EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Vacation

#1889 – Post-PhD Trips (Part IV: Roma)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Getting There

To go to Rome, we took the business class high-speed Frecciarossa train from Firenze – Santa Maria Novella to Roma Termini. As in our trip to Firenze (read Part III), the business class tickets were cheaper than economy when we bought them, haha 😆 . With the high-speed train, the almost 300 km ride was done in less than two hours.

Travelling business class with Frecciarossa
Travelling business class with Frecciarossa

The Vatican Museum

Anyway, I only had half a day with my parents and brother in Rome. Originally we planned to make use of the time by going to the Colosseum. But then, we made a last minute switch of plan to the Vatican Museum instead.

The always crowded St. Peter's Square in Vatican City
The always crowded St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City

My brother and I planned to visit it in our year end 2012 trip but could not because it was already closed due to the holiday season and stuffs. And I really wanted to show them this amazing museum (It is still my most favorite museum in Europe, btw; even more than Louvre!), which I last visited in 2010. So there we went!! 😀

Vatican Museum
Vatican Museum

Luckily we did not have to queue for too long to enter the museum this time. But it was still very crowded inside, probably because today was a Saturday, haha. As before, I enjoyed my time a lot in the museum. It was not only its collection, but the interior itself was super mesmerizing!! It was definitely worth the entrance fee!! 🙂

The School of Athens by Raphael at the Vatican Museum
The School of Athens by Raphael at the Vatican Museum

The one part of the museum my parents really wanted to see was the one and only Sistine Chapel, where Michaelangelo’s super famous The Creation of Adam was located. As in six years ago, people were not allowed to take any pictures inside the Chapel; and the securities were really strict about it! Haha…

Another part of the museum I would want them to see was the photogenic Instagrammable purple spiral stairs near the exit, haha 😆 . I was not very satisfied with the photo I took six years ago so I was glad I got another chance now! 😛

The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum
The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum

Roma

Anyway, as usual, Rome was a nice city for a vacation, even though we were quite unlucky that the weather today was not the best.

Colosseum in Rome
Colosseum

From Vatican City, we made a stop at the Colosseum. It was already too late for entrance, so we decided to just walk around it.

Bucatini carbonara!!!
Bucatini carbonara!!!

For dinner, we decided to dine at my favorite pasta restaurant in Rome: Pastarito! Haha 😆 . As in my previous visits there, obviously I ordered the super delicious bucatini carbonara! Haha 😀 . And I still loved it! 😀

Back to the Netherlands

KL Logo
Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1598
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC named “Korhoen”
ATD: 10:16 CET
ATA: 12:12 CET

I took the Leonardo Express train to Rome-Fiumicino Airport from Roma Termini. The total trip was in less than 30 minutes so it was quite convenient.

After checking-in and passing the security check, I was looking for Alitalia’s lounge for Schengen flights. However, it was located quite far away from the SkyTeam departure hall, which was unfortunate, in my opinion; even though it was probably due to space limitation. Nonetheless, the lounge facility was quite good in my opinion, actually even better to me than the non-Schengen counterpart at the same airport.

KLM's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC
KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC

Anyway, the flight today would be operated with KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC. Everything about the flight went quite smoothly, today. After take-off, a mini snack service with drinks were served. Overall, it was a regular uneventful but pleasant flight with KLM, as usual. At 12:12 PM, we landed at the infamous Polderbaan of Schiphol.

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Menuju Roma

Untuk pergi ke Roma, kami menaiki kereta super-cepat Frecciarossa di kelas bisnis dari Stasiun Firenze – Santa Maria Novella ke Stasiun Roma Termini. Seperti di perjalanan kami ke Firenze (baca Bagian III), tiket kelas bisnis waktu itu lebih murah daripada tiket kelas ekonomi loh, hahaha 😆 . Dengan kereta super-cepat, jarak sekitar 300 km ini ditempuh dalam waktu kurang dari dua jam.

Travelling business class with Frecciarossa
Menaiki Frecciarossa di kelas bisnis

Museum Vatikan

Anyway, aku hanya memiliki waktu setengah hari di Roma bersama orangtua dan adikku. Awalnya, rencana kami adalah memasuki Colosseum. Tetapi kemudian, kami mengganti rencana kami dengan Museum Vatikan.

The always crowded St. Peter's Square in Vatican City
Lapangan Santo Petrus di Kota Vatikan yang nggak pernah sepi

Adikku dan aku berencana mengunjungi museum ini di perjalanan kami di akhir tahun 2012 tetapi tidak bisa karena waktu itu museumnya sudah ditutup karena musim liburan. Dan aku sangat ingin menunjukkan museum ini ke orangtua dan adikku (Museum ini masih museum paling favoritku di Eropa loh, bahkan aku lebih menyukainya daripada Louvre!), yang terakhir kali kukunjungi di tahun 2010. Jadilah kami kesana!! 😀

Vatican Museum
Museum Vatikan

Untungnya kami tidak harus mengantri lama untuk memasuki museumnya. Tetapi di dalamnya ramai banget sih, mungkin karena hari ini adalah hari Sabtu, haha. Seperti yang lalu, aku benar-benar suka museum ini. Nggak cuma koleksinya aja, tetapi interior bangunannya itu mempesona banget!! Benar-benar layak banget untuk dikunjungi dan setimpal dengan tiket masuknya!! 🙂

The School of Athens by Raphael at the Vatican Museum
The School of Athens karya Raphael di Museum Vatikan

Satu bagian museum yang ingin banget orangtuaku kunjungi adalah Kapel Sistina, dimana karya super terkenalnya Michaelangelo, The Creation of Adam, berada. Seperti enam tahun yang lalu, di dalam kapel dilarang mengambil foto; dan petugas sekuritinya ketat dan galak banget loh dengan ini! Haha…

Satu bagian lain dari museum ini yang ingin kutunjukkan adalah tangga spiral berwarna keunguan yang fotogenik dan Instagrammable banget itu, haha 😆 . Aku kurang puas dengan foto yang kuambil enam tahun yang lalu sehingga aku senang aku berkesempatan mengambil fotonya lagi! 😛

The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum
Tangga spiral yang terkenal itu di Museum Vatikan

Roma

Anyway, seperti biasanya, Roma adalah kota yang asyik untuk berlibur, walaupun kami cukup kurang beruntung sih hari ini cuacanya sedang kurang oke.

Colosseum in Rome
Colosseum

Dari Kota Vatikan, kami mampir di Colosseum. Waktu itu sudah kemalaman sehingga kami sudah tidak bisa masuk. Jadilah kami mengelilinginya dari luar saja.

Bucatini carbonara!!!
Bucatini carbonara!!!

Untuk makan malam, kami memutuskan makan di restoran pasta favoritku di Roma: Pastarito! Haha 😆 . Seperti di kunjungan-kunjunganku yang lalu kesana, jelas dong aku memesan bucatini carbonara-nya yang enak banget itu! Haha 😀 . Dan aku masih sukaa!!

Kembali ke Belanda

KL Logo
Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1598
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC bernama “Korhoen”
ATD: 10:16 CET
ATA: 12:12 CET

Aku menaiki kereta Leonardo Express menuju Roma-Fiumicino dari Roma Termini. Total perjalanannya kurang dari 30 menit sehingga cukup nyaman juga.

Setelah check-in dan melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku mencari lounge-nya Alitalia untuk penerbangan Schengen. Ternyata, lokasinya jauh banget dari area keberangkatannya SkyTeam, yang mana sayang banget sih menurutku; walaupun mungkin penyebabnya adalah keterbatasan tempat ya. Toh walaupun begitu, fasilitas lounge-nya cukup oke kok menurutku. Bahkan aku lebih menyukainya daripada lounge non-Schengen-nya di bandara yang sama.

