On the last day of my solo trip to Italy in June 2022, I got to bond a bit more with my youngest aunt, visiting an interesting attraction in Rome and having gelato in a local gelateria. The Mouth of Truth or Bocca della Verita is a marble mask statue which, according to legend, will … More ITALY: The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verita) in Rome and the flight back home (Day 7 & 8)
San Marino is a mountainous microstate located by the eastern side of Italy. It is considered the world’s oldest republic, founded in 301 AD by the Christian stonemason Marinus of Rab. While vacationing in Italy in June 2022, I took the chance to tour the said mini-state with my aunt. We left Rome early and … More SAN MARINO: A day trip to the world’s oldest republic (Day 5 & 6)
On the 4th day of my solo and second trip to Italy, I decided to visit a new place located not very far from the Vatican. Castel Sant’Angelo is a cylindrical building commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD to serve as mausoleum for him and his family. Through the years, it has become … More ITALY: Visiting Castel Sant’Angelo, the Mausoleum of Hadrian (Day 4)
On my first visit to the Vatican in 2013 (with my sisters, aunt and distant relatives), I saw the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica, but not the Vatican Museums. It was also Pope Francis’ birthday – we got to sing/greet him with the crowd as he stood up waving from the tiny, tiny window of his … More VATICAN CITY STATE: Visiting the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, the 2nd time around (Day 3)
On the second day of my second visit to the Eternal City, I woke up early to stroll around the city and visit the popular sites while escaping the huge crowds on a clear June day. My first visit was in December, so it was chilly. I also had my sisters with me then. This … More ITALY: Walking down memory lane – visiting the major landmarks in Rome (Day 2)
Started the year right with travel! Spent 4 days in Copenhagen with my big sister, and it was fun catching up with her! I took the buss (nettbuss.no) from Oslo, which took about 8 hours. It was nerve-wracking, because I forgot to bring my passport. I had my visa card, tickets and photos of the … More Visiting Copenhagen, Denmark in early January
Norway is nature’s paradise. It is admirable how Norwegians value their natural resources, despite the growing urbanism in the country. They love nature so much that they have plenty of walking paths in the woods, and they prefer the quiet life in “hyttas” or cabins located deep in the forests most of the holidays. I, … More NORWAY: A long walk in Skotta nature reserve on a hot summer day!
Aside from the private tours to Delphi and Meteora, the free walking tours and the solo exploration in Athens, I also had a taste of Greek hospitality. I think that it is nice to meet locals when traveling so as to get a better idea of how it’s like to live in a certain place. … More GREECE: A side trip to the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion and to a local beach resort in Voula
After learning a ton about the Sanctuary of Delphi and taking dozens of breath-taking photos, we headed towards the second destination of the private tour: Meteora. The name speaks for itself. It means “suspended in the air” or “middle of the sky”. It is one of the largest complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries, built on … More GREECE: A trip to the monasteries “suspended in the air”, Meteora!
After spending three days exploring the city of Athens, I took the chance to travel northward, to the ancient site of Delphi and to the high stone temples and monasteries of Meteora. Since I wasn’t very familiar with the Greek public transportation system, I chose to book a private tour on viator.com. I first heard … More GREECE: Visiting the Sanctuary of Delphi, the omphalos (navel of the world)