Friday, October 26, 2018

Baščaršija, Sarajevo: Morica Han, Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and Bazaar

The Old Town of Sarajevo or Baščaršija as it is called was built in the 15th century by Isa-Beg Isakovic, an Ottoman general of Bosnian origin.


The Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque in Baščaršija, Sarajevo.


Baščaršija is a Turkish word which means “main bazaar or market”. The area was largely influenced by the Turks/Ottoman Empire who controlled this part of Eastern Europe for 400 years.

Baščaršija has many notable buildings from the Ottoman period and although it is not as big as it used to be before, the old town is nicely preserved. It’s not a large place but there are lots to see and I am very much digging the lively, open-air and exotic atmosphere.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Val Cenis, French Alps: Strolling Lovely Lanslevillard during a Blizzard Snowstorm

On our 5th day in Val Cenis, which was a Wednesday, a massive snowstorm fell. It was our first time to experience an official snowstorm in the Alps.


Walking in the snowstorm.

We've had our fair share of heavy snowfall and mini-blizzards in the past, but this was the first time we experienced that the whole Val Cenis ski resort and I guess the whole Haut-Maurienne mountain region, was closed down because of adverse weather. We saw on the news many stranded holidaymakers not being able to get into and out of the ski mountain resorts north of us.

Dutchman and I were slightly worried that the snowstorm will continue to Saturday when we leave. Luckily it didn't but we lost one (1) full day of skiing to the bad weather. It was howling outside and the winds were so strong. Snow was not only falling down, but it was also whirling around and falling sideways!

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Val Cenis: Diehard Skiing and Boarding in Mini-Blizzard Conditions

Our third day of skiing is probably the most epic we’ve had in this Val Cenis winter sports holiday in the French Alps.


This the beginning of the Flambeau slope.


The Girarde chairlift in Termignon.

There was a warning of a mini blizzard and non-stop snowing. Some of the lifts were closed and we were already thinking of just calling it off but decided to research on which lifts were open. Indeed, there were a number of lifts open in the mountains, so we decided to pick a route that would be safe for us.

We chose the route from Les Champs to Lanslebourg via the Ramasse chairlift and then to Termignon via the Turra and Sources chairlifts. We got lucky that they were open despite the weather warning. And I just love this skiing from village to village. It thrills me about the idea that I am visiting a village in the alpine mountains on my skis! Let's go!

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

French Alps: Val Cenis Skiing on a Sunny Day

Seriously, last winter, we only had one (1) single day of sunny day skiing! We weren’t that lucky.


That's moi there, about to take the Solert red slope.

But even though we’ve only had one day of sunshine and blue skies, it was the winter sports holiday that I have enjoyed very much. It was that skiing holiday that I can say to myself that I have become a full-pledged skier and have truly liked and enjoyed the sport after a decade and a half, haha.

I am not a sporty gal by nature, so for me saying this and admitting to really liking and enjoy it, is something. This is outside of my usual league you know. Me, sporty? Nah. But I can ski! And I enjoy it! #thumbsup

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Val Cenis Vanoise Ski Resort Village in the French Alps

I have been having these wintersport pangs in the last weeks. Winter is coming and I miss the snowy mountains. I miss skiing.


The ski resort apartment complex where we stayed at in Les Champs, Val Cenis last winter.

From a once tropical gal, missing the snow and skiing is, how shall I say this, a huge step (into sports westernisation perhaps)? I mean, for sure there are many people born in the tropics who can ski and who love the winter and the cold snowy mountains, but I am at this point where wintersport has truly become a tradition in my life that I have fully embraced. I am really enjoying skiing now! That is far different more than a decade and a half ago when I was just starting with the sport.

Last winter, Dutchman and I went to Val Cenis Vanoise ski resort in the French Alps. We usually go in January when its low season, meaning low prices, less traffic on the road and on the slopes. We drove from the Netherlands very early in the morning (around 02:00 am) and arrived around 16:00 I believe. Just enough time to check in to our chalet apartment, get my skis and boots and settle down a bit to the alpine surroundings. I really need to buy my own skiing stuff soon because it is cheaper to own!

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Leersum Nature Walk in Utrecht, Netherlands


 A government forest management office in Leersum.


Dutchman and I love our forest walks in the weekends. Our go-to place is the Utrechtseheuvelrug forest which is not too far away and for this particular walk, we picked the area of Leersum.

We are actually looking into giving more variety on our walks so we are currently exploring other places in the Netherlands, as well as outside the country. When you have been in the same area so many times you realise you want some variety after all. I mean, don't most of us want that, right.

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Pancake Dinner at the Theehuijs Rhijnauwen in Bunnik, Utrecht

This is another favourite of the family!


Pancakes at our favourite go-to pancake restaurant in Utrecht and the whole of Netherlands. At the Theehuijs Rhijnauwen in Bunnik. I cannot count with my fingers and toes included how many times I have been to this restaurant. Fact is, we are going here (again) this week!

I brought Bubbles here after our visit to the Castle de Haar and we had pancake dinner together with the Dutchman and the Dutch mother. I am not sure if Bubbles enjoyed the pancake dinner but it sure is a different type of pancake that she knows.

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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Another Visit to Castle De Haar in Utrecht

I cannot remember how many times I have been to this castle anymore but every time I go, this castle never fails to always take my breath away. She is that stunning and out of this world!


Table and flower arrangement of the dinner table. Lovely!


This castle is really the best example of a fairytale castle.

So last April, I went to visit Castle de Haar (Kasteel de Haar) in Haarzuilens, Utrecht together with Bubbles, my girlfriend from Canada. When a friend is visiting town, I always felt obliged to show them this castle because this is the most beautiful, the most enchanting and the biggest in the Netherlands. Moreover, it's just around the corner from where I live, well just a few minutes drive really, or bike, if you don't mind.

Bubbles was up for it so we sneaked the castle visit into her, rather our, travel agenda.

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Dinner in Rotterdam at Ceviche y Maas (Peruvian Cuisine)

This is my first time trying Peruvian Cuisine, and thanks to Pat of the Ceviche y Maas (Peruvian Restaurant) in Rotterdam.


A gourmet-esque version of the Peruvian ceviche.


I knew Pat some 16 years ago, back in the days when I was very new in the Netherlands. We met in the Integration Program (Inburgering) in Utrecht for newly immigrated persons through family reunification. It has been such a long time now, and the people I have met there, those that didn't leave or go back to their home country, have all carved out a life of their own in the Netherlands.

You know, life moves on and eventually, we find our own place in the society.

Pat enjoyed a successful career in finance in the Netherlands and she is now into her second career being a restaurateur pioneering Peruvian cuisine in the country. She is very passionate about the restaurant and Peruvian cuisine, and you definitely are when you relish and talk with pride about your roots. It's personal.

Ah, I wish I am on my second career too...

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Friday, October 05, 2018

Hike Back from Zell to Bullay via the Mosel River


The Mosel River.


The view of the vineyard terraces from the river path.

Our hike from Zell back to Bullay was a far shorter one because we didn't go back through the Mosselsteig, the terraced vineyards trail. We went back by following the walking path that runs alongside the river. There are walking and biking paths here linking the villages in the Mosel, and this particular one was pretty easy to follow.

The river trail also offered different scenery, and we were quite happy with that. To our right, we could still see the verdant Riesling vineyards hills rising behind the fields, and to our left is the Mosel river. We see different kinds of boats pass by, we glance at the village houses along the trail, some of which are pretty nice, and catch the views across the river.

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