Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aleen's Belated Birthday

     Walaupun post ini agak lambat dan tertangguh, tapi nak tulis jugak. Yela, sempena tahun baru nanti, banyak benda yang nak dibelogkan. Selepas pulang dari Spain, masing2 agak busy dan ada plan sendiri, makanya sambutan birthday untuk Aleen pun ditangguhkan beberapa hari lewat dari jadual yang sebenar. Plus, Aleen sendiri pun tiada di Glasgow pada hari lahir beliau.

Kali ni birthday takde surprise2, tapi secara jemputan gitu. Budak perempuan masak main dishes, budak laki buat kuih sampingan je. Katanya Chef Kak Pah kita masak nasi minyak dengan ayam masak hitam. Hitam tetapi pedas! Aku pulak buat burger Malaysia. Alaaa, burger yang macam donat bulat dan diisi dengan sambal bilis dan timun tu. Tapi oleh sebab ikan bilis dah habis, aku pakai ayam je. Up skettt...

Jamuan bermula selepas Isyak, kira2 jam 8.30 pm camtu. Makanan sudah pun disusun rapi di atas meja semasa aku sampai. Tetamu2 lain seperti Wanli, Idris, Najhan & Dila sudah pun sampai terlebih dahulu.

Seperti biasa, selepas doa makan dibaca oleh birthday girl, kami semua menjamah dengan penuh selera tetapi sedikit kepedasan. Memang berpeluh2 masa makan tu. Menu hari ni selain makanan yang disebut di atas ialah karipap tuna, sambal kacang kuda, muffins, potato wedges, mochi, aiskrim dan minuman berkarbonat. Thanks to Hanafiah sebab bawak air sampai 4 botol.

Lepas tu nyanyi lagu untuk Aleen sambil dia potong kek. Potong sekali je, pastu orang lain sambung makan. Kek kali ini ialah marble cheesecake kot.. Kek coklat yang disalut cheese di atasnya. Sedap dan mengenyangkan.. Kek disambung potong oleh aku. Diorang kata aku terer potong kek. Apekah? Hahaha...

Group photo

Next, ada sesi pemberian hadiah. Aku pun bagi Aleen hadiah yang aku dah balut. Aleen bukak on the spot gitu. Segan I tau... Pastu orang lain posing2 bagi hadiah walaupun dah bagi hadiah awal2 dulu. Posing dengan kotak pun jadilah kan.. Sebagai kenangan gitu..

Comel tak kad buatan sendiri aku? >.<

Alhamdulillah.. Majlis berjalan lancar tanpa sebarang masalah, yang penting semua orang happy.. Next birthday, bulan Januari nanti..


Happy Belated Birthday Aleen!
Moga panjang umur, murah rezeki & happy2 di samping orang tersayang.

Ok, itu sahaja update untuk kali ni.

Next update will be about Fort William & Nevis Range trip.. Ski trip tanpa ski gitu.. =/

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter Trip Day 4 - Granada

Today was our last day in Espana. *cry cry*

Sedih woooo, rasa nak jalan2 lagi sampai Madrid & Barcelona, tapi apakan daya takde orang nak plankan.. Hihihi..

Screw this nonsense, back to writing... Our next city would be Granada. Granada is famous for its magical Alhambra, another one of the most important Islamic architecture in the past. Alhambra which means "the red one" is a palace and complex fortress built in the 14th century at the top hill of Assabica, Granada.


As usual, we departed from the hotel right after breakfast in hotel and reached at Alhambra within 5 minutes. Basically, Alhambra is located on the hill just behind our hotel. We were quite early today because there were not so many people at the entrance yet. Atiq gave us a brief explanation about the history of Alhambra before we entered the place. There are a few interesting place to visit inside Alhambra such as Nasrid Palace, Alcazaba, King Carlos Palace and Generalife. The ticket was included in the tour

As soon we entered the place, our tour guides guided us directly to Nasrid Palace. Our entrance time to Nasrid Palace was at 11 am and we must be punctual or else we couldn't enter the palace. Along the way, we visited the baths of the Mosque. So while waiting for 11 am, we visited Alcazaba first. It's a huge fortress with castle-like structure made from hard stones. Alcazaba is one of the oldest parts in the Alhambra and the military area of the complex. Inside, we could find the terrace of the Torre del Cubo, the northern wall-walk, the Plaza de las Armas, the terrace of Puerta de las Armas, Torre de la Vela and the Jardin de los Adarves.Every time we wanted to visit a building, the staff scanned our ticket. Hishh, leceh tau! We climbed a few towers here to see the panoramic view of full Granada city. The view indeed was great! We took several photos here before jumping to another towers. The highest tower had a bell on it and a few poles of flags as well. 

