I’m counting down the days to my Europe + Dubai trip, which will commence at the beginning of September.
I have been working my ass off on a 9-to-5 job (9-to-midnight, sometimes) and August has been an especially busy time, not just at work but also the various things that have happened in my personal life lately. So this felt like a much-needed break. =)
Here’s a brief overview and pictures of where I’ll be visiting on September, and what I’m most looking forward to see and do!
United Arab Emirates
[Image Credit: Sarah Ackerman]
I’ll be strolling around Dubai to admire the city’s gravity-defying buildings. I can’t wait to see Burj Khalifa, the king of all skyscrapers, and wonder how on Earth could anything be possibly much much taller than Taipei 101. And Burj Khalifa is not an odd case there—go find a picture of Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, World Islands, Dubai Marina (pictured), Dubai Fountain. I swear Dubai architects are nuts.
I hope I get to see every single one of them, but I’ll most likely split my short time in Dubai with a Desert Safari. Should I ride a camel, splurge in dune bashing, or just leisurely bask in the surreal desert sunset? I haven’t decided!
[Image Credit: Taxiarchos228]
It all starts in Paris. Other than a few key landmarks and the iconic Eiffel Tower, I don’t feel like rushing myself here. Perhaps enjoying impeccable French cuisine, appreciating local arts through museums, chilling while watching a cabaret show, or just a relaxing walk around the world’s most romantic city.
I’ll be visiting the ski village of Chamonix as well, where I’ll be ascending up 3842 m towards Mont Blanc by a panoramic cable car to get the view of a lifetime. But that’s not all! Once up there, I’ll have the chance to “Step into the Void” on a transparent glass box to have a 360-degree look of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Can I just say that this is the ultimate #1 on my can’t-wait-to-do list?!! =)
[Image Credit: Steinmann]
Out of the four countries, I have the highest anticipation for Switzerland and its natural beauty. Lucerne will be my first stop, with a few walks around the Old Town and some monuments before having an overnight at Interlaken, which promise us with a view of two picturesque lakes.
For months, the above picture of Jungfraujoch was my wallpaper to keep me motivated at work. I’ll most likely work out my budget to fit Jungfraujoch in as I’d really like to take the scenic railway to soak in the beauty of the alpine region.
[Image Credit: David Iliff]
Italy is home to some of the most iconic buildings that I’ve adored since my childhood, so this is like… fulfilling my lifelong dreams!
My first stop is Pisa‘s Square of Miracles to appreciate the famous trio of Pisa Baptistry, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Camposanto Monumentale. I’ll have a brief visit to St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City before returning to Italy.
Rome is my next stop. I’ll get to enter the world-famous Colosseum, pass by Roman Forum and Piazza Venezia before throwing some coins into Trevi Fountain for good luck. The next day is an excursion to the Medieval Village of Siena. I’m hoping to squeeze Florence into my itinerary as well, but will see again whether it’s realistic.
The next morning, I’ll board a water taxi to the heart of Venice. There’ll be lots of things to do here, including pizza-making demonstration, but mostly I just want to get back into romantic mode. This will be followed by a stopover at Sirmione to view the Scalinger Castle by the lake.
Finally, I’ll be back to the hustle and bustle of fashion city Milan, where I’ll get to experience Castello de Sforza, Gothic Duomo Cathedral, Victor Emmanuelle II Galleria, Da Vinci Square and La Scala Opera House. Probably a few more shopping before taking a return flight to Singapore.
Wake Me Up When September Begins
I’m freaking excited because this trip is a series of “firsts” to me. First time to super high-tech city of Dubai, first desert experience, first time scaling up to 3,000m with lots of mountains surrounding me, first time experiencing snow and first time visiting the beautiful Europe! (Okay, technically Turkey is Europe so the last one is untrue, but I’m talking about the classic Europe of my childhood!)
I’m just 3 weeks away from the trip and I can’t stop waiting for August to end! Been through a lot in the past few months, and at one point, this trip even almost get cancelled due to an unforeseen circumstance! It was so frustrating but that’s a different story that I’ll blog about at another time.
After sweating through a lot, this Europe + Dubai trip feels like a hard-earned reward. I just can’t wait for it to finally happen. =)
What is your favorite place in Europe? Where do you recommend me to go and skip in Dubai, France, Switzerland and Italy? I’ll be pleased to gather as much feedback as possible.