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You’ve read it right! I went for a trip that I never would have imagined ever going…. DISNEY WORLD!!!

A few months ago when Mat said there will be a conference in Disney World, I said, “I’m definitely following you to THIS conference!!” So exciting!!!

However, the morning that we were suppose to fly did not start well. We were suppose to leave for the airport at 6am to catch the 9am flight. At 5am, I received a message that the flight has been delayed 3 hours. So, I thought it will be alright to go to the airport later. At 8am, out of curiosity, Mat called the airline to ask if we have to be at the airport to check in even though the flight has been delayed.

BAD NEWS! You still have to be at the airport and checked in for the original time! Our hearts dropped.

Anyway, to cut the story short, we made it to the airport by 8.45am, and the counter staff said… “It’s alright. The flight has been delayed.” I tell you…. we were both sooooo relieved! Lesson learnt, you still have to check in on time for the original flight time even though it has been delayed 3 hours.

We flew United Airways.  The flight was good. I felt that the staff kept feeding me all the way to Orlando. We transit Newark Airport(in New York), because Mat didn’t want to transit in JFK, because of the security check nightmare stories. Newark Airport was ok. Immigration check and security check was pretty fast.

Upon reaching Orlando, we caught the free Disney Magical Express Bus to our hotel. It takes around 45 minutes from the airport to the hotel. You will be entertained with a mini quiz and Disney World adverts in the bus.

We stayed at the Disney Contemporary Hotel because that’s where Mat’s conference was held. I would not recommend this hotel if you’re going there for a holiday. Because we later found out there are nicer and cheaper Disney resorts dotted all around this place.

Upon checking in, we were given these Disney bands. Personalised. With our name printed under it. It’s our hotel key, our entrance ticket to all the Disney theme parks that we purchased, and, if you register your credit card to it, you can pay everything with this band. Very high tech!!

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Just in case you’re thinking what if someone stole that band? Well, you have to register your finger print with it too. Smart eh? And scary at the same time. So much of my info in there.

Welcome to our hotel room. Too big! I only have enough body to sleep on one bed. But extremely comfortable. I miss the pillows. It was one of the best pillows I’ve ever slept on.

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The bathroom. I can dance in there.

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As you can see, this hotel is called Contemporary, and well, it’s contemporary designed. Very business-only kind of hotel. Well, Mat came here for a conference, and not to play…

It was a really tiring day. Have to sleep for an exciting day tomorrow!

Cardiff

After spending the whole morning in Swansea, off we went to Cardiff, the capital of Wales.

We found on the internet the BEST fish and chip shop in Cardiff, and unfortunately the chips didn’t meet my expectation. The fish was alright.

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The cardiff market. Very similar to Swansea market.
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Next, is the arcade. Reminds me very much of the Royal Arcade in Melbourne.
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Even the variety of shops inside is similar.
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A tv channel recommended this cafe called Madame Fromage. But we were too full to try anything. Maybe next time.
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Cardiff Castle, the city’s leading attraction.
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It’s more of a collection of buildings scattered around a central green. We didn’t realize the entrance fee is SO expensive. So we decided not to go in. But I managed to take a picture of this building in the middle.
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The clock tower, which you can definitely see from outside the castle.
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Sights around the city.
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Last stop is the National Museum. Entrance is FREE!
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Devoted mainly to natural history and art. It’s considered one of Britain’s best museums.
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A quick view of St John the Baptist Church.
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And a quick drive around.
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And then, home sweet home.

Swansea

Our next stop after Anglesey is Swansea. We actually arrived here late evening, checked in our hotel, hunt for a simple dinner and headed back to the hotel and slept. Mathias was dead tired because we didn’t realise the drive from Anglesey to Swansea took longer than expected.

Swansea is a lovely town by the beach. There’s also the Swansea University here.

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The university is right opposite the beach!! Imagine, living in one of the houses here and waking up every morning looking out to a fabulous beach. Amazing.
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And yes, I managed to get a jump shot! Good one yeah?!
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Walked around the city centre. Can’t remember the name of this church.
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Dropped by the city market.
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Wasn’t a particularly busy day, because it was still the holiday week.
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If you ever come here, try the Welsh biscuits. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of it. It tastes something like scones. They sell it everywhere in this market. Rather than baked, it’s cooked on a hot plate.
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Next, a castle.
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Walking along the streets.
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A museum that was closed.
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Another museum, that was opened, but nothing interesting.
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View of the docks.
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Ships.
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This post is long overdue. We went on a road trip after Christmas, just before New Year’s. Before you try and guess what the town with the long name is, we’ll get there.

Our first stop is Holy Island, Holyhead, in Anglesey. Not sure what’s so holy about it. There’s a lighthouse there, which was closed to the public, because of winter. With good reasons.