KLM's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXC
Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BXC

Anyway, penerbangan hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan registrasi PH-BXC. Semua hal yang berkaitan dengan penerbangan ini berlangsung mulus hari ini. Setelah lepas landas, layanan snack dan minuman dibagikan. Secara umum, ini adalah penerbangan reguler dan uneventful tetapi nyaman bersama KLM, seperti biasanya. Jam 12:12 siang, pesawat mendarat di Polderbaan di Schiphol.

BERSAMBUNG…

EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Vacation

#1887 – Post-PhD Trips (Part III: Firenze)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

A Day in Firenze

To get from Cinque Terre to Firenze, we took the regional train from Riomaggiore to La Spezia, then a first class Frecciabianca high-speed train from La Spezia to Pisa Centrale, then a regional train from Pisa Centrale to Firenze Santa Maria Novella.

Travelling first class with Trenitalia's Frecciabianca
Travelling first class with Trenitalia’s Frecciabianca

Btw, yes, first class train 😀 . In Italy, if you book early enough, sometimes first class train tickets are cheaper than economy tickets! Haha.

We only had one full day to spend in Firenze. So obviously in the morning I took my parents and brother to the famous Galleria dell’Accademia museum that was the home of the famous marble statue of David by Michaelangelo.

The famous David by Michaelangelo
David’s back by Michaelangelo

We had to queue to enter the museum, but luckily it did not take very long (unlike the last time I was in Firenze but that was during the peak season, lol 😆 ). David was marvelous. The details were so extraordinary and reflected Michaelangelo’s talent and hard work to build such a sculpture!!

The detail 🙈
The details 🙈

One location nearby Firenze my mom had been wanting to go badly was the famous factory outlet, haha 😆 . She heard from her friends that the discount there was nice and the goods were good. And so we planned to go there after our visit to Galleria dell’Accademia.

The Mall
The Mall

We bought return tickets to “The Mall” (the name of the factory outlet) from the central station. The Mall was quite far away from Firenze, actually, as one way bus trip took about 30 – 40 minutes. Anyway, we spent about two and a half hours there. We ended up not buying anything as we did not find anything that we liked, haha 😛 .

Once we were back in Firenze, we walked around the city. Obviously we went to the famous Ponte Vecchio! Haha 😆 After dinner, we went back to our hotel.

Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio

The Food

One dish that, somehow, left a big impact in my memory from my 2010 visit to Firenze was the famous Florentian beef steak. And so obviously I knew that I must have some while I was there. In fact, I had it three times! Haha 😆

From what I knew, the dish was supposed to be served in weight instead of portion (so you have to specify how many grams you would want to order, not how many portion). But we also found some restaurants already adjusted it to portion to cater individual need, haha 😛 .

1 kg of Florentian beef steak in Florence
1 kg of Florentian beef steak

Anyway, it was super delicious as usual! I. LOVED. IT!! 😛 . In our first dinner there, my dad said he was full so he was not going to order anything. And so my brother and I ordered 1 kg of steak to share (1 kg was the minimum weight you needed to order in that restaurant).

But then obviously he tried a bite just to taste it. It was so good that he had more bites and actually ate quite a significant amount of the dish which was supposed to be shared between my brother and I 😣. Obviously it was not enough (bear in mind that 1 kg included the bones!), so we decided that we needed to order more. The problem was, we had to order another 1 kg of steak as it was the smallest size 😣. But luckily, the restaurant found a cut of smaller size at 900 grams and served that to us instead. Haha

Another serving of Florentian beef steak
Another serving of Florentian beef steak

Anyway, seriously, if you ever get the chance to try Florentian beef steak, do it!! Especially if you love medium-rare steak like I do, it is super good!! 🙂

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Sehari di Firenze

Untuk mencapai Firenze dari Cinque Terre, kami menaiki kereta regional dari Riomaggiore ke La Spezia, kemudian kereta cepat Frecciabianca di kelas satu dari La Spezia ke Pisa Centrale, dan disambung dengan kereta regional dari Pisa Centrale ke Firenze Santa Maria Novella.

Travelling first class with Trenitalia's Frecciabianca
Naik kereta kelas satu loh di kereta cepat Frecciabianca-nya Trenitalia

Btw, iyaa, kereta kelas satu 😀 . Di Italia, jika kita membeli tiketnya awal, kadang harga tiket kelas satu itu lebih murah daripada harga tiket kelas ekonomi loh! Haha.

Kami hanya memiliki waktu satu hari penuh di Firenze. Jadi jelas di pagi harinya aku mengantarkan orangtua dan adikku ke museum Galleria dell’Accademia yang merupakan rumah dari patung marmer David (Daud) karya Michaelangelo yang super terkenal itu.

The famous David by Michaelangelo
Bagian belakangnya David karya Michaelangelo

Kami harus mengantri untuk bisa masuk ke museum, tetapi untungnya tidak lama (nggak seperti terakhir kali aku kesana yang mana waktu itu memang lagi musim liburan sih, haha 😆 ). Patung David-nya memang keren banget lah. Detailnya itu dapat banget dan patungnya memang mencerminkan talenta dan kerja kerasnya Michaelangelo!!

The detail 🙈
Detailnya sampai segitunya dong 🙈 #nggakpakesensor

Satu lokasi di dekat Firenze yang mamaku ingin banget kunjungi adalah sebuah factory outlet, haha 😆 . Ia dengar dari teman-temannya bahwa diskonnya di sana lumayan juga dan barangnya oke-oke. Jadilah kami berencana kesana setelah mengunjungi Galleria dell’Accademia.

The Mall
The Mall

Kami membeli tiket bus pp ke “The Mall” (nama factory outlet-nya) dari stasiun kereta pusat. The Mall berlokasi cukup jauh dari Firenze, dimana perjalanan bus satu kali jalan adalah sekitar 30-40 menit. Kami menghabiskan total sekitar dua setengah jam disana. Akhirnya nggak beli apa-apa juga sih soalnya tidak ada barang yang cocok, haha 😛 .

Begitu kembali di Firenze, kami berjalan mengelilingi kotanya. Jelas dong kami mampir di Ponte Vecchio yang terkenal itu! Haha 😆 . Setelah makan malam, kami langsung balik ke hotel.

Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio

Makanannya

Satu menu yang berkesan banget dari kunjungan tahun 2010ku ke Firenze adalah steak sapi ala Firenze (Florentian beef steak). Jadi sudah pasti lah aku akan memakan menu ini ketika di Firenze. Malahan, jadinya menu ini aku makan tiga kali loh! Haha 😆

Dari apa yang kutahu, menu ini seharusnya disajikan dalam ukuran berat dan bukannya porsi (jadi ketika memesan kita harus menyebutkan mau berapa gram gitu, bukan berapa porsi, haha). Tetapi ternyata ada juga beberapa restoran yang sudah menyesuaikan ke ukuran porsi untuk melayani pemesanan individual, haha 😛 .

1 kg of Florentian beef steak in Florence
1 kg steak sapi ala Firenze

Anyway, memang masih enaaak! AKU. SUKA. BANGET!! 😛 . Nah, di makan malam pertama kami di sana, papaku bilang sudah kenyang sehingga ia bilang tidak akan memesan apa-apa. Ya sudah aku dan adikku memesan 1 kg steak untuk dibagi dua (di restoran itu, ukuran pemesanan minimal adalah 1 kg).

Tetapi jelas dong kemudian ia mencoba satu potong untuk mencicipinya. Saking enaknya, ia memotong-motong lagi dan akhirnya malah memakan cukup banyak dari porsi yang seharusnya aku bagi berdua dengan adikku, haha 😣. Karena akhirnya kurang (eh, 1 kg itu termasuk tulang-tulangnya kok!), kami memutuskan memesan lagi. Nah, masalahnya adalah kami harus memesan 1 kg lagi kan karena ini adalah ukuran terkecilnya 😣. Tetapi untungnya, restorannya menemukan satu potongan daging yang agak kecilan dikit (900 gram) dan menyajikan ini untuk kami, haha.

