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Showing posts from January, 2012

New York's Pasticceria Ferrara

This is a late post about New York City. We visited NYC in the fall of 2011. I was really looking forward to visiting NYC during the fall because it's much cooler and it's easier to explore by foot when you're not constantly wiping your face because of excessive sweating. We walked so much in the city and when we were in dire need of a place to rest, we found Pasticceria Ferrara in Little Italy.

I can't describe my delight but I was smiling from ear to ear when I saw all the colorful and beautifully decorated cookies, cakes and pastries in there.

It looks like pastry and cake heaven.
So many cookies, so little time.

Since we were saving our tummies for Joe's Pizza, Mom and I shared this Strawberry Tart.  This tart tasted almost heavenly.
Since it's fall and it was a bit chilly outside, I ordered a cup of cafe latte to go with my tart.

Here's a little history about Ferrara from their website:
New York in the Gay Nineties had almost everything, except for a place w…

Copenhagen's Nyhavn

Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbor front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants. Serving as a heritage harbor, the canal has many historical wooden ships. (Source)

For those in search of the well-loved children's story writer, Hans Christian Andersen, Nyhavn is the place. Nyhavn was constructed by King Christian V from 1670-73, dug by Swedish war prisoners from the Dano-Swedish War 1658–1660. It is a gateway from the sea to the old inner city at Kongens Nytorv (King's Square), where ships handled cargo and fishermen's catch. It was notorious for beer, sailors, and prostitution. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen lived at Nyhavn 18 for some years. (Source)

Nyahvn was busy the day we visited.
The weather was beautiful that day and perfect for walking around the harbor.

Goodbye To Kronborg

I felt a sense of satisfaction as we left Kronborg Castle. I came to Copenhagen and visited all the places on my list. The feeling of relief comes as our trip to Denmark is coming to a close.

A portrait of Shakespeare.

Cannons facing the Sound Oresund.

A tunnel that I have no idea where it goes.
 Our visit at the Kronborg Castle ended with a meal of Denmark's open-faced sandwiches. Before boarding the train back to Copenhagen, Kepi and I ate at a random sandwich shop near the castle. With chilled bottles of Coke, we enjoyed the open-faced sandwiches with liver pate, ham and fried fish.
Whenever I visit a city or a country, I research and try to found out what are their famous eats or what their country is known for. Before I flew to Denmark, I read about the Danish open-faced sandwiches called Smørrebrød (originally smør og brød; Danish for "butter and bread"). According to Wikipedia, these sandwiches are usually consist of a piece of buttered rye bread, a dense, dark brown b…

Crypt Of The Capuchins

When we visited Rome in 2010, I was determined to visit the Crypt of the Capuchins, since I never did took the time to visit this place while I was living in Rome in 2007. The crypt is quite easy to find. It is walking distance from the Stazione Barberini (Metro Station Barberini), which is the same stop for the Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Barberini and Via Veneto, which is quite known for shopping and cozy cafes. When we found the Crypt, we paid about 2 Euros, which is more of a donation than an entrance fee. The nun who was manning the desk that day was very strict about observing silence at all times and pointed to my camera saying, "No photographs allowed."

My experience at the Crypt was both eerie and curious. Eeriness because I was walking in the presence of the departed and curiousness of how someone thought of turning bones into art. The place has a very peaceful feel and it was strangely cool inside. It's amazing how many bones they have in there and more interesti…

Searching For Shakespeare's Elsinore

It is but fitting to start with a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."
- William Shakespeare,
Hamlet, 1.1
While researching about the must see places in Denmark, the castle of Kronborg stood out for me especially when I read that it was the castle Elsinore used by Shakespeare in his play Hamlet. It was like walking to a Shakespearean play that came to life.

The town of Helsingor is about 30 minutes from Copenhagen and it is easily reachable by train. From the station, it is about 15 to 20 minutes walk to reach the castle. For those who love Shakespeare, this place is a must see.

Traversing the narrow streets of Helsingor…

LP: Lungkot/Kalungkutan (Sad, Sadness)

Ito ang "Empty Sky Memorial" sa Liberty State Park, NJ. "Empty Sky" dahil kung titingin ka ng diretso, doon dati makikita ang Twin Towers. (This memorial is called "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park, NJ. It's called "Empty Sky" because if you look straight, your vision takes you to where the Twin Towers once stood.)
Ang mga bakal na ito ay galing sa bumagsak na Twin Towers. Isa ito sa mga pinakamalungkot na memorial na aking nabisita. (These were once part of the Twin Towers. This is one of the saddest memorials I've visited.)

