Royal Delft Museum

A pleasant and informative visit to the Royal Delft Museum in Delft, NL, approximately 10mins drive from The Hague, NL.

Royal DelftRoyal Delft is the only remaining earthenware factory that produces the world famous Delftware since the 17th century. The tour take you on a journey through the history the century-old pottery and chance to see the authentic production process and meet the artists at work. Also, the showroom presenting both classic and modern Delftware and it’s fun to compare what period and style of potteries you like versus your friends do.

The admission is € 12,00 but you could also get a 25% discount if you print the link (http://www.delft.nl/delften/Tourists/Discover_Delft/To_see/Delft_Blue/Royal_Delft) before your visit. 🙂

Royal DelftThe style of the Royal Delft potteries originated from China and became pretty popular.  When the transport of the potteries became difficult, factories were open in Europe to meet the market demand.  Royal DelftThey also developed a unique method of producing the potteries that involve various stages from mixing the right portions of the exact ingredients to pre-heated in an oven, painted, heated again in an oven then glossed to establish the deep blue color that Royal Delft is famous for.  It was interesting to see that when the artists paint the potteries, the colors show as black but when they are heated again, the color turns out blue.

Anyways, if you like the Royal Delft pottery, it’s an interesting 1.5 hours to learn about the history and the different styles.  My friends had a great idea to learn about Royal Delft at the museum, skip the experience gift store and use the knowledge to pick out the Royal Delft at antique and garage sales.  Royal DelftThe good, high qualities ones are quite expensive!

The photo on the right is Delft Potteries with Miffy on them.  Wondering why Miffy is on them? Because Miffy is Dutch! 🙂  She originated in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. The original Dutch name, Nijntje, is a shortening or diminutive of konijntje, “little rabbit”.  😉

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Posted in Europe, Netherlands | 3 Comments

Good Bye Sydney!

Australia95 days in Sydney, Australia. It has been a long trip!!!!  Would I like to return? Not really. (I’m probably jinxing myself here.) The work pace was too slow for me here. I’ve been told ‘too pushy’, ‘too tough’, ‘too agressive’..me? really? To the Australians, I was, apparently. I don’t mind being called things or even if they don’t like me but it was frustrating to not get things done. A workstation setup that would have taken a week at home, took 2 months here….To fix ONE door, it is still in progress for the last 4 months. Eh, You get the idea…

Anyways, let me focus on the good things I experienced in Sydney:

McDonald'sDelicious multicultural Food:
Yum! 95 days=285 meals. Australia is similar to Canada a multi-cultural country. A great variety and tasty as well. 🙂
My weekly regular was Thai food. I’ve even explored new menus, Laksa and Pad See Ew. Now, I could say I have four favourite Thai dishes: Pad Thai, Green curry, Laksa and Pad See Ew. LOL. I also tried Kangaroo and Crocodile dishes. I thought ‘chewier’ beef(Kangaroo) and ‘chewier’ chicken(Crocodile)..Don’t need to try again. 😛

 

 
Laksa Malasian Style LambLa duree Healthy BurgerHarry's Tiger Pie Lucky Kanzo Sushi OutbackItalian Paul'sBrenner SauteItalian Ding Tai FungVietnamese KoreanBites Ribs and Rumps

Great Weather for the Beach:
I’m not a big beach person but there’s always been great weather for it. Nice beaches everywhere too. On these weather, I headed to the air conditioned malls and ate ice cream or drank bubble tea. 😛

Australia Bondi Beach Australia Bondi Beach Australia Bondi Beach Australia Bondi Beach

Easy Public Transportation System:
Whether it is a ferry, train or bus, they will connect you easily to the different parts of Sydney and its suburbs. Mobile App – Link Express is a great tool to find out what’s the fastest, least walking, least transfers methods. Pictures below are Sydney Monorail but it will be closed soon..July 2013.