Another serving of Florentian beef steak
Satu porsi steak sapi ala Firenze lainnya

Anyway, serius deh, jika ada kesempatan untuk mencoba steak sapi ala Firenze ini, cobain aja!! Pasti akan suka terutama jika memang demen steak yang dimasak medium-rare seperti aku, enak banget!! 🙂

BERSAMBUNG…

EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Vacation

#1884 – Post-PhD Trips (Part II: Cinque Terre)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Background

To me, Cinque Terre was the main destination of this trip to Italy. So in the planning stage, we tried to schedule our other destinations based on its location and the time I would want to be there.

The location of Cinque Terre. Source: https://www.coastalwalking.com/Cinque_Terre/Map.php
The location of Cinque Terre. Source: https://www.coastalwalking.com/Cinque_Terre/Map.php

The map above shows why we chose to fly to Genova. Genova was the closest city to Cinque Terre with an international airport with a connection to Amsterdam. And so indeed we used Genova only as a transit city, sort of, haha.

Transportation

Regional Trenitalia train
Regional Trenitalia train

To get to Cinque Terre, we chose to travel by train, haha. We chose the cheapest connection possible from Genova to Vernazza in Cinque Terre, where we took two regional trains with a stop in Sestri Levante. The total journey took about two hours.

Getting around Cinque Terre was also the easiest by train (a popular alternative was, well, to hike the trails; which apparently provided beautiful scenery!). There was a one-day ticket for €14 per person which allowed us to take any regional trains between La Spezia and Levanto (Cinque Terre was in between these two).

One-day Cinque Terre train ticket
One-day Cinque Terre train ticket

Cinque Terre

So, what actually is Cinque Terre? Well, in Italian, “cinque” means five and “terre” means lands. Cinque Terre consists of five colorful villages situated by the rocky coast of western Italy toward the Mediterranean sea: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Manarola
Manarola

Now, the five villages are located in the Cinque Terre national park. So you could, indeed, think that this is a beautiful part of Italy!! And, of course, we visited all of them. In fact, we actually spent a night in an apartment in Vernazza.

Vernazza
Vernazza

To me, my most favorite village was Manarola, which I found to be the most beautiful one. Another reason was that it was very easy to get to a spot with stunning view to the village! Haha 🙂 . Consequently, aside from Vernazza where we spent a night in, we spent the most of our time in Manarola. Riomaggiore followed closely behind.

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore

Of the five, my least favorite one was Corniglia. The village was located quite far away from the train station (there was a shuttle, though, which we could take for free with our valid one-day train ticket; and also it felt like a ghost village when we were there. There was barely any activity!

There was barely any local
There was barely any local

Nonetheless, we felt like we travelled during the low season, at least “low” in the perception of the locals. In general, not a lot of activities were going on (most shops and restaurants were closed) and we did not see a lot of local people on the streets. The good side: it was very easy to take “photobomb-less” pictures! Hahaha 😆

***

So, in conclusion, Cinque Terre was a beautiful part of Italy situated in its north-western. It might be a little bit tricky on how to get there, but it was definitely worth it!! 🙂 Winter appeared to be its low-season, meaning very little activity and “soul”; but on the other hand, this meant the easiness and freedom of photo-taking! Lol 😆

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Latar Belakang

Untukku, Cinque Terre adalah destinasi utama dari perjalanan ke Italia kali ini. Jadilah ketika dalam tahap perencanaan, kami menjadwalkan destinasi-destinasi lain berdasarkan lokasi Cinque Terre ini dan waktu kapan aku ingin berada di sana.

The location of Cinque Terre. Source: https://www.coastalwalking.com/Cinque_Terre/Map.php
Lokasi Cinque Terre. Sumber: https://www.coastalwalking.com/Cinque_Terre/Map.php

Peta di atas menunjukkan mengapa kami memilih terbang ke Genova. Genova adalah kota terdekat dari Cinque Terre dengan sebuah bandara internasional dengan koneksi ke Amsterdam. Iya, memang kami memanfaatkan Genova sebagai semacam kota transit gitu deh, haha.

Transportasi

Regional Trenitalia train
Kereta regionalnya Trenitalia

Untuk pergi ke Cinque Terre, kami memilih untuk naik kereta, haha. Kami memilih kereta paling murah dari Geneva ke Vernazza di Cinque Terre, dimana kami harus menaiki dua kereta dengan transit di Sestri Levante. Perjalanannya adalah sekitar dua jam.

Berkeliling Cinque Terre juga mudah dilakukan dengan kereta (alternatif populernya adalah dengan hiking di jalan setapak di sana; yang mana ternyata pemandangannya kece banget loh!). Ada tiket satu-hari seharga €14 (sekitar Rp 200 ribu) per orang yang memberikan kebebasan bagi kami menaiki kereta regional mana pun di antara La Spezia dan Levanto (Cinque Terre berada di antara dua ini).

One-day Cinque Terre train ticket
Tiket kereta satu-hari Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Nah, jadi sebenarnya apa sih Cinque Terre itu? Dalam bahasa Italia, “cinque” artinya lima dan “terre” berarti tanah. Cinque Terre terdiri atas lima desa-desa berwarna-warni yang berlokasi di pantai bertebing di sisi barat Italia dan menghadap ke Laut Mediterania: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, dan Riomaggiore.

Manarola
Manarola

Nah, lima desa ini berlokasi di dalam Taman Nasional Cinque Terre. Jadi bisa dibayangkan dong ya tempatnya memang kece banget!! Dan tentu saja dong kami mampir ke semuanya, haha. Malahan, kami juga menginap semalam di sebuah apartemen di Vernazza.

Vernazza
Vernazza

Untukku, desa favoritku adalah Manarola, yang mana menurutku adalah desa yang paling indah. Salah satu alasan lain adalah aksesnya yang gampang ke tempat dengan pandangan yang kece banget ke arah desanya! Haha 🙂 . Akibatnya, di samping Vernazza dimana memang kami menginap semalam, kami menghabiskan waktu paling banyak di Manarola. Riomaggiore adalah favoritku nomor dua.

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore

Dari kelima desa, yang paling kurang aku suka adalah Corniglia. Desa ini berlokasi cukup jauh dari stasiun kereta (ada shuttle bus sih yang bisa kita naiki gratis dengan tiket satu-hari itu); dan juga rasanya seperti desa mati gitu ketika kami berada di sana. Sama sekali tidak ada aktivitas!

There was barely any local
Penduduk lokal nyaris tidak nampak sama sekali

Toh walaupun begitu, sepertinya kami bepergian kesana ketika musim sepi, setidaknya “sepi” dalam persepsi penduduk setempat. Secara umum, tidak ada banyak aktivitas di sana (kebanyakan toko dan restoran tutup) dan kami tidak melihat banyak penduduk setempat. Sisi baiknya sih: gampang untuk mengambil foto tanpa digangguin orang lain! Hahaha 😆

***

Jadi, kesimpulannya, Cinque Terre adalah bagian indah dari Italia yang berlokasi di sebelah barat lautnya. Mungkin lokasinya agak repot untuk dituju, tetapi setimpal banget lah!! 🙂 Musim dingin sepertinya adalah musim sepi di sana, artinya hanya ada sedikit aktivitas yang nampak dan nyaris tidak terasa “kehidupan”-nya; tetapi di sisi lain, ini berarti kemudahan dan kebebasan untuk foto-foto! Haha 😆

BERSAMBUNG…

Aviation · EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Trip Report · Vacation

#1882 – Post-PhD Trips (Part I: Genova)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Getting to Genova

The flying route map today. Created with gcmap.com
The flying route map today. Created with gcmap.com

There was no direct Amsterdam – Genova flight on the day of our travel so we had to transit at Paris – Charles De Gaulle (CDG). Upon checking-in, we got an unpleasant news where my parents and brother were on stand-by on the Paris-CDG – Genova flight (We were not in the same tickets as I would return to Amsterdam from Rome while they would continue to Spain), while my seat was confirmed, due to overbooking. The check-in agent at Schiphol was not able to change anything in their system so she suggested us to contact the transfer desk at Paris – CDG. It was quite annoying, but for whatever reason I was not really annoyed, haha.

