Rio de Janeiro 2020 Day 8-9-10 Flight to Rome and flight back to Singapore, Home Sweet Home

I quickly got into a hot bath (to warm up after a night exposed to the cold rain) and changed into a set of new clothes and went for breakfast at the hotel. It was only one round of food at the buffet and then I was back in the room, sleeping.

Main breakfast
Some fruits

Woke up at around 1030 after 4hrs of shut eye but sat on the bed till it was only 15mins left to check out at 12. Rushed to get a quick bath and packed up before proceeded to check out. Left my luggage at the storage and went out for lunch, at a certain Churrosaria called Braseiro just on the street behind the hotel. Ordered a mixed meat and rice and fries and it turned out too much for me. Had a really full and pretty delicious lunch, and on top of it, made acquaintance with one of customers, a German who stayed in Brazil. He started a conversation with me and we had a nice exchange. I left the restaurant after paying around 100reals and at the start of a drizzle.

On the inside, eating next to the kitchen
Main dish with various meat portions
Rice and fries
Braseiro restaurant

Got my luggage and went to book an uber to the airport for 80reals and since I had spare cash, I paid in cash in which the driver requested that we deal in private which I agreed. Then again I fell asleep until we reached the airport.

Checked in at Alitalia and proceeded to the departures. Bought coffee powder from Brazil (again from Britt shop) before boarding the plane.

Rio de Janeiro Airport
On the inside
Walking through the large retail section
Cute M&M’s in Brazilian outfit
There were 3 levels of airport

The 12hrs flight to Rome was a blur as I slept most of the way there. I managed to catch a movie called Ready or Not that had a really weird plot and continued to go back to sleep.

Flying out from Rio
Arrival into Rome

After 12hours of flying I landed into a very cold Rome and while it was fully possible to go visit the Colosseum just for kicks, I gave up that idea and went to do some designer brand shopping and use the lounge (Passenger lounge) since I was flying business class home.

Rome Airport
I loved the automated gate to speed through the immigrations
Express blue lane
Huge duty free for shoppig
It was my first time here in Rome’s ultra modern airport.
More shopping
Taking the train to the gate
The way to the lounge
Passenger Lounge

The lounge was ok, nothing particularly amazing with simple foodstuff and drinks. Then it was boarding time and seated at the luxurious business class of Singapore Airlines, I felt so indulged! The seats were so much better than the other business class seats I had taken throughout the trip ( they were domestic though but still), the service was excellent and the facilities were just awesome. I caught the Ford vs Ferrari show which was quite nice though I fell asleep a couple of times. Even the stewardess also noticed that I was particularly tired in which I shared about the flight I had previously. But I supposed the nice thing here was the care demonstrated by them that set The Singapore Girl above the rest!

Lounge had a nice design
What I had at the lounge
Ultra huge screen at business class

I set my seat to a full flat bed and sleep most of the journey and it was the best sleep I ever had on a plane. I woke up very much rested and with the breakfast and coffee, I was ready to get back home fresh. I spent the remainder time to jot down my memories from Lima to the last day (as I had been slacking and too tired to do so for the last 2days). We landed 30mins ahead of schedule, calling an end to my first trip to South America.

Fully horizontal converted bed to sleep
Breakfast was fantastic
More fruits
Yoghurt to complete

This trip was planned as a solo trip to the South America as I so wanted to see and visit a new continent and see the 7 wonders like Machu Picchu, in which, my last visit was the Taj Mahal in India many years back. However, there were just too much concerns over travel for a family that it would be easier for myself to go alone. And so I did, timing it within the week where my wife would be more free with her time and also with the carnival parade. I came back home with head full of memories, unforgettable experiences and myths debunked on how dangerous these places were. I will be back and with my family the next time.

Naples 2011 Day 4 – Pompeii and flight to Athens

We arrived into Rome Ciampino airport late at night and was at the bus station trying to get the shuttle bus to the Rome city center. However, we weren’t able to take the last bus and ended up trying to take the local bus instead. We tried to get our tickets from the ticketing machines but those weren’t working so after boarding one of the bus to ask the driver, he spoke only Italian. In the end, we didn’t pay for the ride to the Rome Termini where our accommodation was located.

Panoramic view of the Santuary of Apollo
Panoramic view from the top
The panoramic view of the large Amphitheatre

We took the subway back to train station and changed to the Metro to arrive at Naples National Archaeological Museum.

Our flight was Aegean Airlines that we had exchanged our Krisflyer miles for, being a member of the Star Alliance. It was a 2025 flight and would arrive in Athens 35mins before midnight.

Escape plan to France, Italy, Greece and Britain March 2011

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to France, Italy, Greece and Britain 2011:

Total duration 16D15N
Europe is 6hrs behind Singapore.
Flight time is 13hrs 25mins on Singapore Airlines direct to Heathrow Airport.

