Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sangria in Toledo, Spain

So busy with work but just want to post here a foto of me enjoying sangria in Plaza de Zocodover, Toledo the other week.

Cheers! Proost! Cincin! Salud!

Toledo is located 70 kilometers south of Madrid (Spain). There is a direct train from Madrid Atocha train station to Toledo and the ride takes about half an hour non-stop. The city was declared UNESCO world heritage site in 1986.

Travel Period: June 2011
Destination: Toledo (Castile-La Mancha), Spain

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In Jordan: Tanking on the Desert Highway

On our way to Madaba, instead of looping the route to the King's Highway, we took a faster short cut detour via the Desert Highway. We have already seen the southern part of the King's Highway for the most part. This is from Petra all the way down to the south where we are coming from, and based from what I have read, the beautiful views of the King's Highway is after Petra going north. This means heading to the north as quickly as possible.

Now we were running out of fuel and we were really looking forward to tank in one of the modern gasoline stations with a nice mini-supermarket along the Desert Highway, unfortunately, this is what we could nearly come close to:

In comparison to other Middle Eastern countries, gasoline in Jordan is expensive. Jordan does not have oil and the country relies from neighbouring Saudi Arabia for its supply. A full tank is about 20-22 euros (in NL its about 60 to 70 euros or more depending on size of tank). 

After tanking, we did a quick snack shopping as well at this super market along the highway. We will be on the road for hours so a little nibble supply will be very handy.

I am always curious about everything, and in this shop I particularly want to know what local snacks they have available for sale. This is what I found:

I love pickled stuff. Olives, pickles and more olives.

Dries nuts I also love. These are their snacks here in Jordan. Healthy.

These are the least I do not like though, the sweet sugary stuff.

We were able to catch some Desert Highway scenes as well.

The Desert Highway is somewhat boring compared to the King's Highway. If you have the time, drive via the King's Highway, it is a much longer route but definitely worth it.

Wow, look at that, Iraq is just around the corner!

The highway to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. There is not much scenery on the Desert Highway.

Next: The long and winding King's Highway...

Travel Period: April 2011
Destination: Desert Highway, Jordan

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jordanian Breakfast and Camel Traffic

My modest Jordanian breakfast at the hotel camp.

My plan was to wake up early the next day to catch the breath taking, the Bedouins claim it is, sunrise in Wadi Rum. However, peeling myself off the bed proved an impossible task. I did manage to wake up early but it was too late for the magical sunrise. The sun has risen already.

When I got out of our bungalow hut to take a peek, I saw a few hotel guests sitting up the boulder of the camp. Ugh, die-hards, I told myself. I wish I have their discipline.

For breakfast I had a simple Jordanian fare: pita bread, humus and yoghurt dip, cucumber, tomatoes, goat’s cheese, black olives and a boiled egg. Their orange juice tasted like concentrate with lots of sugar, yuck.

After breakfast we climbed up the rock boulder to take a foto of the hotel camp. It looked so surreal. A camp that is a hotel with a swimming pool and an amphitheatre in the middle of nowhere in the Jordanian desert. It’s one of a kind and we were glad to have stayed here.

There was light already when I woke up. If I was not wrong it was 6am, perhaps even earlier.

I was not able to catch the beautiful desert sunrise but these people on top of the boulder did.

Blondine was keen on doing the hot air balloon while I am hesitant.

Our breakfast table.

We climbed the boulder and this is the view of our hotel camp.

Now, our agenda for the day is to drive north to Madaba (Moab) and then follow the Biblical Trails.

The drive will be a loooooong drive as we will be taking the exhilarating snaky King’s Highway. We are excited! But before exiting Wadi Rum area we came across a prevalent desert road obstruction: camel traffic. A family of camels!

Please forgive my poor filming skills, here is the camel traffic video:

Notice that the camel’s legs are tied with a rope? Nothing to do with abuse to animals. This is done so they won’t be able to wander very far.

Next: Looking for a tank station on the desert highway

Travel Period: April 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dinner at Bait Ali Camp near Wadi Rum, Jordan

As we drove back to our hotel camp at Bait Ali Camp, just a few kilometers away from the Rum village, we were looking forward to an evening of chilling out.

Caught this postcard foto of 2 camels from the moving car.

Took a quick video as we leave the protected area of Wadi Rum back to our hotel camp.

We were not really sure what to expect for dinner that night but we were told there will be a buffet at the restaurant for all guests. I’m looking forward to some real Jordanian fares, I hope.

