Life in a day around the world


Imagine asking people from all around the world to capture a part of their lives in one single day. The day was 24 July 2010. 4,500 hours were captured and edited into a 90-minute film. 

Just watching the trailer reminds me of the reasons I love to travel - watching the lives of people in other parts of the world, experiencing their culture, feeling their love and sharing their happiness. 

Can't wait to catch this movie!

Paradise found on Dempsey Hill?


After the trip to the Farmers' Market in Loewen Gardens, we walked towards Dempsey Hill, and started snapping some photos along the way.

Got to go back there and have dinner in one of the restaurants one day!

First of May in Bologna

{ Bologna, Italy - 1 May 2011 }

Getting lost in the city immediately after stepping down from the train, with luggages in tow, may not be a good start. But that was what happened when we were in Bologna, after taking what we thought would be a shorter route. After walking across small back lanes, we found our hotel tucked in a small street right in the heart of the city.

la rossa - the red one

Bologna felt young and energetic, which was surprising for a city that has Europe's oldest university, the University of Bologna. Maybe, the university students gave the city that vibrant and young feel, or it could probably be the event happening around Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno when we were there that day. The piazzas were filled with people with stalls - not sure what was happening, but it was probably some political or social event.

One of the many nicknames of the city is "la rossa" (the red one). It was coined to refer to the red roofs in the historic centre - and trust me, there were lots of red roofs and buildings! Love how they managed to find different shades of red and orange to paint their buildings.

Two other interesting buildings would be San Petronio Basilica and Le Due Torri. San Petronio Basilica is one of the world's largest basilica, but the interesting part is the unfinished facade, with the bricks sticking out! The two leaning towers, Le Due Torri, are the symbol of the city, and had been leaning for hundreds of years.

  

city of music

While Bologna is not one of the many UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in Italy, it was appointed a UNESCO City of Music in 2006. And true to it's name, we stumbled upon a concert in Basilica di Santo Stefano. The basilica is known locally as Sette Chiese, or Seven Churches. I simply love how everyone felt so energetic and joyful listening to the upbeat songs.

  

la grassa - the fat one

Yes, the Bolognese sauce is from Bologna and the city is also known as "la grassa" (the fat one) for all the famous cuisine. We were looking forward to eating all the amazing food that it is famous for and to walk along the Quadrilatero for all the market and shops.

While planning the trip to Italy, the initial plan was that we would be in Rome on 1 May 2011. However, that was the date for the beatification ceremony Pope John Paul II, and so we decided to spend the day in Bologna. Being a public holiday, we did expect some shops to be closed, but not most of them! So, we ended up eating in restaurants and cafes, rather than buying all the cheese, hams and whatnots. And, one of the best gelato we had in Italy was in Bologna!


::: Footnotes :::

{ Where we stayed } We stayed in Hotel Metropolitan right in the heart of the city. It has clean, simple design which I simply loved, and being in the city centre makes it very convenient.

{ What to eat } If you're only in Bologna to eat, I would not blame you! We had dinner in Trattoria dal Biassanot which I would recommend although we were only there for a day and did not manage to try many restaurants. One of the best gelato we had in Italy was in Bologna in La Sorbetteria Castiglione.

Farmers' Market in Singapore

Farmers' market in Singapore? I would not have expected one if I had not stumbled upon it online. After reading about it, I was intrigued and decided to pay them a visit.

It is situated near Dempsey Hill, in an area called the Loewen Cluster. The market is organised by The Pantry, a cafe cum cooking school, and was predominantly visited by expats working in Singapore. On the weekend that we were there, there were various stalls sellling organic fruits and vegetable, honey, wine, hibiscus drink and gourmet meat.


It is also a good place to have a late breakfast or brunch as the cafe is opened till late, and there were a few stalls selling bread, pies and even paella from Bilbao Restaurant & Gastrobar.


The area was pretty small but it had enough stalls and food to keep us entertained for a couple of hours. It was an enjoyable slow morning, and I could not help snapping photos of the children, dog and cat!


So, do drop by one of these Saturdays when the Farmer's Market is open. Whether it is to buy one of those gourmet food that you can't find elsewhere, to have a late breakfast or to reminiscent an European market, you should be able to enjoy yourself.

