#1908 – 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip (Introduction)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. The Transport
3. Zürich

Easter weekend is always a long weekend in the Netherlands (Though, unlike in Indonesia, it is not the Good Friday that is a public holiday but the Easter Monday (i.e. the Monday after). Good Friday is just an observance day and my office does not recognize this as an official public holiday, haha). So it is a nice opportunity for a trip somewhere!!

When looking at my 2017 calendar at the end of last year, I knew I wanted to make use of this Easter long weekend for a trip somewhere, too. However, given my now limited holiday allowance which I must save for some big travelling plans later on in the year, I could not make this trip a longer one like in 2015, when I went to Japan, or in 2016, when I went to the Baltic region.

Basically, I could only go in the long weekend itself, departing on Saturday and coming back on Monday. So I thought at least the flying part (Obviously I would want to involve some flying! 😛 ) should be of interesting routing. I browsed some possibilities, and in the end booked one!

So, this year, I went to:

Zurich

Yep, Zurich, haha. Well, I have been to Zurich once before, even though it was in 2011. So this was indeed a nice opportunity to come back there! 😀 Zurich was beautiful, just as I remembered it back from 2011! Though, unfortunately it was raining the entire time when I was there; and there was not so much going on either because it was Easter. It was also still, well, expensive! Haha 😝.

RIP my money💸💸💸💸💸

Anyway, about the interesting routing, here was it this long weekend:

The routing this long weekend. Created with gcmap.com

Haha, yep, I flew Amsterdam – Paris CDG – Zurich – Rome FCO – Amsterdam 😛 . There was a mini drama with the ticketing, though. Due to Alitalia’s schedule adjustment, I was originally “moved” to an evening Rome – Amsterdam flight resulting in almost seven hours transit in Rome – Fiumicino. Obviously I was not happy with it so I contacted the travel agency from where I bought my ticket. They were being super helpful and were able to move me to an afternoon flight, where my transit time was now less then two hours! Yeay 🙂 .

I also got the chance to fly this Alitalia CityLiner’s Embraer ERJ175 reg EI-RDG! A new airline and airplane type for my logbook!! 😍

I am actually not done yet with my move from Delft to Amsterdam. So a few weeks ago, when I got the confirmation that the apartment was mine and that April would be my “moving month”, I got a little bit unsure about this trip. However, this trip could actually act as a nice break in the middle of this stressful moving month! So I decided to still go with it.

Yeah, so that is all for now. Now I am already back in the Netherlands after spending a long weekend in Zurich 😀 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Easter Long Weekend Trip:
1. Introduction
2. The Transport
3. Zürich

Akhir pekan Paskah adalah long weekend di Belanda (Walaupun, bedanya dari Indonesia, tanggal merahnya bukan lah di hari Jumat Agung melainkan di Senin Paskah (yaitu hari Senin setelahnya). Jumat Agung sendiri hanyalah berstatus hari observance sehingga kantorku tidak menganggapnya sebagai hari libur, haha). Jadi ini adalah kesempatan yang oke untuk jalan-jalan kemana gitu kan ya!!

Ketika melihat kalender tahun 2017ku akhir tahun lalu, aku tahu aku ingin memanfaatkan long weekend Paskah ini untuk pergi kemana gitu. Namun, karena jatah cutiku yang kini terbatas dan mesti aku tabung untuk rencana jalan-jalanku tahun ini nantinya, aku nggak bisa membuat perjalanan ini panjang seperti di thun 2015, ketika aku pergi ke Jepang, atau di tahun 2016, ketika aku pergi ke area Baltik.

Pada dasarnya, aku hanya bisa pergi di long weekend itu saja, berangkat di hari Sabtu dan pulang di hari Senin. Jadi aku merasa bahwa seenggaknya bagian terbangnya (Jelas dong aku maunya perjalanan ini melibatkan penerbangan juga! 😛 ) mesti dengan rute yang menarik. Aku mencari-cari beberapa kemungkinan, dan pada akhirnya mengambil salah satunya!

Jadi, tahun ini aku pergi ke:

Zurich

Iya, Zurich, haha. Yah, aku sudah pernah ke Zurich satu kali sih sebelumnya, walaupun waktu itu di tahun 2011. Jadi ini adalah kesemaptan yang oke untuk kembali lagi kesana kan ya! 😀 Zurich itu indah, ya sama lah seperti ingatanku dari perjalanan tahun 2011 itu! Walaupun sayangnya hujan dong di sepanjang waktuku di sana; dan juga suasananya cenderung sepi banget karena Paskah. Pun, apa-apanya juga masih aja mahal! Haha 😝.