I heard that if you are staying at the Bedouin camps you get to see how they cook their meat traditionally. Under the ground! Wow, that would have been a very cool experience to witness and taste the actual food but I doubt if the hotel camp would be similarly showcasing this traditional aspect of Jordanian culinary.

When we arrived at the hotel camp, the first thing we did was to order a glass of drink. Red wine for me obviously. I need my spirits to help me relax and feel at home.

As for the dinner buffet, it was nothing that spectacular but it was OK.

I loved the ‘Arayes’ though. This is a typical Middle Eastern meat dish mainly found in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria—grilled pita bread stuffed with minced meat mixed in spices and herbs. It was really, really good. If the whole meal were to be based on the Arayes only then it would have been 5 stars.

Blondine liked the dessert. I think it was called ‘Basbousa’, a crumble cake sprinkled with coconut strips on top.

The only thing we didn’t like during dinner was the music. They were playing some American pop music that does not really fit to the ambiance of the place. I made sure I communicated my displeasure when I submitted my hotel booking review.

Green salad, different types of Arabic dips and sauces, pickled vegetables and pita bread.

Couscous, lamb and chicken barbecue and the arayes.

Arayes, grilled pita bread stuffed with minced meat in spices and herbs. 5 stars!

For dessert, Basbousa.

There were quite a number of guests that evening at the hotel camp.

Travel Period: April 2011
Destination: Wadi Rum (Aqaba), Jordan

A day in Zandvoort Beach, Netherlands

This month, June has been such a terrible weather month. It is supposed to be summer now but it’s been raining non-stop for days and weeks already with low temperatures between 10C and 15C by day. It feels like we are stuck in a time warp, like we are still in spring or have fast forwarded to autumn.

At the beach we rented a pair of sunbeds and a wind cover. I am sure this book is great, a bestseller in the Netherlands but I could not finish it. I am not into tear-jerking, overly romantic and sentimental storylines, and that goes as well with music . I honestly thought I could read this to improve my Dutch (book was referred to by a friend) but helaas I am not motivated to read further. I will just stick to reading newspapers and business and travel magazines, in Dutch.

What I would like to share to you is a trip to Zandvoort aan Zee, one of the Netherland’s coastal villages in the North Holland province. We went there on a Monday last month, May. Mondays are always busy days, traffic on the highways, meetings at work, doing the necessary administrative stuff, etcetera but it was such a fine feeling, quite liberating in fact, to be at the beach instead. It kind of gives you that ‘I have finally retired’ or ‘I have won the lotto so I don’t bother with working’ feeling. Well, at least for a day.

The weather was not really that warm but it was warm enough to sit outside in a bikini and drink a glass of chilled rose.

Zandvoort also has a nice little centrum with amusing shops and appealing café terraces. All in all, it is an enjoyable little coastal town and we had a very relaxing Monday.

Not busy on a Monday here at the beach.

Zandvoort beach. There were quite a number of kitesurfers that day.

Nice little centrum of Zandvoort.

Did some people watching while sitting on a cafe terrace.

The Zandvoort aan zee train station is actually pretty. This train station was opened in 3 June 1881 and is connected to Amsterdam via Haarlem.

Residential part of Zandvoort aan Zee.

Travel Period: May 2011
Destination: Zandvoort (North Holland), The Netherlands

In Amsterdam: Ceasar Salad at Caffe PC and Carrot Cake at Esprit Cafe

Earlier this month Blondine and I went to our favourite cafes in Amsterdam: Caffe PC in PC Hooftstraat and Esprit Café in Spui. We normally have lunch in Caffe PC and I always choose a salad from the menu while Blondine a sandwich. This time I ordered their Ceasar Salad which looked so scrummy.

Caffe PC

This is indeed a delicious Ceasar Salad and I am giving this 5 stars. Nice when its paired with a chilled Chardonnay. Caffe PC also has really good gourmet little roll breads.

Esprit Café

After an afternoon of window shopping and lots of walking, we went to Esprit Café for their yummylicious carrot cake. I think they have the best carrot cake that I have ever tried. And so as not to pile up more calories than we already had for the day, we decided to share the cake. Fresh mint tea was perfect to go with this nice scrumptious afternoon temptation.

The carrot cake is of course 5 stars. So good I we should not have shared, haha.

Visit Period: June 2011
Destination: Amsterdam (North Holland), The Netherlands

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails