Wien Weekend Tip: Neubaugasse Flohmarkt!

If you’re free and in Vienna this weekend, go out and visit the Neubaugasse Flohmarkt! To me, Neubaugasse is like the hip younger sister of the main shopping street Mariahilferstrasse. Home to some of my usual haunts like Femosa, a store with the cutest stationery and home ware, salons Hauptsache and Yuki Tuyet Beauty Salon, the entire street turns into a huge fleamarket. It’s the most eclectic and colorful mix of old and new stuff at discounted prices.

Wear comfortable shoes – it’s a long street!

Neubaugasse Flohmarkt
September 26 – 27, 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

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Flashback Friday: London Aquarium + ZSL London Zoo

If you’re in London, love marine life, like the movie Closer, and/or have a bit of time to spare, I highly recommend going to the Sea Life London Aquarium. 

 

 

 

 

If you love exotic animals, ZSL London Zoo is the place to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wien Weekend Tips

Yay, it’s the weekend and it’s warm again in Vienna! What are you up to? There’s a lot happening this weekend, so here are a few tips to help you decide!

Entertainment
Buskers Festival
The street performance scene in Vienna is so amazing. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m in a movie when I’m walking in the first district and suddenly hear live classical music. So magical. Speaking of magic, the Buskers Festival has magicians on the program! There’s also dancers, musicians, comedians, acrobats, and graffiti artists. Happening this weekend, September 5-7, from 2 to 10 PM. Best of all, it’s free!

If you’re in a partying mood after the shows, hit up the After-Party at the TU.

Karlsplatz, 1010 Wien

Food
Genussmarkt im Stadtbiotop
Indulge your palate this weekend. Genussmarkt is a culinary festival of local, fresh, and organic food and products. I’ve been wanting to visit Stadtbiotop because they always have cool events, shops, and food in their containers.

Trabrennstraße 2, 1020 Wien

Shopping
Vitra Sample Sale
Eames and Panton chairs and other cult designer furniture at discounted prices? Umm, yes!

September 6, 10 AM – 5 PM

Vitra warehouse, Zwerchäckerweg 2, Gewerbepark Stadlau, 1220 Wien

Wednesday Wishlist

wednesday-wishlist-no-stopovers-18Aug2014

one ❤ With natural ingredients that fight drowsiness, exhaustion, fatigue, dehydration, and vertigo, TravelEase spray by Sprayology  is the perfect antidote for jet lag. Since I’m very prone to motion sickness, any other way to combat it aside from sleeping (which is so effective, but I tend to miss out on in-flight movies, stunning sunsets and beautiful clouds) is very welcome. 

two ❤ While I love to capture moments during my trips on instagram, I also love to keep a small travel journal where I can stick on tickets, receipts and stickers. I found this logbook on etsy and fell in love with it. 

three ❤ Hopefully someday, I’ll be less dependent on the internet, but in the meantime, this pocket wifi seems like the best invention ever. 

Flashback Friday: colors & chocolate at M&M

{Back in March 2012, I went to London, one of my favorite cities and got caught in a sugar rush at M&M’s World}

We went to M&M’s World in London under the pretense that it’s for our 2 year-old companion Yssa’s entertainment. More than an hour later, it was apparent that all of us grown-ups had just as much fun, maybe even more, as Yssa. Who wouldn’t cheer up with so much color and sweetness?
While my favorite M&M’s flavor is peanut butter (I think it also might be the most fattening), I was on a mission to find the dark chocolate variety. I discovered them in New York and must have bought them at Duane Reade or CVS (seriously, I love drugstores). My friends and I munched the chocolate  and Combos while having wine (we so classy). We loved the dark choc M&M’s and thought would find them at the airport, but couldn’t. Sadly they weren’t available in London yet*.
With 4 floors filled with merchandise, sweets and the lovable mascots that make for great photo opps, M&M’s world is like a small amusement park. For a chocolate junkie like me, it’s better than Disneyland.
I really loved this wall with 22 colors of chocolate candies. 

 

I couldn’t help filling a bag with my favorite colors plus white because according to the Official Colour Analyser, white is my color mood.

 

Festive! Wouldn’t mind celebrating with a bottle of that 🙂

 

Yssa approves

 

 

Red looking very official

 

recreating The Beatles crossing Abbey Road! so cute!
side note: I passed Abbey Road twice by bus, but couldn’t quite figure out where this famous crossing is. Another excuse to go back to my beloved LDN 🙂

1 Swiss Court
Westminster, London WC2H 7
(in Leicester Square)

Store Hours:

Monday-Saturday: 10am-Midnight
Sunday: Noon-6pm
* one week later, my colleague went to New York and got me a big bag of M&M’s Dark Chocolate ❤

Achillion Palace

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, lovingly known as Sissi, was a beautiful, enigmatic woman. Her youth, beauty, and mystery inspired arts and entertainment – I particularly like Sissi starring Romy Schneider, and the musical Elisabeth. Because her sheltered life made her feel lonely, she started to go on frequent travels. In 1890, she had a palace built in her favorite place, Corfu, and named it  Achillion Palace, after her favorite Greek hero Achilles.

