NoBull Travel: Week of 19 February
A spirited cow's occasional travelogue of a journey without any bull(s).
As a spirited cow mooving through this chaotic world, I decided to take livestock of myself and go on a grand journey around the world. A journey that would take me to places old and new, a journey to discover and most importantly a journey without any bull(s)
In this humour travelogue, expect to see travel tips, misadventures, chewing of cud, food recommendations and reflections as this lone cow navigates her life outside the proverbial cow shed.
Monday: #AdventureMissMonday at Sydney, Australia
Today is the day of adventure and challenge! A day of recownting amazing adventures had across the galaxy! Some silly, some profound but always with #nobulladded.
We bovines are not known for our fondness for the water. In fact we are hardly acowtic in our tastes. So I’ve lived most of my adult cow life averse of the H20; casually only placing a hoof or two at a beach, avoiding boats and ferries and diving? No cown do!
But today is #adventuremissmonday and that needs to change don’t you think? Enough of being a coward (I didn’t even need to think of the pun there) and onward with showing fear what’s what. For a cowmute from Dee Why to Sydney City, I usually fancy the bus. Its quite cowmfortable! But I had heard from cownterparts that the ferry is just so picturesque, so why not take the boat? Oh no! That lumbering rocking nausea-inducing boat at the mercy of the wrath of the ocean? NOPE.
But today is #adventuremissmonday. And so I looked at fear in the face and said “I’ll sit on the upper deck please!”. Armed with my opal card, water bottle and chocolate (Gotta do a toofer for nausea and hunger!) I boarded the ferry from Manly and began my journey to the iconic harbour bridge. The engine started to roar and as we pulled away from the harbour and safe safe earth, I gulped. Had I made a terrible moostake? A few seconds passed. I gulped again. A few more seconds passed. Then a few minutes. Slowly I started to smile because this was actually fun! I liked the gentle sways, the ocean spray, the rumble of the engine, the magnificent approach of Sydney city and this feeling!
On the other side of fear is pure enjoyment and incredible views! Go ride a ferry of your worst nightmares this Monday!
Tuesday: #Cowabouthat? at Florence, Italy
Today’s discowery is about meeting your idols and seeing whether they match up in real life or not. Often, they don’t. Just ask anyone who has seen the Mona Lisa in real life (No offence Mona!)
But today, we meet one such idol who raises the bar for all other idols! Firstly, its the fact that the Accademia gallery in Florence is dedicated to this idol. A singular mooseum for a singular masterpiece. I like that cowlarity! Second, its the wait and anticipation! No matter if you’ve reserved tickets or not, you’ll have a wait for your entry and that builds all the excitement. Third, its the placement of this wondrous idol. Through a small corridor and large doorway, you reach the heart chamber of this small gallery. And as you turn to the right, there is your #travelgasp! Up ahead is the glorious David. And he’s better, bigger and brighter than you had ever imagined.
David is an absolute delight and not just for his delectable good looks (That certainly doesn’t hurt though). The anecdotes of David are as enjoyable as the statue itself. How a large block of Carrera marble was discarded somewhere in Tuscany. How this block was deemed unusable because of its cowality and millions of tiny holes in it. How only the genius Michelangelo could see real beauty in this block of impossible! How the statue stands for the inevitable fight that the underdog must wage on larger enemies (Rome, Medicis, Autocracy)
But when you’re standing there, having found a quiet corner from the throng of tourists, you can hardly remember any of that. You are completely swept up in the absolute undiluted beauty of this marble masterpiece. The detailing of the hands and veins, the look of fear and determination in his eyes, the towering stature and the everlasting genius of a renaissance artist.
An idol that stands for centuries and ideals! An idol for the ages that beats your expectations! An idol worth your adoration!
Wednesday: #Cowmera at Siena, Italy
Today is the day #cowmera. A day to celebrate all the beauty in this moortal coil. Showcasing a beautifully cowptured photograph taken on my travels. All pictures cowmposed by #nobulltravelusing a cowmera of course! No Bellerophon needed.
Pictured today is the stunning cathedral at Siena, Italy. Built over many centuries, this medieval Duomo is an absolute delight. With an intricate facade that is as beautiful in the afternoon blaze as during the fading dusk. While inside, you’ll find more wonders in black, white and marble, this is actually my favourite spot to admire this cathedral. Park hoofs right outside and look up. Experience the crisp evening sky, the pleasing symmetry and the gratitude for this moment.
Thursday: #4TummyThursday at Rome, Italy
Don’t go anywhere near the weighing scale, its #4tummythursday! Your gateway to food favourites gobbled up on my travels.