RIP uangku💸💸💸💸💸

Anyway, mengenai rute yang menarik, berikut ini ruteku akhir pekan ini:

Ruteku long weekend ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Haha, iyaa, aku terbang Amsterdam – Paris CDG – Zurich – Roma FCO – Amsterdam 😛 . Ada drama kecil dengan tiketnya sih. Akibat perubahan jadwalnya Alitalia, awalnya aku “dipindahkan” ke penerbangan malam Roma – Amsterdam dengan waktu transit hampir tujuh jam di Bandara Roma – Fiumicino. Jelas dong aku tidak suka dengannya sehingga aku mengontak travel agency dari mana aku membeli tiketnya. Mereka membantu banget dan berhasil memindahkanku ke penerbangan di sore harinya, sehingga waktu transitku hanya kurang dari dua jam saja! Hore 🙂 .

Ditambah lagi, aku berkesempatan terbang dengan Alitalia CityLiner Embraer ERJ175 rego EI-RDG ini loh!! Maskapai dan tipe pesawat baru untuk logbook-ku! 😍

Oh iya, sebenarnya aku masih belum selesai sih dengan urusan pindahanku dari Delft ke Amsterdam. Jadilah beberapa minggu yang lalu, ketika aku mendapatkan konfirmasi bahwa apartemen ini adalah milikku dan April akan menjadi “bulan pindahan”, aku agak sedikit tidak yakin dengan perjalanan ini.  Namun, aku pikir-pikir justru perjalanan ini bisa menjadi istirahat di tengah bulan pindahan yang stressful ini kan ya! Jadilah aku memutuskan untuk tetap pergi.

Ya, jadi segini dulu deh. Sekarang aku sudah kembali lagi di Belanda setelah menghabiskan satu long weekend di Zurich 😀 .

#1906 – AvGeek Weekend Trip #7 (AMS – CDG – LYS – AMS)

ENGLISH

In mid-March, I went on another Avgeek Weekend Trip. At the time I wasn’t sure whether I would write the story or not. Well, as it turned out, I have decided that I would 😀 .

My routing this weekend. Created with gcmap.com

Posts in the AvGeek Weekend Trip series:
1. AvGeek Weekend Trip #1 (AMS-CDG-STR-AMS)
2. AvGeek Weekend Trip #2 (AMS-MAD-FRA-AMS)
3. AvGeek Weekend Trip #3 (AMS-LYS-NCE-AMS)
4. AvGeek Weekend Trip #4 (AMS–CDG, ORY–LYS–AMS)
5. AvGeek Weekend Trip #5 (AMS-CPH-ARN-AMS)
6. AvGeek Weekend Trip #6 (AMS-CDG, ORY-MRS-BOD-AMS)
7. AvGeek Weekend Trip #7 (AMS–CDG–LYS–AMS)

***

While boarding for my Amsterdam-Paris flight AF1341 was on time, I felt a little bit anxious today because it took awhile to complete. You see, my connecting time in Paris was only 50 minutes and two years ago this short transit time backfired on me. At the time I missed my connecting flight in Paris due to delayed departure from Amsterdam (because of de-icing).

The first flight today was with this Air France’s Airbus A321-200 reg F-GTAD

Anyway, the flight today was operated with Air France’s Airbus A321-200 reg F-GTAD. And, as usual, it was a regular pleasant Amsterdam – Paris flight. As the last time, I felt like the complimentary snack service on board an Air France’s mainline short-haul European flight had decreased in quality a little bit.

The complimentary snack on board flight AF1341. The snack used to be better. This was like HOP!’s level of service last year.

Thank to the buffer time in the schedule, we only got in Paris 5 minutes late. It was not bad at all given that my connecting flight would depart from the same pier.

But then, as it turned out, my connecting Paris – Lyon flight AF7644 was delayed for about 1 hour due to technical problem! Lol 😆 . They had to find a replacement aircraft, which meant they would have to “downgrade” the flight from an A321 to an A320 that was smaller. Consequently, a few passengers were called in the gate, presumably because they needed to be moved to some other flights because of this downgrade. Thankfully, I wasn’t one of them.

Lunch at Air France’s Lounge at Paris-CDG

Anyway, I used this now extra time to have lunch at an Air France’s lounge. The lounge at the pier was closed due to some renovation work so I had to go to the lounge in the next pier. Due to capacity constraint, they did not let qualified passengers to invite guests into the lounge, which infuriated one guy in front of me.

When it was boarding time, I went to the gate. And for the first time ever, my flight would depart from a remote stand of Paris – Charles De Gaulle Airport!! 😍 So they had to take the passengers to the plane with buses, and we got to board via stairs! 😀

Second flight today with this Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXO. We gotta board via stairs!