KL Logo
Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1245
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL named “Sperwer”
ATD: 17:51 CET
ATA: 18:37 CET

Anyway, I could guest one person to the KLM Crown Lounge at Schiphol. We decided that my brother would go with me to the lounge while my parents would window-shop at the airport, haha. We had our early dinner at the lounge where, coincidentally, one of the warm dishes was pasta, haha!

A KLM's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL
A KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL

At 17:00, we went to the gate where we met our parents. Not long after, boarding started. The flight today would be operated with KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL. Long story short, it was a regular Amsterdam – Paris flight with KLM so I would not write too many details here, haha.

Complimentary snack on board KLM's Amsterdam - Paris flight
Complimentary snack on board KLM’s Amsterdam – Paris flight

Upon arriving in Paris, we went to Air France’s transfer desk at Terminal 2F. The agent mentioned that my parents and brother’s status on the flight had been confirmed, meaning they got to fly to Genova this evening! Phew!! The nice agent also apologized for the system which must have made us worried.

But then, I noticed that my father was assigned to my confirmed seat. And so I asked the transfer agent, who, then, stated that apparently I had been upgraded to Europe business class!! Ahahah!! 😆 Yep, my second upgraded flight in January! 😛 So definitely I was not complaining 😛 .

As our flight would be operated by HOP! Regional, we had to go to Terminal 2G. So we did. Long story short, it was boarding time.

HOP! Regional Logo
Flight: Air France AF 1416 operated by HOP! Regional
Equipment: Embraer ERJ170 F-HBXG
ATD: 21:46 CET
ATA: 22:52 CET

We boarded HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ170 reg F-HBXM. I settled onto my 1C seat, enjoying my Europe business class experience, haha. Once almost all passengers boarded, however, the captain announced that there was an ICT problem with the plane’s computer that we needed to change plane 😣.

Boarding F-HBXM
Boarding F-HBXM

So we all deboarded the plane and went back into Terminal 2G. While this was certainly inconvenient, I did understand this sort of disruption could always happen. I did not blame the airline for it, in fact I agreed with the captain’s decision not to fly with a clearly malfunctioning plane, no? Haha…

We changed plane to this HOP! Regional's F-HBXG
We changed plane to this HOP! Regional’s F-HBXG

At least this incident happened at Paris – CDG, HOP! Regional’s main base so it was not difficult to find a replacement plane. About 30 minutes later, we were allowed to board another Embraer ERJ170, this one had registration F-HBXG. Then, I settled onto my 1C seat where I noticed there was a slight interior difference between F-HBXM and F-HBXG.

Wet towel service just after take-off
Wet towel service just after take-off

Long story short, we departed about one hour behind schedule. Once we took off and reached the cruising altitude, the FA distributed wet towels (like, “real” towels instead of tissues 😛 ) to Europe business class passengers. Then, the dinner service followed not long after. The dinner consisted of a cold platter with cheese and a raspberry tartlet, accompanied with a selection of drink which I opted for their champagne! Haha 😛

Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional's Europe Business Class!
Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional’s Europe Business Class!

Overall it was a smooth flight towards Genova. There was mini turbulence just before landing at runway 28 of Genova’s Cristoforo Colombo Airport.

After taking our luggage, we took a taxi to go to our hotel in the city center of Genova.

Amazing legroom on seat 1C
Amazing legroom on seat 1C

Genova

Due to our late arrival, we only had about half a day to spend in Genova; which we found to be the ideal amount of time to spend in the city, haha.

Genova
Wet day in Genova

Unfortunately, though, the weather was not the best today where it was drizzling pretty much during the entirety of our half a day in Genova. Nonetheless, we still managed to walk around the city, haha. Genova was not very big, where everything was pretty much within walking distance.

In general, I would split Geneva into two (touristy) regions: the old town and the port, haha. As I call it, the old town was the old part of the city, haha. It was a typical Italian city, though, where it was not exactly really “clean” but this was what made it “uniquely Italian”, in my opinion, haha. And the drizzle actually added onto the atmosphere as well, somehow.

Old town of Genova
Old town of Genova

The port was, well, a port, haha. It was not the most beautiful port or marina I had ever seen, as in the distance I could see some containers. But its contrast with the old Italian building just accross the street made it interesting.

Port of Genova
Port of Genova

Btw, regarding the safety, it was actually fine when we walked during the day. However, our hotel guy mentioned that we should avoid some streets during the night, for safety reason, hmmm…

TO BE CONTINUED… 

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Menuju Genova

The flying route map today. Created with gcmap.com
Peta rute penerbangan kali ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Di hari keberangkatan kami tidak ada penerbangan langsung Amsterdam – Genova sehingga kami harus transit di Paris – Charles De Gaulle (CDG). Ketika check-in, kami mendapatkan berita kurang menyenangkan dimana orangtua dan adikku berada di posisi stand-by di penerbangan Paris-CDG – Genova (Tiket kami terpisah karena aku akan kembali ke Amsterdam dari Roma sementara mereka akan lanjut ke Spanyol), sementara kursiku sudah terkonfirmasi, karena overbooking. Agen check-in di Schiphol tidak bisa mengganti apa-apa di sistemnya sehingga ia menyarankan kami untuk mengontak meja transfer di Paris-CDG. Agak menyebalkan sih, tetapi entah mengapa aku kok tidak terlalu merasa sebal waktu itu, haha.

KL Logo
Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1245
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL bernama “Sperwer”
ATD: 17:51 CET
ATA: 18:37 CET

Anyway, aku bisa membawa satu tamu untuk masuk ke KLM Crown Lounge di Schiphol. Kami memutuskan adikku akan ikut aku ke lounge sementara orangtuaku berjalan-jalan di area pertokoan bandaranya. Kami sempat makan malam di lounge dimana, kebetulan, salah satu menunya adalah pasta loh, haha!

A KLM's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BXL
Sebuah Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BXL

Jam 5 sore, kami menuju gerbang dimana kami bertemu orangtua kami. Tak lama kemudian, proses naik pesawat dimulai. Hari ini penerbangan ini akan dioperasikan dengan Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BXL. Singkat cerita, ini adalah penerbangan normal Amsterdam – Paris dengan KLM sehingga aku tidak akan menuliskan terlalu banyak detailnya, haha.

Complimentary snack on board KLM's Amsterdam - Paris flight
Layanan snack di penerbangan Amsterdam – Paris-nya KLM

Ketika tiba di Paris, kami pergi ke meja transfernya Air France di Terminal 2F. Agennya berkata bahwa status orangtua dan adikku di penerbangan ke Genova telah terkonfirmasi, artinya mereka bisa pergi ke Genova malam ini! Fiuh!! Agennya juga meminta-maaf akibat sistemnya yang tentu telah membuat kami tidak tenang.

Tetapi kemudian, aku melihat bahwa kursi papaku kok nomornya sama dengan kursiku. Jadilah agennya aku tanya lagi, yang mana kemudian menemukan bahwa ternyata aku sudah di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa loooh!! Ahahah!! 😆 Iya dong, upgrade keduaku di bulan Januari! 😛 Jelas dong ya aku senang, haha 😛 .

Karena penerbangan ini dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional, kami pergi ke Terminal 2G. Singkat cerita, waktunya naik pesawat.

