Tonight, I’ve just come from watching Angels and Demons movie. It was the last day (therefore: my last chance) for me to see it in digital format (I did it! Whew…). I really want to watch the movie since the second I finished reading the book, and I thought it is far better than Da Vinci Code. Not to mention, I’ve just gone from Rome just last week and I really, really want to watch Rome in action (I mean, Robert Langdon, as per se).
Let me start this by stating how enjoyable it was to watch the movie. The logical reason would be because I’ve visited all of the great sites portrayed in the movie. Well, except for the first church where Langdon found the first cardinal, Church Chigi. Actually, Langdon in the story started his quest wrongly by visiting Pantheon and mistaken it as the “Tomb of Santi”. Sadly enough, I have an unforgettable memory of how foolish I was when I went to Pantheon. At that time, we took some pictures outside of Pantheon with some “Roman soldiers” only to know that we must pay them later on. I felt cheated by them until now. Anyway, I will post the picture later, lol.
Langdon continued with the second clue, which is located in the Piazza San Pietro, or we known it as St. Peter’s Square. This open space was designed by Bernini, who has been accussed terribly by Dan Brown as an Illuminati follower. I remember the first time I arrived there at night. It was dark (haha, of course) and there are not so many people like in the movie. One funny thing that I noticed is that the giant obelisk in the centre of the piazza in the movie was kinda odd. It seems like it’s not straight enough, looks like a baloon. Maybe they screwed the visual effect of this tall stone.
Then, he went to Santa Maria della Vittoria where lies Bernini’s masterpiece, Ecstasy of Saint Theresa. I still cannot fathom what is this sculpture about. An innocent little angel trying to pierce a lady using an arrow? My head will never get this genius’ work. Anyway, it’s truly an amazing piece of art. If you take a look closely, you will understand that Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is one level above Michaelangelo’s Pieta.
Next stop is Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers. When I went there, I felt that the place was surrounded by the buildings from four directions and the statues there are very funny. It was like people statues blowing two horns and came out water. Some of them are people with fish shape.
To complete the movie spoiler, I will let you know that the final destination was Castel Sant’Angelo. It is believed in the story that this is where the church of Illuminati was located. I personally think that the place was quite awesome with Archangel St. Michael statue at the top of the castle holding sword and ready to fight a battle.
That’s all the Altar of Science that Brown picked for us in Angeles y Demonios.
We left Salzburg for Vienna in the morning by train for around 2 hours and checked in our luggage. Vienna or Wien is referred by the Ottomans as the city of “golden apple”, and I couldn’t agree more. This city of Austria is truly a sensation of resuscitated times past with its gallery, museums, exhibitions and architecture heritages.
We arrived in Vienna with a great disappointment for being unable to enjoy the Vienna Boys Choir which was normally performing in the Sunday morning in Hofburg’s Burgkapelle.
Riding a train to the centre of Vienna, we visited the Stephansdom (St. Stephan’s Cathedral) where lies the visual culture landmark from 12th to 14th centuries. This quintessential Viennese vista has ornaments of colorful pattern of mosaic-like tiling and carved wooden altar. The area inside the cathedral is quite large and the white ceiling looks so bright in a dim light. I heard some people saying that this cathedral is comparable to the St Peter’s Baslica in Rome.
When you are in Vienna, you simply cannot miss the theatrical opera and the musical orchestra from classics such as Mozart, Hayden, Mahler, Strauss, Bach, Beethoven, and many more. Hence, we redeem the early frustration of missing the chance to see the Vienna Boys Choir in the morning by getting ourselves in a Ballet Opera: Romeo un Julia in the Staatsoper, State Opera House. Even though I don’t consider myself as an opera aficionado, I truly enjoyed the performance and take great pleasure in just being inside this world-class theatrical venue, especially to have a view from the top level (6th floor) of Vienna’s Staatsoper.
We got up as early as 6 o’clock in the morning to go to the train station in Munich. We rode the train for around 2 hours to reach Salzburg, a romantic city of Austria. I will explain later on why I think Salzburg is the most romantic city of Europe (indeed).
Then, we met a Husen who were travelling in Italy when we were in Germany in the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof train station. He was surfing the Internet while we were busy searching this person. We went to the YOHO Hostel to put down our belongings first before continue exploring Salzburg.
We started the tour with the gorgeous Mirabell Garden which is the memorable landmark of the Songs of Music movie. We walked through the most beautiful garden in Europe where weddings and marriages were gracefully held (yeah, it’s true, Icha =P ). We saw a number of couples who got married on that same day (well, since it’s Saturday, yay) and my friend paparazzied them by taking pictures without permission.
The Mirabell Garden (or some named it Residenplatz) is a lovely place. The garden was quite vast and decorated with colorful tulips flower that blossomed all together nicely. In the middle of the garden, there were a fountain and a sculpture of Pegasus which is the iconic statue from the Songs of Music.
