That time of the year has come again alhamdulillah. Selamat berpuasa semua! Hoping that it would be a blessed and good month for all.
And I'm going back to my "strictly no-rice diet" to reduce few kilos and to get in shape. Jujurnya, I can live without rice tapi benda-benda manis macam kuih-muih semua tu memang susah nau nau nak tolak. Haha. How?
The photos above were taken during my visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi early this year. One of the most beautiful mosques I've ever seen. More on this later.
It is so incredibly naive to think that the world would stand still just because you're not paying attention. And it's amazing how people grow before your very eyes, and how beautiful and scary that is. And now, work has truly taken over my life and I think that's the scariest. Well, tax peak period has started and I am nothing but a person trapped inside "too busy" cycle. Sobs.
Anyway, my little sister is... pregnant. Ehem. She was recently married and so nothing untoward has happened. Its just that for the briefest of moments, I wondered; it would be nice to be pregnant, kan? Hehe. And right now, I am so thrilled to become an aunt. Maybe my niece or nephew can call me Ty Long. Hiks. Tetap taknak orang panggil kau maklong kan. Haha.
On a separate note, my life nowadays has been better alhamdulillah. Sometimes I think, life is about growing older and proving all those proverbs true. Like how "time heals all". I thought they were all crap, until they were not. Hehe.
And I have not mentioned about Mr. Arrogant anymore kan, have I? Well, time heals. But not all. Since we both have to be in the same building everyday, sometimes we bumped into each other. And we act like strangers. like we had never met before. It saddens me so much, I can't even say a simple 'hi'. Hmm, I don't really know what happened between us, but suddenly he's gone quiet on me. I secretly hope that we can work together one day. And I really want to know the reason(s) behind his silence. Did I do anything wrong or did I hurt his feelings?
I'll ask him one fine day. It's about taking up a life challenge and doing something because you wouldn't want to look back someday, and regret that you didn't do it. And that's one of my biggest fears, REGRET.
I wish the world might turn a little slower and everyone needs to stop going at the speed of light.
A different kind of Monday blues tomorrow. Will be working for 3 days ONLY this week, and I'll be on leave till next Tuesday inclusive! Haven't really applied for any leave this year but I'm looking forward to my next trip in December. We'll be going down-under, all the way to Perth. Soooo excited! Sebab tak pernah sampai OZ lagi so far. Hehe.
Anyway, back to the main topic, Mykonos in a nutshell is perfect. Really blew my mind. And the picture above brings back memories of a beautiful day. We had such a wonderful time discovering Mykonos and seeing more of Greece is very near the top of my travel wish-list.
So, we had to take a bus from Paradise Beach to Mykonos town and if I'm not mistaken, it was around 1.60€ one way. The buses are frequent and it takes 15 - 20 minutes to reach the town. Tapi tengoklah stesen bus dia ni, ibarat hidup segan mati tak mahu. Haha. Takde orang ok. Established since 1969 katanya.
One thing I've noticed in both Mykonos and Santorini, the rental agencies are everywhere. Not sure how much does it cost per day but I believe it's not exactly cheap. The cheapest would be scooter or ATV rental tapi pandai ke kau nak bawak? Haha. So kalau you are on an extreme budget, just rely on public transport je lah. Just bear in mind, public transport kat sini not so convenient.
Once we arrived, we had to find any travel agencies nearby to book our ferry tickets. Well, I think if you book on-line from the websites, there won't be any extra fees charged by the agents. But buying ferry tickets on-line is neither convenient or easy.
Our last day in Mykonos was spent wandering Chora (Mykonos town) which is the most popular part of the island. And FYI, Kim K revealed her growing baby bump for the first time kat sini ok. Haha.
If you can see, people here are quite laid back with their sense of style in Mykonos. Most of the women wear after bikini outfits like hot pants, sheer maxis, tank tops, tube gowns and the list is never ending. Haha.
And we were wearing our kimono tops! Hehe. They are light and airy and the most important thing is they still cover you up. Basically, there is no dress code in particular so you can just wear anything and everything.
So this is MYKONOS! A very beautiful place to shoot. White buildings and blue doors and windows are set against the blue sky. I really was drawn to all white buildings and pebbled walkways. Soooo pretty. Balik Malaysia terus make over bilik all white hehe. I'm easily influenced though. And Mykonos was just as heavenly as I had always imagined. I wasn't let down in the slightest.
The fashion nowadays is so messed up when you see a man wearing hot pants. Haha. The trend is going disastrous. Sobs.
