Sa7 Travel: Liechtenstein: The Beginning

Eid was around the corner and I haven’t felt that I’m done with traveling this summer. I have a week off from work due to the Eid Al Adha so I decided to visit my dear neighbor at his homeland….Liechtenstein. For those who don’t know this glorious country….here is a map and the flag

whats funny is that the my neighbor’s passport is that they put a similar picture of a map to Liechtenstein…you know….just incase they get asked at the airport on where in world is this place.

Due to the size of the country, they don’t have an airport, so I decided to go to Zurich, Switzerland for my flight down. I just need to drive an hour and half to the country. You can always use Munich, Germany depending on the price of the airplane ticket, it will take you about 2 hours driving.

The drive was great, alot of nature on the way….just like most of Europe, Sun is up and the weather was cool. Found it facinating that the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein was the Rhine River, the trust is real.

What was great that my neighbors though I was bluffing coz no one was serious enough to make the trip, so my friend and I went downtown to the Expo that was happening in Vaduz. The Expo was great, companies from Liechtenstein showcase their products as well as meeting potential clients from Switzerland who come for a visit. There are alot of International companies that I didn’t know where from this country, the more you know the more you learn.

So I stayed in Tresenburg with one of the neighbors son, this place had a great view of three mountains, now I know why doesn’t wanna come back to Dubai. Imagine your view is this every morning. Makes you motivated to go to work…..or call in sick and go hiking.

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So day one is pretty chilled. More adventures coming up..stay tuned

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Sa7 Travels: Grasse, France

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Another day another city, my wife and I decided to visit Grasse, which is about 1h30mins away from Nice. So I had my daily dose of Croissant and Quiche and off we go.

It’s a charming little city, wasn’t too hard to get a cab from the train station. You can always use Uber to get around, saved me so many times in my other travels. All I needed to say was “Perfume” and bam the cab driver knew where to take me.

The Musée International de la Parfumerie was located in the middle of the city.

I loved how they take pride in their perfume culture, the museum is definitely worth spending time there to really understand how it all started. The different flowers used initially like Roses, Lilies, Jasmines…etc to make the fragrances either pastes or sprays. The machines, pictures of workers that worked on picking and separating the petals for production.

My two favorite exhibits of the museum were the smelling booth where you smell the raw materials used, I was surprised to see that they used illicit drugs to mix with the raw materials for the perfumes! you will know what I mean when you visit.

I can comfortablly say that I can identify roughly the ingrediants of today’s perfumes.

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The other favorite thing was the showcase of the perfume bottles starting from the late 19th  century till today. I saw the Channel no5 bottle and the old perfumes I was using growing up.

The museum also highlights some of the fashion and history in Grasse through the years.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun about the museum, so you can explore it yourself. I do recommend it if you are in Nice, France the next time.

After lunch, we walked down the old city for some shopping, I got my wife a perfume that she couldn’t get any more from Dubai. The trend is changing and most of the old perfumes are not sold anymore, you would need to go to Europe to find them.

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Just outside the museum, you can visit the factory’s outlet shop, all the perfumes they have a great, pretty hard not to buy all of them there. Make sure you visit them you will not be disappointed.

One experience I will treasure when visiting Grasse is that the people are so friendly and helpful. I wanted to get a ride back to the train station and Uber was no place to be found on my app. You can stand at a location where you can call a cab, so we asked a local about that, she offered to call one for us. I haven’t experienced that before, I thought that was generous of the local to help us.

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Grasse would be a destination for a half day tour, must visit though…

 

 

 

Sa7 Travel: Monaco

Woke up early morning to catch the train going to Monaco from Nice. My wife’s friend works at Monaco and uses the train to go to work. Convenient coz you don’t have to drive there. The best part about the train in France is that there are no checking points. You can literally go to the city and back without an attendant asking you for a ticket. I can see how this can end up badly, but then again what works in Nice doesn’t necessary work anywhere else. I still paid for the ticket though, guilt drove me crazy.

I always take the opportunity to notice the tiny details of any trip I take, I noticed that you are not allowed to talk on the phone when you sitting down, you need to walk out to the doors to have your conversation. I loved it, the courtesy is great. I noticed a passenger getting off his seat and walk at the doors to take a call, no one dared to take his seat. In Dubai, you snooze you lose!

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The train trip was awesome, it runs right next to the coast, it was beautiful.

So we reached and smell of the tracks reminded me of Moscow metro back in 2009, nostalgic. We walked to the office to drop off my wife’s friend and then continued exploring the city. It reminded me of Dubai, everything is new and expensive. Saw a Ferrari, coming from Dubai…it was a familiar sight. The yachts were remarkable, never seen so many black yachts.

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I checked out prices of real estate, crazy expensive. Did some research on how does Monaco make its money, found out that they are great with logistics and trading. It was funny to see that most shops have the Prince’s picture, he must be loved.

It is a relatively small place, mostly new buildings and facilities. Went to the Zoo which was always great, I love animals. Visited the Naval Ships Museum, pretty impressive. Had lunch and in general, just chilled by the port. Took some great pics as well of the city.

5pm hit and we were off back to Nice to retire for the day

 

Sa7 Travels: Nice, France #2

One thing you need to know about the French, is that they don’t mess around when it comes to food. I have been waking up 8am every morning, walk straight to the Bakery or Boulangerie and grab the first Croissant and Baggette, so worth it.

Did some sightseeing around Nice, their churches are beautiful, tried to go to everyone I could find. Here is one of them that I loved, Catholic Church

The beach was fun, no waves this month which made it great for swimming. Nice is easy to navigate through and it doesn’t take long to reach the Old Town. You can cruise around the city in two days, the weather was not bad, it reached the 30s (celcuis) in most days, as long as you have fans to cool you off….you are good.

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Overall, a two week stay is enough if you want to just relax and enjoy the laid back town life. Nice as a city is convenient if you want to jump from one city to another.

The next post will talk about Monaco, which is a half an hours train ride from Nice…took some great shots of the city.

A quick tip, if you are down in Nice, you must try the Socca…it’s a nice thing and a must try.