Things to do in Venice: Island Hopping / Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

Venice, the main island can be so crowded with tourist. Every corner there’s a crowd of tourist. Visiting Venice during the Canival time is more crowded with locals and tourist alike from different parts of the world. Venice is so picturesque and I can’t get enough with this place.  Wandering around every alleyways and crossing every bridges, at the same time snapping with my camera.  Taking in the views as well as enjoying the Carnevale di Venezia was so wonderful.

If you hate the crowds and you have extra day to spare, whilst in Venice. Why not explore the neighbouring islands if you want to discover other parts of Venice? Not saying the expensive gondola ride! There are other places which are not as crowded as San Marco. Try to head off to the beautiful villages in radius of 10-40 minutes watertaxi ride away. 
I discovered that Venice charges 80% more to tourists than locals.  A good example was the water taxi fare one way locals only pay €1.20 while tourists are  being charged €7.00. But that didn’t stop me to explore the place. I got Imob its a Venetian local card to use in every transportation, so I was charged like a local. Hurray lets explore the place in Venetian style! After exploring San Marco, Rialto Bridge and The old beautiful palazzos.  I think its about time for island hopping. Come and tag along with me through my captured moments in Venice and the Islands.

image

image

MURANO

I don’t think this place needs much introduction. Murano Glass, does it rings a bell? Yes that’s right it’s where the infamous Murano glass originated. I have seen lots of Murano glasses in U.K shops. Stroll around the village and watched the locals make glass artwork  infront of my eyes is spectacular. Every shops displays a colourful pendant, bracelets and home decorations. A good excuse to do some retail therapy either for yourself or for gifts to take back home.
The Church of Santa Maria and Donato stand out in the background. A wonderful day spent with less tourist crowds. Its only 10 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

image

image

image

image

image

BURANO

Another picture perfect village. The charming and most colourful village I’ve ever explored. Wandering around this pretty place. Its like a painting comes to life in front of your very eyes, with the different colour  pallete- from red-green-yellow the whole colour wheel scheme has painted the whole village. The other thing about this island, its where the original tradition of merletto (lace). This place attract tourist for its buranese lace. Watched a couple of delightful old lace-making ladies with their intricately lace designs. As you walked around the shops,  lots of delicate and beautiful laces on display. A good quality and authentically buranese, a cool souvenir or gift to take home for your love one’s. It’s only 30 minutes watertaxi ride from Fondamente Nove.

image

image

image

image

image

There are other islands nearby to explore, but time constraints I wasn’t able to go. But its a good excuse for another visit. Venice till next time. Arrivederci! Surely I will see you again.

Advertisements

Rome And It’s Beautiful Churches/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

Rome is regarded the eternal  city. The Vatican City is where  the papal residence. Catholic is the predominant religion  in the country. No wonder why in every  steps and corner theres  a Cathedral,  church and chapels. I was raised and grew up  in a catholic country. Every time  I  to go to a new places, I  always  make  sure I  go and do visita Iglesia.  Rome is not short  of places  to go for church visit. Lets go and visit the Ancient Papal Basilicas.

St. Peters  Basilica

First stop is in The St. Peters Basilica
, the famous  and most photograph church in Rome. The ancient basilica completes the beautiful façade of classic example of a Renaissance building. The work of art display inside like Bernini’s baldachin and Michelangelo’s Pietà.
The  only draw back is the long queue getting in. You need  to get there early and the entrance  is free, not unless you want to visit  the Sistine  Chapel to admire the  painted ceilings by Michael Angelo and climb up the Cupola/ Dome for the panoramic view.

image

image


Sant Giovani Church

It may not  be  as famous  as the  first church, but its full of history. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope.
The stunning Baroque architectural style is another magnificent  church
for photography. Admire  the stunning altar, it’s  intricate  design  is so beautiful.

image

image

image

image

San Paolo

It is where the tomb of Paul’s found just below a marble tombstone in the Basilica’s crypt, below the altar.
There are numerous relics found inside, the most notable of which are a set of chains that is said to be the prison chains of St Paul. There’s also an exposed excavation of an apse of the first Constantinian Basilica.

image

image

image

image

image

I love exploring the Churches around Rome. Along the iconic bridges to historic buildings. Rome is such a beauty and capturing every corner is so wonderful.

Lazio Italy: It’s Hidden Gem near Rome/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

Rome is so beautiful, from the structural buildings, to the fountains and piazza. As well as the spectacular cathedrals, churches to chapels. It’s my third time visit in Rome so I had already the chance to wander around this beautiful city and it’s tourist spots. Rome, it can get crowded with tourists. If you’re like me looking for unbeaten places to explore, why not go outside the city? If you have enough time to spare whilst in Rome. There are awesome places around Lazio Region, in radius of 20-40 kilometers just outside Rome. A day trip is suggested to explore these beautiful towns.

Castle Gandolfo

A day trip to this stunning place is a must. It’s a town on top of a hill, with a gorgeous view overlooking a lake called Lago Albano. It’s only 40 minutes train journey from Rome Termini, purchase 30 kilometres train ticket in any Tabacchini and you’re ready to go.

The Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo is a 17th-century papal palace in the city. This place is where the Pope spent most of his summer time, it has the papal garden. Which was recently opened to the public last March 1st 2014. Aside from the beautiful garden, it also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of lake Albano. Wander around its alleyways. Watch the stunning sunset view, while having a relaxing time by the viewing platform. Why not have a glass of wine or a meal by the nearby restaurant.

image

image

image

image

Frascati

This historic hill town is easily reach from Termini. Its only 40 minutes train journey. We have been told by a local that this place is the land of the Royals. Evidence of the palace sat on top of the hill, overlooking the whole town. There’s this big garden to explore, adorned with sculptures and stunning fountains. If you’re a sunset fanatic like me there’s a viewing deck by the park or by the road side. Take time to take in the stunning panoramic view of the neighbouring area- it’s so beautifully lite up from afar. And last but not least the famous Frascati Wine. While wandering around the shops, why not try free tasting sample of the local Frascati Wine.

image

image

image

image

image

Tivoli

This place is full of history. Roam around this unspoilt village and go and see the different villas. This village is a quick train ride from Rome. A day trip is highly recommended. Go and explore the beautiful area. A visit to villa d’Este is not to miss out. It offers a great history inside the villa. The grandeur of every room, its interior designs, the paintings on the ceilings is so amazing. Villa d’Este is the most remarkable illustration of Renaissance architecture. The fountains is a unique display of Italians 16th century garden. It offers a vast garden to explore its 500 magnificent fountains.

image

image

image

image

image

Lazio Region offers variety of beautiful places. From hilltop towns to seaside town, there’s so much places to explore but not enough time. Oh Italy im coming back for more!

Skydive: Do Something Amazing/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

When I was asked to do Tandem Skydive. I quickly say Yes! You may say Am I mad? Definitely No! Im doing it for Crossroads Care Coventry & Warickshire Charity, so its like hitting two birds with one stone. Im doing something amazing for sure. And helping the charity at the same time I’m doing it for adventure. And to challenge myself outside my comfort zone and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because I do believe that on those scary moments you will find your true amazing self. I have done different adventurous activities before such as kayaking, ziplining, helicopter ride and microlight flights. But definitely Skydiving activity is another level of adventure.
The activity was first scheduled on February 7th, we were 25 skydivers on that day. The weather was a bit gloomy and foggy, so we waited till the weather got better. They announced the 1st 5 skydiver participants after 30 minutes . After the 1st batch of skydivers, the weather got worse. It rained and the activity was cancelled, it was rescheduled in 2 weeks time. Most of us were disappointed, but what can we do. Its a weather dependent activity, its better safe than sorry.
The most awaited day has arrived for the skydive. I wasn’t excited on the way because the weather was gloomy, but when we were almost near to the airfield the sun started to shine. My excitement has started to build-up. As soon as we reached the parking area, I was trotting towards the reception to register. A quick briefing was given and after 25 minutes waiting at the cafe, finally my name was called. Soon I was given a suit, hat and googles.

image

image

Then I was ready to go. I was paired with Ralph for my tandem team and Brad my video cameraman for the activity. I soon found out its only me in the group doing the tandem skydive, there were 8 other skydivers, professionals and student skydivers.

image

image

image

image

There were no hint of nervousness or what so ever. I was so excited for the activity.

image

We were lined up to got into the small plane. Soon enough we were ascending up in the air. I slowly saw the buildings and trees getting smaller and smaller.

