My walkabout around midnight in St Petersburg during a summer night of July 2012. The 'White Nights' is a popular draw for tourists and the local Russians. The bright midnight sky ended the long months of bitter cold and long Dark Nights. Not only the scenery of the historical buildings and monuments, you could also witness the draw of the bridges that span River Neva. Music, Jazz Suite Waltz 2, written by Shostakovich, performed by Royal Concertgebuw Orchestra. Copyright owned by the Decca Record Company.
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I joined the tour from Paris, arrived at Mont Saint Michel at about midday. I took the alternative self guided mode, and the tour was straight forward, with a walk through the street of the town before reaching the Abbey. At the abbey, with the audio guide, the visit was like a breeze. I could take my own time for video and photography. An amazing human feat, building this monument at this site, if you consider how long ago was this.
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Osaka Minami District is a well know entertainment district in Osaka with plenty of restaurants and retail stores. Our first evening in Osaka was a walkabout in the Namba and Dotonbori area. The restaurants' front featured the cuisine they specialised , and the lively atmosphere with beautiful billboards makes Osaka evening so colorful.
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A day trip to Nara from Osaka, our base. We took the Yamatoji Line from JR Namba staion. A unique visit where tamed deer roamed freely in Nara requesting the crowd to feed them. This first capital of Japan, has a number of heritage sites, most famous being Todaiji Temple which housed the largest Buddha statue in Japan. Other places we visited, Kohfukuji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine.
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On May 29, 2013, following a visit to Geneve, I took the train to Lausanne. Lausanne was where the IOC was formed. From the main train station, I took the metro to the lakeside and visited the Olympique Museum. The tour ended by a visit to the city centre before heading back to Basel.
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In October 2014 I took a round rail trip to Avignon from Paris Gare de Lyon station. I took the 0711 direct service to Avignon, and returned in Paris by 9pm. Avignon is a beautiful interesting city to visit as one of the major cities in the Provence, South of France. Historically, Avignon was the centre of the Christian world (Like the present Rome), with the Palais Des Papes pay homeage for 9 Popes. It is the major tourist attraction for the city, apart from the famous bridge Pont d'Avignon of St Benezet. The weather was the typical very windy day and firtunately, it was also sunny.
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This is a compilation of our visit to various areas in Osaka in August 2014. Shinsaibashi is a well known shopping area. Americamura is a bit of let down as due to the abundance of chain stores and you don't have to be in one area to look for latest fashion designs. The area was a bit deserted compared with Shinsaibashi. Shinsekai visit was unique as the shops here are mainly restaurants with interesting layout and lighting decorations. Due to its notorious history, there were not many tourists or locals here. Finally, Nipponbashi is a real haven for those looking for items of animation, mangas and toys.
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On August 5th, 2014, we visited the Osaka Central Wholesale Fish Market to catch the start of the auction for the Tuna fish. The auction started at 4.15am. As there was no public transport, we booked a taxi the night before, and arrived in time for the auction. It was true what website said. We had no problem to gain entry, as long as you did not got in their way. It was an amazing experience, which I don't think we will get this at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Watch the video, and you will know what I mean
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The newBerlin tour to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Fifteen min long, therefore the video is in 2 parts. A very knowledgeable George, guided us during the tour.
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Second part of the video depicting our visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin. It detailed the visit to the interior of the camp which included station 'Z' where the prisoners were exterminated.
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A walk through a village in the Cotswold district. Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in Gloucestershire. The population suddenly increased on a warm early summer Sunday afternoon, with the arrival of day trippers mostly gathering by the River Windrush. The picturesque village with the river running alongside the main High Street, it is also called "Venice of the Cotswolds".
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Hari Raya falls on June 15 this year. We had orang masjid came to nenek's house for laungan takbir on the night before (eve). Our morning started with Solat Hari Raya to the respective mosques close to each family. Then we gathered at Nenek's house for Tahlil and enjoyed a sumptious feast. In the afternoon, Uncle Ajak and Auntie Iyah hosted another gathering in their houses.
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Our recent trip, Norway in a nutshell tour booked via Norwegian Railway (NSB). Oslo to Bergen on April 24, 2012. Landscape changed from the greenery spring to white snow as we approached the Norwegian Mountain Plateau. At Flam, we took the boat for a fjord cruise towards Gudvangen.
