Monday, November 28, 2011

Venice - Bites

In our trip to Venice we decided to stay at a Bed and Breakast in S. Elena which is called B&B Venezia. It is one of the cheapest B&B during the high season. S. Elena is a not near to the main attractions, but it is walkable. It took us about 15 - 20 mins of brisk walk to get to the San Marco.


As for the breakfast, it was nice.


There's coffee, and every morning the tray include some snacks, that I usually saved for snacks during berjalan-jalan on that day.Apart from that, they served some bread and butter and jam and cold cuts and fresh food. Also cereal! There is also some fresh grapefruit juice which was insanely good.

When we arrived at Venice we were so full on airline food. So that we all we ate kebabs for late lunch. When we were walking wee noticed a halal kebab store and  it is a no brainer. That kebab was quite good.



Before that, we had the gelato It is cheaper in Venice than Rome. We can get 1.20EUR for single scoop rather then 3EUR in Rome.


My husband took the pistachio flavour and I can't remember what I took. Ahh.. now I remember. Coconut. It was nice enough.


For dinner we went to the bakery in the middle of Venice and buy some pastries for dinner.
We eated this!
The pastries was nice. The left sde ( fully wrapped ) is sacher, choc cake that my husband loves. It was nice. The other 2 is nice, especially that spiral bread with raisin.



And we washed down our food with this drink. I love it. And throughout our trip in Italy we usually bought this drink. 

On the second day, when we were looking for the Museum of Music, we found this middle eastern shop ( not exactly Arab, but can't remember what ). 



My husband had the chicken briyani, I think it is more like rice with chicken curry. It was quite good.


As for me I chose the mutton with yogurt. It is a lot of mutton. And yogurt. It was so and so. The mutton had been marinated nicely beforehand, tapi agak muak at the end, since mutton is so heady. 

Along the way while we are sightseeings, we kept on encountering pastries shop that have these sumptuous delights such as these: 






And we didn't try any of them T_T . I guess that is a lesson learnt. When you want something to eat, just go and eat it. However we were not really that ravenous when in Venice, which is why we kept putting things off. I kept on thinking how that chocolate meringue at the top would feel. This goes the same with the squid ink pasta. But I know of a place in KL that have that, so I am gonna try that out!

As for dinner, we found a Muslim shop, and I can't remembered, it is either operated by Jordanian or Egyptian ( because there is another pizza shop operated by a Muslim in Rome that we frequented and they looks kinda the same ). 


My pizza is the one yang paling meriah tu. It was quite nice really, a deep dish pizza. The shop that we went to had all this note from customers that had frequented this shop, exclaiming how good their pizza is and how grateful they are to find a halal food shop. Heh. 

Because of that, on the third day we went back to the same shop. I sedih, I nak squid ink pasta. 

This time I took the falafel. 


WHICH WAS AWESOME. I never tasted a falafel before, so I am not sure if this one is the nicest ever, or so-so, but I really like THIS falafel.

Husband took the pizza again :p


It was good enough, but I prefer my falafel :D


I could swear we had gelato in the second day, but I couldn't find any pic of them. I think the second day we had the Vanilla flavor one. It was really, really nice. Sometimes you forgot to take the simplest flavor because we are inundated with the more flashy one. But the vanilla gelato on that second day, was one of the nicest I ever had. 

The one pictured above is the pistachio one which vastly surpassed the taste of the one we had the first day. It was really good. And cheap.  Mine one that looks like vanilla is actually the lemon one. It was nice, a bit bitter but not as nice as the lemon and lime I had in Blue Pumpkin at Siem Reap. That ice cream wakes up the taste bud!


This our food at the end of our trip, I mentioned I want dessert and we chose cake, I guess I did get my dessert after all. My husband is the sacher (again :D ) .



Mine is the apple pie. Husband chose it for me, because well, he knows I always like a good apple pie. It was nice, not spectacular but I like it enough. 

At this particular time while we were eating, it was Halloween! So the children in the neighbourhood was trick and treating from door to door, and shop to shop! 2 children came into the shop. An elder brother ( around 7 or 8)  and in tow is his little brother which I think is 3. He was the cutest little thing with flaming red cheeks. That little boy came straight to the our table and began to speak gibberish. I wonder if he was asking for candies. 

