Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Food glorious Food - part 2

Here we go again with another food post....more of the delicious food I enjoyed on my six month adventure earlier this year....

I had a splurge evening in Dublin and treated myself to lamb shank...it was yummy delicious.   And being a huge fan of root veggies I was in pure heaven...
 I opted for the set menu (because I'm a cheapskate) which came with an appetizer or dessert - well obviously I chose dessert. DUH.... Apple tart with ice cream and custard....

And another evening while in Dublin it was cod gouijons and chips to go in Howth from Beshoff Bros...nothing beats sitting by the sea eating fish and chips...even if it is cold and so windy I practically had to sit on my meal so it wouldn't fly away. 

The lobster soup at the Sea Baron cafe at Reykjavik harbour enjoyed on a cold dark December day.  The chunks of lobster are hiding but oh boy......definitely recommended if you ever visit that wonderfully quirky city.  I can't believe I didn't stop there for soup when I was there in June...stupid!! 

Lapas in Madeira...similar to mussels.   Our first evening in Madeira we walked down to the nearby fishing village of Camara de Lobos and had these along with other appetizers at a local bar. 


We also tried Sardine bruscetta.  Not bad...doubt I'd have it again but it's good to try different things.  My only experience of sardines was when I had to put a can of sardines into the feeding dish of Daisy, the Newfoundland dog I took care of way back when....not an easy thing to do at 6 am. (gag) 

The best meal I had in Prague...we stopped for a late lunch after visiting Prague castle and I ordered beef with cream and cranberries and Czech dumplings....it was one of those meals that you want to eat over again...I think Claudia was getting a little annoyed and embarassed with me moaning while I was eating!  I must confess I do miss having vegetables when I eat out in northern Europe...


I do love my meat pies - and veggies.  I believe this was a chicken and mushroom pie.  Hint:  lunch or dinner at the Cafe in the Crypt in St Martins in the Fields (opposite Trafalgar Square) is always a good idea.  Very reasonable fare for central London and it's home made and good. 

Another meat pie (and another chicken and mushroom I believe) at Goddards in Greenwich....the green sauce is liquer sauce which is basically a parsley sauce.  The first time I've had it and it was very nice. My friend had the lamb pie and said it was delish as well.  Definitely a return trip is in order next time I am over the pond - although I really want to try the pies at M Manze...minus the jellied eels and mushy peas of course.  These pie shops are very plain ordinary places but are reasonable and authentic.  The trouble is they are only open at lunch time. Pieminster also has good pies to take home or eat there - London locations are at Borough Market & Hays Wharf on the South Bank.  The lamb and mint is very tasty and there are veggie options as well.  Hey I should get a free pie next time I'm in town for this promotion. :)  If you're in England you have to try a meat pie and if you're a veggie well try a veggie pie!

Goulash in Vienna....just what the doctor ordered on a cold and drizzly day. 


A meal cooked in a traditional home in Cappadocia - some kind of leek strudel which was delicious, rice and beans.  We had soup as a starter.  It was all delicious.


Kebob in Bursa, Turkey - yes it may look disgusting but boy oh boy it sure didn't taste disgusting.   Yum! 

A loaf of the gorgeous Turkish bread - all hot and puffy and once you cut it...whoosh..down it goes but oh so tasty...


A last farewell to the Republic of Ireland....a huge Irish breakfast with black and white pudding on my last morning to tide me over on the three hour journey up to Belfast......I've had better....


A cream and jam filled scone with tea at the lovely cafe in the Titanic exhibition in Belfast. The little banner is the logo for the White Star Line which was the company that owned the Titanic.  If you are in Belfast a visit to this fantastic exhibition is a must!!   Every detail from the first "idea" to where the victims' bodies were buried is covered. 



Momos at Momo House in Wembley.  London has so many wonderful Indian & Asian restaurants....