image

image

image

image

We were finally 13,000 feet high, when we started to edge towards the door. It was Ralph and I last jumped with Brad nearby capturing every minute of the amazing adventure.

image

image

It was sunny but abit chilly up in the air. We flew like a free eagle soaring the sky, then I felt a shuddering moved. It was the parachute opened and our position changed to standing. That was the time, I actually started to enjoy the scenery. We were like glidingin the air. Ralph was stearing to the left and to the right. The view from above is magnificently beautiful. The spectacular landscape from above is so magical. The feeling was so amazing, words can’t really described what I felt during the skydive.

image

image

image

image

But one thing is for sure, I will definitely do this again.

image

image

I would  like  to take  this opportunity to thank my family, friends and colleagues who supported me for the success of this endeavour I dealth with. Especially to my Tandem team buddy Ralph and to video/cameraman Brad of Skydiver Sibson at Uk Parachuting. Once again thank you very much to all of you. 

Are you an adrenaline junkie? What adventure would you like to do this year? Are you brave enough to jump high and take the plunge? Step forward and take the risk! Go further than you think you should do, than normally you would, because maybe it will end up being something really rather special that you could never have imagined. Today can be the day that everything changes. Are you ready for your adventure of a lifetime? The choice is all yours.

Magical Venetian Escapades/ Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

image

image

Venice is regarded as the most popular romantic getaway for lovers. Im here in the hope to find the City of Romance beauty, hidding in the alleyways and its canal districts. As a solo traveller will I appreciate this romantic place? It’s my second time around here in Venice, the first time was with my friend Lourdes with a group tour. As usual we did the touristy activities, walking around tourist spots and ofcourse the gondola ride.

image

image

image

But this time im armed with a travellers perspective mingling with locals, discovering the most authentic place to eat and trace the unbeaten alleyways and canals of Venice. Let’s wait and see. Oh I forgot to mention, my first agenda was to capture the famously worldwide known Carnevale di Venezia. For the most eagerly awaited celebration each year, the most colourful and extravagant festival. For it’s exhilarating, enthralling day and evening affairs. I wanted to experience! Every year the city explodes with fun and laughter. The huge festive crowds from other parts of the world gathered altogether around the Piazza San Marco and other squares scattered in the city. There are shows, period and flamboyant costume parades, concerts masquerade balls and famous parties organized during the festival on a splendid palaces along the Grand Canal but it comes with a price tag. It is internationally renowned event, celebrated by tourist and local Venetian alike.

image

We made our way through the labyrinth of alleyways towards the famous landmarks of San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal. I didn’t expect that it would be crowded like this. Most of the tourist and locals are wearing mask to celebrate the festivity. The flamboyant and very colourful costumes of men and women alike are overwhelming. I was amazed and over the moon that im at the right place at right time. Capturing this event is a dream come true. Walking around and admiring the place and clicking away my camera. Life is so sweet – Dolce Vita!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Walking around this picturesque place is wonderful. Its Renaissance facade displays the distinctive elegance of the old Venetian palazzos.

image

image

image

image

The fascinating palace views are stunning, particularly by night. A night photography stroll is worthwhile, capturing the place by night is magnificently beautiful.

image

image

image

image

image

image

After a whole day spent roaming around Venice mainland. The following day I decided to go island hopping. A day out spent in Murano was a great experience. Roaming around the small village where the famous Murano Glass was originated. The chance to watch how they make artistic designs from scratched was spectacular. I can spend a whole day watching them, moulding amazing glass masterpiece.

image

image

image

image

image

Another great experience was when we went to Burano. Where the infamous Burano laces are made. Watching the old woman in a shop, doing an intricate lace design was so cool. Wandering around the most colourful village I’ve ever seen. It’s so pretty and picturesque. I cant resist capturing every corner of the place. I’ve only seen it on postcard before, standing and capturing this picture perfect place is every photographers dream. Im living the dream!

image

image

image

image

image

To answer the question being a solo traveller, you can still enjoy this place. Once again I’ve fallen inlove to this place the second time around. Venice is not only for romantic getaway. It’s also for solo travellers who enjoys food, architectural design, photography and history. Have you been to Venice? Have you seen the Venice Carnival?