The flight today would be operated with an Air France’s Airbus A320-200 reg F-GKXO. I was originally seated in seat 1A but I was asked to move to seat 1C because I had two toddlers and their mother sitting next to me, and the older toddler would need to sit in a window seat 😣. Anyway, it was another regular flight to Lyon.

At Lyon Airport, I checked-in for my flight back to Amsterdam. After passing security, I went to an Air France’s salon there. I just intended to ask whether the lounge after immigration still welcomed SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers (It did in August, see AvGeek Weekend Trip #4). Luckily I asked because apparently it did not anymore, even though the attendant did not seem to be really sure about it.

Artsy stuff at Lyon – St. Exupery Airport

I waited there a little bit, but then I was bored. You see, Air France’s lounge at Lyon Airport was really underwhelming (read AvGeek Weekend Trip #3). And so I decided to leave, pass the immigration, and try my luck at the lounge after that. It turned out the attendant was correct, the lounge no longer took SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers 😦 . As there was no way to go back to Air France’s lounge, I just waited at the departure hall.

Third flight today with this KLM Cityhopper’s Embraer ERJ190 reg PH-EZB.

The flight back to Amsterdam would be operated with a KLM Cityhopper’s Embraer ERJ190 reg PH-EZB. It went on time, really smooth, very efficient, and pleasant; just like any other typical KLM flight 🙂 . Just after 19:30, I was already back at Schiphol, haha 😆 .

I had dinner at the airport before heading back to Delft. And here, this short AvGeek Weekend Trip of mine ended 🙂 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Pertengahan Maret lalu, aku pergi dalam sebuah Avgeek Weekend Trip yang lain. Waktu itu aku nggak yakin apakah ceritanya akan kutulis atau tidak. Ternyata, aku ada waktu sekarang sehingga aku akan menceritakannya 😀 .

Ruteku akhir pekan ini. Kubuat dengan gcmap.com

Posting-posting dalam seri AvGeek Weekend Trip:
1. AvGeek Weekend Trip #1 (AMS-CDG-STR-AMS)
2. AvGeek Weekend Trip #2 (AMS-MAD-FRA-AMS)
3. AvGeek Weekend Trip #3 (AMS-LYS-NCE-AMS)
4. AvGeek Weekend Trip #4 (AMS–CDG, ORY–LYS–AMS)
5. AvGeek Weekend Trip #5 (AMS-CPH-ARN-AMS)
6. AvGeek Weekend Trip #6 (AMS-CDG, ORY-MRS-BOD-AMS)
7. AvGeek Weekend Trip #7 (AMS–CDG–LYS–AMS)

***

Walaupun boarding penerbangan AF1341 Amsterdam-Parisku berlangsung tepat waktu, aku sedikit merasa was-was karena prosesnya berlangsung lama. Begini, waktu transitku di Paris hanya 50 menit saja dan dua tahun lalu waktu transit yang singkat ini membawa pengalaman buruk. Waktu itu, aku ketinggalan penerbangan koneksiku di Paris akibat terlambatnya keberangkatan dari Amsterdam (akibat de-icing).

Penerbangan pertama hari ini adalah dengan Airbus A321-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GTAD ini

Anyway, penerbangan hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan Airbus A321-100nya Air France dengan rego F-GTAD.Dan, seperti biasa, ini adalah penerbangan yang nyaman dari Amsterdam ke Paris. Seperti yang lalu sih, aku merasa layanan snack di kelas ekonominya Air France di penerbangan jarak pendek intra-Eropa kok sedikit menurun ya kualitasnya.

Layanan snack di penerbangan AF1341. Snack-nya dulu lebih oke nih. Ini sih seperti level layanannya HOP! tahun lalu.

Untung akibat buffer time di jadwal, pesawat hanya terlambat 5 menit saja di Paris. Nggak masalah lah karena penerbangan lanjutanku kan dijadwalkan berangkat di pier yang sama.

Tetapi kemudian, ternyata penerbangan lanjutan AF7644 Paris – Lyonku terlambat 1 jam dong karena masalah teknis, haha 😆 . Mereka harus mencari pesawat pengganti, yang mana artinya pesawatnya harus di-“downgrade” dari A321 ke A320 yang lebih kecil. Sebagai akibatnya, ada beberapa penumpang yang dipanggil ke gerbang, aku duga sih mereka harus dipindahkan ke penerbangan lain karena downgrade ini. Untungnya, aku bukan lah salah satu dari mereka.

