Friday, 15 April 2016

Italy trip : Venice |Part 1|

Assalamualaikum...

the long awaited break that I am waiting for after 1 year struggling in the lab that causes me to put on so much stress and broke me into tears once...huhu...just right after my conference in Montreal, Canada which I will post it later, I went to Italy as my short getaway from lab with the blessings from my supervisor :D

we have been planning the trip for months before the actual event...there were supposed to be 4 us but somehow in the very last minute, one of my friend drop out from the trip as her bestfriend is undergoing a major surgery...if it was me, I would do the same...we depart from London Gatwick airport which was my very first time there as I have been taking flights from Heathrow airport all this while...we took Easyjet to Venice at 9.30pm scheduled flight...we got the first seat on the flight which was just infront of the cockpit! wohooaa..

we landed in Marco Polo airport around midnight (add 1 hour from UK's time)...our accommodation is just few minutes away from the airport by water taxi but little that we know, the last departure of the water taxi was at 9.30pm...thankfully there was a shuttle bus that go to Venice for 8...we arrived at Piazzale Roma and get off the bus...we asked around and there are few water taxi services thats still operating that time but since we can't find the ticket booth stand nor the dock, I went to ask a taxi driver if he could get us to our accommodation...to my surprise, he said that we can just walk to our accommodation which will only be around 15 minutes and he even Google map it himself to show the route to us...so we decided to save our money and walk since it's just a straight line with few bridges that we need to cross...

using my other friend data plan, (if you are planning for a vacation in any European country, I would suggest to use Three) with the help of the gps to direct us, finally we manage to find our accommodation building...if you haven't been to Venice, no vehicles can fit into their narrow and small roads...its either you take water taxi or walk! I can't imagine if I was traveling alone and need to pass all those gloomy, dark and silence narrow roads in the middle of the night! you can't really tell what's infront of you since the building is stall and close to each other...if you are not familiar with the place, you might get lost as some of the road has no sign on it...I always make a joke to my bestie if I was destined to study there, I would get lost every single time for months before I can manage to memorise the roads...haha

 

this is how the road in Venice looks like...narrow and sandwiched with tall buildings


once reached our accommodation which my bestie found it thru air bnb, we unlock the front door using the instruction that the owner gave to her thru email...so we took the bags that consist of the key to our room and a Venice map and start searching for my bestie name on the door that has been assigned by the owner...to our surprised, we can't find her name on any door in the house...my other friend somehow realised that there is one door that has my bestie name on it but has been rubbed off and other name is on it, and that person name is on the other door in that house as well...in that moment I know that our room has been taken off by someone else without ours or the owner knowledge...I used the key that were in the bag and opened the door that was supposed to be us and it fits perfectly! there were 4 guys in that room and I try to negotiate with them...since we are too tired and he doesn't want to admit that they changed the room themselves without consulting the owner eventhough I told him that we have the matching key to our room and they have the key to their room which was on the other floor, I gave up and we switched the room anyway...since one of our friend drop out last minute, the room fits us all with 1 double bed and 1 single bed...I asked my bestie to contact the owner the next morning to inform him what happened...

put aside what happened the night before, we woke up bright and early and started our morning stroll around Venice the next day...check out my next update on Venice!

Ciao! ^_^v


Monday, 11 April 2016

Skydiving at UK Parachuting-Beccles Airfield Elloungh, Beccles, Suffolk

Assalamualaikum...

It has been half a year from my last post...its not that I have nothing to share with you guys, but I was so busy with my current status as a PhD student...I have lotsss of things to share but as I have just jumped from an airplane yesterday, I think its worth mentioning as the first post for my comeback...ahaks!


this event is conducted by Muslim Hands, a charity NGO in UK...my bestie found this event through their website and persuaded me to join eventhough she knew that I am scared of height...at first I was reluctant to register for this event, but somehow after continuously persuaded me into it, she register my name and pay the fees without my knowledge :p

we register a month before the event and there is not a second of the day before the event that I keep mentioning to my bestie that I am scared and I don't think that I can make it up there...I might pass out or ask the instructor to not jump with me...haha...and this event is actually just right after we came back from our easter break from Italy which I will post all about Italy after this...