::: Footnotes :::

The Pantry at Loewen Gardens
75 Loewen Road, Singapore 248844
The Farmers' Market is opened from 8:30 am to 2 pm on specific Saturdays
Do visit the website for the dates and directions on how to get there

Do you know your coffee?

Here's a handy diagram for the next time you're ordering your coffee. 
I love all the coffee I had in Italy, but my favourite is the Macchiato!

Bidding farewell to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

On 1 July 2011, another chapter in the Malaysia-Singapore history was closed. The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was officially closed after 79 years of operation. On the weekend before it closed, we visited the station hoping to capture what we could before it became another well-preserved but non-operational national monument.


The one and only time that I had ever taken a train out from Singapore to Malaysia was about 10 years ago. It was also the first time I had ever taken a train on the Malaysian railway - KTM. The journey was over the night and it felt long as I could not sleep, but we reached Kuala Lumpur bright and early the next morning.

My experience would be extremely insignificant if compared to some of the memories of the people who worked there and taken countless of trains from the railway station. Like the man I captured in my previous post, and all those who had loved and enjoyed a taste of Malaysia in the bustling food area.


And this says it all...

Postcard from... Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore

 

Or, rather, what used to be the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

After 79 years in operation and countless of disputes between Singapore and Malaysia, the railway station was officially closed on 1 July 2011. This photo was taken the weekend before it was closed, and what struck me when taking the photo was the nostalgia that he must be feeling amidst the throngs of visitors who wanted to have one last look of the station before it closed.

What memories he may have had of the railway station.

being nostalgic,
- nateniale -

My Milk Toof

ickle and Lardee.
Yes, they're 2 miniature "toof", but they're cute.


{ Photo from My Milk Toof }

Fondue for two


Steamy dark chocolate with fruits. What more can you ask for?
Made a simple chocolate fondue with fruits for dinner when we wanted to have something light, but we ended eating quite a lot!
The most important ingredient of all is the chocolate, of course.


Have a chocolatey week ahead!

The real Venice at Rialto Market

{ Venice, Italy - April 2011 }

My favourite place in any new city that I go to is the market. The freshness of the morning and the energy of all the people in the market gives you a great picture of the people in the city. And, in a city filled with tourists, it was a refreshing change to be surrounded by Venetians!

We took the vaporetto along the Grand Canal, passing by St. Mark's Square to the Rialto Bridge. I mean, what more could you ask for a journey to the market? We were there bright and early, and stopped by for a quick breakfast the Italian way - standing at the bar, drinking cappuccino with croissant. After breakfast, we walked across the Rialto Bridge and right to the markets - the fruit and vegetable market, with the fish market right next to it.

I simply love the colour, the smell, the energy, the Italians (both the people and the language!). We spent hours there just walking around, looking at the produce and seafood. The fruits and vegetables looked so fresh and colourful that I simply felt like buying all of them! There were so many different types of tomatoes that I was not aware of. As for the seafood, I wonder where they were from. Hopefully, not from the water around Venice considering the number of cruise ships that visit the shores.

We could have easily spent a few hours more just observing the people there. I love to watch the Italians talk to each other. I may not know what they were talking about, but whatever it was it must be interesting - they must be if they were so full of energy, enthusiasm and passion!

  
  
  

Where to go in Taiwan?

It felt like I have been planning for a trip to Taiwan since 2008 when I bought the Lonely Planet for Taiwan. They have since published a new version, and yet, I have not visited the sweet-potato-shaped island.

Well, good news! We are going to Taiwan for a week!

We have applied for annual leave and bought the air tickets. The only thing left to do is decide where exactly we should go in Taiwan. Whenever I plan trips, after reading about the places, I would have quite a clear picture of where I want to go - be it in Japan, Turkey or even Italy. But somehow, Taiwan is giving me a problem. I can't decide where I want to go for the one week trip!

Right now, my system of planning is by googling for the photos of the various places in Taiwan. I mean, with these photos, it is really not that hard to decide is it?

{ Sun Moon Lake }

{ Alishan }



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