Saturday, March 31, 2018

Dresden, Germany: The Furstenzug Mural, the Neumarkt, the Frauenkirche and Augustiner's Apricot Dumplings

Guten tag! As they say "Good Day" in Germany =)


The gorgeous Frauenkirche on the Neumarkt.


At the beginning of April last year, I visited Dresden, Germany. It’s one of those cities that’s on my list for quite a long time. Luckily, Bubbles who visited me last spring wanted to go here. That proved to be a great excuse for me to go as well.

I remember the late Dutch father who fondly talked about Dresden. He said it’s a beautiful city with very remarkable and historical buildings. I was very keen on checking the important ones when I am in the city.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 30, 2018

My Daily Life in the Netherlands #006

Hi! Oh wow, the first quarter of 2018 is almost over. Time flies so fast, and it's time again to blog about what has transpired in the last 2 months, January and February, the deep winter months of the Netherlands and Europe.

The highlights were our wintersport holiday in the French Alps, calling in at 2 Dutch towns, Kampen in the northeast and Gorinchem in the southwest (click on the read more link and scroll down) and visiting suppliers and design ateliers for our house project.

Let's start with January...


Dutchman and I tend to keep the Christmas tree up until the second weekend of January when we finally bring it down. We have a fake tree but when we move into our new house, which is almost twice the size of what we have right now, we are open to having a real pine tree for Christmas. Although the house will be delivered at the end of this year (2018), it won't be ready for Christmas just yet as we still need to do some interior design and furnishing. So the real tree will have to wait for the 2019 holiday season.

January was spent mostly working on the house, with deadlines on the electricity, plumbing, bathroom, kitchen, extensions, etcetera. It was a bit stressful since it is difficult for us to foresee how we are going to live in the new house. One would only truly know your home habits and how you live when you actually live in the (new) house. So having an electrical plug near the dining table might not be handy as initially perceived.

In the picture above is a sample of a kitchen and dining room of the model house we have. We will have a kitchen island as well but it will be more than twice bigger and wider than in the picture.


January for us also means wintersport holiday in the Alps.

We have been going to the French Alps for years, other times we go to the Austrian Alps. This year we went to Val Cenis ski resort in the French Alps for a week of skiing and snowboarding. I will be posting more pictures and stories about our holiday there soon.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Day Trip to Antwerp, Belgium

Another spring trip I did last year was to Antwerp, Belgium.


The Groeneplaats, a huge city square in Antwerp.


My mussels lunch.

The city of Antwerp is so near to Utrecht, I can literally commute here every day or every week if I want to. So when the weather is good, Dutchman and I might go for a quick dinner in the city.

However, this post is a quickie trip I did last year with a friend, Bubbles. She has never been to Antwerp, so we planned this day trip for her when she visited last spring.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Delft, Netherlands in Spring

It is almost spring! But it is still cold in the Netherlands...

So I have some pictures here taken last year during spring in Delft, approximately 11 months ago in April of 2017.


A very spring look =)


The Oostpoort (Eastern Gate) of the city. The city played a major role during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century).

I have been to Delft a few times before and I went here last year in spring because a friend of mine visiting the Netherlands, Bubbles, wanted to specifically see the city. She has heard about the place and was very curious.

It was very timely as well that I had a (career-related) meeting in Delft so we managed to plan our visit around the meeting, wherein after my appointment in the morning, we went straight to Delft and spent the rest of the day there. Sometimes things just fall in the right place without having to push it.

[To read the rest of the entry and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 23, 2018

Skiathos Island: Traditional Greek Dinner at Platanias Taverna in Agia Paraskevi


This is one of the best tavernas and dinners we have been to in Skiathos Island.

The food and service here at Platanias (officially Platanias Venue Restaurant & Lounge Bar) were just incredible. We enjoyed our dinner and evening here very much. We highly recommend this place if holidaying in Skiathos, Greece!

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Skiathos, Greece: Fresh Pasta Dinner at La Cucina di Maria


I must admit though that I am not a huge fan of pasta dishes. I don't know why, perhaps because I find pasta too starchy for my liking? On the other hand, I can’t live without noodles. Now that's a bit of a contradiction, haha. Must be the Asian genes in me.

In Skiathos, Dutchman and I had dinner at this really cool restaurant in the old town center called La Cucina di Maria. It is an Italian restaurant specialising in fresh home-made style pastas and thin-crust pizzas. The reviews were very good and the restaurant was always full every time we pass by.