Flight was on Singapore Airlines on 27th March at 12:45pm and arrival in London at 7:10pm.
Return flight was on Singapore Airlines on the 11th April at 11:10am in London and arrival in Singapore at 7:20am.

Day 1 – Arrival in London
Day 2 – Eurostar to Paris, Sainte Chapelle and Paris city walk

Day 3 – Palace of Versailles and flight to Rome
Day 4 – Pompeii and flight to Athens
Day 5 – Ferry to Mykonos and explore Mykonos
Day 6 – Delos and ferry to Santorini
Day 7 – Roam around Santorini and visit Fira
Day 8 – Oia in Santorini
Day 9 – Return to Athens and explore Athens
Day 10 – Day trip to Delphi
Day 11 – From Athens to Kalambaka, visit the monasteries
Day 12 – 2nd round of visit to the monasteries before heading back to Athens
Day 13 – Explore the ruins in Athens
Day 14 – Day trip to Manchester for a Manchester United soccer match
Day 15/16 – Bicester Village outlet shopping, Oxford visit & Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was initially one that was plan for a visit to Japan but Fukushima happened and we had to change our plan to a return to central Europe with specific places of interest, such as Versailles and Pompeii, a visit to Greece and a “pilgrimage” (as a Man United fan) to Manchester to catch a football match “live” and tick off my bucket list.

Budget nature: Not cheap.

As there were multiple flights in the journey, we tried to exchange Krisflyer miles for partner flights, such as Aegean air for the journey to Athens. The greek islands were on a low season and therefore more affordable but overall, we had to save up for this trip.

Complexity: With planning, it would be manageable.

We managed to get from city to city via public transport and while on the greek islands, rent a car to get around. The temples at Kalambaka were accessed via motorcycles.

We had missed the train to Mont St Michel due to fumbling at the DIY kiosk and we couldn’t retrieve our tickets, as we had purchased earlier online. It was a waste of money and a lesson for us to just proceed to the ticketing counters next time.

Escape Plan to Europe, May 2005

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Europe, May 2005:

Total duration 27D26N
London is 7hr behind Singapore while the rest of Europe is 6hrs behind Singapore.
Flight time is 7hrs 25mins on Emirates Airlines from Singapore to Dubai for transfer. Flight time is 7hrs 35mins on Emirate Airlines from Dubai to London Gatwick International Airport.
Flight time is 2hrs 25mins on EasyJet Airlines from London Gatwick to Rome Flumicino.
Return flight is 6hrs 30mins on Emirates Airlines from Paris to Dubai for transfer. Flight time is 7hrs 10mins on Emirates Airlines from Dubai to Singapore.

Early morning flight on 23rd May at 325am and arrival in Dubai in the same morning at 655am. Transfer to another flight in the same morning at 8am and arrive in London at 1235pm on the same day.
Afternoon flight on the 13th Jun at 505pm and arrival in Rome at 830pm.
Return flight from Paris on the 17th Jun at 950pm and arrival in Dubai at 620am the next morning, transfer to another flight in the same morning at 945am and arrive in Singapore 855pm.

Day 1 Arrival into London, exploring London
Day 2 Salisbury and Stonehenge tour
Day 3 Tower Bridge 
Day 4 Brussels 
Day 5 Amsterdam
Day 6 Sankt Goar and Heidelberg
Day 7 Lucern and Lauterbrunnen
Day 8 Jungfrau visit
Day 9 Liechtenstein and Munich 
Day 10 Dachau Concentration Camp and Innsbruck
Day 11 Verona
Day 12 Venice
Day 13 Florence
Day 14 Pisa and Monaco
Day 15 Nice and Cannes
Day 16 Barcelona
Day 17 Barcelona
Day 18 Carcassonne and Bordeaux
Day 19 Paris
Day 20 Paris
Day 21 Paris
Day 22 London
Day 23 Rome
Day 24 Rome and Vatican City
Day 25 Milan
Day 26/27 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned our graduation trip which started off the whole wanderlust. We decided on an almost month long trip with a first visit to Europe. As we were really tight on budget, being recently graduated, we thought it would be great to do a bus tour around Europe with Contiki tour (Day 4 till Day 21), which offered more places to see without breaking the bank! And they say the rest was history.

Budget nature: Not cheap

It was not cheap to go to Europe during times when Euros were almost twice our currency. We managed to get good flight prices through Emirates and we tried to save up on accommodation living in hostels and eating bread for quite some days in order not to spend too much.

Complexity: Easy

Major European cities were very well connected by public transport which we used to get around while exploring. The major part of getting from city to city was taken care by the coach. Domestic flights and interstate trains were easy to arrange as well.