Good thing it was a nice friend so I let it pass and reminded myself that not everyone understand what having “just a dog” means. He is family and would never consider moving cross country if he could not come along.

He has become my plus one to gatherings. Close friends and family (should) know we’re a package deal. Obviously I cannot bring him to restaurants (unless we are dinning al fresco) and sadly I cannot bring him to work. I bring him to the city where I walk him while I window shop and the naughty pawmom that I am, I occasionally sneak him inside the stores. I ask permission of course and mostly they would “love” him to come in as long as I just carry him and for them to have a pat, or a cuddle, or a photo…

Luckily I don’t generally mind small chats with strangers as walking this patootie always entails being stopped by strangers. One time a girl asked “how often does he come to the city?” then realising what she said she immediately said sorry and rephrased it including me in her query (not that I minded).  More than once a person risk rushing against crowd or crossing a busy street just so they can meet Snow.  Hearing girls (and very rarely boys too) squeal in delight, giggle and just utter  “awwww” just the mere site of him makes me feel like I am spreading and sharing happiness in this scary world we now live in.

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a dog is indeed a man’s bestfriend

But don’t be fooled by his royal cuteness. He may be only 1.5 kg tiny but he is feisty as. He barks and launches forward like he is about to and going to bite you (he never really goes further, but let’s pretend he is a scary bad ass ninja, he really think he is hehehe). He does not back down no matter how goliath the “opponent” is. Specially when he does not like your smell, you are nowhere getting near his pawmom (like I need protecting…chuckles).

 

wanderwoman

Dreamy Firenze

They say once you travel, the voyage never ends, and Italy will be a dream that will keep on returning for the rest of my life. 

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The Ponte Santa Trìnita is a Renaissance bridge in Florence, Italy, spanning the Arno. The oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world, characterised by three flattened ellipses.

Firenze, where poems where made in streets

stories are born, people are loved

Is all beauty and enchantment 

Cathedral, tower and palace, piazza and streets

the river glowing in fearsome like a silver cord

the city coloured in mild violet

like diluted wine 

surreal and beguiling all at once

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The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the glowing Arno River.

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The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo’s David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi.

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Pedestrian achways in Florence
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the cousins on a whirlwind trip #TheTravellerAndTheWanderer
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looking through the “rounded window” of The Ponte Vecchio

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The polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (in the middle), with the clock tower (on the right) and the Baptistery a.k.a. Gates of Paradise (on the left).

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The immense dome and medieval façade of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
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The Baptistery a.k.a. Gates of Paradise

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“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”-Me Before You

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xoxo

TheWanderer

August 2016

wanderwoman

Rome with me

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.

– Giotto Di Bondone

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It felt like I can die quite happy after seeing something of that place which I have read or heard so much of (an expression, not a wish, so I may be clear).

During the “express” 8 day mediterranean tour, it was only in Rome that the group stayed on the same hotel for two nights. Not that it was enough, but a day would have gotten us basically nowhere. 

Stately and impressive, it is full of history, churches, cultures and architecture. A great city representing conquest, frozen in time. So much will stir your mind rediscovering places where world life-changing events and political conspiracy transpired. 

Only in Rome thus being a crumbling ruin and millenia-old, is also being breathtaking (“only” until I saw Greece, but that is another story shhhh)

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The colosseum is one massive structure that standing next to its imposing presence makes one feel like a tiny blob in this world. 

So wonderful, proving that something with an awful (bloody) past can still be beautiful. 

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Fontana de Trevi. The oldest water source in Rome is now more famously known for coin throwing. With the coin on your right hand thrown over the left shoulder, legend claims throwing 3 coins will grant you; coming back to Rome; ensure new romance; and ensure marriage (hmmm it has been a little over a year since…). 

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Fountain of the four Rivers in the middle of Piazza Navona. Waters from this fountain comes from 4 continents — the Nile (Africa), Danube (Europe), Ganges (Asia), and Rio de la Plata (America). 

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The Roman Pantheon

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Romeing the center of the city surrounding Capitoline Hill

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Blessed to have visited the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is a city within the city of Rome.  

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I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble

– Augustus

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xoxo

TheWanderer

August 2016