Thursday, July 4, 2013

When The Sun Goes Down


Gaia and Matasinhos - two of the other places I had traveled to for glorious port wine (no steep hill shall stop me) and seafood right by the sea, then heading south on a three-hour train journey to Lisboa. 

What can I say except that Lisboa offers even the wisest travelers lost paths, a labyrinth of its cobbled and inclined hills for the perfect getaway for poetic inspiration and much more. The hazy summer feel already made it seem like full on summer even though I went in Spring, but the gentle breeze during deserted evenings brought the character of the city to life: its grime and danger shaped the excitement and helplessness one feels in a foreign city. Walking has a new meaning in Lisboa, as I had to walk 2 miles back to a bus stop after a street protest near Belem! Imagine that with a dozen or so egg tarts as well...  I wished I had more time to discover what more each corner had to offer, but alas - every journey ends. Again, the architecture was a mixture of old and struggle for new (a good thing) and Rossio's entrance holds a special place in my memories of this city. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NYC






Due apologies for my lack of updates and pictures but I have a sufficient and exciting excuse - over Spring Break I was originally supposed to head to Morocco and Portugal but then found out I couldn't and was so devastated I decided to buy a return ticket to New York (yes, crazy) instead! So there I was - across the Atlantic seeing too many lights of Manhattan island from the plane, having too much good food and having withdrawals right after I got back to London. NYC is iconic and personally, a comforting city. It's very inviting but jarring with its bright lights in Times Square but also maintains a level of sophistication when you cross the famed Madison/Park/5th Avenue - it's wonderful. 

My trip was filled with (mostly) culinary delights, loads of unexpected cold weather, walking and contemporary art that I didn't understand and on top of that, battling a fever! This is just a sneak peek of what I did in New York: bagels, visiting the Empire State building while it was snowing on the 102th floor, frequenting our favorite Japanese restaurant on Lexington Ave, going to Williamsburg... many more to come. Have a good start to the weekend everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Belvedere



The remainder in Vienna was spent on excessive indulgence on sachertorte, (who cares about my lactose intolerance eh?) schnitzel and various concoctions of Austrian stews and meats - I went vegetarian after leaving Austria the following week! But it was also spent walking through misty streets of Burgring and palace grounds after a Christmas night orchestral performance in Hofburg palace...

Schobrunn palace was open during Christmas day and I had a really great time exploring all the rooms within the palace - I believe it has an atmosphere comparable to Versailles, and if you saw my very first post you could see I tried taking a picture of the interior of the palace which has gold-adorned ceilings and brilliant workmanship. They even had oriental inspired secret rooms, of which I was very impressed by as well.

I also made it a point to see Belvedere before I left Vienna and back to Salzburg for a couple of days, and it has an absolutely beautiful lawns and triangular shaped shrubs (as you can already see). Everything was so ornate, and I suppose Vienna lives up to being a classical city after all. So, I'm already thinking of where to go next when I have a break from university: any ideas please let me know   via various social media sites!

Tomorrow I will be having dim sum (and everyone knows dim sum is also one of my favorite mealtimes, ever!) with some friends so I hope everyone has a relaxing Sunday and refreshing start of the week - until next time, where I will bring you to a Sound of Music tour within beautiful Salzburg once again :) 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ess Muss Sein



It's Thursday and you know what this means: new post (yay).

Wien:
Decadence and the terrible cold is my impression of Vienna - not to mention the fog in the morning! Nonetheless the mist unveiled the history of the city itself, the architecture particularly wonderful to marvel at. I think Vienna speaks for itself, because I don't think my pictures nor helpless words can pay tribute to a city that once housed Mozart, Strauss, Klimt and Schiele... Though I have to add as a parenthesis that personally I am more of a Romantic-era fan but why complain? 

And perhaps the best (and only) picture I have of myself is in front of the mumok (museum of modern art and everyone who knows me well knows my sentiments on modern art hence the expression); the Leopold museum which actually has the Klimt exhibition I wanted to see was not open because it was Christmas eve/my birthday wish was not granted! Although, the fog did uncloaked to reveal the mysterious Stephansdom and the blithe Schobrunn woods... 

I spent most the time shivering even beneath thermals and four layers of clothing - but had great times eating all-time favorites of tafelspitz and apfelstrudel, celebrating my birthday in the Albertina, seeing an orchestra in the Hofburg on Christmas night and museum-hopping! I sound vaguely touristy-happy but it's true, I'd be back there sooner than you think if I had the chance. Round 2 of summer in Vienna, anyone? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Edelweiss



Don't let the Christmas cheer fool you, it was blistering cold in beautiful Salzburg. I was there just a few days before Christmas, and there were decorations and markets aplenty, littered in the scenic town famed for Mozart and The Sound of Music (hence appropriately titled). I was pleasantly greeted with the coffee and tea selection, and Austria has so many herbal fruit teas to choose from - oh joy! And since I am not a coffee-drinker (gasp yes) it was simply a delight to find a shop dedicated entirely to teas, which had season-themed infusions. Of course I had to bring home some for the cold weather as well.

Salzburg's charm is undisputed, and is definitely breathtaking through all seasons. This is also why I love visiting smaller cities (Verona is another of my favorite) because you find all sorts of strange, exquisite things at every corner. I also seem to be reading dystopian novels every Christmas break (last year's was Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World). The thing about Salzburg is that, you can see the mountains everywhere! Atop the fortress - it was a very cold and drizzly trek up to see the town but who can deny such a picturesque town?

It was snowing when I left to Vienna and I can neither confirm nor deny if I was truly musing about life! Next will be more Austrian adventures in classical and ornate Vienna :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tea at Chesterfield Hotel



Yet another food-related post, but I gather that it's always a good topic to talk about. This is such a distant memory: pre-Christmas tea time at the Chesterfield, where it got dark at about 4pm and you could have mulled wine and dress up christmassy! Oh I miss Christmas. It was rather dark indoors and I am a horrible interior photographer, so I'm afraid they're less appetizing than they look here. If you have yet to try a full traditional tea, please do - because it is so good. I love love love tea time. This is a shorter post than usual because I am rushing out for a meeting so apologies, but the next one will be significantly vibrant and exciting, I promise. But this was such a fulsome and satisfying meal, so tea time is one of my favorite dining hours. 

I had a good time mulling over the selection of cakes and teas; which was a very cool stylish flower bud type tea of which I have completely forgotten the name of, sadly. Next up will be some travel exciting photos from the very cold regions of East Europe :) I hope everyone is keeping warm, though London is behaving well today with the sun out at 5 degrees! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Skulls




I only have full-time university to blame for the very uninspiring and uncreative title of 'Skulls' though it is apt to describe my (quite) brand-new skull ear cuff! I secretly love how badass it looks, and looks very edgy when worn with other minimal jewelry. I've been acquiring several pieces over the last month as well, including that silver blue statement necklace. These were also taken the very next day I re-dyed my hair dark red (yes I am now a redhead again)!

I suppose this is also a food-filled post, on the same day I had brunch at one of Covent Garden's favorites - Bill's! Not too great for someone who is lactose intolerant like me, their French toast was slightly too much for my dairy intake : ( but it definitely looks and tastes great and I particularly enjoyed the maple syrup with fruits on top!

London is also currently experiencing some snowfall so I'll be out and about with my camera so expect some wintry white photos too! I also feel like I end every sentence with an exclamation mark.

If you have recommendations for food places, please do share as I am an avid breakfast/brunch lover!




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