Makan siang di Lounge Air France di Paris-CDG

Anyway, waktu ekstra ini kumanfaatkan untuk makan siang di lounge-nya Air France. Lounge di pier-ku sedang ditutup karena sedang direnovasi sehingga aku harus pergi ke lounge di pier sebelah. Karena keterbatasan kapasitas, kali ini mereka tidak mengizinkan penumpang dengan akses ke lounge untuk membawa tamu ke dalam, yang mana membuat bapak-bapak di depanku marah besar.

Waktu naik pesawat, aku pergi ke gerbang. Dan untuk pertama-kalinya, penerbanganku akan diberangkatkan dari tempat parkir remote di bandara Paris – Charles De Gaulle!! 😍 Jadi mereka harus membawa penumpang dengan bus dan kami naik pesawat melalui tangga gitu deh! 😀

Penerbangan kedua hari ini dengan pesawat Airbus A320-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GKXO. Naik pesawatnya dengan tangga!

Penerbangan hari ini dioperasikan dengan Airbus A320-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GKXO. Awalnya aku diberikan kursi 1A tetapi aku kemudian dipindah ke kursi 1C karena dua batita dan ibunya yang duduk di sebelahku. Dan batita yang besar mesti duduk di kursi jendela gitu deh 😣. Anyway, penerbangannya sendiri adalah penerbangan reguler ke Lyon.

Di Bandara Lyon, aku check-in untuk penerbanganku ke Amsterdam. Setelah melewati sekuriti, aku pergi ke lounge-nya Air France. Aku hanya berniat untuk bertanya apakah lounge yang berlokasi setelah imigrasi masih menerima penumpang SkyTeam Elite Plus (Agustus lalu sih iya, baca AvGeek Weekend Trip #4). Untung aku bertanya karena ternyata tidak lagi demikian, walaupun petugasnya juga nampak kurang yakin sih.

Hiasan berseni di Bandara Lyon – St. Exupery

Aku menunggu di sana sebentar dan kemudian merasa bosan. Jadi lounge-nya Air France di bandara Lyon memang kurang oke gitu deh (baca AvGeek Weekend Trip #3). Jadilah aku memutuskan untuk keluar, melewati imigrasi, dan untung-untungan dengan lounge setelahnya. Ternyata petugasnya benar, lounge ini tidak lagi menerima penumpang SkyTeam Elite Plus 😦 . Karena tidak mungkin lagi kembali ke lounge-nya Air France, aku menunggu di gerbang keberangkatan saja.

Penerbangan ketiga hari ini dengan Embraer ERJ190nya KLM Cityhopper dengan rego PH-EZB.

Penerbangan kembali ke Amsterdam dioperasikan dengan Embraer ERJ190nya KLM Cityhopper dengan rego PH-EZB. Penerbangan ini tepat waktu, mulus, efisien, dan nyaman lah; sama seperti standar penerbangannya KLM lainnya 🙂 . Sekitar jam 7:30 malam, aku sudah kembali lagi di Schiphol, haha 😆 .

Aku makan malam di bandara sebelum pulang ke Delft. Dan di sini, perjalanan AvGeek Weekend Trip singkat ini berakhir 🙂 .

#1896 – My 2017 Annual Trip to Paris

ENGLISH

Every year since 2012, I always go to Paris to watch the French Open (Roland Garros). It turns out that this year, it will be no difference 🙂 .

Last week I got a reminder that the regular tickets would be sold to public this Wednesday. So I marked my calendar around the time of the sales opening and scheduled no meeting during the day, haha 😛 (While waiting for my turn, obviously I could work).

How was it? Well, in short, it did not go as smooth as last year, haha 😆 . I was already ready with everything since minutes before the opening. When the sales website went open, however, it crashed! 😣

I could not access it for minutes and I tried to open it via a few different sources. Only in my last trial, from a link they provided in their official Facebook account, worked. But I did this about five minutes since the official opening time. As a result, I was already number 35,000-ish in the queue 😣.

This year I was the 35K-something-th person in the queue 😣

Understandably, I felt super annoyed by this. Number-wise, this was indeed not as bad as two years ago, when I was at 50,000 something in the queue. However, it turned out to be “worse” than two years ago as I only finally got my access to the sales page after 135 minutes, or 30 minutes longer than two years ago WHILE my position in the queue was about 15,000 more to the front.

The situation inside the sales page was, therefore, quite similar to two years ago. There was no ticket left for the men’s singles semifinals and final on Friday and Sunday. Luckily, I was able to snatch a ring 1 ticket for the women’s singles final on Saturday! Haha 😆 . The seat was located at different tribune of Court Philippe Chatrier in comparison to last year and two years ago, so it would be interesting, I guess!

At Court Philippe Chatrier last year

Anyway, yeah, my amazing experience last year and two years ago made me want to go to the final again this year! Haha 😆 . Only getting the women’s singles final ticket was not all bad, though, as this meant I could go back to the Netherlands on Sunday; meaning I would not need to take any of my holiday allowances for this trip! Haha 😆 .

