Thursday, October 30, 2008

Giant Causeway

During my extended visit to Northern Ireland, we decided to visit the origins of the Legend of Finn Mc Cool, The Giant Causeway. This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We used the same travel group, Paddywagon Tours.

Giant Causeway

This is the Giant Causeway. I can't explain how amazing it was to be there and you have to be here to experience it yourself.

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the wind was blowing very strongly when you are crossing it. The journey up to the bridge was about 1 KM and well worth the walk.

Dunluce Castle

A photo stop at Dunluce Castle.

Walls Of Derry

Walking around the historic walls of Derry. This was our last stop before we head back to Belfast City.

The weather throughout the day was very wet but manageable. I was not drench and it was clear enough to take pictures.

Cheers

Benny Ong

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cliffs of Moher and The Burren

As part of my trip in Ireland, we decided to see one of the most scenic part which was the Cliffs of Moher and unique rock formations at The Burren. We followed the locally operated tour called Paddywagon Tours which also operates a few youth hostels.


They picked us up from the Tourist center and our journey began. It took us a couple of hours to get there from Dublin.


Here are some photos courtesy of my dearest Song Yia's camera.


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The Main Entrance Cleverly Form Part of a Hill


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The wind was very strong yet refreshing.


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No hair gel was strong enough as my hair looked like it was blow dried.


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The Burren are a landscape of uniquely formed rocks believed to have been as a result of the Ice Age ending. Well, it was definately a sight to see and worth a visit if you are in Dublin!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Paris France

Was here way back in August as a trip to celebrate Song Yia's birthday. We stayed near the Eifel Tower in the most romantic city in the world. We kicked off our trip with a free walking tour with New Paris Tours. This are a bunch of students which work solely on tips and I was fortunate to have joined the pioneering walk in Berlin where this group began. They now cover a few major cities in Europe and the quality of service is a good as any paid guides.


To top it all off, we got the Paris Pass which covers our entry to most paid attractions and the opportunity to cut queues.


Here are the locations I was privilleged to visit during my stay in Paris.


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The ever iconic Eifel Tower


Notre Dame


Notre Dame - We went on top but spend about an hour queueing in the morning.


The Hunchback Of Notre Dame


The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Musee Grevin - The Wax Museum which was a part of the Paris Pass


The Crypt in Notredam


The Crypt below the Notre Dame


Arc De Triomphe


Arc De Triomphe


The Opera


The Opera House - An inspiration on how to decorate my living room. Fit for Royalty!


Musee Du Louvre


Musee Du Lourve - Following Dan Brown's Da Vinci Trails..


Napoleans Tomb


Napoleans Tomb - A bit of a self worshipper as well like me!


Moulin Rouge


Moulin Rouge - Can Can!


Mona Lisa


Mona Lisa - Almost an insult not to visit her while you are in Paris


There other places in France that I would like to visit such a Lille and Nice. I have to disagree that the french are unfriendly as I was lucky not to experience anything unpleasant. Will revisit France again when I have the chance.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Start Your Own Health Store

If you have always wanted to start an online business but have never found out one, why not start your own online store selling health supplements. Below is a screenshot of my version of the health store that I have created.

Areur.com


The commission rates are up to 50% for each sale. A very generous rate as you do not have to maintain any inventory and manage merchant fees (trust me, this is very costly!). The unique thing about this program is that it offers free web hosting as well but I decided to host it on my own servers. This is a very good deal and great for beginners in online marketing.

There is US Toll Free phone support and online chat available as well. All this will contribute to your likeliness of making a sale.

The site is fairly quickly and easily to setup with over 100's of ready made templates for you to use and tons of products to sell. If you rather customize your own website, they provide free content such as high quality images as well for you to use. In my years on being online, I have never come across such a program.

If you are not too keen on hosting your own page, you can use their refferal links for all their major product range.

The minimum payout is $100 and is via Epassporte. The good thing is that it works for many countries including my homeland Malaysia!

There is also an incentive scheme to motivate you to make more sales such as free gift starting from a mouse pad up to other premium gifts.

At time of posting, I have not made any sales yet but I am sure it won't be for long until I make my first sale on this site.

Click here to start now!

Cheers,

Benny Ong

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Morning in October

Rise and shine... Today I will be heading to Victoria coach station to pick up a buddy and perhaps later head on to Bayswater for lunch. I will need to squeeze in a hair cut that I missed last night due to poor planning and watched Coen brothers "Burn After Reading" flick at the Empire in Leicester Square. Very odd movie that keep replaying in my head.



Dinner time last night was good with KL colleagues in the UK. Am very happy and glad to see fellow Malaysians flying the flag high abroad. And yar, I got my residence permit for Germany on my passport. Took a while but finally got there. Clap clap clap!

I have showered and all dressed up for today's outing. Will need to spend about 8 hours carrying my heavy laptop bag I brought with me as I stayed over after entering the London office. Was wearing jeans as I thought it was dressed down Friday but the policy has changed. Well, apologizing is much easier I guess.

Might be heading to Brussels the upcoming week with Switzerland to follow next. Very much looking forward to it and will somehow try to squeeze in more sights if possible (eg. Luxembourg which is about 3 hours away by train from Brussels).

Better start heading off to avoid my buddy having to wait for me. Will do a random post when I retire back to Southampton in the evening.

Cheers

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ancient Service Desk

Well, if you work in IT and are familiar with the Help Desk, you will appreciate this video.



I came across it during a draft presentation preparation for Senior Management to introduce the Global IT Organization. It is funny and me being fortunate to work in IT can see the funny side of things and it does somehow represent how some consumers are these days.

