Mar 25, 2012

Gothenburg, Sweden

24 (Sat) - 25 (Sun) Mar 2012

Lodging: STF Vandrarhem Stigbergsliden

Day 1

Göteborg C (Gothenburg Central Station)
3 is not quite a good number in terms of travelling together - you usually find a 4 bed dorm instead of 3, and we paid more for transport each person because (a duo ticket and an adult ticket)/3 is greater than 2 duo tickets.
Ok anyway, by some randomness, 3 of us spent that weekend in Gothenburg, the 2nd largest city in Sweden.

Good thing about taking train - no luggage weight and size limits, but we brought only backpacks because it's just a one night trip.

We reached Gothenburg train station at 12:20pm. It's cold because it's still Sweden and it's further north. But thank God since Gothenburg is still within Sweden, I could use the 3G to navigate. It's practically an unplanned trip and I was asked to navigate the route so before that I roughly listed down some attractions of Gothenburg which are reasonably reachable from the city center and then route using my iPhone by picking destinations.

Nordstan, one of the largest shopping centres in Scandinavia is merely a minute walk away from the station.

Well at least you won't see this kind of multi-storey shopping centre in Lund.

We did nothing particularly there but Min Khai bought a backpack for the upcoming mega break trip.

Gothenburg Cathedral / Gustavi Cathedral

We had our lunch down the streets at Kungsgatan 19 Restaurang & Pizzeria.


Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

Mar 16, 2012

Freehand Cycling

After 2 months of continuous cycling (especially for me who had classes everyday), I finally can cycle without hands!!

Sometimes whenever the road is spacious enough I'll always try to release my hands for a while then grab back the handlebars, eventually I thought I was actually gaining some feeling towards the correct posture and technique of freehand cycling.

And today I managed to do it when I was cycling alone to Yiting's house at Stralsundsvägen, Östra Torn for dinner. I thought my bicycle's gonna topple but it stayed straight for very long, as long as I wanted it to.
I was pretty surprised then, as I'm totally not an expert in cycling, although regularly I cycle to school.

However I have to get my bicycle to a certain speed to keep it gyroscopic, else it will topple or self-steered because of gravitational force, and of course I still can't steer without hand. Let's see if I can do it before my exchange ends. Hehe...

Not to show off, and I know a lot of people can do this, but I just wanna share my happiness for attaining one negligible skill in my life. やった!^^

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

Mar 11, 2012

London, UK

10 (Sat) - 11 (Sun) Mar 2012

Lodging: Malaysia Hall, 30-34 Queensborough Terrace

Day 1

Continued from the previous post, yup, we reached London Victoria Coach Station at about 11am.

First of all, get yourself a tube map, which is extremely useful if you're travelling in London.

You can get one piece of these from any tube station in London I guess.

We bought a day ticket each for each day at £7 (only for Zone 1), an Oyster Card is actually more worth buying after hearing from my friend because it has a cap at £7 each day (making it the same as a day pass). However if you travel a lot, which one should be doing, there's no difference buying a day ticket or using an Oyster Card.

Buckingham Palace

We first blindly walked along road right from Victoria Coach Station, which fortunately led us to our first attraction - Buckingham Palace

Despite being overwhelmed by the number of people surrounding the palace, I didn't know what's happening and what's this palace all about. So what're all these people doing?

Buckingham Palace is the residence of the British monarch, who's currently Queen Elizabeth II. I guess they're watching the change of guards, which are supposed to be happening outside the gate, but we didn't manage to watch. So we're just taking photos around the palace site.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

Mar 9, 2012

Portsmouth, UK

09 (Fri) - 11 (Sun) Mar 2012

Lodging: 34 Belmont Street

A trip to visit my friend Tan Leo who's studying in University of Portsmouth.

Day 1

It's my first time traveling alone within Europe, apart from loneliness and anxiety when you have other no friend to depend on, I paid more as single train ticket is more expensive than sharing a duo ticket (not a big deal actually).

Gatwick Airport South Terminal
After arriving at London Gatwick Airport, I took National Express Service 206 from the airport's South Terminal to Portsmouth Hard Interchange by presenting the return ticket that I've booked online earlier which cost £18.50.

Hmmm, I know a lot of you haven’t even heard of Portsmouth before, the reason I went there is to find my Penang friend who’s currently studying in University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth is a southern city in the county of Hampshire in England, as well as the only island-city in the UK.

The journey took one and a half hour and I reached Portsmouth at 3.30pm, but my friend, Leo didn't notice me alighting and I walked around the bus stop then saw him waiting for someone. Of course I did recognize him with his unchanged look, although we've not been seeing each other for only approximately 9 months.

He showed me around the Portsmouth Harbour while telling stories about the historical Portsmouth - all the ships, war and stuffs. The temperature there was lower than expected, but it's survivable without scarf, gloves and ear mask.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Gunwharf Quays

He then showed me around his university, which is like a typical European university like Lund University - spreading around the town area, making the campus look borderless.

His hostel - James Watson Hall

According to him, student life here is pretty slack, which accounts for its not-so-good reputation worldwide, oops. But I like the purple theme of the university.

And then the Commercial Road of Portsmouth

For dinner, I joined him and his coursemates (two Vietnamese from Poland, a British From Turkey, a Taiwanese from Malaysia and a Hong Kong national) at Golden Bowl. I really have to thank him for his wonderful treat there. I guess it's run by Hong Kong nationals as they speak Cantonese and you definitely can order using Cantonese. Chinese dishes FTW!!!

It's my pleasure to have one of Leo's coursemates baking me birthday muffins and as well to have them celebrating my 23rd birthday which was one day before this.

Touched, really…

As usual, I'm super quiet in front of new friends and some of them were trying to open me up but failed owing to my extraordinary shyness.

We drank till midnight and I stayed at his coursemates' place, which is sort of a multi-storey terrace. The next day Leo and I will be off for London. Whoohoo!

Day 2

Portsmouth Harbour Station
We took National Express early in the morning from Portsmouth Harbour Station at 9:30am and reached London at about 11am.

Please read my blog post: London, UK

Day 3

Leo is cooking
From London, we reached Portsmouth at about 8:30pm and his friends were waiting for him to cook dinner.

Leo's gonna cook us some delicious dishes for dinner.
They're really delicious but sorry Leo that we didn't manage to finish the entire dish and I wished I had an emptier stomach for those, honestly.

That's pretty much for Portsmouth, I took a 2am National Express coach back to London Gatwick Airport for an early morning flight and a zombie's having his first Heat Transfer lecture the next afternoon.

For more photos, please check out my photo album Portsmouth, UK on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.