day 2136 – arc du triomphe

visiting one of my top paris attraction arc du triomphe. the intersection it stands on is crazy; twelve different routes merging into the roundabout. by now, i have grasped the concept of paris driving – drive aggressively and use all methods to get around obstructions. as i stood before the arc daringly close to the traffic, i never imagined it would tower over me like so. decided not to buy tickets to go up and that was the correct choice because the lineup to the lift is long. i think the point is to view the actual structure and not to look down on the surrounding things from the top

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day 2134 – musee louvre

another day in paris and it was a museum-filled day. the morning was reserved at louvre walking around the exhibition for a couple hours. my favourite was the french paintings mainly because it brings back so much memories of when i studied their art history. the afternoon was spent at the centre du pompidou. it wasn’t as interesting as it was promoted. the said views from up top wasn’t good either because of the muggy weather and i got rained on pretty hard since i didn’t even have a hood

day 2129 – antwerp day

took the train early to another city and made an antwerp day trip. for the first couple hours, it was a lot of walking around looking at a combination of cathedrals, churches, canals and statues. just before rushing for the train back to brussels, we hit up the chocolate nation tour. it was a very neat place because there i learned about the origin of chocolate, its significance and differences, took a bunch of pretty pictures and even got a chance to taste test a few types. got back to brussels for a nice dinner out catching up with an ex-coworker. she took time to show us around the city and showed us that food trucks are where the best waffles are at

day 2128 – grand place

arrived in belgium by late afternoon on a eurostar train and made a very productive first day. started by going far out to atomium where i did my second flip. it was a little better than the first, but still not getting the height and rotation i’d like to see. also visited grand place, manneken pis and bruxelles stock exchange building. we were much more efficient than the original itinerary; i hope it’s not because we’re doing a hasty job of taking photos and not fully absorbing. we even went back to grand place and stayed until 10:30 before deciding this is as much light as we’ll get to see

solo series [day eleven]

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it was an early start as the family went to kyoto for a day trip. i didn’t get much sleep last night but i had a good snooze during the 45 minute train ride. i taped up my ankle knowing it would be a long and tiring day, even then it wasn’t enough to last me. kyoto is a city of much smaller population but more historical temples and castles. we took the bus around and managed to pay a visit to a few of them before going back to osaka

i finally had a taste of sashimi from where it first originated. it lived up to expectations, but honestly, vancouver japanese food isn’t far behind. we have one of the best in the world but we take it for granted. it’s probably not a bad to learn how to make sushi myself

tomorrow will be the last full day in japan and on this asia trip as a whole. these trips are necessary because of family, but it’s physically and mentally exhausting. hong kong is still my motherland, but i can’t wait to head back to the place i really call home. i keep thinking ahead to sunday and anticipating seeing mo physically

solo series [day nine]

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i had a full seven hours of undisrupted sleep which is by far the best night of sleep since i left vancouver. i like the b&b i am staying at; it’s a well equipped space with clean shower, butt washing heated toilet seats, big bed and a simple kitchen

after we figured out how to take the train, my parents and i were out and about in osaka. we started off at namba shopping streets where we bought a bunch of goods. i had my chance to try the famous japanese takoyaki, which i thought was okay. after lunch, we went straight for downtown area, umeda, to hit some sightseeing points which included malls and department stores

after all the steps taken throughout the day, i couldn’t walk anymore so i opted to stay back while my parents went out for dinner. i need to stay off my feet if i want to have a chance to walk and sightsee tomorrow. instead of going out for dinner, i was able to fit in a mini circuit which made me feel better

three more full days in japan before i head home. i know i should focus on japan first and worry about other things later but that doesn’t stop me from thinking of all the plans i have waiting for me once i get back

day 288 – t dot

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paying cn tower and rogers centre a visit at night time because it just would not feel like a complete toronto trip without having this iconic picture somewhere. wish i had the time to catch a live bluejays game and it’s a pity┬áthe raptors got eliminated early in post season before i got a chance to watch an nba playoff game. it was a disappointing post season especially when they had such a good run in regular season