Btw, in 2014, 2015, and 2016, I flew to go to Paris for this annual trip. I actually was thinking to do the same this year, given my well-documented love for flying. However, after some consideration (mainly involving the time I would need to leave my office on Friday afternoon, haha, and a quick research), I decided to take Thalys’ high-speed train service this year. Yep, the last time I took Thalys was for the Roland Garros 2013 trip. That was four years ago! 😲

The last time I caught a Thalys train was in 2013.

This year, however, it will still slightly be different, though; because my return Thalys rides will be in FIRST CLASS!! Hahaha 😆 . Yep, I found a good deal for Thalys’ first class with the schedule that I preferred. In fact, for my return trip, my first class ticket was €18 cheaper than the second class ticket! Lol!

So, yeah, I am excited to be back in Paris, again!! 🙂

BAHASA INDONESIA

Setiap tahun semenjak 2012, aku selalu pergi ke Paris untuk menonton French Open. Ternyata, tahun ini tradisi ini masih akan berlangsung 🙂 .

Minggu lalu aku mendapatkan reminder mengenai tiket reguler yang akan mulai dijual untuk umum hari Rabu ini. Jadilah kalenderku kutandai di sekitar waktu pembukaan penjualannya dan aku tidak merencanakan meeting apa pun sepanjang hari, haha 😛 (Sembari menunggu giliranku, jelas aku masih bisa bekerja).

Bagaimanakah perburuan tiketnya? Secara singkat, tidak semulus tahun lalu, haha 😆 . Ceritanya aku sudah siap semenjak beberapa menit sebelum penjualan tiket di website resminya dimulai. Ketika jam penjualannya dimulai, website-nya crash dong!! 😣

Aku tidak bisa membukanya selama beberapa menit dan aku mencoba mengaksesnya melalui beberapa sumber. Baru di usaha terakhirku, melalui link yang diberikan di laman Facebook resminya, aku bisa masuk. Sebagai akibatnya, aku sudah berada di urutan ke 35.000an deh di antriannya 😣.

Tahun ini aku adalah orang ke-35000-sekian di antriannya 😣

Jelas, aku merasa sebal karena ini. Memang sih secara angka, tidak seburuk dua tahun yang lalu kok, dimana waktu itu aku berada di urutan ke-50.000an. Namun, ternyata tahun ini toh masih “lebih buruk” daripada dua tahun yang lalu karena aku baru bisa beneran masuk ke halaman penjualan tiketnya setelah mengantri 135 menit, alias 30 menit lebih lama dari dua tahun yang lalu PADAHAL posisiku di antrian adalah lebih di depan sebanyak 15.000an posisi.

Situasi di halaman penjualan tiketnya, akibatnya, juga mirip-mirip lah seperti dua tahun yang lalu. Tiket untuk babak semifinal dan final tunggal putra di hari Jumat dan Minggu sudah ludes. Untungnya, aku masih bisa mendapatkan tiket ring 1 untuk final tunggal putri di hari Sabtu. Haha 😆 . Kursinya berada di tribun yang berbeda di Lapangan Philippe Chatrier dibandingkan tahun lalu dan dua tahun yang lalu, sehingga bakal menarik, sepertinya!

Di Lapangan Philippe Chatrier tahun lalu.

Anyway, iya kok, pengalaman seruku tahun lalu dan dua tahun lalu membuatku ingin menonton finalnya lagi tahun ini! Haha 😆 . Hanya mendapatkan tiket final tunggal putri juga nggak jelek-jelek amat kok sebenarnya, karena artinya aku bisa pulang ke Belanda di hari Minggu; artinya aku tidak harus menggunakan jatah cutiku untuk perjalanan ini! Hore! Haha 😆 .

Btw, di tahun 2014, 2015, dan 2016, aku pergi ke Paris dengan pesawat untuk perjalanan tahunan ini. Sebenarnya, tahun ini aku sempat berpikir untuk terbang lagi, nggak mengherankan lah jika mempertimbangkan kecintaanku untuk naik pesawat yang sudah banyak banget ceritanya di sini, haha. Namun, setelah beberapa pertimbangan (utamanya sih waktu dimana aku harus meninggalkan kantor di hari Jumat sore, haha, dan riset kilat), aku memutuskan untuk menaiki kereta super cepat Thalys tahun ini. Yep, terakhir kali aku naik Thalys adalah untuk perjalanan Roland Garros tahun 2013ku. Dan itu kan empat tahun yang lalu! 😲

Terakhir kali aku naik Thalys adalah di tahun 2013.

