D-15

Sep 27 2018

Flight ticket? Yup. Backpack? Uh-huh. New phone? Hell yeah. GoPro? Needs charging and cleaning up. City guides? All on phone. Done packing? Nope. Guess I've got my weekend planned out!!

D-7

Oct 05 2018

Rail routes mapped out! Next question is... How long do I actually want to stay in each city??

DAY 1

Oct 12 2018

At the airport:

Got my money exchanged, got some allergy stuff for my nose, and got a little pissed over some Chinese tourists who take ages fussing over payment (for unreasonable reasons) at the cashier.

#minorannoyance

Hong Kong International Airport

Hong KongHK

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

NetherlandsNL

At Schiphol airport:

My non-stop runny nose and sneezing is killing me. Begging for the meds combo to work. 👃🏻🤧 #canichopmynosepls

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

NetherlandsNL

Charles de Gaulle Airport

FranceFR

Upon boarding the Air France flight:

Apparently European flights use oven style heating on board. Cathay Pacific and other Asian airlines on the other hand normally turn on the AC to ice cream temperatures. And it's past my HK bedtime. 😴❄️🌡️

#feelinghothothotforthewrongreasons

Mid-flight from Schiphol to CDG:

Sadly no booze on board. And the one time I want a Sprite, only Coke is available. #fail

Touched down at CDG! No needed immigration or customs area to pass through (already did it through Schiphol). What a breeze! My good friend Sylvain came to pick me up at the airport and drove us back to his parents' home where I'd be staying for a few days recuperate. Some gold gin tonic to celebrate!

DAY 2

Oct 13 2018

Woke up at 11am. Sorted my Paris-Strasbourg train ticket through Sylvain and different long distance transport options for airport and Gare de l'est (Thanks ! 😘) Greeted the parents and met the dog and cat of the house before late breakfast. 🐶🐱🍳

Went to Auchun to see if there is an Orange store to get a new European sim card.... Turns out the Orange store there was under renovation! Turned back, took a brief break at home (French lunch hours) and walked back out to try our luck at the tabac (corner shop)... Guess what.... Closed too! 😅😅😅

Our friends Cyril, Tina and Reinhard came to visit! Headed out to the Carrefour supermarket to buy snacks like cold cuts and cheese and tonic for our gin at our mutual friends' home for dinner tonight. 🏡🍽️🍷

Finally got my Orange SIM card!!

Made it home at midnight after trying to stop from nodding off since 9pm. Shower and sleepy time! 🚿😴

DAY 3

Oct 14 2018

Hello from France! Woke up at 8am to post photos and make further bookings for Vienna. Hotels are so expensive there and so easily sold out!!

Scored a bed for less than €25 a night at the CBD after further digging...GOOOOAL!!!

Got back at 10pm and hung out with Sylvain until 2am. Nice time to just bullshit a little bit and relax with reggae before my next destination.

DAY 4

Oct 15 2018

Good morning from Saint Michel sur Orge one more time ! Finally got my Air BnB in Prague settled for the weekend! I'm sure the privacy and my ability to sprawl my things everywhere is going to be a luxury by the time I'm done sleeping in hostels for most of this week.

Saint-Michel-sur-Orge

FranceFR

Paris

FranceFR

On RER from Saint Michel sur Orge to Paris:

Putain. Announcement in Putonghua. 🤦🏻‍♀️

On line 5 metro in Paris:

Random people suddenly jamming on guitar and singing in the subway train. "I'm your Venus! I'm your fire!" 🎸🎵🔥🔥🔥

Paris

FranceFR

Strasbourg

FranceFR

On train:

So much peace and quiet. The trains are so clean and the people on the train are so nice and quiet while minding their own business by staying silent. I wish I can implement this on the Chinese and Hong Kong counterparts!

I've arrived in Strasbourg! Now to walk my way to the hostel!

Hostel is fantastic! Clean, and only 3 beds. Will test it out later tonight. But will have to sleep earlier tonight, check out time is 9am.