HOP! Regional Logo
Penerbangan: Air France AF 1416 dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional
Pesawat: Embraer ERJ170 F-HBXG
ATD: 21:46 CET
ATA: 22:52 CET

Kami menaiki pesawat Embraer ERJ170nya HOP! Regional dengan rego F-HBXM. Aku duduk pewe di kursi 1Cku, menikmati pengalaman duduk lagi di kelas bisnis Eropa, haha. Nah, ketika boarding nyaris selesai, kaptennya berkata bahwa sistem ICT pesawatnya bermasalah sehingga kami harus ganti pesawat 😣.

Boarding F-HBXM
Boarding F-HBXM

Nah, jadilah kami turun dari pesawat dan kembali masuk ke gedung terminal. Walaupun tentu ini kurang nyaman, aku memahami benar kejadian tak terduga begini pasti memang bisa terjadi lah. Aku sama sekali tidak menyalahkan maskapainya atas ini, malahan aku setuju dengan keputusan kaptennya untuk tidak memaksakan terbang dengan pesawat yang jelas-jelas rusak kan, iya bukan? Haha…

We changed plane to this HOP! Regional's F-HBXG
Kami berganti pesawat ke F-HBXGnya HOP! Regional ini

Setidaknya insiden ini terjadi di Paris-CDG, basis utamanya HOP! Regional sehingga tidak sulit untuk mencari pesawat pengganti. Sekitar 30 menit kemudian, kami dipersilakan menaiki Embraer ERJ170 lainnya, kali ini dengan rego F-HBXG. Lalu, aku duduk di kursi 1Cku dimana aku perhatikan ada sedikit perbedaan di interiornya F-HBXM dan F-HBXG, haha.

Wet towel service just after take-off
Layanan handuk basah setelah lepas landas

Singkat cerita, kami berankat satu jam di belakang jadwal. Setelah lepas landas dan mencapai ketinggian jelajah, awak kabin membagikan layanan handuk basah (maksudku, handuk “beneran” gitu bukan tissue doang, haha 😛 ) ke penumpang kelas bisnis Eropa. Lalu, layanan makan malam dibagikan tak lama kemudian. Makan malam terdiri dari sajian dingin (cold platter) dengan keju dan tartlet raspberry, disertai dengan pilihan minuman yang mana jelas dong aku memilih champagne-nya! Haha 😛

Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional's Europe Business Class!
Layanan makan malam ringan di kelas bisnis Eropanya HOP! Regional

Secara umum ini adalah penerbangan yang mulus ke Genova. Hanya ada sedikit turbulensi kecil sebelum mendarat di landasan pacu 28 Bandara Cristoforo Colombo di Genova.

Setelah mengambil bagasi, kami menaiki taksi menuju hotel kami di pusat kota Genova.

Amazing legroom on seat 1C
Legroom yang mantap di kursi 1C

Genova

Karena kami tibanya di malam hari, kami hanya memiliki waktu setengah hari di Genova; yang mana ternyata ini adalah waktu yang pas banget untuk menjelajah kota ini, haha.

Genova
Hari yang basah di Genova

Sayangnya, cuaca hari ini kurang oke dimana gerimis turun sepanjang setengah hari kami di Genova itu. Toh walaupun begitu, kami tetap jalan-jalan dong, haha. Genova bukanlah kota yang besar dimana semua tempatnya praktis bisa dicapai dengan berjalan-kaki.

Secara umum, aku membagi Genova menjadi dua area (turis): area kota tua dan pelabuhan, haha. Seperti sebutanku, kota tua itu ya area kota tuanya gitu deh. Tipikal kota Italia lah, dimana suasananya memang cenderung tidak “bersih-bersih” amat tetapi justru ini yang membuat aura “Italia” gitu, haha. Dan hujan gerimisnya juga membuat atmosfernya menjadi lebih gimanaa gitu.

Old town of Genova
Kota tua di Genova

Pelabuhannya itu adalah pelabuhan, haha. Bukan pelabuhan atau marina paling indah yang pernah kulihat sih, apalagi di kejauhan bisa terlihat kontainer-kontainer gitu. Tetap kontrasnya dengan gedung-gedung Italia di seberang jalan membuatnya menarik.

Port of Genova
Pelabuhan di Genova

Btw, ngomongin keamanan, sebenarnya aman-aman saja sih ketika kami berjalan-kaki di siang hari itu. Namun, orang hotel kami menyarankan kami untuk menghindari beberapa jalanan di malam hari untuk alasan keamanan, hmmm…

BERSAMBUNG… 

EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Vacation · Weekend Trip

#1878 – Post-PhD Trips (Introduction)

ENGLISH

Posts in the Post-PhD Trips series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6. Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Two weeks ago, I had my PhD defense and graduation which my parents and brother attended as well. When planning for the trip here, as they would already be in Europe anyway, they were thinking of organizing some trip around the continent. In the end, they chose Italy, Spain, and southern France (clearly avoiding the cold 😛 ).

Due to my now limited holiday allowances, I was not able to join them in the entirety of the trip. As I could onle spend one week of my holiday allowance, I could only join the Italy part.

Manarola
Manarola in Cinque Terre

I was excited for this because one main destination in Italy we would like to visit was the famous Cinque Terre. To get there, we flew to Genova, a city closest to Cinque Terre with an airport.

The famous David by Michaelangelo
The famous David by Michaelangelo. I was being anti-mainstream so I took a picture of its back 😛 .

We also visited Firenze (Florence) and Rome in this trip. I already went to Firenze in 2010 while I have been to Rome twice; the second time with my brother, actually. But both were beautiful cities so I was not uninterested to go back there.

The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum
The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum

From Rome, I went back to Amsterdam because it was already Sunday and I would need to go back to work on Monday.

A week later, in the weekend I went to Marseille in southern France, where my parents and brother would be. I already went to Marseille in 2014. I also found it to be beautiful so I was willing to go back there as well.

As a consequence, my flying map of this trip looks like this:

The flying map. Created with gcmap.com
The flying map. Created with gcmap.com

Lol.

Oh, and also, in the Paris – Genoa flight, I was upgraded to Europe business class again! 😀 Yes, again! And so in the month of January, I was upgraded and flew twice in Europe business class! Haha 😆 .

Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional's Europe Business Class!
Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional’s Europe Business Class!

Yeah, it was quite some hopping I had to do; but it was also a lot of fun!! 🙂 As usual, here are some teasers from the trip(s):

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri Post-PhD Trips:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Genova
3. Part II: Cinque Terre
4. Part III: Firenze
5. Part IV: Roma
6.Part V: A Weekend in Marseille

Dua minggu yang lalu, aku menjalani sidang dan wisuda PhD/S3ku yang mana juga dihadiri orangtua dan adikku. Ketika merencanakan perjalan ke sini, karena toh mereka sudah akan sampai di Eropa, mereka berpikir untuk sekalian jalan-jalan mengelilingi benua ini gitu. Pada akhirnya, mereka memilih Italia, Spanyol, dan Prancis selatan (jelas banget ya menghindari dinginnya Eropa 😛 ).

Karena jatah cutiku yang kini terbatas, aku tidak bisa bergabung dengan mereka di keseluruhan perjalanan. Aku cuma bisa menggunakan jatah cutiku sebanyak satu minggu saja, yang mana artinya aku bisa menemani di Italia.

Manarola
Manarola di Cinque Terre

Aku semangat banget untuk ini karena satu tujuan utama di Italia memang adalah teman yang sudah ingin banget aku kunjungi, Cinque Terre. Untuk ke sana, kami terbang ke Genova, sebuah kota terdekat yang memiliki bandara.

The famous David by Michaelangelo
Patung David yang terkenal banget itu, karya Michaelangelo. Supaya anti-mainstream aku memfotonya dari belakang, haha.

Kami juga mengunjungi (Firenze/Florence) dan Roma di perjalanan ini. Aku sudah pernah ke Firenze di tahun 2010 sementara aku sudah pernah ke Roma dua kali; malah yang kedua adalah bersama adikku. Tapi dua kota ini kan kota yang indah ya sehingga aku tidak berkeberatan untuk kembali kesana.