Hmm, they must be doing something right, huh?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Skiathos Island, Greece: Maratha Beach (Our Favourite!)

Maratha Beach was one of our great finds last summer in Skiathos. This was "our kind of beach".


A picture of a very relaxing holiday without having to spend ludicrous amounts of money or having to fly across the globe in search of the sun! The Greek Islands are just around the corner from Western Europe.


The beach is down a small path from the main road.

We found this beach after checking out a series of beach spots and resorts on the southern coast. Dutchman and I have an exact idea of what “our” beach would look and feel like, so when we saw Maratha Beach, we were like – YEAH! This is it!

We were so glad to have found a pair of unoccupied sun loungers. We quickly settled.

If we went here during peak season, I am sure it would be impossible to find an available sun lounger, unless we come here really early or very late in the afternoon. The perks of going off-peak season.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Our Homebase in Skiathos Island, Greece: Fengeros Village

For our 2-week summer holiday last year in Skiathos Island, we stayed at Fengeros Village. It’s an apartment complex village with a pool and a bar which offers basic accommodation with a small kitchen and a balcony with stunning views.


Amazing view from our apartment's balcony.

We chose this place mainly because of the view. You know, I am a sucker for views.

Because the apartment complex village sits high on a hilly part not too far away from the main road and the coast, all apartments have views of the surroundings, the olive trees in the mountain and the blue Aegean Sea. Even the swimming pool, which was quite a good size is elevated and has spectacular views.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 16, 2018

Skiathos, Greece: Stroll and Dinner with a View at Plakes Taverna

It is freezing here again in the Netherlands and I am supposed to do my weekly run but it’s cosier to sit at home in my huge warm chair and blog about the warm sunny days we had in the Greek Islands last summer.


So yes, that is what is inspiring me today to write about. Winter is still going strong and the summer holiday we had last year in Skiathos Island, Greece is keeping me warm and fuzzy.

So I checked my picture gallery and picked a few pictures to reminisce about. It was a late afternoon stroll in the rugged cliff peninsula in Skiathos old town and a dinner on an outdoor terrace with a lovely sunset view of the Aegean Sea.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Last Day Skiing Photos in Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski


Our last day of winter sports holiday last winter (January 2017) was spent skiing and boarding the whole day in Alpe d' Huez Grand Domaine ski area.

Alpe d'Huez is a long way from Vaujany, the little commune where we were staying for the holiday.  Both places are located far from each other, at both ends of the skiing territory. It would take me close to an hour to reach Alpe d'Huez by car from Vaujany, but with skiing, I can probably reach it quicker if I go fast and nonstop.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 09, 2018

Vaujany Alpine Commune in the French Alps and the Cable Car Mishap

Last winter we spent our skiing and snowboarding holiday in Vaujany, a little alpine village in the Isere department in the French Alps.


The commune of 300 people - Vaujany. Most of these chalets are hotels, aparthotels, and rentals.


The Oz-Vaujany gondola lift that can fit up to 160 people.

We booked a chalet in a chalet hotel with a ski pass access to the Alpe d’ Huez Grand Domaine ski area which has over 250 kilometers of pistes! And of course, because Vaujany is not one of those popular ski resorts where most winter sports tourists go to, it is less busy. An ideal place for us who seek the peace and quiet.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Thursday, March 08, 2018

New Zealand Road Trip and City Trips in Shanghai and Hong Kong

In 7 weeks I am embarking once again a long distance trip. To the other side of the world!


Flag of New Zealand.

Yup, I am going to New Zealand to visit my sister who lives in Auckland. We are going on a road trip starting from Auckland going down south to Wellington with stops in Matamata and Taupo, and then we take the ferry to Marlborough wine country, passing the Nelson Lakes National Park and then finally, Christchurch.

As I do not have weeks to stay, I am reserving the very southern part of the island for another trip. Perhaps with the Dutchman if he is up for some adventure in the near future.

There is going to be a lot of nature sightseeing on this road trip and just enjoying what mother nature has given us.



There are no direct non-stop flights from Europe to New Zealand, so I am stopping in Shanghai and Hong Kong for a few days each way. See how far it is. Asia is just halfway through.


Flag of China.

