Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Novi Sad's Special Clock Tower | Serbia Travel

This is the only picture of the Clock Tower in Novi Sad's Petrovaradin Fortress that I have on a good blue skies day.

I have other shots of the clock tower but they all looked somber (see below). And it so happened that I am in this picture as well which does not always happen a lot these days. I have since forced myself to do selfies so that I have souvenirs of the places I have been to.

But sometimes I get tired of selfies. Who would have thought that I get tired of selfies? I mean, I used to love selfies. Don't we all? Hmm, must be the case of getting older? That suddenly I find this selfie thing so trivial. Yes, so silly and teenage-ish. But don't worry I will still take selfies for posterity's sake.

Anyway, my hair is too long. Too long for my age (I am turning 46 in 3 months). So I think I am going to the hair salon this weekend to trim this a bit, hopefully have a hairdo representing my 40ish age. I find it quite soothing to grow older though, but this would be a separate topic altogether to post about.

Question: What time is it do you think on the clock?

You might think it is before 08:00 in the morning huh? No, it is not. It is before 11:00 in the morning.

This clock is a bit special. The short hand shows the minute while the long hand the hour. The reason for this -- the other way around -- is that the clock's precise time must be visible from afar for everyone. For the changing of the guards in the fortress, for the boats passing by and for the rest of the city population across the river. If this is the case then it does somehow make sense to make the long hand of the clock speak for the hour.

But yeah, you do not really think I was standing here before 08:00 huh? The truth is I was still in bed at that time, haha! Trying my best to wake up. I like being lazy in the mornings when I am travelling.

Here is the tower clock on a differet greyish day:

Can you guess the time here?

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Novi Sad (Vojvodina), Serbia

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Belgrade, Serbia: Terazije View

The view from my hotel on Terazije...

Taken from the balcony of my room on my first day in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade. Terazije is one of the main streets in the centre of Belgrade.

All the main attractions in the city are just within walking distance which is really nice. Belgrade really surprised me! The popular pedestrian shopping and cafe terrace street is just around the corner. The Belgrade Fortress is just a few minutes walk as well.

Today, I walked a lot. A lot that my calves and back have started to hurt. Because I do not do exercise and sport stuff, this is something like a compromise.

I will be posting more stories soon.

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Stari Grad (Old Town), Belgrade, Serbia

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hello from Novi Sad! | Serbia Travel


So that is supposed to mean hello in Serbian language which is in Cyrillic alphabet. If we translate that to the Roman alphabet it would be this: Zdravo. I kept hearing this word today actually and now I know what it means =)

Here are a few pictures during my arrival and first day in Serbia in this lovely town (the second largest city) of Novi Sad. I actually arrived in Belgrade, after which I took the rental car and drove north for an hour to Novi Sad.

I am staying inside the Petrovaradin Fortress and I am quite stoked because my room looked so royal, and with views down to the ramparts and the Danube River.

Will blog about Novi Sad more soon! I promise.

The Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad. My hotel sits on top of it =)

Arriving now here at the fortress. So I landed in Belgrade, took the rental car and drove for an hour to Novi Sad (north).

The staff welcomed me the traditional Serbian way with a Rakija drink! And some jam as well. They say you drink the alcoholic shot and then eat a bit of the jam. Additionally they gave me the history of the hotel (the fortress) rolled in a piece of paper and tied with a red ribbon. 

My elegant room which is facing the Danube River. I will blog about the fortress hotel another time. 

View from the fortress. Today was not a sunny day, hopefully tomorrow though.

Serbian Dinars: RSD or in the local language - РСД

Liberty Square (Trg Slobode) with the City Hall on the left.

Liberty Square (Trg Slobode) with the Catholic Church on the right.

Travel Period: March 2016
Destination: Novi Sad, Serbia

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Biggest Flea Market in the Netherlands: IJ-Hallen in Amsterdam North

They say here in the Netherlands that the IJ-Hallen is the biggest flea market in Europe. I'm not sure really. I have been to many larger-than-life markets in other countries. Such as the huge and bustling El Rastro flea market in Madrid which I have visited more than a decade ago. My friend G kept telling me to mind my bag because of the pickpockets.

Nonetheless, I was here at the IJ-Hallen last year together with Bru. We had our usual catch up and we did this over drinks at the Smederij Restaurant of Brooklyn Hilton Hotel, which by the way has a very cosy lounge, bar and restaurant. It was really timing that there was a flea market at the IJ-Hallen on that day, so Bru and I decided to rummage the area. Unfortunately, we did not find anything persuading us enough to part with our cash. I found though some really cool industrial hanging lamps which were probably used in a factory in the past. It is just too bad because they would not fit well in my home.

Maybe I will come back here this year and see if I can find a different kind of lamp, perhaps an antique chandelier.

The IJ-Hallen is open only in spring and summer and on certain elected dates. Announced dates so far are 9 & 10 April 2016 and 7 & 8 May 2016. Do visit the website to keep up-to-date of the flea market schedules: IJ-Hallen Flea Markets

If you are going to Amsterdam on these dates, and you love junk stuff, er I mean antiques and second hand wares, then this is a great place to lose yourself into. This is actually what I call a designers dream haven to scour really interesting items for interior projects.

If you are public transportation dependent, you can easily get here with the ferry located at the back of Amsterdam Centraal Station.

And oh, you pronounced IJ-Hallen as EYE-HAAL-LEN

Bru and moi at the Smederij Restaurant.

This used to be a ship building area.

Bru checking out these really cool standing lamps.

All the stuff sold here are second hand wares. Selling new wares and wholesale are prohibited.

I do wonder if these shoes gets sold.

He is begging for you to take him - Ik wil met u mee! 

That is a fish aquarium for a heel! The strangest I have seen sold on that day.

The girl in the black and white painting looks like Maxima (Queen of the Netherlands, wife of King Willem Alexander), the younger version though.

Make art not Euros? Not for me. I would rather make money so I can enjoy some art.

These are the industrial hanging lamps that I was lusting. Unfortunately they will not go well with the design of my home.

This guy really posed for me, haha. 

Travel Period: May 2015
Destination: Amsterdam North (Amsterdam - North Holland), the Netherlands

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Skiing to Les Carroz | Grand Massif Ski Resort France

Here is a photo essay of the beautiful sunny and blue skies day in the French Alps when we went skiing to Les Carroz d'Araches village.

For this blog entry, I will shut up and let the pictures do the talking.

It is not always easy when the slopes go flat. Push, push, push.

I am waiting here for the Dutchman as he had trouble pushing through with the snowboard on a flat slope. When this happens, most of the snowboarders take off their planks and walk. What Dutchman did precisely.

Les Molliets chair lift at Les Carroz.

People having barbecue at Les Carroz.

We are back here in the chair lift.

Yours truly =)

Directional signs on top of the alpine mountain.

The Grand Massif Ski Resort has views to Mont Le Blanc but I do not think this is Mont Le Blanc. I was never really able to point them out in my pictures. The mountains seemed to have the same height to me. I should pay more attention next time.

Taking a break here.

Beautiful weather in the Alps so it is outdoor terrace time.

Travel Period: January 2016
Destination: Les Carroz (Haute Savoie - Rhone-Alpes), France

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