Monday, May 18, 2015

Italy Part 1

Hi peeps. Finally, back to normal, to un-scheduled blogging. :) Today, I am sharing about our travel. Besides paper crafting, travel is another passion of mine. I love traveling, I love experiencing other culture, history, etc. Since I was a little kid, I am always especially fascinated with Europe. Something just pull me towards it. But, of course, I also have Australia & New Zealand on my bucket list.

Recently I finally get to check off Italy from my travel bucket list. Of course, we haven't seen all of it, so, there's still excuse to go back. I think, Italy is definitely one of those country that you cannot go just once. :)

I also want to share a little tip to help cut cost for travel. Get a Chase United credit card. My boss taught us this. Using the point we collected, were' able to get our tickets for free, which open our budget for accommodation, food, etc. Another tip, if your travel date can be flexible, pick the date when the mileage award/points are on sale. For example, an international trip normally take 60,000 point, but they're often on sale for only 30,000 point. If you could go during the time when the points are on sale, you can get more out of your points. Hubby and I rarely travel during the peak season to wherever we plan to go to.

Another reason, we use this card, United team up with so many other airlines, so you have lots of choice, you're not limited to just United Airlines.

For our international trip, I really prefer to use airbnb.com to find apartment than to use hotel. For the same price (or more often for cheaper price) you get more room and better deals. Besides, it give you the chance to experience the city from local point of view. Just make sure you pick a place with lots of good review, that way you can be assure that you'll have a good experience. :)

Originally, we plan on fly in to Rome and skip Milan completely. But, during our search for ticket, we found out that we could fly in to Milan for less mileage awards, so we end up starting in Milan and end in Rome.

For this post, I am highlighting our first stop, Milan, where we spent 2 nights. We arrived early afternoon in Milan, took a taxi (and unfortunately, I think we did get scammed by the taxi driver. Note: from the airport, it's cheaper and safer to just book a ride from the airport. You can take metro of course, but when you're jet lag and tired, car ride seems more enticing) and after checking in to our cute little apartment, went straight walking to the Duomo.


In front of the Duomo.

The architecture of this cathedral is simply amazing. You can't help but appreciate the artistry and the many hours that must be spent to create all the sculpture on this cathedral. The only turn off I found is the street vendors that can be very pushy trying to sell you bracelet, selfie stick, what not. 

The day we arrived, it was sprinkling a bit and the stairs/lift to go up was closed. We came back on the 2nd day and luckily it was open and we're able to go up and got this view.


On top of the Duomo.
For our 2nd day, we took a tour that took us to Como, Bellagio and Lugano, Switzerland. Our first stop was Como where we we took a 2 hours boat cruising Lake Como to Bellagio.


Como Cathedral.

What fascinate me about Italy is the mix of the old and new. Love that they preserve the old buildings and you see people still doing the old school stuff. While waiting for our boat, we saw a market where they also provide free stuff for kids and adults alike to play, like below. Simple stuff, but I appreciate the simple stuff. :)


Bottle fishing game at Como market.

Cruising Lake Como was amazing. Too bad we're missing the Wisteria blooming. We could still see some left over here and there, but didn't get to experience the gorgeous, big bloom like you see on travel brochure.


Lake Como

We could see the Alps and it was majestic. Blue water and the Alps, what a combination. We stopped at Bellagio for lunch, before continuing with bus to Lugano, Switzerland. Boy..., this place is dangerous for chocolate lover! I was able to resist the temptation, but I have to snap some pic. This is one of the display at Laderach Chocolatier.


Laderach Chocolatier.

And, let's end this post with my favorite view. We visited Lugano Botanical Garden and we're awarded with this amazing view. This patch of flowers took my breath away. They're so pretty. Combine that with the blue water and the mountain on the background, it's simply pure delight.
I literally, could sit on this very spot for hours.

Lugano Botanical Garden, Switzerland.

Sigh... I wish I live in a place where you have a place to escape and relax with view like this. LOL, when I sent pic of me with flowers to my family, my brother, Jerry pointed out how I was like my mom, we see flowers and we have to take picture. Hah... the girls in our family do love taking picture with flowers.

Well, peeps, hope you enjoy today's post. I'll be back tomorrow with a fun card and more travel stuff. Eventhough it's not card related, I hope you still enjoy the post. Thank you for stopping by here.

3 comments:

Judy1223 said...

Ahhh, what beautiful pictures and it sounds like an amazing trip! I've been to those places as well and your photos brought me right back! I am with you, I LOVE to travel and can appreciate the amazing architecture and beautiful natural landscapes of Italy and Switzerland. Just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Jackson said...

Wow - your trip looked AMAZING! I agree - that photo of all the colored flowers is breathtaking! Although I'm digging the Chocolatier photo too! YUM!!

Trina said...

I would love to sit there with the flowers and water and mountains too!

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