After dinner:
Decided against going for a night out and headed straight back to the hostel instead for an earlier night in.

At hostel:
Roommate was in the house. Initially I was excited to meet her, but soon after we did some initial introductions, she started going on a monologue of her life story. I would have been interested, except it was TMI.

I'm not kidding. Waaaaaay TMI.

It wasn't the "I went to Paris and it was fucking awesome!" kind of life story. It was "I was abused...people were following me...blah blah...I had my car tires slashed...you know those satanic rites...yadda yadda...people were performing voodoo on me...more blah blah...my brother died of heroin abuse last year...more yadda yadda...I'm 48 years old and I'm old...I'm applying for political asylum, do you think France is good for that?" (How the fuck should I know??)

For. 45. Fucking. Minutes.

PUTAIN.

Please...make it stooooop... 😭😰😱🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

This was definitely the one time when I was absolutely terrified. After asking 15 minutes into her monologue I started texting Sylvain to inform him of my situation (in case shit happens) and gathered all my important belongings, changed my pants and just lay in my bed. I didn't even want to go brush my teeth.


I set the alarm for 7:30am so I could leave sooner (check out time 9am).

Soon, I slept.

Woke up time and time again to hear the roommate snore or talk in her sleep.

My stuff is still on me? Good.

Next morning we awoke at around the same time. She went back to her monologue as I started packing my backpack. She needed a coffee and went out the room.

As soon as she left, I immediately grabbed my toothbrush to just do a quick brushing, took a piss, checked my money, and bolted out to check out.

I sincerely wish all the best to her, but seriously, I hope I won't need to encounter more roommates of this quality. 🤦🏻‍♀️

DAY 5

Oct 16 2018

Place Broglie

FranceFR

Parlement européen Strasbourg

FranceFR
Dear Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong City Planners, this is what a park should look like! Here is a photo for your reference in case you are actually going to execute this plan! You're welcome!

End of Strasbourg. A quick bite and a beer for the road. 🥨🍺

See you in Munich! 😉🇩🇪🍖🍻

Strasbourg

FranceFR

Munich

world

DAY 6

Oct 17 2018

Looked up some night life to go to in Munich. Went to the hostel to shower and come back out again. But the hassle and my fatigue got the better of me and I ended up falling asleep early. 😴

DAY 7

Oct 18 2018

Servus München! Off to the train station after an early start.

Munich

GermanyDE

Salzburg

world

Got a random search (for drugs) by German immigration and customs officials. I had nothing to hide, but a team of 4-5 intimidating Germans coming down on you to prepare to arrest you at any moment on a travel size Asian girl doesn't exactly make me feel comfortable either.

A little terrifying, but they were done after 5-10 minutes of giving the inspector guy a grand tour of my belongings.

Most important question of the day: where on earth do I start??

After getting my Salzburg city pass:

Lost in translation. After a little figuring out, finally learned to take a bus that's headed downtown.

And I've only got about 6 hours worth of exploring to do!

I was already out-museumed. Time for food break...
For once, the photos I take are actually doing justice. #Huawei #Leica

Salzburg

AustriaAT

Vienna

AustriaAT

On the train:

I know German language based cultures are very on time. But not to the point where the open door for your train only lasts 10 seconds! 🚉👀

Lesson learned: pay further attention!

PS: The lady on train looks like Madam Hooch in the Harry Potter movies. 🎥🤓


At hostel in Vienna:

The locker design sucks! So you need those big massive locks so that the opening doesn't move. The hook on my luggage padlock is way too skinny to hold the opening in place.🙄

I did consider getting a new padlock downstairs but the damn thing costs 5 bloody Euros.

Going to wait until the morning to consider a few options. 🤔


Checking out itinerary for next week:

I currently have everything booked until Berlin. Everything else is not confirmed yet.

So, time to look up details and start arranging for next week's leg!