We continue walking towards the Mozart’s birthplace. They have a collection of documentation about this great composer in a small house of his. We also visited a Catholic chapel just across Mozart’s place and found some Vatican people who were praying inside the chapel. After that, we walk some more and stepped inside a graveyard. Inside the place, there is Constantine’s tomb. She is Mozart’s wife.
We went back to YOHO Hostel to check in after having a lunch near the big river of Salzburg. Then, we continue walking through small passages of Lenesgrasse where there are a lot of shops selling souvenirs of Mozart, postcards, key chains and statues of Festung Hohensalzburg.
Festung Hohensalzburg is more of a fortress on the top of a mountain rather than a castle in my opinion. There are many archbishops and prices that ruled Salzburg in the past and lived in this place. Salzburg’s beautiful hills are as entrancing as the buildings on the ground level.
We went to the top of the hills to get nothing but the greatest views of Salzburg. Buildings surrounding the river glowed with golden color and Festung Hohensalzburg became so wonderful in brownish color. The city radiance like gold, but the freezing air forced me to climb down the hill back to the hostel.
Ever wonder where Walt Disney got the idea for the Cinderella castle at his famous theme parks? Well, I’ll tell you the answer: Neuschwanstein Schloss. The Royal Castle of Swan was the epitome of a 19th-century romantic with a stunning, dreamlike sight perched halfway up a forested mountain near a waterfall. The structure features slender towers, ramparts and pointy turrets done in pale gray.
The roman was initiated by King Ludwig II but he could never see it finished during his life time due to a sudden death in the age of 40. The development of Neuschwanstein Castle was continuing until now.
The castle was located near Fussen and you can reach it by train in 2 hours, and a 10 minutes bus ride. From the windows inside the train, we can see green forests and the stupendous Switzerland’s Alpen Alps from far away which is still covered with ice-cream like snows on its top.
We took a tour inside the castle after successfully climbing up the steep walking path. Once I got passed through the castle door, the views inside astonished me greatly. The castle was decorated in the most theatrical details way with every inch covered in intricately carved wood. This near-finished neo-Byzantine-Romanesque castle also covered with a lot of gorgeous paintings from the first level up until the stairs, king’s bedroom, king’s living room and the top level large room where king would welcome their guests. One of my favorite paintings is the four sided room where there are paintings of the Ten Commandments, the Nativity story, Ludwig painting and an exceptional painting of Jesus with the twelve apostles.
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
Thank God, I’m feeling a lot better this early morning. We enjoyed a nice dinner on the plane. I myself chose to have the meal option beef with mash potato and a cute bottle of sparkling wine. Later, they provided a cup of hot Delfi chocolate drink with marshmallow that has been melting since I hold it in my hands. It’s a heaven’s gift! You should all try it one time.
We landed in Frankfurt Airport around six in the morning without any problem. A good looking immigration officer was asking me about the purpose of my visit and also whether the person behind me was my friend. In my little heart, I was about to say that Sugi was my partner in crime, lol. But, of course I decided that it’s not a good idea for my first day in Europe to cause any ruckus.
We took a train from Frankfurt to Munich from Flughafen Fernbahnhof train station to Stuttgart to change train and continue up until the city of Munich. It took like almost 3 and 1/2 hours to reach Munich (or Munchen in German). We met a lovely girl named “L” on the way and killed the time talking about Germany and her trip to Australia.
In Munich, we went to Viktualienmarkt for a quick lunch and the start travelling around the central place Residenz Palace, the lively and café-lined Marienplatz, Pinakothek, and Odeonplatz. Frauenkirche is the famous old cathedral in Munich. The two big towers in front of the building is very easy to recognize.
The star of the day was definitely the Hofbräuhaus beer. Located in the heart of Munchen city, the beer house offers delicious types of beer from the delicate Hofbräu Original, the light and refreshing Münchner Weisse, the Bavarian origin Hofbräu Dark, Radler, etc. Hofbräuhaus is not only a place to drink beer, but also an entertainment den. There is a traditional music quartet who plays German folk songs. They are using trumpet, trombone and accordion. We went there twice to enjoy the beer in the afternoon and evening. Bavarian beer is really the best.
Today I’m still in Chinatown, working until the end of the day before I bring all my belongings for the Europe trip that I have prepared since this morning. I got one medium-size backpacking bag (8.5 kg) and one small bag (7kg) for travelling.
It must have been one of my worst days. Even though I have been hoping to stay fit for the journey, I felt sick at that time, and it’s getting worse toward our flight time. My body got warm and my head is like spinning doing a merry-go-round. I’m even too weak to stand on my feet. On top of that, I spilled over my yong-tau-fu when I was having dinner that evening and the soup burnt my right hand. Ouch!
