Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Relaxing on the Beach in Ko Samui

bophut beach ko samui
Sunset on Bophut Beach

Our first stop in Thailand was an island in the gulf called Ko Samui. We stayed at the Smile House for the first two days on Bophut Beach at the north end of the island, which was a nice place, set back a bit from the beach, then we moved a bit farther out in Bophut to the Cactus Bungalows where we had a bungalow just steps from the sand.

bophut beach
Bophut Beach, Ko Samui

We spent the July 25 to 29 sitting on the beach, reading, napping and not going very far from our hotel. It was only on our last day on the island that we actually got out to do something — we went to Ang Thong Marine Park.

We took the Action Islanders Adventure speed boat tour, and somehow got on the slow boat. Well, the boat itself went quickly, but we had to make a stop at a neighboring island before heading off to the marine park, which was quite a bit detour. The ride between the islands was quite choppy and Evan was NOT happy — he’s not exactly a huge fan of boats or water. About 5 minutes into the ride, he turned to me and said, “I regret coming out here.” He decided to stick it out, though, even though our driver said that the trip to the marine park would be as bumpy if not more so than our first leg, and he took some Dramamine, which helped a bit.

When we got to our first stop — a cove to go snorkeling in — we relaxed on the boat for a while before going in. When we decided to put on our masks and head in, we both ended up having a good time. I was a bit scared at first, since I don’t like fish very much, but I steered clear of the biggest schools and the areas where people were throwing bread in the water, and some quite a few types of fish as well as lots of coral.

ang thong marine park
The Lagoon

Our next stop was an island with a saltwater lagoon in its middle — the island that inspired The Beach. We hiked up to a viewpoint, then hiked down to the lagoon, though you can’t go in. The hike was short, but it was on some super steep and treacherous staircases.

We then boated a short ways over to a picnic area for lunch where there were wooden swings between the beachside palms and beautiful views of other islands.

Kayaking — does the pose look familiar?

The best stop, though, was our last — kayaking. Evan and I shared a kayak, and our guide took us around a small island, going into some seaside caves on the way. It was beautiful and peaceful, except for when the guide started splashing everyone. We also stopped at a very small and quiet white sand beach to do a bit of swimming — definitely an island paradise.

Thankfully, the trip back couldn’t have been more different from the trip out — it was essentially flat, totally smooth cruising to Ko Phra Ngan. Evan said it it were always like that, boating could possibly be considered pleasant. The shorter inter-island trip was a bit bumpy, but it was pretty quick, and a one-eyed van driver took us back to our hotel. Thank goodness the sea got calmer and our activities were fun because aside from the trip over Evan did end up having fun.

Exhausted when we got back, we had a little snack, then while Evan napped, I read and napped on the beach, then had a Thai massage in a hut on the beach. It felt like I’d imagine a visit to a chiropractor would — lots of stretching and pressure — and I felt very relaxed when it was done.

Next stop: Chiang Mai.

See our photos from Ko Samui and our first days in Chiang Mai in Evan’s Facebook album.

Barcelona Sunset at Parc de Ciutadella

Our last stop on Monday was Parc de Ciutadella, which we entered through Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf. We also learned that unlike the arches in Paris and London and other European cities, this one isn’t commemorating a war victory, it’s just for show.

We go to the park at sunset and snapped some photos in the remaining light, walked around the little lagoon where people were taking out row boats, and helped retrieve a stray soccer ball (Evan kicked it back).

Barcelona Arc de Triomf, Parc de Ciutadella

Hyde Park at Sunset

After our excursion to the Chocolate Bar, Evan and I walked over to the science museum, but found the exhibits didn’t really hold our interest, so we went on to Hyde park. We entered the park right near the Albert Memorial, an extravagant statue involving exotic animals, hordes of people and lots of gold surrounded by a very pointy-topped fence and lots of security cameras.

Albert Memorial Hyde Park

From there, we walked to the Serpentine since it was getting cold and dark quickly. Once we were near the end of the lake, though, we noticed how pretty the view was and stopped to take a photo before power-walking the rest of the way home.

Hyde Park Sunset on the Serpentine

Sunset by the Neu Berg in Vienna

Sunset in Vienna

Vienna was absolutely beautiful, with decadent sights all around. While wandering around the city on Saturday, we passed through the gates of the Hofburg and through the following courtyard to a wide open area right next to Neu Berg, and were stunned at the beautiful sunset behind the city.

Here’s another great sunset photo Evan took, facing Parlament.

Sunset in Vienna

See more sunset pictures on Evan’s site.