Saturday, October 31, 2015

The last day of October Month 2015

I like to call October 2015 as a holiday cum celebration month. A celebration as there's many reasons to do so. Firstly, 2015 yearly exam was over which mean 2 years has gone by since I became a part time university student. Secondly, I visited my home town after many years of not going home to attend a niece wedding shortly after and thirdly, I went to enjoy a 16 days well planned vacation for the 4th leg train rides in a happy mode with my best friend, Ane. Today, I thought of writing the memory of October before facing a reality and a new resolution for November 2015. Strange right? To have a resolution when there's 10 months already passes for 2015 and we have another 2 months to welcome 2016.

Autumn seems to be the best season to travel, don't you think so too?
Well, not to me. I can change any old tradition whenever I felt like doing so. I too have decided to devote my whole remaining life to the creator by making a silent prayer day and night for Him not to neglect me. Yes, I pray daily for an istiqamah straight path, the path that in Allah's favor and not to the one for those who go astray. For those non-muslim, that prayer was recited in the 1st magical surah of the Al-Quran, the Opening, Al-Fatiha that the Muslim recited in their daily prayer. I take the meaning of Al-Fatiha deeply to my heart whenever I pray to the Almighty.

Missing the lovely parks by now
My apology to get carried away. For your information, I used all photos snapped at the lovely autumn's park in St Petersburg in this entry, which becoming my most favorite among the many thousands snapped that Ane and I took during those 16 days. We left the hazy Kuala Lumpur and we returned home in the same situation hazy sky. The news reported that the haze was getting really bad few days before our arrival. But, from the day we landed until today, Allah has brought down lots of rains, down pouring the bad weather sky. Alhamdulillah, the blue sky has finally returned 3 days ago that mades all Malaysian feeling blessed with Allah's blessed rains. A sudden changes of East Coast winds direction helps to push the dirty haze away from polluting our beautiful sky.

I take a lot of selfie like this 1 whenever I saw Ane was busy taking her photos

Starting tomorrow, I shall get back to reality as classes is resuming in November too. It's also a time for me to get some targeted certification for the office beside cleaning and cleaning the house that we wanted to put on sale. I guessed I should get on my feet and taking all of those obligatory duties seriously. After all, no one can spend away their life on vacation forever when there's still obligation left being a wife, a mother, a worker etc which means a person's duty in this life. Both duties in this life and in preparation for the life thereafter must be done at this urgent time. No compromised anymore. 

Cute little thing that I paid attention during travel, the statue

Well, there's also a long list of blog entries that I have drafted while on Sapsan's speed train from St Petersburg to Moscow. After thinking carefully, I should be able to finish the travelogue on the travel in November month. I shall concentrates on the 8 cities stop attraction after those travels journal by flight, by bus, by cruise and by trains has been completed. Or maybe I should consider writing about the "Food" category before start writing about the attractions. Whatever it is I promised you that it will be an exciting and interesting entries to record the long and tiring journey.

There's more to see
Hence, please bear with me in rearranging my time to complete the research, photos selections in between other obligatory duties that I supposed to do too. Maybe 1 day, I would be able to fully concentrated on writing once all debts has been cleared. One day perhaps, I would be able to retire where I can spend unlimited times to write and write. Maybe I should be writing a book 1 day. IshaAllah, may Allah realized my prayer and my dreams before He takes me away. Amen!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Traveling tips for those traveling during cold seasons

We arrived in Moscow train station at sharp 17.10 hours from St. Petersburg yesterday, 23rd October 2015. The Sapsan speed train departed at 13.10 hours covering more than 700km in exactly 4 hours. Though we entered Russia on a sunny day, it was cloudy on the second day. Yesterday was showering in St Petersburg and weather forecast predicted there will be a shower and cloudy too in Moscow today. While in the train, I was thinking how blessed it was that my skin are not having as much as red spots as a results of scratching due to dry skin (hence the skin itchy) as compared to my previous trips in a cold seasons where temperatures are below 10 degree celsius. I thought of sharing my traveling essential which I found suited and come handy to me to moisten my dry skin. Let see the photos of my basic daily needs below:-

Traveling facial kit set, a complimentary gift from SK-II
I've been using SK-II for the past 15 years. They usually will provide a gift set (after a purchase of so much money spent on their product) like the one that I brought along during my travels, no matter where and how long it takes. The set is so cute, small that you can just store them in a traveling pouch together with your other things. Being 49, my skins need facial care protection and SK-II essence has balanced them nicely to ensure that my face will never turned dry and red due to being exposed in cold windy air while chasing to accomplished the POI @ cities attraction. Be discipline to apply those skin care of yours twice a day, before you start your daily travel walks and before bedtime.

Massage cream, Muscle cum paracetamol and Black Seed oil pill supplement
I'm still suffering from a frozen shoulder, especially on the left side. It started off on the right side, a month before my 2nd leg in mid 2014. I was adamant not to go for surgery as the specialist explanation does not satisfy my 1001 questions about the need to operate, hence, I used my own method to ease the pain. I'm happy that it worked well with regular exercises and the muscle pain reliever that I took once in a blue moon. The pharmacist had given me "myoflex" pill that suffice to takes care of the fever too beside relaxing the muscle. Takes 2 pills each time you need it, especially after you have done with a day exploration. I took it before bedtime and the black seed oil was taken every morning, 1 pill daily just for supplement which is good for the joint. The deep heat (massage cream) was to apply and gently massage your foot. But before that do apply a vaseline to your foot before applying deep heat and after a good massage, put on your wool socks. Feet must be covered  and protected all the time.    