The famous spiral stairs at Vatican Museum
Tangga spiral di Museum Vatikan yang nge-hits banget itu

Dari Roma, kami kembali ke Amsterdam karena sudah hari Minggu dan aku harus kembali bekerja di hari Seninnya.

Satu minggu kemudian, di akhir pekan aku pergi ke Marseille di Prancis selatan, menyusul orangtua dan adikku. Aku sudah pernah ke Marseille di tahun 2014. Kota ini juga indah menurutku sehingga aku senang dapat kembali ke sana lagi.

Sebagai akibatnya, peta penerbanganku di penerbangan kali ini nampak seperti ini:

The flying map. Created with gcmap.com
Peta penerbangan kali ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Huahaha 😆

Oh iya, di penerbangan Paris – Genoa, aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa lagi loh! 😀 Iya, lagi! Jadi sepanjang bulan Januari itu dua kali deh aku di-upgrade dan terbang di kelas bisnis Eropa! Huahaha 😆

Light dinner service on board HOP! Regional's Europe Business Class!
Layanan makan malam ringan di kelas bisnis Eropanya HOP! Regional!

Ya, memang akhir-akhir ini kok aku loncat-loncat gitu ya di Eropa; tetapi seru sih!! 🙂 Seperti biasa, di atas adalah beberapa teasers dari perjalanan(-perjalanan) ini.

EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Travelling · Vacation

#1828 – Side Stories from My September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

In this post, I would like to share some side stories from the European part of my September 2016 Sabbatical Trip. The main story can be found in the six posts I linked above 😀

***

Donkey

Once, our hotel guy in Santorini told us he could help us bring our luggage with “his donkey”. Well, I thought it was a car or some sort of vehicle. You know, some people liked to name their cars/vehicles, and we thought maybe this guy just loved donkeys so much that he named his after one, lol 😆 . But then, it turned out to be:

The donkey
The donkey

Yes, the “donkey” was literally a donkey! Lol 😆 .

We noticed that there were a lot of donkeys in Santorini, that it appeared to us that donkey was the symbolic animal of the island.

Getting Lost in Finikia

Speaking of our hotel in Santorini, we stayed in the village of Finikia and there was a post-worthy experience about getting to this hotel.

Hotel in Finikia
Our hotel in Finikia

We arrived in Santorini in the evening. I already mentioned in Part IV that we had to deal with a reservation problem with our rental car in Santorini just after arriving there. Note that we did a half-day transit trip to the city of Athens that day too; and we had to get up quite early in Bucharest to catch our flight. The bottom-line, we were already really tired  when we left the airport. And not to mention it took us about 40 minutes to get to Finikia (in the darkness of night) through Santorini’s mountainous road.

Then, Finikia turned out to be a village location on a hill. Moreover, it was a typical Santorinian village with only pathways and was very intricate. In short, for us that night, Finikia was literally a very complicated and physically taxing maze. Then imagine us who had to go down those pathways with no map (my offline map was useless as it did not reach the level of details I needed to guide through the confusing pathways of Finikia) and our luggage (no donkey nor guidance as we failed to contact our hotel guy about our arrival time).

Finikia
Finikia during the day

At one point, I asked my parents to wait at a spot and I would look for the hotel first, by myself (so they would not need to walk far carrying the luggage with high risk of getting lost). Look, one of my absolute strength while travelling is my sense of direction. I almost never get lost, really; as I recognize the whereabout really fast. I have to write the word “almost” in the previous sentence because, well, that night, my sense of direction failed.

I was looking for the hotel but I couldn’t find it. There was lack of signage in the village; and the complexity of the pathways, I must admit, overwhelmed me that night. A guy told me that I needed to follow the blue arrows painted on the pathways, which would guide me to the hotel (Seriously). However, the blue arrows weren’t very visible in the dark and, at some point, I lost them. However, with some luck, some struggles, and more concentration to look for the arrows, I found the hotel.

Follow the blue arrows
The blue arrows which were supposed to guide us to the hotel. The problem was, they were not as visible during the night

Okay, hotel found, now I just needed to get back to where I left my parents. The problem was, I did not remember how to get there anymore. It was not just as easy as saying: “But you just need to go back to wherever you came from“. No, the problem was, I was literally lost before I found the hotel. So it was not easy at all to track from which direction I came from. To make matter even worse, the hotel reception was empty already. To make it even worser, my phone battery died. But for this at least I already had my power bank with me; but this was still annoying. I was really stressed, lol 😆 .

Long story short, I found the location of my parents (after getting lost a few times as well), who apparently were already very worried. Well, I had left them for good 30 – 45 minutes at that point so … . Then we walked to the hotel. I called the hotel guy and, luckily, he showed up quickly at the door.

Yeah, what a day it was! A long and tiring travelling day, a problem with the car rental, driving in the dark in a foreign island, and the maze of Finikia. Well, but in the end it made a good travel story to share, I guess. Oh, and an experience to remember too 😛 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

Di posting ini, aku ingin membagikan beberapa cerita sampingan dari perjalanan bulan sabatikal September 2016ku di Eropa. Cerita utamanya bisa dibaca di enam posting di atas 😀

***

Keledai

Bapak-bapak pemilik hotel kami bilang bahwa ia bisa membantu kami membawa barang dengan “keledai”-nya. Waktu itu, kupikir ini adalah semacam kendaraan gitu. Tahu kan, beberapa orang suka memberi nama mobil/kendaraannya, dan aku pikir bapak-bapak ini suka banget sama keledai sehingga kendaraannya dinamakan berdasarkan itu, haha 😆 . Nah, ternyata, kendaraannya itu kayak gini:

The donkey
Keledainya

Ya, “keledai”-nya ternyata adalah keledai beneran! Huahaha :lol:.

Kami perhatikan memang ada banyak keledai di Santorini. Sepertinya sih keledai memang adalah binatang lambang pulau ini.

Tersesat di Finikia

Ngomongin hotel kami di Santorini, kami menginap di desa Finikia dan di sini ada sebuah pengalaman yang layak banget deh diceritakan di sini.

Hotel in Finikia
Hotel kami di Finikia

Kami tiba di Santorini di malam hari. Sudah kusebutkan di Bagian IV bahwa malam itu setelah mendarat di sana, kami dihadapkan sebuah masalah dengan reservasi mobil sewaan kami di Santorini. Penting diingat juga bahwa hari itu kami juga pergi dalam sebuah perjalanan transit setengah hari di kota Athena; dan paginya kami harus bangun pagi di Bucharest untuk mengejar penerbangan kami. Intinya, kami sudah kelelahan sekali ketika meninggalkan bandaranya. Belum lagi perjalanan selama sekitar 40 menit untuk pergi ke Finikia (di tengah gelapnya malam) melewati jalanan Santorini yang bergunung-gunung.

Ternyata Finikia adalah sebuah desa yang berlokasi di lereng bukit. Lebih jauh lagi, desa ini adalah desa tradisional Santorini dengan jalanan berupa gang-gang kecil saja yang susunannya ruwet sekali dan penuh tangga-tangga. Singkatnya, bagi kami malam itu, Finikia adalah sebuah labirin yang membingungkan dan melelahkan secara fisik. Lalu, bayangkan bahwa kami harus melewati gang-gang kecil itu tanpa peta (peta offline di smartphone-ku tidak berfungsi karena tidak sampai mendetail di level gang yang kubutuhkan untuk mengurai ruwetnya Finikia) dan bagasi kami (tidak ada keledai ataupun petunjuk malam itu karena orang hotel kami tidak bisa kami hubungi).