A unique breakfast at Maria's in Borough Market - chips, mushrooms and bubble & squeak. (fried up left over vegetables)  Living in airbnb rentals meants I didn't have too many cooked breakfasts - muesli and yogurt was the usual start to my day but once in a while I had to go to a local greasy spoon cafe and have a "fryup". 


A margarita pizza at Franco Manca - at the original location in Brixton Market. (another tick off the bucket list) Franco Manca is a small London pizza chain.  Sourdough crust...oh my my...I am drooling just looking at this.  I also tried the Balham location while on this holiday and on a previous trip the Chiswick location.  All good..SO good! 

Scouse in Liverpool... thick beef stew.  The pickled beets on top are a popular addition.  This is why Liverpudlians are called Scousers...this thick stew was a staple in working class families.  I was lucky enough to have this prepared for me by my airbnb host Anne in Liverpool. 


I eat a lot of Skyr when I visit Iceland...for breakfast or as a dessert.  It is similar to yogurt but much creamier and delicious.  It has been a part of Icelandic culture for over 1,000 years.  Of course now there are many flavours with blueberry being one of the most popular but I am working my way through the selection! 


Fish, potatoes and onions in Lisbon...I am a bit squeamish with unfilleted fish but I gave it a try and hoped to hell I didn't choke on a bone and die.  After all I still had nearly five months to go on my big adventure.  It was delicious but just not worth the hassle of picking the bones out.

Okay this is NOT real food I know but oh man....the chocolate/licorice bars in Iceland are incredible.  Worth a stop off in Iceland for these alone...sigh...


And last but not least..Christmas dinner at St Martins in the Fields' Cafe in the Crypt.  Roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, mashed potato, turkey and chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon.  Could have lived without the sausages but oh well they are part of the English Christmas dinner.  This is served throughout the month of December. 

Hope you enjoy this post and remember to clean up your keyboard!!!! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vienna's Naschmarkt

If you've been reading this blog you know I hit a "wall" when I arrived in Vienna.  I spent one day wandering around Vienna on a cold dull day and to be honest I didn't have a bad day.  Vienna didn't "grab" me like I thought it would but I did manage to see and do quite a bit. and what I saw I did enjoy.  However I woke up the next day feeling very tired and depressed.  Travel weariness had hit and sadly it stayed for a while.  So I decided to have a rest day.  I went down for a wonderful buffet breakfast and okay I must confess did snack on the half price Easter chocolate easter bunny (okay I got two I confess...what is it about Easter bunnies that makes them taste so much better than plain old chocolate bars?)  I had purchased the previous day....(is there anything more exciting to a chocoholic than half price chocolate and especially European half price chocolate!)

I then spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon on social media, reading about what to see in Vienna, skyping my bestie Linda and working on my blog...I just needed a quiet day.  However staying in all day was not an option...I had to eat and I did not want to wallow too much in my depression so what could I do?  I love markets, I adore markets...so I checked to see if I could go to a market for some photo opportunities and to pick up some unique food.  I noticed the Nascht market was within walking distance of me so mid afternoon I ventured out.    Here's a photo blog of my trip there. 


I spent way too much on dried fruit at this stall and it ended up to be very well traveled fruit going to Germany and then on to Prague...

 This market has been around since the 16th century..

 Because it's Austria right...must have dirndls!  If I'd had a little girl to buy for she would have been stuck with one of these - they are so cute!
 Olives are my least favourite thing in the world (besides snakes and rap) so I can't believe these olives managed to sneak into my pictures of lovely spices.

 Lots of dried fruit vendors!





 I ended up buying a few cherry tomatoes stuffed with cheese - they were pretty good.



I resisted buying tea - so proud of myself as I do love my tea.  The tea pots were adorable and very tempting but just not practical for long term traveling! (how many tea pots does one person need?  Well four at last count....)

Cheese, cheese...got some cheese as well.  I love cheese!!

 Not sure what this was and I don't think I want to know...
 I don't want to know.....

