Peterhof, Russia


Peterhof/Petergof is another place that doesn’t get to keep a Russian name. It means Peter’s court in German/Dutch. Peter of course the same one who founded SPb.


Apparently the Tsar designed this to troll people.


There are multiple “palaces” in the complex. “Palace” because they are generally quite tiny.


Peterhof is most famous of its fountain system which basically runs itself. But apparently it may fail soon. This waterway leads all the way to the sea.


During the Second World War, when Hitler was driving into the Soviet Union, they tried moving as many treasures from here to the cathedral in SPb as possible. And buried some.

They recovered most of them except the most famous one in the middle of this. This isn’t the original one as a result.


There are many, many fountains all over.


No, it’s not Norway yet.


Free area in the upper garden. I took the railway then a bus to the upper garden – quite easy to do that actually. Then I walked down to the lower garden and took the ferry.


There were also numerous trick fountains and the children loved them.

St Petersburg, Russia


When I was planning my trip to the Russian Federation, a Russian friend asked me to skip altogether and go only to SPb.

Saint Petersburg is Mother Russia’ historic/winter capital and was founded by His Imperial Majesty The Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor of All Russias.


The most useful weapon against the Russian forces seem to be the smartphone.


There were loads of military boats parking on the main river. There’s a firework display every evening too.


SPb was Emperor Peter’s attempt to make Russia European, and it worked. The whole city, nicknamed Venice of the North (looked nothing like Venice btw), is full of European buildings. Although at the same time it lacks the Russianess Moscow very clearly has.


The Church of the Spilled Blood. Built where His Imperial Majesty Emperor Alexander II, the “Tsar-Liberator” was assassinated. He could’ve avoided death had he not insisted to check the damages after the first attack.

Why must all liberators die?

Alexander II freed the serfs and was killed.

His Excellency President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and was murdered.

Her Grace The Queen Daenerys, Breaker of Chains will probably be next.


The main square. So big it was quite difficult to take a good photo of it.


Rihanna’s fan club.


Copied from Greece.


The Sun basically never set. This was like 11pm or something.


The Winter Palace, where Her Imperial Majesty Empress Catherine the Great, first Tsarina then somehow Tsar of All Russias, built her hermitage gallery.


One interesting thing to note was that SPb was extremely touristy, and basically propped up by Chinese tourists. While people from China do need a visa to visit President Putin’s realm, tour agencies do it for them and so there are many, many buses of Chinese tourists everywhere.


One of the many canals. The reason why it’s called Venice of the North. But honestly the only other city that even remotely feels like Venice is Amsterdam.


They were selling these cups everywhere. And yes, it was a photo of shirtless Tsar Vladimir with His Excellency The President Donald Trump rising a bear.

I didn’t want to get too close cuz I didn’t know if the vendor would like that.


One has to wait until the Sun is in the right place to take a proper photograph.


I really like these Russian architecture, although it turned out the original in Moscow >>>.


The oldest part of the fortress.


The fortress complex has like a million museums, and signs in simplied Chinese.


Flying from Latvia to Putin’s heartland over the Baltic sea.


Naval building with soldiers basically casually hanging around.


The centre of the fortress. It’s got like five museums.


There was a military parade. I thought it was the Scottish flag at first but it was actually the colours reversed and in fact the Russian naval flag.




Cathedral. I stayed very close to it.

All the buildings were quite pretty, including the residential ones, but quite ugly inside (the residential blocks).


This palace was where an Oxford-educated prince, allegedly in collaboration with his Oxonian coursemate in the British intelligence field, murdered The Reverend Rasputin, The Mad Monk. Supposedly, they kept trying to kill him and just wouldn’t die.

The department store near here only had “push” and “pull” in English and Chinese.

Ireland (Dublin and beyond)


I came here to avoid meeting Their Catholic Majesties The King and Queen of Spain, who were visiting Exeter College the same day I flew.


Galway Bay. Very close to the inspiration to Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”.

Bus driver said the song wasn’t realistic when it mentioned a Galway falling for an Englishman.

He also told us he was detained in the United States for asking “any craic” (craic = fun, ie “what’s up”). 


Weather wasn’t very good, unfortunately. It’s not rainy or anything, but the Sun didn’t really come out.


The General Post Office. The museum was definitely worth going. So inspiring.

The GPO was the headquarters of the rebels during the failed 1916 Easter Uprising.

At the time, Ireland was debating home rule – whether to be autonomous, or be directly governed by Westminster. The United Kingdom was set to grant it, but the First World War put a pause on it – the republican movement was non-existent and Dublin was quite pro-British. In fact, many Irishmen volunteered to join WWI, fighting for the British Empire.

Ireland, including Northern Ireland, was around 0.8% of the total population of the Empire, and despite being in a general war, Britain still had plenty of military resources for this side of the British Isles.

A very small group of revolutionaries, armed with firearms from Germany, occupied certain major buildings in downtown Dublin, with practically zero public support.