I found sad news about Cologne...just a few days before on Oct 15 there has been a hostage situation. To give everybody a peace of mind, I'm tweaking my itinerary.

Hamburg maybe...? 🤔

I'll need to go to fish markets then! 🤓😁🐟🐡🦈🐙🦀🦐🦑

DAY 8

Oct 19 2018

At 6:00am:

Arranging the itinerary for segment between Berlin and Paris (Oct 23 - 31). Hamburg looks good, but definitely need to consider flying out to Amsterdam instead of taking the land route (come on...6 hours and 4 changes?? I may as well do the same by flying but less hassle during that slot!).

Currently backwards engineering my trip from Paris. I've got those free tours I want to join!!

Joined a walking tour. The tour guide really knows her history inside out! Most of the tour consisted of talking about Maria Theresa and the palace that was built (bigger than Versailles!), the Austrian monarchy during the reign of the Roman Empire (Hapsburg family), the story of the fight of the original recipe for sachertorte with the Demel confectionery, and of course...Sisi of Bavaria. 🇦🇹👑

End of tour and near the house of Mozart! Tour there first!

5 minutes after going inside :
Nope! Waaaaaaaay too many people... 🙄

Guess lunch time for me then! 😋

I'm properly fed. Exploration time! 👟🏃🏻‍♀️

It's only 3pm, but I am so getting my dinner so I don't need to fight for space.

Headed to another recommended café called the Frauenhuber for 3 important things: the schnitzel, a Vienese coffee, and of course, the sachertorte. ☕🥧🇦🇹

Meal times are great for 2 things: resting, and organizing legs of your trip.

A couple of issues still needed to settle for my route from Hamburg to Amsterdam. 1. There are no frikking direct trains. 2. A lot of routes took 3-4 hops stops. No fucking way I'm doing that. 3. The cheapest most reasonable time and cost was by air. 1 hour flight. But aside from the 50€ offer for that 6:40am flight, everything else cost 300-500€. For a 1 hour flight? Really?? And 6:40 is way too much hassle when you back track to ways to save transport costs.

It just meant a little more research: check all destination cities that were available for Amsterdam and push for a 1 stop layover instead.

So...Hannover is on the cards for a good layover! Checked all times, gave about an hour for any delays, and found more reasonable prices. It's still a long trip to Amsterdam, but with way less hassle.

And I'm staying 3 nights there to recover and make up for lost time.

All this done while sitting at the Frauenhuber Café. 🍰☕

The streets of Vienna are so frequently filled with love music...I love it!

Back to the hostel after the concert. Took the wrong exit. Entire area still feels super dodgy. Marched with strong purpose with my eyeballs glaring around surroundings. Definitely going to stay somewhere else next time.

And when I got to the room, there definitely has been a 100% change in the roommates. Organized and packed the majority of my shit so I could spend less time getting ready after waking up to catch the 6:40 train, meaning my alarm had to be set for the 5am morning call. Dorm shower and toilets still felt way too gross to shower in.

Remind me to give a terrible review.

Turned the lights off and set my alarm. I also made it a point to set a reminder in the alarm, saying "catch train to Prague at 6:30am".

DAY 9

Oct 20 2018
05:05am: Where the fuck am I?? 😳

Good morning! I actually asked that question when the alarm went off: "Where the fuck am I??" ⏰😂📴😅

That reminder I set just a few hours ago? Yup, that actually got me springing out of bed immediately.

Packed the rest of my belongings as quietly as possible (sorry about the noise roomies!), checked out, and was on the road again.

Still dodgy. No effing way I was walking.

But I did take the subway to the station. Good thing that 24 hour visitor card was still usable (I'm very curious, does anybody actually check your tickets on German style public transport??) and there were people waiting for the ride at 5:30am. 1 stop only but saves me the time and energy from glaring at every other person at the dodgy neighborhood.