Five Things I Learned From Cruising

I had have my share of travel experiences from backpacking in Tuscany, Italy, fighting for my space in crowded buses in Kalinga and Sagada, Philippines, hiking to small mountain villages such as Dinungsay, Kalinga, standing room trains bound in some parts of Europe (this experience even included a really stinky passenger beside me and one guy almost falling off the door because the train went on a sudden halt), driving for eight hours from Maryland to Quebec, flying through cheap airlines to some far off small airport to save some money and most recently, cruising the Mediterranean and the Baltics. Cruising is one good way to travel especially if you have at least a week or more vacation time allowed. Some cruises even go for a month-long journey. It's also a good alternative for travelers who couldn't stand the stress of hopping from one transportation to another or sweating in some hotels that were misrepresented on some website; I know, I've been there.

Some people shu…

What's Keeping Me Busy?

So what exactly is keeping me busy? Two words - textbooks and a cat.

Next week, I'm plunging back to grad school. I already got most of my textbooks; there's two more books missing which I'll pick up at the bookstore by Tuesday. I'm optimistic this semester will be interesting. I'm taking a class in American literature (elective) and another one on U.S. Immigration history (core). The books are rather interesting especially the readings on my literature class.  I took two core courses last semester and the readings were too demanding. I'm hoping that with an elective class, it will make the prerequisites of my core subject a little less demanding. Or, would at least allow me to spend more time studying for my core subject.

 Textbooks for this semester.
And a curious cat.

Happy weekend everyone.

LP: Balak (Plan)

Ito ang aking bagong arawang tala para sa taong 2012. Dito ko inilalathala ang aking mga pang araw-araw o taunang mga balak at dito ko rin sinusulat ang aking mga saloobin. Ang pinakauna kong balak sa taong ito ay talunin ang aking aplastic anemia.
Sana, kasama ka sa pagtalo ko sa sakit na ito.

This is my new 2012 journal. This is where I write my plans and my thoughts. First on my to do list this 2012 is to beat aplastic anemia.

I hope you're with me in beating this disease.

I Travel In My Sleep

My mind has been working overtime even in my sleep.

Spring semester is starting next week and I've been busy purchasing my books and trying to get my schedule straightened out. With school, planning trips takes a bit of skill and timing to be able to squeeze trips in between. So even if I'm in school, I intend to travel still. I have realized a long time ago that I can't live without the joys of travel. I was 20 when I first traveled on my own to Alaska and since then, I craved the delectation of the journey as well as the trepidation of traveling to new places.

For 2012, I have so many things on my list that I want to accomplish. With my health challenges still looming in my mind, I intend to live this year as best as I can and do what makes me happy; this may sound selfish but life's too short to be just waiting for happiness. I am pertaining to finding what makes you really happy and going for it.

Our first two trips of the year have been booked and I'm beyond e…

Lunch At Hillerod

According to the Hillerod's website, the city is "a modern and pulsating city, with its own unique flavour. The bustling life of the town square and pedestrian street set in the surroundings of the fairy tale castle and picturesque lake are truly exceptional. The city centre is dominated by the magnificent renaissance castle and gardens, built and once inhabited by the King and his court. The castle itself is now a museum, but the church within is still very much in use." (Source) This description got it right, and if I were to go back to Denmark, I wouldn't hesitate to hop on that train to visit Hillerod again.

Here are a few more photos from the Hillerod area:

 This is still part of the castle gardens.
 I think this was an old church. We walked around the lake and found the church closed.
 At the castle gardens.
 The residential area near the castle.
A photo I took while we were walking away from the castle.
 After that delightful visit to the castle and gard…

Interior And Gardens Of Frederiksborg Castle

The beauty of Frederiksborg Castle resonates inside and out.

There are times I enjoy exploring one place without a map or a brochure, my visit to Frederiksborg is one of them. Sometimes, I get too involved with the history of one place that I end up ignoring the beauty around me. This time, I didn't pay attention to the brochure or self guided audio tour about the castle.  I simply walked the castle's rooms not minding what it was for, what is it made of or who designed the rooms. By simply enjoying the walk and admiring what is laid in front of me, I saw more and understood deeper the meaning of the place. Sometimes, travel is not about the history or the significance of one place, but simply being "there."

The welcoming hall - I love the arched ceilings.
I adore that white dress to the right.
The chapel inside the castle. There was someone playing the organ while we were there.
Access to the main chapel was restricted because they were preparing for an occasion.