Tahun ini, tapinya, akan sedikit berbeda loh; karena perjalananku pulang pergi dengan Thalys kali ini adalah di FIRST CLASS!! Hahaha 😆 . Yep, aku menemukan promo oke first class-nya Thalys dengan jadwal yang aku suka. Malahan, tiket first class kepulanganku itu lebih murah €18 (sekitar Rp 270 ribu) daripada tiket second class-nya loh! Haha!

Anyway, iyaa, senang rasanya aku akan kembali ke Paris lagi!! 🙂

#1892 – Post-PhD Trips (Part V: A Weekend in Marseille)

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

Off to Marseille

My flight to Marseille was on Friday evening. So from work, I headed directly to Schiphol, where I had my dinner at KLM Crown Lounge, haha.

A little bit uncharacteristically here, I will not write in a lot of details regarding my flight to Marseille, haha. In short, I was flying Air France’s flight AF1875 operated by their Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA. It was a regular pleasant flight with Air France; and at 22:16, we landed at runway 13L of Marseille – Provence Airport.

Air France's Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Air France’s Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Anyway, it had been quite a long Friday for me so understandably I was already so tired when arriving in Marseille. I knew I would want to take the bus service to the city center. I took a bus but without checking its destination, assuming any bus leaving the airport would go to Marseille.

About 30 minutes into the trip, I realized something strange. I did not recognize any similarity of the surrounding from my last trip to Marseille in 2014. I checked my gps and, indeed, instead of going east towards Marseille, I was going north 😣. Yep, it came to my realization that I took the WRONG bus! Then I just remembered my survey of Marseille from 2014 where, indeed, there were several bus destinations from Marseille Airport. Well, it was too late to remember that at this point.

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

It turned out that my bus was going to Aix-en-Provence, a small town to the north of Marseille. Upon arriving at the bus station, I asked the bus driver if there was still a bus to go to Marseille. Luckily, there was. There was one LAST bus departing at 23:35 which I could take. Phew!!

Long story short, I took the bus, arrived in Marseille just right after midnight, Whats-apped my brother to pick me up at the hotel lobby, then slept, haha 😛 .

Marseille

Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

As before, Marseille was a nice city in Southern France and we did enjoy our time there. The weather there that weekend was not the best, though. It was very windy, despite definitely warmer than the Netherlands (where it was snowing 😆 ) even though not super warm as well.

We went to Palais Longchamp and Notre-Dame de la Garde at the top of the La Garde hill. I didn’t get the chance to enter both sites in my 2014 visit there (though I was at the gate of Longchamp), so it was nice to be able to do so this time.

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Notre-Dame de La Garde

On Sunday, we planned to go to Chateau D’If but it turned out it was closed. We were misinformed on Saturday, where we were told we could still go to the chateau on Sunday and we made our plan accordingly.

And so we had to come up with a back-up plan. We decided to go to a small beach near Vieux Port and to a small beautiful garden nearby to kill the time.

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

The Food

As usual, the food in Marseille was also really good. In fact, my brother said this was the best food he had during this European trip of his. Well, obviously I nodded along, since I love French cuisine as well!! Haha 😆

Escargot

Escargot

Once we ordered two portions of escargot. This was actually the third time ever I had it, with the first one being in Rennes and the second one in Marigot. And you know what? I can say that I LIKE escargot now!! 😱 The fact that escargot is snail does not bother me anymore, at all! Haha 😆

Back to the Netherlands

To go back to the Netherlands, we had an interesting routing. Instead of flying direct Marseille – Amsterdam, we flew Marseille – Strasbourg – Amsterdam. And to make things even more exciting, both legs would be operated with Embraer ERJ145 by HOP! Regional!!

HOP! Regional Logo
Flights: Air France flights AF5579 (MRS-SXB) and AF1436 (SXB-AMS) operated by HOP! Regional
Equipments: Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE (MRS-SXB) and Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ (SXB-AMS)

However, the trip started with a mini drama with overbooking, again (see Part I). After solving this issue, there was a delay problem as well. Our first flight to Strasbourg was delayed by two hours. This was certainly a problem with our 1.5 hours of transit time in Strasbourg.

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

Because there were, in total, nine passengers with this issue (~20% of all passengers 😆 ), the agent in Marseille was able to convince the agent in Strasbourg to delay the Strasbourg – Amsterdam flight by 30 minutes to wait for us, haha.