Most of the first time visitors (like us) simply strolling through this perfect town and for shopping lovers there are high end boutiques selling brands like LV as well as plenty of souvenir shops, art galleries, hip boutiques and handmade jewellery shops. Cumanya kau ada duit ke tidak je nak membeli. Haha. Seriously the price of the souvenirs is not that expensive as compared to other European countries. Contoh macam dekat Frankfurt, 1 fridge magnet is at least 5€, tapi kat sini you can get around 2€ je. Sayangnya we really on a tight budget.
There is no elevator to SUCCESS. You have to take the stairs.And this advise is really spot on! There is no shortcut to success. Lets strive together ok!
So we finally found the famous pelican while walking down a street in Mykonos town. According to the locals, a pelican made its way to the Mykonos island from the mainland in the 1950s. So the residents took the bird and named it Petros and adopted him as the mascot. He died in 1986 (the year I was born, haha) and has been replaced by three pelicans. One of them has been named Petros, in honor of the original. Tapi, is this the one? Haha. Entahla. Mitos je semua ni.
Cubaan selfie dengan seekor pelican. Haha. Asal boleh je lah mamat ni. Terus teringat masa kecik-kecik dulu back in 90s ada pensel kaler brand pelikan ni. Hehe. Power of advertisements.
Well, this place has really made a special place in my heart. Blue and white breathtaking scenic view. The water really is the most stunning shades of blue you'll ever witness. Highly recommended for honeymoon destination. Hiks.
This area is called "Little Venice" and as the name suggests, adalah sikit rupa Venice tu. Hehe. You'll be able to see the cruise ships sailing in and out while eating at outdoor café. It was a lovely setting tapi tu lah, duit takde nak makan fancy-fancy. Sobs.
And here we go to the famous windmills along the coast of the town. It can be seen clearly from the Little Venice and this is the iconic Mykonos windmills (Kato Mili) standing right next to each other at the top of the hill. Very photogenic kan. Lawaaaaa. A true highlight of our Mykonos trip.
And this is the view from the windmills. I need to go back to the Greek islands pronto. Love love love the colours. Tenang lagi menenagkan. Hehe.
Lawa kan baju ni. I should have bought and pakai ni kat Santorini. Tapi mahal melampau. 80€ rasanya. Sangatlah tak mampu. Soooo Greek goddess ok.
We found a gelato shop that had FREE wifi so apalagi. Banyak sangat gambar instagram material yang kena upload like now now now. Hahaha. And then lepas dah makan ice-cream, upload apa yang patut, we headed back to Paradise Beach by bus to take our luggage.
Tumpang shalat dekat "syurga" haha. Orang pandang pun semacam je but I really takleh la solat duduk ni. Was-was dah rukuk ke, dah sujud ke. Hiks. Alhamdulillah sejak duduk UK ni memang tak kesah dah nak solat kat mana-mana pun, janji solat je kekdahnya. And the winds were so strong. Tu yang tak pasal-pasal ada assitant pegangkan telekung. Ada je lah pulak orang yang tukang ambik gamba untuk hantar dekat whatsapp group "Salam Uno" sebab memang selalu sangat solat merata, was-was punya pasal. Haha. MasyaAllah sistur.
We were lucky because the hotel also provided free shuttle to the port. Jimat sikit kat situ. Hehe. So, our ferry departs at 8.45 pm and the journey will take around 90 minutes approximately. Walaupun gambar kat atas ni Blue Star Ferries, we chose Hellenic Seaways (price: 12€ per pax) because we've been told that Hellenic has been more reliable and less bumpy ride.
Fabulous sunset to end the day. And it is even prettier in Santorini. Sumpah cantik sangat. Mykonos is everything I dream it would be. And yes a warm day in Greece is where I'd like to transport myself to right now. Well, Greece hasn't had an easy economy recently but the people there were as welcoming as ever. A MUST VISIT.
Hiatus in blogging due to life changes that have kept me exceptionally busy. Hard to believe I am now a full fledged working woman again, after a year of career break. I was a part time student and a full time traveller for almost a year, remember? Haha. There's no regrets, that was the best time of my life.
To be honest, I'm done berjimba and I'm almost 30, to be exact next year. Haih. I'm sooo not ready. I know age is just a number but still, you ain't getting any younger.
And I am secretly quite ambitious. Hehe. I believe that nothing worth it in life comes easy. The definition of success itself is so vast that I often question myself; do I really want to climb the corporate ladder? To some people, the status, recognitions, titles are more important than anything else but for me, to have titles and recognitions are equally important too. More on self-esteem.
As for now I am enjoying my working life, surrounded by an awesome team albeit crazy workload. I always admire intelligent sophisticated women and I wish to be like them one fine day. Hehe. God willing InsyaAllah. And I am grateful to finally have a job and hoping that I would keep being better at what I do.