Giving a big sigh on the things I didn't get to eat *sigh*

Anyway that is all for Venice in term of food.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Venice : The long, long walk

A picture that is so quintessentially Venice

We went to Venice for 3 days. And we basically just stay there. Which is a shame, as we could have gone to the other island, but the the thing is Venice is quite a nice place itself so on the other hand we gotten spectacularly lost and seen a lot of Venice.

In Venice you can walk everywhere. So that is what we basically do. We didn't have anywhere else particularly we want to go to (except for the Museum of Music or in Italian Museo della Musica, and we wasted a day trying to find the damn place ).

However we departed from Istanbul around 9 am and reached Venice at 11. I think we arrived here around 1pm and took to walking the island and familiarizing ourselves with this tiny island.



We mostly traipsed and gawked around the San Marco areas. Surprisingly this took a long time. But most probably we just like to sit around and people watch.

And of course walks around and enjoyed the view.


You can really pass the time standing over the bridge and watch the gondolas passed you by.

Stopped by many, many shops including this which is kinda like Venetian lace showroom/ shop. Venetian lace are exquisites and very expensive. But I swear I'd seen the same one in Vietnam. Heh.

Since we opt out of the whole gondola ride (too expensive), we decided on watching a violin concerto concert from here:


Venice was the home of the renowned violinist and famous composer, Vivaldi. So when we came here, I think there was some kind of a music festival, thus a lot of these performances are going on. ( Or it is just ongoing and we feel like it is a festival ). We chose the one just beside the Basilica of San Marco, bought the ticket, went back to our B&B and came back again at 8 pm for the performance.

We didn't take any pic of the performance. Not allowed. However it was quite wonderful. They played Vivaldi famous The Four Seasons and the lead violinist was insanely good and throw an entertaining performance that capture the audience. The audience asked for an encore 2 times. Or maybe we just want our money worth. However I would rate it as a money well spent. It took about 2 hours, and afterwards I just sat at the Piazza San Marco shivering, while my husband took pictures.


The next day we decided to just walk around, and look for the Museum of Music. Fucking internet direction. A lot of times the internet can do wonder, but trying to look for direction for this museum was a phail.

So we basically just walk and walk and walk and walk enjoying the sights such as
Bottega Veneta. Handbag yang bisa buat air liur meleleh

The high end boutiques ( I would advise against shopping at Venice, but if you got the money, go crazy! )



Beautiful cathedral and churches.


And of course the lovely canals. While a lot of people seems to be saying Venice is kind of smelly due to the canals, I can't say I smell the stench. The only unpleasant smell is when I came across some shoddy looking alley where of course smells strongly of piss.


Dalam-dalam sesat itu, we just goes in any free exhibits ongoing on such as these one while looking for that museum.

In the end, we didn't find the museum after walking a day.

Tracing our step again
In the end we just gave up and just bersiar-siar aje lah. Venice is a wonderful place to get lost to, and as many tips on how to travel to Venice is : Get lost while walking around!


Like enjoying the view at the famous Rialto bridge. I don't really recommend hanging out here. It is crowded, it smells of piss and people are always jostling one another. If you want to hang out and look at the view of the Grand Canal, go to the wooden bridge near the Accademia. More serene-feeling. After all that is the point of enjoying the view, to have a serene feeling to it. ( I think that is the worst sentence ever ).


On the way back, there was a demonstration regarding the Syria situation. It was a small demonstration where I think the main objective to educate others on the atrocities that is happening there at the moment.

One of the posters lying on the street for others to see. I didn't take the picture of the dead children. Those kinda images haunts me. 

The next day, after my husband got the required PROPER direction from the owner of the B&B we head out again ready to conquer!

We went through this lovely park


and we came across this lovely statue on top of a pond


Near the pond there is a sign warning people to not buang their pet turtles or any exotic pets here. Teehee.

How do I know this is a sign warning to not abandon their turtle pet? Penat aku google translate okeh. 
We head first to the San Marco Basilica. Entrance is free, however I'd paid online for the express ticket ( 1 eur per pax ), so I don't have to queue up. The line is insanely long, so I rather pay.

Exterior of the San Marco
We didn't take any pic of the interior. It was beautiful inside, but it so dark and to take good picture will require a flash, and like most places that uses mosaics flash photography is strictly forbidden.

While entry is free, to view like the Treasury room you have to pay 4 euro I think, per pax. 5 euro if you like to go upstairs. 4 more euro to view another thing. We only forked out more for the Treasury, where it is interesting to see artifacts that used to be in Constatinople ( Istanbul ) and old Jerusalem.