Finikia
Finikia di pagi hari

Di satu waktu, aku meminta orangtuaku untuk menunggu saja di suatu tempat sementara aku akan pergi mencari hotelnya sendirian (jadi mereka tidak perlu berjalan jauh sambil membawa bagasi tanpa kepastian arah perginya harus kemana). Begini, salah satu keunggulanku ketika traveling adalah keawasanku akan arah. Aku nyaris tidak pernah tersesat, beneran, karena bagiku tidak sulit untuk memahami kondisi di sekitarku. Aku harus menambahkan kata “nyaris” di kalimat yang lalu karena malam itu, keawasan arahku tidak bekerja.

Aku berusaha keras mencari hotelnya tetapi tidak berhasil. Hanya ada sedikit petunjuk saja di desa itu; dan keruwetan gang-gang di desanya, harus kuakui, membuatku kewalahan. Aku diberi-tahu seorang bapak-bapak untuk mengikuti tanda panah berwarna biru yang dicat di gang-gangnya yang seharusnya akan menuntunku ke hotelnya (beneran ini). Namun, panah-panah biru itu tidak mudah untuk dilihat di bawah gelapnya malam dan, di satu waktu, aku tidak bisa melihatnya lagi. Singkat cerita, dengan sedikit keberuntungan, kegigihan, dan konsentrasi yang lebih, aku berhasil menemukan kembali panah-panahnya dan hotelnya kutemukan.

Follow the blue arrows
Panah-panah biru yang seharusnya menuntunku ke hotel. Masalahnya, panahnya tidak terlalu kelihatan di malam hari.

Oke, hotelnya ketemu, sekarang aku hanya perlu kembali ke lokasi dimana orangtuaku aku tinggalkan. Masalahnya, aku tidak ingat dari arah mana aku datang. Ini nggak semudah ngomong “Tapi kan kamu cuma tinggal kembali ke arah darimana kamu datang“. Masalahnya, aku beneran tersesat sebelum hotelnya kutemukan. Jadi nggak mudah kan merunut dari arah mana aku datang. Lebih parahnya lagi, malam itu reception hotelnya sudah kosong dong. Lebih nyebelinnya lagi, baterai hapeku habis dong. Eh, tetapi untuk ini untungnya aku sudah menyiapkan power bank denganku sih; tetapi ini mah masih aja menyebalkan ya, haha 😆 .

Singkat cerita, akhirnya lokasi orangtuaku bisa kutemukan (setelah tersesat dua kali juga), yang mana ternyata sudah merasa khawatir banget. Yah, aku sudah meninggalkan mereka selama 30 – 45an menit sih waktu itu, jadi ya wajar aja lah ya, haha. Lalu, kami berjalan ke arah hotel, menelepon orang hotelnya lagi dan, untungnya, tak lama kemudian ia muncul.

Iya, benar-benar hari yang gila deh! Sebuah hari penuh dengan perjalanan yang panjang dan melelahkan, masalah dengan mobil sewaan, menyetir mobil di tengah gelapnya malam di pulau yang asing, dan labirinnya Finikia. Ah, pada akhirnya ini menjadi sebuah cerita perjalanan yang seru untuk diceritain sih ya. Oh, dan seru juga untuk diingat-ingat sih 😛 .

EuroTrip · One Week Trip · Vacation

#1816 – September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe (Part V: Santorini)

ENGLISH

Posts in the September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

***

I bet most Santorini pictures you have seen are taken in the town of Oia in the north of the island. Indeed, in my opinion this town is the most beautiful part of Santorini. Ideally, we would like to stay in Oia. However, reality hit us that the hotel fare in Oia that we found was in the range of €500 to €800 per night (€ does not lie, lol). So we ended up staying in the village of Finikia, that was not very far away from Oia anyway. Especially that we had a car, we did not think it would be a problem.

Hotel in Finikia
Our hotel in Finikia

Oia

Oia was, indeed, very beautiful! The town was located on top of a cliff overlooking the Santorini caldera. What made the town unique, aside from the predominently blue and white architecture, was that people had to walk to get around. The street was small, narrow, and super crowded; which actually brought unique atmosphere on its own. You could go down and up the cliff, following those sets of narrow stairs, to go on your own adventure in the town.

Oia, Santorini
Oia, Santorini

One popular activity to do in Oia was to chase the sunset. For that, the most popular (and, consequently, the best) spot was the one furthest away in the town, nearing its end in the west side. Especially if you travel during high-season, I recommend you to come there early to “book” your spot; otherwise it would be full of people! Haha 😆 . The sunset was, indeed, very beautiful! Moreso when we also got the view of the unique buildings of Santorini!

Sunset in Oia
Sunset in Oia

The Rest of Santorini

But Santorini is more than just Oia. The 90.96 km² island is also home to some other interesting places as well. Our rental car enabled us to get around the island where we found the road to be, generally, narrow, curvy, and had lots of slopes due to the mountainous terrain.

The Red Beach of Santorini
The Red Beach of Santorini

Being an island, obviously there are a lot of beaches in Santorini. My favorite one was the Red Beach. The reason was simple, and it was obvious from the name. The rock on the beach was literally naturally red in color! I found it to be very beautiful!! People could also relax on the beach, though we did not 😛 .

Being in Greece, unsurprisingly there are also several ancient sites throughout the island. We went to the Akrotiri Archaeological Site where the remains of an ancient town was preserved in a big museum. There was another one called the Ancient Thira, but we did not get the chance to visit due to it being closed early during the day.

The towns in the island are also interesting in their own way too. The capital of Fira was a good place to eat and we found the small town of Pyrgos to be charming in its own way.

Spending my birthday in Santorini
Almost at the southern tip of Santorini, nearby the Hellenic Navy Lighthouse.

The Food

The food in Santorini was generally delicious and, quite surprisingly, relatively cheap in European standard! The “generic” Greek food (gyros, souvlakis, etc) can be found pretty much everywhere in the island. And I saw several restaurants serving other types of food as well, including Chinese food; so I don’t think you need to worry while travelling there.

Keftedes and a Santorini salad for lunch
Keftedes and a Santorini salad for lunch

Reading some travel sites made me curious to try their keftedes, a fried dish made from tomatoes. It was good, and tasted a little bit like corn bakwans (but made from tomatoes instead of corns) in Indonesia. I also tried the baklava, which was also good.

Back to the Netherlands

transavia
Flight: Transavia HV6464
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI
ATD: 11:02 EEST (Runway 34R of JTR)
ATA: 13:07 CET (Runway 18C of AMS)

After returning our car back, we checked-in at the airport. The airport’s terminal building was very small that the Transavia’s passengers had to queue outside the terminal building just to check-in! Haha 😆 .

A Transavia's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI
A Transavia’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI

We were taken by a bus to get to our ride today, a Transavia’s 3.5 years old Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI equipped with Boeing Sky Interior! Boarding went quite efficiently today, where not long after we departed and took off from runway 34R of Santorini’s Thira Airport. Here is the taking-off video:

Early in September, I mentioned that my longest narrow-body LCC flight was AirAsia’s Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Yogyakarta (JOG) flight. Well, this Transavia flight broke that record! This flight distance of 2,402 km “beat” the KUL-JOG distance of 1,515 km. Consequently, the flight duration was also longer at about three hours versus the KUL-JOG’s duration of about two hours.

Santorini to Amsterdam. Created with gcmap.com
Santorini to Amsterdam. Created with gcmap.com

The flight was a typical LCC flight where the service was pretty much non-existent if you were not willing to pay for anything. I decided to buy their monthly sandwich for lunch (meatballs sandwich), which was actually really good! I did not buy any drink as I already bought a big bottle of water at the airport which was much cheaper than the price they quoted in flight 😛 . The only IFE was the in-flight magazine. However, I found the Transavia’s magazine to be lacking in content considering the duration of the flight. I would have preferred it had it been a bit thicker; but I was flying an LCC so probably I should not complain 😛 .