Thankfully, I was accompanied by one of my colleagues until I can make sure myself to be in the cab heading to the Changi Airport. I wanted to go by bus and MRT, yet now I have to spend 5x more using a taxi.
I waited and waited and finally met my other 2 friends who would travel to the blue continent with me. I really need to take a good rest during the flight in order to recover my condition. Thus, I will end it here.
6 more hours left!
For those who don’t know, I will be traveling to the blue continent tonight just before midnight.
It is getting so exciting, yet worrying too. One of the most worrying one of course is the Swine flu disease that has been covering the headline news in everywhere. The second thing is about the weather. Every time I checked the weather, the temperatures in European countries are below 10 degrees. Is it really summer there? I’m not sure.
Anyway, here is a preview of our schedule in Europe.
n.b. Direction: must rename the file to .zip
Oh, and there is password to make life more difficult. Hint: a famous choir group name…
“Evolved to survive in a wide-range of corporate environments, a rat is a shrewd expert in office politics.
Renowned for its arsenal of dirty tricks, an office rat wouldn’t think twice about dragging your name through the sewer.”
Man! In this early morning, I was confronted with an advertisement of a multivitamin supplement by one of the leading pharmaceutical company. They are not only “harassing” rat group, but I also saw fox, snake, vulture, etc. The rest I just couldn’t see because it’s too far from my sight.
At first, I thought those are Chinese zodiacs, lol. But I never expected that it’s actually a public commercial for non-prescription drug product to enhance your productivity. It is said that by taking it regularly, it shall increase your sharpness and you can work better.
I’m not sure why I am very particular with this kind of advertisement. First of all, perhaps, because it is my zodiac, lol. But I always think that the idea of classifying people into a group of zodiacs (Chinese, western, whatever) is the clever way of the Evil in guiding us to the dark side of occultism and witchcraft.
Occultism and witchcraft are clearly prohibited in the Bible because of its theory and practices involving a belief and knowledge of the power other than God, which is the Satan.
Referring back to one of the sermon that I heard before, this topic is quite an interesting one. It has been described very well and it’s quite funny since we learnt the stupidity of our silly thoughts about various fears.
The consequences of doing occultism and witchcraft in any form are dangerous. It will trap us into a life with no peace and we will be rejected by God. For further reading, there is a good link:
09.00 How in the world are we gonna move all these stuffs ÕДÕ…
Don’t worry, “The Great Dan-KuroShirou” will save the day : )
“Every magic trick consists of 3 parts, or acts.
The blogger shows you something ordinary. For example, the above mess, lol.”
This first part is called ‘the pledge’.
09.40 Drafting the strategy plan to do the removal and start working…
“The second act is called ‘the turn’.
Basically, it means that you want to be… fooled *runs away*.
But you wouldn’t clap yet (or in this case, getting killed yet… : ),
because making something disappear isn’t enough.”
11.00 Preparing for the third act.
…That’s why every magic trick has a third act.
The hardest part. The part we call…
Phew… What an exhausting day! I never expected before that the day when we’re moving out the office will be something like today. We start in the morning and until the end of the day, we still cannot continue to do the office work as per normal. Compared to the AV (Audio-Visual) on Sunday, this is like a full-day AV event…
But what a satisfying result we have! We are moving to a new office that is two times bigger than the previous one! I also got a new desk which is about three times larger in term of the space. And I really like it because I can now put my laptop and my netbook on my working desk 😀
There is an interesting afterthought when I was assigned to make the list of inventory for the stuffs to be moved out. As I compiled and counted the items, I remembered about the story of God’s asking Moses to count all the Israelite that have been brought out of Egypt (Numbers 2:32-33). Moses followed God’s Word obediently, the number is 603,550 people and they successfully entered the Promised Land.
Ironically, there was another census done by King David (1 Chronicles 21) which ended up with God’s anger because he fell into Satan’s temptation and ordered Joab to count the people of Israel without God’s order. God wanted to teach David not to trust in his number of fighting men, but to trust in Him. Another exposition that I’ve heard before explained that King David in his arrogance wanted to know the number of his people and this ended up with God’s anger and punishment (70,000 people got killed).
The message is clear. We should not do anything without asking for His permission/approval. God has the absolute sovereignty over all creation and His plan is always better than whatever we can think of. It is our minds and actions that actually bring us into danger. Let’s learn to put His will foremost in our lives all of the time.
After the long wait, finally I decided to re-create a new blog (thanks to someone’s idea : ] ).
Hopefully, this time I have the ‘heart’ to continuously maintain this blog for the sake of my personal journal that can work not only as a ‘memory recorder’ but also a ‘mirror reflection’.
Friends, let’s once again build a healthy network and liberate our thoughts together!
Well, enjoy it! New things will be coming up soon.