After camwhoring here and there, we climbed down again to the front of Nasrid Palace. However, we still had about 15 minutes before we could enter the palace. So we rushed to King Carlos Palace which is situated just beside the palace. It is a circular building like a colosseum but it contains a few museums and exhibition hall in it.

At 11 am, we entered the Nasrid Palace at last. Nasrid Palace was constructed with three different palaces which were built in different periods. There were Mexuar Palace, Comares Palace and Palace of the Lions. Nasrid Palace is full with Islamic architecture with the carving of Arabic words. According to our guide, the carving was actually a poetry created by the ruler to praise Allah and the prophet. It's simply amazing. It's good when the real carvings were preserved and we weren't allowed to touch the walls. Kecoh la guard tu, baru tersandar sekejap kat dinding pun terus kena tegur.. However, we were a bit unlucky because the Palace of the Lions was under construction that day. They were repairing the lion fountain at the compound. So, when we took photos, we could the the construction people.. Haishhh... Kacau daun betul.. Here, most of my friends' cameras were out of memory space. So I helped them capturing photos..

Our last destination in Alhambra was Generalife. This palace is located further up the hill and consists of lower gardens, the Palace of the Generalife and the upper gardens. The gardens were amazing, with the trees trimmed forming a maze-like arrangement. I loved the greenery so much! After taking photo of all of these palaces, I found that they all looked merely the same with the square courtyards filled with a long rectangular pond and fountains.

Before heading to our bus, we dropped by the souvenir shop to buy some keepsake. The usual stuffs that I bought would be postcards and magnets. The price was quite pricey though.

Granada City

It's a walking city tour this time. After spending much time walking in Alhambra, now we had to walk again to find lunch, mosque and shops. We got lost for a while but finally managed to find a Moroccan street. This street is full with Moroccan restaurants as well as souvenir shops. We were split into groups so that people didn't have to wait for so long for their food. Kak Mona's troop bought kebab from a restaurant at the end corner of the street. I bought Shawarma (€3.00) and Shish Kebab (€3.50). One for now and one for dinner later. Others bought Royal Kebab and Pita Salmon. I like the Shawarma, it tasted limey like tandoori chicken. Slurrpppp~

There is mosque here. It's very convenient because we could pray here. After we prayed, we continued with our shopping. Since today was our last day, we went all out in buying the souvenirs. Takde berkira-kira dah, beli je apa yang dimahukan. Along the Moroccan street, the souvenirs were more expensive than the ones outside the street. So after buying a few expensive things here, we went outside to the main road. Here, the souvenirs were A LOT more CHEAPER! Fridge magnets and key chains for €1.50! Mencanak-canak perasaan ingin membeli belah. I really bought a lot! Magnets, key chains, snow globes, t-shirt, coasters and more postcards!

For the very first time, we all reached the bus on time which was at 5 pm. This was because we had flights to catch in Malaga Airport which is 2 hours away from Granada. During the journey to Malaga, I had a short nap before En. Fuad, Atiq and Haikal gave the finale speech for the trip. It's quite sad to finish our tour because I really want more. All good things must come to an end. I really missed this tour a lot! =(

Granada mementos

Our flight to London Gatwick was the last one for today. Others who came from East Midland boarded their flight earlier than us. We bid goodbye to each other and seek forgiveness for all our our wrongdoings whether intentional or unintentional. 

Last minute souvenirs from Malaga Airport

We spent our night at Gatwick Airport before continuing our journey back to Glasgow on the following day.



At first I thought that this tour was quite expensive. £320 for 4 days / 3 nights is quite pricey for students like us. However, as we started the tour, it become more worthy and I think the money was spent reasonably on the transport and accommodations. The hotels weren't the cikai-cikai ones, there were the best so far. I know we had another option to travel on our own with less budgets and we could stay in cheaper hostels, but travelling in a group of 9 or 10 is sure difficult to manage unless we took a travel package like this. 

Overall, the accommodations was superb. The hotel are more than 3 stars quality. The breakfast was okay. The transport by coach was also okay, except the public bus in Gibraltar. Me no likey!

This tour covered most of the important historical places. We did missed a few but it way nothing compared to the magical Alhambra and the great Cordoba Mosque. I felt satisfied with the service provided the Perantau Holidays. The staffs were friendly and informative too. Terima Kasih! Thanks a lot! Jazakallahu khair! Gracias! You are the best! =)

I brought back a lot of souvenirs too! 22 fridge magnets, 27 postcards and countable other stuffs as well. Puas hati kau... =p

Basically everything that I brought back from Andalucia.. Adios~

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Trip Day 3 - Cordoba

Flipping itinerary...




Alright, today I'm gonna write about my third day at Cordoba, Espana. After flipping the itinerary I found out that we didn't actually visit all of the places stated in there. Ermmm.. It's okay, as long as we visited the main attractions in Cordoba which were Cordoba Mosque and Madinah al-Zahrah.