Meatballs sandwich
Meatballs sandwich

Anyway, at about 13:00, we were already approaching Schiphol Airport. At 13:07, we landed at wunay 18C. After taking our luggage, we took the train to Rotterdam. Here, the European part of my 2016 September Sabbatical Month Trip was over 🙂 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri September 2016 Sabbatical Trip: Europe:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Bucharest
3. Part II: A Romanian Wedding
4. Part III: The Dracula Castle Tour
5. Part IV: Aegean Airlines and Athens
6. Part V: Santorini

***

Aku cukup yakin foto-foto Santorini yang pernah kalian lihat diambil di kota Oia di ujung utara pulau ini. Memang sih, menurutku kota ini adalah bagian paling cantik dari Santorini. Idealnya, maunya kami juga menginap di Oia. Namun, kami ditampar oleh kenyataan bahwa harga hotel di Oia yang kami temukan per malam berkisar di rentang €500 sampai €800 (Rp 7,5 – 12 juta). Duit mah nggak pernah bohong ya, huahaha. Jadilah akhirnya kami menginap di desa Finikia (keren ya namanya), yang lokasinya tidak jauh dari Oia. Apalagi kami memiliki mobil disana, kami merasa ini bukan lah masalah.

Hotel in Finikia
Hotel kami di Finikia

Oia

Oia itu memang beneran indah banget! Kotanya berlokasi di atas tebing dengan pemandangan kaldera Santorini. Yang membuat kota ini unik, selain arsitekturnya yang didominasi warna biru dan putih, adalah kita harus berjalan-kaki untuk berkeliling. Jalanan disana kecil, sempit, dan ramai banget; yang mana justru membawa atmosfer unik tersendiri. Kita bisa berjalan menuruni tebingnya, mengikuti tangga-tangga sempit itu, untuk menjelajah kotanya.

Oia, Santorini
Oia, Santorini

Satu aktivitas populer untuk dilakukan di Oia adalah mengejar matahari terbenam. Untuk itu, tempat paling populer (dan memang paling bagus sih) adalah tempat di ujung kotanya, terutama di dekat ujung baratnya. Apabila bepergian di musim ramai, aku sarankan untuk datang ke tempat ini awal untuk menge-“tag” tempatnya; karena kalau tidak, tempatnya akan keburu diisi orang lain! Haha 😆 . Matahari terbenamnya sendiri memang indah sekali! Apalagi pemandangannya beserta dengan gedung-gedung unik berarsitektur ala Santorini!

Sunset in Oia
Matahari terbenam di Oia

Bagian Lain Santorini

Tetapi tentu saja Santorini itu lebih daripada sekedar Oia. Pulau seluas 90,96 km² ini juga memiliki beberapa tempat menarik lainnya. Mobil sewaan kami memungkinkan kami untuk berkeliling pulaunya yang mana jalanannya itu secara umum sempit-sempit, berkelok-kelok, dan ada banyak tanjakan dan turunan karena medan yang memang bergunung-gunung.

The Red Beach of Santorini
Pantai Merah di Santorini

Namanya juga pulau, jelas ada banyak pantai di Santorini. Favoritku adalah Pantai Merah. Alasannya sih sederhana, dan jelas pula dari namanya. Batu-batuan di pantainya itu benar-benar asli berwarna merah! Menurutku sih indah banget yah!! Pengunjung juga bisa bersantai di pantainya, tetapi kami enggak sih 😛 .

Namanya juga Yunani, tidak mengherankan ada banyak juga peninggalan zaman kuno di pulau ini. Kami mengunjungi Situs Arkeologi Akrotiri dimana reruntuhan kota kuno kini dijadikan museum yang besar. Ada juga tempat lain bernama Ancient Thira, tetapi kami tidak berkesempatan kesana karena tempatnya tutup awal.

Kota-kota di pulau ini juga menarik lho. Ibukotanya, Fira, adalah tempat yang oke untuk mencari makan dan kami merasa kota kecil Pyrgos juga mempesona dengan caranya sendiri.

Spending my birthday in Santorini
Nyaris di ujung selatan Santorini, di dekat Mercusuar Hellenic Navy.

Makanannya

Secara umum makanan di Santorini itu enak dan, cukup mengejutkan nih, tidak terlalu mahal untuk ukuran Eropa! Makanan Yunani “mainstream” (semacam gyros, souvlaki, dll) bisa ditemukan di seluruh pulau. Aku juga melihat beberapa restoran menyajikan makanan jenis lain, termasuk Chinese Food; jadi aku rasa tidak perlu khawatir lah untuk makanan ketika jalan-jalan kesana.

Keftedes and a Santorini salad for lunch
Keftedes dan salad Santorini untuk makan siang

Membaca beberapa situs jalan-jalan membuatku penasaran dengan keftedes, sebuah makanan gorengan dari tomat. Enak juga lho, dan rasanya mirip seperti bakwan jagung (tetapi dibuat dengan tomat bukannya jagung) di Indonesia. Aku juga mencoba baklava, yang mana juga enak.

Kembali ke Belanda

transavia
Penerbangan: Transavia HV6464
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI
ATD: 11:02 EEST (Runway 34R of JTR)
ATA: 13:07 CET (Runway 18C of AMS)

Setelah mengembalikan mobil sewaan, kami check-in di bandaranya. Gedung terminal bandaranya sungguh kecil sehingga penumpang Transavia tujuan Amsterdam harus mengantri di luar gedung terminal untuk check-in! Haha 😆 .

A Transavia's Boeing 737-800 reg PH-HSI
Sebuah Boeing 737-800 milik Transavia dengan rego PH-HSI

Kami diantar dengan bus untuk menaiki tumpangan kami hari ini, sebuah Boeing 737-800 milik Transavia yang berumur 3,5 tahun dan berregistrasi PH-HSI yang dilengkapi dengan Boeing Sky Interior! Boarding berlangsung efisien hari ini, dimana tidak lama kemudian kami berangkat dan lepas landas dari landasan pacu 34R Bandara Thira. Berikut ini video lepas-landasnya:

Di awal September, kusebutkan bahwa penerbangan LCC terpanjangku dengan pesawat berbadan kecil adalah di rute Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Yogyakarta (JOG)-nya AirAsia. Nah, penerbangan Transavia ini memecahkan rekor itu loh! Jarak penerbangan ini sejauh 2.402 km “mengalahkan” jarak KUL-JOG yang sejauh 1.515 km. Sebagai akibatnya durasi penerbangan ini juga lebih panjang yaitu selama sekitar tiga jam sementara durasi KUL-JOG adalah sekitar dua jam.

Santorini to Amsterdam. Created with gcmap.com
Santorini keAmsterdam. Peta dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Penerbangannya sendiri adalah tipikal penerbangan dengan LCC dimana praktis tidak ada layanan apa pun jika tidak mau membayar. Aku memutuskan untuk membeli sandwich spesial bulanan mereka untuk makan siang (sandwich bakso), yang mana rasanya enak lho! Aku tidak membeli minuman apa pun karena aku sudah membeli sebotol besar air di bandara yang mana harganya lebih murah daripada yang dijual di pesawat, haha 😛 . Satu-satunya hiburan adalah majalah penerbangan. Namun, aku merasa konten majalahnya Transavia terlalu sedikit untuk durasi penerbangannya. Aku rasa seharusnya majalahnya berkonten lebih banyak; tetapi yang namanya terbang dengan LCC sih ya jadi mungkin aku tidak seharusnya protes 😛 .

Meatballs sandwich
Sandwich bakso

Anyway, sekitar jam 1 siang waktu setempat, kami sudah mendekati bandara Schiphol. Jam 1:07 siang, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 18C. Setelah mengambil bagasi, kami menaiki kereta ke Rotterdam. Disini, bagian Eropa dari perjalanan sabatikal bulan September 2016ku berakhir 🙂 .