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Through whatsapp, we shared photos during the 2016 Hari Raya (Day 1 to 4). We had an amazing number of collections, and everyone was in festive mood, especially the kids. Our visits to the Aunties and Uncles houses started from morning until late evening. The location of the photos included PJ, Kucing, Baru Pahat, Taiping, KL and Rembau. Music By Mizan Ishak (from YouTube)
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We showed, it is possible to make a round trip to Schilthorn in the Bernese Oberland from Basel, provided you leave the latter at 6 am. It was worth the effort, the Swiss Alps visit was rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of its summer wintry landscape in June. From Interlaken, we headed to Lauterbrunnen. Onward journey we took the Grutschalp, Murren way and by the final cable car to Schilthorn. On the return journey, from Murren, we took the cable car ride thru Gimmelwald and reached Stechelberg, finally by bus to Lauterbrunnen. Schilthorn or Piz Gloria, was made famous by the James Bond's movie, On Her Majesty's Service shot in 1968. DISCLAIMER: DO NOT OWN ANY MUSIC IN THIS VIDEO.
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This year, our first day celebration was held in Kota Damansara, hosted by Kakak and Abang Man. Four generations, from Nenek to Great Granddaughter Zahra Imani, joined in the celebration in their best of Raya clothes. Shot in HD using Canon 5DMkII, 35mm F1.4 Sigma lens. Song, copyright held by P Ramlee.
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We covered the following areas during these 2 days walking tour in August 2013 - Harajuku, Shibuya, Akihabara and Shinjuku. The summery weather was very hot, but the tour was worth the effort
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We went walkabout in Tokyo visited Odaiba waterfront, took a water bus on the Sumida River to end our day in Asakusa. On a very hot summer day, but the visits were worth the effort.
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We recently visited the Manchester Christmas Market on Dec 16th, 2011. It was a wonderful experience with the evening temperature of -1C. Various delicacies from various parts of Europe including Christmas tree were for sale. For us who come from a very warm Asian country, we felt the happiness enjoyed by the locals celebrating this festive season.
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On December 10, 2016, the long awaited event of the Noordin clan especially among the nephews was held - The Noordin Cup 2016. The event , like last year was held at Kota Damansara Sports Planet. As the kids are getting better in the game, the Fifa Pitch is the right size for the event. Every family from as far as Sarawak, Kelantan and Johor came down to KL. This was the time where we had the maximum gathering of the families. We have a new winner - Guci Green. Uncle Ami won the Golden Glove, Fawwaz got the Golden Assist (a new category - to promote Team work style of play) and Ikram got the Golden Boot. The function was fortunate to have the presence of the matriach of the Noordin Clan, Nenek PJ. Until we meet again in 2017, Inn Sha Allah.
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One warm windy September evening, we took a boat tour along Haihe river in Tianjin. We were surprised by the modern scenic view of the old China. The urban sights brightly lit by the strong LED showed Tianjin is proud of its modernization while promoting green technology. Certainly, a typical example of east meet west by the abundance of western style architecture whether current or historical remain
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On a warm and sunny early summer of June 2014, we had a walkabout in the Camden Market area. In the market place of Camden Lock, many stalls selling interesting items such as leather bound note pads, clock made from old Vinyl records, orange peeled lady accessories, posters etc. Our afternoon walk continued to Covent Garden where we visited Neal's Yard, a beautiful shady courtyard.
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Our Hari Raya Celebration for the Noordin Family. Firstly we gathered at Kak (Auntie) Noorul's house. We had a sumptuous menu of Nasi Mandi and Nasi Dagang. After a long wait, we finally able to spend a wonderful time in this house which went through a long period of renovation. The house was getting ready for the upcoming wedding of the year, Aainaa & Alif. The celebration continued to Kg Baru, hosted by Dr (Uncle) Kamil and Kak (Auntie) Shamsiah. We finally gathered at Kakak (Auntie Iyah)'s house in Kota Damansara. Apart from enjoying the feast, we also had a meeting on the wedding preparations.
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We made a day trip to Kyoto on August 12, 2013. We took the Shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto. A very hot summer day. Visited the Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion Temple and Nijo Castle. We returned to Tokyo in the evening.