since the event is conducted outside of London, Muslim Hands provide transportation from their office at Limehouse to the venue of the event which is at Beccles Airfield in Suffolk...we need to gather at their office at 5am and the journey will start at 5.30am so that we can make it exactly at 8.30am at the site...since from our house to go to Limehouse which is situated at East London is quite far and we need to change quite a few buses to go there past midnight, me and my bestie sleepover at our friend house at Shadwell that will only took us 20minutes by walking or 6 minutes by bus to be at the Muslim Hands office...

exactly at 5.30am, we start our journey by a minibus rented specifically for this event by Muslim Hands...the journey took around 2h30mnts and we reached there around 8.30am...we were brought to the office to hand in the 'Parachuting Student Declaration Form' and 'BPA Medical Form' to the parachuting staff...right after that, we were headed to the next station to hear a briefing if we want to sign up for a video and photograph, captured by the staff as we are not allowed to take any sort of devices during the parachuting even gopro...if we want them to capture the moment, the charge is £99 all inclusive...the fees is quite expensive therefore, we didn't sign up for it...

next, we were headed to the tandem briefing area whereby we were briefed on how to suit up for the skydiving, our leg, hand and body position when we board the plane and landing...after the briefing we just need to wait for our turn as there were only 2 female skydiving instructors available on that day...


 



after almost 3 hours waiting for my turn, which I am the last person to skydive on that day, I was called up to suit up for my turn... 

 

 

all suited up!


then I just need to wait until the plane comes back and fetch us and bring us up in the air...there were 3 of us that has instructors tied to them (tandem) and few single skydivers whose diving alone...total up I think can only accommodate around 15 people in the plane...


the plane has come back! its time!

since there were only 2 female skydivers instructors on that day, I was the last double that board the plane since I need to wait for my female instructors landed to the ground as she was on the air with another participants...(the red arrow is me) waiting to board the plane...

the double board the plane first and accompanied by the single divers...since I was the last double board the plane, I was the first double that leave the plane...it was scary watching the single divers leaving the plane and that was the moment when I was about the tell my instructors to go back...hahaha...but since I am the first double that need to leave the plane, I just follow my instructor lead and leave the plane...I closed my eyes! and when I open my eyes, gosh I was up on the sky with the fullest speed, and I was flying!...its hard to breath and trying to apply the breathing technique that my bestie thought me since her turn was before mine...all I can remember was gasping as much air as I could up there before my instructor open the parachute...it was around 10 seconds before she opened the parachute...and it was sooo cold around -10 degrees

once she opened the parachute, she asked me to remove the goggle, and I refused! haha...but then she insisted me to remove the goggle as that's how you can enjoy the view the best...and she was right! the view was spectacular, gorgeous, beautiful! at 10,000 feet, she let us fly for a while and I can feel that I was up there quite a while as compared to other people...I am lucky! hehe...then I know when my bestie told me that I was the last double that landed since it was my instructor last slot :D

video

 Alhamdulillah, I manage to combat my fear of and go on with this challenge...I am so thankful to my bestie as she is the one that persuaded me into doing it...if its not because of her, I don't think that I will ever do it in a million years!

therefore I could say: I have jumped 13,000 feet with UK Parachuting

we were given 2 certificates; one from Muslim Hands and one from UK Parachuting...once I landed, we started our journey back to London around 2.30pm...once we reached the minibus, the bus driver told us a bad news, the minibus is out of battery but with a good news that someone is coming over to help him with the jumpstart...once jumpstarted the minibus, the journey was quite smooth and I was half asleep until suddenly the bus stopped again...and the bus driver told us that the bus is totally broken down and he already contacted someone to pick us up and send us back to London...around 6pm, we hop on to another bus and continue our journey back sound and safe and we reached London around 8.30pm...

I would like to give full credit to the organiser especially the leader of this event, whose so calm and so organised in contacting us by phone and email every now and then...thank you again Muslim Hands for this opportunity.

Bye~ ^_^v

p/s: the normal price for skydiving is £200+


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