Vienna

AustriaAT

Prague

CzechiaCZ

First time in a train compartment! And all to myself too! There was free water provided on board. Unrolled my neck pillow and fell asleep immediately.

The VOLO logs are going to have to wait a little, I need sleep. 😴

Bunch of girls come rolling into my compartment at the Brno stop. I go back to sleep again after giving them a droopy glance. 😴😴😴🚫

It's frikking foggy outside!! Nooooo o-o....... 🌁

Conversations with Sagi keeping me up a little bit. Asked him for lunch suggestions to keep me entertained before my check in at my Air BnB at 14:00.

Can't wait!

Prague and Sagi Sir! I'm here!! 🇨🇿🎉

Exchanged 50€ for some Czech Koruna at the train station. I doubt this is a favorable rate but it'll get me going for now.

Brief stroll in the square. Got myself some postcards while waiting for check in.

At 2pm, as agreed, was the check in time. I was amazed at how cute this apartment is. My host Jana was very nice and gave a few pointers on what things I could do around the apartment.

OMG. I HAVE A WASHING MACHINE. 😍

Priorities: chuck everything I don't need to wear for the rest of the day into the washing machine and take a long shower! I feel human again!

That washing machine part though...feels like a luxury after staying in hostels for a week.

Meeting up with Sagi in about 45 minutes.

Got dirty and finished my remaining ribs with my fingers. ✌🏻

DAY 10

Oct 21 2018
Ah PUTAAAAIN. Left my postcards at home! 👻

While on my tour break, I gave the Klementinum a call after searching for their opening hours online. Last tour is at 6pm, but hell no I am not leaving it that late!

Called them twice. I'm anal when I want a couple of answers.

There is still time while waiting for Sagi. I am NOT leaving without seeing the voted "Most Majestic Library in the World".

Ran home to grab my postcards and stop by the post office on the way. Post-office opening hours at the city centre: 2:00am through to midnight daily.

THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME. ✉️📮

Said goodbye to Sagi. I'll miss his company and his intellectual spunk. 🤗

DAY 11

Oct 22 2018

Clothes were dry, cooked a boiled egg and ate that with toast. Feeling a little sad to be leaving my Air BnB (and my ability to do laundry). I still have to post my mail at the post office.

Prague

CzechiaCZ

Berlin

GermanyDE

Angry German uncle sat next to me on the train. Probably trying to blame someone got stealing his sausage.

The German rail has its own app complete with QR code mobile tickets for easy scanning. Why are the locals still printing their online purchase tickets on paper? 🤔
Location here
Random German auntie rolled a train of German at me while I stood at the exits figuring out where to go. Was she trying to help? Probably.

But was it helpful??

Nope! 😅

Finally arrived at my hotel. Took a long break before heading back out for dinner and a Milonga.

Dinner over! It's Milonga time! 💃🏻

Got back to the hotel and asked the reception to help me microwave my pork knuckle for me to take to my room as a post-Milonga snack. It's a giggle. 😂

DAY 12

Oct 23 2018

May need to buy umbrella. It's raining here!

And way too cold to take a 15 minute walk to Alexanderplatz. ❄️😭

5 minutes after seeing a tram and trying to figure out if it will take me to the gate:

Just bloody hop on! You can decide the closest S line stop en-route!

What a great idea that was. Keeping an eyeball on several apps: Maps.me and the Berlin transport line.

Yup, I bloody did it! Got off at the Nordbanhauff and there's a direct S line route to the gate! 💪🏻

DAY 13

Oct 24 2018

Berlin

GermanyDE

Hamburg

GermanyDE

DAY 15

Oct 26 2018
How do you know you're in the Netherlands? Take one deep breath as soon as you exit the train station...if you smell a lot of weed, you know you're at the right place! 🚬

DAY 19

Oct 30 2018
No rain (yet)! Yaaaaaaassssss!
Da fack. 2C today!

DAY 22

Nov 02 2018
Direct train to CDG! YAAAAAAASSSSSS! 💪🏻
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