Have a nice weekend ahead!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Belfast City Northern Ireland

Belfast City was about 2-3 hours ride by train from Dublin if I recall correctly. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Belfast saw the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and since their start in 1969, news of violence and disruption marred the city’s image as a tourist destination. Since the 1997 cease-fire and the Good Friday agreement, however, Belfast is making up for lost time.


You can see the vast difference between two capitals in Ireland and it can stretch to the both extremes depending on where you are. This are some of the popular spots that I managed to take snap shots of.


City Hall


The City Hall


Belfast Castle


Belfast Castle


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Custom House - I can't exactly recall which building this is but guess it is Custom House.


Fish Sculpture


The famous fish sculpture at the waterfront


Peace Wall


Leaving my mark on the Peace Wall


Shankill Road


One of the many Murals at Shankill Road


It is a shame that I was not that knowledgeable of the historical background of the differences that caused the conflict to split Ireland into two but thanks to this visit have a greater appreciation of the history that shaped what Ireland is today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Germany Here I Come

I woke up with a gut feel this morning that I will receive a call from the German Embassy sharing the good news that my work permit is ready and guess what! I did receive a call at about noon informing me of the good news. That is just a little over 3 weeks since I submitted my application.





There are now tons of other things I want to complete before leaving the UK for life in Germany such as terminating my flat agreement and cleaning up my apartment. Hopefully, I will be able to squeeze in a visit or two here and there.


Cheers

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dublin Ireland

Dublin was the first stop of my recent one week getaway from work. It was in conjunction with my birthday. Dublin is the capital of Ireland and it is certainly highly recommended a visit. The city has a population of just over half a million and like many capitals has their own river called Liffey flowing through its center.


Here are some tourist spot I managed to check out during my voyage here:


Trinity College


Trinity College dates back to 1592, and most of the country’s historical figures studied here at one time. The Old Library holds 200,000 historical volumes. The famous Book of Kells and other treasures are shown in the Long Room.


The Book of Kells


The Book of Kells - It is a shame that you can't take picture of it. It is an amazing sight to look at the level of details this ancient book holds.


Temple Bar


Temple Bar - The ever popular spot where the night life centers around. We stayed just next to this iconic bar.


The Statue of Molly Malone


Molly Malone Statue - I finally seen a statue of her. We stayed at a Irish pub cum hotel in Siem Reap named after this lady.


Dublin Castle


Dublin Castle - You are seeing just a bit of it.


Gravity Bar at Guiness Storehouse


Guiness Storehouse - The most visited place in Dublin. This is the Gravity bar where you are seeing Song Yia and me enjoying a pint of Guiness that we draught ourselves. We even got a certificate to proof it!


St Patricks Cathedral


St Patricks Cathedral - A visit to dublin is never complete without visiting it's patron saint!


Christ Church


Christ Church - This is probably the oldest building as it was built in 1038.


Post Office


The General Post Office - The site of the Easter Uprising


The Irish definately lived up to their reputation of being the friendliest as we were approached a countless of times by locals offering to take pictures of both of us while we were taking snap shots of each other.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vienna Austria

Decided to spend a day trip in Vienna, Austria which is roughly 3 hours by direct train from Budapest, Hungary. The capital of Austria with a population of 1.7 million fires your imagination with its rich culture and fascinating buildings. Every corner of your view is filled with magnificent architecture and attention to detail which simply makes our modern development look blend. However, Vienna does have its fair share of new building in the Vienna International City (VIC) or commonly known as UNO City which hosts one of the four UN headquarters in the world.

The well networked transportation system can be grasped easily like many other well established cities. It is served via a mixed of tramps, busses and underground network.

Tourist Attractions that I managed to visit before calling it a day was as follow:

St Stephens Cathedral

St Stephens Cathedral

St Peters Church

St Peters Church

The Parliament

The Parliament

Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace - I would say the most visited place in Vienna.

Rathaus City Hall

Rathaus – The City Hall

Church of St Charles Borromeo

Church of St Charles Borromeo

Imperial Court Theatre

Imperial Court Theatre

Vienna State Opera

Vienna State Opera

I am sure that this will not be my last trip to Vienna and will most certainly make a trip back to this amazing and beautiful city.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Budapest Hungary

Here I find myself spending the week at Budapest Hungary. It is most definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The city with a population of 2 million has successfully managed to preserve its essence while embracing rapid modernization which proves that one can adapt to change without compromising the identity of the city.

I started my day on top of Castle Hill which is a listed Unesco Heritage site. I took a combination of the metro and bus to reach the top of the hill. You can take a walk from the chain bridge up to the hill top but I would only recommend it if you are really fit and have loads of time to spare unlike my schedule of squeezing a day city tour over half a day.

Here are some other places that I managed to take a snapshot of:

Trinity Column

Holy Trinity Column – Standing at the highest point of castle hill, this 14 meter tall monument was erected in the early 18th century as an effort to ward off plague.

Fisherman's Bastion

Fishermen’s Bastion

Labyrinth

Buda Castle Labyrinth – This 1200 meter long system of caves and cellars attracts visitors with historic walls and mysterious attractions. This is also a part of the Unesco World Heritage site.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle – The palace contains several museums including the National Gallery, Budapest Palace Museum and Ludwig Museum of Modern Art.

Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge – This is one of the many bridges connecting both parts of the city together.

The Parliament

Parliament House – This century old government headquarters stores Hungary’s greatest treasure which is the crown of St. Stephen, the first Magyar king.

St Stephens Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica

The State Opera

Hungarian State Opera House – The beautiful state opera although covered here by banners of the latest show running was completed in 1884.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art

Square of Heroes

Square of Heroes

Danube River and Budapest by Night

The view by night is amazing with all the main historical sites lit up. It reminded me of Paris and Rome at night with the river Danube flowing across the heart of the city separating Buda and Pest.

Benny Ong