Friday, August 04, 2006

Picture Time! - Part 1

As requested, here they are. :)

Just so you know, I've never posted photos of myself or family / friends on the blog, and don't intend to - ever.

But... I can share them via email with readers whom I know personally, but with the understanding that you shouldn't mass mail them to strangers lah.

Am sure some of you would like to see Pablo, heh heh. :D

Anyhow, since I can't publicize my Yahoo address, I've obtained a new account with Google. It's just below the profile on the right.
In case you have something to say or ask and don't want to put it on the blog's comments section, I guess that route may be an easier one. Can't guarantee a direct reply, but I promise to read everything.

So I'm going to lump the pics according to quirky themes, rather than make it a boring chronological travelogue with dry facts and lengthy commentaries.

Today's Theme: Super-Cool Things I Saw During The Trip

1. Neuschwanstein Castle -- Bavarian Alps

( Click on the link to go to Wikipedia )

Background info can be found there, with a nice photo ( have a similar view on my digicam so have put up a different one ). Looks a bit misty but kinda adds to the overall fairy-tale vibe, don't you think? ( You can click on the image to enlarge. )

It's a hard climb up and a long walk down, so I was pretty exhausted after the tour -- short at 2 hours, but was fighting off a flu bug at the time and almost didn't make it for dinner that night 'cos I just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep till morning, dammit!

Anyhow, it's very surreal on the outside, but looks like any typical castle on the inside. Rooms are a tad small and not that ornate, but it was fun to walk through and see what life was like back in the day.

Our guide, Rita, kept emphasizing that King Ludwig was "the mad king, the handsome king", so it really got drummed into my head and kept resonating throughout the course of the day ( yeesh, it's there now too! ). But judging from the portraits, he really wasn't too bad-looking, with a very unusual height ( for that era, that is ) of over 6 feet.

We took a little van up ( cramped, with a psychotic driver taking turns at crazy speeds ), but trudged all the way down on foot. Steep slopes caused our ankles to hurt something fierce for the next 3 days, and I'd never seen so much horse poo in my life ( carriages make the rounds every 5 minutes, and the horses must be defecating from all the hard work ). My tiger oil came in very handy, haha.

2. Easter Egg Parade -- Salzburg, Austria

I was SOOOO blown away by this! Rita told us about it before we arrived, but I never once expected it to be so breath-taking.

They're REAL EGGS, mind you. But emptied of their contents, of course. This shop I entered was MAGICAL, and I didn't want to leave. Just kept snapping photos non-stop till it was time to meet up with the rest. If I could've bought the whole store, I would've.

3. The Vienna State Opera House

Was blown away mostly because we were granted access to the grand concert hall, and being the first tour group to enter ( at least 15 minutes before the next bunch ), we had the entire place to ourselves for those precious moments.

I leaned back in my seat and just took a deep breath, imagining all the lavish events that have taken place over the centuries, wondering who might've sat in my spot in the past.

We also poked our heads into the VIP intermission room, where presidents and royalty have mingled, and strolled backstage for a look at the massive space used for props and dressing rooms. Believe me, it's HUGE!

There's also an excellent Chinese restaurant located just round the corner from the Opera House. Chanced upon it while hunting for lunch. Serves succulent stir-fried beef in giant proportions, and for a reasonable price too.

That's it for now.

More Updates

Housereturns to AXN 14th August. Season 2 has already garnered the show 4 Emmy nominations, including Best Drama.

Special thanks to Jennifer Morrison, who plays Dr. Allison Cameron, for a beautiful autographed photo conveyed via the Singapore Medical Association. I guess this means the cast and writer David Shore read my review and liked it. :D

Also, many thanks to AXN Asia for picking me in their House contest. Won myself a Season 1 House DVD set, woohoo!

The Office

This new "Americanized" version airs on Starworld Channel 18 every Thursday at 9pm. Starring Steve Carell from The 40-Year-Old Virgin ( one of the best comedies I've ever seen ), it retains the trademark sardonic humour of the original but still manages to stay fresh with hilarious antics ( like 2 warring colleagues who hammer each other by putting the enemy's stationery in jello, or fortifying the desk with sharp pencils ). If you're scratching your head over this, all the more reason to watch the show. :)

Westlife Cometh

I'm a big fan, and not ashamed to say it. :)

Caught both their shows when they dropped by years ago. No Bryan MacFadden this round, but I have no doubt the concert will be equally entertaining.

Hope they do numbers from their Allow Us To Be Frank album. I love their covers of Let There Be Love and Clementine.

Singapore Idol 2

Used to think it sucks, but have got my eye on 3 contestants now -- Mathilda, Jonathan and Hady. If all goes well ( voters have been kicking out stronger vocalists and keeping the cutesy ones ), they should make it to the end.

Best performance thus far: Hady's HOT cover of George Michael's Freedom. Came close to matching Robbie Williams' version. I'm sufficiently impressed.

Time to get some sleep. Washing house is tiring.

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