Long story short, we finally boarded our flight to Strasbourg, which was with HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE. As before, I loved flying Embraer ERJ145!! It was a small plane but really smooth!! Oh, and obviously the mandatory ERJ145 selfie too:

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

😛

Before landing at Strasbourg, the FA mentioned that transit passengers to Amsterdam should deplane first, as the transit time was tight. After landing, we were greeted by a ground staff literally outside of the plane. He escorted all of us to the immigration check and after that we immediately boarded our connecting flight right away! Yes, it was the fastest transit experience EVER! Everything in literally less than ten minutes! Lol 😆

HOP! Regional's Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

The second flight to Amsterdam was operated by another ERJ145, this time F-GRGJ. I quickly took a picture of the plane, and afterwards I could see the pilot waved towards me asking me to move fast, lol 😆 . All other passengers had been waiting in the plane at that point, and they didn’t look exactly thrilled. Well, I didn’t blame them 😛 .

It was clear that the pilots were quite in a rush today. Upon departure, after the final-turn at the tip of runway 05 we immediately accelerate and take-off! Haha 😆 . As before, it was a smooth and pleasant flight towards Amsterdam. We landed at Schiphol at 20:10, just ten minutes behind our schedule. Quite impressive considering the initial delay, no?

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

From Schiphol, we went to Amsterdam. And here, my Post-PhD Trips officially ended.

THE END.

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

Berangkat ke Marseille

Penerbanganku ke Marseille adalah di hari Jumat malam. Jadilah sepulang kerja, aku langsung menuju ke Schiphol, dimana aku makan malam di Crown Lounge-nya KLM, haha.

Agak tidak seperti biasanya nih, aku tidak akan banyak menuliskan detail penerbanganku ke Marseille, haha. Secara singkat, aku naik penerbangan AF1875nya Air France yang dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA. Ini adalah penerbangan reguler dan nyaman dengan Air France; dan jam 22:16, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 13L Bandara Marseille – Provence.

Air France's Airbus A319-100 reg F-GPMA

Sebuah Airbus A319-100nya Air France dengan rego F-GPMA

Anyway, hari ini sudah menjadi hari cukup panjang sehingga jelas aku merasa lelah ketika tiba di Marseille. Aku tahu aku akan naik bus ke pusat kota. Nah, jadilah aku naik bus tanpa melihat tujuannya, dengan asumsi semua bus yang berangkat dari bandara pasti menuju ke Marseille.

Kira-kira setengah jam kemudian, aku menyadari sesuatu yang aneh. Aku tidak mengenali apa-apa dari pemandangannya dari perjalananku terakhir kali ke Marseille tahun 2014. Aku mengecek gps-ku dan ternyata, memang, bukannya bergerak ke arah timur ke Marseille, bus ini bergerak ke arah utara dong 😣. Yep, barulah aku sadar aku SALAH naik bus! Saat ini, barulah aku ingat riset yang kulakukan di perjalanan tahun 2014ku ke Marseille dimana memang ada beberapa tujuan yang dilayani dengan bus dari Bandara Marseille. Yah, sekarang sih sudah terlambat untuk ingat informasi ini lah ya.

The bus terminal of Aix-en-Provence

Terminal bus di Aix-en-Provence

Ternyata bus yang kunaiki adalah tujuan Aix-en-Provence, sebuah kota kecil di utaranya Marseille. Ketika tiba di terminal bus, aku bertanya ke sopir bus apakah masih ada bus tujuan Marseille. Untungnya masih ada. Masih ada satu bus TERAKHIR yang berangkat jam 23:35. Fiuh!!!

Singkat cerita, aku menaiki bus itu, dan tiba di Marseille selepas tengah malam, meng-Whatsapp adikku untuk menjemputku di lobby hotel, dan tidur deh, haha 😛 .

Marseille

Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

Seeprti yang lalu, Marseille adalah kota yang oke di Prancis selatan dan kami menikmati waktu kami di sana. Sayangnya cuacanya sedang kurang oke sih. Berangin banget dan, walaupun lebih hangat sih dari Belanda (yang mana waktu itu sedang saljuan, haha), nggak hangat-hangat amat.

Kami pergi ke Palais Longchamp dan Notre-Dame de la Garde di puncah Bukit La Garde. Aku tidak sempat mengunjungi keduanya di tahun 2014 (walaupun waktu itu sempat foto dari luarnya Longchamp sih), jadi senang saja rasanya kali ini bisa mampir.

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Notre-Dame de La Garde

Di hari Minggu, kami berencana ke Chateau D’If, yang mana ternyata waktu itu sedang ditutup. Kami diberikan informasi yang salah di hari Sabtu nih, dimana katanya kami masih bisa kesana di hari Minggu. Jadilah kami membuat rencana berdasarkan informasi ini.

Sebagai penggantinya, kami jalan-jalan ke sebuah pantai kecil di dekat Vieux Port dan sebuah taman yang indah di dekat sana untuk menghabiskan waktu.