But I also have 2 other city trips planned in Asia because there is no direct flight from Europe all the way to New Zealand. That's more than 20 hours flying! So going to NZ, I will be stopping for a few days in Shanghai, China. I have been watching videos on Youtube about Shanghai so I am quite prepared now. I need to pick up a few Chinese words and phrases because the only thing I can be proud of myself right now is that I can count in Mandarin.

I will be making use of the 144-hour visa-free transit in China, although I may only be there for 72 +/- hours (3 days).


Flag of Hong Kong.

Going back, I will be stopping as well for a few days layover in Hong Kong. I just love this city. Did you know this is my favourite city in the world? I hope to meet up with my parents here before I fly back to the Netherlands, and plan to check out some new sights and food destinations as well.

There are lots to prepare, such as booking the hotels, rental car, and stuff. My flight tickets though have been bought a few weeks ago, so the trip's guaranteed =)

Oh, I cannot wait!

Travel Period: Spring 2018
Destination: New Zealand, China, Hong Kong

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

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Skiing Flaine: View of the Slopes / Pistes from the Chairlift

The perfect weather during winter sports can sometimes be elusive.


Moi taking a pause =)


Mother nature did not indulge us with great weather during our skiing and boarding holiday last January in Val Cenis, French Alps. We barely had sunshine, instead, we had snow, lots of it, windstorm and grey skies. But you know what? I've had the best time ever. I really enjoyed last January's skiing holiday. I wish we could stay longer than 1 week. I will post more stories and pictures of our winter sports holiday soon.

For this post, let me go back 2 winters ago (yes, I have a massive backlog!)... to our winter sports holiday in Flaine ski resort.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Modern Afternoon Tea Twist at TWG Tea Salon in Taipei 101 Mall

I love tea. Who doesn't?


During the weekdays I always start my day at home with yogurt, muesli, wheat cornflakes and blueberries, and then when I arrive at the office, I take my first drink of the day, my first cup of tea. In fact, I drink more tea than coffee at work.

So I am more of a tea person than a coffee one, although I love espressos especially after lunch and dinner, they are perfect. It is tea, however, that carries me throughout the working day.

And in Asia, particularly in Taiwan, we all know that tea is king.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Hidden Temple in Ximending: Taipei Tianhou Temple

Just like churches and mosques, I find temples very interesting deserving a visit and much appreciation. Temples, after all, reflect the souls of every country, city, and peoples.


The entrance of the temple on Chengdu Road.

In Taipei, I was able to visit 3 beautiful temples.

The famous Longshan Temple which was really on my travel sightseeing agenda, the Songshan Ciyou Temple which I happen to stop by when I was in the area visiting the Raohe Street Night Market, and the Taipei Tianhou Temple which I am blogging now.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Friday, March 02, 2018

Dongmen, Taipei and the search for Xiao Long Bao dumplings on Yong Kang Street

Taipei is known for its xiao long bao dumplings. It is a steamed light bun type dough dumpling usually filled with minced pork and with a soup in it. It is often times called soup dumplings. I was not going to leave Taipei without having tasted these delicious soupy doughs.


Xiao long bao's are soup dumplings.


Moi on Yong Kang Street.

I knew about the famous Din Tai Fung, the most sought-after Chinese restaurant in Taipei that now has branches all over the world. They rose to fame because of their xiao long bao’s. When I travel, I tend to follow my stomach's lead so I did some googling and found out that there is a Din Tai Fung in Dongmen area near Yong Kang Street. In fact, this is the original Din Tai Fung restaurant.

it turns out that Yong Kang Street in Dongmen is on my list of places to visit. I have read that the street has many street food eats, dumpling and noodle houses, mango shave cafes, milk teas and local Taiwanese-style restaurants. Definitely my kind of street. It wasn’t too far from Ximen as well where I was staying, just a few metro stops.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Taipei: Video and Photos of Ximending at Night

Ximending is a must experience when visiting Taipei.


Ximending is a fusion between Times Square in NYC, Myeongdong in Seoul and Mongkok in HK.

I booked a hotel in Ximending area during the short visit to Taipei, Taiwan, so I walked on the streets here every night. Best decision for a first time visit in Taipei.

The area is one big showcase of neon lights. Shops open until late here.Ximending is pedestrianised so people are everywhere. There is street food all over the place and long queues for some of the lucky ones. There are lots to see, do, eat and buy here! It is the happening place.

If one needs to while away time in the evening in Taipei, then you've got the night markets of course and Ximending as well =)

[To see the video I made of Ximending during an evening walk and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below please]

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