Saturday, February 12, 2011

LONDON & BELGIUM: Picture Loaded, Back from A Break Post

Hello Everyone, I'm back from a short break!

Went to UK to visit my sister and her husband and then made a point to visit Brussels and Brugge in Belgium over the weekend. What a wonderful break despite the many little dramas.

Drama No 1 : Went to the airport and was denied check in because my passport was expiring in less than 6 months. So to anyone traveling abroad - MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORT IS AT LEAST 6 MONTHS before expiry date. Even a short of one day would make you miss your flight. Mine was short of 13 days so go figure :(

I went back home with my luggage, heartbroken and all. Came Monday morning I left early to renew my passport and board the next flight to UK on the same day.

Tips for Passport Renewal : Takes 2 hours, get your passport photo ready (2 pcs), make sure you have RM300 of cash in your pocket and a copy of your IC (front and back on the same page).

Drama No 2 : Left my Euros in UK as we board the train to Belgium -_-'

Tips : travel with someone much more cautious than you i.e. your eldest sister. My Along had 300 euros to spare for us three so we went on a budget holiday to Belgium with her pocket money hehe.

Of course I paid her back once we were back in UK, but stillllll can you imagineeeee...300 Euros for 3 days, for 3 people? Hahahha. SuperTightBudgetTrip, God really wants us to save and not splurge!

Speaking of budget, I'm starting to realize a very familiar and routine financial circle in my life.

It starts off with me saving money for a year. Feels rich looking at bank statement, off for a holiday, spend as if I earn 6 digits per month, get minor heart attack from bank statement, swore to never travel again, feel guilty and start saving again, feels rich looking at bank statement, off for a holiday....well, you get the picture hehe.

What I'm trying to say is at this point, I'm BROKE. And I really miss the time when I was studying and my parents would take me on a holiday trip for free!!! They said I'm an adult now, earning my own money but seriously, aren't we forever our parents KIDS and should therefore be treated like one at all time? I really wouldn't mind a lifetime of sponsored traveling. Hehe.

So anyway, back to my travel tale, my first stop was London. I'm gonna be honest by admitting that I didnt do much touristy stuff. We go there regularly because my sister and her husband works in London so Big Ben is fast becoming just another antique building. The more important reason is, well you'd be crazy to go to London and NOT shop. It's the best place to shop in the world and the weakening Sterling just made it even better!

So I made my usual pilgrim to.....Bicester Village - and went crazy shopping for my life =D

 Next Stop - Richmond, for a bit of life outside the hustle and bustle of Londontown.

Such a calm place to live in

 Weekend Stop - Brugge, Belgium

We went crazy shopping for Belgian chocolates, hehe.
Final Stop - Brussels, Belgium.

Manneken Pis
Belgian Waffles, yummeyh!
My trip was rather short so I was out walking about town ALL the time. My ankle ligaments got swollen and for two days, I was limping with a blue feet and it actually really, really hurts. But I could not spend thousands of Ringgit just to be in a hotel room so I HAD to go out.

Personally, my favorite stop was most definitely Brugge because it's so different from the capital cities that I am used to. My sister even said it's nicer than Venice, so yes - it's very pretty the pictures don't do Brugge justice!

To sum up my trip:
1. Things to Do in Belgium
- Go to Brugge
- Go to Bruparck where they have the Mini Europe but note that the park is CLOSED for maintenance from January to March *smacks self on forehead*
-Take a picture at the Atonium because it's the last remaining thing of Belgium World Expo
- Grand Place, a much grander Dataran Merdeka for them Belgians
- Pay a visit to see the small boy peeing in public i.e. Manneken Pis
- Go to Lucky Charm just to make a wish for fun
- Try their traditional fries dipped with Mayo (My asian tastebuds still prefer Chilli Sauce :P)

2. Things to Do in London

Hehe. I'm just being honest! I mean, Big Ben, London Eye and the lot you can find in the post cards but Hugo Boss top at 19 Pounds? Only at Bicester, baby!



Anonymous said...

Lovely post! Do update more :)

Anonymous said...

I have included Brugge into my travel wish's similar to Geneva Old Town..guess all the european old town look the same..

Azzahraa said...

haha i am going to miss london soon too! btw that pic of us sleeping in the train???? big THANK U to your bro in law ;)

dani said...

you are gorgeous toots! beautiful pictures :D

dani said...

you are gorgeous toots! beautiful pictures :D

Leesa said...

you pretty pretty thing :)

Toots said...

Thanks guys, yes Along we should record abg amir when he's fast asleep next time. Payback time!!! Hehehe.

Anon 2, Brugge is sooo colorful with cute chocolate and handycraft shops at every corner of the's a really pretty village!

your blog follower said...

hello toots! you had to go home? seriously? what happened to the initial flight ticket then?

Toots said...

Yeah I did, LOL.

I had to pay a change fee of RM140 and the price difference of the next available flight :(

Cik E said...

hi Toots... just saw ur family story in Nona Magazine..such a lovely family u have..

Anonymous said...

is ur sister coming back for good?

Btw u seems to have such a flawless complexion!! Green envy !

Maybe one day u can write about ur skim regime and skincare u r using..


Special request from AJ's loyal reader

Toots said...

Thanks Cik E! And yes Anon, my sister is coming back for good :) Thanks a lot for the compliment but my skin isn't exactly 'flawless'. Heheh. First investment to a good skin is definitely a good camera....and perhaps less make up! Heheh

Miss M said...

Hi toots...thanx for posting about definitely worth a visit..appreciate if you could let me know how long does it take to travel to brugge from london? Did u take eurostar to brussels first or it reached brugge directly from london? Strongly considering of going there :)

Toots said...

We took Eurostar from London to Brussels, its about 2 hours train ride. The next day we leave for Brugge in the morning via local train. If I'm not mistaken its about 30 mins to 1 hour train ride from Brussels to Brugge :)

petite girl said...

sweet senior!

p3@nu+k@caNg said...

ajjrina...kem slm azzahraa..
nice pics n u r looking good my junior :)

Anonymous said...

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