Wipes tissue, vanity sets and water bottle
There's no muslim shower in all of the toilets throughout European country, Russia and Scandinavian country except Helsinki. Hence, the above are most important to bring for Muslim usage. Muslim has to properly wash (using water not tissue) after we have done with either small or big business in the toilet. The wet tissue and the water bottle in above photo are 2 important things that we, Muslim need to bring whenever we were on the road. That water bottle was a gift from Ane, for me to use to cleanse myself (wudu') for my prayer. Since we were out most of the days, we used to pray obligatory jamak Zuhur and Asar at the park or any clean places that we can find. 

Olive oil, vaseline and body lotion
These 3 are protecting the whole body skins from dryness and itchiness. I was reading an article about a wonder that vaseline can do tour skins.It works like magic. Apply them whenever you found any tiny spots that you scratched on. I used it a lot this time. Besides, make sure not to take too much or stay too long in a hot shower. Try to have shower only once a day (preferably before bed time) in a mere warm water by controlling the level of hot water. That hot water shower added the dryness of your skin. My family did that a lot during our first travel in a cold weather in 2005, where weather in Tianjin that time was minus 10 degree celsius. Having a long shower in a hot water was definitely heaven but the result was painful. Even the winter cream that hubby brought along does not help all of our skins. Therefore, take my advice, use vaseline as much as you can. In addition it's not costly at all. 

I thought of sharing this tip too, international adaptor is a must thing to bring beside your phone, camera and mac book charger. As for me in this trip, I no longer carry my heavy DSLR camera. iPhone 6 plus that I  carried suffice for my needs to take photos for my blogging purpose.

Good shoes and good socks
Just invest your money for good shoes. I chose Timberland boot and it keeps both my feet warm and secured though I walked almost 15km a day. I no longer had a problem in continuing wearing this shoes with that thick wool socks the next day. It's a perfect shoes for all traveller if compared to other sport shoes. I was telling hubby the other night that we must buy 1 for all our family members.  

Samsonite trolley bag and bag pack
Last but not least is your luggage. Among all of my Samsonite traveling bag, I like the black one with 4 roller that helps me to push them around without much energy forced to it. It has both sides usage. I normally rolled my clothes to minimizes space in my bag. You may watch many you tubes that teaches how to properly arranged your clothing and other stuff. I becoming packing expert after years and years of traveling.

I hope the above tips may help you in planning your future travels. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Helsinki Roses in autumn season

We were in Helsinki for 3 days and 2 nights. Should we know that this city is a quite 1, we would have shortened our journey to 2 days and 1 night. There's not much to see apart from Sveago Port, the Matket Square and the 2 cathedrals. We explored the whole attractions by foot and yesterday's walk was about 11km. In between the places we bumped into a lot of gardens but not much flowers were planted due to Autumn seasons. 2 of the gardens were filled with light red roses that smells wonderful and pleasant to my nose. There's a plant which I've not seen before my entire life, see below photo. It's amazingly beautiful though it was planted next yo the traffic light. Before I have time to update my travelogue let us enjoy these beautiful flower shots from Helsinki. In case you are wondering, Im writing this in VR train from Helsinki to Kouvola station. The Allergo train was on service and we were told that we could change it at this station stop. We arrived here after 1 hour and 15 minutes ride. Much love, Aswana ❤️

Local flower plant

Ops, sorry Anne accidentally closed her eyes

The first garden not far from the hotel we stayed

Simply stunning

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A florist shop in front of Magasin Du Nord, Copenhagen

We arrived 2 hours late in Hamburg as the change train from Osnabruck was delayed for 2 hours. Due to that, the station officer had advice us to change train to Belmen and from there we can take another train to reach Hamburg, still resulting almost 1 hour delay still. In addition to that, I got confused with Hamburg-Harbig station. As we had already get down at Harbig station, we had to take a cab to reach a Hamburg central station, a station ahead. It cost me Euro30 for the cab fee. We were too exhausted by the time we were done with check in. Late evening, while strolling down the street to City Hall, I could not find any park or flowers spot that I can explored myself into. Hence, in Copenhagen I took Ane's DSLR and took many flower shots inside Tivoli Garden. Before sharing those photos, I would like to share the many shots that I've took at the florist shop seated outside Magasin Du Nord, an 18th century shopping mall in Copenhagen city. For your information, we are now in Helsinki, Finland. It's been a long journey from home. Admittedly, I'm starting feeling tired of the changing transportation and hotels to reach the next destination. Nevertheless, would love to share some flower entry in to fill the gap. Do enjoy them...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lovely garden in Marken, Amsterdam countryside

One of the thing that I enjoyed much during a trip abroad is to peak inside the local's garden. While strolling towards the direction of where the shoes factory are in Volendam, a countryside of Amsterdam, we happened to walk by a rows of a green house. One of them, has a lovely garden where the external wall facing their beautiful was decorated with butterflies, ducks beside lovely autumn flowers. I hope the owner would not mind that I share them with you in my blog. I do not see any owners outside or anywhere near that I can get permission off. My apology if the owner's garden is offended if I'm sharing them without her or his blessing.

Those butterflies are stuck in my heart forever