Sydney Monorail Sydney Monorail

Attractions near the city:
Sydney Opera House, Habour Bridge, Tarongo Zoo, Darling Habour, Fish Market, Bondi and Manly beaches are all near the city. It was convenient to get around..So, you could see them over and over easily by just getting to the ciyt.I must have seen the Opera house at least ten times. 😛

Australia Open Cinema Sydney Starbucks Opera House Map of Sydney

Well, it’s been interesting – Sydney!  Good bye. 🙂

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Cheapest Uggs In Sydney

It took some research to figure this out..So, here’s what I found out.

First, you have to decide what is ‘real’ uggs to you. Is it the American brand “Ugg America” with the big ‘G’ in the middle of the label or Australian made uggs by any local Australian brand?

Ugg Australia vs.  Australian Ugg

So as mentioned, Ugg Australia is an American footwear company that was originally created by an Australian surfer in 1978..you could read the full story here.

The concept of ‘Ugg’ boots was originally from Australia and New Zealand.  The boots originated in these countries, initially as utilitarian footwear worn for warmth and comfort and later adopted by surfers there during the 1960s. In the 1970s, the boots were introduced to the surf culture of the United Kingdom and the United States by local surfers returning from surfing competitions in Australia. Ugg boots emerged as a fashion trend in the United States in the late 1990s and as a world-wide trend in the mid 2000s, yet in Australia they are worn predominantly as slippers and associated with “daggy” fashion sense, and “bogan” culture. – Wikipedia  In other words, you don’t see many Australian wearing Uggs on the streets.  They are more popular in the other parts of the world!

So, here you have to decided..do you want the BRAND or just the type of boots that is made of Australian sheep skin with fleece on the inside?  The styles are the same.

If you’ve decided the BRAND, then you could find the store at 350 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 or in any other countries or online. The prices are not any cheaper in Sydney than anywhere else in the world though. They are an American Brand with the boots made in China.

If you’ve decided the type of boots, “Ugg”, then you have several choices in Sydney. In my four months stay in Sydney, I had decided to go with the Australian made boots and determined to buy the cheapest possible without sacrificing the sheepskin/fleece quality. Whether I succeeded or not, who knows but I now leave Australia..having bought 5 pairs of Uggs, none of which were even my own but now I have a happy mom, aunts and cousins. (I had actually done the research, Ugg Australia vs. Australian made, a year ago and bought my own first pair of Australian made uggs online and shipped it to a friend, who was in Australia at the time for free shipping. Overall, I was happy with the product and the online buying experience). If online is not an option for you though, I’ve discovered two good stores in Sydney.  One is around Circular Quay at the corner of Alfred and Pitt street, right beside Starbucks.  Although they don’t have a vast variety of styles, they had the good prices and good quality sheepskin/fleece ugg boots. The other store is in Darling Harbour mall on the second floor, above the Hard Rock café.  They have a good variety and good price compared to the other stores on the first floor. If you want to go even cheaper and bypass some quality aspects, I suggest Paddy’s Market, which is also great for cheap souvenirs!  (I couldn’t find uggs at normal shoe stores..they are truly geared to tourists.)  🙂

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Angel Place Sydney

Angel PlaceAngel Place features an installation known as “Forgotten Songs”, which is part of the Laneways: By George! Hidden Networks project. It features a canopy of 120 empty birdcages hanging in the sky, accompanied by the sounds of Sydney’s lost birds which may have lived in this area, before the city including this laneway, replaced their native habitats. The calls also change as day shifts to night; the daytime birds’ songs disappearing with the sun and those of the nocturnal birds which inhabited the area sounding into the evening. A neat idea!