In the beginning of the uprising, Dubliners despised the group, spat on them and all that. There was even a woman who marched into the GPO, telling them off, saying they had no mandate to do any of that.

Her Majesty’s government responded with an iron fist, sending a disproportionate amount of forces into what is now the Irish capital. They destroyed much of the city centre during the week, and still couldn’t best this tiny team of unsupported militia.

Public opinion, magically, started to stray. By the end of the week, when the occupants surrendered, republicanism became the majority and home rule was destined to be DOA.


I went on a tour to the Cliffs of Moher.

A bit disappointed actually. Very, very foggy. Also very windy. Little rocks kept hurting me.

Should’ve gone for the NI tour.


Feeling like Harry Styles.


One of Dublin’s landmarks, the Spire. It’s very tall but out of place.


Now you don’t see me!


The river.


Dublin Castle. Didn’t look like one.


Near the cliffs.


The cliffs just go on and on and on like it’s chained to the rhythm.


Ethical. Got it in my first go anyway.


Trinity College Dublin.


Cardiff, Wales (+ Doctor Who Experience)


Cardiff! Honestly I went just so I could say I’d been to Wales, and also for Doctor Who Experience.


Near Doctor Who Experience is Cardiff Bay, where Torchwood was filmed. This is a memorial forced on to the council by the public for Ianto.

That font though…


There are basically two sides of Cardiff. One is this side with the historical buildings, and then there’s the other side, coming up very soon…


The Shire of Ianto Jones.

People started posting stuff up there after Ianto Jones’s unfortunate death. The council wanted to remove it but caved it in the end.


Doctor Who Experience is called as such because it’s not just a museum, but essentially an episode in itself. Whilst some may laugh at the unnatural acting of the “curator”, it’s still quite fun. Not to mention you do get to a museum in the end.

I bought lots of souvenirs, including a TARDIS clock.


Downtown Cardiff. They had a bike thing that’s why.


Cardiff Castle. Not as built up as I thought it would be, but still cool.

The keep on the right was disappointing as it’s empty inside. Was expecting it to be a bit more like the Red Keep.

It’s good that I can read some Spanish now, because the English signs are always occupied. When the Spanish ones weren’t available either, I went for the Japanese ones.


I literally couldn’t recognize it so sunny. In Torchwood, it’s almost always raining. Couldn’t get to the perception filter.


The inside of a real-life TARDIS in the museum!

No, we couldn’t touch anything…


Help! I’m trapped in a Dalek!

I am not a Dalek.

I am a Dalek.










Going back to the nice part of the town.

Newport seemed cool too, btw. But I didn’t take any photos.

People were nice. I walked from the city to Cardiff Bay but I didn’t want to walk back, so I asked the staff if I could get on even though my ticket was from Cardiff city. And he was fine with it.

Vatican / The Holy See


Even though Vatican City is in the other side of Rome, it remains a must-see place regardless of your religious views and affiliation. The truth is, despite not possessing most qualities a country is supposed to have, The Holy See is one of the most powerful in the world.


The city-state was so small it was probably of a similar size to an airport, but they did pack plenty in it. There were numerous souvenir shops, most trying to pretend Benedict didn’t exist, and the amount of Francis products does make you wonder whether the Biblical God would be happy with the papacy.

You also get certain embassies you don’t see in most places, like the Republic of China (Taiwan) one.

The churches around were also empty, btw.


I believe they stole the column from Egypt. Not the only item they’d stolen.


Seeing the Swiss guards was a high point for me, and not just for the erotic fantasies. After all, the institution is historic and they are one of the very few remaining forces in this form. Some dressed more elaborately than the others, no doubt for the entertainment of certain servants of God.


Do you know I can be the next pope? All you need is be is 1. male, 2. baptized Catholic. Can you imagine me as a demigod?

Rome, Italy


Rome, where the Roman Republic/Empire started. Coincidentally, also my favourite historical city. It has everything I like – impressive, imperial buildings, ancient ruins, and everything’s reasonably close.

The structure above was my absolute No 1 in the metropolis. It’s extraordinarily well-maintained and you can go on it and get a marvellous view of the city.




It was awfully hot though – around 35 degrees. Would probably have died had there not been literally water fountains everywhere downtown!

But it was so hot that despite the fact that I kept drinking and drinking water, I never really needed to go to the loo.


The complex looked much better in the evening with the lights, even though it might have been more difficult to take good photos of them.


Rome is a highly walkable city (you’d need to be a big walker tho), ever if you want to walk from the central station (where I stayed) all the way to the Vatican and back. It’s quite a nice walk too, with all the unique and stylish ancient buildings at every corner.


One thing that stood out to me was the atmosphere in the city. The archaeological sites had all aged quite a bit, and they were all ruins beyond repair. Yet, Rome still felt like very much the seat of an empire, albeit one that had fallen a long, long time ago.

