Hollaroh and Happy Halloween everyone! So, as you probably know, for me any reason is a good reason to festive-ify my baking. Unfortunately my brilliant idea to dye the batter of my chocolate chip cookies green and orange didn’t turn … Continue reading →
It’s my Birthday! Well, it was my birthday, last Wednesday actually. But I guess it still counts.
That day Gozo and me were both off, so he took me out for a gorgeous afternoon tea at the Madd Hatter’s Café near Leicester Square. We had Gingerbread and Butterscotch latte, red velvet cake, tea cakes, cup cakes and chocolate cake! Basically a lot of cake and a bit of tea. It was amazing! After we had a lovely walk through Covent Garden and Soho and just couldn’t face having dinner after all that sugar intake – perfectly fine for me! 😉 We also officially opened the winter-coat season (just so you know).
Yesterday Isa came (it’s the weekend!) and we headed to Camden for more tea, some chess and lots of Reggaeton!
We found our new favourite café and stayed there sipping tea and Isa introducing me to the fascinating and complicated world of chess until they basically kicked us out. Stranded in Camden on a Saturday at 7pm, we did the only logical thing: we had cheap Chinese food for dinner and then danced Salsa, Bachata and Reggaeton at The Cuban.
Having the great advantage of not understanding the (salacious) lyrics, I love this kind of music for dancing. Isa kept rolling her eyes at me, but then she couldn’t help it and danced along and we had a really good time! And shhh, we won’t tell anyone that she knows all the lyrics 😉
It was a really good birthday week and made the pain of being technically closer to 30 than to 20 more easy to bare. Thanks everyone who thought of me and wrote to me, you made me feel really special! 😀
Although I really liked living in Stratford, one thing I always missed was the smell of the seasons. I know it sounds silly, but it was a very urban zone and with the nearest park being at least a 20 minutes walk away… a skyscraper looks the same in winter and in summer!
But may I present to you our garden? – well, actually it’s Gladstone Park across the road, but if you don’t tell anyone, neither will I 😉
It is literally a stone’s throw away and when I open my window in the morning I can see and smell sunny, crispy, orange, autumn leaves. *hach*
For I am and will always be a Country mouse. (If you are not familiar with this very lovely and true fable, see here.)
Today Maria and Cesar invited me along on their Sunday-expitdion and together we went to Neasden Temple. It was a bit of a strange journey: we followed Maria, who directed us according to her phone, trough the high streets of London’s zone 3, we crossed a rather dodgy looking backyard, a housing complex and a small park and suddenly there it was, amidst the suburbs of London: a most beautiful marble temple. I felt like we stumbled across the Taj Mahal. Where are the elephants??
The beautiful Hindu temple is open for visitors to admire the marvellous architecture and the colourful depictions of the gods and goddesses. My favourite place was the Mandir, the actual place of worship. The ceiling was carved out of white marble with such a richness of details and the room was lined with scenes of the lives of important gods. Everyone was only whispering and there was a very peaceful atmosphere.
Afterwards we went to the small museum included in the temple and learned about Hinduism, the history of India and the language of Sanskrit.
Back home, I cooked myself some chicken tikka for dinner and now I’m gonna watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I just feel like that’s the perfect way to conclude this very colourful and Indian day! 🙂
After some crazy busy and colourful days in Malaga and Barcelona, I went back to Italy; prossima fermata, next stop: Milano (again).
Well, when I came to see the Expo about a week before, I had absolutely no time to see the city, friends or even the Duomo. So I simply had to come back!
I haven’t been to my beloved Milano since I left about 2 years ago after a crazy year of Erasmus. I honestly think I spent some of the best time of my life in Milan and for that I am ever so grateful.
The city holds a lot of special memories for me, and so I guess you can imagine that I was really excited and emotional about coming back!
Just the fact of arriving in Milano Centrale, where over the year, I embarked onto so many journeys and taking the Metro worked like a time machine for me. It felt a little like coming home.
And what can I say? Although the stay was of course waaay to short, I had the most amazing time! Walking in streets and places that for me are so heavily coated with memories was a bit of a strange feeling at first. I felt somehow sad, because I don’t live there any more and that carefree and crazy period of studying abroad is over, and because all my friends are now scattered across the globe – but on the other hand I felt so happy being back, discovering what changed, what didn’t, having Aperitivo in the same places we used to and meeting with friends I haven’t seen in ages simply because we are all too busy with our lives. ❤
It was definitely about time to visit the Duomo, check on the gelateria della musica and discover the new part of Navigli. I feel like I couldn’t have made a better chioce for the final stop of my summer travels! 🙂
Grazie Peppe, for being there and hosting me in Casa Palermo, and for cooking amazing Carbonara! Ti aspetto a Londra! 😉
Having the whole weekend ahead of us, last Friday Isa and I decided to go on an adventure! Well… with a bus, on a guided tour, just about outside London actually. But hey: adventures are always good, no matter in what shape or size they appear! 🙂
Our fantastic weekend-adventure consisted of getting up super early on Saturday morning and joining a bus full of middle aged American tourists on a guided tour to Bath and then to the Stonehenge. And it was fun!
We arrived in Bath just before lunchtime; our brains packed with all sorts of information about the city, it’s history and the society structure of Georgian times, that our friendly and ever-chatting guide kindly provided on the bus ride.
Given the grey weather and the fact that apart from the Georgian/Roman bath (duh!) there’s nothing much to see, Isa and I decided without much ado to see the Jane Austen Museum.
A charming young gentleman (dressed in a very flattering period costume) gave us a brief introduction and off we went to discover the life and times of Miss Austen – including a costume and photo session! 🙂
Just when we boarded the coach again and our guide exclaimed enthusiastically “to the Stones!”, the clouds faded and it became actually sunny. So when we arrived, a truly picture-perfect landscape awaited us: green fields, blue sky, the inevitable British breeze – and the Stonehenge, naturally!
Although it was actually smaller than expected (and yes, I suppose all sorts of media are to blame for distorting and prefabricating expectations), it was still very impressive! We really did take our time to walk around it and made the point of listening to all the little chapters on our audioguides. I mean, it’s the Stonehenge after all. I don’t understand people who just come and take a picture to “tick the list” without actually having a look at it. – That doesn’t mean that we didn’t take any pictures though! 😉
Being a perfectly organized tour, we’ve just had enough time to get a tea and a biscuit afterwards, before we had to head back to our bus for the final trip back to London.
It might not have been the most adventurous adventure, but it still was very very good day!