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Featherdale Wildlife Park vs Taronga Zoo

Which place is better? For me, Featherdale Wildlife Park!! I really enjoyed Featherdale a lot more than Taronga Zoo in Sydney.  Taronga zoo is, of course, a lot bigger with more animals, special events(the Bird Show was awesome!) and in the city but it lacked the interactive experience.  Also, being a visitor to Australia, I wanted to see a lot more Australian animals than the other animals.  At Taronga zoo, I saw one koala and 3 kangaroos – no petting allowed unless paying extra $$$.  On the other hand, Featherdale Wildlife Park was grrrreat~~!  As per their advertisement, “Sydney’s ultimate interactive wildlife experience”, you could feed wallabies, kangaroos and pet koalas (no extra charges).  Featherdale was significantly smaller in size that Taronga but they specialized in Australian animals – Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallabies, Wombats, Dingos and the birds.  For the visitors who have been to other zoos and want to overdose on Kangaroos and Koalas, I fully recommend Featherdale Wildlife Park!  (Entrance Fee AU$27, Kangaroo Food $1 per cone) 😀

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Taronga Zoo
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Featherdale Wildlife Park

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Sydney Fish Market!!

Sydney Fish MarketOooo…loved the fish market in Sydney! After the initial shock of the surrounding ‘fishy’ smells, I was amazed by the freshness and the variety of the fish available. Yum Yum Yum! The best part about this fish market is that you could buy and eat right there. They have about 10 different stores/restaurants to catered to your tastes. We chose the biggest and busiest store, just cause. 🙂

Our visit was just for lunch but there are tours too. You have to be an early riser though, which I am not..The tour starts at 6:40am while the fish auctions start 5:30am and continues until everything is sold. Sydney Fish Market is the second largest of its kind, right after Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. For seafood lovers, this one is a must!

Sydney Fish Market  Sydney Fish Market Sydney Fish Market  Sydney Fish MarketSydney Fish Market  Sydney Fish MarketSydney Fish Market  Sydney Fish MarketSydney Fish Market  Sydney Fish Market

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St. George Open Air Cinema in Sydney

Open Air Cinema Open Air Cinema

St George Open Air Cinema is an annual summer event in Sydney. This year, it was held from January 10th to February 16th. The advance tickets were sold out on the day it opened, Dec 13th.  So, it’s a popular event for the local and tourists. We were very disappointed when we missed out on the advance tickets…but that didn’t stop us! Door Sales. 😀

First movie attempt: The impossible. My co-worker and I arrived at the event at 5:30pm. Movie starts after the sunset.  There was already a line-up but we were hopeful since the website said there were 100 available tickets. Once the people with advance tickets entered, the door sales began. We got close to the ticket booth…only six people in front of us then they announced, “Sorry, we’re out of door sale tickets now.” 😦 They added, “There will probably be people not showing up so we will give you a number for your spot in the line and you could come back at 8pm before the show begins. If there are seats available, you will be able to buy tickets.” – Sold. 😀 We just had 2 hours to kill. We paid for the parking meter then went to search for a place to eat. Darn – No place to eat around except inside the venue and we’re not allowed in without a ticket. 😦 We decided to walk..Lucky for us, it was Wednesday, day the Australian Gallery opens for longer hours. 10mins walk. Salad and Sandwiches. 😦 Oh well, good dinner was not our objective tonight. We got back to the event at 8pm. The late advance ticket purchasers continued coming until 8:30pm. Darn – we shouldn’t have told the one couple the correct directions to this place..that could have been seats for us! 8:40pm, they started selling tickets. We’re in!! Woohooooo~ We watched the movie happily ever after. 🙂

Second movie attempt: Skyfall. We were better prepared this time and there was less line-up. We got in at 6pm!!! There was plenty of time to enjoy fish and chips + beer and pictures before the movie. 🙂

Definitely, one of my favorite events in Australia!

Open Air Cinema Sydney  Open Air Cinema SydneyOpen Air Cinema Sydney  Open Air Cinema SydneyOpen Air Cinema Sydney  Open Air Cinema SydneyOpen Air Cinema Sydney  Open Air Cinema Sydney

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