Afterwards we went to the Museo della Musica yang kami cari bagai nak rak semalam tak jumpa2. Walhal dekat aje. LOL.


Not too much people, but perhaps it is early.


There is a lot of old violin, music sheets and a mock workshop (where we can only peep from the door),

Afterwards macam biasa we just walked and walked and stumbled upon some outrageous exhibition:


This particular one is not outrageous enough, but there was one painting where Batman is fingering Wonder Woman. It is pretty hilarious, the painting is made in a vintage style, so it is lovely and cute to look at. And what underlying message?



We also  enjoy the Grand Canal view for a while before deciding upon to go into the Accademia, which housed a lot of famous Venetian paintings.

That ceiling have tiny baby faces looking down on us. 
We basically just walked that day on Venice. Heck, we just walk all days on Venice. It was quite a peaceful ( yet very exercisey ) way to appreciate Venice beauty.


I stopped in front of this building because I hear somebody playing quite a magnificent piano piece and the sound kind of echoes there which gave the air such an unbelievable feeling. It is a school I think so no tourists allowed inside.

We then just sat on top of the platform ( the one where people step on if there is a flooding ) and enjoyed the San Marco view while eating snacks and ice cream. I think we did this every evening there. Kinda like the closing chapter of the day and of our trip.

Eiiiii.... gambar ni sengettt

Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday!

It is my birthday. I am now 29. Hmmm. Afterwards, it will be 3+, then 4+ and so forth. If God wills it. There're times when I think people don't really understand Insya Allah. If God wills it. When you translate it to basic words in the language you understand, the meaning is so big. With the will of God, you are now in this position and so on. 

Anyway, husband sudah bagi hadiah awal2 before he went back to Turkmenistan. He got me a charm bracelet. Not a Tiffany's one though. But I don't really care much for Tiffany's. I am a pearl kinda girl myself. All those symbols that the pearl brought, tears, purity.. it just gets to me. Not that he bought me a charm bracelet with pearls. I mentioned the pearl because I would like to get one from Mikimoto. Not the whole pearl necklace. When or where would I wear it? No, I just want to have 1 smooth beautiful black pearl as a locket. A girl can dream. 

The rest of the day so far is ok. Not so great though. This maybe my worst birthday ever. All those money I have to pay this day. Penalty (missing RSA token), vet bills ( Kurap got weird luka at her butt, so off to the vet ). And I don't have Kurap at my side tonight  ( die kena stay at the vet for one night to clean the infection and observation). I will be so sad. 

Well then, I just wants to write something. Later (hopefully with a post about Venice pulak ). 




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Istanbul - The Foods!

In Istanbul, we don't have to worry much. Abundance of halal food.

We were staying at the Hotel Peninsula at the Sultanahmet area. The hotel we were staying in was very nice, comfy, and the staffs there are very friendly and helpful. It was a good stay and I would not hesitate to stay there again.





Every morning for breakfast at the hotel we were served with this :



The breakfast is the same every morning, basic fare with fresh fruits, jams, juices and hot drinks. I like tomatoes enough, but over there, the tomatoes was incredibly juicy and succulent that I have to have it every day. The other thing I love is the yogurt eaten with the rose syrup that have little bit of petals in it ( pic : top right ). I love it so so much. I could have the yogurt and with various thing put in it day by day. It just settles the stomach you know.

During the first day, when we were walking around, we walked past the shops that have these such sumptuous delights:


and these: (which I unfortunately do not have the time nor perut to eat )


and more of these:

We bought some, but not from this shop.

On the first day for lunch, I was tired and hungry and cold so I ordered a Turkish coffee and my husband the orange juice:

The Turkish coffee tasted a little chocolatey. The orange juice, well is a juice. 



I was also a bit irritated and just pick anything that is easy which turns out as a good choice. It was quite good.

In the menu it looks quite small. But when I got it, it was huge.
My husband kebab and fries is quite nice too. For dinner that day, we opted for a light fare as the lunch we had above was quite late. I think we had lunch at almost 4 pm.


I can't remembered what it is called, but it is kinda like murtabak Johor/Singapore (wherever suits you ), but lagi nipis. The tea that I ordered is the traditional Turkish tea. I didn't ordered it again because the tea I drank adalah sangat pekat. I sangat takut jika tidak boleh berak nanti. Tak best travel and you sembelit ok :D . 