IT WAS DARN WINDY!
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I kid you not. It was so windy that I couldn’t even open my eyes. I was so tempted to do a jump shot because of the scenery and all, but I dare not, in fear of getting blown off the cliff.

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No wonder it’s closed throughout winter.

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Our next stop, is the town with the long name. When you enter the town, it even welcomes you with a board saying “Welcome to the town with the long name”.

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Are you ready? The town name is:

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.

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This is the “famous” train station that you MUST take a photo with when you get there. It even teaches you how to pronounce it. Try pronouncing it.

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By the way, there is a short form for this name. It’s Llanfair-PG. That’s all… lol… I should have told you that earlier.
Why did we decide to visit this town with the long name?
Because of the long name of course! Why wouldn’t you?
LlanfairPG is a small little welsh town in Wales. And there is a meaning to the name. It means:
St Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of llantysillio of the red cave.

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They named the town with this record breaking name with the purpose of trying to attract more visitors. I’m very sure they succeeded. It definitely caught my attention.

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Next, we drove to another little town called Beaumaris.

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Interesting building with a short door.
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Beaumaris Castle.
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Menai Bridge.
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Belated Winter

This evening, I was expecting my husband at the front door…

but no…

I was pleasantly greeted by a snowman…

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I may be exagerating, but it was funny. Poor snowman… i mean… husband… had to cycle through the snow today.

Rugby

The game, rugby, was invented here, hence the name of the town, Rugby. If you’re a rugby fan, this is the place of pilgrimage.

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The game was invented at Rugby School in 1823. A student, William Webb Ellis is said to have caught the ball during a football match and broke the rules by running with it. Mathias found out the tuition fee to study in this school, £11,000 a year! I’m guessing some of the students are under a rugby scholarship, world champion hopefuls.

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Opposite the school is the Webb Ellis Museum. FREE! It’s a really really small museum.

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Walking through the town is quite nice too. But the day we went was so windy. A storm called Desmond was passing through north of England.

The last attraction is the Rugby Art Gallery Museum & Library. Free too!

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I saw a very nice doll house.

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And a very old fridge.

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That’s all about Rugby. Maybe I should try watching a rugby match before I leave England. I think I would like to watch a match with the All Blacks in it😉

Bath

One day, Mat said, “Let’s go to Bath”. I replied, “Ok, let me get my towel”.

Jokes aside, Bath was really a city where people took their bath publicly, togetherly, unashamedly. There, I just created a new word. Home to some of the nation’s grandest Georgian architecture, and one of the world’s best-preserved Roman bathhouses. It’s found on top of natural hot springs.

Legend has it a king, found Bath some 2800 years ago when his pigs were cured of leprosy by a dip in the muddy swamps. The Romans established the town of Aquae Sulis in AD44 and built the extensive baths complex.

Bath became the only city in Britain to be declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.

First stop, the Bath Abbey. It’s the last great medieval church raised in England. It’s most striking feature is where the angels climb up and down stone ladders, and no, it’s not Jacob’s dream, but a dream of the founder, Bishop Oliver King. Maybe he was meditating on Jacob’s dream.

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Just in front of this abbey, is the main attraction of Bath. The Roman Baths. It’s a construction of bathhouses above three natural hot springs which is at a steady 46C.
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The heart of the complex is the Great Bath, so-called “sacred spring”. Though now open-air, the bath was originally covered by a 45m-high roof. So since the roof is gone, the warm water is exposed to sunlight, encouraging growth of algae, therefore, the green colour.
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Another view from another corner.
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This is how it used to look like originally.
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Hot springs still run through the entire building.
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Drains directing the water in and out of the building.
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Can you see the steam?
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Sick people will sit down and soak in the healing waters.
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What’s left of the bath now.
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You must wonder what are those columns. There used to be a tile floor on top of it. Bathers after a bath, will sit on these tile floors and sweat themselves out. Hot air is circulated between the columns under the tile floors. So it’s like a sauna.
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Next, a short stop at the Parade Gardens.
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Nice view of the Pulteney Bridge. The bridge is lined with shops like the bridge in Florence’s Ponte Vecchio. The one in Florence was full of shops selling gold. This one however, very normal looking shops.
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Walked pass the Theatre Royal, which is still in use today.
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The Queen Square, oldest of Bath’s Georgian Squares.
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The Circus is not a place to see acrobats and clowns, it’s a roundabout🙂

This Circus however, is designed to echo the Colosseum in Rome.
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And lastly, the Royal Crescent. Similar in design,  but not a full circle, hence the name.
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Bath is definitely a must visit city in England too, unique, I would say. But if you can, try to avoid going into the city on weekends. It’s packed with tourists. And the road leading into Bath is annoyingly small. Just because it’s a Unesco Heritage, they can’t change anything, just restore.

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