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Our recent drive through the Scottish Highlands in June 2014. Started the journey at about 12pm. We drove from Inverness, took A82 alongside the Loch Ness. We had lunch at Fort Augustus. The journey continued with A085, A084, A9 towards Stirling for the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. Finally M9 towards Edinburgh.
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Every Hari Raya, without fail, we will bake our family's favourite recipe, Nescafe Cookies. This year, after preparation of the Nescafe dough by Mak, the 2 boys and Kakak baked the cookies to perfection. Even if the cookies are slightly burnt, they still taste Good!
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Our tour of Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg in July 2012. Excellently guided by Anna Avdeyeva of Best Guides Group. You could get the full history of St Petersburg and knowledge of the Royal line of the Old Russia in this tour. This is a must trip for anyone visiting St Petersburg
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Our annual futsal competition for the Noordin family took place on May 25th, 2014. Like in previous years, the four teams Minang Malaysa, Guci Green, SFC and Kiara Blues compete. KB won again for the fourth time. Hazim won the golden boot again. That evening, prize giving ceremony was held at Celup-celup steam boat restaurant in Kelana Jaya.
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In December, I took the DB Train for the day trip to the Middle Rhine Valley, also known as the Romantic Rhine. The journey began from Frankfurt Hauptbanhof. The train ride was along the east side of the Rhine. Final Destination was Braubach, and I toured the Marksburg Castle. Since it was winter, I could not take the KD Rhine Cruise for the return leg, as the time table for the boat ride for KD was very liminted during the winter months. The view of the valley was breathtaking despite the cloudy day and no sun at all. For the return journey to Frankfurt, I stopped for a while at St Goarshausen and crossed the Rhine to visit St Goar. Like the other towns on both sides of the Rhine, they are connected at various points by car ferry. I would recommend this trip for any traveller, who is based in Frankfurt or nearby.
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I took a day trip by train to Nuremberg from Frankfurt in Dec 2014. On a normal regional DB Train, the journey took 3 hrs. Why Nuremberg? During WW2, it was the intellectual capital of the Nazi Party. I visited the incompleted complex of the Nazi Rally Grounds, where at The Documentation Centre, is the exhibits of the Nazi Propaganda that shaped World History during the WW2. Towards the evening, I visited the building where the Nurmber Trials were held to prosecute the War Criminals. The exhibits in the building described the trial proceedings. I arrived back in Frankfurt at 9.30pm. DISCLAIMER: DO NOT OWN ANY MUSIC IN THIS VIDEO.
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This is our annual gathering for Hari Raya in 2017. The celebration began at Nenek's house in PJ. As usual, Uncle Kamil started the distibution of the duit raya. Aunties Marina and Gadih, were busy in the kitchen preparing the Raya dishes. Nenek just recovered from her right cataract surgery. After Zohor, we gathered at Aunty Nurul's house. We had bacaan yassin and mohon Doa from Allah SWT for our dads, uncles, brothers and sisters who has left us. Other doas for those who will face exams, Muhammad utfi for his upcoming engagement and Uncle Ami and Aunty Rozana who will soon join the Haj Pilgrimage. Eza had to sacrifice and performed her duty as a doctor during this festive season at Hospital Kulim, Kedah. Her mom flew to join Eza on Day 3 Raya. Irwan and Ju were in Sg Petani and Kg Tupai, Sik Kedah. Alif and Aainaa were in Sg Besar, Selangor on Day 1.
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This is our annual celebration of Hari Raya di Kg Baru. Grandma Emma is back from IMF for a holiday. Hari Raya Eve, we had fire work celebration masterminded by Uncle Rashid. Sara at times was excited and mostly scared of the loud noise. Next day, we gathered for our annual feast and the usual photo session. Umaimah in Wellington on facetime joined us in the celebration.
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We took a day trip to Hiroshima by the bullet train from Osaka. In Japan, with the bullet train , it is possible to make a day trip to many cities in Japan, and some of the journeys run every 15-30 mins. Memories of Hiroshima will last forever due to her fate with the Atomic Bomb. The interesting sites of the bombing are all within walking distance. The most interesting visit would be the Atomic Bomb Dome and The Museum.
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