Located in the South of Corfu town, Achillion is easily accessible with bus line 10. If you like royalty, splendor, and neoclassicism, try to visit, but go early to avoid the crowds.

Entrance fee: €7
Audio guide: €3

Achillion Palace

Achillion Palace Achillion Palace Achilles heel

Achillion Palace Trying to blend in with the muses, but that didn’t quite work

Achillion Palace Loved this muse, Thalia, who looks like she is taking a selfie. Thalia represents good cheer and festivity.

Achillion Palace You talkin’ to me?

Achillion PalaceTrying on Sissi’s jewels

Achillion Palace

Corfu food tips!

Gather ’round because I’ve got a few Corfu food tips for ya. Ready?

❤ Try Pastitsada, a Corfiot specialty made of slow-cooked, really tender beef, tomato sauce, and pasta. Did I mention the beef was really tender? Because it was; it was really tender. This is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect with wine.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Order a Meze, or appetizer plate. There is usually a choice of cold and warm plates, but a combination of both is the best. If it’s not on the menu, ask the waiter if you can get a mixed cold and warm plate – they’re usually happy to mix it up. A mix of meats, cheeses, vegetables, breads, and dips, an order is enough to be a meal for two.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Get a baklava, but ask how big the serving will be. I was shocked to see the pizza slice-sized baklava on my table. Because it is very sweet, it is perfect with Greek coffee. Caution: Greek coffee is rather on the bitter side, so order it to be sweetened – you’ll be asked if you want it regularly sweet or super sweet (okay not in those words).

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Oh, and most importantly, enjoy the view while eating. It’s okay if you can’t decide what to focus on, the taste or the view. I know you’re on vacation, but this is a moment to multi-task.

Corfu food tipsThis was my view while I ate the Meze platter.

 

Corfu food tipsAnd this was my view while enjoying the Baklava.

Ahhhh-mazing.
Happy eating!

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
– Orson Welles

 

Postcard-pretty Kanoni

Kanoni

After seeing a lot of postcards with Kanoni, I wanted to see it for myself. This part of Corfu is named after the canons that used to protect the city. From Corfu town, I took the 2a bus and missed my stop.

Kanoni I should have gotten off the bus when I saw this cannon.

KanoniWalking past the cannon, through a café and down the stairs, this view greeted me: tiny Pontikonisi or Mouse Island, and the Vlacherna Monastery.

I quickly went down the steps so I could get closer to the magnificent view.

KanoniSoon, I found out that the better way to see it is from an airplane, as Kanoni is really close to the Corfu’s runway at the airport.

{I didn’t notice it on the flight to Corfu because before we landed, there was really bad turbulence. I’ve never been more scared in my life. I needed the whole afternoon to recover.}

KanoniThe Vlacherna Monastery of Panayia looks so serene against the background of the bright blue sky.

KanoniLike a gate to paradise.

Kanoni

Kanoni

KanoniThe obligatory selfie.

KanoniMouse Island! You can rent a boat to take you there.

Kanoni After feasting my eyes on such beautiful sights, I had to feast on great food as well.

KanoniTrying the local beer – ice cold on hot days – is a must for me.

I highly recommend going to Kanoni in Corfu – it is a picturesque place that is simple and serene. Truly a postcard-worthy view that you have to see for yourself.

Comfort food in Cologne

Comfort Food in Cologne

It’s always nice to find something that reminds you a little of home when you’re traveling. I went to Feynsinn Café, which the Wallpaper* City Guide listed as one of the restaurants with delightful ambience and hearty food in Cologne. It was tempting to go for one of  the burgers with sumptuous descriptions in the menu and organic ingredients, or delicious home-made pasta with fresh tomatoes from the café/restaurant’s own garden. When I saw that there was Leberkäse, (a type of meatloaf) on the menu, though, I had to order it. In Vienna, a Leberkäse in bread is what I would usually buy from a snack stand or the meat section of a supermarket for a quick and delicious meal. Feynsinn’s version was like a gourmet version of my favorite comfort food. One bite into it and all was fine and good again.

Feynsinn Café
Rathenauplatz 7
50674 Cologne
Germany

Eau de Cologne from Cologne

I usually get two souvenirs for myself when I travel – a postcard that I mail to myself and a small snow globe. Then, I look for either really cool or classic local brands and products. When I went to Cologne, I just had to get an original Eau de Cologne.

When I was a kid, I used to carry around a sample glass bottle of cologne with me. I just loved it. When I used up the 3 or 5ml of cologne, I just started filling it with water and continued to bring it with me everywhere.

In 1709, Giovanni Maria Farina, an Italian perfume maker who moved to Cologne, Germany, concocted a scent that reminded him of “an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain.” Farina named his fragrance Eau de Cologne in honor of the city of Cologne, his new hometown.

Cologne

I got this small 30 ml bottle  of the original Eau de Cologne from Farina and now I wish I got a bigger one, because it smells amazing! And also because I don’t want to refill it with eau.