#1 U-N-I-T-E-D | LC-A+ RL | Provia 100F
If the title didn’t make it clear enough for you, this post is all about football and Manchester United. So if you’re a hater, I would advise you to stay away.
If you have been an avid follower, you might have read about how my love affair with United started. As a kid, I have always dreamed about visiting Old Trafford and even stepping onto the pitch for the Red Devils.
I have finally realised the former! As for the latter, let’s just say I’ll be making myself available once Rooney is off.
LomoTravels: Reminiscing London + Manchester Day 1 / Is It Obvious We Are Starting To Get A Lil’ Bit Homesick?
After days of struggling with unfamiliar signs and language, the sound of the announcement in English onboard the Eurostar was sweet music to our ears. We can read where we’re going. We can pronounce the names of the train stations. We can finally talk!!!
Okay being overly dramatic here but you get the point. With our luggage in tow, we navigated through the intricate metro system and finally reached the hotel – Thistle Holborn. As soon as we stepped into the room, we felt the knots of our body eased up. We really needed this.
Especially when the weather is so miserable. Yep, we got the welcome rain which gave us the perfect excuse to have hot kimchi soup at the nearby Korean joint.
And then this happened.
#1 Let It Snow | Note 2
Freaking snowwwww!! Ok, not proper snow, snow. It’s like the offspring of Mr Rain and Miss Snow after that drunken night of stupor and bad decisions.
Famed for its stained glass windows, the queue into Sainte-Chapelle was surprisingly unassuming. Sharing an entrance with the Palais de Justice, we had to go through a stringent security check before getting anywhere near the chapel.
#1 Dotdotdot | LC-A+ RL | Lomo Xpro 200
Once in, I was pretty much left speechless by these awe inspiring glass panels.
And that’s the first proper phrase I uttered in French. With surprisingly good results to boot.
The ticketing staff understood perfectly and handed over 2 train tickets to Chateau Versailles better known as the Palace of Versailles (for those who studied history for their O-levels).
Spent our time on the train savoring our takeaway breakfast of French pastries with the occasional background music provided by street musicians. So very different from how we travel back home.
#1 Welcome to The Chateau | LC-A+ RL | Lomo Xpro 200
Alighted the train and followed the massive crowd to the palace. Spoiler: more queuing lay in wait.
An early bus and flight equal to a whole load of waiting and traveling and more waiting. Upon touch down, it finally hit home that we are in a foreign country. Signs were all in French which left us scratching our heads aplenty.
Pretty soon enough we got a knack of it; sortie = exit anddddd that’s about it. While struggling through the ticketing machine interface to get our metro tickets, I regretted not picking up a few basic French words/phrases.
Those regrets deepened and literally forced themselves up my nose and mouth in the form of my first meal in Paris. Headed to a cafe which came highly recommended online. Even though it was way past lunchtime hours, the place was still packed to the brim. Thought to self, “This meal is gonna be darn good!”
Finally got a seat and realized the menu is the big chalkboard hung on the wall. Added bonus was that it was all in French. Binbin went for the safe option and ordered poulet which we sorta knew was chicken or poultry.
Feeling helpless (the servers were not fluent in English) and adventurous at the same time, I decided to order a dish called “AAAAA blah Andouillette blah blah blah”.
That AAAAA to infinity totally sold me on it.
Interestingly, andouillette turned out to be “a coarse-grained sausage made with pork (or occasionally veal), intestines or chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings” as Wikipedia kindly puts it. I call it the sh*t sausage.
Obviously this was of nobody else’s fault but mine. I should probably just leave the ordering to binbin next time.
The alarm went off. Eyes opened. First thing out of bed was to ruffle the curtain drapes and peer out the window.
Nevertheless, we decided to push on with our plan to visit the neighboring islands Torcello and Burano. Who knows, maybe by the time we reached, the weather would have improved.
After an hour of traveling which involved transferring from one vaporetta to another, we finally reached the shores of Torcello. At this time, the rain was falling even more heavily. And the winds. The piercing winds!!
Compounding the depressing weather was the virtually empty streets as local vendors were all holed up at home while tourists that were as hardcore/foolish as us were far and few.
An early start to the day with us all geared up for our pre-booked Tuscany tour with Walkabout Florence. Only to meet with a slight setback as it started pouring just as we were about to make our way to the tour bus. It proved to be the only disappointment of the day as the tour turned out to be freakin’ awesome!!
Time flew by all thanks to our guide Steffano who kept us entertained throughout the bus ride to our first stop, Siena. Highlights include the Siena town square also known as Piazza del Campo which is supposedly one of the greatest city squares in the world.