Enough of that. Bosan lagipun membebel pasal kehidupan. Hehe. But couldn't help it, I think it's a sign that you're almost 30. Anyway, I literally am typing this out while having a break from reviewing tax computations that I brought back home last Friday. Such a wonder of a multitasking woman. Ahaks. Pendek kata, bosannya hidup kau sekarang ni Fida. Back to my routines 4 years back, same old same old.
Okay, I have been itching to blog about my trip to Greece last summer (in August to be exact) but haven't had the chance to do so. Dah berzaman kau balik, baru sekarang nak update! Haha. Nak buat macam mana, always struggling with writer's block. Tapi takpe, better late than never orang kata. So, seperti yang diketahui umum, we were not going to Athens, sorry. Lagipun, we don't like batu, ruins, and history. Hiks.
Tapi memanglah orang akan pandang sinis, eh kau tak pergi Athens? Greek capital kot? Kalau duit berkepuk memang boleh lah alang-alang pergi Greece, why not ke Athens, kan? Tapi kalau pakai konsep alang-alang ni, memang banyak benda yang tak jadi. Haha. Sebab bajet sangat lah ciput. Remember, we were unemployed and struggling to survive with no income. Mana nak bayar monthly commitments kat Malaysia lagi. Jenuh korek duit savings sahaja untuk trip kali ni. And adalah jugak buat online business sikit-sikit untuk top-up mana yang kurang. Hehe.
It has always been my dream to visit Greece and experience the rich culture it has to offer. Feeling-feeling Kim K. Walaupun kau adalah sangat cheapskate pada waktu dan ketika itu. Haha. And I have been talking with my house-mates for couple of months about this idea and how to make it happen. Tapi takdelah plan beria sangat pun sebab we were busy with exams, dissertations and whatnot.
And the first part is of course to find reasonable air plane tickets. Tips, BOOK EARLY for summer to avoid disappointment. Summer means PEAK season. Enough said. And panasnya mak aiii. Sumpah panas nak mamps. So the less expensive ticket that we found on almost every websites is to fly to Mykonos from Manchester with EasyJet and return to Heathrow from Santorini with Germanwings. Yes, you read that right. Last few months, a Germanwings airbus crashed over the French Alps. And I flew with Germanwings twice. Syukur masih dipanjangkan usia :').
So the total price per passenger including tax adalah 184£. And that was the MOST expensive tickets I ever bought last year. Haha. Mahal nau. Thank god all of the expenses were not incurred once-off. We bought the ticket a month in advance and didn't spend much on food too. And now that we found the not so perfect airfares deal, our next task is to research places to stay. Research ala kadar je pun, my house-mates and I are not picky when it comes to the rooms. Apa-apa pun boleh, janji ada tempat berteduh je konsepnya and of course mur mur sahaja. Hiks. Kau dah spend banyak untuk flight tickets, kosser nak tido hotel mahal-mahal.
I'm a bit confused with the timings, but I believe it takes at least 4 hours to Mykonos from Manchester, UK. And bear in mind that Greece is 2 hours ahead of UK. Haha sorry still compare dengan UK time. Tak move on lagi nampaknya kat situ.
So, 13 August 2014, we arrived in Mykonos airport at 9.15 pm local time. As usual, no problems going through EU border security and then we walked out the door just to see how hot it was. Ahaks. PANAS. Summer kat UK sedap-sedap selesa sahaja. Haha.
And here we go, feeling-feeling rich and famous, terus tahan taxi katakau. Excuse me, kecik sungguh la airport Mykonos ni. Ada la tourist information yang super kecik and that lady yang jaga pun super kekwat too. Tapi kekwat-kekwat dia pun, she really helped us a lot. Thank you.
So we gave the taxi driver our hotel address and much to our surprise, he told us that the hotel is not in Mykonos island! OMG. The only way to go there is by ferry and of course, the earliest ferry would be tomorrow morning. It's about 2 hours punya journey. Oh tidak. Kekeliruan dan kesilapan seperti ini tidak pernah terjadi. Never in my life kekdahnya. And we already paid everything! Sobs. Dah la tengah dintis. So how now?
Ni sebab nak murah punya pasal, we booked through Airbnb and entahlah kat mana silapnya, the hotel that we booked tu sebenarnya kat Syros island. During summer, especially in August, most every inch of Mykonos island is packed with visitors and it is one of the most crowded Greek islands. So. the room rates in Mykonos are a lot more expensive. Tu yang terbeli hotel sampai ke Syros sebab hmm murah. Haha. Padan muka diri sendiri. Syros ni pulak not even in our itinerary. Haha. Dah satu hal pulak nak ke sana sebab we booked for 3 nights. Rasain.
Anyway back to the agenda, mana nak tidur malam ni? Airport? No. Not for tonight, please. Haha. Come on. I mean this is Mykonos. Tempat orang ada-ada, tempat percutian para retis. Takkan nak tido airport ye tak? Haha. There are various travel agencies outside waiting to bring the tourists to the hotel that they have pre-booked in advance.