Today, we pay our respects to that old Italian sweetheart. The spring in your post-meal steps. The talk of Tummy #3. The Dulce to beat all Dulces. The Gelato. Legend has it that the sorbet was invented for the wedding of Catherine De Medici and the gelato is its direct descendant. Gosh those medicis really had their fingers in every ice-cream didn’t they? Enjoy that scoop of 16th century history as you cownsume your daily gelato.
The gelato is seen all over the world but can only truly be experienced in Italy. The texture, the flavours and the excess! There’s something in the Italian milk that makes for the smoothest swirl. You can thank my Italian cowsins for that! Gelatos are best enjoyed in a cone and on your 4 feet. Stop by a gelaterie on your way to anywhere for a short and sweet pitstop and indulge in the best game of choice. Is it cheesecake or Stracciatella or Panna today? Why not all? Noone's judging here.
The Gelato is for all animals, ages and times. She’s always cheerful and a delight to have around. Handcrafted with love for you to handeat for not more than a few Euros in return!
Friday: #TheCowShed at Melbourne, Australia
This is your scheduled wake up call sir! Its #thecowshed for Fridays where we review my accowmmodation!
Today we take a tiny sojourn in Melbourne. That city where cool cats meet for flat whites. The answer to the question “What’s the coolest city in the world?” The hotspot for art, music and espresso, this side of the equator. In other words, Sydney’s leather jacket wearing elder sister.
How irresistabull is a city with Tram lines! I stayed on Collins, in the free tram zone, at the Intercontinental!
The #NoBullTravel review featuring what I liked (The Moo) and What I didn’t (The Beef)
* Location, Location, Location: Right in the hustle and swag of CBD, you can’t take 10 steps out of the hotel without chancing upon a hip spot for food or drink
* Design: Built in something of an old warehouse, you’ll love the natural lighting, historic neo-gothic facade and slick interiors. Quite like the long black you will drink in places just outside, these corridors are long and stylish!
* Why so closed? Hotels rarely have beautiful balconies overlooking the busy city, but this one does! And what do they do with it? Bolt it shut! Cowmon! Don’t rob your guests of an evening to soak up that cool floating around in the melbournian air.
Final Recowmendation: 3 Hoofs up! A chic base camp to explore endless laneways, neighbourhoods and coffee joints of the capital of cool!
Saturday: #WeekendMilkTip at Melbourne, Australia
This weekend’s tip of milk is about self discovery but not the green juice-gratitude-mindfulness kind. I’m talking about things that you discover for yourself by yourself in a new and unknown place.
Ditch the guide books, maps, pricy walking tours and farmily recowmmendations. Rely on your internal GPS and find yourself crawling into every kind of laneway in Melbourne. Get grungy on this trip down edgy lane as you discover artwork on dumpster to drywall. The fun of self discovery means that the discovery is yours! You know of this great little place now tucked away near Chinatown in Melbourne. You know of the best ban mi near hardware lane. And of course you know where you’re likely to find the most tourists (Hosier of cowrse)
Get a little independent in your travel and stumble upon the world. Start from CBD with your Gut map set to anywhere. With your hoofs, dumbphone and trusty umbrella (Melbourne’s weather can be so unpredictable) there’s no end to what you’ll find on your own!
Here are my worldly cuppas.
In Istanbul, the cowfee packs a 1-2 punch and is served with a glass of water to ensure you’re not knocked out! In Siena, pour some water into that espresso and make it an Americano to cownsume on the street. In Melbourne, perhaps the cowfee capital of the world, call your Americano a long black and enjoy one in a laneway filled with graffiti.
Once the Cowfee is done, you’re on your way again to discower the city.
For me its cowfee, for you it could be tea, dessert or even beer! A cowmon item in different cowntexts around the world to help you cowculate your own experience power parity!
Sunday: #DayofGraze at Sydney, Australia
Today is the #dayofgraze. Today we graze on this mooment. Cowncentrate on our breath and feel the full focus of our minds. Indulge in a little meditation session on Sundays. Or Meditesh, as I like to call it.
Find a quiet spot for yourself wherever you are. Bring a cushion for the long sit down. Set the timer for at least 30 mins and begin to settle down. Keep your back straight and your hooves crossed. Breathe. Follow the rhythm of your breathe across your whole body and start to feel the body respond. As you feel that breathe go in and out of your nose, watch the dance of thoughts in your mind. That pizza you shouldn’t have eaten. That witty retort you could’ve said. That dry cleaning that needs to be picked up. Hear the gentle waves of Dee Why beach as you traverse your own mind. As the moonites go by, the thoughts get slower and slower. Revel in the slowness of figuring out your next meal. Breathe.
As the Sunday sets on itself, open your eyes to a new you. It’s a new week and you have new adventures to get to! Armed with some cowlarity, cowncentration and cowpious amounts of oxygen, you got this! Meditesh renews like nothing else. Sit straight and breathe deep this beautiful #sungraze.