New York! New York!

Ever since I was a little girl, anything and everyone kept saying how you just have to see the big apple! In uni we learned that New York is one of the most busiest cities in the world in terms of tourism, and I can see why. New York to me was different. I suppose it takes awhile for you to get used to it. The navigating itself is so different. It was a great experience but I just didn’t feel it. I’m not sure how to explain it. I know it’s weird because everyone is dying to go to New York but I think I’m not that much a city kinda gal. It was surprisingly similar to Colombo. Of course Colombo is no where near developed as New York, but the crowds the traffic, felt similar. The driving is so crazy and this was probably what surprised me the most because I thought Sri Lankan driving was crazy.

Time Square was magical, I loved it and I probably could have awkwardly stood there in the middle of it forever, just watching everything. We had to have a Broadway experience so we went and saw Mama Mia and it was great. Although if you have watched the movie, it kind of takes out a little bit of the fun but it was still a really nice experience.  I think one of the things I liked about New York was how alive it was at night. I don’t know why but I don’t like cities that just go dead after evening rush hour, I like to see night life. I think I liked night time New York a lot better than day time New York.

Times Square (Sorry it’s not proper, I had to avoid people’s heads since I don’t like to take pictures of people)

So we went on a tour and covered all the tourist hot spots. I think even though it was a new experience it all felt really similar because you are able to live through all these places by just watching tv. I already knew what the Crysler building, Empire state building, Wall street, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and of course Central Park looked like form the numerous movies and tv shows which I have watched. I guess it didn’t feel really that new since we see it almost everyday.

Wall street

Empire State Building

Brooklyn Bridge

New WTC, Building 1

Statue of Liberty

We stayed in Brooklyn because the UN Summit had filled up all the hotels in the city. We got to see the new Barclays Stadium, and I kind of felt nice to know that Jay-Z was in it as I took the picture. I don’t know why, I’m not really into his music even. Either way, we did get a little bit of shopping done but didn’t really get to shop in the city because we only had 2 days.

Overall I would say it was nice to finally see the city which never sleeps, and also all the places these movies keep talking about. I don’t know if I loved New York as much as most do, I just found it a little lonely. I mean it’s crowded but lonely. I think I’m not just cut out for New York life, but it is an amazing city full of so much that it’s hard to believe how it all fits in there!

Peace!

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Beautiful Vancouver!

I’ve finally got the time to sit down and tabulate my thoughts on the amazing things I saw while I was on holiday. I think out of all the countries/places I have been to (which aren’t a lot, but still), I would say Vancouver is the most amazingly beautiful place ever! It was so beautiful! The air felt so pure and clean, the sightseeing was amazing, shopping was great :D, it was just a really nice place. We enjoyed every single day and when our 4 days was up, it was kind of sad to go. Apparently the weather in Autumn is a bit rainy and dreary but Alhamdulillah the 4 days that we were there were perfect, it was the perfect blend of warm sunshine and chilly autumn wind.

We finished our shopping in the first 2 days because daddy dearest had business stuff to attend to and he insisted we wait for him to go sightseeing. We didn’t get to see everything up close, we covered as much as possible and only stopped at the big attractions. Stanley Park was so beautiful! If I had to live there for the rest of my life, I would have no objection. The view of the city from the park was beautiful, the trees, the amazing air, it was magical. I don’t think I’ve ever really loved nature as much as I did in Vancouver. If you really want to see Allah (SWT)’s amazing creations Vancouver is a place to go. The forests and the lake, everything is so beautiful, Mashallah! My mother and I just sat by the river bank, eating ice cream sandwiches gawking at the beauty. If we didn’t have to stay on schedule we would have just stayed there the whole day.

These are just snap shots of the view of the city from Stanley Park. My camera does no justice to the beautiful view!

We had a city tour but I think Grouse Mountain was properly the most unique experience. I was so amazed that so many people actually climb the whole mountain just for exercise, some do it everyday. We of course took a cable car to the top. We got to see the two resident bears, Grinder and Coola. They were so cute! Apparently they are still bears and they can be dangerous but as they played in the water, you just couldn’t help but watch them. We were, Alhamdulillah, lucky to catch them because sometimes they don’t come to the enclosed areas.

Of course we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge, as well as the new attraction, The Cliff Walk. So the suspension bridge is basically a really long bridge which is suspended in mid air. When people walk on it it tends to swing, swerve and bounce. This was probably one of the most terrifying things I’ve done (Yes, I’m scared of heights). Roller coasters don’t scare me, this scares me. In retrospect I do have to thank the tour guide who would not take no for an answer. She insisted that I suck it up and keep going just because at the end of the day I could be proud of myself. So I did it, I was repeating Allahu Akbar and the Shahadah all the way, but I did it! 😀 Of course the catch is once your done with the Treetop Adventure, the only way back is through the bridge, once more. But I can say, now, that it was worth it and I’m glad I did it.

The Suspension Bridge

The Cliff Walk

So far Vancouver is probably my favorite city ever. I just found it so beautiful and there’s something about it. People are so different. They respect nature so much. They are so active, pleasant and peaceful. It almost inspires you to also be active. I’m not much of an outdoorsy type but I actually wanted to go camping, riding, hiking (this was big coz I hate hiking!), bird watching, and everything else which had to do with being submerged by all of the beautiful nature. If you go to Canada, I definitely recommend Vancouver, and Stanley Park. It’s just such a nice place to jog, relax, or just have a picnic. The whole time there I was praising Allah (SWT) because no matter what we build or create, it’s nothing compared to his amazingly beautiful creations.
Peace!

Final Destination : Vancouver

So we have finally got to Vancouver after 29 long hours of travelling. We have taken a collective decision not to let my dad make the itinerary ever again! It was sort of made to his schedule since he’s here on business so we ended up flying for 24hrs to Seattle and then crossing the border to Vancouver by land. We got here at around 2am, too tiered to move but too jet lagged to sleep.

So far I like Vancouver! Haven’t seen much of it yet but if there are people on the road at 2am, chances are it’s a good place 😛 I’m not sure why but having things look alive in the night excites me. It’s like the day never ends! 😀 Part of why I love the Galle Road strip of Colombo and the City of Melbourne. When I was in Brisbane, it always depressed me that everything was closed by 6pm, even in the city everything closed by 7 or 8pm.

Looking out my window, sipping on some cammomile tea, the view is quite nice. I can see green mountains peering though the buildings. It’s kind of nice to have a contrast. As we entered Vancouver we saw the most beautiful site. The road was high so all we saw was this sea of trees and glowing street lamps shinning like stars. It looked like the night sky. Oh and I love the weather! Autumn is always my favorite season, the chilly weather with a hint of warmth from the sun, perfect! It’s perfect Hijab wearing weather in my opinion. You can layer clothes and you get to wear boots (which I love!) 😀 All the perks of Winter without freezing yourself, I say. I’m excited to go out and have a walk around, inshallah we will in a little while. I’m the only one awake so far 😀

Peace!