So tips cikcur #1, ringan-ringankan mulut and tanya if they still have any rooms available. And macam biasa, the hotels will offer cheaper rates if they have more empty rooms. But in our case, unfortunately the hotel rooms mostly occupied by visitors and super expensive. The cheapest that we got after too much bargaining skills involved is the one in Paradise Beach, 195€ per night! Almost RM900 for a room. I have never paid so much for just a room to be honest. And mungkin, highly likely we got ripped off pun. What to do, we are at the worst end of the deal and we don't really have any other options pun, kan? The rest were either already booked or the price is 200€ and above. Pasrah je lah. Pejam mata bayar 65€ sorang. And that being said, everyone has to cut their own expenses. Banyak okeh 65€ tu. Boleh makan fine dining. Tapi nak fine dining apa sangat kan, semua pon banyak yang ada pork kekdahnya. Haha.
So, welcome to Paradise Beach, people. Hehe. Picture taken on the next day. Sebab, sampai-sampai pun dah malam. The hotel provided free shuttle services to and from airport. Jadinya, we paid inclusive of transportation. Tak sabar nak tengok how the room will look like sebab mahal nau kan. Kot la macam ni ke...
Picture credit : Google image
So realitinya, the room that we got is super basic. Tak padan dengan harga. Ni pun picture taken from Booking.com. Not exactly like this but almost the same. Triple sharing room with sea view and complimentary breakfast. Better than nothing je la konsepnya. Hadap je ok. Takleh banyak bunyi sangat.
Picture credit : Booking.com
Sementelah malam pun masih muda, around 11.00 pm macamtu, we decided to go out and have a look what this place has got to offer. Well to summarise in one sentence; maksiat sangatlah berleluasa. No wonder they call it PARADISE. Heaven on earth kekdahnya. And what happens in paradise, stays in paradise. You will see things which you have never seen in your life.
The place (Tropicana bar) is full of drunk teenagers, extremely crowded with several bars right next to each other. If you are young and looking for a wild party, this place is memang for you. But if you want to relax, then avoid at all cost. And of course it is not suitable for children. What they might see there will ruin their mental health forever. When we were walking along the beach just to avoid the crowded area near the bars, entah macam-macam bunyi yang pelik-pelik lah yang kau boleh dengar. Nasib lah memang rabun orangnya. And malam pulak tu. Haih maksiat sangatlah bermaharajalela. Ummah LGBT pun tak kurang banyaknya kat sini. If Tsunami hits, this is the place that you would never want to visit.
We have been notified by the hotel receptionist that the Hard Rock Cafe merchandise shop is just opposite the hotel. Tapinya memang sampai ke sudah la tak jumpa.
The next morning when we had our breakfast, the atmosphere was completely different. The whole place was peaceful, serene and fairly quiet. I think it gets crowded in the afternoon. And the party starts at 4.00 pm and goes on till later in the evening.
The beach itself is absolutely perfect. Sangat cantik. Shades of blue with crystal clear water and a wide sandy beach.
Just to let you know, there were few nude people there but they all seemed to stay down at the very end, so not even noticeable, unless you were really looking. Haha.
I was told that you have to pay for your sea side lounge chair for at least 6€. Tapi haritu takde lah pulak kena sound or apa untuk feeling-feeling pose sambil baca buku The Fault In Our Stars nih. Haha. Mungkin sebab sangat litup kot berjemuran di tepi pantai. They didn't even bother to collect the money from us. Hiks.
There are 2 big clubs in Paradise Beach, one being mentioned above is Tropicana and this is another one, Guapaloca bar. I believe there were champagne spraying parties at night dan sangat lah parti liar malam tadi, so wild. Haha. Tapi senyap sunyi sooo quiet in the morning. Cantik pulak tu sooo pinky.
And that is the Hard Rock Cafe Mykonos, it sells only the merchandise. Too small, we didn't notice the existence of this retail shop last night. Memang right in front of our hotel je pun. I normally will buy the shot glass for my own collection tapi takde jual pulak kat sini. Entah betul entahkan tidak ni kedai Hard Rock Cafe Mykonos. Hahaha. Kecik nau.
All of the above basically adalah hotel area which is right on the beach. The only downside of the place is the distance from Mykonos centre but frequent buses will take you there. And one more thing, they should provide FREE wifi services. Memang kat Greece ni agak kedeks nak bagi free wifi ok.
Last but not least, thanks to my photographer for everything. Haha. Sanggup melayan kena snap banyak-banyak kali sampai puas hati. Hikkkssss. Bertabahla.
Nanti kita sambung lagi bulan depan. Haha. Esok meeting! And I need to get few things done too! Bye and good night.