Instead of going to Cordoba Mosque first, we shifted the plan to visit Madinah al-Zahrah first thing in the morning. After breakfast in hotel, we moved to Madinah al-Zahrah which is located about 30 minutes from our hotel. But before that, Wanji and I had a little walk outside the hotel entrance to mail our postcards in the yellow mailbox. Fuhhh, lega dah pos poskad.. Kalau tak, menggagau kat mana nak cari mailbox lagi.. Alhamdulillah jumpa dekat depan hotel. =)

We arrived at Madinah al-Zahrah museum a little bit earlier because it wasn't opened yet. It opened at 10 am and while waiting, we took photos with the olive trees around the museum. There are a few rows of olive trees inside the museum compound although there are a lot more outside the gates. These olives were black and according to Wanji, they taste bitter. Nasib baik aku tak try.. When the museum opened a few minutes later, we entered the white underground building and paid entrance fee (€1.50). Since both of us entered the museum a bit later than other, we roamed around the place first before entering the auditorium for a 15-minute video presentation. The video was about the history of Madinah al-Zahrah and the Caliph who first inspired the building of this fantastic place. Ermm, I'm not so good in telling history. So you can google it yourselves.. The museum exhibits a lot of the remains of Madinah al-Zahrah masterpiece. From the stones, coins, vases and a lot more.

Madinah al-Zahrah is located on the hill just behind the museum. We took the public bus to reach there. It cost €2.10 for a return ticket and the journey took just 5 minutes. It's very sunny today, but the coldness was still there. The sun shone very brightly today until I had to adjust my camera due to the lighting. The original relics of Madinah al-Zahrah is still visible at least with the stone walls and shapes. The arches still maintain their positions. Madinah al-Zahrah used to be a palace for the ruler, which was the Caliph during Islamic era. Other than that, it also accommodated several rows of rooms, four pools and also a mosque at the side.

By noon, we all gathered at the entrance to take the bus down to the parking area at the museum. Our next destination would be Cordoba Mezquita (Cordoba Mosque). It took half an hour to reach the city back. The mosque is located somewhere in the city. We walked across River Genil Bridge to the Cordoba Mosque area. There are a lot of souvenir shops and restaurants surrounding the place. Plus, there are two or three halal restaurants nearby. Our konco2 decided not to follow En. Fuad but instead we asked his permission to eat at other restaurant in order to prevent overcrowded at one place. Moreover, we still had to find place for prayer. En Fuad brought the others to Restaurant El Sultan while 9 of us headed to Restaurante Teteria Hammam.

Restaurante Teteria Hammam is located besides a few souvenir shops and it was quite easy to find. It serves Moroccan food. Although the food was kinda pricey with the price more than €10 for each meal, we still continued to dine in here because we had no other place to go. I believe the other restaurant also sell at the same price. I bought the most expensive food among my other friends which was Roasted Lamb with Honey. Ahh, lantaklah! Janji sedap & berbaloi! Indeed it was! Other meals that we ordered were Halal Chicken Tajine, Pastella Bastilla Fish and and Fish Brick. We spent almost €20 for food. Cuk cuk cuk... At night, there was supposed to be a belly dance performance here. But luckily we didn't come at night. Rosak mata tau nanti. By the way, the waiter was so kind, he allocated us a room upstairs for us to pray. Gracias!

Wanji called En. Fuad to ask where to meet but he didn't answer. When we were busy shopping for souvenir, luckily En. Fuad called him back. He asked us to meet at Cordoba Mosque compound to distribute the tickets. We were the last group (again) to enter the mosque. As soon as we entered the mosque (now church), my heart felt sad. This place used to be a mosque of a great Islamic kingdom, but now the Muslims aren't allowed to pray here anymore. The government had did some modification to the mosque turning it into a church. However, the original Arabic calligraphy inside the mosque was still maintained and preserved. 

After finishing our tour inside the mosque, we continued to hop into several souvenir shops very quickly. Grab here, grab there and then paid. The time was not enough as usual. Then we returned to the bus across the bridge to continue our journey to Granada tonight.

The bus journey took more than two hours to reach Granada. Along the way, we had stopped once at the service area for coffee and toilet break. I bought a couple of chocolates and a bottle drink.

Our accommodation for tonight was quite luxurious. The hotel was very modern and beautiful. The hotel name is Macia Real de La Alhambra Hotel which is located at the foot of Alhambra hill. Plus, we got to access free wifi without restriction. Alhamdulillah... *wink wink*

After having dinner with the food we brought from Glasgow which were basically buns and tuna we had a little tour around the hotel to take some photos. A few minutes later, tetttttt my camera died. Cis!

Hasil tangkapan hari ini.. =)

Okay, that's all for the third day. Even though we only visited two places today, but the historical impact was very deep.

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