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Extreme European Pleasure

Good day!
It’s been a while since i last updated my blog few months ago. How you guys been doing so far?

Last June me and wife had the chance to travel in Europe on a conference ticket held in Florence, Italy.  Well Italy was always one of the highest ranked country I would want to visit.  Neither both of us would have thought in our whole life to be given this wonderful opportunity to visit our dream land and it was indeed a dream come true!

Quick Euro Travelogue

We departed from Kuala Lumpur at around 11pm and went through 13 hours direct flight to Amsterdam via KLM Airlines, then in the afternoon boarded again for Rome after 8 hours of transit. After almost 19 hours of journey (plus with Amsterdam transit) we finally arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at around 4.30 pm local time and onboard Tranitalia direct to Roma Termini (Rome’s main train station) and checked in at Alex’s B&B. We stayed one night in Rome and went to some of historic parts of the city including The Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City.

Later in the evening we catched a 45 minutes flight to the beautiful and romantic city of Venice. Goodness me Venice was SOOO darn BEAUTIFUL! Nothing can describe my feelings the moment when we reached there, it was just so remarkable. We went on cruising the Grand Canal (via the Vaporetto/water taxi) and stopped at the famous St. Marco Square for lunch, gelatos, some shoppings, and photos. We stayed at  Ducale Hotel (very nice hotel, excellent services and foods) for 1 night and next day hopped on train and continue our journey to the country’s 2nd larget city, Milan.

In Milan, we stayed at Demo Hotel, located very near with Milano Centrale for 1 night. The hotel provides very good hospitality, beautifully surrounded with lots of paintings painted by the hotel owner itself, Mr Enrico Nicodemo. After morning breakfast (bread as usual), we checked out, leave our baggage at the train station and go round the city before our next train to Florence later in the evening. There we visited the famous Duomo Square and ‘burned’ some money for some luxury shoppings at Armani, Prada and few other world class boutiques. Phew. To burn the calories, we walked for almost 10km  just to reach Italian’s most famous football ground the San Siro Stadium (homeground of AC Milan), have some quick photo session there, and then back to Milano Centrale (another 10km walking) to onboard the next train to Florence (the conference venue).

After few hours of journey via Trenitalia, we finally arrived at Santa Maria Novella Train Station, Florence and took a cab straight to Nord Florence Hotel and stayed there for three days. Day 1, I took a bus to attend the conference held at Piazza Della Calza, located near downtown. It was supposed to be half an hour journey, but since i am new with the town, I had wrongly took the bus, and went south of the city until i realized that the bus was moving in a wrong direction. So I stepped out, waited for another bus back no north, and finally arrived at the conference venue few HOURS later (-_-‘) . Thank god I was there on time (in fact few hours earlier) knowing that i would probably lost in the middle of the journey, so i decided to get out of the hotel earlier. I waited for few minutes, chatting with other participants & making some networkings, then went inside the conference hall, listening to presentations, stopped a while for coffee break, until it’s time for me to get on stage and present my paper later in the evening. The crowd was simply awesome and everyone was kind enough to share their thoughts and knowledge on the topics that I had presented. My presentation was finally over. With a joyful mood I went back to Nord Hotel and pick up my wife to walkaround near downtown. At that time, we were starving and can’t take breads anymore. All we need is Rice for dinner. After few hours of searching, we finally found this one Pakistani restaurant located nearby the Santa Maria Train Station selling Chicken Briyani, Kebab and many other Halal foods. So we had dinner there and eat like a **** hehehe. Alhamdulillah. Oh yeah, the bill was around 15 euros. Next we went to San Lorenzo leather market where the streets are packed with stalls selling leather goods (handbags, wallet etc), t-shirt and other souvenirs. Some of the sellers were Bangladeshi which later, turns out to be our good friends🙂 We spent another 2 days experiencing the taste of Tuscany by visiting the classical city of Lucca, Siena, smalll medieval hill town of San Gimignano (which also known as the Town of Fine Towers) and the world’s famous Pisa Tower. The trip was tiring but experience was priceless.

Finally It’s time to go back after 9 days of wonderful experience in Italy. We departed from Pisa Aeroporto, boarded the AirFrance and stopped in Paris for 2 days. There we stayed at Tim Hotel, nearby the  Gare Du Nord Train Station. Paris was  indeed a fine and highly liveable city. Its iconic Eiffel Tower was simply amazing and everyday packed with tourists coming from all over the world. One good thing about Paris is that you can easily find Muslim community selling Halal foods there. Finally on June 22, we left Paris for Amsterdam and catched our evening flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

It was definitely a worth killing two birds with one stone euro trip. Thank You Allah for the priceless travelling experience. I leave you all with some photos of the trip. Enjoy!

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