The market had cafes and restaurants as well which I resisted as I was in the mood to "graze" on snacky things back in the room.   I left clutching my dried fruit, cheese filled tomatoes, a bit of cheese, fresh fruit and there may have been a krapfen (Austrian donut) in there as well.... I had a nice little feast that evening.   If like me you love markets then I recommend visiting the Naschmarkt when you visit Vienna.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pouting around Prague - the next 24 hours

As I wrote in my last post about Prague my time in Prague was a strange time for me.  I was not "present" like I should be when traveling; my mind was elsewhere....as in a place called London.  I just wanted to be back there...I was tired of traveling and needed a break. (Once I got back to London for a week I was happy and I had a wonderful time in Dublin and Belfast a short while later). It made me short tempered and crabby...not one of my finest moments I must admit.  Prague is a beautiful city and now looking at my pictures I can appreciate it more.

The evening before we decided a boat trip might be a good idea.   The next morning we set off for a kiosk close by and booked a lunch cruise...this was longer than the usual one hour cruise and went through locks as well in order to get further down the river.

So here we go...

 Republic Square - our hotel was just around the corner from this square down the road in between the white building with the red roof and the red building (shopping mall)  You had to have your eyes and ears alert for trams.  There was a good grocery store close by so we could pick up snacks and fruit, yogurt, etc. for breakfast.  

I loved this retro advertisement!!! 

This is the beautiful facade of the Municipal House on Republic Square

Soon it was time to be picked up by the van that would take us to our boat and off we went along the river Vitava.


 A view of the Dancing House from the water...


Going through the lock...a long process...




We had seen these penguins the day before and wondered what the meaning was.  Thanks to the good old internet I found out it's an art installation depicting penguins getting ready to board a ship to the Antarctic....okay!


A market, a market!!! (and we know how I love my markets...)  We never got there however.


Lots of bridges - loved the tram going over the bridge shot and yes it got dark and moody again...

Our boat....would I recommend this trip?  No.  Not the lunch cruise anyway.  The food was so so...chicken and salads and vegetables.  It was okay but I would rather have spent my lunch money on a delicious Czech goulash.  If I had been on my own I would have opted for the one hour cruise and that's what I would tell people to do.  We spent an awfully long time going through the locks both ways which if you are interested in that sort of thing or have never done it might be interesting.  I've done it enough that to me it was a waste of time.  Just my personal opinion of course. 

We then walked across a nearby bridge to get a view of Prague's Old Town and visit Mala Strana again.



View towards the St Charles bridge 

We had to walk down to the river to have the token photo taken - I wish I had had something to feed the swans....

Being a hard core (and I mean hard core) Beatles fan I wanted to see the John Lennon peace mural so after asking a few people we found our way there...

 Of course there had to be a John Lennon pub - and no we didn't stop there.


 I was trying to imitate John Lennon's famous picture in New York City...


Imagine all the people living life in peace....I miss you John....


Being as this boat had the same name as my home town I had to take a picture - and the background isn't too shabby either...
 This reminded me of Venice!!!

 

We walked through a park and I couldn't resist walking onto this bridge to see this soothing sight...it was a nice respite from the tourist hordes in other parts of Prague


Then we headed back over the St Charle Bridge again...another statue you touch for good luck...


More crowded this time but there were crafts people selling their wares...and yes I may have bought another pair of earrings....


Another interesting object just hanging around.  it is a piece of art called Man Hanging Out.  Created in 1996 by sculpture David Cerny it depicts Sigmund Freud.... We came upon it totally by accident. There are other sculptures by the artist but we didn't see them...oh well, next time!




We found a nice cafe where we had hot drinks and a pastry before wandering back to our hotel for a quiet evening.  After all when you get to a certain age you are either: 1) out all morning and afternoon or 2) out all afternoon and evening.  Staying out all day is beyond my capabilities now...Above are some of the sights we saw on the wander back to our hotel...Prague really is a photographer's paradise.  Stay tuned for the last 24 hours in Prague...coming sometime soon!