Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We Are So Sorry Rina
Last two weeks was a tragic day to our family especially to my wife. The tragedy just happened within split second. I still remember that morning, before I drove to work, I let Rina played in the garden. I want her to familiarize with the surrounding and the garden. I never thought that something bad will happen. About 8.00 a.m my wife started the car and suddenly she heard screaming from Rina and immediately she stopped the engine. Rina was thrown from the engine and lying in tremendous pain on the turf. My wife was panic and confused of what had happened. Then she realised that Rina was palying at the fan of the engine and the fan hit her right fore leg.
Immediately my wife drove to meet the vet for treatment. The leg was broke. The Doctor told us whether we wanted to salvage the leg. There were two choices for us to choose either to amputate the leg or join the bone through surgery ( I dont really know what is the correct medical term). I told my wife we better salvage her leg as we possibly can and dont worry about money. The Vet said that we need to refer her to the Veterinary Clinic at University Putra because they have all the facilities. So the next morning I sent her to the clinic and after detail check the doctor decided to hospitalise her to stabilise her condition before any decision being made.
Last Monday the Doctor told me that they got no other choices except to amputate her leg. Now Rina only have three legs to depend on and she is handicap. Next week on the 4th Dec I need to take her again to see the Dr to remove the stitches. The total cost for her medical treatment and surgery about Rm500. It is not the money that matter, but it is more of her life and depress emotion to deal with in order to survive like a normal cat. For sure my wife feels guilty for the rest of her life to Rina and me too.....

From Vienna to Bratislava
Bratislava is the capitol of Slovakia. Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia during the communist era and finally broken up into two separate country i.e. Czech and Slovakia. I can say that Bratislava is a small city. Prague is bigger than Bratislava. It situated about more than 100 km from Vienna and can be accessed by train for a 40 to 60 minutes ride.
Our first intention was to stay in Bratislava for a day, but since it is very close to Vienna then we decided to be there for a day trip. I cannot remember the train cost but it is very near. Since we don't have enough time and got to arrange with so many things therefore we decided to be there on Sunday. Unfortunately all the shops were closed during week end only Tesco opened to public. Not many people here are English speaking and we were struggling to communicate will locals. All signages written in Slovak and made our life more miserable. Luckily we found aplace like a square to buy few souvenirs to take hope.
Almost the same souvenir you can get here but very limited
I cannot remeber the name of this fort/castle. One of tourist attraction. Just taking photo from a distance.
Local architecture.....quite unique
There is a market in the building but everything was closed during week end. Everything was so quiet.
These signages might help you to solve few directions
Local building with nice architecture
Anybody to tender this plate??
Me, infront of local council
anything interesting to buy??....
Have a short rest.....kaki pun dah letih
Spotted something different for you to enjoy
Local girl
Another local girl expressing her smile. We bought few t-shirts here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

From Prague to Budapest
It was not easy to manage your travel especialy when you have limited time and budget. You need to decide where and when to go first and which hotel to book. At the same time you have to find the info for the train or bas schedule and where is the station for next departure. Everything you need to plan in advance unless you are guided by the travel agent and everything is prepared for. With this mode of travel i.e. free and easy, everybody must play their role and must be in mobile and alert all the time especially being in a country that almost alient to you.
The train to Budapest from Prague was schedule at 11.00 p.m. We only spent two days and one night in Prague. Sometimes it is better to travel at night at least you can sleep on the train coach and save your budget. We expect to reach Budapest about 7.00 a.m. We already book the hotel but the hotel emailed us that they cannot comfirm immediately but only by tomorrow morning and we need to call back for comfirmation. The journey was tiring and boring since you cannot enjoy the scenery. What we did was sleeping all the time. Once a while the immigration officers will come to check our pasports and a security man will come and check our tickets. We finished our fajar prayer and sahur in the train as usual. From time to time there were some locals joined our compartment and with an awkward look to us. Who give a dam anyway.
Surprisingly, in Budapest at the main rail station there were plenty of local people approaching you to offer accomodations with very cheap bargain especially for budget travelers. But I would like to advise that you better inspect the room first before you agree to accept because the photo they presented might deceive you. Luckily we manage to secure the one near to the British Embassy and sneak to their wireless internet eventhough the room quality was not that excellent. Hahahaha...never complaint since you are a bufget traveler.
First came into my mind was how to get halal food? Fortunately there were many arabs in budapest which we never imagine and the halal food was not a problem. Infact there are three masjid in Budapest or people call them Islamic centre.
Budapest is quite similar to Prague interm of transportation and city. Language was not a problem at all but you may face problems when you speak to older generation. Since we were not familiar with trams and busses therefore we decided to follow the tourist guide for one day sight seeing.
Szabadsag Bridge
Statue of Hero's Square at Pest
Buda castle viewing from the hill and the surrounding city of Buda.
Fishermen's Bastion....my tourist guide told me that this place was not meant for the fishermen but was the area for protection against the enermies.
The Parliament
The Parliament. We were not allowed to enter the building because there was massive demonstration by public against the ruling government. So my advice is stay away from local politics and cultures when you are in somebody's country.
The Parliament
I cannot remember what is this building. it just like a square or garden situated about 300 meters form the parliament.
I cannot remember the name of this building but I snapped it at down town Pest
Hehehehehe...that is me. I am also taking the oppurtunity to take many photos
This was our meeting point for the sight seeing. I was standing in front of St. Stephens Basilica Cathedral and it is open to public. Newly renovated and rejuvenated. That was the first time I be in the church for my general interest and view.
That background building like roman architecture ia near to the Hero's Square
Budapest is made up of two words of Buda and Pest. On the right is called Pest and the left is called Buda. They were separated by Danuba river and connected by Erzsebet Bridge. I hope I am making the right statement...hahahahah.
I dont know what is this boy's name but he looks like Peter Pan
We complete our visit for two nights and two days. In general It is ok to be here but the people are not that courtesy compared to Asian. We dont really feel welcoming here. Perhaps because there are too many tourist every year and they just could not be bothered about that. The next morning we need to pack our luggage to go back to Vienna for our next trip to Bratislava, Slovakia.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

