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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Carpathian Mountains

The Carpathian Mountains are a chain of mountains that stretch from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. The total length of the Carpathians is over 1500km, it's highest range being 8705 feet above sea level. Some of the people speak a rather unheard-of language such as Transcarpathian, while others remain using their respective mother tongues. Temperature ranges from as low as -15 celcius during winter, and 20 celcius in July (summer).

Amongst the many villages alongside, one of them is Slavske. This is the place where we spent our winter hols ^__^

To get to the destination, we had to take a train from Simferopol to Lviv which took us 26 hours HAHA imagine that! All our muscles were cramped and ached galore~

Initially the plan was to go skiing; however Allah had other plans, and so on the day we arrived the snow was starting to melt. So instead of skiing, we hopped on to the 2600m long cable car to get to the top of the mountain which stood 1230m above sea level.

The cable car ride upwards

A cottage that sits on on top of the mountain

The view from above MashaAllah was fantastic! Subhanallah *speechless*

We also had a few horse rides, and built a little snowman ^__^

Sometimes it felt like we were sooo close to the sun! Even two layers of gloves and thick socks weren't enough to counterfeit the frosty coldness.

The ride downwards

After the ride downwards, we strolled along the little bumpy roads and shopped at some souvenir stalls. The folks here were rather friendly and felt enthused to encounter such visitors from as far as Malaysia! Hohoho.

During our stay there we spent three nights at Fayno Cottage. It was a very small yet homey cottage, which not only has Disney Channel, but also a sauna! Pampering your body with the blazing sauna heat after a long cold day is sooo soothing I tell you..yippie!

After three nights spectating the sunrise and sunset between the mountains, we headed back to Lviv and spent a night at the Ukrainian Home Hostel; a very Europe-like hostel that rated highest at http://hostelbookers.com . We had a tour around the city; it reminded me most of Poland due to the similarity of its architecture elements.

The owner (Igor) and us

At the kitchen

At one of the souvenir stalls

The following day it was toodles for Lviv. Thank You Allah for the chance You gave us to explore something so spectacular.

Goodbye everyone! Till we meet again ^__^


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2009 End of Year Summary.


So the first semester of my final years have actually ended (yikes!) and I am in the middle of the winter hols, and am trying to use it to the utmost fruitfullest before classes start. Flakes of snow has just started dribbling all over Crimea with a mean temperature of -5 celcius; hence the polar-hibernating-mode of most students.

Okay, this isn't actually in Crimea. This is somewhere on top of the Carpathian Mountains. InshaAllah details will be in the next post.

To begin with (actually, I don't know how to begin with..the hiatus has been so long!) I'll start by showing you some of this year's Eid's pictures. This year's event was rather simple, as only two batches of Malaysian students were left. Nonetheless, it also bridged the gap between all Muslim students worldwide.

Awk, newly-weds Iqbal-Sakiey and me

We also spent a night at the ambassador's (her cooking's are awesome! Taraf 5-star hotel gitu) and went to Auntie Rose's open-house. And yes, filled our little tummies to the max.

Some weeks later we spent the end of autumn by hiking up Red Cave and had a wee picnic nearby the waterfalls over there. And well wadya know - they have camels here in Ukraine! Hahaha.

2009 also marked a gloomy day for us Othman's too. For our beloved Maklang passed away after 2 years suffering IV stage of Colon Cancer. What made me shed tears the most was that she also made my hantaran decorations beforehand - "takut tak sempat nak buat nanti" katanya. Huhu. May Allah bless you among the mu'mineen my dearest Maklang. We will always miss you. And thank you so much for beautifying the house galore on my engagement day ;) .

Beloved Arwah Maklang & Me on the day I got engaged

Okay..so there you go with part I.

1st of November, 2009.

The whole of CSMU was startled with a shocking news. 3 weeks of quarantine holiday has been imposed to all public authorities and educational institutions nationwide. 3 weeks?! Uhuhuh. After the announcement, I stared at the wall, blank for like, almost an hour. Called mum, she insisted I fly back home (abah sponsor ticket! hehe). And so that was how the next events took place.

At first there was the 'Sirih Pulang ke Gagang' SMAPK Alumni Reunion - calling all ex-students from the very first to the latest batch. What made me a wee bit sad was that me and Mokcique were the only girls of my batch that came up (where were all the other kids?). To think that I had just arrived from Ukraine the night before, after nearly 13 hours of flight and two transits, and yet I still urged myself to come - ah, you do the calculation. Good thing I got to meet a lot of my teachers - they really did make my day, alhamdulillah ;)

Ah, yes. My first Raya at home, at my kampung, at long last (walaupun raye haji je)! After 6 very long years whoa. And to make things more momentous, it may be the last of me as a single lady (T_____T but hehehehehe :D)

Anisa, me and Ariff

Jolok rambutan! ngenge~

Nyummie nyummie nyum nyum!

Next comes the best part of all. Abah gave a green light to let me and mama visit Hani at Bandung! Yippie yeayeayeay~. We spent three nights at the Horizon Hotel, and spent one whole day shopping at Pasar Baru and the designer's outlets. The best thing was that I got to buy myself a burkhini - sangat murah okay di sini! Huahuahua~

Tengok-tengok kain

Me and Hani in front of her hostel

Mama and me <3

Oh yes and I am sooo into the Nasi Padang here..finger-licking good! Low in triglycerides too ^__^

So there goes my 3 weeks of so-called H1N1 hols. Spent it to the fullest, I believe!

Part II

Arrived Ukraine safely, alhamdulillah. To replace the missed classes, we had to attend them on saturdays. Not bad after all. But they did not erase winter hols from the calendar. Hence we had a week of winter hols, and so one day me and my friends thought of having a one-day trip to Dnipropetrovsky, a quite modern city that sits halfway between Kiev and Simferopol. It was rather tiring because we walked all day long soaked wet and cold after a 9-hours train-ride. Therefore not much pictures could be appreciated. On the other hand, it was the first time we celebrated New Year's eve in the train. It even stopped at the strike of 12, all lights went off, and from afar we could see fireworks coloring the midnight sky! Subhanallah, it was spectacular I tell you. Alhamdulillah ^___^

Something heartrending did come up before the end of 2009, I must say. Our beloved Ustaz, Dr. Sheikh A'lauddin, a Palestinian, passed away due to Chron's Disease. He was the 'ustaz' of my usrah, and he also used to give 'kuliyyah Jumaat' talks every friday evening. Dr. A'la was also a 'tahfeez', an imaam, and his Quranic recitations were sooo lovely MashaAllah. Recently he was rather preoccupied with his specialization in Cardiology, so we didn't really get to see much of Ustaz during his last days. Ustaz did leave a gem of his own; a 3 months old fetus in his wife's womb ;)

Alhamdulillah, I have no regets of 2009. Looking forward to a better 2010 and 1431 Hijriah, (and a better looking figure too hahaha :P) inshaAllah. Happy New Year everyone! ^__^