On another note, they projected videos and images on to some of the walls and that was cool.


Still an impressive building but didn’t look as good as it was in the evening.


The trouble with visiting Rome is that once you’ve got there, you won’t find Athens that special…


The churches are all empty, btw. Very cool tho so good to visit during a heat wave.


Apparently Italians are exceptionally sceptical of air-conditioning, so you can’t expect to have that in most places.


Prague, Czech Republic

My adventure as a Czech hunter. (Didn’t hunt any actually.)


Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic, is a historic capital of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a very different place to be, as even though it was still Europe, they didn’t have the level of wealth of development western Europe enjoys.


The most famous landmark of the city, Charles Bridge.

The juxtaposition of this structure reminding one of the heavy Christian background of the country, and the fact that it’s now practically a pornography capital, was interesting at least. But then, the Vatican funded porn and Jesus never really said anything against it.


One special thing about the Czech capital was how historic the whole city looked. It didn’t feel homogenous like Bath or Oxford, but you also wouldn’t see a modern building out of nowhere. It didn’t feel particularly imperial, despite its history, but still a nice sight to see.


When I went to Vienna earlier, it was Prague it reminded me of. I’m not entirely who predates who, but it was the streets with old European plain buildings on the sides that made me feel that way.

Now, I didn’t actually find Prague all that interesting, perhaps due to the fact that I had only really an obsession with grand buildings, but it was nevertheless a decent town. Just don’t expect any recognizable landmarks or impressive, breathtaking structures towering over you.


This was probably my favourite, especially the inside of it (pictured below).


The river was not bad too. It’s a relatively relaxing place to be, and you can always just stroll around aimlessly.


The inside of the aforementioned building.


I believe my favourite composer, Mozart, performed here.


A typical street.


Looked very much like the Bridge of Signs in Venice.


Like elsewhere in Europe. there were likewise more than a handful of empty churches for you to rest in.


Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands


A’dam, the Venice of the west, film location of The Fault In Our Stars.


Even though they didn’t have big, impressive architecture, I still quite liked it for its unique style (not just the canals).

I took a Megabus from London – Europe-bound we were on a train type of thing; coming back we were on a cruise-like thing. As far as I could tell, no refugees got in with us. We had to get off in Calais and there’s also a Rotterdam stop.


Like the Cambodians, some Dutch residents live on the water, except their homes are much nicer. To me, it feels very public tho.

And yes, I did try smoking marijuana for the very first time. Or smoking anything actually. It did nothing to me but I might’ve done it wrong, as I might not have inhaled much due to the smoke choking me.


In general, it felt like an extraordinarily young city, even though it wasn’t. Even its coat of arms, with the XXX looked very modern, but it wasn’t.

The entire city wasn’t like this, by the way – this was downtown, and there was still large parts of Amsterdam outside of this (even though it’s a bit uneventful).


The cathedral was the only old-looking building but the interior looked extremely modern as well (no pic).


Boom clap.

I went to the Anne Frank’s house but didn’t go in after seeing the exorbitantly long line. Ain’t nobody got time for that.


The houses in the city centre were all very narrow.


My first time seeing something like that I think, and then I discovered how common they were in Mexico.


The symbol of The Netherlands – think it was the only one in the city.


The red light district. They were some women behind the doors and some other establishments. 

Bournemouth, England


Bournemouth is a coastal city in southern England, very cheap to go from Oxford by Megabus (£6). It’s also where Mary Shelley was buried.


One of the main things to do in the city is to walk along to the river all the way to the sea.

I got an interpretation gig and booked my tickets due to the agent saying in her experience, they don’t get cancelled. It was cancelled. I went just as a tourist anyway.


It’s also very close to Poole and a peninsula, where you can just chill on the beach. The sea is no Caribean though.


I think this used to be in London.


It’s very close to the Jurassic Coast, but unfortunately I didn’t know about it. Perhaps I will go in the future.

Leeds, Yorkshire, England


Despite not being the county capital, Leeds is by far the largest city in Yorkshire. This, along with the fact that it’s got several big historical buildings built when it was filled with coal money (see Billy Elliot for what happened to it), and I guess also that it’s usually quite cold, makes it the real-life Winterfell.

It wasn’t a terribly eventful place, but good enough for a short excursion to the north. The buses were hella confusing though: we kept trying to pay but not sure how. As it turned out, there’s a staff selling tickets to you after everyone’s on the bus, but since it was so incredibly packed, he never managed to get to us.


One of the malls even had real reindeer! None of them had a red nose tho.

Instead of staying in a proper place, we were a bit more adventurous and stayed at a bathhouse (they’ve got actual rooms). I will spare you the juicy details of our night, but it was quite unsettling the next day, when we learned that the cars parked outside were all smashed  – an actual hate crime – and that the establishment increased security due to a homophobic attack (literally a mob trashed the reception) a few years back. So I guess it was also a bit like King’s Landing.