During this dinner which we had at the Arasta Bazaar, there was a dance performance, which is the Sufi dance/whirl ( I think ). Luckily we sat right in front of the dancer ( or whirler more like it)

Looking at it too long can make you dizzy. 

It was interesting to see his feet. Kinda like watching a ballerina feet when they twirl, and that is kinda like how they do it. When he was whirling he closes his eyes, so I guess it lessen the dizziness perhaps. There was no other moves. For 5 or 10 mins, he whirls and whirls and whirls in the same spot. I guess it is kinda trancing, both for the them and the audience. 


After a walk around town after dinner, we stopped by for this drink. I mistakenly thought it as coffee at first and when the seller mentioned its as not. It was.... something else more like it. It is kinda like condensed milk and vanilla. At the top is shaven cinnamon. It was piping hot and a very sluggish feeling liquid (which is why susu pekat comes to mind. Incredibly sweet too, but not susu pekat sweetness). Nighttime in Istanbul is quite cold, so the drink does have its merit. It is meant to be drink when the night is cold and the drink is piping hot. Otherwise I would imagine it as undrinkable. 

For lunch the next day, we didn't have any because we are too busy traipsing through all those historic places. Instead we settle only for the pretzel like bagel ( I think it is called Turkish Pretzel ) and the cinnamon filled bread.  This is sold at the carts situated everywhere there.

I like the pretzel and my husband like the cinnamon once.
The pretzel is very chewy but I love hard and chewy bread while the cinnamon one is quite crumbly, tasted a bit like cake, but not at all sweet. There is nothing like it in Malaysia I could compare it with.

Then I also had the most liat aiskrim ever. The Turkish Ice Cream.

Also the most expensive ice cream ever paid. This ice cream lagi mahal dari gelato yang mahal dekat Trevi Fountain, Rome okeh. Mencik.


I don't quite like the taste. I am not a big fan of ice cream and this one, is very filling and like I said kinda like chewy. Not a fan of the Turkish Ice Cream. Tapi kenapa the one at the Bukit Bintang Plaza lain dan sedap? Perhaps yang di BB Plaza sudah ditukar taste untuk catered for Malaysian crowds kut.

Tada! The dinner.


The above is a good dining experience. It is one of the traditional Turkish food. I think it may have the a little bit of Greek influence in it. The left pic, is my food which was couscous with mushroom and carrots and kebab beef meat. The couscous was incredibly awesome and the meat is niceee. The mushroom and carrots is ok enough. The right one was my husband where he ordered the rice. Their rice is something like pulut, which I don't like so I never ordered there. The lauk is chicken kebab and the grilled eggplants and tomatoes I think. The grilled eggplants was very good. Love it. 

The last days, there was a lot of things consumed. Like:






The bread we bought from the usual carts. This one is not so nice. But we were hungry after our cruise, so we finished it. I think. It tasted more like crumbly cookies. We had a hard time finishing it. The filling is cinnamon, but not like filling, more like bake along with cinnamon mixed together I believed. But hey, tidak cuba tidak tahu ape yang kite suka and tidak right. 


We also finished the baklava we bought at the shop during our first or second night there. It was AWESOME. It have just the right amount of sweetness and rempah to not let it be overbearing to your tastebud. Aku boleh guling-guling bile teringat the taste. We finished two before I remembered to take a pic. It is a small delicacies, but I believe it is not meant to be eaten in large amounts. The sweetness remembered. Maybe that is why their tea is so pekat. 


We also tried out this. Kinda like glazed donuts, but pretzel like! Kinda crispy in a nice kinda way. It is very nice, not recommended for everyday gluttony though. Boleh diabetic.


This is our lunch for that day. Very late lunch I'll say. Shared the kebab and drink. The drink is pomegranate juice. Sangat masam. Pelik pulak husband yang tak suke masam would like this drink. These juices is awesome and is a must have however, so we have to try it. 



This is our dinner that last night. The top is my kebab with fries. I ordered the extra yogurt with spinach to be eaten with bread, but I rolled all of my dish together. Lagi cepat habis. The bottom is my husband kebab which was Iskandar Kebab with yogurt. It was quite nice.

So that's that on our food adventure in Istanbul. We were more adventurous here because we can. So in our next destination you'll see the same food, kinda. But hey, I'll still blog it. Because I can.

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