From Vienna to Prague
Straight after sahur we went to the railway station heading to Prague. Bags already being packed and to tell Susan that we going to keep our bag in the store and will be back after 4 days time. If Im not mistaken the train planned to leave vienna for prague at 6.30 a.m. Before that, I already browsed the internet to purchase the tickets using Euro Train which can deliver right to your door step at your country. But it was not practical since we got no address and we resided in deep savannah area. So we tought that we can purchase tickets when we arrive Vienna for the Eastern Europe. Then only we relised that the tickets dictate differently when we ask the ticket counter. We got no choice but to proceed with it eventhough quite expensive. One thing must be in your mind if you are in holiday is that never stingy about money. Holiday is for you to spend.
In the journey I occupied my time mostly reading. I need to finish 'A Time to Kill' by John Grisham since I have few more books to complete. The scenery was marvelous and the chill temperature started to evaporate. The journey took about 4 to 5 hours to arrive Prague and we anticipated to be at the hotel by 1.00 p.m. Hotel was arraged vide the internet just a day before we left Vienna. One thing good about being in Europe was that you can easily get connected to wireless and the notebook can be your dearest friend.

Authum was about to season and the leave started to turn yellow and orange. You can see this typical panoramic view with range of mountains, villages and farms. Sometimes I felt like being in the movie .......Anyway it was a very nice and experience journey.

Breclav is the bourder town. We were in Prague now. The photo bit blur since I took it inside the train.
You can enjoy many monuments like this in Europe.
The 15th century Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, Prague.
Hey come and sit next to me.... I found it in front of the shop while window shopping.
Wenceslas Square favoured by thousands of shoppers
Prague is one of the finest and remarkable city in Europe. The mixed colours and architecture really translating its own beauty. You can find many tourist espacially Japanese. They will storm to Prague especially during summer.
Prague is famous with its splendid and gorgeous Bohemian Crystal. You can find plenty of souviner shops selling crystal from miniature crystal to a very big crystal vase. I dont think those were cheap. I dont buy any crystal coz I dont really like it anyway but I bought few crystal earings for my wife.
One of Czech tradition is puppetry, both at the theatre and in endless numbers of souvenir shops. The marionete came in numerous sizes, characters and prices
This photo I took from Charles Bridge with a back ground of Old Town and Josefov (The Jewish Quarters)

Wooden toy
The display of numerous photos collected by different artist and places all over the world.

The entrance of Charles bridge that will flood tourist during summer. You can enjoy some music entertainment by local musician and some other local art was also sold here.

Nice view isnt it!!! I dont know where it was but we were lost on the way to find something.

In Prague you also can enjoy beautiful building with delicate architectural work. Just wonder why cant we have this kind of building here.
I was so tied and need some rest. I was waiting for my friend to buy his shoes. I dont know how many of shoes he needs to try before deciding the best on.
Transpotation was never a problem for tourist like us. You can use tramp, taxi or underground train. But the underground is not that complicated and magnificant compare to the one in London. We were lucky because our hotel was within distance to all the areas in Prague city. Walking by foot is enough but very tiring coz you need to go to many places.
Kiosk....you can get poscard, maps and many more here.

Fruit stall next to Tesco

Finally we found the mosque for our iftar. Thank god after an exhausted journey, finally we manage to rest. This is a picture with our Malaysian students / young doctors. Arif and Khairul came to my house for lunch last summer holiday in July. Now if I were to go back to Prague got no problem of accomodation since I can tumpang lepak kat rumah mereka.
Anyway before I pen off, I would definately suggest that please endevour to be there if you have some extra. Prague is really a nice city. For your information I always travel with my free and easy instinct rather than following the agent. I feel it convenient that way.....