The Catalans Beach in Marseille

Pantai Catalans di Marseille

Makanannya

Seperti biasa, makanan di Marseille itu enak-enak. Bahkan, adikku bilang makanan paling enak yang ia makan di perjalanan ke Eropanya kali ini adalah di Prancis ini loh. Aku setuju banget sih, secara aku kan memang suka masakan Prancis!! Haha 😆

Escargot

Escargot

Sekali waktu kami memesan dua porsi escargot. Ini adalah kali ketiga aku makan masakan ini, dimana yang pertama adalah di Rennes dan yang kedua di Marigot. Dan tahu nggak? Sekarang aku bisa bilang aku SUKA escargot dong!! 😱 Fakta bahwa escargot adalah siput tidak lagi menggangguku sama sekali! Haha 😆

Kembali ke Belanda

Untuk kembali ke Belanda, kami memiliki rute yang unik. Bukannya terbang langsung Marseille – Amsterdam, kami terbang Marseille – Strasbourg – Amsterdam. Dan lebih serunya lagi, kedua penerbangan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Embraer ERJ145-nya HOP! Regional!!

HOP! Regional Logo
Penerbangan: Air France AF5579 (MRS-SXB) dan AF1436 (SXB-AMS) dioperasikan oleh HOP! Regional
Pesawat: Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GUBE (MRS-SXB) dan Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ (SXB-AMS)

Namun, perjalanannya dimulai dengan drama akibat overbooking lagi (lihat Bagian I). Setelah masalah ini beres, ada permasalahan dengan keterlambatan penerbangan pula. Ceritanya, penerbangan pertama kami ke Strasbourg akan terlambat dua jam. Ini jelas adalah masalah mengingat waktu transit kami di Strasbourg hanyalah 1,5 jam saja.

The lounge at Marseille Airport was small but the service was actually great

Eh, lounge-nya di Bandara Marseille walaupun kecil tetapi sajiannya oke-oke loh.

Karena totalnya ada sembilan penumpang dengan masalah ini (~20% dari semua penumpang, haha 😆 ), agen di Marseille berhasil meyakinkan agen di Strasbourg untuk menahan penerbangan Strasbourg – Amsterdam selama 30 menit untuk menunggu kami, haha.

Singkat cerita, akhirnya kami menaiki penerbangan ke Strasbourg kami. Penerbangan dioperasikan dengan Embraer ERJ145nya HOP! Regional dengan registrasi F-GUBE. Seperti yang lalu, aku suka banget terbang dengan ERJ145!! Pesawatnya kecil tetapi terbangnya mulus!! Oh, dan jelas dong foto selfie wajib ERJ145:

The mandatory ERJ145 selfie

Selfie wajib ketika terbang dengan ERJ145

😛

Sebelum mendarat di Strasbourt, pramugari meminta penumpang transit ke Amsterdam untuk turun terlebih dahulu, karena waktu transit kami yang sungguh singkat. Setelah mendarat, kami langsung disambut oleh petugas darat tepat di pintu pesawat. Ia langsung mengantarkan kami ke pemeriksaan imigrasi dan setelahnya langsung naik pesawat lanjutan kami! Iya, pengalaman transit paling cepat nih! Semuanya kurang dari 10 menit saja loh!! Huahaha 😆

HOP! Regional's Embraer ERJ145 reg F-GRGJ

Sebuah Embraer ERJ145nya HOP! Regional dengan rego F-GRGJ

Penerbangan kedua ke Amsterdam dioperasikan dengan ERJ145 yang lain, kali ini F-GRGJ. Aku cepat-cepat mengambil foto pesawatnya dulu dimana setelahnya aku lihat pilotnya melambaikan tangan kepadaku menyuruhku cepat naik, haha 😆 . Semua penumpang lain sudah menunggu di pesawat waktu itu, dan mereka tidak nampak senang, haha. Yah, aku paham sih 😛 .

Jelas pilotnya agak terburu-buru waktu hari ini. Ketika berangkat, setelah belok di ujung landasan pacu 05, pesawat langsung tancap gas untuk lepas landas tanpa pakai ancang-ancang dulu! Haha 😆 . Seperti sebelumnya, penerbangan ini adalah penerbangan yang mulus ke Amsterdam. Kami mendarat di Schiphol jam 20:10, hanya sepuluh menit terlambat dari jadwal. Cukup oke ya mengingat keterlambatan awal yang dua jam itu?

A window AND aisle seat at the same time on board an ERJ145

Kursi jendela SEKALIGUS lorong di dalam ERJ145

Dari Schiphol, kami pergi ke Amstedam. Dan di sini, Post-PhD Trips-ku resmi berakhir.

SELESAI.

#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…

#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…

#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.

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…